Giles and some Junior Misses troop up out of the Summers's basement. They join Anya and Dawn in the kitchen, and Giles fills everyone in: "The Bringer is dumb." "You were expecting what? A Rhodes scholar?" snarks Anya. She's merely covering for the fact that she's weak in the knees because Giles is leaning again. Or maybe it's me that's weak in the knees. Look, I've learned something about myself in the past four years of recapping this show. I've learned I have simple tastes in television: I just want to watch some people I like have adventures. Sure, there can be dark moments. Sure, there can be villains and challenges. But I need to like -- really like and respect -- one or two of the leads in order to be invested in the show. I'm sure that's not very sophisticated of me, but there it is. And I've given myself whiplash this season, jerking around trying to find someone to like because all these people are so hateful and lousy. So right now I like Giles. Because he looks good leaning. I'm sure he'll open his mouth and be Prick Giles, or Evil Giles, in a second, but for now I'll take what I can get. Giles clarifies that the Bringer is dumb, as in mute, because its tongue has been ripped out. Dawn pipes up that she's been translating a Turkish spell that allows people to "communicate with the dying" or other people who can't talk. Willow didn't think of this because she's very dumb, and not as in mute, this season. Why did they even bring her back this year to waste her in twenty episodes of whining inaction? Couldn't Willow have died in England trying to harness her evil impulses and left us all to shed a tiny tear and move on? They decide to try the spell on the Bringer, and then the useless duo, Spike and Andrew, arrive home.
Everyone in the kitchen is fairly silent, anticipating the conflict with Spike over Buffy's departure, and we get a full thirty seconds of Andrew babbling. Thirty seconds might not sound like a lot to you, but in an hour (forty-five minutes more or less, sans commercials) of television, and a recapper's life, it's an eternity. Andrew scurries off to pee and Spike asks where Buffy is, so he can brief her on the information discovered at Ajo Sagrado. Dawn lamely says that Buffy's not there; Spike wants to know when she'll be back. Nervously, Willow steps forward and tries to explain. She's practically panting with anxiety as she tells Spike that there was a meeting, disagreements were discussed, and "Buffy decided it would be best for all of [them] if she took a little time off, a little breather." Willow is anxious here...why? Because she feels guilty about what happened with Buffy? Not much evidence that she cares. Because she's terrified of Spike? I think he would flay as easily as the next Warren. Why are you lying, Willow? Ah, who cares. I don't like these people anyway.
Spike is skeptical of the explanation. He chuckles bitterly and sneers, "You sad, sad, ungrateful traitors. Who do you think you are?" Willow stutters that they're Buffy's friends. Spike sneers. Giles tries to break in, and Spike jumps on him, saying that Buffy "surpassed" Giles and he "can't handle it." Yeah, that's right, Spike. Giles is juss jellus. Spike berates them for betraying Buffy, for ignoring the fact that she's died for them. And they've saved her many times over, too. I can't see any debts there. And see, Spike, these people have a sense of identity and some tiny shreds of self-respect left. Unlike you, they won't lie down and be kicked like dogs for love, or your obsessive, suffocating version of it. Faith, sounding like a TWoP moderator, tells Spike to "take it down a notch or two." Ban him, Faith. She tells Spike that "the time for speech-giving is over," and they face off. Spike punches her. Yay! Oh, why yay? I'm celebrating that I only have to watch two more episodes of a show that consistently resorts to having its rilly, rilly kewl lead characters assault people who tell them things they don't like. Spike and Faith exchange punches right there in the kitchen as Faith taunts Spike about being "whipped" by Buffy. Spike wishes. Heh. Faith kicks the Platinum Helmet right into the dining room and pounds on him a little. The Scoobies run in to spectate. More fighting. Spike says that Faith finally got what she wanted (to usurp Buffy as The Slayer). He leaves.