Yep, I'm sure of it. The fans would have been better off if UPN had never picked up Buffy. The balance of fun and spooky seemed to be there at the very beginning of this season, but now we're right back in heavy angst, no fun, helpless hero mode like we've been at the tail end of the last two seasons, and it's gotten very old. Buffy is acting like a complete idiot, and about the best moment of this episode was the intervention where everyone finally told her so. Shame that by the time they did it, I couldn't really feel any sympathy for Buffy's obvious pain because she'd gotten people killed and Xander badly wounded, and she hasn't been fighting smart for a long, long time.
I'm also still remarkably irked that the comedy relief has gone from Xander (who I liked) to Andrew (who I can't stand). The whole time during the Andrew/Spike exchange on the motorcycle, I was vocally wishing for a semi truck to come rolling down the road and fix two of the big problems the show has right now. I'm watching Buffy more out of a sense of completism at this point, which makes me sad. And even though last season had its low points, it also had its highs... now I'm wondering if I ought to stop my Buffy DVD collection at season five and just pretend it ended there.
Then there's 24, which is firing on all cylinders for me right now. I was a little disappointed in Jack not putting a bullet into the murderous rednecks, especially when we learn later that they damaged the chip, but the rest of the show was great. Even the brief appearance of Kim solved a nice subplot that had been going since the first episode of this season, and I liked the personal stuff between Jack and Kate as well. My guess for next season? It takes place on the day Jack is going to propose to Kate, about a year after all of these events have ended. Oh, and the stuff with Palmer was dynamite... I kept hoping he was going to confront Mike with what happened to Lynne, since he must have figured that one out by now, but he was busy enough that I can see why they wouldn't get into it right away. The other thing that 24 occasionally reminds me of, and did this episode, is that because the show is sort of a discrete-24-episode thing, the status quo is very much fluid, and the vote with Palmer went in a way I did not expect.