Skipping quickly over the previouslys, we flashback to Giles kneeling next to Robson in London. The Bringer swings his ax, and without looking back, Giles whips out his hand and grabs the shaft. Hee. I said "shaft." Anyway, Giles pulls the ax towards himself, punches the Bringer in the gut, whacks it in the face with the ax handle, and then chops off its head. Cool! Go Giles.
Giles, Buffy, Kennedy, Millie, and the new Junior Miss from China, Chao-Ahn, are patrolling in a cemetery. Giles explains his near escape from the Bringer's ax, fatuously rambling on about training, instinct, and reflexes. As if this show hasn't broken my heart enough already over the past few years, now they're making a buffoon of the only character I still care about. He's mid-brag about his "wary watchfulness" when he's suddenly tackled by Spike. Ah. I see. It's a running joke about Giles getting knocked to the ground or something. I think I just broke a rib laughing. Giles and Spike slap each other's hands away and both exclaim, "Hey!" While Giles is surprised that Spike's chip didn't fire, Spike is equally surprised that Giles is all corporeal and not the First Evil. Huh? Spike explains that Anya told him Giles was the First. Wow, either Spike's really out of the loop or Anya was playing a practical joke on him and Giles. Maybe Giles did some little thing to piss her off, like ignore their three-week anniversary, and this was her human attempt at a little vengeance. Giles had better hope he got her something nice for Valentine's Day, because I'd hate to see what else she has up her sleeve. Spike bitches that Giles was "supposed to be all go-throughable," and Giles dryly demands to know why, in that case, Spike tackled him. Well, nobody ever credited Spike with an excess of brains, and Spike admits as much. Giles demands to know why Spike could hit him without pain, and Buffy and Spike explain with some embarrassment about the Initiative and how they had to make a choice and decided to have the chip removed. Giles is really very surprised and not a little disgusted, and I'm just perplexed about how these people spend their days all cooped up in a house together if they're not actually ever talking about anything. Buffy and Spike came back from the Initiative and just never told anyone what happened there? And no one asked, despite the fact that Spike wasn't rolling around on the ground in pain any longer? Anyway, I think it's something Buffy was obligated to tell everyone in the house as soon as she could, and I'm not at all sorry to see her catch some crap from Giles. If she'd been up-front about it earlier, he wouldn't be so cranky about having been caught off his guard by the new development. The Junior Misses are very confused by this conversation about chips, and then Chao-Ahn pipes up (with handy subtitles), "I don't understand a word any of you are saying!" It's endemic this season, honey. Don't sweat it.
Next morning? Buffy's in her room, putting on earring. Giles leans in the doorway and says, "You know, this is very dangerous." Buffy pretends like she thinks he's referring to her earring: "Ah, you've just heard the horror stories. Wear hoops, they'll catch on something. Rip your lobe off. Lobes flying everywhere." It's a cute line and interestingly reminiscent of complaints on our boards about the impracticality of some (okay, most) of the costuming on this show, but I still just ended up hating Buffy for trying to deflect criticism before the conversation even begins. In response, Giles rolls not just his eyes but his whole head, and patiently explains that's not what he was talking about. Buffy knows he was talking about Spike's chip. Giles inquires as to what led her to make the decision to have it removed, and Buffy says it was instinct, like he was talking about the night before. "I made that up!" exclaims Giles, "I knew the Bringer was there because his shoes squeaked." What? Also, ASH's Giles accent slipped there quite noticeably. Sigh. Nobody on this set is even trying anymore. Where're my Patsy Cline CDs? I'm always inclined to Cline when a long-term relationship ends, and I think Giles and I might be breaking up soon. The chip removal makes Giles worry about the safety of the Junior Misses -- he lists dangers to them, to which Buffy adds, "And now the principal." She explains about seeing him in the school basement, holding a shovel and acting strange. "And now the principal"? "And NOW the principal"!? Buffy, you vapid moron! You saw the principal in the basement four episodes ago, during the same episode in which Giles arrived in town, and you're just now getting around to thinking about it? Dozy cow. She assures Giles that she's "looking into it" and he snides, "Oh, that sounds very responsible of you." Well, turn off the Patsy because I feel a spark of the old love coming back! Buffy claims that the chip didn't keep Spike from killing heaps o' people earlier this season, and Giles counters that it could well have been malfunctioning at the time. He thinks a shiny, brand-new chip would've been the best choice, what with all the many other (cough triggerandbloodlust cough) dangers Spike presents. Buffy "feel[s]" that Spike can "be a good man" and that his "soul" will "stop" him from "hurting people." She indicates that removing the chip will give Spike "the chance" to be all that he can be.