"Lovers Walk"
Written by Dan Vebber; directed by David Semel

Willow and Xander walk across campus, Willow complaining that she only received a 740 on the verbal portion of her SATs. Xander points out that her verbal score is very similar to his overall score, but she still feels like “Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel.” He tries to comfort her, but suddenly stops when Cordelia and Oz approach. Cordelia shares her SAT scores with Xander, who calls her a brain, and Oz tries to reassure Willow that she did fine. He suggests that the four of them do something to celebrate, an idea which Cordelia isn’t completely thrilled about but which excites the others. Buffy arrives and the Scoobies are shocked to learn that she scored a 1430 on her SATs. They tell her that she can apply to college anywhere she wants, but Buffy admits that she hasn’t given her future a lot of thought. “Now you can leave and never come back!” Cordelia exclaims. She then has to clarify that she meant that in a good way: “What kind of moron would ever wanna come back here?” That night, a car crashes through the Welcome to Sunnydale sign (for the second time - see “School Hard”) and a drunken Spike (last seen in “Becoming, Part 2”) rolls out. “Home, sweet home,” he says before passing out.

Spike heads back to the warehouse where he, Drusilla, and Angel lived until “Passion” and stumbles around, calling for Dru. “Why did you leave me?” he asks. “We were happy here.” He suddenly turns violent and starts attacking one of her dolls. At school, Xander and Cordelia discuss their upcoming bowling double date, which Cordelia says isn’t very classy. Xander notices pictures of her and him in Cordelia’s locker and comments that he didn’t realize he was “locker door material.” Willow and Oz arrive and confirm that the bowling date is on. After Xander and Cordelia leave, Oz gives Willow a surprise gift - a PEZ dispenser shaped like a witch. She laments that they don’t make PEZ werewolves, as well as the fact that she doesn’t have anything to give him, though he protests that she does. After he leaves, Willow silently thinks about how complicated her life has become. In the library, Giles congratulates Buffy on her SAT scores while packing for a retreat. Buffy tentatively brings up the idea of going to college somewhere other than Sunnydale and is surprised when Giles says that that might be a good idea. He tells her that she has the chance to get a good education, and now that Faith is in Sunnydale, she has an opportunity that she didn’t have before. He says that they’ll talk more when he returns from his retreat and suggests that she not do anything “rash” while he’s gone. She admits that she’s going to go see Angel, but promises that there’s nothing going on between them.

Elsewhere on campus, Willow tells Xander that she’s afraid something bad is going to happen and that Oz and Cordelia will figure out what’s going on between them. Xander tries to assure her that they won’t think anything’s up, but he can’t help himself from asking if he can kiss her earlobe. She tries to ward him off with her PEZ dispenser and they both wish that they could stop giving in to their temptations. At home that evening, Joyce brainstorms colleges that Buffy might like, but Buffy is overwhelmed with everyone encouraging her to leave Sunnydale. Joyce asks Buffy if there’s actually anything keeping her in Sunnydale. Well, of course there is, Joyce - it’s Angel! Spike drops by the mansion and spies on Angel, secretly accusing him of turning Drusilla against him and ruining their happy relationship. He threatens Angel, but passes out before he can act on his words. The next morning, the sun awakens Spike and he’s forced to douse his burning hand in the fountain. Back in his car, he drinks to soothe the pain and complains, “This is just too much.” He heads to a magic shop and asks a woman there if she knows of any curses, such as leprosy. Willow enters looking for ingredients for an anti-love spell and Spike (whom she doesn’t see) watches an interest. After Willow leaves, he kills the employee and says that he has a new idea.

The Mayor practices his putting in his office (complaining that he would sell his soul for a better short game if he hadn’t already sold it) while Finch (see “Homecoming” informs him that Spike is back in town. The Mayor remembers all of the disasters Spike caused the previous year and the hard time City Hall had trying to cover things up and predict what he would do next. He tells Finch to send Trick after Spike so that he doesn’t have to worry about him. At the mansion, Buffy tells Angel that she had to lie to Joyce about where she was going so that she could come see him, because she still hasn’t figured out how to tell her that he’s back. Angel encourages her to go to college outside of Sunnydale, but she seems disappointed that he doesn’t want her to stay in town. At school, Willow mixes stuff up in a science lab before the bowling double date. Xander arrives and she tells him that she’s trying to help him study for chemistry. He soon realizes that she’s using a spell book and must be doing a love spell. He reminds her that the last time one of them did a love spell, bad things happened (see “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”). She clarifies that she’s doing a “de-lusting” spell because he said that he wished his feelings for her would go away. He calls an end to the magic and is starting to clean up when Spike suddenly appears. Xander tries to fight him but is knocked out with a microscope for his troubles.

The three wind up at the warehouse (Xander still unconscious), where Spike informs Willow that she’s going to do a love spell to bring Drusilla back to him. He threatens her with a broken bottle and complains that Dru didn’t even have the sense to kill him - “she didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire.” He says that Dru thought his truce with Buffy (in “Becoming, Part 2”) made her think that he had “gone soft,” and even though he showered her with gifts after they left Sunnydale, she left him for a chaos demon. He complains that Dru only wants to be friends and Willow awkwardly tries to comfort him with a “there, there.” Spike finds himself wanting to bite Willow, but she tells him that she’ll do the spell and that will be that. She tells him that she might not be able to do the spell well, since she’s only a beginner, then realizes that he hasn’t provided her with enough supplies. He asks where the necessary spell book is. Apparently it’s in the library, where Buffy is exercising by herself. Cordelia and Oz come in, worried that Willow and Xander weren’t there when they arrived to meet up for the double date. They find Willow’s magic stuff in the science lab and Cordelia worries that they disappeared or that Willow “turned Xander into something ishy.” Buffy tells Cordelia and Oz to go get Giles while she tries to find Willow and Xander. Back in the library, Buffy gets a phone call from Joyce, which is interrupted when Spike arrives at the Summers’ house. Buffy hears his voice over the phone and skedaddles.

Joyce makes hot chocolate while Spike tells her what happened with Drusilla and cries some more about his failed relationship. “Our love was eternal. Literally,” he says. “You got any of those little marshmallows?” Angel strolls by the house and spots Spike inside. Thinking that he’s there to attack Joyce, Angel tries to get inside, but finds that he can’t enter (see “Passion”). Joyce worries that Angel will hurt them and doesn’t listen when Angel tries to talk his way in. “You’re a very bad man,” Spike tells him, pretending that he’s going to bite Joyce. Buffy finally arrives, grabbing Spike and inviting Angel into the house. Before Buffy can stake Spike, he announces that he has Willow and Xander. He points out that if she kills him, Willow and Xander will die. On their way towards Giles’ retreat, Oz and Cordelia worry about their significant others. Oz suddenly picks up Willow’s scent and drives towards the warehouse. Buffy, Angel, and Spike head towards a magic shop to get Willow’s supplies, but Spike catches sight of a bench where he and Drusilla once shared a kill. They collect supplies at the shop and Angel picks a fight with Spike, who blames him for his breakup. He points out that, when he last saw Buffy and Angel, they were trying to kill each other, but now they’re pretending like it never happened. Buffy says that they’re just friends, but Spike says that they’ll never just be friends.

Xander finally wakes up in the warehouse and asks if he won his fight with Spike. Willow worries that they’re going to die and he tries to comfort her. They start to kiss, then stop, but start up again, agreeing that they’re allowed since they might be about to die. However, they’re interrupted by the arrival of Cordelia and Oz. Cordelia starts to run back up the stairs, but the steps give out and she falls through. Xander rushes over and looks down to see that she’s been impaled on a piece of iron rebar. Buffy, Spike, and Angel leave the shop and head towards the factory, but on the way they run into a gang of vampires. The leader, Lenny, mocks Spike and picks a fight with him that Buffy and Angel have to take part in. The fight moves to the magic shop, where Buffy lets Spike know, “I violently dislike you.” At the factory, Xander climbs down to help Cordelia while Oz heads off to get help. The vampires storm the magic shop and Lenny tells Spike that he’d heard he’d “gone soft.” Spike takes offense and fights back hard, finally killing him. One the vamps are defeated, Spike realizes that the fight put things into perspective for him. He lets Buffy know that Willow and Xander are at the warehouse and says that he’s glad he came back to Sunnydale. He decides that instead of moping about Dru, he’ll torture her and try to win her back. “Love’s a funny thing,” he muses before leaving.

Xander tries to tend to Cordelia, who murmurs, “I can’t see you…” before passing out. The next day, a funeral is held in a Sunnydale cemetery; Buffy and Willow walk by and confirm that Cordelia will be all right. Willow says that she feels horrible for what she did to Oz, and Buffy tells her that she might have to wait awhile before he’s willing to talk to her again. Xander goes to visit Cordelia in the hospital, but she tells him to stay away from her. Buffy goes to Angel’s mansion and informs him that she won’t be coming back. She tells him that she can say they’re only friends all she wants, but that doesn’t necessarily make it true. He says that he doesn’t accept her statement and that there must be a way they can stay together. “Tell me that you don’t love me,” she challenges. He can’t, so she leaves. As they and everyone else wallow in their misery, Spike proves to be the only person who has come out of the previous day’s events unscathed. He speeds out of town in his car, singing along to “My Way.”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Watch your step.

GRADE: B Spike’s return is perfect for his character, and the fake-out with Cordelia is a great twist.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Oz: “That was my sarcastic voice.”
Xander: “You know, it sounds a lot like your regular voice.”
Oz: “I’ve been told that.”

Buffy: (re: Joyce) “She saw these scores, and her head spun around and exploded.”
Giles: “I-I’ve been on the Hellmouth too long. That was metaphorical, yes?”

“Be kind, rewind.” - Buffy, asking Giles to repeat himself

Mayor: “This year is too important to let a loose cannon rock the boat.”
Finch: “Should I have Mr. Trick send a…committee to deal with this?”
Mayor: “Loose cannon. Rock the boat. Is that a mixed metaphor?”
Finch: “Uh….”
Mayor: “Boats did have cannons. And a loose one would cause it to rock.”

“It smells like church in here. No, wait…evil church.” - Xander

Buffy: “Yeah, either they were taken, or they ran, or maybe….”
Cordelia: “You’re having too many ors! Pick one!”

Spike: “Willow!”
Buffy: “You took Willow.”
Spike: “You do me now, you’ll never find the little witch.”
Joyce: “Willow’s a witch?”
Buffy: “And Xander?”
Spike: “Him, too.”
Joyce: “What, Xander’s a witch?”

Spike: “I wish I was dead.”
Buffy: “Well, if you close your eyes and wish real hard….”

“You’re not friends. You’ll never be friends. You’ll be in love till it kills you both. You’ll fight, and you’ll shag, and you’ll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends. Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood…blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s b%$@#, but at least I’m man enough to admit it.” - Spike to Buffy and Angel

Willow: “Drusilla broke up with him.”
Xander: “Gee, and we had all hoped those crazy kids would make it work.”
Willow: “He’s out of control. I mean, not that he was Joe Restraint in the old days.”
Xander: “So, what are our options?”
Willow: “Well, I figure either…I refuse to do the spell and he kills us, or I do the spell and he kills us.”
Xander: “Give me a third option.”
Willow: “He’s so drunk he forgets about us, and we starve to death. That’s sort of the best one.”

“I plan each charted course
Each little step along the highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way!” - “My Way,” as sung by Gary Oldman and Spike


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