Previously: Xander gave Buffy an I.D. bracelet but she didn’t catch on that he loves her. Willow loves Xander but he didn’t catch on that she loves him. I love Giles but he didn’t catch on that I love him. Oh, and there was a witch.
The Bronze. People are screaming as a vampire stalks towards a panicked looking Buffy and whoa, Buffy, you look sizzling hot here. However, you also look uncharacteristically useless and unsure. I am confused.
Buffy throws a couple of sissy punches and the vampire throws her over the pool table like a sack of potatoes. Buffy lays helplessly as the vampire starts to crawl over her. What’s a beautiful, weak girl to do but lay there?? Lie there and get saved, that is!
“May I cut in?” Xander quips. He yanks the vamp off Buffy and punches him into submission. As he helps little ole Buffy up she’s all:
“You hurt your hand,” she breathes. “Will you still be able to-“
“Finish my solo and kiss you like you’ve never been kissed before?” Xander answers manfully. He winks and turns towards the stage. Buffy gasps with delight and I do too. Xander, you’re so…hot.
The crowd screams again because that darned vamp is back and creeping up behind Buffy. She doesn’t notice the shouts or the growling-she only has eyes (and apparently ears) for Hot Xander. He sees the vamp coming and breaks a leg off a wooden chair. He casually flings it and kills the vamp. Then he leaps on the stage and starts playing a guitar solo. Buffy comes to the front of the stage and gives him massive sex eyes.
“You’re drooling,” she says, sexily.
Xander stops the solo and stares at her. Buffy calls his name again and he wakes up in biology class, where Buffy is motioning towards her mouth. Xander wipes the drool away and sits up. The lights are down and the teacher is showing slides of insects.
The teacher turns the lights on and asks Buffy how ants communicate. If she did her homework she’d know this, he says. Buffy stumbles over her words as she watches Willow try to mime the answers to her. Willow strokes Xander’s back and Buffy correctly answers, “Touch.”
The teacher nods encouragingly. Willow is now sniffing Xander. “Touch and…uh…” she is confused by Willow’s sniffing. “…um…B.O.?”
Ahahahahaha! I died laughing.
Willow gives Buffy a look and the jock sitting beside Buffy laughs. Xander is not pleased. The teacher informs Buffy that the answer is touch and SMELL, Miss Summers. He knows Willow was giving her the answers. He wants to see Buffy after class.
The teacher brings up the problems Buffy had at her last school, the fights, the burning down of the gym. Wow, you set fire to ONE gym and no one ever lets you forget it! The teacher says that he saw her permanent record, courtesy of Principal Flutie. What a dick Principal F is! Buffy is sad.
“I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do here,” he says and Buffy is sure he means more destruction but no, this guy actually thinks she’s capable of great things. He says she has a first-rate mind and can think on her feet. If only she’d do her homework. He lets her know he expects her to excel. He wants her to ignore the low opinions others may have of her and make them eat their words. Wow! Someone’s actually supporting Buffy! This guy rocks. I’m sure he’ll die soon.
Buffy is happy and determined to do better. She leaves, smiling. The teacher turns off the light and starts looking at some small slides. A tentacle-type something reaches over and grabs him by the throat. He’s dead. GODDAMMIT.
CREDITS! Drum drum drum drum drum drum-drum drum-drum!
The Bronze, only for real this time. Xander’s walking through the crowd, looking considerably less cool in a terrible sweater. Xander! Don’t hide those strong arms of yours! The band ‘Superfine’ is playing and Xander moves through the crowd in a dorky manner to smile at the lead singer. Lead singer makes a face and goes back to singing. Burn!
Xander walks away and stands by a couple of guys that are sitting at a table and talking about how much they’ve scored. One of them is the jock that was sitting next to Buffy in the biology class. Xander, still stinging from the jock laughing at him, snarks at his claims of conquests with the ladies. The jock, named Blayne, asks him how many times HE’S scored. Xander, you brought this on yourself.
Xander plays it cool, asking Blayne if he meant this week or today. Blayne and his friend both scoff. Luckily for Xander, Willow and Buffy show up. Xander smiles. “Duty calls,” he says, in a douchey voice. “Babes!” He walks over and puts his arms around them.
Buffy asks what he’s doing and Xander tells them to play along cause Blayne questioned his manhood. Willow is thrilled to play along. “We’ll show him!” she says fiercely, and snuggles up to him. She looks adorable and her hair is gorgeous. Look at her, Xander. Look at her!
Xander gives Blayne and his pal a thumbs up and turns back to his ladies. But oh no! Buffy gets distracted by something and leaves. It’s Angel/David Borezzzzzzz….oh wait…what was I talking about? I dozed off there for a moment.
Ha! Just kidding. Angel looks too hot to be boring. Xander also thinks Angel is a hot man and this makes him very unhappy. Buffy never mentioned how attractive this Angel guy was!
Buffy goes over to talk to Angel. She plays it cool and is all snarky with him. “I’d say it’s nice to see you but we’d both know that’s a big fib.” She’s expecting him to give her a vague and cryptic warning about some new evil and then disappear. Angel says she’s cold and Buffy’s all, oh you can take it.
“I mean, you look cold.” Angel takes off his leather jacket, revealing his stupid muscle shirt underneath BUT ALSO revealing his awesome, strong, muscular arms, so I’m okay with it. He gently puts his coat around Buffy’s shoulders. ROMANCE.
Angel has some huge scratches on his arm but he won’t get into that with Buffy. He just mumbles how he wasn’t paying attention. Buffy asks if it was someone with a really big fork. Angel doesn’t reply to that. Goddammit, Angel.
He warns her “he’s” coming, so don’t let him corner you, and don’t give him any mercy or he’ll rip your throat out. Buffy thinks he means the guy with the big fork that hurt Angel. Angel takes off. Thanks for the vague warning that tells me nothing. Useless.
The next day, Buffy lets Giles know about the Fork Guy who’s coming for her. Giles is like, that’s vague. Then he grumbles about the beautiful weather and eats an apple and I am in heaven. Mmmmm Giles…Oh right, recap. So Giles leaves, Buffy sits next to Willow on the school steps and Xander comes running over to let them know that the biology teacher that believes in Buffy has disappeared. This sucks for Buffy. Xander’s in the middle of reassuring her when he looks up to see a beautiful woman walking up the steps of the school. Xander’s reaction is THIS.
The teacher walks right up top him and asks him for help. Xander can barely form a word but finally manages, “….yeah…” She asks how to get to Science 109. Xander drops the ball and can’t remember how to get there. Unfortunately for him Blayne can. He pops up and tells the woman he’s going there right now, mentioning how it’s right near the Varsity Field where he took all city last year. The woman looks impressed and follows Blayne. Xander has sad. Xander, maybe if you didn’t wear that god-awful brown velveteen shirt you’d feel more confident.
Buffy and Willow walk into science class. Buffy finds Dr. Gregory’s glasses on the floor. One lens is badly cracked. She thinks it’s odd that Dr. G never picked up his glasses after he dropped them. HMMMMM. She puts them on a table.
Guess who’s the science teacher sub? It’s the hot woman. Her name is Natalie French. Blayne makes a lot of sexual comments throughout the class as she teaches because Blayne is a disgusting pervert. I bet he’s a virgin.
Miss French teaches all about the praying mantis. It’s a solitary insect, and a cannibal. The female is larger than the male and more aggressive. She lays her eggs and finds a mate to fertilize them. Afterwards she hangs the sack of eggs on a leaf. Ms. French wants to make model egg sacks for the science fair and asks for volunteers. Every male in the room eagerly raises their hand.
At lunch, Xander brags that Miss French is interested in him, hoping to make Buffy jealous. Willow and Buffy are not jealous. They tease him for being a dumbass. Blayne cuts in line for more food. He needs to carb up for his one on one with Miss French today. Xander’s one on one is scheduled for tomorrow, because he came in second, according to Blayne.
Cordelia has a doctor’s note prescribing a special lunch so she gets to walk behind the counter and grab the special lunch her doctor ships to her daily. Sure, why not? She opens the cooler door and screams. Hey! She found Dr. Gregory, the biology teacher! She didn’t, however, find his missing head.
Willow, Xander and Buffy are in the library, talking to Giles about dead Dr. Gregory. They’re all rather traumatized. Xander wonders where the head is. Buffy stands up and says that Angel warned her something was coming. Why he can’t be more specific is beyond me.
They discuss the warning Angel gave Buffy. Giles says he researched and read about a vampire that angered The Master, so The Master cut his hand off. Maybe he replaced it with a weapon.
Giles doesn’t think that is what killed Dr. Gregory. After all, he wasn’t drained of blood. Xander is not happy to hear there’s more than one bad thing at a time to worry about. Buffy points out that they live on the Hellmouth. Whatchya gonna do, ya know? After all, there was a homeless guy killed near Weatherly Park the other night. He was all shredded up.
Giles makes Buffy promise not to go patrolling tonight. ESPECIALLY to Weatherly Park. She promises.
That night, Buffy is patrolling in Weatherly Park-WAIT WHAT?! She lied to Giles!
A homeless guy startles her, telling her it’s dangerous to be out here late at night. Well, Buffy didn’t listen to Giles and she sure isn’t going to listen to some homeless dude either. She keeps looking around.
A ratty-looking vampire with long stringy hair jumps out of a hidden storm drain. His hair is just awful. He could realluy use a good shampoo and a light conditioner. Hold up-enough about his lack of conditioner-this vamp has some sort of metal claw where a hand should be. He slashes at Buffy as they fight.
The police show up and frighten the vamp away. Buffy takes off too, trying to find where he went. She finally sees him just outside the park. He’s jumped the fence and is about to kill a woman carrying two paper grocery bags. The woman turns and it’s Miss French, the substitute teacher. She stares coldly at the vamp, who hisses and backs away. The vamp takes off and runs underground to the sewers. Miss French calmly continues walking. Buffy is flabbergasted.
Giles is not happy to hear that Buffy disobeyed and went patrolling but Buffy’s all, yeah yeah, but guess what? Miss French is like some sort of evil! They’re totes going to keep an eye on her.
Buffy’s on her way to class but gets pulled aside by Principal Flutie. Everyone that saw the Headless Scienceman has to see a councillor so they can talk about their feels. Buffy really wants to go to bio class so she can study Miss French but he insists. She sits down outside the councillor’s office with an adorable pout. That SMG is just too cute.
The door to the room is open and Buffy can hear Cordelia rambling on about how she hasn’t been able to eat since she found the teacher but hurray, she’s lost at least 7 ounces so let’s all look on the bright side of life! Buffy can’t believe what she’s hearing.
Pop quiz in the biology class! Miss French walks around and leans close to Xander, telling him that the correct answer to number 14 is: pollination. ROMANCE. She sensually puts her hand on his shoulder and purrs, “See you here after school.” It’s Xander’s turn for the one on one. Hey…anyone seen Blayne today? No? Oh, ok. *shrugs shoulders*
Buffy finally escapes from talking about her feelings and runs to class. She pauses outside the door and peers in to see Miss French standing and touching Xander. Miss French, sensing someone is looking, turns her head to see. As in, turns it all the way around like The Exorcist. Buffy ducks right before Miss French sees her. ME NO LIKEY.
Willow and Buffy walk into the library. Buffy is telling Willow all about the head turning incident. She is also suspicious of the missing Blayne because, just like the dearly-departed and much missed Dr. Gregory the biology teacher said, Buffy is smart.
Giles hasn’t found any creature that can strike fear into a vampire. Buffy asks what can turn their head 180 degrees. Nothing human. Buffy says some insects can do it. See? She IS learning. I mention that an owl can too but no one listens to me. Plus an owl doesn’t really strike fear into the heart of anyone.
Buffy leaves to figure out what’s going on with Miss French by doing: HER HOMEWORK. Awww, Buffy! Willow looks proud.
Miss French is making a sandwich when Xander walks in for his one on one. She’s already started making the ‘mock’ egg sack for the ‘science fair’. It’s large. Very large. The insect would have to be as large as, say, a human to make an egg sack that big. But never mind, science fair.
Miss French says she’s done something very stupid and hopes Xander will forgive her. Xander says forgiveness is his middle name. “Actually, it’s LaVelle. I’d appreciate it if you’d guard that secret with your life.” HA. LAVELLE.
Miss French confesses that she left the paint and paper maché at home, PLUS she has a teacher conference in a half hour. Would Xander mind terribly coming down to her house tonight to work on the project? Emphasis on ‘coming’. She lowers her eyes and coyly looks up at him through her lashes <— this sentence is in every romance novel ever written.
Xander agrees to show up at 7:30 and leaves. He’s thrilled.
Miss French finishes making her sandwich. A piece of bread, a little mayo…and some live crickets. Fold up the bread and presto-bango! You’ve got yourself one tasty snack! She eats it, savouring each delicious bite.
Back in the library, Buffy is victorious. She reads aloud to Giles about the praying mantis. Guess who can rotate their heads 180 degrees? Ha! Biology, bitch!
Willow and Giles aren’t on board about Miss French until Buffy points out s few facts: only the praying mantis can turn their head like that, the stringy-haired, iron-clawed vamp is terrified of her AND her fashion sense screams predator. They’re on board.
Willow, still merrily hacking into the school’s network, finds out that Blayne’s mom called in to the school to report that he never came home last night. And Xander’s helping Miss French right now!
Buffy says she’ll go warn Xander. She tells Willow to hack into the Coroner’s files and see what they say about Dr. Gregory. She thinks it’ll show teeth marks where the head used to be. Giles asks if this is legal and they both look at him with big eyes. “Of course! Entirely!” they say, innocently.
“I wasn’t here, didn’t see it, couldn’t have stopped you,” Giles mutters and leaves the room.
Buffy finds Xander and asks about his meeting with Miss French. He says it’s hard being her favourite guy in the room but he’ll muddle through it. Buffy breaks the news to him that she thinks Miss French isn’t human. In fact, she’s a big bug. Xander gets annoyed and claims Buffy’s jealous because he met someone. There’s something chemical between them. Yeah, Xander, it’s called pheromones.
Xander gets all pissy and says Miss French is NOT an insect. And what kind of name is Angel, anyways? He storms off and Buffy is completely confused.
Candle light, little black dress and piano music softly playing in the background: Miss French is getting ready to do some paper machè. I mean, that’s how I do it.
The doorbell rings. It’s Xander. She asks him if she should change and he’s like FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT CHANGE. She offers him a martini and says she needs one to relax, as she’s a little nervous around him. Xander’s also nervous. He rambles a bit and then chugs his drink. Xander does not have any cool moves.
Miss French moves closer and asks him a personal question. “Have you ever been with a woman before?”
“You mean, like, in the same room?”
HAHAHA oh Xander.
Miss French says he knows what she means. Xander rambles that there’s been several…this one girl was incredible…no. This pleases Miss French. It’s what she needs.
Xander thinks he hears something but Miss French says it’s nothing. She takes his hands and Xander flashes back to his Buffy fantasy. He’s really woozy. He confesses that he loves Buffy. That martini really hit him hard.
Hey, are you sure you don’t hear something, in the basement? Someone calling for help? Miss French leans close and asks Xander if he would like to touch her with those hands. Xander looks down at Miss French. “You’re hands…are really…serrated…” Indeed they are. They’re all insect-like for a moment. Xander passes out and the huge bug Miss French drags him away.
Xander wakes up in a creepy basement cage. There’s a huge praying mantis down there. Scared, Xander calls out, “Miss French?”
“Please. Call me Natalie,” she answers, in a buggy voice. Well, crap.
Still at the library, Giles is trying to contact an old colleague who went mad years ago. This colleague spoke of a giant insect right before he lost his mind. Giles isn’t having much luck getting the hospital to put the man on the line.
Willow has pulled up the Coroner’s report, complete with pictures. That head was definitely bitten off. Willow panics about Xander. She likes his head and eyes and adorable smile! Buffy comforts her. Not to worry, Willow! Xander’s safe at home right now.
Xander’s still in the cage. He discovers that Blayne is there too, in the cage next to him. Blayne is in full panic mode, saying he has to get him out of there. He’s seen things. Bad things.
“She…she takes you out of the cage and ties you up and then she like, starts throbbing and moving and these eggs come shooting out of her! And then…”
Xander is terrified. “What?! Then what?”
Blayne is panting with fear. “She mates with you.”
“She…” Xander doesn’t know how to process this info.
“That’s not the worst part!” Blayne shouts. This surprises Xander. It gets worse?
“It’s not?” he asks. What’s worse than a rapey giant praying mantis? Oh, you know, there’s the whole biting your head off after. Blayne’s SEEN THINGS.
Xander tries to calm him and Blayne thinks he has a plan. Xander plays along that he has a plan but Blayne just sinks to the ground in despair.
Giles has finally gotten through to his old colleague who confirms the whole She-Mantis creature theory. The mantis lures young male virgins and kills them after mating. HA! I knew Blayne was all talk! What a dummy.
Buffy wants to know how to kill this She-Mantis and Giles suggests chopping off all the limbs. Works for me.
Willow runs to call Xander and finds out that he isn’t home. He’s at Miss French’s house omg! Buffy is fully in charge now. She sets Willow to finding Miss French’s address by looking in the substitute files, then sets Giles to record some bat sonar. Her studying made her learn things, like how bats eat mantises and their sonar makes the mantises nervous system all messed up. Giles has no idea where to find bat sonar and Buffy tells him to look in the video library. I don’t know if we ever hear of this video library ever again, but whatevs. Buffy goes to get weapons.
Speaking of weapons, Xander manages to pull a length of metal bar off his cage.
Willow prints out Miss French’s address. According to her records, Miss French is 90 years old and is really stupid to not change her birthdate. Then again, no one would think it was anything more than a typo. Damn! Miss French is clever!
The three race to Miss French’s house. Giles doesn’t know what to do to get in and Buffy’s all YOLO and lifts her leg to do what she does best-kick in the door. Just as she’s about to, however, a sweet little old lady opens the door and asks them if they’re selling anything. The gang is confused.
Meanwhile, in the worst sex-dungeon ever, the She-Mantis is choosing her dinner for the night. Blayne begs her to pick Xander. Thanks, Blayne. She-Mantis does and Xander slowly inches out of the cage as commanded. He makes a break for it and runs up the basement stairs. The mantis smacks him hard with her limb and he falls back down to the ground, stunned.
It turns out that the real Miss French is standing right in front of Buffy and the gang. The She-Mantis used Miss French’s records. Now they have no idea where Xander is! Buffy is sure she lives in this neighbourhood; she saw her walking with her groceries. Willow wants to start banging on doors. Buffy says there’s no time for that! She goes into the sewer and quickly returns with the claw vamp. His hair is still terrible. Maybe some Head and Shoulders would help. She’s tied his hands behind his back so he can’t go to the store right now to get some.
Buffy uses the vamp like a sort of bloodhound, leading him around the neighbourhood until he gets too scared to go another step. That must be where the She-Mantis lives! Buffy turns to look and the vamp saws his way out of his ropes. They fight and Buffy falls in the front yard, next to the quaint white picket fence. She grabs a piece just as the vamp leaps on her and stakes him. That vamp was stupid. There’s so many great conditioners out there.
She-Mantis has Xander all tied up and is trying to get him to kiss her. Um…kiss you how? She’s gonna lay eggs soon. Xander screams for help and Buffy kicks in the window. This is a great reversal of Xander’s dream fantasy. Poor Xander.
Buffy sprays the mantis with bug spray, keeping it at bay as the others work on freeing the boys. Buffy turns to the mantis, angry and smug.
“Remember Dr. Gregory? You scarfed his head? Yeah, well he taught me if you do your homework you learn stuff! Like what happens to your nervous system when you hear THIS!” She holds up the tape recorder and presses play in victory. Giles’ voice is heard, droning, “…extremely important to file not simply alphabetically…” Whoops. Wrong side of the tape.
Buffy whirls. “Giles!” she shouts, accusingly. The mantis smacks the tape recorder out of her hand. Buffy fights her, buying time as Giles grabs the tape recorder. He switches the tape over and hits play. The high-pitched sound makes the She-Mantis screech. She can’t function.
Buffy chops her to pieces.
Xander admits that Buffy was right. He’s an idiot and god bless her. Aw Xander, you are the best.
Willow says how the mantis only went after virgins and both boys look mortified. Blayne threatens to sue anyone who repeats this news to anyone. Seriously, you will be facing a LAWSUIT! Xander tells him to shut up. Haha.
Smiling, Willow lets Xander know she doesn’t think it’s a bad thing. In fact, she thinks it’s sweet. Xander picks up Buffy’s machete and Willow takes a small step back. She’ll never bring it up again, of course…
Xander goes over to the egg sacks and destroys them.
Buffy’s hanging out at the Bronze and she’s wearing Angel’s jacket. ROMANCE. Her hair is extra big. She really could’ve helped that claw vamp.
Guess who shows up? Hint: Angel. It’s Angel. He smirks at her in greeting and says he heard Sunnydale is down a vamp. She confirms and thanks him for the tip. What tip? That vague warning to look out and not show mercy? That was the worst tip ever. Ugh.
Buffy offers to give his jacket back but Angel says it looks better on her. He slinks away and Buffy stares in lust. She’s all, I could totally bite his head off AMIRITE LADIES???
Buffy’s back in class. The new biology teacher is very strict. Buffy is sad. After class she sees Dr. Gregory’s glasses still on the desk. She picks them up and sadly puts them in his old lab coat hanging in the lab closet. She closes the door and the camera pans over, revealing a sack of eggs. One cracks open. It’s hatching. Ominous music!