Dawn's ep first and foremost and she really comes into her own here. Very touching scenes, especially with the Summers girls and Dawn's memories, precious to her but she knows they were created. The battle with Glory is also great and I defy anyone to say they knew Ben was Glory?
Buffy; "Summer's blood', how important that will be!
Glory killing the security guard
Anya tells the gang about her and Xander playing dress up, I get Xander being a fireman but a shepherd? Spike thinks the only way monks can justify giving up girls is if they're protecting something. Anya says that Xander 'Needs help with his thing'. More Glory-Buffy-Dawn subtext with Dawn saying that Glory is prettier than Buffy. Glory thinks that knights have a 'fear of intimacy'. Buffy likes her presents 'more frilly, less killy' with a girly dress. Giles apparently has 'one just like it'. Spike refers to Dawn as a 'hormone bomb' and Glory as a 'skank'.
Dawn self-harms, once again Buffy using a magical metaphor for a very real and serious social problem. Anya thinks Dawn is very pretty. The little look that Buffy and Joyce share when she hugs Dawn at the party is priceless. Buffy intends to start a new tradition of 'birthdays without boyfriends' which Tara and Willow approve off. Spike paints his nails. When looking for Dawn Buffy and Spike patrol together for the first time.
More Glory-Buffy-Dawn; Glory changes in front of Dawn. She wonders if Ben is being 'naughty' with Dawn? (Yeesh! But she is a hellgod so we shouldn't be suprised). She strokes Dawn's hair (in the same way Joyce and Buffy do) but then spanks her breasts and hauls her away. She also refers to Dawn as a 'fox' and 'sugar and spice' and asks if Ben was giving her a look at 'Glory's unmentionables'? She likes Buffy's shoes. She refers to Spike as Buffy's boyfriend which she's almost too quick to deny.
Another disasterous Buffy birthday, if I was her I'd just stay in bed all day when it comes around. Also the beginning of the Spike/Dawn relationship. The Scoobs finally learn the truth about Dawn. So who are the other Hellgods from Glory's dimension? WR&H? Why not just pack Dawn off to Europe so that Glory can't find her? Or will Glory's minions/The Knights track her mystically?
The Knights can easily beat Glory's minions but are not match for herself. Dawn has a photo from her and Buffy's holiday with their dad, the monks really do a full service job. The chocs Spike brings Buffy are the same ones he bashed the mannequin over the head with, cheap and stalkery! Dawn's burglary of the Magic Shop foretells her shoplifting. Dawn has been around for 6 months, suggesting she was also about for Buffy vs Dracula etc? The 'Urn of Ishtar', wasn't that a Dustin Hoffman movie? Introduction of Dawn's catchphrase, 'Get out'. The scene with little Buffy and little Dawnie on the swing is especially moving. Giles warns Willow of the dangers of magic.
Marks out of 10; 7/10 the Key storyline really getting going.