Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Normal Again

Episode Report Card
Strega: C+ | 2 USERS: A-
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Return to Sunnydale

The doorbell rings, and Xander steps inside. Buffy and Willow immediately rush over and hug him. Aw, it was almost like they genuinely cared about him for a second there. Xander asks if Anya is at the house, and expositions, "Her suitcase is gone, and some of her stuff. And there's a 'closed' sign on the Magic Box." Did you check that mysterious place where Anya used to live before she moved in with you, Xander? Just a thought. Willow says that Anya left a few days ago, and Xander asks what Anya said before clearing out. "You mean, between sobs? There was mostly just wheezing." Buffy adds, "She was kind of broken." Man, I wish I had friends like these, who in times of trouble would be sure to say things that would make me feel even worse. Xander masters the obvious by saying, "I blew it." Buffy tries to reassure him, although she admits that their wedding wasn't the best time for Xander to dump his girlfriend. Xander insists, "It wasn't about breaking up," and says he misses Anya. Buffy asks if Xander still wants to date Anya, and Xander emphatically replies, "I guess." Well, that's stirring. Against all available evidence, he claims that Anya made him a better person, and says that ever since he abandoned his fiancée at the altar, "[he's] had this painful hole inside." Yeah, maybe that's the space where your conscience should be. He admits that he screwed up, and Buffy reassures him that they all do.

Some people seem to have taken offense at the "Brad" gag from my previous Buffy recap. That sort of reaction just encourages me, you know. Brad strolls through the graveyard with a bag of groceries. At least he's in basic black. He spots Buffy nearby and asks if she's looking for him. She isn't. He responds by telling her to be on her way, and then starts a conversation with her. "Did you cry?" he asks, clarifying that he's asking about the wedding. "You didn't hear," Buffy observes, and goes back to tell Brad all the gossip. Buffy says that Anya was "devastated," and seems skeptical of Xander's chances to win her back. Brad sniffs, "Some people can't see a good thing when they've got it." Ah yes, in retrospect I'm sure Buffy regrets how she casually threw away her chances for more feelings of shame, emotional manipulation, and creepy semi-public gropings. Brad does kind of look like he's just teasing her, though. Xander and Willow suddenly arrive, and Buffy nervously lies that she was just questioning Brad about "what kind of dangerous contraband he had." Brad stomps out his cigarette and passive-aggressively offers to "stop bothering [her]" as he heads home. Xander chirps, "Just run along," and of course Brad has to take that as a challenge. Willow seems to be wearing her hat inside-out. Because nobody would make a hat that's fuzzy and burnt orange, right? That's gotta just be the lining. Brad snarks at Xander, calling him "the king of the big exit." Xander grrs, and Brad goads him some more. Willow falls back on cutesiness, suggesting that the guys "release this very manly thing the other way." Does that mean Buffy has to sleep with them both now? Brad flutters his eyelashes at Xander, which is very strange, and Xander snaps, "I forgot, Willie Wannabite can't hurt me!" Buffy suddenly sinks down in distress as Brad insists that he's "more than happy to beat you right through the pain, you pathetic poof." Xander punches Spike, knocking him down, and Buffy clutches her head and moans, "Guys, don't..."

Buffy's back in the hospital, curled up in a corner of her room. A doctor sits down nearby and asks if she knows where she is. "Sunnydale," she whispers. The doctor says, "None of that's real." He says that she's spent the past six years in a mental institution, and asks if she remembers any of it.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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