A band with a squawky female singer plays in the Bronze. Couples, including Xander and Cordy, slow-dance. The camera drifts past Willow who is peering up into the mezzanine story of the Bronze. Buffy, in bronze lamé pants and a black tank, mopes at the railing. Behind her, a young man approaches; he attempts to engage her in conversation, and when she doesn't recognize him, he explains that they had algebra class together. Buffy finally recognizes the none-too-attractive Ben, and he asks her to ask him to the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance. Sadie Hawkins dances are such relics, with the retro implication that the girl asking the guy should be a once-a-year anomaly. Down with Sadie Hawkins! Buffy stutters, and Ben tries to make his escape, but Buffy explains, "It's me. I -- I'm not seeing anybody." Ben hurries his crushed ego away, and Buffy apologizes to his retreating back. You know how "Welcome to the Hellmouth" Buffy recognizes a vampire by his outdated outfit? Well, when I first saw Ben's outfit, I wiggled in my seat and squeaked, "Vampire! Vampire!" I guess I was wrong, but I'm still very proud of Buffy for turning down a guy in a purple wide-collared shirt, belt with enormous buckle, and brown slacks.
At the bottom of the stairs, Buffy runs into Willow, who wants to know if she's leaving. Buffy explains she plans to check with Giles about patrolling and then will head to bed, which causes Willow to chide her that she's been "all-work-and-no-play Buffy lately." Shrugging her shoulders, Buffy insists that she does have fun, but Willow contradicts her and points out her rejection of sartorially-challenged Ben. Someone throw some cold water on Willow, 'cause she has her "perky" meter turned up to ten as she encourages Buffy to "date to get into date mode," and I appreciate she's trying to help a friend, but when your great mushy high-school love turns wicked evil, reveals your defloweration to your mom, and kills one of your teachers, it seems like the perfect time to take a break from dating, you know? Which, hey, looky-there, is pretty much what Buffy tells Willow when Willow prompts her to be more "impulsive." Willow says she's "on board" with the fact that the "Angel thing went badly," but encourages Buffy that "love can be nice." From her glow and soft voice, we know she's thinking of Oz.
"Come back here," shouts a masculine voice, and we see a crying girl hurrying down a hallway at Sunnydale High. Accusing the girl of not caring anymore, the guy behind her grabs her arm and spins her around. She sobs that it doesn't matter what she feels, and he demands that she say she doesn't love him anymore. The girl insists she indeed doesn't love him, but the guy refuses to believe it. "A person doesn't just wake up one day and stop loving somebody." He pulls a gun and points it at her, insisting, "Love is forever." Um, yeah. That's the kind of attitude that charms the ladies. Charms them right down to City Court to file for a restraining order. Say, do you think this story will have strong parallels with Buffy's love life? As if Little Miss It's-All-About-Me needed any more reasons to think that it's all about her.
Buffy comes around a corner in the school and finds the guy and girl, still in their argument. The girl turns to flee, and the guy shouts after her, "Don't walk away from me, bitch!" Buffy runs towards him, and somewhere nearby the school custodian hears the racket and puts down his mop. Buffy attacks the guy and knocks the gun out of his hand while the janitor checks the girl to see if she's okay. After Buffy hauls the guy up off the ground, he stammeringly asks what happened. Buffy is outraged and yells that he "just went O.J." on his girlfriend, but the guy has no idea why he was so angry. His girlfriend backs him up, saying they weren't even fighting a few minutes ago. Buffy wants to know why the guy had a gun, but he has no idea, and the custodian, who is Bugsy from Perfect Storm in his once-per-century Hollywood appearance, looks around and says, "I don't see any gun." It's a little cool to recognize Bugsy, but I'd rather it was George Clooney or William Fichtner. ["Mmmm. Agreed. Note to Joss: Fichtner would make a fabulous vampire. Just something to think about for the fifth season..." -- Sars]