Previously on Buffy: in season three, the nasty Council of Watchers commanded Giles to drug Buffy on her eighteenth birthday so that she lost her Slayer powers. She was then locked in a house with a crazed vampire, whose ass she eventually managed to kick. The CoW fired Giles for having fatherly feelings towards the Slayer, and Buffy eventually quit working for the CoW when they wouldn't help cure Angel after Faith shot him with a poisoned arrow. Shoot that poised arrow, through my hea-aart. Cool, my eighties flashback is over now. In these past-season clips, SMG acted her little butt off and looked real purty. This season, Dawn overheard Buffy, Joyce, and Giles discussing her.
Nighttime at the Summers home. There's a meeting of the Scooby gang, and Buffy tidies the living room, apologizing for the mess; she hasn't had time to do housework as well as save the world, break up with her boyfriend, take care of her sick mother and not-sister, and worry about Glory. I think I'll forgive her -- I've used far more flimsy excuses to explain my messy house on occasion. For some reason the writers can't just let go of the Mistake That Was Riley, and scripted a little tense moment where Buffy finds one of his sweaters behind the sofa. How long has that been there anyway? It's an army-green commando sweater the likes of which Riley didn't wear after the second or third episode this season. Giles has apparently called the meeting to announce that the CoW has discovered information about Glory and will reveal it when they arrive in Sunnydale. Understandably upset, Buffy stutters her disapproval. Some blather from the gang, including what has to be a purposefully awful British accent from Xander, and Giles is moved to defend the Watchers as having the "same agenda" as the Scooby gang: "Save the world and kill demons." Mandatory worry from Anya about the Watchers being ex-demon-incompatible. Buffy asks that Giles tell the CoW not to come, but it seems they are already on their way. Uh oh, the CoW delegation will be headed by Quentin Travers, who was responsible for firing Giles; I'm surprised Giles is so sanguine about the whole thing. Buffy expositions that the CoW have tried to kill her twice, once with the eighteenth birthday test and once when she was magically trapped in Faith's body; poor Tara gets a naive line about having supposed that English people are "gentler," because she's not a demon after all, she's just a hick. And if you want to know how "gentle" the English people can be, just go ask the Irish. Willow suggests that the CoW won't try to kill Buffy this time, and Buffy protests that she doesn't want them in town to screw up the delicate balance. She almost slips up by mentioning that she's busy looking out for Dawn, and shares a glance with Giles when Xander points out (incorrectly, but he doesn't know) that Buffy has always had to do that. As Buffy and Giles continue to discuss the matter, Dawn creeps down the stairs to listen. It doesn't seem she's heard much of import when she is joined by Joyce, a headscarf covering what in the hospital was covered well enough by a tiny Band-Aid. Joyce sends Dawn back to bed, and Buffy freaks that she might have been listening. Willow: "Does it matter? I mean, is she really going to set the junior high school buzzing with 'Ooh, there's a delegation a-coming'?" Buffy tries to brush off her seeming overreaction, and Giles suggests that the Council visit will help them "get a grip on" what they're dealing with.