During another prologue (see "Lessons") in which a young woman is mercilessly dispatched by mysterious assailants, this time in Frankfurt, the phrase "from beneath you it devours" enters the Buffy lexicon. It will be uttered several additional times as Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and friends face off against a giant slug demon that tunnels underneath the earth and then rises up to eat its victims. The monstrous worm almost ingests Nancy (Kaarina Aufranc), a pretty young woman, but Xander (Nicholas Brendon) comes to the rescue and enlists his friends' help in tracking the creature. One unexpected addition to the detective party is Spike (James Marsters), who is apparently feeling a little less deranged but still doesn't let on that his soul has been restored. Buffy reluctantly accepts his help and soon discovers that the demon is actually Nancy's abusive ex-boyfriend, Ronnie (Jack Sundmacher), who has been transformed by vengeance demon Anya (Emma Caulfield) in response to Nancy's innocent venting. During the resulting showdown, Anya glimpses Spike's soul and almost reveals his secret, prompting the conflicted vampire to cold-clock her and lash out at Buffy. Eventually, Xander convinces Anya to restore Ronnie to human form. But the episode's real climax occurs during a murky church encounter in which Spike's incoherent ramblings reveal his secret to Buffy. Originally broadcast October 1, 2002, on the UPN network, "Beneath You" marked episode 124 of the cult-favorite series. Fans of the German film Run Lola Run will surely note the flame-haired heroine, incessant motion, and pounding techno soundtrack of this episode's slyly parodic prologue.
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