A brief word on my reactions to season 8 so far (expanding on a reply to beer_good_foamy 's comment in my last entry)
This has been a classic Buffy episode. She starts out strong: a warrior, but also a leader. She has self-doubts and emotional issues that she hides from her friends. She gets into trouble at the hands of the bad guys - but even when she's apparently helpless, she spots vital clues and works out what's going on. Her friends help her get back on her feet, and are strong characters in their own right. In the final reel, she kicks ass and saves the day - but there are still complications ahead.
Along the way, we get snappy dialogue, cute sexual subtext pointing in a dozen different directions, emotional entanglements between our main characters, deep philosophy on the nature of power and the morality of wielding it, questions of identity, supernatural events used as metaphors for real-life problems, strong male characters who still accept a woman's leadership, and hot chicks with superpowers beating the bad guys.
In a word: this is Buffy.