|Written by:||David Fury & Jane Espenson|
|Directed by:||Nick Marck|
|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
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
|Co-Starring:||Paul Gutrecht as Tony|
Noel Albert Guglielmi as Vince
Enrique Almeida as Marco
Jonathan Goldstein as Mike
Winsome Brown as Woman Customer
Christopher May as Male Customer
David J. Miller as Rat-Faced Demon
Andrew Cooper Wasser as Slim-Cover Demon
Richard Beatty as Small Demon
James C. Leary as Loose Skinned Demon
Jennifer Shon as Rachel
Jabari Hearn as Steve
Derrick McMillon as Ron
Clint Culp as Bartender
Mark Ginther as Horned Demon
Alice Dinnean Vernon as Mummy Hand
Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan each tested Buffy in his own way.
Buffy returned from her visit with Angel. She brought a bucket of fried chicken home for dinner, only to find that the others already ate. However, they were willing to indulge in an extra piece of chicken. Buffy very much did not want to talk about what happened when she met with Angel, so Giles brought up a discussion of what Buffy could do with her life. Willow suggested that Buffy sit in on Willow and Tara's classes.
Across town, Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew were busy setting up a van they could use to covertly spy on Buffy. The only problem was that Andrew painted a very distinctive Death Star on the side.
Buffy attended a "class" on the social construction of reality. I used quotation marks around class because it resembled no class that I have ever seen in my 13 years of taking and/or teaching classes at the college level at three different institutions. It mostly involved a well-prepared class eager to participate rather than students too busy/lazy to do the work who hide to avoid the instructor's attention. It was also very small for an undergraduate class at the University of California.
Buffy, who was not prepared, felt left out. After class, she and Willow met up with Tara, who was a bit surprised that Buffy felt left out. In the hall, someone rudely bumped into Buffy. He went around the corner and revealed himself to be Warren. He told Jonathan and Andrew that "the inhibitor" was on.
There was 20 minutes until the next class, so Tara handed Buffy her art history book to browse through. While looking at the book, Buffy heard a strange sound and missed Tara telling a story about Willow. Buffy heard the sound again only to hear Tara tell her that they were about to be late for class. Buffy did not make it in the room before class started, but it let out almost right away.
Tara wondered why Buffy missed class and then ditched her. Buffy wandered out to a courtyard only to see people buzzing by her in fast motion. She managed to crawl under a table, where she noticed the inhibitor that Warren planted on her. It self-destructed soon afterward, and Buffy returned to normal time. Jonathan and Andrew gave Warren a score of 220 for his test.
Xander pulled some favors and got Buffy a job on a construction site. The foreman was not pleased to see a woman so small, but Buffy impressed everyone once she showed that she could easily lift several-hundred-pound (approximately 200-kilogram) beams. In fact one co-worker even told her to slow down because she was working too fast and messing it up for those who were paid by the hour.
It was Andrew's turn to test Buffy. He played a magical set of pipes, and three demons appeared. As her co-workers cowered, Buffy slayed them, inflicting a fair amount of damage to the site. She noticed a suspicious van blaring the Star Wars theme and was going to investigate. However, there were other issues. The demon bodies evaporated, so there was no evidence of any attack, and none of her co-workers were willing to admit to what happened. Xander concluded that someone was messing with Buffy and suggested that she go to Giles to investigate. She knew that she was fired.
Buffy was reduced to working for Giles in the Magic Box. Being a co-owner must have given Anya greater confidence, because she was no longer threatened by having someone do her job. Anya eagerly taught Buffy how to do special orders. Warren and Andrew grew so bored watching her that they almost decided to try to find free cable porn. When Jonathan, and his magic bone, were ready, he cast a spell that filled the van with smoke. Fortunately for them, Buffy did not notice.
Giles told Buffy that focusing on service rather than selling leads to more satisfied customers. Anya told her to just sell something. After a brief stop in which Buffy told a man that a lemon seduction candle would create a more romantic atmosphere than an essence of slug candle would, Buffy approached a woman looking for a mummy hand. Buffy went to the basement, where the hand tried to choke her. She stabbed it with a dagger, but the woman did not want a dead hand.
Almost immediately afterward, Giles told her about focusing on service and Anya told her to sell something. She gave the man the lemon seduction candle without him even asking and tried not to sell a mummy hand. It did not work, so she went downstairs.
Buffy failed again and went back to having Giles tell her to focus on service. She started to grow frustrated. She tried stomping on Giles's glasses, walking out, and sobbing. Eventually, she convinced the woman that the mummy hand was defective and that the customer should take a special order.
Giles was pleased at Buffy's first sale, but Anya was disappointed that Buffy did not charge for delivery. Anya suggested taking the charge out of Buffy's pay, which led Buffy to quit.
Buffy vented her frustrations to Spike. Spike did not believe that Giles's research would find much. He suggested asking questions in the demon world. He took her to a demon bar, where she grabbed a bottle of booze and followed Spike to the back room.
In the back room, Spike muscled his way into a poker game where demons played for kittens. They were upset that Spike was a better cheater than they were and insisted that Spike and Buffy leave. Spike was ready for a fight, but an increasingly intoxicated Buffy preferred freeing the kittens.
Meanwhile, the nerds followed Buffy, but they were too busy arguing over who was the best James Bond to pay any attention to what Buffy was doing. In fact, she noticed the van and almost went to investigate. Jonathan had to cast a glamour that made him look like a demon. It took a very drunk Buffy a couple of attempts to actually hit him, which gave the others time to escape.
Jonathan staggered to where the van was hiding. He was in pain, but Warren and Andrew were excited. The were excited in part because they managed to collect a lot of useful information about Buffy but also because they discovered free cable porn.
Buffy had quite a hangover by the time she returned to her house. Giles gave her a check to cover her expenses for a while. They had a brief debate over whether Giles was playing the role of her mother, father, or rakish uncle.
The nerds are fun.
A lot of what happened during Warren's test did not make sense, especially Tara's actions.
Buffy killed three vampires at the construction site.
After a couple of attempts, Buffy kicked Jonathan.
Warren and Andrew were very amused at Jonathan's magic bone.
Some of the Groundhog Day style iterations of Buffy trying to sell a mummy hand were amusing.
The idea of kitten poker was funny.
The nerds got into a funny argument over who was the best James Bond.
Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew kept thwarting Buffy's plans, which made her upset.
Andrew is a bit uncomfortable holding another man's hand. He thinks that Timothy Dalton was the best James Bond.
Jonathan prefers Roger Moore.
Warren realizes that Sean Connery was the best James Bond.
Willow is a breast gal.
Buffy is directionless and seems to view only Spike as a friend.
This episode introduced a minor but well-liked recurring character.
I am sure that each of the nerds wants to claim this prize, and Warren and Andrew do deserve consideration. However, they were testing Buffy, so their tests should be taken into account from Buffy's perspective. Jonathan's test took the longest and was the most frustrating from her perspective, so he gets the MVP. He bolstered his standing by also helping to distract Buffy in the final act as the others escaped.
Xander was the first to figure out that someone was messing around with Buffy.
Tara gets the Goat for not noticing that something was going on with Buffy and for essentially ditching her.
The scene in which Warren placed the "evil lint" on Buffy was the only scene in which Tara and Warren shared screen time. I would say that it was the only scene in which Amber Benson and Adam Busch—who had allegedly been dating for several years—shared screen time, but Warren could easily have been played by a body double in that scene.
The prop check that Giles gave to Buffy was put up for sale on eBay. It was made out for $10,000. I do not know what it sold for.
I understand that by now, the weird should be normal for Tara. Still, her behavior seemed weird. She should have noticed Buffy standing motionless for a long time and commented on it.
It seems to me that Spike's first inclination when Buffy was fighting the Jonathan demon would have been to attack it rather than help Buffy up. Of course, if he did, Spike's chip would have gone off, which would reveal the "demon" as being a human.
"Don't mind him. He may seem pig ignorant, rude, and a little hostile. Good luck!" Xander
"Stop touching my magic bone!" Jonathan
"I just hope she solves it faster than Data did in the ep of TNG where the Enterprise kept blowing up." Andrew
"Or Mulder in that X-Files where the bank kept exploding." Warren
"Scully wants me so bad." Andrew
"I'm going to marry Bob Dole and raise penguins in Guam." Buffy
"You like slug? Go with slug. She's not gonna sleep with you anyway." Buffy
"Giles wields the might force of library books." Spike
"What's wrong? You were gonna help me. You were gonna beat heads and fix my life, but you're completely lame. Tonight sucks, and look at me. Look at stupid Buffy, too dumb for college, and freak Buffy, too strong for construction work. And my job at the magic shop, I was bored to tears even before the hour that wouldn't end, and the only person that I can even stand to be around is a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker." Buffy
"Oh, you saw the cheating, did you?" Spike
"Timothy Dalton should get an Oscar and beat Sean Connery over the head with it!" Andrew
"Jonathan, grab your magic bone." Warren
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.