"Out of My Mind"
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner; directed by David Grossman

Buffy patrols in a cemetery and is joined by Riley, who is handling himself ably. Spike also shows up, seemingly bored. He notices that Buffy isn’t completely thrilled to have Riley there. Buffy tells Riley that she just doesn’t think it’s a good idea for him to patrol on his own. He is still up for patrolling, but she decides to head home. Spike vows to kill Buffy, then falls into an open grave. At UC Sunnydale, Buffy and Willow discuss the French Revolution and Willow is proud that Buffy is able to carry on a conversation about something related to school. At the magic shop, Xander does some construction work while Anya helps to organize merchandise. Buffy arrives and Giles and Xander take her into the back room, where Riley tackles her. She sees that the room has been turned into a training space and thanks Giles for setting it up.

Spike watches Dawson’s Creek in his crypt and is soon joined by Harmony, who thinks that Buffy is out looking for her. She tells him she’s desperate for his help, and he implies that he’ll help her hide out if she has sex with him. Harmony smokes, considering herself a real villain now, and Spike tells her that the only way to get rid of Buffy is to kill her. She complains that she tried, but “it was all hard and stuff.” She encourages Spike to do it, but he reminds her that he can’t because of his chip. She asks him to “help with the thinking” instead. Elsewhere, Buffy and Riley are in bed, but he has too much energy for her. In the kitchen, Joyce is making breakfast for Dawn when she suddenly stops, dizzy. “Who are you?” she asks before passing out. Buffy and Riley arrive at the emergency room, where an intern named Ben (Charlie Weber) tells them that Joyce is all right and is undergoing tests. Playing with Ben’s stethoscope, Dawn listens to Riley’s heart, which is beating much faster than it should be.

Buffy forces him to see a doctor, who tells him that he shouldn’t leave the hospital. Riley decides to leave anyway, even though Buffy doesn’t want him to, either. He tells her that his heart works differently after all of the Initiative’s tests, but that he’s still okay. Joyce is released and taken home. Buffy tells Willow that she’s worried about Riley while Dawn interjects random facts about the government. Willow encourages Buffy to call the Initiative, which Buffy says is hard to do, considering they never confirmed their existence and have since disbanded. Buffy heads out to look for Riley; not finding him, she picks up his phone and says that he’s in trouble and needs help. Riley plays basketball with some other guys and is approached by Graham (last seen in “Primeval”) and two other agents. Graham tells him that he needs to see a doctor but Riley doesn’t trust him. Graham informs him that he doesn’t have a choice. Riley punches him, escapes the other agents, and runs off.

Graham tracks Buffy down on campus and fills her in, warning her that Riley doesn’t feel any pain but is in danger. She promises that she will get Riley to the hospital. Meanwhile, Riley heads through the woods to hide out in a cave. The Scoobies convene at the magic shop, then split up to look for Riley. Buffy wonders if Riley might be hiding in the Initiative caves again, and Giles tells her that Spike is familiar with the layout. Buffy doesn’t want to deal with him and thinks he must be doing something not-so-nice right now. Little does she know that Spike and Harmony are engaged in a game of…Twenty Questions. Buffy arrives, prompting Harmony to hide, and offers Spike money in exchange for helping her find Riley and get him to the hospital. He asks for half of the money up front; she rips it in half, throws half at him, and leaves. Graham and the Initiative’s doctor, Dr. Overheiser, are waiting for Riley at the hospital when Spike and Harmony arrive. They knock Graham out and Harmony threatens Dr. Overheiser with a crossbow while Spike tells him that he is the doctor’s new patient.

Dr. Overheiser tells Spike that removing his chip is complicated and dangerous. Spike informs him that he will perform the procedure successfully or have to answer to Harmony’s crossbow. Harmony, however, isn’t too adept with the weapon and almost accidentally shoots the doctor. Willow and Tara search for Riley in the ruins of the high school (see “Doomed”) and Willow does some magic to give them some light. Buffy tracks Riley down in the caves, where he tells her that he can’t feel pain. He tells her that he can handle things on his own. He admits that he doesn’t want to be normal because Buffy is used to dating not-so-normal guys. She tells him that, if she wanted someone with superpowers, she wouldn’t be dating him. She vows that, no matter how he feel about it, she’s going to make him see the doctor. He finally agrees to go.

Dr. Overheiser begins Spike’s procedure while Harmony asks if she can touch his brain. Buffy and Riley find Graham at the hospital and he tells them that Spike and Harmony are there. Buffy realizes that Spike has grabbed Dr. Overheiser to make him remove the chip. Buffy sends Graham off to look for Spike and assures Riley that he’s not going to die. At the same time, Spike is preparing himself to kill Buffy while Harmony lights up. Dr. Overheiser tells her to put out her cigarette; she doesn’t until she sees the No Smoking sign. Dr. Overheiser drops something into a dish and tells Spike that his chip is out. “Yay for Spikey!” cheers Harmony as Spike gets ready to go after Buffy.

Buffy finds Spike, who tells her that his chip is gone. She tells him that, now that he’s not helpless, she can kill him. Harmony accidentally shoots Riley in the leg with an arrow and he goes after her while Spike and Buffy face off. Just as he is about to bite her, he gets a headache and realizes that the procedure wasn’t successful. He finds a penny in the dish and Dr. Overheiser says, “I told you I couldn’t do it.” Spike and Harmony run off as the doctor begins to tend to Riley. In the cemetery, Spike complains that Buffy is always around and says that it has to end. Post-operation, Buffy assures Riley that she still loves him without super strength. Later, Graham tells Riley that he doesn’t belong in Sunnydale - he belongs with the military.

Buffy goes to Spike’s crypt and tells him it’s time for her to kill him. He tells her to end his torment: “Take me…out of a world…that has you in it!” She is about to stake him when she suddenly stops. He grabs her and kisses her. After a minute, she stops, then starts kissing him again. She tells him she wants him and he replies that he loves her. Suddenly, Spike sits up in bed, horrified about the dream he’s just had.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Buffy should not try to be a hospital drama.

GRADE: B- I thought we were done with all the Initiative stuff. Again, as always, the episode is redeemed by Harmony and Spike.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - Willow: “Should I be watching my occipital lobe?”
Buffy: “Your what?”
Willow: “Occipital. The lobe in the back of your brain. You know, like, ‘should I be watching my back?’ But, you know, the…back of your brain.”
Buffy: “Apparently not.”

Harmony: “Has Buffy gotten to you yet? I saw her patrolling just now...with a stake! She won't give up until she's killed me to death!”
Spike: “Buffy's looking for you.”
Harmony: “Of course! That's why I'm on the lam. Didn't you hear? I'm totally her arch-nemesis!”
Spike: “Is that right. I must have missed the memo.”
Harmony: “There was a mem-?”

Spike: “Taking up smoking, are you?”
Harmony: “I am a villain, Spike, hellooooo.”

Giles: “We do have an associate who knows those caves like the back of his...melanin-deprived hand.”
Buffy: “I so don't want to deal with Spike right now. That guy is really starting to bug me in that special ‘I wanna shove something wooden through his heart’ kinda way.”

Spike: “Okay, is it bigger than a breadbox?”
Harmony: “No. Four left.”
Spike: “So it's smaller than a breadbox.”
Harmony: “No! Only three!”
Spike: “Harmony...is it a sodding breadbox?”
Harmony: “Yes!… Someone's blondie bear is a Twenty Questions genius!”

“Oh, dear, is the enormous hall monitor sick?” - Spike to Buffy

Harmony: (to Dr. Overheiser) “You know what it means that he can't hurt any living thing? It means he can't even pick flowers.”
Spike: “What? Yes I can!”

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