airdate: 7 May 2002.
Tara and Willow in bed together. Lots of doing it occurred. Willow confesses she suspects something might be happening between Spike and Buffy. Tara tells her how Buffy told her what was going on, and how it happened. Willow goes to check on her, but she never came home. Willow sees Dawn in the hall and they talk about finding out about Spike and Buffy. Tara comes out in a sheet and Dawn is super excited about them being back together. She squeals and everything.
Meanwhile, Buffy has found where the boys live and breaks in and is trying to call them out. The place is booby-trapped with giant buzzsaws. She barely makes it out with a few of their notes and a book. They've decided to find the boys without Anya, Xander, and Spike. Anya is doing vengeance, kinda. Mostly she's lamenting her own issues. The chick she's talking to is trying to wish things, but Anya keeps going on and on.
Dawn goes to see Spike as he's spiking his blood with booze. Asks Spike if he loves Buffy. Tells him what he did with Anya really hurt Buffy, then she leaves. Not sure her motivation there, unless she wants Spike and Buffy together or just wants to understand. "It's complicated, niblet." It's interesting how Joss deals with breakups. They are fluid on Buffy. They're told in present tense often. This is how breakups often are. Pain, relapse, betrayal. It's not like cutting off a limb...more like carrying around a dead limb for a time, jolting it back awake occasionally, before finally dismembering it. Or something. The fluidity of breakups is more true than the way pop culture usually portrays it, anyway.
It's revealed what the troika are doing: some invincibility balls of some kind. Warren gets to use them first, of course. Ooh, what's misogynist-boy going to do now that he's all
Buffy goes to see Xander who is drinking. He says he understands why Anya did what she did, but not why Buffy had sex with Spike. Buffy tells Xander what she does with her personal life is none of his business and Xander says, "It used to be." He's mean. Chastises her for doing what she did with Spike. Xander's place is a mess. He leaves in a huff. A girl tries to flirt with him at the Bronze, but he's too dismal. The boys show up.
A vamp throws Buffy up against a tombstone and it hurts her back. Oh, god, this is the scene. *deep breath* She's about to take a bath when Spike shows up. He says they need to talk. He tells her he's sorry, that he originally went to Anya to get a spell for himself to not be in love with her anymore. He again insists that she loves him and she tells him she has feelings, but they're not love. "I could never trust you enough for it to be love." Then he starts insisting she loves him and attempts to rape her. *deep breath* She falls and her back hits the side of the tub. She's screaming for him to stop. It's just awful. She's really vulnerable and we've never seen Buffy like this. Finally she kicks him across the bathroom. "Ask me again why I could never love you." He's horrified at what he's done. He tries to say he "wouldn't" and she says "because I stopped you, something I should have done a long time ago." So, yes, as I've written before, this encounter isn't terribly different than the other times they had sex, only this time she was protesting and his pain was so loud he didn't hear her. This is the kind of situation women usually get raped within. Someone they've had sex with before. Someone they know intimately that just isn't hearing "no". There are many reasons this no isn't heard, many of them to do with our culture, but it doesn't make the man any less culpable. The precedent here is a vampire without a soul victimizing a woman he's obsessed with. He'd been let in before after taunting her and insisting she loves him, though she never told him so. Even a man as evil as Spike has never been seen to force himself upon a woman sexually, though the parallel could be made with forcing himself upon women in the biting and killing sense. Wow, that was upsetting.
Back to the Bronze. Jonathan and Andrew are waiting while Warren tries to mack on a girl. It doesn't work because the chick has a bf. Warren starts a fight. Xander notices and confronts him. Warren punches him across the room. Jonathan distracts him before he kills Xander. Xander goes to B's and sees Spike's leather jacket on the stairs. He barges into the bathroom (why would be do that? she could be pooping, hello!) demanding to know if she's still seeing Spike. He finds her crying on the floor with bruises, asks her if he hurt her. She says, "He tried. He didn't." Xander starts to go after him and she stops him. Willow shows up and Buffy covers the bruises. Not sure if Xander understands the attempted "hurt" was really an attempted rape. Willow has figured something out. The boys are going to rob banks and shit, apparently.
Spike gets back home and the attempted rape scene is replaying over and over in his head. He pours himself a drink, then crushes the glass in his hands. Clem shows up with chicken. Spike starts ranting. "What have I done? Why didn't I do it? What has she done to me?" He wonders if what he feels is love. Starts ranting about "the chip" not letting him be a monster, and he can't be a man. Decides he's going to force change. We don't yet know what that means, of course.
Buffy catches up with the boys as they're robbing some kind of truck full of money. Warren calls B a bitch and baby and kitten. Jonathan jumps on B's back and whispers in her ear to "smash his orbs". Warren says to Buffy, "Say goodnight, bitch." She smashes the orbs and says, "Goodnight, bitch." Warren leaves on a jet pack. The cops show up and take Andrew and Jonathan away to jail.
Spike leaves town muttering about when he gets back "things are gonna change".
The next morning Xander comes over to make up with Buffy. They hug. Warren shows up and shoots several rounds at Buffy. Hits her, and Tara. I don't really see how that happened. Tara's upstairs and Warren is in the backyard, but whatever. It happened. Willow's eyes turn red.