Previously on Buffy: Joyce died. Dawn cried. Ben finds out that Dawn's the key and reveals his close relationship with Glory.
Buffy wanders around a darkened coffin-filled room while vaguely threatening music plays. But they're not foolin' you guys, are they? She opens a coffin to reveal…NOTHING. Enter Giles, Dawn, and an annoying Funeral Home Guy. Buffy tells him that she wants the coffin that she's standing by and FHG toadies, "It's a fine choice. It speaks deeply of your feeling for the deceased." Shut up, FHG. Her mother died. She shouldn't have to listen to your insincere prattling. Giles feels the same way I do, and he starts to lead FHG away. Dawn doesn't follow, but instead stands in the middle of the room, staring at the coffin. Buffy notices this and asks Dawn if she doesn't agree with Buffy's choice. Dawn dithers that Joyce might prefer a different coffin, and Buffy apologizes for bringing her along, saying that Dawn "shouldn't have to deal with this." Annoying FHG wonders if they'd like a few more minutes, but Buffy decides that they will stick with her original choice, and Dawn looks upset by the briskness of Buffy's manner.
Credits. My, how I have missed the rockin' theme song.
Buffy and Giles sit at the dinner table making arrangements for the funeral while Xander and Willow have a bite to eat. Dawn fiddles with a bouquet on the sideboard and finally sits in front of her untouched plate. Buffy questions how to word the announcement that there will be no gathering after the funeral and explains, "Mom didn't like them. She said that potlucks were depressing enough." Dawn wants to know when Joyce expressed that view, and Buffy gently tells her that they had a talk before she went in for the surgery, "in case." Dawn seems upset that Joyce didn't say anything to her, and Xander tries to comfort her with the thought that Joyce didn't want to upset her before prodding her to eat some of her dinner. Buffy concurs, and Dawn teenagers back, "Why should I? You're not." They're interrupted by the phone, which Giles answers at Buffy's behest. We learn that she still hasn't been able to get in touch with her dad, and I know that Joss seems to have a Bad Dad thing, but this is a little much. I'm thinking something's not right. What's that you say? The Buffyverse is a wonderful place filled with bunnies and happy little ponies that prance around all day long and everything is tinged with rainbows? Yes, I know. I'm probably just tired. I'm sure everything is just swell. While Buffy works on the wording of the funeral announcement, Dawn wonders what they will do afterwards. No one pays much attention to her, and her feelings are obviously hurt, so she asks Willow if she can hang with her after the ceremony. Willow tells her to ask her sister, and Buffy absentmindedly agrees.
Willow and Xander walk onto the front porch and decide to stop by Willow's to visit her mom before going home. Xander catches sight of Spike with a bouquet of bedraggled daises in his hand. Xander incredulously asks Spike if he thinks that this is the way to win Buffy's affections, but Spike retorts that he wants to pay his respects to Joyce. Xander ain't buyin' it. "I liked the lady," Spike over-enunciates. "She was decent. She didn't put on airs. Always had a nice cuppa for me. And she never treated me like a freak." "Her mistake," grits Xander. Disgusted, Spike throws down his flowers and stalks off. Willow picks up the abused blooms and points out that Spike didn't include a card. I really didn't get that line the first time around, because I thought Spike was going to knock on the front door and hand the flowers to someone in the house. Subsequent viewings have lead me to revise my theory; Spike was going to drop the flowers off, and not including a card indicates he wasn't looking for credit. But would a vampire really be concerned with social niceties like those small cards you put with bouquets, anyway? Especially considering that those flowers look like he found them in a Dumpster behind the local Italian restaurant. Xander looks after Spike with a thoughtful expression, but if you recall it was not too long ago that Spike kidnapped Buffy, chained her up in his basement, and threatened to let his ex eat her if she didn't admit that she liked him, so I can see how Xander would think that maybe Spike shouldn't, uh, come around the house. Oh, and Spike? What with you being eeeevil and all, maybe you could knock over a florist for some decent stems to pay your respects instead of pilfering ragweed off of other people's graves? Thanks.