Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Ace: B | 12 USERS: A+
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The Blankest Slate

Spike and Buffy look up and see a short, shark-headed man, flanked by two vampires. Apparently, Spike and the shark-headed man have a previous acquaintance; Sharky takes a while to get to the point, but it turns out he's looking to collect "the forty Siamese" Spike owes him. So he's a loan shark. With a shark's head. On one level I hate this, and on another I love it. I'm a very conflicted person. It's a completely stupid joke, but there's something amusing, even cute, about Sharky's round, blank eyes. Spike insists he'll pay back the kittens he owes (what's backing the kitten standard, anyway?) and Buffy (say it with me, gang!) rolls her eyes. "Why kittens? Why can't you just use money like everybody else?" she asks. I'm asking the same question, Buffy. My answer? Boo. As in, "What has the Mutant Enemy gang been huffing way too much of?" When I come back from my multiple tangents, Spike is saying he needs some more time to make good on his loan. "Time is what turns kittens into cats!" snaps Sharky, and don't tell Frances (nine years old), but I've always felt a little sulky about that myself. The loan shark sics his henchvamps on Spike, but Buffy shoves him out of the way and knocks down both baddies. Sharky offers Buffy a job (that would be one way to pay the bills!), and while they're chatting, Spike scarpers. Sharky bids adieu, and Buffy looks heavenward, saying, "If I would just stop saving [Spike's] life, it would simple things up so much."

Xander, Anya, Willow, Tara, and the orange recline-y chair from the Basement of Debasement are hanging out in Xander's new pad. Anya expresses curiosity about what Heaven was like for Buffy, except there's more talk of harps and Birkenstocks that I don't care to transcribe. She pauses due to the fact that Willow is giving her a nasty, truculent glare. Anya looks to Xander for support, and of course doesn't get it, but the newly spined Tara does pipe in that Anya's curiosity is normal. She mentions that Buffy was in a "good place," which prompts Willow to grit, "We took her away from that. We wrecked it for her." Xander admits that they might have been selfish, but explains, "I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend's not dead." Which leads me to the obvious question: is it better to be dead and happy than alive and miserable? Just something to ponder while you're waiting for the bus, or whatever. Tara and Anya agree that they need to stop obsessing, and focus instead on making "things better for Buffy." Weekly dinners or a video club are some of Xander's cute suggestions for helping, but Willow breaks in. She wants to fix Buffy's pain with a spell, which elicits a very emphatic "No! No more spells!" from Tara. Uh oh, tension is mounting. Willow is insistent about the spell, and Tara is equally as insistent that Willow could hurt someone, including herself. When Willow explains that she wants to use a forget-spell, Tara slams down her glass and earns my love for the first time by practically shouting, "God! What is wrong with you?"

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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