School, the next morning. Cordy and Willow walk as Cordy exposits how Meathead flaked on them. She's chagrined to admit that she doesn't care, because she's really into him. Willow's amused. They reach the door to the lounge, where they see some of Meathead's friends sitting on the couch, apparently watching cartoons, although there's a suspicious handprint on the TV. Cordy starts to say how cute that is, but amends it to "annoying." As they chat, we see a view from inside, where everyone is very dead. That shot was creepy, but I'm a little surprised at the choice to let us in on the secret at that point. Cordy opens the door, and Meathead's body falls out. She screams and drops to her knees. All four of the dead kids have huge bite marks on their necks, and there's blood everywhere. Willow slowly enters the room, transfixed with horror. She watches the cartoon (Porky Pig, in case you're wondering) as we see that the handprint on the TV is blood as well. As she stares, dissonant music plays, and we fade to white.
Buffy tries on her dress in front of the mirror. The Tinkly Piano plays. Joyce rushes in to say there was something on the news. "Willow."
Sunset. Again, I don't get the timing. Willow and Cordy were probably in the school by 11 A.M. Whatever. Buffy and Willow sit on what presumably is Willow's parents' bed. Willow huskily tells Buffy that with all she's seen, she thought she could take anything, but not this. Buffy tries to tell her that what's important is that she's okay. Willow: "I'm not okay. I knew those guys. I'd go to that room every day. And when I walked in there, it wasn't our world any more. They made it theirs. And they had fun." Buffy's attitude seems to change with this speech, and she makes Willow promise to stay in that night. She turns to go, but Willow calls after her. She manages to smile through her tears: "I like your dress." Is it possible to watch this episode and not cry? Buffy tells her to take care, the subtext of which could be "...because you'll never see me again." Willow looks like that message didn't get by her. Why? Great. Fucking. Acting.
The Master touches the invisible barrier, which ripples out as usual, and mutters, "Soon." He pats the Anointed One on the head, and the A.O. goes up the stairs. The Master repeats, "Soon!" Shouldn't it be "Sooner"?
Miss Calendar is repeating the major plot points of Season One back to Giles. Bless her heart, she manages to do so in about ten seconds. Ah, Season One, where the writers assumed we actually watched the show and weren't pathetically stupid. These days, the writers fail to make those assumptions. The reason for that could be that they're pathetically stupid and only occasionally watch the show. I refuse to sully this recap by mentioning (cough, magic addiction, cough) specific examples from Season Six. Giles, getting weapons out from the cage, asks Miss Calendar if she was able to get in touch with the monk. She tells him the monk's disappeared, but he did send out one last email, referring the recipients to a passage from the Bible. Giles, impressively, knows the passage off the top of his head, which has to do with a child leading some animals somewhere. Giles realizes that the A.O. must be a child. Miss Calendar says they need to alert Buffy to this news, but Giles says he's not going to involve her, and that he's going to face the Master himself. That's one hell of a Watcher, and I have to say, this was the moment where I stopped regarding Giles as a source of occasional comic relief and as a real character. Buffy's voice cuts in: "No you're not." Girl's eavesdropping a bit this episode, isn't she? Well, when you're marked for death, you can relax a bit with the social niceties, I guess. Giles tells her that she was right. "I've waded about in these old books for so long I've forgotten what the real world is like. It's time I found out." I'd be happy to take you on a tour, Giles. Damn, there's that pesky outside voice again. Buffy isn't having it. He impatiently tells her to do what she's told, and that she can't change his mind. She says she knows, and cold-cocks him. Timber! She doesn't even catch him, which seems a little rude. I mean, I know the world's on the line and all, but you wouldn't want him to crack his skull open, would you? Miss Calendar rushes to attend to him, and Buffy puts her cross back on. "When he wakes up, tell him...I don't know. Think of something cool. Tell him I said it." Wah! It's so sad! Miss Calendar says she'll die if she faces the Master, but Buffy says she plans to take him with her. She leaves, crossbow in hand.