"So we're thinking it didn't go too well," admits Willow to a very distressed-looking Giles in the living room. Spike wants to know why they even tried to record "the ultimate evil." Willow was interested to see if it would give anything away. She doesn't say it, but I'd like to believe that she was checking up on Andrew too. It would be the only smart thing someone has done on this show in months. Spike is jealous that he's not the First's favorite man-bitch anymore, but Andrew tells him that The First said that it "wasn't time" for Spike yet. Giles looks very troubled by this news. Andrew whines that he's had a vewy bad day being haunted by the ultimate evil and getting the tape from the mic ripped off his tummy. Dawn tries to comfort him by complimenting him on standing up to The First. "Thank you," says a mollified Andrew. "You're a peach." I almost liked him there for a second, despite that being a very strange line. Or maybe because of it. Giles is still ticked off, and thinks they ought to be spending their time marshalling their defenses instead of "going out on dates." Poor Giles. The stress of not being able to be with Anya publicly on Valentine's Day is really taking a toll on him. It's not like him to be jealous of other people enjoying themselves. He must really love her. It's just tearing him up inside. In fact, he's so upset that he orders Willow to call Buffy to come home immediately. Spike offers to go fetch her, but Willow says that she'll call.
Suddenly Willow gets a text message. It's from Xander, and it's in code, but Willow can't remember if it's the code for "I just got lucky -- don't call me for a while" or "My date's a demon who's trying to kill me." Wolf, one of our brilliantly funny posters, postulated that Xander's ambiguous message must have been I M FCKED. More importantly, how did Xander send this message? With his penis? This episode hangs together like it's made of nothing more than wet string and chewing gum. In response to the numerous queries about exactly how Xander managed to message Willow despite being bound to a giant wheel, Jane Espenson, the writer for this episode, commented that there was probably a point after Ashanti had revealed her evil intentions but before Xander was tied up that he became conscious in Ashanti's car and managed to message Willow. Oh. Thanks for clearing that up. Y'know, when the plot goes from C to X, the viewers actually need to see a few of the letters in between. I find the comment by Jane very telling, for two reasons: (1) even the writers have been reduced to fanwanking, and (2) the surprise expressed by Jane that the viewers thought this was a plot hole means that there is NOBODY looking at these scripts to make sure that they even make sense. The gang agrees that it's statistically far more likely that Xander is getting eating alive than getting lucky. Spike again says that he wants to go get Buffy, but Willow again says she'll call her. Ooops -- Buffy's left-behind phone rings from the chair next to Willow. "I'll go get Buffy," offers Spike for the third time. "I can probably still track her scent," he adds in an obvious voice-over as he leaves. It's that vanilla shower gel that stinks up the town, I guess. And no, that's not a wound on Spike's back. It's a red circular logo (or design) on his shirt.