Written by Doug Petrie and Jane Espenson; directed by Doug Petrie

Buffy enters the basement with a wrench and approaches “Mr. Drippy,” a leak in a pipe. She assures Dawn that she can fix the pipe without the help of a plumber and does, but only temporarily. They wind up calling a plumber after all and he tells them they need to redo everything. They receive a large estimate and Buffy says they’ll just pay it, but she soon learns that she’s almost broke. Anya suggests that she start charging people for her slaying so that she can make money. She argues that Spiderman does it and fights with Dawn over the topic; when Xander settles the dispute by saying that Dawn is right, Anya gets mad at him for never taking her side. She tells him away from the others that she’s upset that he doesn’t want to announce their engagement yet.

In an office in a bank, Buffy practices what she will say to the loan officer she’s about to meet with. When the officer enters, he tells her that he can’t give her a loan because she doesn’t have an income or job. Suddenly a demon appears in the bank, proving that Buffy really does have a job. As she fights the demon, we see hands grabbing money from teller drawers and putting it into a bag. A security guard attempts to help Buffy but isn’t very helpful. The demon escapes and Buffy returns to the loan officer, suggesting that she be compensated for what she just did. At home, Willow learns what happened and is pleased to see that Buffy is mad, since she hasn’t been showing strong emotions lately. Buffy recovers and Willow tries to make her mad again, lying about having affairs with Riley and Angel, which Buffy doesn’t buy.

At the Magic Box, Anya dares Xander to announce their engagement while Dawn tries to convince Tara to let her help research. She finds a demon called M’Fashnik and Buffy confirms that he was the one she encountered at the bank. Suddenly Giles appears and has a happy reunion with Buffy. Later, she admits to him that she’s been having strange dreams and he compliments her on how well she’s been handling things. The Scoobies fill Giles in on M’Fashnik and he wonders who in Sunnydale has enough power to control the demon. M’Fashnik enters the basement of a house and announces that he held up his end of a deal and wants his reward - the head of the Slayer. Jonathan (last seen in “Superstar”), Warren (last seen in “Intervention”), and Andrew (Tom Lenk) - who are all counting the money taken from the bank - agree.

M’Fashnik reminds the Trio that they told him they were powerful super villains; they all give dorky villainous laughs. M’Fashnik asks which one of them is the leader and each says that he is. M’Fashnik says that he will kill the leader and each geek points to another and says that he is. Warren and Andrew decide to make Jonathan their whipping boy; M’Fashnik tells Jonathan that he will not accept money and deserves to kill them for making him fight Buffy. Jonathan offers to set him up with a spell that will make him cool (see “Superstar”) and Warren offers to build him a robot girlfriend (see “I Was Made to Love You” and “Intervention”). Andrew reveals that his brother was Tucker (see “The Prom”), and that he himself trained flying monkeys to attack the school play. M’Fashnik announces that he wants Buffy dead and the nerds promise to make it happen.

Buffy confides her money problems to Giles and he tells her not to put too much pressure on herself. He promises to help her work through her troubles. Jonathan and Andrew tell Warren that they don’t want to kill Buffy. They remind him that when they teamed up (a month ago), they only wanted to take over Sunnydale. Apparently they have a mission which involves shrink rays, controlling the weather, miniaturizing Fort Knox, creating fake IDs, girls, girls, girls, workable prototype jetpacks, and “the gorilla thing.” They decide to vote and Andrew and Jonathan win, deciding not to kill Buffy. Warren gives M’Fashnik Buffy’s address and tells him to kill her himself.

Giles meets up with Willow in the Summers’ kitchen and asks about the spell she used to resurrect Buffy. She describes the events excitedly but is suddenly subdued when he calls her “a very stupid girl.” He says that he trusted her enough to respect the laws of nature and that she could have killed everyone or unleashed hell on Earth. She feels that he should be glad that she brought Buffy back; he is, but thinks that Willow was lucky things turned out all right. “If I had been, I'd have bloody well stopped you,” he tells her. “The magicks 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!” She agrees that she’s powerful and warns that he might not want to mess with her. Giles reminds her that they still don’t know where Buffy was, and isn’t sure that she’s all right. They are unaware that Buffy is on the back porch and has heard their whole conversation. Spike joins her on the porch and she tells him that having so many people care about her makes it harder to act like she’s okay. He jokingly offers to get rid of everyone for her, but she’s more interested in his advice about finances.

In the middle of the night, Dawn comes downstairs to find Giles awake and they decide to perform a cereal experiment. They realize that someone is trying to get into the house and suddenly the door flies open. M’Fashnik enters and knocks Giles out (surprise, surprise), then sets his sights on Dawn. Before he can get to her, Buffy grabs him and they begin to fight, causing mass furniture casualties. Spike comes in to help and Buffy gets M’Fashnik to the flooded basement. He grabs a piece of a pipe, causing more flooding, and she grabs the pipe from him and beats him with it. When he’s finally dead, Spike asks, “Did you know this place was flooded?”

Back at Nerd Trio Headquarters (aka Warren’s mom’s basement), the three congratulate themselves on getting their money and lair and getting rid of M’Fashnik. (They also have a periscope, a flamethrower, and “fully-deployed” action figures.) They decide that, if Buffy finds out about them and comes after them, they’ll make her their “willing sex bunny.” Back at the Summers’ house, much of the furniture-rescuing mission is futile and is given a “decent throwin’ out.” As the other Scoobies leave, Buffy admits the Giles that she’s not sure she can handle the responsibilities of being an adult. He encourages her, telling her that her mother did it, and she wasn’t even a superhero. Dawn asks if she’ll have to work in a sweatshop and Giles asks what she’s been reading. Buffy receives a phone call from Angel, who has heard that she’s alive and wants to see her. She leaves, thanking him for taking care of things.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Nerds should only use their powers for good.

GRADE: B The Trio has been established as the big bad of the season, ingeniously reintroducing Jonathan and Warren to the Buffyverse.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - “But I haven't spent any money. I was all…dead and frugal.” - Buffy

Dawn: “So, what do we do?”
Buffy: “Easy. We burn the house to the ground and collect the insurance. Plus, fire? Pretty. You guys, I'm kidding. Okay, it's, 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.”

Anya: “Well, you're providing a valuable service to the whole community. I say cash in.”
Buffy: “Well, that's an idea…you would have. Any other suggestions?”
Anya: “Well, I mean, it's, it's not so crazy.”
Dawn: “Yes it is! You can't charge innocent people for saving their lives.”
Anya: “Spiderman does.”
Dawn: “He does not!”
Anya: “Does too.”
Dawn: “Does no--. Xander?”
Xander: “Action is his reward.”

“Are you in the wrong line? That's for deposits, that's for withdrawals, and this one…is for getting kicked in the face.” - Buffy to M’Fashnik

Dawn: “I'm guessing on how you say it. It's got an apostrophe. I think it's MmmFashnik. Like ‘Mmm, cookies.’”
Xander: “Or maybe Muh-Fashnik. Like Muh…Fashnik.”

Buffy: “Well, actually, it wasn't me. Willow brought me back. I just lay there.”
Giles: “You-you know - I meant--.”
Buffy: “I know what you meant. It was just a little post-post-mortem comedy.”

M’Fashnik: “You have cost me, Slayer.”
Buffy: “I cost you? That's a designer lamp, ya mook!”

Anya: “Well, there's always that charging option.”
Buffy: No! I will definitely…probably not be doing that.”

“Well, I know I'm back in America now I've been knocked unconscious.” - Giles

“Who's calling me? Everybody I know lives here.” - Buffy

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