“Bargaining” (P1 by Marti Noxon, P2 by David Fury)
Spike, Giles and Tara are chasing a vampire. Am I right in thinking there’s a combat trio you wouldn’t have guessed at a couple years ago? Actually, the whole gang’s out with them. There’s more than one vamp on the prowl, but they’re still just the story equivalent of an appetizer, a been-there, dusted-that prelude to get us all in the mood.
As Spike incinerates one vamp and the Buffybot skewers the other, we see what’s been up in Scoobyland over the course of the summer. The gang, led by Willow, is perpetrating the myth that the Slayer is still alive so that demonkind won’t come calling and Social Services won’t make off with Dawn.
Put another way: it’s been another Slayerless summer in Sunnydale. (I was hoping that phrase might make a good tongue-twister, but it’s actually pretty easy to say.)