Buffy and Willow are in the Bronze, listening to Oz's band (Dingoes ate my baby - *love* that name)
Apparently she's been seeing a lot of Parker this week. Parker is also at the Bronze, but they *didn't* go together. Buffy is trying not to be too pushy. On the other hand, she's spending a lot of time just looking
at him. Willow tells her that she's allowed to look ... and to more than look,
if she wants to. After all, she's in college now.
Buffy decides to walk Parker home, and Willow is helping the band pack
up their instruments, when Harmony shows up. The last time we saw Harmony was way back in Graduation Day Pt2 ... she
was one of the students who broke and ran, and was attacked by vampires. Can you see where this is leading? Harmony attacks Willow, but Oz shows up and drives her off with a cross.
Harmony: Ok. Fine. Hide behind your boyfriend. But guess what? I have a boyfriend too. And he's going to be mad that you were mean to me.
Harmony's boyfriend? And she's a vampire? Who could that be, we all wonder...
Buffy and Parker are walking home, and they appear to be really
trying to get to know one another. Parker seems a very thoughtful
guy, gentle and sensitive. His father had died the previous year,
and he says "I've decided that it's important to live for the now.
Don't put things off until later."
Buffy decides this is a rather good way of looking at life, and accepts when Parker invites her out to a party the next evening.
Xander is helping Giles file his books.
Xander: I just don't get your crazy system.
Giles: It's alphabetical.
Xander: (pause) Oh, yeah!
Anya shows up ... rather to Xander's surprise. She wants to know where there relationship is progressing. Xander didn't even know there was a relationship ... but Anya has been having these dreams ...
Buffy and Parker arrive at Buffy's door, and are obviously just psyching up for a kiss when Oz and Willow arrive. Willow is holding her hand to her neck, and looking rather distressed. Realising (after a few hints, anyway) that vampires are involved (business!) she reluctantly sends Parker on his way.
Buffy: Guy dating Harmony dead. He must be the most tolerant guy in the world.
Next scene has Harmony underground, walking up to her boyfriend. Who is Spike! (Yay, Spike! My favourite baddy!)
Spike is hunting for a gem of Amara, some kind of magical device of
unspecified powers that only works for vampires.
It appears to be buried in a crypt somewhere under Sunnydale, which is why Spike is back.
Spike is too busy to pay attention to Harmony, tells her to have something to eat here. There is a guy chained to a wall, already
showing signs of having been nibbled on by vampires. Harmony says he tastse funny.
Speculation: This guy looks like he could be wearing Army gear, (perhaps...) any relation to the guys in camoflague that have been roaming the campus? Or just a throwaway line?
Anyway, Harmony convinces Spike to take her to a party...
Parker and Buffy are at a party. It's pretty loud ... and then
they run into Spike and Harmony, carrying an unconcious person. (Can
you say dinner?)
Spike isn't interested in a confrontation just yet. He throws their victim at Buffy, and makes a run for it. Buffy catches him, and the fight a little ... and banter...
Harmony manages to drop the fact that
Spike and Harmony decamp, leaving a rather thoughtful looking Buffy. (why didn't she stake Spike when she had the chance? No idea. I suspect the scriptwriters at work...)
In the meantime, Anya shows up at Xander's palatial cellar. (He is in the process of hanging a glitterball. Sometimes Xander worries me...) She wants to talk more about their relationship. Xander goes to his fridge to get her a drink, and turns to continue the conversation, only to find that she has removed her clothes.... (He is holding a popper pack of juice at the time. It empties abruptly ... giving a good indication of his state of mind....)
Giles has heard of the Gem of Amara. He thinks that it's a legendary artifact, in as far as that it probably doesn't exist, but he'll look into it. It would appear that it grants the (vampire) wearer considerable ... though unspecified ... power.
Next scene has Spike and Harmony in a rather classy looking bedroom.
Harmony basically annoys Spike until he makes love to her ... the conversation
that implies that vampire love involves, among other
things, feeding off each other. I'm only guessing here ... but Spike seems particularly turned on by Harmony's veins...
Back at Xander's cellar, Anya is explaining in a calm, rational way
that having sex is the sensible thing to do. It'll help her get over him
... Xander just doesn't know how to handle the situation, and is
reduced to a quivering heap. Anya proceeds to start undressing him, and generally not giving him a
great deal of choice in the matter.
Xander: The scary thing? *Still* more romantic than Faith...
Back at the party, Buffy finds Parker again, and explains away Spike
in a more or less plausible fashion. They end up slow dancing, and
then back in his room ... and Buffy kisses him ... and the rest follows
naturally. (Including Giles trying to reach her on the phone, and leaving a message that he has to talk to her right away. Tsk, tsk. Neglecting her Slayer duties again...)
Buffy wakes up the next morning, alone in Parker's bed. She doesn't know where Parker is, and starts searching frantically for her clothes. Parker returns with some coffee, (which is nice) but he's busy tonight ... his Mum is coming to visit... (do you smell a rat too?)
Xander wakes up with Anya, and is getting dressed ... rather shakily (it must have been an interesting night)
Anya: S-so I'm over you now.
Anya: Okay? (affronted)
Xander: ... (confused) yeah?
Xander really doesn't seem to know what hit him! And, yes, he really *has* been working out over the break.
Spike wakes up to find that Harmony has been drawing "Spike LovesHarmony" on his back in lipstick...
Buffy walks in to her room, to find out that Giles and Willow are already
there. Giles has found more on the Gem of Amara, and thinks it is
in Sunnydale. Willow is excited for Buffy, and wants to know all
the details (once
Giles leaves) ... Willow makes some comment about "And this is the exciting part. While you're waiting for him to call, and it's all new..."
Buffy doesn't look too sure.
The next day or so has Buffy trying to hunt down Spike and Harmony, but the interspersed between the hunting shots is the answering machine ... which has no messages from Parker...
Spike eventually breaks through into the chamber containing the Gem
of Amara. It is full of treasure and suchlike. Spike picks
up what looks like the most likely candidate (a pendant) but it doesn't
seem to do what he wants. He burns his hand trying to touch a cross.
Harmony is moving around the room, chattering and picking stuff up. An infuriated
Spike breaks the leg of a chair, and drives it through Harmony's heart. To everyone's surprise, Harmony just heals over again as soon as he removes it. She's wearing a ring ... which she gives to Spike. He's found the Gem. He's now basically invulnerable to all the usual things which kill vampires.
The gang are at Giles place. Xander moves some boxes, and discovers a small black and white TV.
Xander: Everybody! Giles has a TV! He's shallow, like us!
He switches it on ... to find a news report about a highway collapse. There hasn't been any official tunnelling in the area ... it must be Spike. They charge off, Xander to go get Buffy, and the rest to meet at the collapsed highway.
Buffy, in the meantime, is on campus, and finds Parker chatting her up. He proceeds to inform Buffy that what they had was only ever intended to be fun ... he was only after a one night stand, basically.
He's actually quite nice about it ... but Buffy is shattered. (Parker is very good at manipulating people. Buffy is left with the feeling that it's all her fault.)
And then Spike shows up. In full daylight!
After a moment or two, Buffy attacks him, and in short order, stakes him ... but he just gets better again!
The gang find Harmony ... who is shattered because Spike staked her and left her. She tells them where Spike is.
Xander bangs on Buffy's door, but she's not there. Just as he turns, he finds Anya, who wants to talk more about her relationship. It's clear she's really hung up on Xander, but just doesn't really know how to express it properly. In any case, Xander says that he "really doesn't have time" and rushes off, leaving her looking crushed. (Poor Anya!)
In the mean time, Buffy is holding her own, but she can't hurt Spike. Sooner or later she's going to get tired.
Xander shows up just long enough to get swatted aside by Spike. (Brave lad, but not too bright, sometimes...)
Spike takes the opportunity to gloat. He has, incidently, witnessed her "breakup" with Parker.
Spike: Seems like you're not worth a second go. Seems like someone else told me that. Who? Oh, yeah. Angel.
This was the wrong thing to say. Infuriated, Buffy goes hell for leather, gets Spike in an armbar, and whips off the ring. Burning, Spike runs for it, and dives down a conveniently placed manhole.
Buffy decides that Angel should have the ring, and Oz (who is going to a gig in LA) agrees to drop it off.
There is a final scene, when, unknown to each other, the three love-crossed ladies (Buffy, Harmony and Anya) are all walking in the same park...
End of Synopsis
Buffy is growing up, but is still pretty naive when it come to relationships.
Oddly enough, it's Willow who is in a stable
relationship, and Willow advising her about men. A bit of a turnaround!
This episode is very much about sex ... and relationships ... and, really, the Gem of Amara is almost the B-Plot.
I want to see more about Xander and Anya ... I think their relationship will develop, but it's going to be ... interesting.
Harmony escaped, so we'll probably see more of her. I felt quite sorry for her sometimes. It's interesting ... it seems that becoming a vampire hasn't really affected her personality at all. I have this theory that the more amoral you are in life, the more your personality is going to carry across. Harmony was a totally self-centered airhead in life, and a totally self-centered airhead in undeath. But those sort of people also seem to make the most effective vampires....
Yay for the re-appearance of Spike! Still my favourite baddy. I hope we see more of him ...
Rating: 8.0 (mostly because of Spike. And Anya)
Stephanie Rating: I let Stephanie watch this without a qualm. If you are particularly concerned about exposing your kids to the concept of sex, you may want to think about it. On the other hand, it was all handled very discreetly.