Giles: "Just because the paranormal is more 'normal' and less 'para-' of late is no excuse for tardiness or letting your guard down." Buffy tries to defend herself, but Giles gives her recent examples of where her training hasn't been up to snuff. He asks if she'll be prepared if a demon "does this?" From behind, he swings at her, but she grabs his arm and twists it behind his back. Giles: "Well, I'm not a demon...which is why you should let go now." Why didn't she ever do that to Wesley? Giles, in a more conciliatory tone, tells her that on the Hellmouth, it's only a matter of time before a "fresh hell" breaks loose. Is that a shout-out to Dorothy Parker, or to our very own Kim? He says that she should be taking this time to hone her skills, but Buffy sarcastically asks if she can do what she wants for even five minutes a day. Giles asks if Buffy doesn't think he knows what it's like to be sixteen. I'm suddenly possessed by the desire to watch "Band Candy." Buffy counters that she doesn't think he knows what it's like to be sixteen, and a girl, and the Slayer. Giles concedes the point. Buffy presses on that she has to stake vampires even though she's having "fuzzy feelings towards one," and while that statement seems a bit "huh?" at first, I can accept that she's going to feel some ambiguity over anything that makes her life weirder.
Giles points out that she can use her duty to block out the distractions in her life. Her coldness in Season Seven makes me realize just how poor an idea that is. The press their respective points a bit more until Giles bites out that everyone has to do things they don't want to, and that she's got training and patrolling, so she'd better do her homework, not dawdle with her friends, and just generally suck things up. This lack of sympathy is a low point for Giles's character for me, although I understand that they're setting him up for a healthy dose of dramatic irony in "The Dark Age." Buffy pouts. Giles says that tactic won't get to him. Buffy cutely pouts some more. Giles: "It's not getting to me." Aw. Even in the worst Giles scenes, they give me something to like.
Outside, Buffy sits on a railing. Xander and Willow join her. Willow asks if she shouldn't be doing her homework. Buffy: "I'm dawdling. With my friends." Take that, ogre Giles! Wait -- I didn't mean that! Can I make it up to you? Uh, sorry. Cordy blows by, bumping into Willow on the way. A black BMW, complete with tinted windows and open sunroof, pulls up, and Cordy goes to it. The driver rolls down the window. It's Frat Jerk. Next to him is some milquetoast, blandly attractive guy. He's exactly how I would have pictured Aaron Buerge from having read Shack's The Bachelor recaps, except I've seen pictures of Buerge now, but you get the point. Evil Frat Jerk, whose name is Richard, smarms, "Cordelia." Aaron Buerge In My Mind's Eye sees Buffy. From his reaction, it looks like Little Aaron Buerge just snapped to attention. Richard The Evil Frat Jerk says that they're having a "little get-together tomorrow night at the 'house.'" Cordy belly-fake-laughs. Hee. Richard is mildly put off, but Cordy recovers to say that she'd love to go. Richard, apparently having felt the breeze from Little Aaron Buerge's salute, asks Cordy who her friend is. Cordy's all, she's not my friend. Aaron Buerge In My Mind's Eye says Buffy's "amazing." Cordy: "She's more like a sister! Really! We're that close." Hee. Can you imagine if Joyce married Cordy's dad all Popular-style? Richard suggests Cordy invite Buffy to the party, and Cordy, after a beat, agrees.