|Written by:||Douglas Petrie & Jane Espenson|
|Directed by:||Douglas Petrie|
|Starring:||Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers|
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
|Guest Starring:||Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (Special Guest Star)|
Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
Adam Busch as Warren Meers
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Todd Stashwick as M'Fashnik Demon
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
|Co-Starring:||Michael Merton as Mr. Savitsky|
John Jabaley as Tito
Brian Kolb as Bank Guard
Filancial problems and three nerds plagued Buffy.
The episode opened with Buffy facing yet another peril. This time, it was a leaky pipe in the basement. Dawn wanted to call a plumber, but Buffy insisted on fixing it herself. She stopped the drip, but pipes around the basement started spewing water all over the place.
Buffy mindlessly stared at running water as Tito the plumber inspected the pipes. Apparently, they all needed to be replaced, and not cheaply. Buffy was set to pay for the pipes, but Willow mentioned that money was an issue. Actually, lack of money was more of an issue. It appeared that hospital bills sucked up most of Joyce's life insurance money.
Buffy suggested insurance fraud, but she forgot that fire was bad and tree was pretty. Anya suggested that Buffy make money off slaying. Nobody else liked the idea and Dawn very much opposed it. Anya suggested that Spider-Man charged for saving people, but Xander pointed out that action was Spider-Man's reward.
Anya stormed out. Xander followed her and quickly determined that she was upset that he had yet to announce their engagement. He almost covered through romantic talk, but she figured out what he was doing and stormed off.
Buffy went to the bank for a loan. There, she learned a basic fact about banking: Banks give loans only to people who do not look like they actually need the money. Those who actually need the money run the risk of not being able to pay back the loan. Buffy, with no income and a house in the only town in California at the time where property prices are falling, needed the money.
The loan officer was in the middle of explaining this to Buffy when a demon attacked. This was something that Buffy could deal with, so she went to work, with just the minor handicap of wearing a too tight skirt. Buffy pounded on the demon while somebody was busy clearing out the cash drawers.
After the demon ran off, Buffy suggested that the loan officer might reconsider his decision because she fought off the demon. Apparently, he did not change his mind. Buffy expressed her frustration to Willow later. Willow was happy that Buffy was feeling something.
At the Magic Box, Anya again tried to prod Xander into announcing their engagement, but Xander still wanted to wait. Dawn nagged Tara into being allowed to research. After finding something that was not a horn in a place that would be weird to find a horn, Dawn discovered that the demon in the bank was a m'fashnik demon.
Buffy confirmed Dawn's conclusion just as Giles returned. He was very glad to see Buffy again and talked with her about how she was coping. He then returned to the others to get briefed on the demon. Anya was glad to see him but was very clear that she had no intention of giving up her share of the store. Giles knew of m'fashnik demons as being mercenaries who committed mayhem for the highest bidder and wondered who that bidder might be.
That bidder turned out to be Warren, Jonathan, and a third person named Andrew. The price they offered was Buffy's head. The demon did not like the fact that she was there at the bank and threatened to kill the leader of the group. Warren and Andrew were ready to let it think that Jonathan was the leader until the demon threatened to kill them as well.
In order to placate the demon, they suggested either that Jonathan cast a glamour spell on it or that Warren build it a robot girlfriend. The m'fashnik seemed interested in the latter until Andrew pointed out that Warren refused to build him a robot Christina Ricci. This discussion devolved into bickering, which only angered the m'fasnik.
Warren pulled Jonathan and Andrew aside, allegedly to discuss how they were going to kill Buffy. Jonathan appreciated the fact that Buffy has saved his life before and that she was quite attractive. Andrew was worried about getting in trouble for murder, although Warren pointed out that society did not condone bank robbery either. Jonathan also wanted to focus on their mission statement, which did not involve killing Buffy.
Warren eventually decided to hold a vote. Both Jonathan and Andrew voted against murder. Warren went to the m'fashnik, gave it Buffy's address and telephone number, and suggested that it just kill Buffy. He then returned to the others and hinted that he used a Jedi mind trick. The others were impressed.
That evening, Buffy let slip to Giles that there were money problems. Giles promised to work with her in the morning on dealing with them. Afterward, he went to lecture Willow about her abuse of magics. This discussion devolved into an argument that ended with Willow threatening Giles. Buffy and Spike overheard the argument, which did not please her. Spike suggested killing off a few of her friends to relieve her stress. She found the idea a bit amusing.
Neither Dawn nor Giles could sleep. Dawn was suggesting mixing some of each kind of cereal they had in the house as a way to sleep. Giles was not interested. The doorknob rattling distracted him. The door was locked, but it was no obstacle for the m'fashnik who burst in and quickly knocked Giles unconscious.
It was about to attack Dawn when Buffy arrived. She fought it, but was distracted by all the expensive things that were breaking. She managed to maneuver it into the basement, where she beat it to death with some of her new plumbing.
Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan were happy with the way things worked out. They no longer had to worry about the m'fashnik demon. They had money to improve their lair. They had a periscope and a flamethrower. Most importantly, their action figures were set up in the display case. Jonathan was worried about Buffy, but Warren decided that they should hypnotize her instead.
Xander failed to repair the coffee table, and Dawn and Willow had no more luck with a broken lamp. Buffy wondered how she was going to handle life, but Giles had confidence in her. Their discussion was interrupted when the phone rang. It was Angel, who had heard that Buffy was alive and wanted to see her, albeit not in either Sunnydale or Los Angeles (or on either the WB or UPN networks).
Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew hardly seem like the most fearsome of antagonists, but they can be fun.
I think that the characters could do a better job at finding ways to provide income for Buffy.
Buffy fought a demon in the bank.
The m'fashnik demon fought Buffy in her house.
Anya suggested that Buffy charge people for saving their lives.
Dawn discovered something that was not a horn.
The nerds supplied a good amount of humor.
Spike suggested risking a headache to take out Buffy's friends so they would stop worrying about her.
Buffy faced money problems.
Giles was very happy to see Buffy alive again.
Giles and Willow had a very tense conversation.
Xander still does not want to announce his engagement.
Buffy is finding herself confiding in Spike more often.
Giles is very happy that Buffy is alive and very angry at Willow for how she brought Buffy back to life.
Willow is not willing to accept Giles's criticisms of her actions.
Warren has teamed up with Jonathan and Andrew to take over Sunnydale. Of the three, he is the only one who appears not to have a problem with killing.
Jonathan has teamed up with Warren and Andrew to take over Sunnydale. He likes the idea of being a crime lord but he does not believe in killing and is grateful for what Buffy has done for him.
Andrew has teamed up with Warren and Jonathan to take over Sunnydale. He does not like killing any more than Jonathan does, but he is more concerned with getting in trouble than with the morality of killing.
Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew have teamed up to take over Sunnydale.
Giles is back in Sunnydale.
Buffy has serious (lack of) money problems.
Warren gets the MVP for successfully robbing the bank and solving his M'Fashnik demon problem.
Anya gets credit for being the only one with an idea on how to fix Buffy's money problems, but Dawn gets the award for discovering that it was a M'Fashnik demon that attacked the bank.
Buffy gets the Goat for failing to fix her plumbing and for failing to get a loan, although she had little chance to do the latter. The m'fashnik demon gets consideration for being dumb enough to go after Buffy, but it avoids the Goat simply because it was defeated by a superior opponent.
It was probably of little surprise that Anya was the one who suggested charging people for being saved just as it was probably of little surprise that the others disliked the idea. However, there is some merit to her idea. Action might be Spider-Man's reward, but Angel charges people. Buffy would hardly be unique in being paid to save lives. Police officers, doctors, and fire fighters are paid to save lives.
Part of the problem is coercion. A person about to be bit by a vampire is in no position to question whether Buffy was charging a fair rate or to haggle or to check out competitors for the best deal. A fairer approach would be for either the Watchers Council or the city of Sunnydale to pay her.
I am amused by reviewers' ideas for how Buffy could get money. Dusted suggests that Buffy work as a stunt person or a bodyguard in image conscious Hollywood. I am sure that there are many celebrities who would be happy to have someone who looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar at their side, but not as a bodyguard. Bodyguards should be large and intimidating. I also doubt that any untrained person could be a stunt person. Furthermore, these two jobs would require her to be in Los Angeles, which is two hours away from the Hellmouth and far closer to where her ex-boyfriend is working and appearing on a show on a different network.
Another idea was to sell the house and live off the equity for a while. However, as the loan officer observed, property values had not done well in Sunnydale. Buffy would get little more than what she needed to pay off the loan and would not see that money for months. There is also the idea of having Willow and Tara pay rent or of Buffy getting a job. Nikki Stafford suggested that Willow simply use magic to solve the problem like she does to solve other problems.
I understand that Giles was just trying to shame Willow, but did he really believe that Willow better understood the forces of nature than Tara did?
"We burn the house down and collect the insurance, plus, fire, pretty. [sees five blank stares] You guys, I'm kidding. OK, it's bills. It's money. It's pieces of paper sent by bureaucrats that we've never even met. It's not like it's the end of the world, which is too bad, you know, 'cause that I'm really good at." Buffy
"Hey, are you in the wrong line? That's for deposits, that's for withdrawals, and this one, it's for getting kicked in the face." Buffy
"[Holds a gun] These things, never helpful." Buffy
"OK, let me make you mad again. Ready? Last semester, I slept with Riley." Willow
"And you know I really doubt it." Buffy
"Caught me, big fib to cover up the sleazy affair I had with Angel." Willow
"You know, if you don't let me look at the pictures, I'm gonna learn everything I know about demons on the street." Dawn
"Knock yourself out." Tara
"Thank you, see, no biggie. I can totally handle it. That's a weird place for a horn. That's not a horn." Dawn
"Tell me about the spell you performed." Giles
"Oh, OK, first of all, so scary, like the Blair Witch would have had to watch like this [puts fingers over her eyes], and this giant snake came out of my mouth, and there was all this energy crackling, and this pack of demons interrupted, but I totally kept it together, and then, they next thing you know, Buffy." Willow
"I did what I had to do. I did what nobody else could do." Willow
"There are others in this world who can do what you did. You just don't want to meet them." Giles
"Having Buffy back in this world makes me feel indescribably wonderful, but I wouldn't congratulate you if you jumped off a cliff and happened to survive." Giles
"The magics you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand, and you are lucky to be alive you rank arrogant amateur!" Giles
"You're right. The magics I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful, and maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off." Willow
"You want me to take them out? Give me a hell of a headache, but I could probably thin the herd a little." Spike
"It's true, my friends. The way I see it, life is like an interstellar journey. Some people go into hyper-sleep and travel at sub-light speeds only to get where they're going after years of struggle, toil and hard, hard work. We, on the other hand..." Jonathan
"Blasted through the space-time continuum in a wormhole?" Andrew
"Gentlemen, crime is our wormhole." Jonathan
"I know I'm back in America now that I've been knocked unconscious." Giles
"No chance I'd have to quit school to work assembling cheap toys in a poorly ventilated sweatshop?" Dawn
Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.