“Storyteller,” by Jane Espenson
Previously on BtVS, we have tended to start our episodes in one of Sunnydale’s abundant graveyards, at the Bronze, or, until they blew it the heck up, Sunnydale High Mark One. But today we get one of the most unconventional opens, possibly the most unconventional in a tie with “Once More with Feeling,” when the start of “Storyteller” unfolds more like an episode of Masterpiece.
We find ourselves watching Andrew, of all people, as he reads an (imaginary) book by an (imaginary) fire whilst rhapsodizing about how awesome it is to get lost in a good narrative. He invites us, his gentle (imaginary... wait! are we real?) viewers, to come hear a Buffy story.
Okay, now we get a shot of Buffy on the Slay... in a local cemetary. All’s right with our world again. She shoots a vamp with a crossbow as Andrew narrates—referring to them as VampEERs—and then gets into a round of martial arts with a second. The action’s getting intense when a rapping at the door reveals Andrew in his true surroundings. He’s in the bathroom at the Summers house, weaseling into a camcorder. When he tells Anya he’s “entertaining and informing,” she demands: “Why can’t you just masturbate like the rest of us?
Which is why, dear Anyanka, we heart you!
[Get your steaming Andrew here...]