Last week on Buffy, the Slayer lost Dawn to Glory and then sat down on the ground and refused to play anymore.
Minions scurry about Glory's apartment, gathering up and packing her possessions. Bride-Of-Dreg wonders why they're sticking around when Glory's victory is so close, and the explanation is that, well, Glory has acquired a whole lot of crap. I don't get why a god would need to take any worldly possessions with her. Shouldn't she be able to create whatever she needs in her own dimension? Plus, what sort of transportation is Glory taking to her home? I'm picturing her standing out on a platform with her bags, waiting for the inter-dimensional train to arrive, but that just can't be right. In the other room, Glory stands on a tuffet, not eating curds and whey, but instead getting her lacy garment hemmed. She worriedly muses that she doesn't feel like killing any minions despite the fact that "in torture, death, and chaos does [her] power lie." Glory, hon, it's best to know thyself; in boredom, histrionics, and inefficiency does your power lie. You're pretty lame at torture, death, and chaos. I mean, in this dimension all we've seen you do is brainsuck a few people and drive them crazy. I've done that much! And I have ex-boyfriends who'll attest to it. Blah blah blah, tonight the portal will open and Glory will return to her hell world to kick ass in some hell godly way. But, flopping on the sofa, she admits she isn't as happy as she should be. "Something's off. I don't know, what do you think?" asks Glory of the bound and gagged Dawn. Dawn whimpers. That's sad and all (oh, who am I kidding? I don't care), but were we really supposed to be surprised that Dawn was there all along?
The Scoobies have retreated into the gas station from last episode. Tara is in the back of the shot, peeping out the windows as Willow and Xander stare glumly in the foreground. Spike charges in, mentioning that he's hot-wired Ben's car and suggesting they all beat it. Xander asks Giles if he's prepared to leave; he is. He asks, "How's Buffy?" and Xander replies, "The same." Everyone stands quietly, fretting about the Slayer, and Xander encourages Willow to try again to get through to the Sulkster. Willow crouches down and calls Buffy's name. We see Buffy; she sits, staring blankly, and doesn't respond to Willow.
After credits and commercials, we're still with the Scoobies in the abandoned gas station. Willow stands back up, crossing her arms glumly, as Spike worries that Buffy might be brain-dead. Irritated, Xander wants to get moving so they can retrieve Dawn from Glory, but Spike argues that it should be Buffy's decision. They bicker; Anya, Giles, and Willow discuss whether moving Buffy will be safe for her. Spike loses patience with what Giles calls Buffy's "catatonia" and grabs her by the shoulders, shaking her. No reaction from Buffy, so Spike belts her in the face. His chip causes him to grab his head in pain, but Buffy still just sits blankly. That Spike -- what a prince! If the woman you love won't talk to you, obviously hitting her is the best way to get her attention. Oh wait, I shouldn't be surprised by this, because I saw "Crush." Predictably, Xander is pissed off at this approach; he and Spike argue, and Spike makes a crude comment about Buffy liking "it rough." Why? I do not know. Xander punches him, and they begin to fight. Suddenly Willow turns towards them with an ominous look in her eyes. "Separate," she intones, and Spike and Xander fly apart. Willow glares at them both. "If you two want to fight, you do it after the world ends, okay?" Willow snaps, and then firmly and coldly lays out a plan of action. The gang is going back home; Xander will accompany Giles to the hospital; Anya will care for Tara; Spike will find Glory. Oh, I like grimly-in-charge Willow. She cuts through the crap! Nobody challenges Will's plan, although Anya does timidly ask what Willow herself plans to do. Willow replies that she will be helping Buffy.
At the window, Tara begins the agitated crazy-talk; Willow softens and rushes to comfort her. As she shushes Tara, Spike asks, "Uh, Will? Now don't turn me into a horned toad for asking, but what if we come across Ben?" Will's all "huh?" and says that Buffy doesn't need a doctor. Right-o, laughs Spike, "Especially not one who also happens to be Glory?" All the members of the Scooby gang (those few who still have their sanity) stare at Spike, lacking in a certain comprehension of what he just said. "Ben is Glory," explains Spike succinctly. "Duh?" from Willow, Anya, Xander, and Giles. Spike explains again, patiently, that Ben and Glory are the same entity. The humans look confused and rather vague, so Spike explains that, not over an hour ago, Ben came to the gas station, turned into Glory right in front of them, and made off with Dawn. "The what with the who now?" looks from the gang. Spike, running out of patience: "Is everyone here very stoned?" That's what I imagine was a common refrain in the script breaking room this season, or should have been. Ben is Glory, Glory is Ben, repeats Spike, and y'all better get used to this and not think that I'm making stuff up or repeating myself, because this very scene gets played over and over and over for the rest of this episode. Seriously, if I cut all the freakin' repetition and redundancy out of this recap, it would only be three pages long. Despite having just heard Spike explain that Glory and Ben are one and the same about four times in the past three minutes, the Scoobies still cannot comprehend or remember. Xander begins, "So you're saying Ben and Glory…?" and Anya concludes, "Have a connection?" Giles (mystified): "Yes, obviously. But what kind?!" Spike laughs and finally realizes that Glory has worked a spell so that humans can't remember seeing her in the process of turning into Ben and vice versa. A teeny tiny light bulb goes on over the heads of Anya, Xander, and Willow, who parrot back that Ben is indeed the same entity as Glory and that anyone who sees the transformation instantly forgets. Spike is relieved and happy and makes a very cute "on the nose" gesture to Anya. Long pause, and then poor, bleeding Giles says, "Excellent. Now, do we suspect that there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?" Anya and Xander look at Spike expectantly. Spike and I both break down into frustrated tears, walk off the set, and go for beer and spicy chicken wings together. Or at least in my fantasies. In reality (such as it is this season in the Buffyverse), Spike sighs and grits his teeth.