"Beneath You"
Written by Doug Petrie; directed by Nick Marck

In a rip-off...er, take-off of Run Lola Run, a girl is chased by robed figures at a nightclub in Frankfurt, Germany. As she is stabbed, she says, “From beneath you, it devours.” In Sunnydale, Buffy awakens from a nightmare about this girl; she tells Dawn that there are more like her out there and that they’re going to die. Elsewhere in town, something moves swiftly underground. In the basement of the high school Spike begs for the ground to stop shaking. The next day, Xander drives Buffy and an excited Dawn to school. Xander tells Buffy that the kids should feel lucky to have Buffy around, because he did. At school Wood and Buffy discuss her position and Buffy asks why he gave her the job. He tells her he just wants someone who can understand the kids. Buffy heads to the basement to check on Spike but he’s not there.

In England Willow is preparing to return to Sunnydale but is nervous that her friends won’t want her back. Giles assures her that, even if they don’t, she “will be needed.” Back in Sunnydale a woman walks her dog until a hole appears in the ground and the dog vanishes. A monster comes up through the sidewalk and she splits, running into Xander. Xander and the woman, Nancy, go to the Summers’ house and Buffy wonders if this incident is related to the girl’s words in her dream. Spike arrives, looking slightly more sane, and offers to help out. When Nancy asks who he is, all the Scoobies will say is that he’s Buffy’s ex. Spike tells Buffy that something is happening and she accepts his help. She decides that she and Spike will search for the monster while Xander takes Nancy home. Nancy assumes that Buffy is Xander’s girlfriend and, embarrassed, he corrects her. Before everyone leaves, Dawn warns Spike that if he tries to hurt Buffy again, he’ll have to answer to her.

Buffy is somewhat nervous to be alone with Spike, even after he tries to assure her that he’s changed. They find the cracked sidewalk but there’s no sight of the monster. Nancy and Xander casually discuss dating but are interrupted by more shaking. Nancy tells Xander about her ex-boyfriend Ronnie, who was abusive, and mentions that she made a wish about him. At the Bronze, Anya speaks with a woman whose boyfriend cheated on her and tries to get her to make a wish. She is disheartened to see Buffy, Xander, Spike, and Nancy enter and admits that she turned Ronnie into a worm. Nancy is surprised to learn that Anya is Xander’s ex and also slept with Spike. She asks if anyone there hasn’t slept together and Spike and Xander exchange a look. Spike announces that Ronnie is a Sluggoth demon and tries to intimidate Anya into reversing her spell. She realizes that something in him has changed but he shuts her up. Buffy and Spike begin to fight and Nancy splits.

Ronnie chases Nancy, who is also pursued by Buffy and Spike. Xander encourages Anya to reverse her spell; she blames him for her return to vengeance. Spike stabs Ronnie with a pipe just as he turns back into a demon. Spike begins to revert to his crazy form, speaking again of consumption from underneath before running up. Upset about the night’s events, Nancy leaves. Xander tells Anya that she made the right decision but she feels that it was useless, since Ronnie was injured. Buffy finds Spike in a chapel and, after a confusing conversation, she realizes that he has had his soul returned to him.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Going insane can drive you crazy.

GRADE: B- Hey, remember when Joss said season 7 would be lighter than S6? Yeah, he lied.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Dawn: “I thought you hated Sunnydale.”
Xander: “Yes and no, with an emphasis on the yes.”

Wood: “Trust me, you open that door, and these students will eat you alive.”
Buffy: “You heard about Principal Flutie, right?”

Buffy: “Anya, that thing you created burst through solid pavement and ate her dog.”
Anya: “Ooh, puppy!”
Xander: “Wait, that gets your sad noise? People's lives are in danger, and you give it up for the Yorkie?”

“Come see the show 'cause it's going to be a circus. This...just the beginning, luv. A warm-up act. The real headliner's coming, and when that band hits the stage, all of this...all this...will come tumbling in death and screaming, horror and bloodshed. From beneath you, it devours.” - Spike

“She shall look on him with forgiveness, and everybody will forgive and love. He will be loved. So everything’s okay, right? Can - can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?” - Spike

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