"Oh my god," gushes Buffy, "that might be the best thing I've ever had in my mouth." Snerk. Poor Spike. Wood feeds Buffy another bite of dessert, but as she's taking a bite, she tilts her head to see Spike looming over the table. "It's Xander," says Spike.
Xander, meanwhile, is trying desperately to talk Ashanti out of killing him. He argues that she hasn't thought her plan through completely. "The seal opens, and a vicious feral vampire creature comes out," she retorts. So how does this thing work exactly? You can use human blood (except for Jonathan's, for reasons I have never understood ["I believe the reason given was that there wasn't enough, because he's little" -- Sars]) or pig blood, and I'm assuming that if you get really desperate you can just string the Kool-Aid guy up and have him bleed cherry Kool-Aid all over the seal. Then once the blood hits the seal, a super-powerful ur-vampire pops out, kinda like an evil Pez dispenser? And anyone can do it? Whatever. Ashanti wants her own little pet, because "the end is coming" and it's time for all creatures to align themselves with either good or evil. She picks up a ritual knife and thrusts it deep into Xander's belly. Blood drips down the blade and runs onto the seal. If that was Nicky's stomach in the close-up, I'd like to send him a thank you for not waxing off his cute belly fur. I was going to write a whole section here about the extreme trauma I suffered last night by agreeing to attend a bachelorette party at a male "exotic" "dance" club, but I think I'll spare you the pain. Let's just say that nearly naked (but wearing knee-pads and comfy Reeboks -- how come lady strippers don't get these perks?) guys with semi-muscular chests and goose-pimply buttocks flailing their units arhythmically don't do much for me. Oh, and I'm baffled by "exotic" "dance" routines apparently based on the theme "Drunken Cholo." "Low Rider" by War has been ruined forever for me. Oh, sorry. I guess I didn't spare y'all my pain after all. But it did distract me from my intended rant about how this humiliating subplot for Xander is a complete dead end in terms of continuing plot. They just whipped up this little scenario to shoehorn Ashanti into the show, and all of Xander's butt-monkeyness leads to…nothing. It might have been nice to see him make a key discovery or have a heroic moment to ameliorate the mortification.
Zooooom goes Principal Wood's car down the street. Inside, Buffy has shotgun with Spike in the back. "You're sure he's in the high school?" sighs Buffy. "Willow did a locator spell," replies Spike. I actually laughed out loud at this, because I was just joking with Ash about how Willow seems to have a little locator spell addiction. Also, we saw Spike head out the door before Willow did any such thing. I swear to god Continuity got lost in the move from WB to UPN. He's stuck in some dusty old box back in some WB warehouse, along with all the characters' real personalities. The conversation flags, and Wood glances back into the rearview mirror. It's not clear if he sees a reflection of Spike or not. Nor is it clear if this is intentional or just an oversight. I used to give ME the benefit of the doubt in these situations, but they used up all of my goodwill in that regard right around "Wrecked." To break the silence, Wood asks how Buffy and Spike came to be acquainted. Buffy quickly butts in with, "He works with me. Uh, you know, in the struggle against evil." Spike looks bemused. Wood isn't buying it. "Hmm. Cool," he grunts noncommittally. Buffy tries to look innocent in the wake of the uncomfortable silence.