Giles in the library. He mutters, "This can't be happening." The price of tweed must just have gone up. Buffy walks in, and asks how the research is going. He says he got some back issues of the newspaper, but that he doesn't know if there's anything useful in them, because he suddenly can't read. So how did he know he got the correct editions, then? Sheesh. He tells her that the words look like gibberish, and actually sounds like he's going to cry. Aw. Buffy looks at the paper, and recognizes the kid she's been seeing around school. Turns out that the kid, who's name is Billy Palmer, was found a week earlier after his "Kiddie League" game, and he's been in a coma ever since. Buffy tells Giles when and where she's seen Billy. He wonders how she could have seen him if he's in a coma, but Buffy's all, "You're the Watcher." He decides that Billy must be using astral projection. Buffy looks at the picture again, and upon taking note of the number on Billy's jersey, says, "Lucky 19." Giles looks like he can't read the number, which is a nice acting touch, but gives credence to my newspaper nitpick. Buffy's dad Hank pops in. I never would have realized this on my own, but the actor played Almanzo Wilder on Little House On The Prairie. He should really call Buffy "half-pint." That would crack me up. ["I had the hugest crush on 'Manly' as a kid. Why my parents didn't rush me to an eye doctor, I'll never understand." -- Sars] Buffy wonders why he's there early, and asks if anything's wrong. He says he needs to talk to her privately, and she assents, but not before introducing him to Giles. Interesting moment -- her two fathers meeting. Hank's all smiles, but something seems a little off, and I'm not just saying that because I know what happens.
Outside, Hank explains that he came early because he needs to tell Buffy something about his and Joyce's divorce. They sit down, and he says she's old enough to know the truth. She's apprehensive, and asks if there was someone else. I pray that that's where he's going with this, but it isn't. She asks what, then, and gets the response no kid ever should: "It was you." He explains that the strain of raising her and seeing her every day is what did it. Buffy's not processing this, but he steamrolls on, "Gosh, you don't even see what's right in front of your face, do you. Well, big surprise there, all you ever think about's yourself." What can I say to describe the harshness? It's a horse race between Buffy's shock and sadness levels. He goes on about her "stunts," which I assume had to do with slaying, and that she's sullen and rude and not too bright. He chuckles. "I mean, Buffy, let's be honest. Could you stand to live in the same house with a daughter like that?" This scene is made so much more powerful by the expression on Buffy's face, which makes it clear that she's afraid he might have a point. The tears are flowing now, and he chides her for "blubbering," before administering the coup de grace: "I don't really get anything out of these weekends with you, so what do you say we just don't do them anymore?" He pats her on the leg. "I sure thought you'd turn out differently." He leaves. Some things just can't be snarked about. Buffy watches her father go, looking like she might vomit at any moment, and catches sight of Billy again. He disappears, and she closes her eyes in anguish.