An especially well-dressed Buffy is fighting a vampire in The Bronze and
she is losing. Suddenly a very studley-looking Xander jumps in and saves
her. Buffy rubs the hand he punched the vampire with and comments “Oh, you
hurt your hand,” in a worried tone. She seems to be in love with him. He
jumps back on the stage, picks up his electric guitar and plays a loud,
victory chord before going back into his solo. Buffy walks up to the stage
and whispers “You’re drooling.” Xander opens his eyes. He’s fallen asleep in
Biology and Buffy is whispering to him. “Xander, you’re drooling.” Suddenly
the teacher starts to ask Buffy questions from last night’s homework, which
she hasn’t read. Willow attempts to mime the answers but it doesn’t work out
so well and the teacher catches on to what they are doing. The whole
situation also gives jock-boy classmate Blaine a chance to mock Xander. The
teacher asks to see Buffy after class and reveals that he knows all about
her past troubles at her old school. But rather than lecturing her, he lets
her know that he thinks she can excel, and that he will accept no less.
While he is says all this he opens his closet door, pulls his reading
glasses out of his coat pocket and puts them on. Buffy is encouraged by his
talk and leaves in a good mood. Out of nowhere a giant insect-looking
appendage reaches out and grabs the teacher by the neck. He is knocked to
the ground and his glasses go flying, cracking as they hit the floor.
That night at The Bronze Xander overhears Blaine talking about how many
times he’s scored with women. Xander makes a wisecrack at him so Blaine
implies that Xander doesn’t see very much action. Just then Xander spots
Willow and Buffy, so he runs up and treats them like girlfriends, whispering
an explanation of why. Willow is eager to play along; Buffy, however, sees
Angel standing across the room and immediately heads for him. This is the
first time Willow and Xander have seen Angel and Xander is not pleased by
how attractive he is. Angel notices that Buffy looks cold, so he takes off
his leather jacket and gives it to her. She in turn notices he has large
slash wounds on his arms. He proceeds to give her another cryptic warning
about some guy who will rip your throat out if you aren’t paying attention.
The next morning Buffy passes this message on to Giles while wearing
Angel’s coat. Xander runs up to tell Willow and Buffy that Dr. Gregory,
their Biology teacher, is missing, which upsets Buffy. Xander tries to
express sympathy but is distracted by a hot woman walking up the school
steps. She walks right up to Xander who immediately embarrasses himself in
front of her. Just then Blaine appears and smoothly steers her away. When
the gang goes into Biology that day Buffy finds Dr. Gregory’s broken glasses
on the floor. She doesn’t understand why he wouldn’t have picked them up if
he had dropped them. The hot woman is also there. She introduces herself as
Miss French, their substitute. Miss French begins lecturing about the
praying mantis. As she talks about the mantis’ mating habits, she makes eyes
at Xander. She then asks for volunteers to help her make model egg sacs
after school. Every boy in class volunteers.
While going through the lunch line Xander boasts that Miss French is
interested in him, but the girls aren’t supportive. Then Blaine throws in a
few quips about how he gets to help Miss French this afternoon and Xander
doesn’t get to help her until tomorrow. Just then Cordelia goes into the
kitchen to pick up a lunch she had specially designed for her diet. But when
she opens the fridge she instead finds Dr. Gregory’s headless body. Buffy,
Willow and Xander come running at the sound of her screams only to see the
horrific site themselves. The three recompose themselves in the library
where they hash out the mystery with Giles. They believe this may be the
work of the man Angel warned them about. Giles has been doing some research
and found out that one of The Master’s servants cut his hand off in penance
after displeasing The Master. It is possible that he replaced it with a
large slashing fork. In fact a homeless man was slashed to death recently.
Although Dr. Gregory’s death doesn’t seem to fit Fork-Guy’s MO, he is still
the best lead they have.
That night Buffy goes hunting in the park where the homeless
man was killed. She finds Fork-Guy in a sewer entrance. He is indeed a
vampire with a large metal claw for a hand. Buffy is fighting him when the
police come running up. The vampire uses the distraction to get away. He
hops the fence onto the sidewalk and runs up behind a young woman carrying
groceries. Before Buffy can reach her, the woman turns around and faces the
vampire. It’s Miss French and she doesn’t look scared, but the vampire does.
He takes one look at her and goes scurrying into the nearest manhole. The
next day Buffy shares what she saw with Giles and they decide to keep an eye
on Miss French. Buffy heads to Biology but is waylaid by Mr. Flutie who
insists she has to go to counseling because she saw Dr. Gregory’s body.
While waiting outside the counselor’s office she overhears Cordelia’s
session and at first it sounds like Cordy might actually be genuinely upset
but then she starts going on about how the event is helping her lose weight.
She may have feelings, but she is still Cordelia. While Buffy is in
counseling the rest of the Biology class is taking a pop quiz. Miss French
leans over Xander, gives him one of the answers and then starts rubbing him.
Just then Buffy runs up to the classroom door and looks through its window.
Miss French immediately straightens and sniffs the air as though she can
smell Buffy’s presence. Then she turns her head around, a full 180º. Buffy
ducks out of sight just before she is spotted. After school, Willow and
Buffy go to help Giles investigate. Blaine wasn’t in school today so Willow
goes on the computer to see if she can find out why. Buffy recalls that
there are some insects that can turn their heads all the way around so she
goes to research bugs.
Xander shows up for his after school appointment with Miss
French right as she is making a sandwich. He notices a large egg sac on her
desk and notes that if it were real, the praying mantis that came out would
grow to be as large as a human. Miss French then admits that she left her
supplies at home and doesn’t have time to go get them. She asks him if he
would be willing to come to her house that night. Xander immediately flashes
back to his fantasy sequence where he plays the victory chord on his
electric guitar. After he leaves, Miss French continues making her sandwich,
placing a pile of bugs inside the bread, before crunching away happily.
Back at the library the rest of the gang is making progress.
They figure out that Miss French must be some type of giant praying mantis
that can shapeshift or distort perception. They also find out that Blaine
has been reported missing. Willow proceeds to hack into the coroner’s files
to see if the marks on Dr. Gregory’s neck match the marks made by praying
mantis teeth and Giles goes to call an old friend who might know more about
what Miss French is. Buffy, who is still sporting Angel’s coat, finds Xander
and tries to warn him about Miss French. But he thinks Buffy has come to
these conclusions because she can’t comprehend why an attractive woman would
be interested in him. He makes some bitter comments about Angel and then
When Xander shows up at Miss French’s house she is dressed
sexily and has made them martinis. Xander downs his and Miss French
immediately begins hitting on him. She gets him to admit he is a virgin and
seems pleased by this fact although Xander is clearly nervous. He thinks he
hears someone crying but Miss French distracts him by stroking his hand,
which sends him hurtling back into his fantasy where Buffy rubs his hand,
worried that he hurt it. Back in the real world Xander is getting a little
loopy. He sighs, “Buffy. I love Buffy,” before he notices that Miss French’s
hands have turned into praying mantis appendages. Before he can react, he
passes out. Miss French, now in praying mantis form, drags him away. Xander
wakes up in a cage in her basement, where he finally sees that she is
actually a large insect.
Back at the library, the gang is still working. Giles is
trying to convince the people at the insane asylum to unstrap his friend and
let him talk on the phone. Willow has hacked into the coroner’s office and
found photos of Dr. Gregory. The marks on his neck are praying mantis marks.
Buffy tells Willow that praying mantises always eat the head first. They
also mate that way, chomping off their mate’s head during intercourse.
Willow is very upset, convinced Xander is going to get his head bitten off,
but Buffy is fairly calm. After all, she saw him leave school so he must
have survived his meeting with Miss French. She assures Willow that he is in
no immediate danger. Meanwhile, in Miss French’s basement, Xander finds a
very panicky Blaine in the cage next to him. He has seen what Miss French
does to her victims. She takes them out the cage, ties them up, mates with
them and in the middle of the mating…well that’s when she uses her teeth.
Giles gets off the phone with his friend and shares what he has found out.
Miss French is a she-mantis. She lures virgin boys back to her nest to mate
with and kill them. Willow tries to call Xander but gets his mother who
tells her that he went to a teacher’s house. Buffy has Willow get Miss
French’s address off of the substitute rolls and sends Giles to record bat
sonar from the video library. Mantises are preyed on by bats and the sound
of bat sonar sends their whole nervous system into shock. In his cage,
Xander works on breaking off a weak bar. It doesn’t let him escape because
the bar is from the wall his cage shares with Blaine’s cage but it does give
him a weapon. Buffy returns to the library after having picked up some
weapons of her own. Everyone has completed their jobs, so they head out for
battle just as Miss French heads for her meal. Blaine runs into Xander’s
cage and grabs ahold of him in fear. He urges Miss French to take Xander
instead of him.
Giles drives up to Miss French’s house and Buffy runs to kick
in the door. Before she can, however, an old lady opens it. She is the real
Miss French; the she-mantis just used her records to get hired. Now they
have no idea where Xander is. Down in the basement, the she-mantis does
eeny-meenie-minne-moe to pick who her next victim will be. It’s Xander. He
comes out of the cage, smacks her with the bar and runs for the stairs. But
the she is fast and easily catches him. Buffy realizes they are near where
she saw the she-mantis with her groceries so she probably lives in the
neighborhood; they just need to figure out which house. So Buffy gets some
rope and heads down the manhole she saw Fork-Guy go down. Time is running
low. The she-mantis has tied Xander up and is now laying her eggs in front
of him. He has another flashback, but this one is to the lesson on praying
mantis mating. He realizes she is now going to want him to fertilize her
eggs. Buffy comes bursting out of the sewer entrance she originally found
Fork-Guy at. She’s managed to tie him up and she drags him up and down the
streets of the neighborhood until she finds a house that repels him. The
moment she lets go of him he cuts his ropes with his claw. He attacks Buffy
but she is able to dust him quickly.
Buffy, Willow, and Giles breaks into the she-mantis’s
basement and Buffy sprays her with bug spray while Willow and Giles release
the boys. Buffy tries to use the bat sonar but Giles has put the tape in the
wrong way. The she-mantis knocks the tape recorder out of Buffy’s hand and
Buffy is forced to fight. Xander tries to help her but shoves him out of the
way. Giles manages to get his hands on the tape recorder and play the sonar,
sending the she-mantis into shock. Buffy takes advantage of its pain and
begins slicing it into little pieces as Xander watches from the shadows,
shocked. After the fight is over Xander apologizes and both the boys find
out the other is a virgin. Then Xander picks up Buffy’s sword and begins
hacking down all of the she-mantis’ hanging egg sacs, electric guitar music
playing in the background.
Buffy is at The Bronze when Angel comes up to her to
congratulate her on killing Fork-Guy. Buffy tries to give him his jacket
back but he tells her it looks better on her.
As Buffy walks out Biology the next day she finds Dr.
Gregory’s glasses again. She picks them up and puts them in pocket of his
jacket, which is still hanging in the closet. As she shuts the door, the
shot pans down to show a giant praying mantis egg sac attached to the bottom
of a shelf. The first egg is starting to hatch.
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