Buffy slowly enters her house to find her mom and Dawn snuggling on the sofa. Joyce greets Buffy, but Dawn just hops up and sulks, "I wasn't bothering her," and stomps upstairs. When Joyce wonders what's going on, Buffy quietly tells her, "Nothing. Sister stuff." She makes a sad face and follows Dawn upstairs. She knocks on Dawn's door and then opens it to find her sitting on her bed. Buffy apologizes, and Dawn brats, "You hurt my arm." She then calls Buffy a "butthole," which gives me a snicker. Buffy apologizes again and Dawn tells her she has a theory: "It goes where you're the one who's not my sister 'cause Mom adopted you from a shoebox full of baby howler monkeys," adding, "It explains your fashion sense." Every week, Sep and I talk right after Buffy airs and try to crack each other up as much as possible. We always say we're going to start taping our conversations so we can include them in the recaps, but never get around to it, 'cause Lazy is our middle name. Actually, Lazy is only my middle name. Sep's middle name is Really Busy. This last week, we were rolling on a riff that went something like this:
Sep: "That was such a shout-out to us. And hey, does that mean the Fashion Nazi is actually a howler monkey?"
Ace: "Well, howler monkeys are infamous for their fascist regimes."
Sep: "Intolerant bastards! Hmmm, I think SMG would look better if she actually was dressed by monkeys. They can't all be busy working on Hamlet."
Buffy apologizes once more, and when Dawn calls her a "broken record," Buffy starts to snap, "You can't even take an apology. You always do that, ever since -- " and then she stops, struggling with her spell-generated memories. Buffy then sits next to Dawn and tells her she had a bad day. They have a little making-up snippiness, and then Buffy begins to gently stroke Dawn's hair. Dawn asks what's wrong with Joyce, and Buffy replies that she doesn't know. She continues to stroke Dawn's hair. I'm very touched here, because my heart isn't entirely made of stone. Buffy not being able to tell her mother or Dawn about what she's learned is touching and, if written correctly, her struggle against the implanted memories could be very affecting.