There was only this one episode, where we all sat around in our separate studio apartments moping in the dark next to telephones that didn’t ring. The camera operators yawned. Nothing happened. Nobody watched. The show got cancelled.
Surprise! Tara wasn’t dead, she was just asleep for a while. She and Willow are back together, but they’re having trouble getting along after all that time apart. At the cast pajama party in the attic of Buffy’s mom’s house, they keep waking everybody up with their bickering. Still playing the role of Irrelevant Older Friend, I counsel them not to try to work out all their breakup details now — division of property will be easier in the morning. Meanwhile, Buffy is in heaven, which looks a lot like New Zealand. She cruises up and down the mountain roads on a motorcycle; the angel guide on the back of her bike explains that this is what you do during your first year in heaven. Also, you have to wear an oversized black leather police cap with lots of gilding and sparkles on it, inspired by a costume designed for the Village People. “That’s funny,” Buffy says, “because I’m not even a gay man.” Her long tresses spill from under the cap and fly out behind her as she takes a hairpin turn at top speed. Her toenails, peeking out between the straps of her high-heeled sandals, are painted pink.
We finally figured out a way to kill the old man. It was simple, really: wait till he starts talking again, then quickly pour the pills in his mouth, hold it shut to make him swallow, stroke the neck a little like pilling a cat. It worked. He (played by Nick Nolte) was dead, and in a panic we (me, played by me, and you, variously played by John Cusack, Samuel Beckett, and several actors I didn’t recognize) fled the country. Nobody at the airport noticed that our only luggage was a suitcase full of corpse. We scampered across Europe in a quick, madcap montage, flitting from Amsterdam to Zurich in the blink of an eye. After a few minutes it seemed that nobody would ever catch up with us, because nobody was trying to, and so we headed back to the States to continue our adventures on the family houseboat on the Bay. We were finally free — except for the dog. I forgot about the dog. The one-eyed mangy poodle had been there when we did it, and he was still there on the houseboat, waiting for us. He knew everything. He blinked that rheumy eye at me, and I knew he’d told the cops; he didn’t care about the old man, he didn’t care about us, he didn’t care about justice, but he turned us in anyway. Damn dog! Why won’t he let us be in our carefree romantic comedy? Why does everything have to be a thriller or a tragedy?