Buffy is searching for Riley in the caves, and finds him...punching the rock wall of the cave. *sigh* This is really why I find his character so tiresome. Buffy tells him in no uncertain terms that she's going to take him to the hospital. Riley tells her to butt out of his business. You see, he's worried that the procedure will leave him "Joe Normal. Just another guy," and he worries that Buffy won't want to date him anymore because he won't be able to measure up to Angel. "You're going to die over some macho pissing contest?" asks an incensed Buffy. Riley replies that the problem is about Buffy "getting stronger every day. More powerful...I can't touch you," he continues. "Every day you're just a little further out of my reach." Ugh. I cannot take this anymore. This could have been a million times more interesting if the writers had chosen to explore Riley's lost sense of purpose after he was discharged, or perhaps focused on how betrayed he must feel by the Initiative's experiments. But this whole angle of Riley pouting because Buffy got a bigger slice of the superpower pie is just too tiresome for words. So. Buffy cries and convinces Riley to go to the hospital. Dammit.
Spike is lying on the operating table while Doctor Chip is rooting through his brain. Harmony prattles on incessantly and asks the Doctor if she can touch Spike's brain. The answer is an emphatic "No!" from both Spike and Doctor Chip. Oh! Ick! They gave him a local anesthetic to remove a chip nestled deep within his BRAIN? They have to drill a hole through his skull for that. ["From what I understand, the brain doesn't have any actual nerve endings, so often doctors let the patient stay awake so they can monitor the patient's responses and make sure they don't 'fix' the wrong thing." -- Sars]
Riley and Buffy enter the neurology center on the fourth floor to find Graham and the guard prone. Riley, despite the fact that he could have a fatal heart attack at any moment, still holds the door for Buffy. Riley rouses Graham, who in response to Riley's question of how many fingers he's holding up, replies, "Seventeen." Beat. "Hostile-17 and a blond girl." Graham asks where Doctor Chip is, and his "acting" is just terrible. He makes Riley look like a good actor. And remember, Riley's been on freakin' Undressed, so that's saying something. Meanwhile, Riley is sweating profusely and looks to be losing his strength. Buffy figures out Spike's plan and orders Graham to contact doctor's offices and veterinarians to try and locate Spike. Buffy emphatically assures Riley that he is not going to die but says that "there is one peroxided pest whose number is up. When I get my hands on Spike I'm gonna rip his head off. I'm gonna..."