Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Episode Report Card
Strega: C | 2 USERS: B
All wet

In the living room, Buffy looks over the pile of bills on the coffee table. She rather cheerfully asks, "So you're telling me [that] I'm broke?" Pretty much, yes. Buffy complains, "But I haven't spent any money. I was all dead and frugal!" Willow says it took them all by surprise. They all take turns explaining that Joyce had life insurance, but most of that money went to pay hospital bills. Anya adds, "This house, just sitting here, doing nothing, by itself costs money." Buffy has a solution: "We burn the house to the ground and collect the insurance. Plus: Fire? Pretty!" Heh. I think this scene feels strange because Buffy is behaving as if she's in a light-hearted comedy, while everyone else is acting like they're in a Party of Five-type drama. Buffy says she's kidding, and dismisses the money problem: "It's pieces of paper sent by bureaucrats we've never even met. It's not like it's the end of the world. Which is too bad, y'know, 'cause that I'm really good at." Dawn looks stricken. Buffy insists that she'll take care of it somehow. Anya has a suggestion to pay the bills: charge money for slaying! While Anya details her plan, the camera lingers on Xander, who looks horrified and covers his face in shame. I don't particularly like Anya, but I want to smack Xander for constantly making it clear that he finds his girlfriend to be embarrassing. Buffy tells Anya, "That's an idea...you would have. Any other suggestions?" Anya says her idea isn't crazy, and Dawn says that it is. "You can't charge innocent people for saving their lives!" Johanna asks me if this is a little slam at Angel. I have no idea. But it's been ages since anyone paid him, which sorta shows the flaw in the idea either way. Anya decides to support her argument by pointing to other imaginary characters: "Spiderman does." Dawn says that he doesn't, and she and Anya argue about that for a minute before Dawn goes to Xander for the deciding vote. Xander hesitates and reluctantly reports, "Action is his reward." Heh. Which is when Anya decides that she's in an afternoon soap opera. She stands up so that we can gaze in wonder at her ruffly blouse, asks, "Why can't you ever take my side?" and storms out. Xander nonsensically replies, "I am your side!" and goes after her. Everyone ignores the fight, because it's Xander and they don't care about him, which is why he's resorted to dating the only girl on the show who ever expresses concern for him. For example, Willow looks after the departing twits and, rolling her eyes, tells Buffy, "You're throwing away a gold mine." It's funny to watch your friends have tense arguments with their loved ones!

Anya marches down the street angrily as Xander chases after her. Now that there aren't any witnesses, he doesn't mind acting as if he wants to be near her. Jerk. Anya says that he doesn't support her, and Xander insists that he's a "flying buttress of support." "No, you're not," Anya and I chorus. Xander asks if Anya's mad because he hasn't announced their engagement. Of course she is! She says it's depressing that Xander bought her a beautiful ring that she can't even wear in public. Xander soothes, "Your waiting days are almost over. I know it's frustrating, but the way I understand this marriage thing? It's kind of a forever deal." What the hell does that have to do with it? He insists that he does want to get married, and Anya asks why he won't announce the engagement, then. Xander explains, "I'm still getting used to the miracle of a steady paycheck, and getting out of my parents' house." Fine. Then don't get married. Or don't get married right away; stay engaged for a couple of years. I don't care. But that doesn't explain why he won't tell his friends that he and Anya are engaged. The only explanation I can buy, given his behavior, is that he's embarrassed to tell them, and that's just cruddy. Xander smooth-talks Anya by saying that marriage is a big step, "or maybe a lot of little ones," and he wants to get each one right because he loves her. Romantic music is cued up on the soundtrack, which makes me think we're supposed to believe he's sincere about this. Bah. Anya falls for it, though, and they kiss, but then she hears me shouting abuse at Xander and pulls away. She shouts, "You tricked me, just now, with your fancy talk and lips! You keep doing this, and I keep forgetting, and you keep stalling!" She marches away, and when Xander protests, she asks, "When are you gonna grow up, Xander?" I think the problem is that he has grown up, and given his lousy family (remember how he spent Christmas sleeping outside?) and his lousier friends (remember how they didn't care that he spent Christmas sleeping outside?) he has, naturally, grown into a jerk. I guess it's possible that Xander hasn't mentioned the engagement because he knows that when he does, the news will be greeted with big yawns by Buffy and Willow. As long as I'm going on about him, I should mention Johanna's theory that Xander has bulked up lately as part of a last-ditch effort to make the writers remember that he exists. You think I'm bitter? Talk to Johanna about Xander. All right, all right, I'll move on; stop poking me.

There's a little montage of Buffy, her hair in a bun, practicing saying things like, "Collateral? No problem. I love that tie! Let's crunch those numbers." She looks down at herself and mutters, "Stupid skirt." As a man approaches and sits down, we discover that she's in a bank, meeting with one Carl Savitsky, a loan officer. Buffy hands over a pile of papers, and explains that she wasn't sure what he'd need, so she brought everything. Carl looks at the papers and starts pulling out unnecessary documents: "Old report cards? Definitely not." He's nice about it, though. After looking over the paperwork for five seconds, he determines that there's "a bit of a tangle" in her finances. Buffy cheerfully suggests using a loan as scissors to cut through it. Carl explains that her only collateral is the house, but "for some reason, Sunnydale property values have never been competitive, and refinancing's out of the question." Buffy's perky little face falls, and strangely enough, I've finally started to like her -- or maybe it's just that I dislike her less than the rest of the people on the show at this point. She sadly asks, "Are you saying you won't give me my loan?" Carl tells her that the problem is, she doesn't have a job. Naturally, that's when a man is thrown across the desk in a shower of broken glass, and Buffy looks up to see an enraged demon knock a guard unconscious as people scurry about. "No job? I wish," she grumbles.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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