September 24, 2022

Buffy 4.2, Living Conditions: Two’s a Crowd

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

This alone, apart from all of Kathy’s other quirks, would make me want to move out

Summary: Kathy is ironing her jeans and listening to Cher’s “Believe,” which is pretty much all you need to know about who she is. Buffy tells her she’s going to get coffee, even though it’s nighttime and Kathy figures the caffeine will keep her awake. Buffy promises to be quiet when she gets back to their room. Kathy asks her to log her phone calls so they can split their phone bill appropriately. Also, she wants to make sure Buffy’s the one who drank some of her milk, and that they weren’t victims of a thief. Not that there’s a problem with Buffy drinking her milk! It’s totally fine! Kathy is totally fine with everything!

Buffy meets up with Willow, who jokes that Buffy’s back to sneaking out of her room to go patrolling. Buffy’s trying to adjust to living with a roommate, especially one who’s so bubbly. She thinks sooner or later, Kathy will find her own reasons to be out of the dorm. Willow admits that she’s facing some challenges with her roommate, too. The two of them agree that they can take on this challenge, since, as Willow says, “Did we not put the ‘grrr’ in ‘girl’?”

Willow heads off to see Oz while Buffy goes on patrol in the woods. A demon with glowing eyes watches her from the shadows. Buffy hears a noise nearby and guesses she’s come across something she needs to kill. Instead, it’s Kathy. She decided to come with Buffy to get coffee. Yay, roommate bonding time! Super-fun!

When a demon growls and runs up on them, Buffy shoves Kathy out of the way, into some bushes. The demon runs off, and Buffy tells Kathy he was just a mugger. Kathy wishes Buffy hadn’t tried to fight him herself. Also, her sweater is ruined. The demon, who looks just like the first one, meets up with him and tells him to follow “her.”

The next day, Buffy finds Giles exercising at his place. She thinks that plus his motorbike magazine subscription mean he’s having a mid-life crisis. She really hopes not, since she’s still recovering from the last time he revisited his youth. Anyway, Buffy fought a demon but he got away. She mentions that Kathy was there but didn’t see anything. Giles thinks Buffy invited her along, but she corrects that Kathy invited herself.

She tries to make plans with Giles so she doesn’t have to go back to her room while Kathy’s there. She admits that she’s being a jerk, but then again, Kathy is really annoying. She measures her pencils to make sure they’re all the same size after she sharpens them. I feel like Giles would have that in common with her, actually. Giles advises Buffy to learn to tolerate people’s quirks. She decides to change her attitude and become a model roommate.

Kathy tries to clean dirt off of her sweater, but it’s pretty much a lost cause. She goes to Buffy’s closet and helps herself to one of her sweaters. She also spots Buffy’s bag of weapons and checks out a crossbow and a cross. She goes to the cafeteria, where Buffy spots her in line and tries to hide. The guy she ducks in front of, Parker, asks if she’s hiding from an ex or a loan shark. She jokes that it’s both. He teaches her how to game the dining-card system to get more bang for her buck (okay, let’s be honest – he teaches her to steal).

Buffy goes to sit with Willow, Oz, and a visiting Xander, just like they’re back in high school. Willow wants to encourage a Buffy/Parker pairing. The guys are sure he’s fallen for her charms already and will come back for more. The Scoobies discuss her demon run-in the night before, which makes Xander excited for possible action. Kathy joins them and Buffy notices that Kathy borrowed her sweater. Kathy thought it was okay, since they’re practically sisters now. Buffy tries to brush this off, but her rage level rises when Kathy drips ketchup on the sweater.

That night, Buffy talks to Willow on the phone about Kathy. Willow thinks Kathy’s just having a harder time adjusting to college since, unlike Buffy, she doesn’t know anyone there. Willow also clearly thinks Buffy’s problems aren’t that big since she doesn’t have to live with a roommate who throws loud, crowded parties like Willow’s does.

Kathy returns from the bathroom and starts flossing in bed. Buffy goes to the fridge and finds that she’s labeled all of her food, including each individual egg she has in a bowl. Buffy opens a window Kathy had obviously closed earlier, then plays innocent when Kathy accuses her of leaving gum on her bedside table. They both go to bed, and Buffy dreams of the demon from the woods doing some ritual with her involving a scorpion, blood, and some sort of energy or life-force transfer. “Do you always make that noise when you sleep?” Kathy asks when she wakes up in the morning.

Buffy tells Willow, Oz, and Giles (who’s visiting campus) about her dream, saying waking up with Kathy in her room was the worst part. Giles suggests analyzing the dream. Kathy joins the group and Willow introduces Giles with, “He’s our grown-up friend. N-not in a creepy way.” Kathy tells Giles that she had a dream about a monster that sat on her and did weird stuff to her. Sounds like she and Buffy had the same dream. The two make passive-aggressive jabs at each other until Kathy leaves. Buffy can’t believe Kathy stole her sweater and is now stealing her dreams. Also, ugh, the floss.

Giles thinks the shared dreams mean something happened to Buffy and Kathy when they encountered the demon in the woods. Willow suggests that they look into the ritual they dreamed about. Buffy tells the Scoobies to “do the brain thing” while she goes to class, which Oz notes could also be called “the brain thing.” After she leaves, Willow says that Buffy’s acting like Cordelia. Giles thinks she’s just adjusting to having a roommate. They’ll keep an eye on her, but they shouldn’t be too concerned.

That night, the two demons meet up and confirm that “she” is the one they’ve been looking for. They do a ritual to summon “the great one,” Tapparich. Buffy gets home (where Kathy’s playing “Believe” for the millionth time) and finds Parker chatting with Kathy. He brought Buffy some plastic baggies to help her sneak food out of the cafeteria. Buffy’s not thrilled that her roommate spent a bunch of time chatting with a guy she’s kind of interested in. She dismisses him, saying she has a lot of work to do, then realizes she was too harsh.

After he leaves, the roommates ramp up the battle that’s been brewing for a few days. Kathy closes the window while Buffy puts a padlock on her closet. Kathy flosses and complains when Buffy opens the window. She thinks Buffy’s spoiled and needs to learn to share. In response, Buffy chugs from her milk carton, spilling it all over the floor.

Oz walks Willow to her room as they talk about Buffy’s dream and changed personality. She has an English paper to write and can’t check in with Buffy right now, so Oz offers to do it for her. He’ll keep an eye out for signs that she’s losing it. He heads across campus to find Buffy on patrol, passing a woman we’ll later learn is named Veruca. They both pause and look back at each other as they cross paths. Neither of them sees a group of commandos moving stealthily nearby.

Oz finds Buffy, who complains about Kathy a bunch. She’s curious about why he volunteered to come on patrol with her. He pretends it’s not because he’s checking on her Kathy-related emotional state. He suggests that she stop ranting about Kathy, since she’s probably scaring off vampires. Buffy whines that now Kathy’s affecting her job. Oz is like, “Yes, this is fine, there’s nothing to worry about here.”

Kathy clips her toenails while Buffy tries to study. Okay, Buffy would have a legitimate complaint here if she spoke up – not just because of the noise but because Kathy’s clipping her nails on the bed and not cleaning them up. Gross! The noise is amplified in Buffy’s mind, just as the sound of Buffy tapping her pencil on her book is for Kathy. Kathy cranks up the Cher and Buffy puts on headphones, but they don’t block out the noise of Kathy cracking the shell of one of her individually labeled hard-boiled eggs.

Buffy decides to go to bed, and somehow she falls asleep despite the music. She has the same dream she had before, but this time the demon draws symbols on her stomach in blood. When she wakes up, Kathy’s also having a disturbing dream.

Later, Kathy complains about Buffy to Willow, who thinks the roommates should communicate better. Buffy approaches as Kathy says she thinks Buffy isn’t exactly normal. Buffy glares, thinking her best friend is betraying her by chatting with her new nemesis. Willow tells Buffy she needs to deal with her less-than-ideal living situation. Buffy agrees. She’s been thinking about things and knows how to fix them. Kathy’s evil and Buffy’s an evil fighter, so she’ll just have to kill her roommate.

Willow thinks that’s too harsh, especially when Buffy could just change rooms. Buffy says this doesn’t just affect her. She collected Kathy’s toenail clippings (thanks for the plastic baggies, Parker!) and thinks they’re evil. Willow says she was smart to pick them up, since they could have attacked her and left “little half-moon marks” all over her. Buffy’s like, “That’s crazy – they’re evil because they grew overnight.” That means Kathy must be a demon.

Willow plays along and tells Buffy to talk to Giles before she does anything. Willow will stick around the dorm and keep an eye on Kathy. After Buffy leaves, Willow calls Giles to warn that she’s losing it and headed his way. When Buffy gets to Giles’, he, Oz, and Xander trap her under a big net like she’s a wild animal in the jungle. They tell her they’re stopping her from doing something she can’t take back.

Buffy tells Giles to look at the toenails. She lists Kathy’s behaviors that clearly point to her being evil. She irons her jeans! She listens to lite FM! Giles is surer than ever that the demon Buffy and Kathy encountered in the woods did something to make Buffy like this. He heads to a magic shop to get supplies, leaving Xander and Oz to keep an eye on her.

Willow goes to Buffy’s room and advises Kathy to move out before Buffy gets back. Kathy objects to being kicked out when she’s not the one who obviously has psychological issues. She wouldn’t be surprised if Buffy dropped out or did something horrible to herself, or possibly someone else. She implies that Buffy’s behavior might push someone over the edge to act against her. Oz calls to tell Willow that Buffy’s been captured. Willow pretends that Kathy got her to change her mind and should be allowed to stay.

Buffy can’t believe that Xander and Oz don’t believe her theory that her roommate is evil. Xander starts to reply but Oz tells him not to engage. As Buffy struggles against the ropes they’ve tied around her wrists, they wonder if they tied her up securely enough. Neither is eager to get close enough to check. As they carefully approach her, Buffy frees herself and knocks them both out.

She goes to her dorm, ready for a final showdown with Kathy. Kathy’s ready, too, and when Buffy musses up her rug, she throws the first punch. The two grapple until Buffy grabs Kathy’s face…which peels off. Under her human disguise, she looks just like the glowing-eyed demons. “I knew it!” Buffy exclaims just before Kathy tackles her.

Speaking of those demons, they’ve just summoned Tapparich. Kathy tells Buffy to stop fighting and let her finish her ritual. At a magic shop, Giles has found information on that ritual, which involves ingestion of animal blood while the victim is asleep. He and Buffy realize at the same time that her dreams were real. Kathy explains that she left her dimension to go to college, and her demon clan sent people to come get her.

Giles reads that the demons can recognize each other, even in disguise, due to their lack of soul. Kathy’s been doing the ritual on Buffy to steal her soul. “Without even asking,” Buffy notes. Now, when the demons come looking for Kathy, they’ll think she’s Buffy and take her instead. Buffy’s just glad she won’t have to watch Kathy floss anymore.

The two continue fighting, and Kathy throws Buffy through her closet door. Buffy tries to strangle Kathy with the sweater she borrowed, but Kathy just rips it in half. Well, that’s one way to share it. Meanwhile, Xander and Oz both regain consciousness at Giles’. Xander wishes Giles had shackles “like any self-respecting bachelor.” Willow arrives and decides to call Kathy to warn her that Buffy’s coming for her.

Kathy doesn’t get the call, though, since she’s using the phone to smack Buffy around while complaining that Buffy didn’t log her calls. Giles comes home, blurting out, “Toenails!” Thanks, Giles. Buffy was right about their regeneration indicating that Kathy’s evil – it’s a demon characteristic. He knows Kathy’s been stealing Buffy’s soul, which could explain why Buffy’s been acting weird. “Later on, big remorse,” Willow promises.

Giles has found a spell to reverse the soul transfer. He and Willow start it while Oz and Xander head back to campus to help Buffy. Not that Buffy really needs help, since she’s the Slayer. She breaks a bunch of Kathy’s pencils, then throws her into a wall. A guy who lives next door sticks his head into the hallway to say, “Do you mind? People are trying to study.”

Kathy throws Buffy partway through the window they’ve been fighting over, asking if she’s happy now that it’s open. She’s able to corner Buffy against her bed, but Buffy won’t open her mouth to let Kathy finish taking her soul. Giles and Willow’s spell reverses her ritual and Buffy’s soul returns to her. Just then, Tapparich appears in the room. He tells Kathy she’s in a lot of trouble and chastises her for the tone she uses with him. “I’m 3,000 years old! When are you going to stop treating me like I’m 900?” she whines.

Xander and Oz arrive and start to enter the room, but they wisely stay back when they see Tapparich. He opens a portal in the floor and Kathy gets sucked inside. He follows her through and the portal closes like nothing ever happened. Thanks for your help, Xander and Oz! Buffy couldn’t have done it without you.

Instead of just keeping the giant room for herself, Buffy winds up getting a new roommate: Willow. Willow’s sorry for doubting Buffy, but Buffy knows she had reason. Kathy was probably pretty normal as far as roommates go. And Buffy herself isn’t a bad roommate. She doesn’t have any big issues. Well, maybe one. When Willow steals her sandwich, Buffy glares like she’s ready for another fight.

Thoughts: Veruca is played by Paige Moss.

Willow mentioned in the previous episode that Oz is living with some friends off-campus, so why doesn’t she go over there when her roommate has people over? Or just because she can, now that she’s an adult and doesn’t have parents checking in on where she spends the night?

Why do the dorm closets have deadbolt locks on the outside of the doors? That’s just asking for people to prank others by locking them inside. Also, that lock isn’t going to keep anyone out – you just slide it open! Also also, what dorm room has closets at all? Mine just had dressers and bureaus.

This exchange is great:

Buffy: “So then Kathy’s like, ‘It’s share time.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah? Share this!'” (punching the air)
Oz: “So either you hit her or you did your wacky mime routine for her.”
Buffy: “Well, I didn’t do either, actually. But she deserves it, don’t you think?”
Oz: “Nobody deserves a mime, Buffy.”

I love how Willow tells Giles that Buffy’s verging on homicidal, then brightly adds that she’s on her way to his place, like, “Sorry, Giles, she’s your problem now.”

I doubt someone who irons her jeans would wear shoes while lounging on her bed, don’t you?

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: