airdate: 21 Nov 2000.
Joyce is getting a CATscan. How awful. I totally get why Joss had to have some real life drama in the midst of all the usual supernatural, but it is so hard.
The Glory-minions are so creative with their worship-terms. "Your creamy-coolness." Everyone at the Magic Box is looking up stuff to do with Glory, not really having anywhere to look as they don't know much about her yet while SHE'S planning a visit to the magic shop. Riley goes to visit Buffy and the door is ajar. Spike is there smelling Buffy's sweaters. "It's a predator thing, nothing wrong with it." Spike mentions that they spent time together last night. "Sorry, Charlie, but you're just not dark enough." Riley doesn't even know Joyce is at the hospital. Riley is understandably upset that he didn't know, and especially that Spike did. He's real classy about it when he catches up with Buffy at the hospital; doesn't mention Spike. Joyce explains she has a "shadow" and that they're doing a biopsy to see what it is.
Tara suggests that maybe "she" (Glory) is something that predates language, so that's why she's not in the books. Giles remembers the Dagon sphere is meant to repel "that which cannot be named". That's when Glory shows up to buy her stuff, but of course no one knows it's her because Buffy is the only one who's seen her and she isn't there. Buffy is pretending to be comforted by Riley's presence, though I suspect she just wants him gone. The doc says she has a brain tumor. As he's explaining it, Buffy spaces out so you don't hear most of what he says. She has a "nearly one in three chance of doing just fine". Ben interrupts and sort of diffuses the situation. Buffy has to bail and go talk to Giles. She tells Riley to tell Dawn they don't know anything yet. Heart. Breaking.
Anya notices the combination of things sold on a receipt to one customer and freaks out. They suddenly realize the "young woman would have to have enormous power"...oops. Oh god. Dawn tells Riley that Buffy doesn't "get all worked up" over him, like she did with Angel. She meant that she isn't crying all the time and "drama drama", but of course he takes this as lack of passion, which is true. When Buffy goes to talk to Giles they tell her (well, Anya accidentally starts it) about Glory getting the ingredients for a spell to transmogrify a cobra. Buffy goes to "kill it" without consulting anyone, of course. She finds Glory, but Glory beats her up, again. Arise, cobra, arise! It's a giant man-cobra. She tells it to go find the Key, then come back and tell her where it is.
Xander confronts Riley alone about his going in to kill that vampire gang alone the night before. He's real classy about it and asks if Riley is ok. "If she needs me..." Buffy apparently didn't hear that the snake's purpose was to find the Key. Buffy is going to Giles every time she needs someone and not Riley. He's drinking in the bar again. Poor thing. How many times have I written those two words about Riley? He sees the vamp chick from the night before and goes somewhere with her. She drinks his blood. He feels wanted, for a second, then he kills the vampire.
Creepy snake with arms breaks into the magic shop and stares at Dawn, then turns around and leaves. Buffy figures out the snake's purpose (she was in the shop when it happened) and goes after it on foot. Giles catches up in his car and helps Buffy in pursuit. Buffy swiftly jumps on the cobra-man's back with a chain and strangles it when she catches up, thanks to Giles. He's such a stud. She's pretty studly herself, with all the giant-snake stranglin'. Ok, wait, the strangling doesn't work so Buffy punches it to death, and then punches some more way after it's dead.
Riley is being a little overly sensitive, but I do understand. He's a full-time gf kinda dude and Buffy is soooo not. And he's got no one else. It makes sense, but from Buffy's POV, she's not doing anything wrong, just being herself.