"Where the Wild Things Are"
Written by Tracey Forbes; directed by David Solomon

Buffy and Riley fight a vampire and are shortly joined by a demon, who seems to be helping the vamp. Both are defeated and Buffy and Riley comment on the strangeness of seeing a demon and vampire working together. They agree that they should tell Giles about it, but first they need to give in to their passion in Riley’s room. Later that night, Riley hears a rattling noise and follows it to the bathroom, where he doesn’t find anything out of the ordinary except for a leaky faucet. The next day, Xander works at his new job as an ice cream truck driver while Anya complains that she doesn’t want to go to a party at Riley’s frat house. Xander assures her that the commandos don’t know that she’s an ex-demon, and that they wouldn’t care if they did know. He says that they’ll be flirting with every other girl at the party anyway, and she takes offense, asking if she’s not attractive enough for them to flirt with. This spins out of control as Anya says that Xander doesn’t find her attractive anymore and wants to know why they didn’t have sex the night before. She believes that he’s sick of her and that they’re breaking up. He finally asks if she wants to go for it right then and there, unfortunately not realizing that a bunch of kids and parents are standing right outside the truck.

In a lounge at UC Sunnydale, Giles and the Scoobies discuss the vampire/demon team from the night before. Giles says that it’s a rare occurrence and thinks that Adam has something to do with it. Tara says that he’s “bridging the gap between the races.” Giles suggests that Buffy and Riley continue patrolling and Riley says that they’re sending out reserves to patrol during that night’s party. Giles mentions that he has his own plans at the Espresso Pump. Buffy and Riley head off to have sex before class. In the frat house, Forrest and Graham complain about how cold it is and comment on the sex bunnies in Riley’s room. At least they’re using condoms. Good for them! A commando named Mason builds a fire, which explodes, setting his clothes on fire, then goes back to normal.

Anya walks through an alley towards the Bronze and encounters Spike, who jumps out and startles her, then demands money. She tells him he’s not intimidating and that she’s not surprised he doesn’t have any friends. He points out that she doesn’t have any, either. At the frat house, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Tara are chatting while Buffy and Riley make eyes at each other from opposite ends of the room. Xander tells his embarrassing tale from earlier in the day and says that he’s not sure if Anya is coming to the party. As he says that he’s glad she no longer has her powers of vengeance, she’s at the Bronze, telling Spike that she wishes she had her powers. Spike suggests that she go eviscerate Xander while he kills Drusilla, but she doesn’t think she can.

At the party, one of the irritating frat guys from “Beer Bad” is flirting with a girl when he puts his hand on the wall and suddenly starts having a vaguely sexual experience. Xander flirts with a girl named Julie and Riley and Buffy head back to the bedroom. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Irritating frat guy calls a guy over to feel the wall and he gives the same reaction. On the steps, Tara tells Willow that she wants to take her horseback-riding and they get a little flirtatious. However, when Willow puts her hand on Tara’s leg, Tara flips and calls her disgusting before running upstairs. Spike and Anya arrive and Spike is astonished to learn that they’re attending the commandos’ party. Xander asks what Spike and Anya are doing together, and when Spike starts mocking him, Xander begins loudly calling him Hostile 17. Anya stops him and tells him they didn’t have sex. Xander tells her she’s overreacting to their fight, but she says that they have nothing in common and she’s calling an end to their relationship. He protests that he’s put up with more and should be the one who gets to end things. They separate, each vowing to have more fun than the other.

Xander spots a group of people, including Julie, playing Spin the Bottle and joins them. A commando tells Spike that he looks familiar, but Spike brushes off the comment. Xander and Julie do a little game-related smooching, but she suddenly apologizes and runs off. Xander goes after her, passing a group of people at the Wall o’ Mystery, and tracks Julie to the bathroom. He doesn’t see that she’s crying inside and hacking off her hair. Willow heads upstairs to the bathroom to look for Tara, instead finding a young boy in the bathtub, trying to surface. She reaches out to grab him, but he disappears, only to show up behind her and make her scream. Riley and Buffy hear the scream but don’t stop what they’re doing.

Willow heads back downstairs and tells Xander what happened in the bathroom. “Is every frat on this campus haunted?” he asks (see “Fear, Itself”). Tara approaches, telling Willow that she thinks they should leave. The bottle the Spin the Bottle gang is using spins faster and faster until it explodes. The Scoobies run upstairs, yelling for Buffy, as thorny vines begin to grow all over the interior of the frat house. In Riley’s room, the bed appears to move farther and farther away into darkness. (I think the director was just having fun there.) Riley asks, “Do you wanna go back?” “Never,” Buffy replies. The building starts to shake and everyone (except the Scoobies) runs out. Spike is pleased by the chaos, but soon becomes strapped to the chair he’s sitting in. Forrest tells Graham to help get people out but Graham starts proselytizing inside. Forrest forces him to go to the elevator and head downstairs. A girl running out of the house runs straight through Anya and disappears. As the shaking resumes, Anya catches up with the other Scoobies and Spike escapes from the chair. Xander helps Julie, now almost bald, outside.

In the Initiative, Forrest and Graham tell a scientist that something strange is going on upstairs and they make preparations for a lockdown. Outside the frat house, the Scoobies are the only ones who haven’t kept running. Willow says that they need to go back inside and get Buffy and Riley, but Anya thinks that they can take care of themselves. Xander takes over Willow’s determination to go back inside, but only Spike will back him up, at least until he realizes that he doesn’t actually care about any of them and leaves. Xander starts to go back inside but something forces him back out and he decides that it’s time to get Giles. Willow and Tara remember that he’s at the Espresso Pump and wanted some time away from them. They head off anyway.

At the Espresso Pump, Giles’ “meeting with grownups” turns out to be a guitar and vocal performance of “Behind Blue Eyes,” one of the series' three sexiest Giles moments. (See "Band Candy" and "Fear, Itself" for the other two.) The Scoobies are shocked by the sight and sound, having never known that Giles was still interested in this sort of thing. Giles spots the Scoobies and is slightly embarrassed to be caught. Willow is pleased and says that she remembers now why she used to have such a crush on him. Anya and Tara agree that he’s good, but when Willow thinks that Giles looks sexy, Xander flips a little. Back at the frat house, the sex continues and is joined by longing and desperation. At the college library, the Scoobies have filled Giles in on the events at the frat house. Willow says that people were acting “sexually” at the party and soon, via a book, discovers that the frat house used to be the Lowell Home for Children. They decide to track down the old director, Mrs. Holt, and talk to her.

Giles, Xander, and Anya meet with Mrs. Holt at her house and listen to her tell them that she took care of the kids and brought them up morally. Giles asks if she noticed any strange disturbances in the house, but she says she didn’t. She mentions that she punished the kids when they were “dirty,” and the Scoobies soon realize that she means “dirty” the way Caleb means it in “Dirty Girls.” When she saw girls admiring their looks, she would cut off their hair (“remove the temptation”), and baptized the least “clean” kids in the bathtub. Giles blasts her for traumatizing the children, causing a presence to manifest itself in the house. On the way out, Giles tells Xander and Anya that the spirits in the house are poltergeists and are drawing energy out of Buffy and Riley. Buffy and Riley are powering what’s happening in the house, and when they run out of energy, they’ll die. Fortunately for them, they’re still going at it.

In Buffy and Willow’s dorm room, Willow and Tara prepare to do a binding spell so that Xander and Anya can get Buffy and Riley out of the house. Xander and Anya head back to the frat house as Willow, Giles, and Tara start the spell, bringing the spirits of the children into the room. Xander and Anya head inside, hacking at the vines as they go upstairs. Willow tells the spirits to “get over it” as Xander and Anya make it to Riley’s room. Wind starts blowing in the frat house and the dorm room, and suddenly the children are gone. Xander is thrown into the bathroom by the vines and Anya is thrown through the balcony, back downstairs. As Xander is held underwater, Anya makes her way upstairs, the thorns on the vines only making her more determined. She gets Xander out of the water and they fight their way through the vines back to the bedroom. As soon as they open the door, the bed rushes back to the room from the darkness and Buffy asks, “Don’t you knock?”

In the cafeteria the next day, Buffy mentions how creepy it was…that Giles was singing. Xander and Anya have made up and are back to normal. Willow tells Buffy and Riley not to blame themselves for what happened, since they had no control over what they were doing. She says that it must have been horrible, and Buffy and Riley confirm that it was, obviously lying.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Giles should sing more often.

GRADE: B- Too much sex, but the Spike/Anya stuff and Giles’ singing makes this better.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Julie: “You’re funny.”
Xander: “Thanks. I mean…funny ‘how amusing,’ or funny ‘back away and avoid eye contact’?”
Julie: “Hmm…kinda both.”

Spike: “You brought me here?”
Xander: “Anya? What are you doing? You brought him here?”
Spike: “That’s what I said! Only I hit the ‘here’ part.”

Xander: “We’re fresh out of superpeople, and somebody’s gotta go back in there. Now, who’s with me?”
Spike: “I am. I know I’m not the first choice for heroics… and Buffy’s tried to kill me more than once. And I don’t fancy a single one of you at all. But…. Actually, all that sounds pretty convincing. I wonder if Danger Mouse is on.”

Xander: (upon seeing Giles singing and playing the guitar) “Um, could we go back to the haunted house? ‘Cause this is creeping me out.”
Tara: “Does he do this a lot?”
Xander: “Sure. Every day the earth rotates backward and the skies turn orange.”

Willow: “Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him.”
Tara: “Well, he is pretty good.”
Anya: “His voice...is pleasant.”
Xander: “What?!”
Willow: “Oh, come on, he is kinda sexy.”
Xander: “I'm fighting total mental breakdown here, Will. No more fueling the fire, please.”

Giles: “When you called to Buffy and Riley, they didn’t cry out or, or respond in any way?”
Anya: “No. They’re probably dead.”
Xander: “Unless they’re too busy doin’ it to answer.”
Giles: “Doing what?”
Xander: “You know, for a god of acoustic rock, you’re…kind of naïve.”
Giles: “I didn’t think you meant…. In the midst of all that, do you really think they were keeping it up? Oh, for a different phrasing.”

Mrs. Holt: (after Giles criticizes her) “I refuse to listen to this when I can smell the sin on each and every one of you.”
Xander: “Yeah? You smell sin? Well, let me tell you something, lady - she who smelt it, dealt it! (to Giles) It’s like what you said, but faster.”

Xander: “What do you feel?”
Anya: “Sad, afraid of being without you, and a little hungry.”
Xander: “I meant about the house.”
Anya: “Oh. Still haunted.”

“Transform your pain. Release your past. And…uh…get over it.” - Willow to poltergeists

“Shut up, repressed cry-babies!” - Anya to poltergeists

Willow: (re: Giles) “Come on, you have to admit, it was kinda sexy.”
Xander: “Please stop saying that. I'm willing to offer cash incentives.”

Buffy: “If Riley and I hadn’t…gotten so wrapped up in each other, none of this would’ve happened.”
Anya: “True. Feel shame.”
Xander: “My girlfriend. Mistress of the learning plateau.”


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