This is a vacation recap. Vacation recaps are, by law, 49 percent less funny than usual recaps. Well, not really, but this episode was mostly a drag and I used up all my funny on "Selfless," so I apologize in advance if you don't laugh your ass off reading this.
Previously on Buffy, there was a character called Giles who had a very sexy voice. Come back, Giles! Spike was stuck in the basement and had nowhere else to go. Presumably because there was some sort of LoJack system preventing him from up and walking out. Vampirism isn't really well known for being a welfare state, y'know? Anya got kicked out of the vengeance demon club and decided to finally make her own way in life.
Xander strides through the door of his apartment and tersely points to the left, saying, "You're going to live in the small room over there. I know it looks like a closet but it's a room now." He turns to face Buffy and Dawn, who are entering stony-faced behind him to increase the suspense before the audience finds out that his comments are directed at Spike. Xander continues laying down the law vis-à-vis hot water right-of-way. He stabs his finger in Buffy's direction and reminds her that he "hate[s] this plan." Spike stands at the doorway silently until Buffy gently prods Xander for an invitation, which Xander grudgingly provides before going another round with Buffy. Xander isn't quite clear on exactly how and when Spike's problems became his to deal with too. I hear ya on that count, brother. Buffy emphatically says that the basement is driving Spike bonkers, and that they "can't just leave him there." Why not? No, really. They could. They'd probably also have to never have contact with him again, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Dawn worries that Buffy's sudden show of something closely resembling compassion means that she's playing hide the stake with Spikey again, proving once again that she hasn't seen any of last season if she thinks that Buffy + Compassion = Shagging Spike. Buffy emphatically denies the charge, but does say that things are "different" now that Spike has a soul. Xander takes the words out of my mouth as he dryly observes, "I'm sure that'll be a real comfort when he soulfully attacks you again." Dawn wants to know what "exactly" Spike's soul-having status means, but Buffy doesn't have a concrete answer for her. I suspect because the writers themselves have no idea. She tries to reassure Dawn that nobody is going to attack her, but just as the words leave her mouth, Spike strides up to get her attention by reaching for her upper arm. At this contact, she spins around with a gasp and a cringe, her actions proving false her supposed comfort in Spike's presence. As Spike quickly says sorry, his accent slips. ["And not just loses-its-balance slips but stumbles down an embankment and breaks its leg. It's that ever-devious constricted American R. Damn you, constricted American R!" -- Sep] Spike is convinced that living with Xander isn't going to work out (and he should know, since it's not the first time they've been bunk buddies), so he offers to leave because he's not interested in Buffy's pity. "It's not coddling," she says, and then, at a loss for words, stammers, "Now go to your closet," and strides out uncomfortably. My God, that was the longest minute in the history of television, and I know it's only going to get much, much worse before it gets any better. Oh well. As my mother would say, at least I'm not working on a Jack Daniel's factory line and forced to pee into my adult diapers.