Previously on Buffy: Andrew was introduced. He was a spineless weasel with no moral center, so he killed Jonathan. The Scoobies were spineless weasels with no moral centers who have a history of murdering and coddling murderers, so when Andrew said, "Buffy, can you take me with you? I won't eat much and I don't know the difference between right and wrong!" Buffy brought him home and turned him into a funnel-cake-making house pet.
Just a brief note before we begin: I've never clarified this before, but very seldom do my problems with a character carry over to the actor playing the character. Heck, I even envision the Marti Noxon I rail against in my recaps as more of a fictional figure standing in for the entire Mutant Enemy creative team than a real person. So I just want to say that I think Tom Lenk seems like a nice guy who is acting his ass off. It's not his fault that I'm a bitter heathen who finds nothing to identify with in the forty-seven poorly realized stories of redemption we've seen this season. Yo, I'm all about hatin' the game, not the playa.
Masterpiece Theater-type music plays. The camera pans across bookshelves filled with weighty-looking tomes. There's a fireplace with crackling fire, and the walls are decorated with all sorts of masks and other art objects. Scattered among the ethnographic artifacts are a number of framed posters of Star Wars comic book art. I think I actually had those issues -- early ones from right after the movie came out. My mom used to buy them for me at Target and I spent many hours reading and rereading any parts of the comics featuring Han Solo. Mmmmm, Han Solo. The camera ends its pan when it finds Andrew sitting in a wingback chair in front of the fireplace. He closes the book on his lap and puts aside his pipe to welcome us as "gentle viewers." Beside me on the sofa, Ash giggles, because he loves Andrew. I'm surprised to find myself giggling as well. What's happening here? Am I losing my mind? Affecting a cultured voice and a mannered air, Andrew muses, "It's wonderful to get lost in the story, isn't it? Adventure and heroics and discovery…don't they just take you away?" He sighs reflectively and then invites us, "Come with me now, if you will, gentle viewers. Join me on an new voyage of the mind, a little tale I like to call Buffy, Slayer of the Vam-Pyres." Andrew rests his chin on his hand and smiles seraphically. I'm all befuddled, because I enjoyed that and I suspect I'm starting to like Andrew. I turn to Ash and protest, "They can't make me like him. They can't!" Then I go and lie down for a little while because the room is spinning.
Andrew voices over, "It was cold last night and the wind was cru-el, but the Slayer had a job to do," as we see Buffy patrolling a graveyard. She's attacked by a burly vampire and does a cool handstand onto the headstone in front of her, turns, and fires her crossbow. That vampire is dust, but another one jumps out to attack Buffy. Well, I'll say one thing for Andrew's fantasies -- the fight scenes are showier and more interesting than what we usually see. There were actually some decent flips and a wire-trick or two in there, which makes me like Andrew just a little bit more. Maybe he can stick around and all the fight scenes can be seen through his perspective so we'll get decent stunts. Did I just say Andrew can stick around? Stop! World tilting! Must not. Let them. Manipulate. Me. Aaaaah, losing struggle. Buffy gets her head slammed into a gravestone, and we flash back to Fantasy Andrew in his study. He leans forward in his chair all narrator-guy and tells us, "Ouch! My goodness. Things look bad for the Slayer, don't they? She didn't see that second vam-pyre concealed by cover of darkness --" He's interrupted by a knock, which throws off his professorial demeanor. He tries to recover, but then we see non-fantasy Andrew, who is actually talking into a camcorder in the Summers bathroom. After another knock, Anya bursts in and demands to know what Andrew has been doing in the bathroom for the last thirty minutes. He claims to have been "entertaining and educating," and Anya snaps, "Why can't you just masturbate like the rest of us?" Sheesh -- I know Giles has been out of town for a couple weeks now, Anya, but that's still a little too much sharing, thanks. Andrew gives an embarrassed smile. Because he wonders how Anya knew he actually had his Pool Party with Warren Meers tape in the camcorder all along.