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-- Quotes --

Written by Zinna

Think you got problems? Try being dead and then resurrected to find that you’re in serious debt and your basement is flooded. Sound horrible? This is just the predicament we find Buffy in at the beginning of this week's episode. The trouble begins when Buffy tries to expand her slaying skills to include plumbing. Watch out Mr. Drippy! Buffy's got a wrench. Unfortunately, Mr. Drippy turned out to be Mr. Flood Gate and the basement closely resembles an indoor pool. Xander brought over a friend to estimate the damage. It turns out the Summers' household needs a full cooper re-pipe, which is a very costly procedure. What's the big? The Summers' household has no money. The Scoobies can think of no better way to tell Buffy, then to just come out and say it. Apparently, Joyce's life insurance should have provided Buffy and Dawn with an ample amount of funds to cover their expenses, but those funds were eaten up by unforeseeable costs, like hefty hospital bills and Buffy's funeral.

Of course Anya, being the most financially motivated of the gang, offers Buffy a brilliant idea - start charging. Buffy should be able to charge for the valuable service of slaying vampires, demons and such. Buffy has a better idea: burn the house down and collect the insurance. Why aren't you laughing? It was joke. Don't feel left-out, the Scoobies didn't think it was very funny either. In fact, no one laughed. Buffy opened the floor to other suggestions but no one had any, which brings us back to Anya and her wild idea. Why shouldn't Buffy be able to charge, Spiderman does, at least that's what Anya says. Just because he does it, doesn't mean that Buffy has to, except he doesn't, charge that is. As Xander, points out (at Dawn's insistence) action is Spiderman's reward. Maybe it would have been a good idea for Xander to keep his mouth shut because this observation gave Anya the perfect ammunition to justify her storming out of the house, claiming Xander never takes her side.

Outside, chasing after a fuming Anya, Xander tries to mend the damage. He isn't very successful because Anya isn't really mad about Spiderman or whose side Xander picks in an argument. She is upset about the same thing she was upset about last week - Xander's complete and utter failure to announce their engagement. Xander's excuse this week is that he is waiting for the perfect moment. The excuse works for minute because of the amount of sincerity with which he delivered it and the "…and I love you so much" didn't hurt either. Anya melts at his declarations and kisses him. Then she realizes that it's all trick. Xander is stalling. She tells him so and walks off, adding, "When are you gonna grow up?"

Not quite desperate enough to charge for slaying, Buffy gets dressed up and goes to the bank for a loan. She brings all the information she has, including old report cards, but the loan officer isn't impressed. The simple fact of the matter is Buffy doesn't have any collateral nor does she have any sources of income. Her house is losing equity due to the awful property values in Sunnydale, so refinancing is also out of the question. These are all facts the loan officer points out when he is rudely denying Buffy's loan application. Her attempt to get him to reconsider is interrupted by a big angry demon, who happens to be robbing the bank. Buffy fights him and keeps him from harming people, but she is not able to stop him from fleeing with the money.

Later at the magic shop, Willow is happy to find Buffy taking out her aggressions on a punching bag. When Willow comments on Buffy's frustration, Buffy undermines her anger as a passing emotion, which prompts Willow to say some very strange things. For instance, Willow claims to have slept with Riley last year. Buffy doesn't believe her so Willow claims that it was lie to cover up her sleazy affair with Angel. Buffy understands that Willow is just trying to get her mad, but what she doesn't understand is why. Willow begins to explain that she and the others have noticed that Buffy hasn't been very big on showing a range of human emotions. Buffy asks her to elaborate on this theory, but Willow retreats from the confrontation, pretending that her assertions have no basis in truth. Buffy is not fooled.

In the other part of the magic shop, Tara and Dawn argue over whether or not Dawn is old enough to do research. Dawn wins. Meanwhile, Xander and Anya argue about Xander's cowardice towards making the big announcement. No one wins this fight because the announcement goes unannounced and Anya is still very upset about it.

Dawn is the first to find a picture of the demon that may have attacked Buffy in the bank. It is called an M'fashnik. Buffy and Willow appear from the back room. Buffy confirms that Dawn's find is indeed their demon. She also makes a wisecrack about Dawn being involved in activities that are not appropriate for her age. The seemingly impending debate concerning research and Dawn's age is thwarted by Giles' arrival.

Giles and Buffy have a very touching reunion complete with hugs. They are both very glad to see one another. A little later they go to the back room to privately discuss recent events. Giles starts by describing his activities. He met with the Watcher's Council, purchased a flat, and made some friends. Buffy notices a note of misery in his voice, and asks him about it. He replies that it's bewildering to return to the Hellmouth under such circumstances. He points out that Buffy looks tired. She admits that she has some trouble sleeping. Waking up in coffin will do that to you. Giles states that he is proud of how well she seems to be holding up. Buffy humbly jokes her way out of accepting the compliment and ends the conversation, stating she has to prep for hunting the demon.

Giles returns to the research area. The gang tells him of the demon they are researching. He is familiar with its type and explains that these particular demons are mercenaries that commit horrible acts of slaughter and mayhem for the highest bidder. Now, the only question is who could be powerful enough to have control over the one that robbed the bank.

Apparently, three of Sunnydale's most mentionable no-names are to blame: Andrew, Jonathan, and Warren. You may remember Jonathan from the episode Superstar in his most prominent role to date. Jonathan was also the young man that Buffy stopped from committing suicide in Earshot and he is the student the presented Buffy with the class protector award in the third season's prom episode. Warren first appeared in I Was Made to Love You. He's the genius behind really life-like robot girlfriends. He is also responsible for the creation of Buffybot at Spike's demand. Andrew, is the brother of (but is often mistaken for) the guy who unleashed devil dogs on the prom. These wild and crazies have joined forces to carry out a very specific mission - to take over Sunnydale, mostly to get chicks. Their plans may be ruined when they are faced with an extremely angry M'fashnik that wants their heads or the slayer's. After careful deliberation they decide the best thing to do is avoid participation in a Buffy murder plot. Instead, Warren gives the demon Buffy's address so it will get off their backs. This appeases the demon, which then goes off to kill Buffy.

Back at Buffy's house, Giles strongly scolds Willow for resurrecting Buffy. Needless to say, Willow's not too receptive, being that she's very proud of herself and all. Giles argues that Willow was stupid to have channeled such powerful and dangerous magic. He vehemently tells her that she is lucky that things turned out the way they did. She could have unleashed hell on the world or any number of other undesirable outcomes. To put the icing on the cake, Giles calls her a rank, arrogant amateur. Willow disagrees, saying that it had nothing to do with luck. She believes herself to be a powerful witch. For a moment there, she turns cold. She implies, with a very icy glare, that because of her power, pissing her off could lead to dire consequences. In a flash she's her old herself again and she asks Giles to stop arguing with her and start concentrating on how great it is to have Buffy back. Giles tells her that he is not sure that Buffy has come through this ordeal completely unscathed.

Buffy overhears the argument from the back porch and sinks deeper and deeper into the misery that is her current situation. Spike, always stalking in the shadows, throws a cigarette at her feet to announce his presence. She is happy to see him. He provides a few words of comfort along with an affectionate offer to snuff out the Scoobies. Buffy smiles. During their conversation she admits to Spike that she feels lousy because she seems to be the source of everyone's concern. Trying to get everyone to believe that she is okay is really exhausting, especially when no one seems to be buying her act.

Later, when everyone should be asleep, Dawn goes downstairs for a midnight snack. She encounters Giles, who is staying on the couch. They are discussing their difficulties sleeping when the M'fashnik bursts through the front door. Dawn's scream prompts Buffy to attack him from behind. They engage in battle, but Buffy focuses more of her energies towards protecting valuables in the house. Spike appears to help out with the fight and the two lure the demon down to basement. Spike stays on the stairs marveling at the flood, while Buffy beats the demon to a drippy dead pulp.

Over at geek headquarters, the three masterminds discuss the repercussions of sending the demon to Buffy's house. They realize that eventually Buffy will come after them. Their solution is to make her their willing sex bunny. Jonathan makes this an official mission objective on their list of things to accomplish as they plot to take over Sunnydale.

The next morning, Buffy and Anya map out Buffy's debt while the others try to patch the furniture broken in the previous night's battle. Buffy can't believe her mom was able to pay for all the repairs that she has incurred on the house because of her slayer activities. She also can't believe she will be able to find a way out of this mess. Giles expresses great confidence in Buffy's ability to always come out on top. The phones rings and Buffy wonders who could be calling her, since everyone she knows in is her house.

It turns out to be Angel. The episode ends with Buffy rushing out meet him somewhere between Sunnydale and Los Angeles. Unfortunately, we will never get to see their reunion because the two lovers have lives airing on competing stations.

The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

Demons after money. Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards anymore.
-Giles (Enemies)

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