She's always been there, of course, but the character of Dawn actually fits into the Summers household rather well. Teen brats usually do more harm than good in prime time TV shows, so Michelle Trachtenberg's unaffected and endearing performance is something of a relief.
Was she part of the Whedon masterplan or a concession to the WB suits looking to appeal to their younger demographic? We may never know, but the show seems revitalised with Summers junior added to the mix. She really must learn to eat her ice cream properly, though.
Harmony must be the only vampire ever to have Britney as a role model. Mercedes McNab was great at playing an evil bimbo in Addams Family Values, and she's now honed it to a fine art.
Harmony is a smart choice as a villain. For one thing, she's not dominant or serious enough to distract from setting up the season and allowing Dawn to take centre stage. At the same time, she just goes to show how you don't have to be particularly smart or threatening to still be a reasonably powerful villain.
As always, her scenes with Xander have a certain extra fizz, as each of them tries to prove that they're not the lamest of the lame. It's great to have her back.
It's an odd episode, this one - not terribly much happens. Once you've got over the sibling shock, you're left with an episode in which Giles gets a new car, Harmony gets a strop on, and Xander plays board games.
I'm expecting a bit much as the new season kicks off - it takes time to get all those plot threads a-weaving, and to start the new chapter in the scoobies life. But... mysterious murder, vampires get in to the house, a kidnap, Giles and Buffy training - it all seems a bit season one, to me.
Still, I really want to know what's going on with little sis. It's got to be big. And I'm going to kill my flatmate if she doesn't stop asking me...