Cave. Willow. Gnarl gets all excited about the "tasty gifty" of Willow that the Scoobies left for him. Apparently he's been watching this show far too long as well. Even demons aren't immune from the cursed "-y" suffix. Gnarl is tired of being all talk and decides that it's high time he got down to fixing some dinner. He darts up and slashes Willow across the stomach. She falls back on the cave wall as the poison starts to take hold. We see Gnarl's shadow in profile on the back of the cave wall. Creepy. "They were here. Here they were. And there they went. Gone all gone what a pretty song," he chants as his shadow fingers stroke Willow's hair. Ew! I have to say, they did do a pretty good job of making Gnarl creepy. Of course, the skin-eating thing helps. Then his real fingers stretch out all long and green to grab Willow's well-turned ankle as he drags her into the middle of the cave. "Love the gifty," he says, as we finally are allowed a direct look at Gnarl. He's a lot skinnier than I thought. I mean, I was always taught in health class that the skin is the most fattening part of all. "Can't wait to unwrap it," he says as he enthusiastically clicks his fingernails and makes smacking noises. Yuck. He brushes Willow's frozen hand off her stomach and bends over to slurp at the blood beading up from her wound.
Casa Summers. Buffy and Xander carry a very stiff Dawn into the living room. They dump her face down onto the sofa while I squeal in delight. "Face up!" Dawn attempts to shriek in protest. Buffy goes to check the website that Dawn was using to see if there's an antidote for the poison. Xander comforts Dawn, saying she'll "be doing the limbo in no time." "Yeah. As the pole," grits Dawn. Snerf. Either MT is an actual ventriloquist or that was a voice-over. There's no way she would have been able to articulate the voiceless bilabial stop in "pole" so clearly otherwise. See, Mom? I do pay attention in class. Success! Buffy has found the info. She plays with Dawn a moment, telling her that the paralysis is permanent, before revealing a split second later that she was mistaken -- it's permanent only as long as the demon is alive. That means returning to the cave. Xander protests that they can't leave Dawn unattended because "what if she vomits?" Buffy gazes down at Dawn: "Do you think she'll vomit?" Hee! SMG's nonchalant delivery cracks me up. Buffy goes off to phone Anya to ask if she's available for "vomit patrol."
Cave. Gnarl is (hideously) cutting designs onto Willow's stomach with his (disgusting) fingernails and (annoyingly) referring to himself in the third person. He licks the blood from his fingers. Then he rips the first strip of skin from Willow's tummy and chows down. Willow looks unhappy. Since she's paralyzed, that's about the best she can muster.