"The Harsh Light of Day"
Written by Jane Espenson; directed by James A. Contner

Buffy and Willow hang out at the Bronze, listening to Dingoes Ate My Baby play. Buffy watches Parker play pool, and though they’ve hung out during the past week, they’re not there on a date. At the end of the night, Parker walks Buffy home and Willow helps Oz and Devon (last seen in “Doppelgangland”) with their equipment. Harmony (last seen in “Graduation Day, Part 2”) shows up and catches up a little with Willow - she was supposed to go to France over the summer but wound up not going. She notes that Willow hasn’t changed at all, and when Willow says the same about her, Harmony vamps out and bites Willow. Oz comes back outside in time to fend Harmony off, and Harmony mocks Willow for hiding behind her boyfriend. She says that her own boyfriend will be mad that Willow was mean to her.

Parker and Buffy chat on their way home and he notices the scar on her neck from when Angel fed off of her (see “Graduation Day, Part 2”). She tells him that it’s from an “angry puppy” (see “The Wish”). He tells her that his scars are psychological and that his father died the previous year. He says that now he lives in the moment and she says she can relate, since she drowned a few years earlier (see “Prophecy Girl”). Parker asks her to go to a frat party with him the next night and she accepts. Xander is shelving books at Giles’ apartment when Anya (last seen in “Graduation Day, Part 1”) arrives to see him. She asks him where their relationship is going, stating that they went to the Prom together. He reminds her that any follow-up date they might have had was “called on account of snake” (again, see “Graduation Day, Part 2”). Anya says that she keeps thinking about him and pushes him for a relationship. He tells her that the relationship will have to develop on its own.”

Outside Buffy’s room, she and Parker make small talk and smooch a little. Oz and Willow arrive and tells Buffy that Harmony is back from summer vacation and is “paler.” Parker notices that Willow’s neck is bleeding and Buffy puts everything together. Parker leaves and Buffy, Willow, and Oz hurry inside. Buffy comments that Harmony “must be dying without a reflection” and Willow mentions that she said she had a boyfriend. Buffy says that whoever Harmony is dating has to be “the most tolerant guy in the world.” Harmony heads to an underground crypt, where someone is wearing a welder’s mask and drilling. She greets him with, “Hi, baby. I’m back.” The guy removes his mask and reveals that he’s Spike (last seen in “Lovers Walk”).

Spike and a vampire named Brian talk about the crypt they’re tunneling into. Harmony tries to snuggle with Spike, calling him her “little Blondie Bear,” and he tells her it’s a bad time. She asks if he’s going to kill Willow for her, and he responds that, since he’s there to kill Buffy, killing her best friend might broadcast the fact that he’s back in town. He tries to get rid of her, but Harmony whines that she wants him to take her out for dinner. She says she wants to go to a party and he grabs her and slams her into a wall. This seems to turn Harmony on, and she finally convinces Spike to take her to a party. Buffy and Parker go to the frat party, where they run into Spike and Harmony with a fresh kill. Spike takes off and Buffy chases him outside, where she asks if Drusilla dumped him again. Harmony arrives and announces that she dumped him for a fungus demon. Spike tells her it’s time to leave, and Harmony tells Buffy that once they have the gem of Amara, she’ll be sorry. Unhappy that she spilled a secret, Spike drags Harmony off.

Anya goes to Xander’s basement and, while he’s getting her juice, undresses. Outside the frat house, Buffy calls Giles and tells him that Spike and Harmony are together. She mentions the gem of Amara, which Giles calls “the vampire equivalent of the Holy Grail.” He tells her he’ll research it and that she should go to bed. In their bedroom, Harmony asks Spike if Antonio Banderas is a vampire and he tries to deal with her inane conversation while planning for his tunneling adventure. She distracts him via seduction. Anya, still naked, tries to talk Xander into having sex. He tells her he’s not sure, and that sex should be about feelings and expressing something. However, she manages to convince him to go through with it. “And the amazing thing...still more romantic than Faith,” he comments (see “The Zeppo”).

Buffy finds Parker at the party and says that Spike is an old friend who isn’t supposed to drink. He asks if they used to date and she laughs hysterically. They dance, making conversation about History, which is his major. He says that everything boils down to people making choices. They kiss again, and when he asks if she’s all right with it, she tells him she’s “making a choice.” They wind up in Parker’s room, making out while Giles tries to call Buffy’s dorm room and tell her that he has information. He has no idea that Buffy and Parker are getting friendly. The next morning, Buffy wakes up alone and starts looking for her clothes. Parker returns with coffee and when she asks if he has plans for the day, he tells her his mother is coming to visit. They kiss goodbye and she leaves. Xander and Anya also wake up post-coitus and get dressed. Anya says that she’s over Xander now, but is offended when he only says, “Okay.” Harmony draws on Spike’s back with lipstick and he gets up to go work on the tunnel. She’s jealous that he spends more time working than he does with her.

Buffy returns to her and Willow’s dorm room, finding Willow and Giles already working on the computer. She lies that she was at the library all night, then reminds Giles that she’s an adult and doesn’t have to excuse her behavior. He doesn’t really care what she was up to - he’s more interested in what he’s uncovered about the gem. He reveals that it may actually exist, and that it might be in an underground crypt. He and Willow head off to find the crypt and Buffy decides to look for Spike. After Giles leaves, Willow lets Buffy know that she’s excited about her and Parker’s relationship. Spike and Brian get closer to the crypt, and Spike tells Harmony to stay inside until they get to it, so that Buffy won’t track her underground. Harmony complains that Spike promised to take her to France, and he angrily replies that he came back to Sunnydale for one reason - to find the gem. He yells at her to stop talking about France and she wonders why she lets him be mean to her.

Buffy alternates between checking her messages to see if Parker has called (he hasn’t) and asking people on campus if they’ve seen Spike. Spike finds the crypt and Harmony goes in to look around at all of the trinkets inside. Spike finds a necklace that he believes is the gem of Amara and puts it on. Harmony tells him he doesn’t look any different, and when he tries to pick up a cross, it burns him. Harmony starts talking about France again and, fed up, Spike stakes her. However, she doesn’t dust - her wound just closes up. He sees a ring that she’s wearing and realizes that it’s the gem. Angry that he doesn’t really love her, she throws the ring at him and tells him to get out. He heads outside, leaving her behind.

Oz looks through old records at Giles’ house, complimenting the ex-Watcher’s collection. Xander sees that Giles has a TV (“he’s shallow like us!”), and the Scoobies see a new report about a collapse in the ground near UC Sunnydale. They realize that Spike is tunneling near the school and Giles, Willow, and Oz run off, sending Xander to find Buffy. On campus, Buffy runs into Parker, who is chatting with another girl, telling her that he doesn’t put things off anymore since his father’s death. Buffy asks Parker why he never called her and casually says that they can do something if she wants to. She asks if she did something wrong, and he simply says that they had fun. He tells her that he’s sorry if she thought a relationship was going to come out of that “fun,” but he wasn’t looking for anything more. He leaves and, to add insult to injury, Spike shows up moments later and punches Buffy.

Buffy is shocked to see Spike outside in the middle of the day, and is even more surprised that he doesn’t dust when she stakes him. He mentions that he has the gem of Amara, which makes him indestructible. Giles, Willow, and Oz make it to Spike and Harmony’s lair, where Harmony is crying about her lousy relationship. Xander heads to Buffy and Willow’s room, but Buffy isn’t there. He runs into Anya in the hallway and she tells him that she’s not sure she’s really over him. He blows her off, telling her it’s not a good time. Giles asks Harmony where Spike is and she confirms that he has the gem. She leaves without telling them where Spike is. He and Buffy are still fighting on campus, and when Xander arrives, Buffy tells him to leave. Spike knocks him out and taunts Buffy about Parker and Angel. She manages to get the better of him and prepares to take off his ring. He warns that they’ll both die if she does, and she calls his bluff, removing the ring. He starts to smoke from the sunlight and runs back to his lair.

At Giles’, the Scoobies examine the ring, which Giles wants to destroy. Buffy says they shouldn’t, and Giles reminds her that any vampire who gets his or her hands on it will become unstoppable. He realizes what she wants to do, and Oz says that he has a gig in L.A. and will “swing by.” Xander, a little slow, has to have Willow explain that Buffy wants to give the gem to Angel. (See the Angel episode “In the Dark” for the rest of the story.) On their way back to their dorm, Buffy mopes about her bad decision to sleep with Parker while Willow tries to cheer her up. She heads off, and Buffy, Harmony, and Anya all walk the streets of Sunnydale alone, bemoaning their bad luck with men.


GRADE: B- Too. Much. Parker. But Spike and Harmony are great together.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Willow: “Buffy's looking at Parker. Who, it turns out, has a reflection, so big plus there. Buffy's having lusty wrong feelings.”
Buffy: “No, I’m not.”
Willow: “No, you’re not.”
Buffy: “Oh, I so am.”

Parker: “I mean, don't you just hate guys that are all ‘I'm dark and brooding so give me love’?”
Buffy: “I don't think I've ever met that type.”

Xander: “I don't get your crazy system.”
Giles: “System? It's called the alphabet.”
Xander: “Huh. Would you look at that.
(Anya enters)
Anya: “You should lock your door.”
Giles: “ Believe me, I’m kicking myself.”

Anya: “Sometimes in my dreams, you're all naked.”
Xander: “Really. You know, if I'm in the checkout line at the Wal-Mart, I've had the same one.”

Willow: “She just made me so mad. ‘My boyfriend’s gonna beat you up.’”
Buffy: “‘My boyfriend.’”
Willow: “Well, if you believe her. She always lied about stuff like that. ‘Oh, he goes to another school. You wouldn't know him.’”
Oz: “Well, Devon dated her for a while, but she was too flaky for him. Which, stop and marvel at the concept.”

“And you with Harmony. What'd you do? Lose a bet?” - Buffy to Spike

Harmony: “Is Antonio Banderas a vampire?”
Spike: “No.”
Harmony: “Can I make him a vampire?”
Spike: “No. On second thought, yes. Go do that. Take your time. Do Melanie and the kids as well.”

Anya: “At which point the matter is brought to a conclusion with both parties satisfied and able to move on with their separate lives and interests. To sum up, I think it's a workable plan.”
Xander: “So, the crux of this plan is--.”
Anya: “Sexual intercourse. I've said it, like, a dozen times.”
Xander: “Uh, huh. Just working through a little hysterical deafness here.”

Harmony: “You love that tunnel more than me.”
Spike: “I love syphilis more than you.”

“Birds singing, squirrels making lots of rotten little squirrels. Sun beaming down in a nice, non-fatal way. It's very exciting. I can't wait to see if I freckle.” - Spike

Buffy: “You're right. He's manipulative and shallow. And why doesn't he want me? Am I repulsive? If there was something repulsive about me, you would tell me, right?”
Willow: “I'm your friend. I would call you repulsive in a second.”

Willow: “You know what else I love about college? How when the professor comes in, the class gets all quiet.”
Buffy: “Oh, I hate that. I’m always like, ‘What? Did something scary come in? Do I have to kill it?’” (from the original script)

“Man, that looked like Harmony. Weird. I saw her get bit at graduation. (Willow and Oz give him looks) I didn’t tell you?” - Devon (from the original script)

Parker: “Buffy? When you…drowned, whoever brought you back? They’re getting a big kiss from me.”
Buffy: “Xander will be so happy.” (from the original script)

Buffy: “I mean, I thought Spike and Dru were a forever kind of deal, didn’t you? Where’s the commitment?”
Giles: “I’m disillusioned. I shall never love again.” (from the original script)

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