Overhead shot as Spike exits Wood's Pique Parlor, and dons the flayed skin of Wood's mother. Oh, I'm sorry. That didn't come out quite right. Maybe I should have said, "Dons a grisly reminder of his days as a mass murderer"? Oops! Perhaps "slips into the ultimate symbol of his hubris and moral vacancy"? Let me think about it. I'm sure I'll come up with the precise phrase sooner or later. If Joss Whedon wants to give me a happy ending to the series, he'll give me Spike dying in that coat. Buffy runs up and demands the 411. Spike opens the door to the Shack of Shame so Buffy can see Wood slumped against the wall within, his head lolling. Spike tells her he spared Wood's life because he killed his mother, but if Wood "even so much as looks at [Spike] funny again," Spike will kill him. Buffy makes a sad "what have we come to?" face, which causes me to tell her to SHUT UP. Seems like this is just the Spike that Bitchy claimed she wanted in "Get It Done," so I think she should save her little faces for someone who cares. If she can find a single person who does.
Spike stalks off, and Bitchy steels herself to check on Wood. She helps him stand and then leaves him slumped against the wall as she checks out the, uh, very geometric interior design motif. Throughout the ensuing scene, we never see Wood's neck well enough to tell if Spike really did feed off of him. For some reason, Bitchy is moved to share the story of Joyce's death with Wood, who actually pants out, "I'm sorry," rather than "I don't give a piss about your mother! She knew what she was signing up for!" which I'm told is what souled warriors for good are supposed to say in situations like this. Then Buffy and Wood have a little conversation where Buffy runs through her two tired worn-out justifications for keeping Spike around (he's not the same man anymore and he's the strongest warrior they have) and Wood tells her not to fool herself -- Spike is still the same man as the one that killed his mother. However, Buffy doesn't have time for vendettas. She tells Wood that if he goes after Spike again, Spike will kill him and Buffy will allow it. And since Spike is nothing more than her trained attack dog at this point and she could instruct him not to kill Wood under any circumstances, she has switched over completely to being an "ends justify the means" person. I just cannot believe this is for the best. As Buffy walks out, she tells Wood, "The mission is what matters." If the mission is really, truly all that matters, and everyone is expendable and only the strongest warriors matter, why hasn't Buffy enlisted any demon mercenaries? I'm sure there's a demon biker gang out there who'd be willing to fight by Buffy's side if she gave them Dawn and a handful of Junior Misses in trade. I mean, the girls aren't strong fighters and they're expendable, so why not use them as barter to fill out the troops? Because Buffy is full of shit -- that's why. She wants to be the unquestioned leader, but she hasn't shown an ounce of creativity or strategy in this fight. She claims she needs strong warriors, but since she hasn't even called for Faith or Angel to join her, she's obviously only using that as a cover for her compulsion to protect Spike. And she claims she's willing to do the hardest things in service of the mission, but instead she only does the weakest and easiest things.