Ace: I'm slapping myself silly, yet I'm still seeing this. That lying pharmacist promised these pain-killers didn't have any "psychological" side effects.
Lead Monkey: You read Couch Baron's latest recap, right? The one with the Typing Monkeys?
Ace: Yeah, yeah, of course.
Lead Monkey: Well, we're here to help you out. We're [strikes a dramatic pose] the Action Monkeys!
Ace: If I stop taking the Vicodin, will you go away? And how, uh, are you going to help me?
Lead Monkey: We're going to bitch-slap the hell out of Dawn every time she annoys you!
Ace: Cool. Carry on!
The Action Monkeys proceed to slap Dawn silly and leave her sniveling. I feel better than I have in days and wave goodbye to the gang as they totter up the Summers's basement stairs in their fancy sandals. Meanwhile, Buffy paces impatiently, axe in hand, and the Junior Misses natter on about who can do the most one-armed chin-ups. My money is on Kennedy. Okay, one of the little twits is missing. The youngest one with the dark hair -- Zoë or Chloe or something. She's quite simply not in the entire episode, and there's never any explanation. I don't really want to get into it, because there's plenty of crap in this episode to bitch about, but to have a character not appear and pretend that the audience won't notice, and not to make even the slightest effort to slip in a line as an explanation, is crappy show-running of the most egregious sort. There's not much more to be said, except that sloppiness like this pisses me off mightily. There are all manner of continuity errors and slip-ups I can accept because I don't think making a weekly TV show is any sort of easy task, but this, my friends, is beyond the pale. Marti, I'll expect your resignation on my desk in the morning.
Back to the show. Suddenly Buffy hurls the axe over the Junior Misses' heads at a target on the opposite wall. They look startled. "You're all gonna die," begins Buffy. Wow. I don't recommend she go into motivational speaking. Buffy continues talking about death for a moment and says, "My death could make you the next Slayer." Aaaand here we go with that old chestnut again. I'm officially never believing anything anyone at Mutant Enemy says in an interview again. See, this is the problem I have with Mutant Enemy clearing up plot points in interviews. After Buffy's death at the end of Season Five, Joss made it very clear in interviews that Buffy's second death wouldn't call a new Slayer. I waited all during Season Six for a line of dialogue or a tiny scene to actually establish ON THE SHOW what he claimed in interviews. And it never happened. Not a single character in Season Six took the time to tell the others what Joss had decreed in interviews, or questioned whether they would have a new Slayer on their hands. Lots of posters on the boards asked about it, however, because it was an obvious plot point. It was such a common question on the boards that we had to add it to the FAQ, and we don't add things to the FAQ lightly. I tried to take the Scoobies' lack of commentary in Season Six as an indication that they all knew and accepted that Buffy's second death wouldn't call another Slayer, because of course, if they hadn't known that, they would have been curious about the third Slayer, correct? Basically, however, I knew the whole thing would come back to bite us in the ass. And now it has. As far as I can tell, we are now supposed to think that the Scoobies still believe that Buffy's next death will call a Slayer, despite the fact that they have never expressed any awareness that her last death must have done so. Either that or Buffy is just using herself as a proxy in this discussion for Faith, since the Junior Misses don't know Faith and wouldn't take her death as hard. Either way, it makes my tummy ache. Who do they think they're fooling at this point? Do they actually expect us to be SHOCKED when they decide to remember about the existence of Faith? I think ME spends far too much time lately worrying about surprising the audience, and I really wish they would just focus on trying to tell an entertaining story. I personally don't mind figuring out a few plot twists in advance if the story is well executed. All I have these days is the futile hope that the story will be, well, executed. Hopefully with extreme prejudice.