Season 4 Episode 18 - Where the Wild Things Are
This week's episode opens with Buffy fighting a vampire in a cemetery (again). But this time she's kicking its ass and Riley's there to give her a hand. They're about to slay it when a horned, blue demon jumps out to help the vampire. They succeed in slaying both creatures, but also work up a load of sexual tension, for instead of reporting this weird occurrence to Giles, they end up in Riley's room, already making out as they come through the door, and fall on the bed.
Later, in the middle of the night, all is quiet in Lowell House. On the second floor in Riley's room, he and Buffy are sleeping when something wakes up Riley. He steps out of the room to investigate a dripping sound. It leads him to the bathroom where he pushes aside the shower curtain to discover that someone didn't shut the water faucets all the way.
The next day, the ice cream man is coming the ice cream man who happens to be Xander. He pulls the ice cream truck to the curb on a suburban street. Anya is with him, and he's trying to convince her to go with him to the party Riley's having at Lowell House. Her being an ex-demon, she's not really comfortable with the idea of walking straight into the den of the Initiative soldiers who hunt demons. She accuses him of not caring and claims that he no longer finds her attractive since they didn't have sex last night. He points out that they've gone other nights without sex. "I know," she says. "Twice!" Anya thinks they're breaking up. "You want sex? Let's have sex!" he demands, as he begins to remove his clothing. His plan is ended when the two notice the group of children and parents who have gathered around the truck, gaping at them.
In the student lounge, Buffy, Riley, Giles, Willow, and Tara are talking about the encounter with the vampire and demon. Giles is puzzled since demons and vampires don't get along very well. They reason that Adam must be behind this. "Who better to bring together a bunch of demon types than someone who's made out of a bunch of demon types?" Buffy says. Giles suggests that Buffy and Riley should stay on the lookout for any other unusual pairings. Riley tells him there'll be a reserve unit on patrol during the party and informs Giles he's welcome to attend. Giles bows out, he has some "grown up" stuff to do at the Espresso Pump that night. Buffy and Riley suddenly realize they have twenty minutes to kill before she has to go to class so they excuse themselves and hurry off to do that "thing."
That night at Lowell House, Forrest and Graham are complaining about the cold because the furnace was supposed to have just been fixed. On their way down the stairs they stop by Riley's door when they hear Buffy and Riley going at it. Downstairs another Lowell brother, Mason, is working on a fire in the fireplace, but it's done nothing to heat the place up.
In his room, Riley and Buffy show no sign of slowing down. In fact, their passion seems to intensify. The fireplace suddenly belches flames and ignites Mason. Forrest rips down a university flag to smother the flames while Graham goes for help.
The next night, Anya is walking towards the Bronze when a vamped-out Spike jumps out at her, making her scream. She's pissed because he made her "yell really high." He demands that she give him money. She refuses to pay him for scaring her, but he tells her he's robbing her. This is how Spike keeps himself supplied with blood and beer. Anya's unimpressed, and Spike points out that she's not with "droopy boy" (Xander). "Did he have better things to do?" he asks.
The party at Lowell House is in full swing. Graham, Forrest, and Riley are mingling by the stairs. Graham is telling them how Mason volunteered for patrol duty so the girls wouldn't see him with his singed-off eyebrows. But Riley's not really listening, as he's too busy staring across the room at Buffy. Buffy is similarly not paying attention as Xander tells her, Willow, and Tara about the embarrassing fight he and Anya had in front of the kids. They see how distracted she is, so Willow chooses that time to tell Buffy "someone so not me spilled something purply on your new peasant top, which I would never borrow without asking. Still love me?" To which Buffy replies distractedly, "Uh-huh."
While Xander is glad that Anya no longer has her powers, Anya is confiding in Spike, at the Bronze, how she misses those powers. A year and a half ago, she says, she could have eviscerated Xander with her thoughts. Spike says how people like them took the killing for granted and he wishes he'd appreciated it more "Stopped and smelled the corpses." Spike can relate to Anya and her relationship problems and suggests they should take their vengeance Anya can eviscerate Xander and he can go stake Drusilla. Anya seems tempted, but says she can't, and tells him he can still do Dru. Spike says he will
Back at the party, Roy (one of the cave-boys from "Beer Bad") is talking to a girl, trying to impress her with his intellect, when he puts his hand on the wall. He suddenly starts feeling waves of sexual pleasure. Meanwhile, Xander flirts with a pretty redhead, Julie, who seems to like him.
Buffy walks up to Riley and, unconvincingly, asks him to review an essay she wrote. Taking his leave from Forrest and Graham, Riley and Buffy hurry upstairs to his room. "And I'm the one who got a D in covert ops," Graham tells Forrest.
Willow and Tara are sitting together on the stairs talking about horseback riding. Apparently, Willow had a bad birthday pony experience when she was four, but Tara assures Willow that she'll be safe with her. Willow touches Tara's knee, but Tara suddenly pulls away in disgust, telling Willow not to touch her. Willow asks her what's wrong, but Tara doesn't know and runs off to the bathroom, leaving a hurt Willow behind.
Anya arrives at the party with Spike, who quickly recognizes these guys from somewhere. Anya tells him, "Initiative soldiers. They live here. Experiments happen in the lab under the house. It's where they kept you and put in your chip. Let's have fun!" Xander spots them and demands to know what she's doing with Spike. Spike antagonizes Xander, so Xander tries to draw attention by calling Spike "Hostile 17." The Initiative boys, though, don't take any notice. Thinking this could be fun after all, Spike goes off to find the beer, leaving Anya and Xander to argue. She tells Xander that they're through since they have nothing in common, except for the fact they both like his penis (which she's not even getting anymore), but Xander says he's the one who gets to walk away. They both stomp off in opposite directions to have "fun" without each other.
Xander finds a game of spin-the-bottle in progress and is lured over by a flirtatious Julie. Meanwhile, Spike sits by the beer keg, and a drunken commando sitting across from him tells him he looks familiar. "Yeah, I get that a lot," Spike says. Xander spins the bottle and it stops on Julie. Wary that Anya might be watching, Xander just pecks her on the cheek. Julie, however, throws herself on top of him, smothering him with kisses. She suddenly stops in shock and apologizes, running off in shame. Concerned, Xander goes after her. He sees a group gathered around the orgasmic spot on the wall taking turns putting their hands on it. He finds a locked closet door and hears Julie crying inside, but is unable to get her to come out. Inside, Julie is cutting off her hair, repeating to herself, "I'm bad."
Willow looks for Tara upstairs but finds the bathroom empty or so she thinks, until she opens the shower curtain to find a boy drowning in the tub. But when she reaches to save him he disappears, then reappears behind her causing her to scream. Buffy and Riley hear her, but only pause for a moment before continuing ... what they were doing.
Xander is looking for a friend of Julie's to help her when Willow finds him and tells him about the ghost she saw. Tara joins them. She doesn't like what's happening and thinks they should go. Just then, the spinning beer bottle explodes, sending glass in the faces of some of the players. The group decides they need Buffy. They knock on Riley's door, but thick vines sprout from the floor and start covering the door. There is no response from inside, as Buffy and Riley are lost in their world of lust.
The large house begins to shake in an earthquake and everyone starts evacuating. An unfazed Spike is glad that the party is starting to liven up until he's magically strapped to his chair, spilling his beer. Forrest and Graham head down to the Initiative to begin lockdown procedures. Xander, Willow, and Tara meet up with Anya downstairs and run for the door. Spike has freed himself and joins them. Xander is the last one out when he sees Julie crying for help, her head nearly completely bald, and pulls her outside. She runs off, and the others wonder what they should do. Xander says he's going in after Buffy and Riley and asks who's with him. Spike says he is, but then realizes that he doesn't even like any of them and walks off, looking for another party. Xander steps inside, but is roughly ejected and suggests maybe they should go find Giles.
At the Espresso Pump, a group of grown ups are gathered listening to a man playing acoustic guitar and singing a blues song. The gang is shocked to see that the performer is Giles, complete with earring. Willow just stares at him wide-eyed, slack-jawed in disbelief. Xander is creeped out by this and wants to go back to the haunted house, but Tara and Anya think he's really good. Willow thinks he's kind of sexy and says that now she remembers why she used to have such a crush on him.
At Lowell House, the vines are still growing outward from Riley's door. Inside, he and Buffy can't even stop to catch their breath, driven by an unseen force.
With Giles, the gang has gone to a library, where they research the history of Lowell House. Willow finds that Lowell House wasn't always a fraternity. From 1949 to 1960, it was a children's home for runaways, juvenile delinquents, and emotionally disturbed children. Thinking this may be the cause of the ghosts in the house, Giles, Anya, and Xander go to the home of the old woman, Mrs. Holt, who used to run it. From Mrs. Holt they find out that none of the children died under her care, but she did punish them whenever they were "dirty." Anya gets the feeling she didn't mean muddy-dirty. The old lady explains that without her, "her kids" would have been lost to lust. She would cut off the hair of the girls who showed too much vanity in their appearance and baptize those who had impure thoughts by holding them under the water in the bathtub.
Giles is quite furious by this, accusing Mrs. Holt of ruining these children's lives. As they leave, Anya wonders where the ghosts are coming from if the kids were only tortured and didn't die in the house. Giles doesn't believe there are any ghosts, just a cluster of poltergeists manifested from all the pent up sexual emotions left in the house and unleashed by Buffy and Riley's round the clock "acts of nakedness," as Xander calls it. The poltergeists are drawing more and more energy from them, and when all their energy is drained, they will die.
Lowell House. Buffy and Riley. Still going.
At Stevenson Hall, in the dorm room, Willow, Tara, and Giles are preparing to perform a binding spell while Xander is digging out weapons from Buffy's trunk. He and Anya are going to go in while the others try to bind the poltergeists. Waiting at the front door of Lowell, Anya admits that she's feeling sad and afraid of losing Xander (and hungry). In the dorm, Willow and the others perform the spell and call the shadows of the Lowell kids. With the house free, Xander and Anya step inside and hack their way up the staircase, which has become a jungle.
Tara and Giles are imploring the spirits to rest as ease. Willow tells them to move on and "get over it."
When Xander and Anya reach Riley's door, the poltergeists know they're there and disappear from the dorm to return to Lowell House. Xander is flung into the bathroom; when Anya tries to help him, she's thrown from the second floor balcony and falls to the living room below (luckily landing with her head on the couch). Xander is in the tub being held under the water by an unseen force. As he thrashes, he can see the Lowell kids looking down at him.
Below, Anya gets back to her feet. Looking pissed, she starts up the stairs again as the poltergeists screech at her. "Shut up! You repressed crybabies!" she shouts. They respond by spearing a vine through the palm of her hand. In pain, she pulls the vine out of her hand and looks even more pissed as she continues upstairs.
Xander is still thrashing under the water when Anya pulls him out. They step out of the bathroom to discover the vines are in their way. As they make their way to Riley's door, they're attacked by the foliage, but they reach the door. When they force the door open, the magic is lifted, and Buffy and Riley are startled. Buffy is peeved: "Xander, don't you knock?" Exhausted, Anya and Xander just exchange a look and don't say a word as they turn and walk away.
The next day, in the Rocket Cafe on campus, Riley can't believe it really happened. Buffy is creeped out. "He was really singing?" she asks. Crooning, Xander tells her. He asks Anya to remind him to skip the mid-life crisis. Willow reaffirms that Giles was kind of sexy; Xander is willing to pay her to stop saying that. Riley and Buffy blame themselves for causing all the trouble. Willow thinks they're being too hard on themselves, but Anya agrees with them and says they should feel shame. Willow tells them it wasn't their fault, since they were under the influence of powerful magic. Buffy says they were like zombies, admitting that she had no control over herself. "It must have been horrible," Willow says. Buffy and Riley exchange a look. "Yeah, horrible," she says. Riley agrees, "Terrible." Clearly they lie.