Willow opens the door to Buffy's room. Buffy is all hunched over in bed, huddled under the covers with her little mouse hands curled against her chest. What happened to having a lighter tone this season? I'm ready for it. What with Chloe swinging in the wind and Buffy almost being mystical mist-raped, we're at about our thirty-seventh consecutive hour of unabated, grinding misery. Buffy thanks Willow (the lesbian) for rescuing her from the (evil, rapist) shaman, and then admits that she was "hard" on the Scoobs. Willow zombies that Buffy doesn't need to worry about it. Buffy still thinks she's made a mistake. Not by saying such awful things about her supposed friends, mind you, but by turning down the power she was offered, "because [she] didn't like the loophole." Willow seems upset, but covers with an "It's okay. We'll get by. We always do." Wow. How very Little House on the Prairie of her. If I could put aside my burning hatred of Buffy for a moment here, I would admit that I don't blame Buffy one bit for refusing that power. Her strength has always been her humanity. I still hate her, though.
Buffy tells Willow the shaman showed her that "the First Slayer was right" -- the power that she has isn't enough. Willow presses her, "What did they show you?" Suddenly a snarling übervamp pops into the foreground. In fact, as the camera pulls back, we see that there's a whole freakin' army of them. I don't see how any power a shaman could have given Buffy would have been enough to defeat all of those little critters. But more importantly, can we trust that the information Buffy received from the shaman is valid? We certainly don't know that Wood is strictly on the up-and-up. He doesn't seem to have left any sort of paper trail, and there are a number of other ambiguous actions of his that have yet to be accounted for. How do we know that the bag was really a memento of That '70s Slayer? Giles, the only other person who would be able to vouch for its authenticity, was conveniently absent. (His turn to do the Costco run, I assume.) In fact, the last time we saw Wood, he was communicating with The First. How do we know that he hasn't been corrupted? What if Buffy's vision quest was somehow staged by The First as a way to demoralize her even more? Of course, having said all that, it can't possibly be true, because it makes a certain kind of sense, and as we all know, sense has no place in this show anymore.