Buffy Ep 4.2 "Living Conditions"

Buffy learns to deal with a room-mate...


After the flashbacks:

Buffy is learning to live with her new room-mate, Cathy.  It's late, she obviously wants to go out and patrol.  Cathy is ... bright, bubbly, cheerful, neurotic, brittle and anal-retentive.  She also likes Cher, and is playing one of her songs over and over ... and over ... again.

Before Buffy can get out the door, she faces the third degree ... where is she going (to get coffee), isn't she worried that the coffee will keep her awake (no) that Buffy should log all her calls, and had she taken any of Cathy's milk?

Buffy eventually escapes into the night, and walks with Willow for a while. (She's visiting Oz). She senses something lurking, but can't quite find anything out of place.  After a quiet complaint about Cathy, they part ways.  And then we see a figure with green glowing eyes watching her....

(Has anyone noticed in the title sequence that Giles is holding a chainsaw? Okayy....)

While Buffy is patrolling, Cathy comes bouncing up.

Cathy: "I just decided that a decaf latte sounded like heaven after all..."

Buffy is put out by this, and is just trying to sort out how do deal with this when she is jumped by a demon.  She pushes Cathy out of the way, and they belt each other up for a bit before it runs away. Buffy explains the incident away as an attempted purse snatching.  Cathy is horrified that Buffy tried to resist (she could have been hurt) and mortified that her sweater has been ruined. From the bushes, two demons watch, and one says: "That could be the one..."

 Next day, Buffy goes to Giles place.  (Which appears to have grown a nice courtyard area) Giles has been jogging, but agrees to research into the creature she met last night.  He also realises that Buffy is hanging around longer than is her usual want, and quizzes her on it.

Buffy: "I just figured I could hang here ... until my room-mate goes to class."

Cathy is really getting on Buffy's nerves.  For instance, when she sharpens her pencils, she measures them to make sure that they are all exactly the same length. Buffy points out that she needs to take the time to adjust... and that it's understandable that she's having trouble since she was an only child. Buffy agrees to try and be more tolerant.

Cathy is trying to get the stain out of her sweater.  She gives up in disgust, and goes and borrows one of Buffy's.  (Going through her weapons bag in the process.)

In the cafeteria, Buffy see's Cathy coming and ducks in front of someone in the line.  Who turns out to be a cute and charming guy, who gives her pointers about how to make the most of the food tickets.  His name is Parker.  I think we'll be seeing more of him.

Xander, Oz, and Willow are waiting for her.

Xander is visiting.  (His parents are feeding him.  For a price...)  They chat for a bit.. and then Cathy invites herself to the table. Buffy notices (much to her irritation) that Cathy has borrowed her sweater.  Cathy takes a big bite out of a burger and then (in slow motion) a huge blob of sauce drops on to the sweater... Buffy glares.

Later,Buffy is talking to Willow on the phone (bitching about Cathy). Willow has her own room-mate problems ... there is a major party going on in her room. Buffy and Cathy's evening is spent with them growing more and more irritated with each other. Buffy goes to the fridge to find *everything* labelled.  Cathy finds gum on her bedside table...

Cathy: Who left the gum here?
Buffy: (swallowing her gum) Gum gnome?

Eventually it's lights out, and Buffy has the beauty of a nightmare involving blood, scorpions, and some demon thing sucking something out of her mouth.  She wakes up with a start, to find Cathy glaring at her.

Cathy: Do you always make a noise like that when you sleep?

They (Giles, Willow and Oz) find out the next day that Cathy had almost the same dream that Buffy had... interestingly, Buffy merely sees that as yet another example of Cathy horning in.  This worries her friends... Buffy seems to be getting a bit obsessed.

She gets back to their room to find Cathy talking and laughing with Parker.  Parker has dropped by to drop off some freezer bags... Parker leaves in a hurry when Buffy gets huffy. Cathy and Buffy have an increasingly intense argument, which climaxes with Buffy going to the fridge and drinking Cathy's milk out of the carton... (very messily...)

Willow is worried about Buffy, but has an English paper to do. Oz agrees to go and hang out with Buffy in her stead. A couple of interesting scenes happen then: Oz walks past a group of rather rough looking students... and for no apparent reason, stares at a girl walking with them. She stares back ... no explanation is given, but Oz looks troubled as he walks on.   Then, unseen by him, a bunch of army-type guys creep past on the other side of the bushes, hold weapons and looking stealthy. What do these scenes mean? I suppose we will find out later.

Buffy patrols with Oz, but doesn't stop complaining about Cathy.

Buffy: ...and then Cathy says "it's share time!"  And I'm like, "oh, yeah? Share this!" (shadow boxes)
Oz: So ... did you hit her, or just do your whacky mime routine?
Buffy: Well... neither, actually.  But she deserved it!
Oz: No one deserves mime, Buffy.

Buffy gets so worked up, she kicks a park bench, destroying it. (Vandal!)

Oz: On the plus side, you killed a bench.  Which was looking really shifty.

They are back in their room.  Cathy is cutting her toenails (in slow motion, with loud sound effects).  Buffy taps her pencil (also in slow motion with loud booms)  until Kathy turns on the Cher song.  (The same song, yet again...)

Eventually, the go to sleep... and Buffy gets the same nightmare she had the night before. AS she sits up in bead, she realises that Cathy has just woken from a nightmare too.

Next day, Buffy sees Willow talking to Cathy (who has buttonholed her to complain about Buffy)

Buffy: I've worked out what to do.
Willow: Oh, good!
Buffy:  Cathy is evil.  I'm an evil fighter.  I have to kill her.

Buffy holds up a bag of toenails, and claims that they are demon toenails.  Willow tells her to show them to Giles, and as soon as she is out of sight, Willow goes for the phone.

Willow:  Giles? I just talked to Buffy and ... yeah, I think she's feeling a little ... insane.  No, not bitchy crazy, more like homocidal maniac crazy.  So I sent her to you.  Bye.

When Buffy gets to Giles place, Giles (with the assistance of Oz and Xander) drops and net on Buffy and ties her up.  Giles thinks she is possessed in some way, and heads off to find ingredients for a spell to undo it.

In the meantime, Willow goes to Cathy, and tries to warn her to stay out of Buffy's way.  Cathy is seriously insensitive, and in fact, seems as whacky about Buffy as Buffy is about her.  Willow gets a call and finds out that Buffy is contained, so leaves. Quickly.

Buffy is trying to reason with Xander and Oz, and convince them that Cathy is really a demon, but they aren't listening.

Xander: I don't know if I tightened those ropes enough.
Oz: Maybe we should go and check them.
Xander: (after chuckling uneasily) ... oh, dear god!

Naturally enough, Buffy gets free, and they are absolutely no match for her.  She returns to her room to have it out with Cathy.

They start fighting, and then Buffy rips Cathy's face off... to reveal a demon.  See? I *knew* she was right all along.... (*cough* *cough*)

Cathy reveals that she left her dimension to go to college, and now they are after her.  Her kind of demon has no soul... so she's borrowing Buffy's, so that they'll take Buffy instead. There is a major fight. (During which they complain bitterly about each others habits...)

In the meantime, Giles has discovered that Buffy was actually quite right... those are demon fingernails.  Fortunately, Giles knows a reversing spell.  Xander and Oz head off to help Buffy while Willow and Giles do the spell thing.

Just as Cathy tries to finish the soul stealing, Giles finishes the spell, and Buffy's souls is returned ... apparently snapping her back to normal.

It seems that it is Cathy's dad, come to take her home.

Cathy: I'm 3000 years old! When are you going to stop treating me like I'm 900?

A far calmer and rational Buffy helps Willow move in with her... the most sensible room-mate for her to have, after all.  Things are going swimmingly ... until Willow bites into the other half of a sandwich that Buffy was eating...

End of Synopsis

Fun, if not deep.

Plot Points: Not sure yet.

I'd give it a Robbie Rating of 7.4 (Given that I enjoy "comedy" episodes) which is possibly a bit stingy, but I gave last weeks a 7.5 by way of a benchmark

Stephanie Rating: No problems for kiddies.

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