Written by Jane Espenson; directed by Michael Lang

A guy is walking through the woods when he turns and sees Buffy behind him. She punches him and he vamps out. As she fights and eventually stakes him, Angel (last seen in “Graduation Day, Part 2”) watches, unseen. The next day, a crowd has gathered on campus for a ceremony to open a new cultural center. Xander is working on the construction site and Buffy, Willow, and Anya are attending the ceremony. Anya is turned on by Xander’s construction worker alter ego and imagines having sex with him. Willow objects to a professor’s statement that Thanksgiving is about blending cultures. She states that Thanksgiving is really about the white people wiping out the Indians. Buffy laments the fact that, since Joyce is out of town, she won’t have a real Thanksgiving this year. Anya expresses her interest in a “ritual sacrifice with pie.” The ceremony ends and the digging begins, making Anya imagine having sex with Xander again. Suddenly, the ground gives way and Xander falls through.

Angel lurks outside Buffy and Willow’s dorm as the two girls talk about the lost mission found when Xander was rescued. Willow explains that the mission was buried in an earthquake in 1812 and wonders what else could be underground that they don’t know about (see “The Initiative”). Buffy laments the fact that everyone else gets to go home for a family holiday, then decides to have her own Thanksgiving with the Scoobies. Willow isn’t onboard, but Buffy talks her into participating. Spike wanders through the woods, having been kicked out of Harmony’s lair. Riley, Forrest, and Graham are still looking for him (again, see “The Initiative”) and discussing their plans for Thanksgiving.

Anya goes to Xander’s basement and finds him sick. He tells her to leave so that she doesn’t catch anything, but she says that they’ll just die together - “it’s romantic.” He says that she’s a strange girlfriend, which surprises her. He excuses his words by saying that he might be delirious. The professor from the cultural center dedication talks on the phone in a campus museum as green smoke appears next to an ancient knife. She is surprised to see an Indian appear, grab the knife, and slit her throat. Later, Buffy and Willow come to the museum to investigate the professor’s murder. Buffy discovers that the knife, an “early 1800 Chumash knife,” is missing.

At Giles’ apartment, Buffy begins her Thanksgiving preparations and fills him in on what they know. He asks why they’re having dinner at his place and determines that it’s in order to give him the responsibility of cleaning up. Buffy heads out to get more for dinner, not realizing that Angel has been in the apartment and listening the whole time. His “friend” (see the Angel episode “The Bachelor Party”) has had a vision that Buffy is in trouble, and Angel has returned to Sunnydale to make sure she’s all right. However, he doesn’t want her to know that he’s there because he doesn’t want to distract her. Giles wonders if the professor’s murder is connected to the discovery of the mission. Angel tells him to contact a priest named Father Gabriel, who might be able to give them information on the mission.

Willow and Buffy walk through downtown Sunnydale on their way to the grocery store, then to see Father Gabriel. Riley catches up with them, having run over from a few blocks away, and Willow ducks into the coffee shop to give them some privacy. Inside, Angel grabs her and she accuses him of being evil again. He tells her he’s not and explains that he’s back to help Buffy and doesn’t want her to know he’s there. She rants a little about him leaving for Buffy’s good, then stops, explaining that she’s dealing with personal stuff (see “Wild at Heart,” if you must). Willow wants to know if Cordelia is really working for Angel, but he changes the subject. All he wants to know is…who’s that guy talking to Buffy?

Buffy tells Riley about her Thanksgiving plans and invites him to join the Scoobies. He tells her he’s heading back to Iowa that night to be with his family. He describes his idyllic childhood and they ruminate on the adage, “Home is the place where they have to take you in.” Unless, of course, you’re Spike, who’s again being rejected by Harmony. He tries to seduce her, but she uses her new-found self-help knowledge to stand up to him. She pulls a stake out from under their mattress and threatens him with it. He promises to leave, but asks if he can have someone to eat before he goes. Buffy arrives at a church to meet with Father Gabriel, who has just been killed by the Indian. He fights Buffy, telling her that his people want vengeance and call on him, Hus, for justice. He says that Buffy slaughtered his people, and now kills his spirit. Then, before she can do anything, he turns into a bunch of bats, which fly away.

Back at Giles’, he tells her that Indian spirits often transform themselves into animals. She corrects him, saying that they prefer to be called Native Americans. “Um, always behind on the terms,” he says. “Still trying not to refer to you lot as ‘bloody colonials.’” Buffy says that she wants to stop Hus, but would like to try to do it in a “non-slayee” way. Willow arrives (with books and peas) and says that she was reading about the Chumash War. Giles protests that the Chumash were peaceful, but Willow says that that changed when white people showed up. They realize that Hus is recreating everything horrible that happened to the Chumash, and Willow is in favor of bringing what happened to light rather than just stopping Hus. She and Giles squabble about their options, and when Buffy retreats to the kitchen, they discuss Angel.

Xander and Anya arrive and the Scoobies comment on Xander’s poor state (well, Buffy is more concerned with the fact that he didn’t bring rolls). They tell him about Hus and he freaks out upon learning that he may have mystical syphilis. Willow and Giles continue their debate, and Xander says that “the representative from syphilis votes yea” for slaying Hus - he’s a vengeance demon, and demons should be killed. Anya is surprised to hear him take that standpoint, but he assures her that she’s the exception to the rule. Buffy announces that they will figure out what to do, but they’ll also have a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Giles warns that Hus will keep killing.

Spike arrives, asking for the Scoobies’ help and receiving a less than warm welcome. He begs to be invited inside and tells Willow to inform the Scoobies of what happened with them (once again, see “The Initiative”). She says that he threatened to kill her and Buffy. He reminds her that he also couldn’t, and she confirms it. He claims that he has information on the commandos and is finally invited inside. Hus summons a bunch of other spirit warriors and prepares to start a battle. Buffy ties Spike up inside Giles’ apartment and he claims that he’s too hungry to remember any information. Giles realizes that Hus has targeted authority figures (except for Xander), and Buffy thinks that the dean may be his next victim.

Buffy asks Willow if she’s found a way to stop Hus, and Willow refuses to help her kill him. Spike speaks up, saying that they can’t feel bad for defeating the Indians, because “that’s what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, ‘I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it.’ The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.’” He continues that Hus isn’t going to listen to reason, and that they’ll have fight him before he kills them. Buffy sends Willow, Anya, and Xander to warn the dean. Moments after they leave, the Indian spirits attack the apartment with arrows.

Buffy attempts to apologize, offering, “You can have casinos now.” While she and Giles hide, Spike, still tied to a chair, attempts to get out of the line of fire but gets hit dangerously close to his heart. Willow, Xander, and Anya leave the dean’s house, having found him alive. They run into Angel (whom Anya describes as “large and glowery”), and Xander also accuses him of being evil again. He tells them that the Chumash weapons have been taken from the cultural center and asks where Buffy is. He informs them that to warriors, authority figures are strong fighters, and Willow realizes that the spirits are after Buffy. Willow, Xander, and Anya grab bikes to get back to the apartment faster. Angel calls Giles, who tells him that they’re already under siege and hides his identity from Buffy.

Buffy decides that it’s time to fight, though Spike has now decided that she should apologize instead. Giles and Buffy start fighting the spirits but find that they won’t die. Spike tries to scoot his chair away from the battle, but winds up tipping himself over. The other Scoobies arrive and try to fight the spirits as well. Angel helps out and Anya asks, “What’s he like when he is evil?” Buffy realizes that Hus’ own knife can kill him, but instead of dying, he turns into a bear. Xander distracts him and Buffy kills the bear, subsequently making the other spirits disappear. Still on the ground, Spike asks, “What happened? Did we win?”

The Scoobies (and Spike) finish up dinner and Willow laments the fact that she wound up fighting after all. Giles congratulates Buffy’s success with the meal and with the battle. Willow admits that the holiday turned out to be familiar: “a bunch of anticipation, a big fight, and now we're all sleepy.” The Scoobies agree that everything turned out all right in the end. Willow says that it feels like old times, with all of them working together. “Yeah, especially with Angel being here and everything,” Xander adds. Spike grins as the other Scoobies look at a surprised Buffy. “Oops,” says Xander. (For the Angel crossover episode, see “I Will Remember You.”)

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: If Indian spirits begin attacking people, make sure you’re not a leader.

GRADE: A- Spike becomes a reluctant Scooby (sort of) and, though the point is a little blunt, it’s still kept a little light-hearted.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Anya: “Look at him. Have you ever seen anything so masculine?”
Buffy: “You mean Guerrero, or his wife?”
Willow: “I think she means….” (gesturing to Xander)
Buffy: “Oh. Very manly. Not at all Village People. So much sexier than the outfit from his last job.”
Willow: “Oh, I miss the free hot dogs on sticks.”
Anya: “I'm imagining having sex with him right now.”

Willow: “Thanksgiving isn't about blending of two cultures. It's about one culture wiping out another. And then they make animated specials about the part where, with the maize and the big, big belt buckles. They don't show you the next scene, where all the bison die and Squanto takes a musket ball in the stomach.”
Buffy: “Okay. Now, for some of that, you were channeling your mother?”

Anya: “I'm imagining having sex with him again.”
Buffy: “Imaginary Xander is quite the machine.”

“It is a sham, but it's a sham with yams. It's a yam sham.” - Buffy

Buffy: “I mean, we could definitely use a little comfort food. I bet Giles doesn't have any plans. And Xander always tries to avoid all of his family gatherings.”
Willow: “Ooh. We could not invite Anya.”

“Well, I'm just gonna let you two…. Look, they're selling coffee in the coffee shop. Yum.” - Willow to Buffy and Riley

Buffy: (re: potatoes) “We need to boil those and put them through the ricer.”
Giles: “I don't think I have a ricer.”
Buffy: “You don't have a ricer? What do you mean? How could someone not have a ricer?”
Giles: “Well, do you have one at home?”
Buffy: “I don't know. What's a ricer?”
Giles: “We'll mash them with forks, much like the pilgrims must have.”

Buffy: (re: peas) “They're gonna be mushy.”
Willow: “They won't be mushy.”
Giles: “I like mushy peas.”
Buffy: “You're the reason we had to have pilgrims in the first place.”

“I don't think you wanna help. I think you just wanna slay the demon, then go, ‘La la la.’” - Willow to Giles

Willow: “You mean…Angel? I saw him, too.”
Giles: “That's not terribly stealthy of him.”
Willow: “I think he's lost his edge.”

Giles: “Well, that's good, but this is why I think we should all keep a level head in this.”
Willow: “And I happen to think mine is the level head, and yours is the one things would roll off of.”

Willow: “This has a better account of everything. It lists the various--.”
Xander: “Various? As in…?”
Willow: “Well, the important thing is not to panic.”
Xander: “You just recited the mystical panic-causing incantation, so little hope there. Let's talk about the various.”
Willow: “Well, they did suffer from malaria, some smallpox--.”
Anya: “I was gonna say smallpox.”
Willow: “You know, syphilis, but basically--.”
Xander: “Syphilis?”
Willow: “Well, but this is probably mystical, and it'll all go away as soon as….”
Xander: “As soon as what?”
Willow: “We still don't know what we're gonna do. Well, maybe I can find something.
Giles: “Let's give him some land. I'm sure that'll clear everything right up.”
Willow: “Sarcasm accomplishes nothing, Giles.”
Giles: “It's sort of an end in itself.”
Xander: “Can we come rocketing back to the part about me and my new syphilis?”
Anya: “It'll make you blind and insane, but it won't kill you. The smallpox will.”

Spike: “What part of ‘help me’ do you not understand?”
Buffy: “The part where I help you.”

“I'm saying that Spike had a little trip to the vet, and now he doesn't chase the other puppies anymore.” - Spike

Buffy: “You can have gravy. That has blood in it, right?”
Spike: “Do you know what else has blood in it? Blood.”

Xander: “I think he thought we were crazy.”
Willow: “Maybe if Anya hadn't opened the conversation with, ‘Everybody got both ears?’”

Spike: “You made a bear!”
Buffy: “I didn't mean to.”
Spike: “Undo it! Undo it!”
Xander: “Hey, Gentle Ben, over here.” (he throws food at the bear) “That's for giving me syphilis.”

Xander: “And you know what? I think my syphilis is clearing right up.”
Buffy: “And they say romance is dead. Or maybe they just wish it.”

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