Back to the Nerd Cam in the dining room, wherein Andrew chuckles a little and says, "Wasn't Jonathan just the cutest thing?" Uh, creepy. He pauses a little and points the camera back to the kitchen, where Buffy is still haranguing the troops. Willow and Kennedy canoodle while trying to look like they're listening to Buffy. Andrew recaps how Kennedy freaked out over seeing a real display of Willow's powers in last week's episode, and notes that he too has had an encounter with Dark Willow. Ooof, segue into another Andrew Fantasy Sequence and me getting a little cranky because I think limiting ourselves to only one of those per scene would be easier on the recapping skills. So anyway, we flash back to the Magic Box in "Two To Go" when Cruella D'Will turned up to make nerd flambé, except this time, instead of Anya doing the protection spell, Andrew is easily facing Willow down with his own magic. New scenes of Andrew and Jonathan are intercut with the actual footage of Willow from last season, to very silly effect since the sightlines don't match up at all. The Andrew Fantasy Sequence over, we're back to the dining room, where Andrew muses that Cruella D'Will was "something." Fill in your own Dark Willow joke here. I think I used up all of mine last season. Buffy has finally stopped talking, so Andrew heads back into the kitchen, saying, "Let's see what the little locusts left for breakfast, shall we?" Oh, man. I really did hate this episode the first time through, especially after the white board scene, but on this run-through I seem to be softening up. It must be sweeps-induced exhaustion or something. But I just had this flash of compassion for Andrew talking to the camera like it's a real person -- a friend. The only one he has after, you know, killing his other one. And as I contemplated that unfamiliar feeling of compassion (when related to this show), I started musing on Andrew's outsider status, observing the Scooby gang and only getting to participate in their activities through fantasy and the removed medium of the camera. And then, yes, then I even started to admire his cheerful attitude, even if it is won through hard and willful avoidance of reality. But shh -- don't tell anyone, or they'll make me turn in my Jaded Recapper card and then Sars'll break my sword of snark over her knee and throw me out of TWoP Towers. ["Girl, please. Sars herself, weakened by a previous sweeps period, began loving Andrew back in the fall. Now pass the Sweet 'n' Low." -- Sars] And where was I? Oh, right -- Andrew heads into the kitchen and I pray for a scene break or a commercial.
Prayer rewarded. Sort of. Buffy arrives for work at Sunnydale High and encounters a fight in the hallway. She separates the guys and sends them off to class as the bell rings. The camera follows one guy down the hall, and suddenly we see that a student leaning against some lockers begins to vanish. Buffy notices and runs over to her, calling, "Hey, shy girl! Don't do this." The girl doesn't reappear, so Buffy slaps her lightly on the face. That does the job, and the rematerialized girl touches her face, marveling that Buffy noticed her at all. Buffy's all prepared to talk to Almost-Invisible Girl when another girl rushes out of the bathroom sobbing. Almost-Invisible Girl wanders off slowly as Bathroom Girl wails to Buffy, "The mirror said I was fat!" Buffy's shocked, but before she can do anything, Bathroom Girl rushes off and Buffy's attention is drawn to a bespectacled nerd guy who is ranting about being overwhelmed by school. He's saying, "I feel like I'm going to explode!" as Buffy rushes up to deal, in her trifling way, with the situation. She suggests that one of Bespectacled Nerd's friends give him a foot rub. Uh, okay. A few minutes later, Buffy arrives in the main office to find Principal Wood dabbing at his head with some gauze. He was hit in the head with a rock while getting out of his car in the parking lot. As Buffy applies a bandage to Wood's head, she expositions this extremely complicated and somewhat confusing dialogue: "There's this thing that happens here, in this school, over the Hellmouth, where the way a thing feels, it kinds starts being that way for real." Erm, sure. She explains she's seen all these sorts of incidents before, "just not all at once." Wood confirms that "hell's a-bustin' out all over."