"Beer Bad"
Written by Tracey Forbes; directed by David Solomon

Buffy fights a vampire in a cemetery as Parker looks on from the ground. She saves him from vamps, killing all three and earning his gratitude. He tells her that he’s treated her horribly and that he’s going to do everything he has to to get her to forgive him. Suddenly, we see that Buffy is actually sitting in Psych class and was fantasizing about Parker, who is currently flirting with another girl. Professor Walsh lectures about the id and the pleasure principle. “What do we do when we can’t have what we want?” she asks. If we’re Buffy, we go back to fantasizing, this time imagining Parker asking for forgiveness while offering flowers and ice cream.

Somewhere on campus, Xander flicks a lighter at Buffy, asking her to pretend to be a “lonely drunk.” He’s gotten a job at the campus pub, with the help of a horrendous-looking fake ID. Rather than sharing her problems with Xander, Buffy heads off to class, trying to rationalize Parker’s behavior. Willow tells her to stop thinking about him and encourages that there are other, better men out there for her. That night, Xander finds his job at the pub overwhelming. Buffy arrives and spots Parker; distracted, she runs into Riley. Riley sees her looking at Parker and says that he’s a player. Xander tries to chat with a girl, but is interrupted by a frat guy who shows off his intellectual superiority. Buffy comes over to complain about Parker and Xander tells her to stop being so hard on herself. She winds up joining some frat guys and drinking beer with them.

Willow and Oz hang out at the Bronze, listening to a band headed up by Veruca (see “Living Conditions”). Oz is distracted by Veruca, which makes Willow slightly uncomfortable. Back at the pub, Buffy is enjoying hanging out with the frat guys, even though they talk about things using too many words. The next morning, Willow finds Buffy watching TV in their dorm room and speaking in short sentences. Buffy tells her what happened the night before and Willow blames Parker for Buffy’s troubles. In class, Buffy continues to demonstrate strange behavior by speaking out and stealing someone else’s sandwich. In a lab somewhere, something strange looking is put into a vat of Black Frost beer, the beer served at the campus pub.

Buffy goes back to the pub and drinks with the frat guys again. Xander watches, concerned, as they carry on a conversation with even shorter sentences than before. Oz goes to Willow’s room and mentions that Veruca’s band is playing again that night. She tells him she’s going to stay in and study and, after a few awkward pauses, he decides to go anyway. At the pub, Buffy finds the jukebox fascinating and Xander decides that it’s time for her to go home. He kicks her out as Willow arrives and approaches Parker. She blasts him for hurting Buffy but he claims that he doesn’t know what he’s done wrong. He tells her that he doesn’t think every intimate experience has to be prefaced with a clarification of whether or not it’s going to become a relationship. He compliments her for being a good friend to Buffy.

Xander collects the frat guys’ tabs, seeing that they’re slowly sliding backwards on the evolutionary scale. He gets some extra money out of them, but his triumph is overshadowed by the fact that one of the frat guys has turned into a Neanderthal. The Neanderthal knocks him out, and when he wakes up, Xander fends him off with a lighter. He tracks down a bartender named Jack and tells him what’s happening. Jack responds that they had it coming. As the frat guys, now all Neanderthals, run around campus, Jack explains to Xander that the beer is his revenge for being treated badly by college kids. His brother-in-law, a warlock, showed him how to bewitch the beer. Xander realizes that Buffy drank it and worries that someone will get hurt before the effects wear off. The Neanderthals continue wreaking havoc.

Giles meets up with Xander in Buffy and Willow’s dorm and criticizes Xander for letting Buffy drink. In the dorm room, they see Buffy drawing on the walls and saying, “Parker bad.” Willow and Parker are still talking at the pub, and Parker is saying that he still hasn’t met the perfect girl. He tells her that he’s enjoyed talking to her and she returns the sentiment. Just as it seems that she’s fallen for his charms, she lets him know that she’s onto him. He’s employing the pleasure principle, and all he’s after is sex. Suddenly, the Neanderthals burst in, knocking Willow down. Buffy shares her desire to see the people on TV, and Giles tries to communicate with her, finding her situation fascinating. She demands more beer and Xander tells Giles not to “make cave Slayer unhappy.” Buffy tackles Giles, gets past Xander, and runs out of the room. Xander and Giles head off after her.

The pub has caught on fire, and Willow is unconscious inside. Xander finds Buffy, who spots the smoke from the fire and heads towards the pub. She gets inside and rescues Willow, then goes back to get Parker. Before rescuing him, she clubs him over the head, fulfilling the wishes of many viewers. Outside, the Neanderthals are locked in a van to keep them in one place. Parker approaches Buffy and repeats the words he said in her fantasy. In response, she clubs him over the head again.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t drink beer that wasn’t brewed by a human.

GRADE: B My guilty pleasure episode. Drunk Buffy is very amusing.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Xander: “Oh, contraire, mon frere.”
Buffy: “‘Mon frere’ means brother.”
Xander: “Mon girl frere. Behold.” (he holds up a fake ID)
Willow: “I don't believe this is entirely on the up and up.”
Xander: “What gives it away?”
Willow: “Looking at it.”

Oz: “You got a table.”
Willow: “I had to kill a man.”
Oz: “Well, it's a really good table.”

Buffy: “Want more singing. Want more beer.”
Xander: “No, I’ve cut you off.”
Buffy: “Did it hurt?”

Neanderthal: “Fire bad. Fire pretty.”
Xander: “Fire angry!”

Giles: “I can't believe you served Buffy that beer.”
Xander: “I didn't know it was evil.”
Giles: “But you knew it was beer.”
Xander: “Well, excuse me, Mr. I-Spent-the-Sixties-in-an-Electric-Kool-Aid-Funky-Satan-Groove.”
Giles: “It was the early seventies, and you should know better.”

Xander: “And was there a lesson in all this huh? What did we learn about beer?”
Buffy: “Foamy.”
Xander: “Good, just as long as that's clear. Anyways, I think that the boys in the car are contained for the time being. This will give them some time to ponder the geo-political ramifications of BEING MEAN TO ME!”

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