Buffy and Riley are having a picnic in Ruggs Field, which appears to be in the middle of campus. How completely unromantic. Buffy is wearing a terrible poncho and has once again developed an unhealthy fascination with a crimping iron. Her outfit combined with that hair makes Buffy resemble Joyce in Band Candy to a frightening degree. We find out that Riley, who has gone to SuperCuts between episodes, drives for fun. He seems surprised to learn that Buffy doesn't drive (and in California it is pretty rare to find someone Buffy's age who doesn't), but Buffy says that she "and cars are like un-mix-y things." Riley seems to think that it's just because she's had bad experiences. He blathers on about "relaxing" and "taking your time" and other thinly veiled sexual-romantic metaphors that I'd expect to hear in an episode of Dawson's Creek. Buffy wants to know that they "are talking about driving, right?" Riley "thought [he] was" as he fixes her with a creepy stare. I'm just now noticing how deep-set Riley's eyes are. It must be some sort of evolutionary defense in the Finn family; I can imagine that people would attempt to poke them out quite often. Riley the egotist announces that he's "taking" her and that it "will change everything for [her]." Gah. I'm not even going to talk about how much I loathe guys who say things like that. A mopey Willow approaches, and since I know how upset she is I won't make fun of her shirt. Riley gains a few points back with me as he invites Willow to sit down with them. ["I thought it was really shitty of Buffy to be so obviously wishing that Willow would go elsewhere. Some friend." -- Ace] Willow notices that the apples are turning brown "like they do." Riley and Buffy agree that apples do that; uncomfortable silence reigns supreme.
Bronze. Upbeat ska music. Buffy is filling Xander and Anya in on the Oz situation. Anya has gotten her hair cut and it really takes the years off. She looks no older than twenty-eight now, tops. Xander mentions how "harsh" the situation is, adding, "No wonder she's," and the camera shows Willow dancing somewhat spastically, "having a wonderful time." Buffy: "Way to rebound." Xander: "I believe that's the dance of a brave little toaster." Hey! I loved that video. Willow notices them, and she bounces up to their table and invites them to dance. They comment on her new attitude and she says that "I said to myself, 'Self,' I said, 'it's time to shake and shimmy it off.' I figure in the grand scheme of things we're all just --" and as she's adjusting her coat on the chair, a beer falls to the ground. "Drunk?" finishes Buffy. The others bust on Willow for drinking, and Willow says it's "no big." Buffy asks if we remember when "Buffy had the fun beer-fest and went one million years BC." First of all, Buffy, you've got your dates wrong; secondly, that was magic beer and you had far, far more of it than Willow's piddly little Sam Adams there. I understand the message the show is trying to send about dealing with rather than dunking your pain, but really. One beer. Get some perspective, people. Xander gets up and coerces Willow to give him the beer. She doesn't want to because she has "legitimate pain." Xander informs her that everyone has pain, but Willow retorts, "Oh, like what? Poor me, I live in a basement. Yeah, that's dire." Ouch. She really struck a nerve; Xander stalks off. I'm surprised that Anya didn't follow him. Buffy grabs Willow's hand to take her home, but Willow resists. Buffy says that she'll thank her in the morning for saving her friendship with Xander. Willow says that she just can't stand "feeling this way." Buffy sympathizes, and then Willow sets up the plot for this episode by asking, "Isn't there some way I can just make it go away, just 'cause I say so. Can't I just make it go poof?"