At Spike's crypt, the telly is showing some old movie. As Buffy and Dawn enter, they startle poor Clem into dropping his snacks and exclaiming, "Suffering cats!" After a few pleasantries, he expositions that Spike is out of town and he's house-sitting. He offers them refreshments. Buffy takes the news of Spike's departure oddly, then asks if Clem can do her a favor and look after Dawn for a little while. Clem is amenable to this, and to seemingly every other idea. He suggests renting some videos and then offers up the "comfy chair." Aw. Clem is about the only thing I'm enjoying in this episode. Buffy kisses Dawn goodbye, but pauses at the door to ask if Spike said when he'd be back. Oh, what-ever. I'm so steamed that they're playing this as if Buffy is pining after Spike for some reason. As soon as I get my eyes unstuck from rolling them so hard, I'll be continuing the recap.
A dark sky. A low hanging moon. An arthritic tree. Incessantly beating drums. Spike tries to effect a manly stride through the deserts of what is supposed to be Africa but is so, SO obviously a set in Burbank. I've been to California enough times to know beach sand when I see it. I cannot even describe the poor production values of this scene. Suffice it to say that it's about as close to Africa as I am right now. Which to say, NOT AT ALL. Spike walks past a hut and into a cave. He flicks open his Zippo to reveal finger paintings done by some very disturbed pre-schoolers on the walls. It's also the only interesting thing about his scene in light of future events. Let's see! I spy a painting of a guy with his mouth sewn shut, and another of someone who looks like his skin has been flayed off. Hmmmm. A voice rings out of the darkness: "You seek me, vampire?" Hey, it's the movie preview guy! What's he doing in Little Kenya on the Beach? Spike banters about the paintings a bit but then cops to the fact that yeah, he's been looking for this demon of the green glowy eyes and deep-throated voice. Deep-Throaty Demon looks about as expensive and impressive as a Dr. Who monster, which is to say, not. Goofy-looking monsters in caves always remind me of Dr. Who. Signs of a misspent youth. Deep-Throaty Demon is also lurking in the shadows, which you might assume is intended to make him scarier but instead just seems to indicate that the crew knew how cheesy this cardboard and trash-bag demon was and opted to show us as little of it as possible. Deep-Throaty Demon muses, "Something about a woman. The Slayer." Spike has to act all macho in front of his new buddy and sneers, "Bitch thinks she's better than me." Our "Bitch" Count is now up to three! And then Spike complains about the chip, which has ruined his whole unlife. Deep-Throaty Demon isn't really fooled, though, taunting Spike with, "This is what she's reduced you to." And then he laughs about how Spike has been castrated. God, I wish. Literally. Then I would have been spared so much Spuffy shagging earlier this season. Deep-Throaty Demon says that Spike would never be able to survive the trials necessary to be "restored" to what he was before. I'm just going to ignore the part where he called Spike a "dark warrior," because I don't think we need any of that epic Angel talk over here on our little Party of Five with demons. Spike is all, "Bring it on." If he passes all of these tests, he'll get what he came for. "Bitch is gonna see a change," he says threateningly. Four! Four "bitches" for the "Bitch" Counter.
Pan across the table of books at the Magic Box. Xander helps Anya over to a seat while Anya explains that Willow was already there. Anya's pants look like they were fashioned out of some 1950s doilies. And Anya -- about that Peter Pan collar? My mom used to dress me like that. Your mom's been dead for over a thousand years. What's your excuse? Xander begins to explain about Tara, but it's old news for Anya. Xander wants to know if there's a locator spell that she could help with, but Anya reveals that she doesn't need a spell, since Willow's pain is enough for her to feel the witch. Xander is confused, thinking that this is a vestige of her demon days, but Anya tells him that it's "not left over." Xander shakes his head and asks, "When?" "When do you think?" snits Anya. Their burgeoning quarrel is interrupted by Buffy's entrance. Xander quickly brings her up to speed on Anya's status and then snidely wonders why Anya isn't with Willow, making with the vengeance, since she's on the clock. Anya primly explains that Willow doesn't want her. Buffy correctly concludes that Willow is more into a hands-on approach, then declares all no-nonsense that they're short on time and asks Anya which "side" she's on. Anya stands and declares, "I'll help. But I'm helping Willow. She's close to him. He's in the woods." Anya looks really pretty in this scene. From the neck up, that is.