Thank you to Couch Baron for the monkeys, Sep for all the phone conversations and funny lines, Boliver for the tape of Dressed to Kill, and finally, to The Powers That Be for prescription pharmaceuticals.
Amazing how they can come up with two minutes of previouslys when NOTHING has happened this season.
We open on a graveyard, where a couple of very scared Junior Misses are on patrol. At the sound of a twig breaking, Rona and Shrinking Vi-olet (the pageant contestant formerly known as "Miss Minnesota") whirl around. Spike knocks Shrinking Vi-olet to the ground, and I think I saw him punch Rona too. No sign of the chip activating, because it too knows that these girls have more in common with stick figures than actual characters. Spike mimes biting Shrinking Vi-olet and then addresses the other Junior Misses. "Okay. These two are dead. Why?" "Because the black chick always gets it first?" snarks Rona, brushing the graveyard dirt off of her track pants. When questioned by Buffy, she modifies her answer to, "It wasn't a fair fight." Molly takes notes, which mercifully means that she can't talk at the same time. Buffy tells the Junior Misses that while they don't quite have all the perks of the Slayer benefit package yet, they still have "inherent abilities that others do not have." Apparently, they have "strength, speed, instinct." She left out "whining, situational klutziness, and bad, bad fashion sense." Inherent abilities which, the show has demonstrated, are heightened upon actually being called as the Slayer. Buffy tells the Junior Misses to trust in their instincts, and badgers Rona into admitting that her first instinct was to run. Buffy then surprises the girls by telling them that running is often the best choice as it allows you to "make the fight your own." She decides to demonstrate, and stalks toward Spike, predatorily asking him about his instincts. (Those would be hunting and killing, for anyone in the audience who has forgotten that Spike is still a vampire.) "Come at me. Full speed," she commands. She turns her back to him and faces the Junior Misses to deliver another nugget of Slayer lore. Spike charges her, but she neatly ducks, letting his own speed work against him as he slams into a gravestone. She straddles him with her stake at the ready to simulate her victory. Oh! If only this scene had happened (for real) in, say, Season Three! I spend a moment weeping about what might have been. Buffy's droning breaks into my reverie. "Instinct. Understand his. Trust yours. You were chosen for a reason." Spike makes a small grunting noise, thus causing Buffy to be concerned about his welfare (and oh how it galls me having to type that sentence). He tries to get up. She wants to see his boo-boo. He doesn't want her too. She moves his shirt anyway. Boundaries, Buffy. He grabs her hand. Molly: "So we're s'posed to, loik, make out wif 'im or sumfin'?" Ah. Clearly Molly is a viewer of the last few seasons. A chagrined Buffy gets off of Spike and calls Molly and Kennedy to take their turn. Buffy has a pursed mouth and shriveled self-seriousness in this scene that I recognize but I can't quite put my finger on. Wait, I have it! She's Ally McBuffy. Well, as long as her groping of Spike doesn't lead to any visions of dancing computer-generated babies, I suppose I should be happy.
Nursery for Nervous Nellies, basement portion. Dawn sits sulkily on the stairs. Suddenly, my TV screen fills up with a bunch of monkeys, all dressed up in platform sandals, cunning frocks, feather boas, and mascara. They form a menacing circle around Dawn. I think they're all guy monkeys, but y'know, it's a little hard to tell with the simians.