Good God almighty -- nine minutes in and the credits are still rolling. Super-Duper Extra Special Guest Star Anthony Stewart Head makes his umpteenth appearance this season.
Xander, pouring coffee in his kitchen, wonders why a vampire would lie about his sire. "Some kind of status symbol for the undead? My sire can beat up your sire?" Hey, Xander? Shut up. After Buffy waffles about believing Holden, Xander makes another stupid comment about approaching Spike's maybe-killing in a detached, "CSI-like manner," since they're "a couple of carpet fibers away from a case." Maybe the CSI folks can come over and find something fun in the fresh puke all over my couch. Buffy tells Xander that Spike, all pain-chipped and soulful, couldn't be doing this even if he wanted to, but Xander reminds her that "it didn't stop him from hurting you." Busted, says Buffy's combination speedy look-away/hair touch.
Still, she maintains that she's seen Spike's chip at work; Xander thinks it might be an act. No, says Buffy, "there's something. I can feel it. He's different, he's changed. And if it is an act, then the Oscar goes to…" Not you, apparently. And that would be an Emmy. But you know what I'm saying. And then in walks tonight's non-Oscar winner, immediately sensing that a Buffy/Xander confab that falls silent at his entrance "can't be good." No trouble at all, lies Buffy, like she'd be hanging at Xander's crib at 5 AM just because he's such an interesting conversationalist. Spike makes a move for his closet (feel free to take it there, because I'm not going to) as Buffy steps toward him and asks, as though she was just wondering in a friendly sort of way, "How was your night?" "All right," he replies, and then returns the courtesy, wondering if she "bagged any baddies." One, she reveals, whom she sort of knew, back in the day. Spike imagines that killing an acquaintance must have been difficult, and then goes to hit the sack. Xander marvels over Spike's "cool as Cool Whip" reaction to news of Holden's death, and Buffy decides that they need to keep an eye on him. While she goes to check on Dawn. Which means Xander needs to do the eye-keeping. But he's got a client meeting. Where will they find someone for the job?
Daylight. Anya. Wearing a butt-ugly shirt with a silhouette of Mickey Mouse bordered in black lace and an "I'm going through some personal issues right now" hairdo. Complaining that she no longer wants to watch Spike, alone, now that she knows he's killing again. Xander whines that she didn't mind being alone with Spike before, as though that had anything to do with present circumstances. He then explains, half-assedly, that they're not sure if he's actually killing. Anya points out that Xander clearly believes in Spike's malevolent intentions, and wonders if anyone has searched his room for clues, trophies from victims. "Killers like to keep trophies sometimes, scalps, necklaces made from human teeth," says she. Xander thinks she's being silly, yet he's the one wearing the suit and tie. As he rushes out the door, explaining that Anya's got plenty of living room sunlight to keep her safe and that if Spike makes a move, she should just call Buffy, Anya yells, "If I get vamped, I'm gonna bite your ass!" "Wouldn't be the first time," giggles Xander, closing the door. Ah, there was a day when I'd have bitten Xander's ass gladly, but now I'm afraid it would be like trying to bite Alaska.