"Living Conditions"
Written by Marti Noxon; directed by David Grossman

Buffy and Kathy hang out in their dorm room, where Kathy is ironing her jeans and listening to Cher’s “Believe.” Buffy heads out to patrol, telling Kathy that she’s going to get coffee. Kathy introduces her system of writing down phone calls to determine who pays which part of the bill, then asks Buffy if she drank some of her milk. Buffy patrols on campus with Willow and complains a little about her roommate (“mini Mom of Momdonia”). Willow heads off to see Oz and Kathy arrives, wanting to tag along to get coffee. A demon attacks the two and Buffy shoves Kathy aside to protect her. After the demon runs off, Buffy tells Kathy that he was a mugger. Kathy complains about her sweater, which is now muddy, as the demon tells another that “she may be the one.”

Buffy looks through Giles’ mail outside his apartment as he returns from a run. She tells him about the demon from the night before and mentions that Kathy was with her when he attacked. She asks what he’s up to that day and he realizes that she’s stalling because she doesn’t want to have to go back to her dorm. In said dorm, Kathy tries unsuccessfully to clean her sweater, then decides to take one of Buffy’s instead. She also notices one of Buffy’s crossbows in her closet. Outside the dining hall, Buffy cuts in front of a guy named Parker Abrams (Adam Kaufman) to avoid being seen by Kathy. She and Parker strike up a conversation and he teaches her the finer points of stealing from the cafeteria. She goes to sit with Willow, Oz, and Xander (who’s visiting), who encourage her Parker flirtation. Kathy arrives and sits with the Scoobies. Buffy is irritated to see that Kathy is wearing her sweater, and is even more irritated when Kathy gets ketchup on it.

That night, Buffy talks on the phone with Willow, whose roommate likes to have loud parties. Buffy sees that Kathy has written her name on all of her food in the fridge, including individual eggs. The two alternately open and close a window, and Kathy complains that Buffy leaves her gum all over the room. Buffy goes to bed and has a disturbing dream involving the demon from earlier pouring blood down her throat. The next day, she describes the dream to Willow, Oz, and Giles in a lounge. Kathy approaches and describes her own dream from the night before, which sounds very similar to the dream Buffy had. Buffy and Kathy snark at each other, and after Kathy leaves, Giles tells Buffy that something must have happened to them when they encountered the demon in the woods. Buffy heads to class and Willow notes that her behavior was “bordering on Cordelia-esque.” The demons discuss going after “the one.”

Buffy goes back to her dorm room that night and finds Parker chatting with Kathy. He has dropped by to give her plastic baggies for her cafeteria adventures, and mentions that he and Kathy got to talking. Jealous, Buffy gets Parker to leave, and when he does, Kathy criticizes her attitude. They continue their window battle (Buffy wants it open, Kathy wants it closed) and Kathy accuses Buffy of being spoiled. In retaliation, Buffy drinks milk straight from Kathy’s carton. In Willow’s dorm, she expresses her worries about Buffy to Oz, who says that he’ll go patrolling with her and keep an eye on her. On his way to meet up with Buffy, he passes a group of people and strangely drawn to one of them, Veruca (Paige Moss). He doesn’t notice three commandos (see “The Freshman”) following them.

On patrol, Buffy complains to Oz about Kathy and takes her frustration out on a bench. He worries that her behavior is becoming too intense. In their dorm room, Buffy becomes irritated when Kathy clips her toenails, and Kathy becomes annoyed when Buffy taps her pencil. That night, Buffy and Kathy have the same dream again. The next day, Kathy confides in Willow, telling her that she doesn’t think Buffy is normal. Buffy spots them talking and tells Willow that everything is clear - Kathy is evil, and Buffy has to kill her. She reveals that she collected Kathy’s toenail clippings, which continued growing after being cut. Willow humors her and tells her to go see Giles. After Buffy leaves, Willow calls Giles and warns her that crazy Buffy is on her way.

Buffy arrives at Giles’ apartment and is suddenly trapped under a net, then tied up by Xander and Oz. Giles tells Xander that he thinks the demon from the woods has possessed Buffy. He heads off to the magic shop to get some supplies, leaving her in Xander and Oz’s care. Willow heads to Buffy’s room and tells Kathy that she and Buffy should spend some time apart. Oz calls and lets Willow know that Buffy is at Giles’, so Willow changes her mind and tells Kathy to stay put. Buffy gets herself untied and knocks Xander and Oz out. She heads back to her dorm room and gets into a physical fight with Kathy. She rips off Kathy’s human face, revealing that she is in fact a demon.

Kathy says that she was performing a ritual with Buffy to suck the Slayer’s soul. When the demons come looking for her, they’ll see that Buffy doesn’t have a soul and take her back with them instead. The fight continues, and the two go all out. Oz and Xander come to as Willow arrives. She decides to call Kathy and warn her that Buffy’s on her way over. Kathy doesn’t get the call, though, because she’s busy hitting Buffy with the phone. Giles returns to his apartment and tells the Scoobies that Buffy was right. He has a spell to return Buffy’s soul, which he and Willow will perform while Xander and Oz run over to the dorm.

Kathy and Buffy make enough noise to disturb the people next door. Giles and Willow perform their spell and Buffy’s soul is returned. A vortex opens in the room and a demon appears to take Kathy back to her dimension. Later, Willow moves in and Buffy tells her she’s glad they’ll be living together. Willow apologizes for not believing her about Kathy, but Buffy forgives her. She’s not so sure about the living arrangements, however, when Willow takes a bite of Buffy’s sandwich.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Live alone.

GRADE: B- After all that time on the Hellmouth, the Scoobies would still doubt Buffy?

WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH: Parker, Veruca

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Kathy: “I just wanted to make sure…that we didn’t have a thief or something.”
Buffy: “Like who? Sid the Wily Dairy Gnome?”

Buffy: “You run?”
Giles: “And jump. And bend. And, occasionally, frolic.”
Buffy: “Okay, and, uh, what’s with the motorbike and scooter magazine?”
Giles: “Congratulations, you’ve found me out. I’m a mod jogger.”
Buffy: “Okay, you’re not having one of those mid-life things, are you? ‘Cause I’m still going ‘ick’ from the last time you tried to recapture your youth.”

“He’s our grown-up friend. N-not in a creepy way.” - Willow to Kathy, re: Giles

Buffy: “Cool, you guys can do the brain thing. I’m gonna go to class.”
Oz: “Which could also be construed as the brain thing.”

“Well, I’m not saying we’ll braid each others hair - probably….” - Oz, re: Buffy

Buffy: “So then Kathy’s like, ‘It's share time.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah? Share this!’” (she pantomimes punching)
Oz: “So, either you hit her, or you did your wacky mime routine for her.”
Buffy: “Well, I didn’t do either, actually. But she deserves it, don’t you think?”
Oz: “Nobody deserves a mime, Buffy.”

Buffy: “She’s the Titanic. She’s a crawling black cancer.” (she breaks a bench) “She’s…other really bad things.”
Oz: “On the plus side, you’ve killed the bench, which was looking shifty.”

Buffy: “Evil toenails. I took them off the floor last night when she was in the bathroom. She thought I was asleep.”
Willow: “Good thinking, ‘cause in the middle of the night those toenails could have attacked you and left little half-moon marks all over your body.”

“Giles, I-I just talked to Buffy and, yeah, I think she’s feeling a little…insane. No, n-not b&*%$y crazy, more like homicidal maniac crazy. So I told her to come to you. ‘Kay?” - Willow

Xander: “Buffy, this hurts me more than it hurts you.”
Buffy: “Not yet, but it will.”
Xander: “Don’t say that. Oh, please don’t say that.”

Giles: “I fear the demon that Buffy met in the woods has somehow possessed her.”
Buffy: “Lite FM! Love songs! Nothing but love songs!”
Xander: “You think?”

Buffy: “I can’t believe this - after all that we’ve been through together and you guys won’t believe me when I tell you that Kathy is bad.”
Xander: “We want to, Buff, it’s just….”
Oz: “Shh, don’t engage.”

“Avoid the legs. Avoid the legs.” - Xander’s advice to Oz while dealing with Buffy

“Why couldn’t Giles have shackles like any self-respecting bachelor?” - Xander

“I’m pretty sure the next part is about fava beans and a nice Chianti.” - Oz (from the original script)


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