Hee. Highlander is on Telemundo right now. "¡Puede haber solamente uno!" That cheered me up a little.
Aw, crap. We're back to the blondie boring twins. Buffy's looking around for Spike, but gets into a fight with the demon that attacked them earlier instead. She dispatches it and kneels next to the unconscious Spike, asking, "Are you still with us?" Sadly, yes. Spike starts to regain consciousness, and Buffy's making small talk when suddenly all the lights in place power up. Buffy looks up, startled, and on the catwalk above her, a troop of armed military men level their rifles at her. Ten or more guys in combat boots walking on a metal catwalk can now sneak up on the Slayer? Riiiight. Okay. The leader of the military guys explains, "Miss Summers. Agent Finn reported that you tried to contact him earlier today." And Buffy's all, "I knew it! Government conspiracy." The military leader-guy continues, "[Riley] indicated that you might be needing our assistance. We are to provide you anything you need to help [he gestures to Spike] 'assface' here." Bwa ! Assface. Off Buffy's questioning look, Leader Guy explains, "Those were his exact words, ma'am." Off-screen Riley Finn is my new favorite character.
Willren stomps the streets of Sunnydale, carrying her new pistol in her fist. It looks like it might be dawn, so either she's been walking around like that for a very long time, or this is the shortest night ever in Sunnydale.
Back at the Initiative, Leader Guy tells Buffy that his team has looked at Spike's chip, and it's "degraded." Funny, that's the way I feel watching this sad parody of the show I used to love. I used to believe these were real people -- well, not real people, because I'm eminently sane, but I believed that they could have been people I knew. But now? There's no interior life there. I don't get the sense that they think or feel really anything other than what the writers decide they should think or feel to get them from point A to point B, no matter how contradictory those thoughts and feelings are to the thoughts and feelings they had last week, last month, or last year. Can I get some random military guys to come work improbable technological mojo on my head? To get through the last nine episodes of the season, I think I'll need a chip that makes lame one-note characters funny, induces me to have a great interest in the shirtless sufferings of a character I care nothing about, and causes me to have entirely selective memory about plot points established in previous seasons. They have the technology. Can they make me a better viewer? Or at least a less discerning one? ["This fall on UPN: Bionic Sep! Wocka wocka wocka." -- Sars] Spike is lying on an examining table in the background. I guess we're supposed to think he's unconscious. Leader Guy tells Buffy that the chip will be fatal to Spike if left untended, and I cross Riley off my favorite character list for interfering in what seems to me to be an entirely natural and reasonable process of getting rid of Spike. My favorite character list is now very short. It reads: "Giles. When he's not being a prick." Oh, well. I'll just sum up the rest of this scene -- the chip can be repaired or removed, and the decision is up to Buffy. The not-suspense is not killing me. I'm hoping that she asked that Spike be revived briefly so that he could make the decision, just so we can avoid any and all future scenes of angst between these two. And I swear to God I just saw this whole "person makes an important decision for another person, then keeps it a secret and recriminations and regrets ensue" plot on a soap just last week. What? I didn't watch it on purpose -- TiVo recorded it for me and said I'd like it. Must have been assuming too much because of my hard-to-shake Dawson's Creek habit.