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Join Comixology Unlimited to read BtVS comics — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
The Initiative

Riley starts us off this week, sitting in the cafeteria grading papers while his friend, Forrest, comments on all the hotties. Forrest spots Buffy, whom he's quite impressed with. A third friend, Graham, joins them just as Riley is explaining that Buffy is too "peculiar" for his taste. While they're discussing her (and referring to her in such loving terms as "mattressable"), Buffy is obliviously (and clumsily) going about her cafeteria-business — managing to overfill her soda and break the ice cream machine.

Meanwhile, Spike is just awakening from unconsciousness, mumbling about killing the Slayer. When he fully comes to, he finds himself trapped in one of many white cells is some kind of laboratory/demon prison. He touches the glass doors of the front wall, but gets electrocuted.

Over at Giles' place, Giles is making a sketch of what he believes the commando guys look like, while Xander suggests that they summon some evil just so they can kick its ass — the two have noticed that they haven't been fully necessary lately. Buffy arrives and gives them something to do: she's decided that they should patrol tonight while she takes Willow (who's despondent over Oz's departure) to a party to cheer her up. She departs, off to find something slutty to wear (no, really, that's what she said).

Spike's cellBack in Spike's cell, a packet of blood is dropped down to him through the ceiling. Spike is about to dig in when his neighbor (the vamp that got zapped in "The Freshman") warns him that it's drugged. Once a vamp eats it, he passes out, and he's taken to be experimented on. Spike comes to the conclusion that Buffy is to blame for this, and vows to take her apart, no matter how brilliant she is.

Brilliant Buffy in in Psych. class, breaking her ballpoint pen and getting ink all over her notes. Class ends, and WIllow goes to tell Riley (who didn't call Oz's name when he took roll) that Oz isn't dropping out; he'll be back. Walsh interrupts, telling Willow that if Oz can't stick to her schedule, he just shouldn't come back. Willow leaves, on the verge of tears, and Buffy comes to her defense, telling Walsh that she should try exhibiting some human behavior, seeing as she does teach it. Buffy walks out, and Walsh tells Riley that she likes Buffy. "Really," Riley wonders, "you don't think she's a little peculiar?"

Xander and Giles are in Xander's basement, rounding up some weapons that Xander requisitioned when he was turned into "military guy." Xander admits that his skills are fading, but insists he's still a hand-to-hand expert. Xander's mom calls down to the "boys," asking if they want some punch; Giles wonders if it's raspberry flavored.

Back at school, Riley tells Forrest about Buffy having told off Professor Walsh. Forrest admires her guts, but Riley thinks she's nuts. Parker strolls by, and Forrest takes the opportunity to ask what he thinks about Buffy. Parker says she's ok, but a little clingy (though he does admit that she's got stamina in the sack). He makes a joke comparing Buffy to a toilet, and Riley suddenly punches him. This prompts Riley to realize that he likes Buffy (you know, likes her), and he says he's off to see a girl.

Back in the lab, Spike has passed out, and some white coats come to take him away. They drag him out of his cell, set him up on a gurney, and suddenly his eyes pop open — he was faking, of course. Fighting ensues, and Spike's neighbor convinces him to let him out, since he knows where the exit is. They make it out one door, but get caught by some commandos. Spike distracts them by throwing the other vamp into their arms, and he runs out.

In her dorm, Willow is lying on her bed listening to depressing music when Riley arrives. He tells Willow he was thinking of asking Buffy out, and wants her advice. Willow spots Buffy's bag o' weapons and tries to covertly slip them under her bed. Riley does it for her, without looking down at the contents. Willow then declares that if she helps him, one of them will probably end up getting their heart broken. Riley gets the point, and goes to leave, disappointed. Willow blurts out that Buffy likes cheese. She also tells him that she has a stuffed pig named Mr. Gordo, she likes the ice capades, and they'll be going to the party that night at Lowell House. Ooh, isn't that interesting, that's where Riley lives! She warns him not to get fresh, and insists that she is not his accomplice.

Meanwhile, Harmony is hanging a unicorn poster in her lair when Spike surprises her. She's both happy and mad, but he insists that he's here to stay this time, and that she'll have his full attention — after he kills Buffy. She gets physical with him, and he complains that she's hurting his head.

Giles and Xander are out on patrol; Xander is annoying Giles with his dramatic ramblings.

Buffy and Willow arrive at the party, and Willow sneaks over to Riley. She tells him that, based on Buffy's outfit, she's looking to dance and have fun, with no heavy conversation. Riley claims that he can't dance, though, so she tells him to just make conversation (warning him that if he hurts her, she'll beat him with a shovel). Riley heads over to Buffy, and proceeds to talk about the Psychology reading. Then he offers her cheese.

Xander and Harmony fightXander, who's on his own since Giles decided to split up, spots Harmony pouring gasoline over a pile of clothing and such. He threatens to stake her, prompting her to slap him. His response: to kick her in the shin. The two then engage in a very second-grade girly-fight, finally getting each other in headlocks and agreeing to call it off on the count of three. He decides to just leave her alone with her fire, but she says it's not her fire, since it's Spike's stuff she's burning ("Like I would listen to the Sex Pistols. Ew!"). She whines about Spike leaving her again, and how he was so caught up in his plan to kill the Slayer. Xander takes off in the middle of her sentence, and she tosses a match onto the fire.

At the party, Riley declares to Willow that he totally bombed with Buffy. She tries to comfort him ("You failed extremely well!") while Buffy dances with some guy. A DIngoes Ate My Baby song comes on (it's a tape of bands from a party held last year), and Riley senses that there are bad associations for Willow, so he asks a guy near the stereo to change the song. Willow tells Riley to tell Buffy that she's going home, and not to worry about her. Just when Riley is about ask Buffy something, Xander bursts in and takes Buffy off with him. Riley's friends tease him ("They're probably on their way to make crazy naked sex.") and tell him that he's needed downstairs. They go up to some mirror, where a retinal scan is done on them, and the mirror opens up into an elevator. They get in, and Riley talks into a speaker, which identifies his voice as Special Agent Finn, Riley. As they head downstairs into a huge fancy laboratory in which demons are being examined, RIley wonders what kind of girl would want to go out with a guy who's normal by day and demon-hunter by night. They head over to Professor Walsh, who tells them they have a Code Red — Hostile 17 (Spike) has escaped. She gives them the rundown, and puts Riley in charge of the operation. He gives orders, and takes Forrest and Graham with him.

Over at Giles', Buffy is mad that Spike keeps coming back to her town — and on her night off, no less. Xander makes fun of Riley, and Buffy "defends" him ("Riley's a doof. He's not teutonic."). She declares that she's going out alone to lure Spike and kill him once and for all. Xander insists that she take his flare gun, just in case.

Spike has broken in to a campus office, where he looks up Buffy's dorm room on the computer.

Out on campus, Buffy sits on a bench waiting for Spike, and Riley and pals spot her. Needing to get her out of the way, Riley takes off his commando gear and heads over, trying to convince Buffy that it's too dangerous outside. She refuses to let him take her home, calling him teutonic when he admits that he thinks boys can take care of themselves and girls need help. Their debate is interrupted when they hear a scream and both take off in different directions.

Riley heads over to the commando guys, who have used some technical gadget to spot the movement of what they presume to be Spike.

Lying on her bed, Willow hears a knock at the door, and invites the person in. Bad move: it's Spike. He gives her a choice of whether she wants to stay dead or be vamped. She screams, prompting Spike to turn the stereo on loud to drown out her struggling. He pins her on the bad and leans in for the kill...

Spike and WillowAfter the commercial, we find Spike and Willow sitting on the bed. It turns out that Spike can't bite her; when he tries, he's hit by a terrible pain in his head. Willow thinks she's not attractive to him, but he reassures her that he's thought about biting her before, and would if he could.

Outside, the commandos are use a heat sensor to figure out where Spike is, and they head in to the dorm.

Willow, after comforting Spike, comes to her senses and knocks him over the head with a lamp. She can't open the door, so she throws herself onto it — just as the commandos push it open; she crashes into them. Spike comes out, and they throw a bag over Spike's head. While they debate over whether to take Willow (she could have turned), Spike gets loose; when they try to shoot at him, he holds up a fire extinguisher in front of him, which explodes. Buffy arrives and shoots her flare gun and everyone is pretty much blind by this point. Spike jumps out a window and gets away, while Buffy and Riley unknowingly fight each other. Just as the smoke starts to clear, Riley calls to abort, and they leave.

Riley and co.Back at the lab, the guys are getting reamed by Walsh for not catching Spike. They believe Buffy to have been an accomplice of Spike's — a big, male accomplice. Riley does confirm that the implant they put in Spike has rendered him unable to feed or harm anyone, and he promises to catch him.

The next day, Riley approaches Buffy walking on campus and apologizes for his behavior last night; she apologizes as well. He asks how Willow's doing, and Buffy says that the fraternity prank last night didn't help. Riley says he doesn't remember what he was going to tell her at the party, and he then asks if Willow told her that he likes cheese. Buffy looks up at him and tells him, "You're a little peculiar." Riley decides that he can live with that, and they walk off.

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