Once again, Angel is lurking in the bushes, this time outside Buffy's dorm room, staring winsomely up at her window. ["In a nice touch of realism, the exterior of their dorm looks like a cinder block." -- Sep] Inside, while Buffy distractedly stares out the window, Willow is explaining that Xander fell into the old "lost" Sunnydale mission. Buffy asks how the mission was lost, and Willow explains that it was buried during an earthquake in 1812. When I met Sep in person over Thanksgiving, she was totally enthused about giving our readers a piece of her mind here, so at this point I'm going let say her piece so she'll stop bugging me (kidding!).
Sep here. I've often speculated that Sunnydale is my hometown, and there's been ample evidence throughout the show's history. One episode mentioned a film festival on State Street, which is a main thoroughfare of Santa Barbara and definitely close enough that when I was in high school we would drive down if there was a special event going on. In another episode, we see a Sunnydale population sign, which (until the census updated our information) was pretty much our population. But I was never really sure they were basing it on Lompoc until this episode. You see, Lompoc has a mission (Mission La Purisma, at which I was a docent for many years) that just coincidentally was destroyed by an earthquake in -- you guessed it -- 1812. That settles it: I officially grew up on the Hell Mouth. Suddenly, my formative years are making a lot more sense.
Willow and Buffy hear the noises of students preparing to return to their homes for Thanksgiving and look sad that they will not be doing so also. Buffy lies on her bed dejectedly and sulks that she won't be getting a family holiday. She then springs up off the bed, excited, exclaiming that she will prepare Thanksgiving dinner and invite all her friends. Willow is disappointed; she thought Buffy had agreed that Thanksgiving is a "sham." "It is a sham," admits Buffy, "but it's a sham with yams. It's a yam sham." Willow is not convinced, but Buffy says she really wants to do this. They decide to invite Giles and Xander, and Willow is excited at the idea of not inviting Anya, but Buffy says that would be rude, since Anya and Xander are now a couple. Is Willow jealous of Anya, or just protective of Xander? Buffy sentimentally says that the point of Thanksgiving is that "everybody has place to go."
Outside, we see a pathetic Spike who seems to have fallen onto hard times. He's wrapped in a decrepit old blanket and looks pale and drawn. Woeful music plays as he trundles through the woods. Riley, Forrest, and Graham (hereafter known as "the dumb-atic trio") are patrolling, and Forrest mentions that he needs to pack. Riley admits that he has to stay on campus until Wednesday night to attend a debriefing with Dr. Hard-ass. The dumb-atic trio is now wearing camo face paint instead of ski masks, apparently since we the viewers now know their identity. They discuss how Spike is "neutered" with the implant. More not-so-witty repartee between Forrest and Riley. Maybe those two should just get together already.