WARNING: In case of accidental ingestion, consult a physician. Oops, that's the wrong warning. The real warning is this: This recap contains opinions. If you are sensitive to the use of opinions, particularly opinions that might be negative or that you don't agree with, DO NOT READ FURTHER.
Previously on Buffy: In Season Three, Amy, a high school friend of Buffy and Willow's, was tied at the stake to burn as a witch. She turned herself into a rat in order to escape. Amy the Rat then became Willow's responsibility. This season, Tara and Willow argued, and Willow used magic to make Tara forget about it. Tara found out, so they argued again. Willow (learning very little for such a bright girl) tried to cast another forget spell on Tara (and Buffy). At this point, rather than arguing anymore, Tara simply left Willow. Last season, Spike had some dweeb named Warren build him a sexbot that looked like Buffy. Warren, frequently-put-upon Jonathan, and some dweeb named Andrew decided to "team up and take over Sunnydale." Giles left town, the big meanie. Spike and Buffy kissed, and Buffy was a real snot about discussing it with Spike. Later, at the Bronze, her lips accidentally got caught on his again.
Two hulking guys menace a normal couple in one of Sunnydale's many, many alleys. You'd think the town residents would learn to just stay on the main streets. Of course, plenty of bad things seem to happen on the main streets too, so scratch that. Buffy, looking very pretty in braids and red lipstick, happens on the scene and cracks a few trademark quips. (She always wanted a pony. She makes do with a substitute later in the episode.) She then kicks one of the menacers in the kneecap, and is nonplussed to discover he's an ordinary human, just out for a little mugging. Rambling a little (mentally tossing out all supernatural- and bloodsucking-related quips, I suppose), she encourages the nice couple to leave and engages in a little one-sided fighty-fighty with the muggers. "C'mon, rush me! It'll be funny," she taunts. Suddenly, Spike leaps into the fight from god knows where, despite Buffy's shout of "No!" Spike crashes to the ground clutching at his head, and the muggers run away. Throwing up her hands in exasperation, Buffy gripes at Spike for messing up her fun. She mocks him for not noticing that the opponents were humans, gracefully glossing over the fact that she herself had been under the very same misapprehension seconds ago. "Remind me not to help you," says Spike, and when Buffy huffs, "More often?" I have to giggle. Some blah-blah exposition follows about Spike's chip and how he can't hit humans, as well as some suggestive eyebrow waggling on his part when Buffy mentions ways to "get your rocks off." It's all kinda bantery and cute, and I'm just glad the thrust and parry is verbal rather than lingual. Although I am having a hard time understanding every other line of Spike's. Could you maybe enunciate more clearly through your fake accent, please? Buffy turns to leave, and I'm disturbed by the fact that she appears to have -- a PCI slot on the back of her head? Please, no. No more robots. Pause tape. Hmmm, no. My bot fears subside when I realize it's an essentially unnecessary fashion accessory -- a large barrette covering the part in her hair. Spike calls after Buffy. She tenses up, and when he mentions the kissing, she gets a "butter wouldn't melt" look on her face. Poop -- it was all going so well and I was enjoying it so much; I knew it couldn't last. Buffy's all "No more kissing ever" blah retread, so Spike calls her a tease and an "ice queen." Buff stomps off with a lemon-sucking face, and Spike shouts after her, "It's only a matter of time before you realize I'm the only one here for you, pet! You got no one else." Um, yeah. Whatever, Mr. Attempts To Cut His Loved One Off From Her Friends. And besides, do you really want that to be the reason she turns to you, Spike? Because she has no one else? Not much of a recommendation for your charms.
Summers home. Willow is moping and checking the hall outside her room. I guess she's checking for Tara, although I think at this point Tara would ring the bell, or more likely call on the phone, if she for some reason wanted to talk to Willow's brain-violating ass. Willow mopes around some more and then fetches Amy the Rat out of her cage. She offers to get Amy a little rat companion who will one day leave her for "no good reason" and wow, Willow's screwed up! No good reason? Makes me wonder what she would consider a good reason. Then something happens that I still haven't quite figured out. Willow reflects that she wishes she could change Amy back to a human "any way" possible. She pauses and then makes a light-bulb face and says, "Rivili!" A piece of parchment covered in calligraphy appears in midair and zips down to rest on The Bedroom Bureau Of Illicit Magic Casting. She couldn't de-rat Amy for three years, and then suddenly she has the power to conjure the spell she needs out of thin air, or somehow remembers a spell she forgot? Perhaps the crew was "burning" a little too much "Lethe's bramble" and forgot to shoot a few lines of script. Willow grabs the paper and reads the spell aloud. Electricity crackles, and Amy the Rat turns into Amy the Human, crouched naked on Willow's bed. Willow grins in triumph; Amy screams in terror.