Previously on Buffy: all of Season Seven happened. Seriously. I don't think these are the longest previouslys we've ever seen, but this sequence does take the prize for realistically recreating the enormous sense of ennui you feel when one of your blowhard acquaintances at work starts telling you about every detail of their weekend, with no editing or selectiveness. Here's my version, edited down to only the necessary moments (there's a lot of penetration, so be warned): Andrew stabbed Jonathan; this season's Big Bad Below appeared to the Scoobies as people they knew; some girls got stabbed; Spike sank his fangs into some humans; Buffy deduced that the Big Bad Below was controlling Spike, and brought him home to her house; someone swung an axe at Giles's head. The remaining minute and thirty seconds of these previouslys is just talking-head blah-blah padding.
Living Room Of Parentally Abandoned Women-Children. Xander measures the front window as Dawn and Willow tidy up the three remaining unsmashed knickknacks. As they work, Dawn, all pursed mouth of disappointment because her former bad-boy crush turned out to be, well, bad, speculates that Spike could've buried more bodies around town, and sniffily asks what they're waiting for him to do. Willow, seemingly conked out on Vicodin, whiskey, and Nyquil (the celebrity sleepy-time cocktail of choice), barely even looks at Dawn and drones, "It's not that simple." Either Buffy has gone evil-mind control bitch in this episode and robbed Xander and Willow of all ability to disagree with her, or her incessant "Me! Me! Me! I'm the Slayer! I'm the boss! I killed Angel, you know!" shtick has just broken their will to live. Nothing else can account for the way Xander and Willow zombie through this episode, mindlessly parroting the Buffy party line. Bitterly, from across the room, Anya snaps, "Shouldn't we stab [Spike] through the chest? Isn't that what we do when these things happen?" Well, only if we're consistent, Anya. But "we're" not consistent, Anya, "we're" the Slayer and we killed Angel et cetera, and only our evil fuck-buddies shall be suffered to live and get the benefit of the doubt. Anya appeals to Xander for some back-up, but Evil Buffy has worked her mojo on him, and he only manages to creak out a broken, "I have a house to put back together." Anya smiles faux-patiently and advises the zombie Scoobies to "prepare [themselves] for the possibility that William the Bloody is back."
We see some leather- and boot-clad legs striding down a Sunnydale street. A long black duster flutters in the breeze. The camera pans up, and the walker is revealed to be Andrew. Hoo haw. I laughed until I cried. No, actually I just cried. Andrew's all fixed glare and swagger until Warren pops up beside him to whisper sweet evils in his ear. Warren wants Andrew to get busy (but not in the way Andrew has so obviously longed for), and Andrew whines that he just wants to walk around in his coat and not have to do "wet work" anymore. I'm sure there's a few kinds of wet work Warren could talk Andrew into if Warren had a corporeal form, if you know what I mean. Ugh. Now I've managed to revolt myself just as much as I am revolted by Warren's never-ending, clunky, Star Wars-inspired pep talks. Better to be the captain of your own revolto-ship rather than a passenger on someone else's, I always say. The show is blahing on as I lose myself in a fantasy of captaining a whole crew of chastened minions at whom I can growl, "Swab the deck and climb the mizzenmast, ye scurvy, limey dogs! Aaarrr!" When I manage to shake myself from that beautiful reverie, Warren and Andrew are talking about how Jonathan's blood wasn't enough. Warren morphs into Jonathan, who looks particularly tiny in this scene, and claims that being stabbed was "the best thing" that ever happened to him. The Big Bad Below is one hundred times worse than all those stereotypical villains who love the sound of their own voices and talk too much, because the Big Bad Beneath loves the sound of, like, everyone's voices, and it just ends up talking that much more. BBBJonathan reassures Andrew that the failure of the ritual was not his fault, and that Real Jonathan was too little to have enough blood, and was anemic. Andrew still doesn't want to "kill anybody else," and BBBJonathan promises to work around that.
Buffy and Spike are preparing for another one of their sex romps as Buffy tightly lashes Spike to a chair in her bedroom. Um, didn't they break up? Oh, wait. My mistake. This isn't one of those shameful, naughty, my-friends-must-not-know, tying-up situations that Buffy implies bring her so much shame, but rather one of those prosaic, day-to-day tying up situations that come with the whole Slayer package. How confusing. For everyone. Actually, I'm less confused about that than about why this sluggish, limply acted embarrassment of show is still on the air, and why I'm still watching it. Spike instructs Buffy to "make it tighter." They have these Kegel exercises for that. Oops, sorry, I got confused again. He was talking about the bondage, er, the ropes. "If I get free, someone's gonna die," mutters Spike to rising-menace music. Someone like you, Spike? Cool. Tie a slipknot, Buffy! And not to give away the whole episode, but Spike does get free, of course, because Buffy tied him to a crappy bedroom chair, and no one dies. And it just adds one more grain of sand to my growing mountain of hate for Buffy that when Angel came back from Hell, he merited manacles in an empty house, but Spike gets soft cotton rope in Buffy's bedroom.