Buffy the Vampire Slayer
No Place Like Home

Episode Report Card
Ace: D | 3 USERS: A-
The Shady In Red

World's biggest shout-out to IntelChick, the gracious host of Buffyfest Hawaii 2000. Apparently I'm not allowed to say she was "sweet" for driving me and Ash all over O'ahu, showing us the sights, providing fashion advice, and even arranging for us to have dinner at a friend's house on a porch overlooking Pearl Harbor, but I am allowed to say that she performed well above and beyond the call of duty. So that's what I'll say. She rocks, people!

Buffy started a moment before my VCR did, so I did not catch the previouslys.

Two monks (one of whom must have been a big Monkees fan, at some point because he has stolen Peter Tork's haircut) rush down a corridor, weighted down with candles and other accruements. The screen helpfully informs us that this occurred two months ago. Aw, man, I hate history. They careen around a corner and enter a chamber, barring the door with what looks to be an entire tree trunk. "It's coming," says one. "Our lives aren't important. We have to protect the key," replies the other. I always make sure to have spare keys on hand. Something these guys should look into. They run and sit by a third monk, who needs their help to complete a ritual. Something begins banging on the door, and the monks grow increasingly worried. There is a bright burst of light, and bits of door fly inward.

Now. So says my screen. Buffy is shoved up against a "Private Property" sign by a strapping vamp. Witty banter ensues until Buffy stakes him. Oh well. He deserved to die, the way he just stood stock still and patiently waited for Buffy to deliver her last barb before planting a stake in him. Buffy puts her stake back into her "fur" coat. I'm just not sure if you can assign the moniker of "fur" to something that looks like it was made by stapling eight different species of hamsters together. She turns, and a bright light is being shone into her face by the security guard on duty, who mistakenly thinks she's there for a rave. He kicks her out, and she turns to go, but the security guy hands her a glowing orb. Sigh. It's always "orb of this" and "orb of that." You'd think an orb was the only mystical tchotchke in existence.

Summers kitchen. Buffy slides a perfectly-made piece of French toast onto a plate while admonishing Dawn to "touch nothing." "Who died and made you the Iron Chef?" snips Dawn in return. Heh. ["I used to love that show before the Food Network ruined it." -- Sep] Buffy expositions that Joyce is sick while Dawn breaks something. Joyce enters and expresses some maternal cynicism and astonished gratitude. Buffy aggressively questions her mother about her headaches, and when Joyce tells her that the doctors haven't been able to diagnose her yet, Buffy demands that they seek a second opinion. Joyce reminds Buffy that they still need a first opinion, and Buffy says, "Okay. We'll go right now." Hold up there, Buff. Where do you think you are? Canada? This is the United States, where you can't just up and go to a doctor because you feel ill. You have to call your HMO, tell them you're coughing up blood, and then wait for the next available appointment in three months. Joyce reassures Buffy that she is still the one that should be worried about her daughters, and grabs Dawn into a hug and calls her "little punkin' belly." Buffy seems upset by Dawn and Joyce's close relationship, and drags Dawn with her to the opening of the Magic Box.

At the Magic Box, Buffy opens the door and surveys the interior. Giles stands in the middle of the store all Hogwartsed out in sorcerer's gear. Buffy just stares at him while Giles smiles placidly for a moment before shame-facedly removing his pointy cap and velvet robe. When Dawn stumbles in out of breath and asks what time they will be open for business, Giles tersely replies that they opened an hour ago. Buffy tells Dawn to go and browse while Giles tries to convince himself that business will pick up soon. They're interrupted by Willow, who animatedly asks where Giles's hat and gown are, and Riley. Buffy pulls out the orb thing and asks if anyone can identify it. Giles states that it's "paranormal in origin," and when Willow asks what makes him so sure of that, he matter-of-factly replies, "Well, it's so shiny." Works for me. Riley suggests that he accompany Buffy on patrol, but Dawn breaks in with, "He can't patrol. Buffy said." Buffy protests that she said no such thing, but Dawn proceeds to quote her directly for Riley's benefit: "She just said you look even cuter when you're all weak and kitteny, and she'd better go solo or you'd get hurt." Buffy shoots Dawn a death look while everyone else stands silent and still. Dawn doesn't understand why everyone's upset with her, and Riley goes into the back room with Giles in order to try solving his problems with violence. Sigh. Willow takes Buffy aside and tells her to be lenient with Dawn, but Buffy is jealous that Dawn can be a kid while she has to protect everyone. Hey, hasn't she had this exact same conversation in every episode featuring Dawn this season? Buffy bitches some more about how she wishes she were an only child (and so do I at this point, if only to get her to SHUT UP about Dawn) while Dawn breaks something.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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