Big truckloads of props to Ace and Sep, who you'll appreciate all the more after reading my attempt at recapping this show.
Once upon a time, there was show about the misadventures of a bunch of high school students who befriended a dark-haired guy with a rather drab wardrobe. The show was popular enough to spawn multiple spin-offs, including one which featured someone with extraordinary powers, who, oddly enough, had been a bad guy at one point. I mention all this because sometimes people forget that Mork & Mindy actually got its start on Happy Days, and it bugs me. Anyway.
Previously on Buffy, Joyce decided that dying was the only way to escape this silly show, everyone was sad, Xander proposed to Anya even though he hadn't been brain-sucked, the audience was sad, Buffy practiced her high-dive, everyone was sad, Giles fled to England before someone found a way to make him as irritating as the rest of the characters, everyone was sad, Xander insisted, against all available evidence, that "this is deep stuff," Willow helped Buffy compose herself, everyone was worried instead of sad, and Buffy said "This is hell," and was all, y'know, sad. Wow, that was close to ninety seconds long. And most of it was scenes from this season. That's a little excessive.
The shows starts off with Buffy looking around in a dark basement, while we listen to creepy rattling noises. My Misdirection-Based-Comedy alarm goes off. That's strange. It must be a low battery alert; this isn't Angel. Buffy looks up and says, "So, we meet at last, Mister Drippy." The camera pulls back to reveal water leaking from an overhead pipe. That'll teach me to doubt the alarm. Buffy climbs up on some object that just happened to be placed conveniently under the drip, and lifts a wrench to the pipe. While she commences tightening, Dawn comes down the stairs and asks if she should call a plumber. Buffy vetoes that idea, and tightens the pipe. The leak stops. And then there's a rumble and water starts spraying out of a half-dozen spots with incredible force. One is aimed perfectly at Dawn, who screeches and runs up the stairs. Buffy stays still in the one dry spot in the basement and sighs, "There. All better." I'm impressed that she didn't even look around when the pipes were exploding and Dawn was screaming. She's very Zen. While the credits roll, I note that the previouslys were longer than the actual teaser. This is a big, comfy episode, full of the finest padding.
Willow and Tara fix breakfast while chatting with Dawn about the amazing amount of water in their basement. Did it occur to anyone to shut the water off? Apparently not, since Buffy is by the sink, staring dreamily as water pours out of the faucet and down. The. Drain. Much like...well, you know. I try to figure out what Buffy's necklace is meant to be, or if it's just an abstract design. Still haven't decided. Dawn reminds Buffy that she suggested calling a plumber, and Buffy agrees, "The plumber will make everything good." She keeps on staring at the sink. Tara nags Dawn about eating breakfast. Dawn is wearing a shirt with the number two on it, so start working that into your graduate thesis on numerology in pop culture right away. Without turning around, Buffy tells Dawn that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's unbelievably important. Dawn, you should eat breakfast three times a day." I'm starting to miss the Buffybot. Willow walks up and, looking concerned, turns the water off. Dawn finally says, "I'll grab something before school." Isn't now before school? Is she going to stop at a diner on the way to class? Xander enters from the basement, accompanying "Tito the Amazing," the plumber. Tito says that the house's plumbing needs to be completely replaced: "What you need [is] a full copper re-pipe job." Willow takes the estimate as she worries, "That sounds potentially pricey." Potentially pricey plumbing problem? Poop! Tito says his number is on the invoice in case they have questions, and exits. Dawn strolls over to peek at the invoice, and comments, "That's a weird phone number," before realizing the number she's looking at is the estimate. Dawn, the dollar sign and the decimal point are usually clues. I guess she really has missed a lot of school. Xander insists that Tito is giving them a bargain rate. Buffy says, "So? We'll pay him, what's the big deal?" Willow hesitantly explains that they need to discuss Buffy's money situation, but I'm a little distracted because Willow seems to be wearing a cross. Oh, fine.