Guest Starring: 
 Emma Caulfield: 
 Mercedes McNab: 
 Adam Kaufman: 
 (Parker Abrams) 
 Jason Hall: 
  3. The Harsh Light of Day.  
  Spike and Harmony return to Sunnydale while Anya has a proposition for Xander. Buffy shares an intimate encounter with Parker Abrams.  
  Great quotes:  
Parker goes all slushy-eyed on Buffy.
  • Willow: "Buffy's having lusty-wrong feelings!"
  • Buffy to Spike on why he's with Harmony: "Did you lose a bet?"
  • Harmony: "I don't have a pulse; cool."
  • Anya to Xander: "I like you, you're funny and you're nicely shaped. Frankly It's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not interlock. Please remove your clothes now."
  • Xander: "... I'm actually turning into a woman as I say this; but it's [sexual intercourse] about expressing something ... and accepting consequences."
  • Xander: "Giles has a TV; he's shallow like us!" Willow: "Well maybe it doesn't work, it's like art."
  • Spike: "You stupid bint!" A great bit of Englishness there.
  • Spike to Harmony: "I love syphilis more than you."
  Fantastic moments:  
Harmony and Spike.
  • The Spike / Harmony double act is great, I especially love the way Harmony breaks into Spike's 'hard-case' routine at the start of act 2. Once again note how becoming a vampire suddenly and miraculously changes a previously un-cool character. Harmony acquires a kinky and mysterious sensuality that she never had before.
  • Spike is really crude about the liaison between Buffy and Parker, I love it.
  Duff Bits:  
  • Another Maguffin in Sunnydale; why is the Gem of Amara in Southern California?
  • In the final scene Harmony, Anya and Buffy are all walking in circles around the university grounds. This doesn't work on two levels; firstly Buffy would attack Harmony on sight, secondly I'm annoyed that the writers felt they needed to spoon-feed the episode's subtexts to the audience.
  Dean's comments:  
Xander and Anya, post sex.
This is an episode that looks like it comes out of season 3; only it isn't quite as good. We have a plot that revolves around several characters finding out the same lesson in life at the same time; throw in some Xander related comedy with an energetic Buffy v Spike fight and we have BtVS in a nutshell. The final shots of Buffy, Anya and Harmony, all jilted women, round out a reasonably well-written story. Every hates Parker Abrams, but of course he is a character who is meant to be hated. This opening sequence of episodes of the forth season are all about introducing Buffy to a new world in which her old relationships make less sense; the use of Parker to give her a taste of the good and bad sides of freedom at university makes sense in this context.
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