Sunnydale High. Buffy and Rupert "That's 'Mr. Sars' To You" Giles pedeconference up the front walk, discussing Angel's latest bulletin. Then there's banter about the sameness of the weather in southern California that's meant to point up Giles's exasperating Britishness. Ha ha. Not. Enter Xander with a low-flow-shower-head hairstyle and a backpack full of exposition, to wit: Dr. Gregory, the bio teacher, is out today. Buffy asks if he's sick, but Xander says the grapevine didn't say anything about sick: "Something about...missing." Buffy, Spidey sense tingling: "He's missing?" Xander got distracted by the cheerleaders' new short skirts, but he's pretty sure they said missing. Willow and Buffy exchange a look. Xander duhs, "Which is bad?" "If something's wrong, yeah," Buffy says with an eye-roll. "He's one of the only teachers that doesn't think Buffy's a felon," Willow supplies helpfully. Xander makes with the sympathy, and he starts to say he's sure Dr. Gregory will turn up when The Bongo Drums Of Someone's Going To Pitch A Woodrow Right About Now kick in on the soundtrack. Cut over to a shapely female coming up the front walk. Cut back to Xander doing his best Steve Sanders impression. Buffy and Willow follow his gaze over to Shapely Female as she proceeds towards them in slo-mo; she has a nice figure, but her face is entirely too reminiscent of Jocelyn Wildenstein. (On the trivia front, it pleases me entirely too much to report that the actress, Musetta Vander, once acted in a film called Dickwad. Not a joke, folks.) She stops in front of Xander and asks where she can find "Science 109." Xander, as you might expect, is completely flummoxed due to the sudden downward rush of blood; he stutters around for a bit as Buffy and Willow look on in amusement. Then Blayne steps in, smoothly cockblocks Xander with a bit of varsity-football-related smarm, and escorts Shapely Wildenstein away. "It's funny how the earth never opens up and swallows you when you want it to," Xander bleats. Tell me about it, dude. Buffy and Willow smirk.
Bio. Miss Wildenstein is writing on the board. As Buffy and Willow walk in, Buffy spots Dr. Gregory's glasses on the floor. She examines them and wonders aloud why he wouldn't have picked them up. Willow shrugs, and Buffy carefully places the glasses on a table. Class begins. Miss Wildenstein introduces herself as Natalie French, and does her substitute teacher shtick. Buffy asks when Dr. Gregory is coming back, but Miss French doesn't know. Unfunny pun from Blayne intended to reinforce his sleaziness, and then we open our books to page 81 of The Anvils For Learning Science Series: Vol. III and read about the life, laughs, and loves of the praying mantis. "Noble, solitary, and prolific," praying mantises live alone because "they're cannibals," and the female is almost always larger and more aggressive than the male. That bit of wisdom, delivered in rhapsodic tones by Miss French, prompts another unfunny from Blayne before Miss F says that the California mantis lays eggs, then finds a mate to fertilize them. During that last bit, she's giving Xander the eye; Xander is hypnotized by her gigantic cheekbones. Okay, show of hands -- does everyone see where this is going? Yeah, I thought so, and it's why I've never liked "Teacher's Pet." Everything is telegraphed so far in advance that you know the whole plot twelve minutes in, and with some Buffy episodes, the journey is the destination, but Xander Thinks With His Dick And Screws Upville isn't a trip I want to go on, to tell you the truth.