Classic Giles in leather for Ace, the Couch Baron, and Sep...and The Anointed One on a double espresso for myself, because I originally said I'd recap this episode back in November. ["Girl, please. I don't care how long it took -- you deserve huge props for taking this lemon off my hands." -- Couch Baron]
Fade up on Buffy, Willow, and Xander walking through the gardens of the Sunnydale Museum and doing the exposition cha-cha. Blah blah blah, Sunnydale is hosting what Xander refers to as a "cultural-exchange megillah," which includes a museum exhibit and a dance. Willow is waxing nerdily excited about her costume for said dance, while Buffy is bitching about living with a stranger for the next two weeks -- it seems that Joyce volunteered them to host an exchange student. I have to side with Buffy here, because my family hosted an exchange student for a fortnight one summer, and he had to go everywhere with me, and...well, let's just say that Olaf had a really, really close relationship with exactly one shirt, while cherishing a deep-rooted fear of soap. And shampoo. And deodorant. Did I mention that it gets kind of hot in New Jersey in the summertime? Because it does. Hot and humid. Dinner-table conversations became a product-placement-fest: "Hey, Sars, could you pass me the salt?" "SURE I could, Mr. Stupidhead! And it's no SECRET that you'll need the pepper, also!" "Yes, I will -- no BAN on pepper around here!" Anyway, Xander thinks the exchange program is "cool," and calls it "a beautiful melding of two cultures," but when Buffy asks, Xander admits that he's never participated in one, although his father tried to sell him to "some Armenians once. Does that count?" I wonder what killed the deal. Maybe Harris, Sr. tried to throw in the script for this episode.
After an endless shot of the gang walking inside, we catch up with Cordelia as she leafs through the exchange-student face book (?) and enthuses over Sven, the "one hundred percent Swedish, one hundred percent gorgeous, one hundred percent staying at my house" student assigned to her. Then Cordy asks Buffy what her student looks like, and Buffy shrugs, "I dunno. Guy-like." Predictably, Xander is less than thrilled to hear that the houseguest is "a man, with man parts," and grumps that "this is a terrible idea." Willow teasingly wants to know what happened to the beautiful melding of two cultures, and before I can come up with a decent crack involving Xander's right hand, Xander snaps, "There's no melding, okay? He'd better keep his parts to himself." Then the Scoobs spot a kid named Rodney Munson illegally fondling a museum display, and we get way way too much background about the kid given that he's about to get a mummy-job and bite it in a couple of minutes, so here's what you need to know: Rodney used to beat Xander up; Rodney has braces; Rodney is not very bright.