Dawn and Tara are standing at the bottom of the stairs in the Summers home, calling up to Willow. She pops around the corner, wrapped in a towel, and tells Tara and Dawn to head to der Zauber Kasten without her. "Fine," snarls Tara; she and Dawn leave. Willow then gets a sneaky grin and heads back up the stairs. She's only gone for an instant, however, and then she's back fully dressed and hurries down to the living room. So this means that either Willow had cast a spell to look as if she was not ready when she was, or that she cast a spell to get ready very quickly, but either way it just makes me so incredibly pissed at her. She totally promised Tara she wouldn't do magic for a week and she's at it again already, without an ounce of hesitation or ambivalence. Grrr. What a little liar. In this scene, Willow is wearing a bad-girl low-cut black top and tight jeans. I'd like the clothes, except that the blouse has strange, flappy sleeves. I prefer my evil garb to be more streamlined, without any ruffles or ties or flaps; I feel it sends a more clearly defined evil message.
In the living room Willow pulls a bag of Lethe's bramble from behind some books and places a sprig in the fireplace. She casts a spell to wipe Buffy's and Tara's minds of "pains from recent slights and sins." She's wiping Tara's memory again?! What an utter bitch. That conversation with Tara meant nothing to her. She's like an alcoholic confronted about her drinking and her response is, "Oh sure. I will give up drinking. Just as soon as I take this bottle I've got hidden beneath my coat, drink all of its contents, and then beat you about the head with it." She touches a crystal to the fire, which will turn black when the spell is cast. "Tabula rasa, tabula rasa, tabula rasa," she chants, and tucks the crystal into a little pouch in her blouse.
Zauber Kasten. Tara and Anya are thumb-wrestling, Buffy is sulking on the stairs, and Dawn is attempting to engage Giles in a conversation about the monsters of the week. Of which, apparently, there are none. They've been waiting for Willow and Xander, who enter with a bit of dialog explaining that Willow is wearing Xander's coat because it's cold out. Hmm, do you think that will become important later? In the background, upon Willow's entrance, Anya makes a cute little consoling gesture at Tara. Now that the gang has gathered, Giles begins to announce his leaving, but he's interrupted first by angry Buffy, and then by Spike, who enters through the front door. In daytime. Dressed only in a tweed suit and hunter's cap with flaps over the ears. ["But wasn't he all smoky when he entered, like he was smoldering from being out in the sunlight? It's possible I imagined that." -- Wing Chun] Y'all, this is headed on a straight course for Blade territory. By Episode Fifteen of this season, I bet you Spike will have discovered he's all set for a day at the beach provided he's carefully applied a thick coat of sunblock with 35 SPF. He didn't even have his hands covered or in his pockets, for mythology's sake! By all rights we should be now calling him Stumpy. Spike claims that his ghastly suit with the bowtie is a disguise, and asks the group for "asylum" from Sharky. Come to hide under Buffy's wing, I guess, little baby bird Spikey. Blah blibbity blah; Willow checks her pocket and sees the crystal has begun to glow green.