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Episode
Written By: Jane Espenson & David Fury
Directed By: Nick Marck
Original Air Date: October 23, 2001

Summary (Spoilers for ep!)
Buffy returns from a visit to Angel, fried chicken in tow. There is a discussion about what she should do with her life, and she decides to try to head back to school. She'll sit in on some classes with Willow, see how it goes.
Meanwhile, the burgeoning overlords of Sunnydale, i.e. the Trio (Warren Mears, Andrew Wells, and Jonathan Levinson), are planning how best to begin their rule. Priority: take out the Slayer.

Warren's plan is the first to be enacted. He places a small device on Buffy that makes time all around her go much faster. Eventually she discovers the device, but before she can decipher what it is, the trio blow it up in a tiny little poof.

Buffy, even without the interference of the Trio, decides maybe school isn't her thing, and she heads off with Xander to try her hand at construction work (because really, she's strong).

It's time for Andrew's plan. He plays a melodious tune and out pop demons around the construction site. Buffy battles, defeats, and the demons disappear from goo into thin air, causing her fellow construction workers to more easily go into denial that they were totally just saved by a wee girl.

So, alas, she hands in her hard-hat.

Next is retail. The Magic Box, run by Giles and Anya, seems a good fit. Until Jonathan enacts his diabolical plan of time-loop doom. Buffy must satisfy a customers needs to end the mummy hand nightmare. After many loops, many breakdowns, she at last succeeds by helping the customer fill out a special-order form. But she didn't charge for delivery, as Anya points out, and it will be taken out of her pay. Buffy has had enough retail to last a lifetime, and leaves her nametag (Ask me about curses!) on the counter and exits.

Buffy then goes to Spike's crypt and gets drunk. Which is mad fun. Spike says that he'll help her figure out what forces have been conspiring against her by tapping into the local demon network. And he does it via a hearty game of kitten poker. "Who's gonna advance me a tiny tabby?" indeed.

The game is going when there are allegations of cheating, and it breaks up. And Buffy sets the kittens (absolutely adorable kittens!) free.

The Trio, meantime, are off to once and for all take care of Buffy (and are having a lively discussion about the virtues of various James Bonds). Their van is parked outside the bar where the kitten poker is taking place. When Buffy leaves the game, she sees the van and heads toward it (drunkenly and thoughtfully).

The Trio take action. They command that Jonathan grab his magic bone.

Jonathan-as-demon comes out and stands against the Slayer. And of course she beats the crap out of him, even though she is plastered. He goes off to lay his head and gently die. He rejoins Warren and Andrew, and they all decide that they've done good. They've tested the Slayer and survived.

Later, Buffy is at home talking with Giles. She voices her doubts. Giles, nurturing 'rakish uncle' that he is, then helps to ease her mind with some comforting words and an even more comforting check. She says thank you and is happy that he'll always be around. Giles' smile at the end, however, suggests otherwise.

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