Cut to somewhere dark and outdoors. Buffy and Spike bumble along. They've both got flashlights because, while they can see in the dark, I can't. And while this show on occasion may make me wish for the sweet relief of blindness I'm not ready to turn in for The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Radio Hour. Spike asks Buffy if she's sure she "want[s] to go back to this place with me." "Eh," replies Buffy, "nothing good on TV tonight." This pun fails to hit "clever" and instead lands on "unfortunately apt." Psst, writers -- it's not really much of a joke if it's true. They swing their flashlights around for a while until they come to an unmarked place on the ground that looks much like all the other bits of ground. Must have been their blocking tape or whatever that told them where to start digging. Then Spike, for reasons I will never understand, starts spouting some bull about how they're after any surplus drugs the Initiative might have left behind. Spike knows about the existence of these drugs because, during his captivity, the soldiers would dose him to help him manage the residual chip pain from whenever he acted up. Let's just think about all the problems with this statement. First, the Initiative was never all that huggy-feely when it came to vampires and demons. I don't think the organization that wanted to vivisect Oz despite the fact that he was mostly human would be handing out Percocet to the soulless undead. Sure, they knocked the vamps out to experiment on them, but I can't believe that Buffy or Spike would consider being constantly unconscious a viable solution to Spike's problem. Secondly, we saw pretty much all of Spike's captivity. He woke up. He was disoriented. He talked to a vamp in the next cell, who told him about the scientific experiments. He escaped. Furthermore, he had NO IDEA that he had a chip put in his head until he was out of the Initiative. Otherwise, why would he be so darn surprised when he couldn't get his fangs up with Willow? If Drew Z. Greenberg was intent on resurrecting the Initiative (and let's remember what a rousing success that was the first time around), maybe he could have bothered to idly flip through the scripts from Season Four? This is more than a continuity hole; it's a continuity chasm, and it goes straight on down all the way to freakin' China. So. Spike and Buffy unearth and remove the grate covering the entrance to the Initiative. Buffy drops down all lithe and graceful. Spike crashes down after her and falls on the floor. Caution: Falling Prats.
Over at Casa Summers, the phone rings. Andrew hops up, eager to answer because he thinks that his new comic has come in. Much to my disappointment, it's not Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons but "some British guy named Robson." Cut to Xander hanging up the phone. He explains to the assembled company that Robson was attacked by the Bringers, and the last thing that Robson saw before he blacked out was Giles, inches away from getting his head chopped off. Furthermore, when he came to, Giles was nowhere to be seen. Suspicion mounts as the gang realizes that Giles mentioned exactly none of this to them. "Maybe he didn't make it," suggests Anya. They quickly outline the implications of The First posing as Giles and infiltrating their inner circle. "But there's no way that we can know," says Dawn. I roll my eyes so hard they pop right out of my head and don't come to rest until they're in Paraguay. Because there IS a way that they can know, which they established not only ONCE in this episode ALREADY but AT LEAST two times previously. Because it was a pivotal lesson they learned JUST A WEEK OR SO BACK when The First impersonated one of the Junior Misses. Because it was also one of the VERY FIRST THINGS that Giles told the gang when he got into town. Gah. Ben is Glory! The First is NOT CORPOREAL! Okay? Maybe Dawn meant, "There's no way we can know unless we use our brains," which, judging from what I've seen from the Scoobs lately, is completely plausible. Andrew jumps in with the whole The First = non-corporeal equation that everyone is having so much trouble grasping. "It's not like Giles hasn't touched anything right?" says Anya brightly. Why is Anya acting like Giles hasn't been touching anything since she's been engaged in quite the tryst with him since he's been back? She then asks, "Has anyone seen Giles touch anything since he got back?" Oh, I get it. She wants to make sure that the gang doesn't know about their relationship. She's probably just trying to spare Xander's feelings. Nobody can come up with any evidence of Giles touching any thing at all, so Anya's secret is still safe. So when Dawn and Andrew and Xander get ready to jump into the car to follow Giles to the desert, she doesn't say anything so she won't blow her cover. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Ganya or death!