Summers home. Buffy stares at a photo of herself with her parents when she was just a teeny little Slayer. Willow enters and happily declares that she's identified the demon. She hands Buffy a printout with a picture of a "Glarghk Gughl Kashma'anik" demon. Willow chirps that the demon's stinger can be used to create an antidote to the poison. She doesn't say a word about what the poison does, which is vexing. I understand that they want to leave it as ambiguous as possible for the audience, but the thing is, it might help Buffy to know whether she's having hallucinations or seeing alternate realities or what. I mean, does the demon's toxin make everyone think that their whole life has been a hallucination? That's a pretty specialized demon. Buffy sits quietly and finally breathes, "I feel so lost." Willow suddenly looks terrified and tries to reassure her, but Buffy says the problem isn't just the demon: "I've been so detached. You know, like I've been saying over and over and over for the past two years? Yup, I'm still feeling that way." Willow makes her eyes go big and insists, "You are not in an institution. You have never been in an institution." Buffy sniffs, "Yes I have," allowing her voice to break in a way that's almost as overdone as Brad's head-tilting thing. Buffy explains, "Back when I saw my first vampires, I got so scared. I told my parents, and they completely freaked out." So they sent her to a clinic for few weeks until "[she] stopped talking about it, and they let [her] go." A tear drips from her Maybellined lashes as she says, "Eventually they just...forgot." Oh sure, I could see how you'd forget a thing like that, especially when a few years later you found out it was actually all true, and -- what? "God, that's horrible," Willow and I both say, although I think we're talking about different things. Buffy squeaks some more about how maybe she's really in the clinic. Willow tries to reassure her, and says that Xander's out hunting the demon so that they can make an antidote. Buffy says that Xander can't fight the demon alone, but Willow says he's got help.
Brad snerks, "She's having the wiggins, is she," as he and Xander take a romantic stroll through the woods. I remember when I had a case of the wiggins. Antibiotics cleared it all up, though. Brad thinks that Buffy's hallucinations are a bit self-centered, but notes, "It might explain some things, this all being in that twisted brain of hers. Think up some chip in my head, make me fall in love with her, then turn me into a sodding sex slave." That last bit captures Xander's attention, but Brad quickly dismisses it and moves on. He says, "In a different reality, you might not have left your bride at the altar." Xander turns and threatens, "One more syllable about Anya --" Luckily, they're interrupted by the demon before Brad can point out that he's picking on Xander, not Anya. Brad looks at the silly demon and grumps, "You didn't say it was a Glarghk Gughl Kashma'anik!" Xander whines, "'Cause I can't say Glarg --" Ha! And then they fight. Brad punches the demon a few times until Xander can shoot a tranquilizer into its chest. The demon punches Brad. Xander punches the demon. Brad punches the demon a few times until Xander can shoot a tranquilizer into its chest. Are we doing the "Life Serial" repeat-o-vision again? Finally the demon collapses. Xander says, "I altered his reality!" and giggles at his own joke. I bet that's why he ignored Brad's revelation earlier; he was busy thinking up quips. Xander, waiting for laughter, looks back and forth from Brad to the demon until his eyeballs look like they're on "tilt" and finally says, "Never mind."