The Master is watching the Anointed One skip stones on a pool of
blood, when Darla informs them that one of The Masters’ best servants has
been killed by the Slayer. The Master decides Buffy must be taken care of
once and for all. Darla wants to do it but The Master won’t let her because
she has a personal vendetta against the Slayer. Instead he decides to send a
group called The Three. That night, three fearsome vampires dressed in metal
armor grace the streets of Sunnydale.
Also that night the Bronze celebrates its
annual Pre-Fumigation Party, where killing a cockroach will get you a free
drink. Buffy isn’t really in the partying mood though. She’s yearning to
have a guy in her life and her closest prospect, Angel, only shows up once a
month and never stays around long. Willow knows what its like to have the
no-boyfriend-blues, as Xander is spending the evening on the dance floor
making a fool of himself trying to pick up girls. After nearly picking up a
fist in the face from an angry boyfriend and exchanging bitter words with
Cordelia, Xander returns to the girls only to find them having a mope fest.
When Buffy realizes her mood is rubbing off on her friends she decides to go
home, much to Xander’s disappointment. Walking out of the Bronze, Buffy gets
a strange feeling, like she is being watched. She’s right. Angel is lurking
in the back of the club staring at her, but by the time she turns around
he’s gone. As Buffy walks home she once more gets the feeling that she is
being watched. She spins around but again no one is there. She continues to
walk but by now she is convinced that she is being followed. She stops and
demands her stalker show himself. One of the armored vampires jumps down
behind her from a nearby roof. She pulls out her stake and turns to fight
him. Suddenly she finds herself surrounded by all three of the vampires and
a brief struggle puts her in the losing position. Just as she is about to
be bitten, Angel jumps in and saves her. She and Angel try to fight back but
they are outnumbered. They make a break for it and run to Buffy’s house. The
Three follow close behind. As Buffy opens her front door she shouts “Come
on!” to Angel and he rushes into her house after her. He tells Buffy they
are secure because vampires can’t come in without an invitation.
Angel was injured in the fight so Buffy has
him take off his shirt so she can tend to his wound. She notices he has a
tattoo on his back of something with wings. While bandaging him up she asks
how he happened to come upon her and he tells her he lives near the Bronze.
She asks if he was following her and he is evasive. Their conversation soon
turns into a flirtation, one that is interrupted by the sound of the front
door opening. Buffy’s mother comes in the house and is none too pleased to
find a handsome older man alone with her daughter late at night. Buffy
claims that Angel is a college student who is tutoring her in history. Her
mom tells her to send him home. Buffy knows The Three might still be out
there somewhere and she doesn’t want Angel to get killed, so she fakes
walking Angel out and instead sneaks him up to her room. While preparing for
bed, Buffy asks Angel why he fights vampires and he reveals that his family
was killed by them. Their conversation also lets Buffy know that he thinks
she’s pretty and that it’s been a long time since he’s slept near anyone.
This knowledge pleases Buffy.
Xander is not so pleased the next morning
when he finds out that Angel spent the night in Buffy’s room. Giles
interrupts Xander’s lecture to discuss more important issues. He informs
Buffy that The Three are elite warrior vampires. The fact that the The
Master sent them after her is an indication that she is really hurting him.
Xander thinks the best plan of action is for Buffy to stay at his house and
for Angel to get out of town. But Giles says The Three will offer up their
lives because of their failure, so Buffy has some time before The Master
finds someone else to send after her. Giles is right. The Master has Darla
kill The Three, while the Anointed One watches and takes it in as a lesson
on serving The Master. Giles meanwhile steps up Buffy’s weapons training. He
closes the library and pulls out a pair of quarterstaffs and a bunch of
padding. Buffy refuses the padding and quickly beats up Giles. They move
onto crossbow training.
That night Buffy comes back and finds Angel
still in her room. She asks him what he did all day and he says he read a
little. Buffy notices that her diary is out. She begins yelling at him for
invading her privacy and insisting that a lot of the stuff she said about
him could be misunderstood and that the fantasy sequence about “A” was not
about him at all. Angel interrupts to tell her that he didn’t read her
diary; he mother moved it while cleaning. Buffy is embarrassed but Angel
keeps talking. He says he doesn’t think he should be around her because
every time he is he can’t help thinking about kissing her. He is a lot older
than her and he knows they wouldn’t work as a couple. Buffy approaches him
and despite his speech, they begin kissing. Their kiss is long and
passionate until all of the sudden Angel pulls away. He tries to hide his
face but Buffy tugs him towards her only to see that he is now has a vampire
face. She begins screaming and he jumps out her open window.
The next day Buffy tells all to the gang
and asks Giles if there is anyway a vampire can be good person. Giles tells
her that no matter how human they look or act, vampires are still demons and
are always evil. Xander thinks the solution is simple. Angel is a vampire.
Buffy is the Vampire Slayer. Buffy is upset about the idea of slaying Angel
and Xander begins to suspect she is in love with him. He demands to know if
he is right. Luckily for Buffy, Cordelia chooses this moment to have an
extremely loud display of shallowness that distracts everybody. Buffy never
answers Xander’s question.
Angel goes home to his makeshift apartment
in an industrial-looking building. He senses that someone is there and Darla
comes out of the shadows. They clearly have a long past together but haven’t
seen each other in a few lifetimes. Darla reminds Angel of some of the past
evil deeds they performed together then comments on his current behavior,
reminding him that he is not human. He insists that he is also not like
other vampires. She mocks his issues with Buffy and then suggests that he
should go talk to her and explain “the curse.”
The gang researches Angel’s past and
discovers no record of him. They do however find mention of a vampire called
Angelus, the one with the angelic face, in the old Watchers’ Diaries. His
tattoo proves that Angel and Angelus are one and the same. That means Angel
is about 240 years old. He came to America 80 years ago and has shunned all
other vampires since then. There is no record of him ever killing in the
U.S. However in the centuries before he came over he wrecked havoc all
around Europe, killing like all other vampires.
Darla presents the Master with a plan. They
set up events so that Angel has to kill Buffy to save himself. Having killed
again, he’ll come back to the fold. The Master is happy with the idea of
Angel returning to their side; in his killing days he was the most vicious
creature The Master had ever met. The Master agrees to the plan and again
uses this episode as a lesson for the Anointed One about teamwork.
That night Willow tries to tutor Buffy in
the school library but their talk turns from history to boys with Willow
still mooning over Xander and Buffy still upset about the Angel problem.
Unknown to the girls, Darla is listening in on their conversation and isn’t
very happy to overhear Buffy talking about kissing Angel. She is pleased
when Buffy decides out loud to only study for half an hour more and then
return home. Back at Buffy’s house, Buffy’s mom is up working late when she
hears a noise at the kitchen door. She looks through the door’s window but
sees nothing. Darla’s face watches her through the window as she walks away.
Moments later there is knock on the front door. It’s Darla. She passes
herself off as a friend of Buffy’s, showing up early for a study date.
Buffy’s mom invites her inside and takes her to the kitchen to make her a
snack. Then Angel shows up at Buffy’s house, here to tell her about the
curse, as Darla suggested. He chickens out at the last minute, however; and
is walking away when he hears a scream come from the back of the house. He
runs around to the kitchen door and forces his way in. Darla has fed on
Buffy’s mom but not killed her. She offers up the rest of her meal to Angel.
He is clearly tempted so Darla throws Buffy’s mom into his arms. His face
vamps out and a triumphant Darla flounces away. The instant she leaves, it
becomes clear that Angel isn’t going to feed; he was just trying to get
Darla to go. Unfortunately, that’s not what it looks like to Buffy who walks
in just at that moment. She just sees vampire Angel holding her bitten
mother. Buffy makes short work of Angel, throwing him out her kitchen window
before calling 911. Xander and Willow happen to be stopping by just then.
The come through Buffy’s kitchen door and are shocked by what they see. She
tells them that Angel did it.
Giles comes to the hospital as
soon as he hears, leading Buffy’s mom, who is now conscious, to comment on
the devotion of teachers in Sunnydale. While talking to Buffy she mentions
how her friend came over and that’s the last thing she remembers. Buffy
assumes she is talking about Angel. The gang meets out up outside the
hospital room. Buffy blames herself for what has happened. She knows she
should have slayed Angel the moment she found out he was a vampire, but she
let her feelings get in the way. Now she’s ready for the kill. Giles warns
her that Angel is going to be hard to face. He knows her and he was strong
enough to face The Three and live. She is going to need more than a simple
stake. Buffy knows this and prepares for her fight by practicing with the
crossbow. Her aim is impeccable. Darla tries to prepare Angel for the same
fight by taunting him, telling him Buffy will never care for him, reminding
him of what he once was. He grows angrier and more violent.
Buffy heads for the streets around the
Bronze, since Angel said he lived near there. She hears a noise inside the
nightclub and goes to break in. Back at the hospital Buffy’s mom discusses
Buffy’s schoolwork with Giles. She mentions how hard Buffy is trying in
history, studying with Willow and Darla. When Giles inquires as to who
Darla is, Buffy’s mom reveals that she was the friend who came by that
night. Giles rushes off with Xander and Willow, realizing there is another
player in the game. Buffy and Angel finally face off in the Bronze, Buffy
with her crossbow loaded, Angel with his vamp face on. Their battle is one
of quick movements, shadows and dives. Finally Buffy finds herself facing
Angel with a crossbow aimed at his heart. He reverts to his human face and
urges her to kill him. She shoots but at the last moment turns her crossbow,
so the shot goes wide. She demands to know why he behaved the way he has. He
claims he’s done worse and lists some of the atrocities he performed back in
his evil days, including killing his own family. Buffy asks what changed. He
tells her he murdered a Gypsy girl and as punishment her clan restored his
soul. Now he has a conscious, and feels remorse for every horrific act he
did as vampire. He hasn’t fed on a living human since that day, her mother
included. Still, he is vampire and did want to kill Buffy tonight. Buffy
knows the feeling and she also knows how hard it is to kill someone you care
for. She offers her neck to Angel but he can’t bite. Then Darla shows up. As
the rest of the gang looks for Buffy to warn her of Darla’s existence, Darla
is making her anger felt at the Bronze. She tells Buffy that, not only was
she Angel’s lover for several generations, she was also the one that turned
him into a vampire. Then she turns to Angel and reprimands him for giving up
the chance to rule in The Master’s court for a thousand years just because
he loves Buffy. If Buffy wasn’t convinced of Angel’s sincerity before, she
is now. She pulls out her crossbow, and in response Darla pulls out two
guns. She shoots Angel and then goes after Buffy. The gang knows Angel lives
near the Bronze, so they are searching for Buffy around there. They hear the
gunshots and runs towards them. Buffy shields herself with a pool table and
shoots Darla but misses the heart. Meanwhile the gang has made it into the
Bronze and distracts Darla by shouting at her. Darla briefly turns to shoot
in their general direction, giving Angel enough time to pull the crossbow
arrow originally meant for him out of the wall. Darla returns to shooting at
Buffy. The gang turns on the strobe lights to again distract Darla but this
doesn’t deter her for long. It looks as though Buffy is trapped when all of
the sudden Angel comes up behind Darla and plunges the arrow through her
heart. She looks at Angel dismayed, says his name, falls to the ground and
dusts. Angel glances at Buffy and slowly slinks back into the shadows.
Underground The Master rages over the death
of his favorite servant but the Anointed One comforts him, reminding him
that he shall soon rise and when he does the two of them will kill all his
Buffy, Xander and Willow celebrate their victory by going to the Bronze’s
Post-Fumigation party. Buffy is wearing the cross necklace Angel gave her.
She hasn’t heard from Angel, but she feels like he is still watching her.
Willow points out that he is, literally. He is standing across the room
staring at her. Buffy goes over to him. Xander refuses to watch but Willow
happily looks on as Buffy and Angel talk. They both recognize that despite
their feelings they could never be a couple, but again they end up kissing
anyway. Across the room, Xander demands Willow tell him what his going on.
Willow spares Xander’s feelings and lies. Finally Buffy and Angel pull apart
and Buffy notices that Angel looks pained. She tells him she knows how he
feels and leaves. Angel watches her, trying to choke back the pain of her
departure just as he choked back the pain of Buffy’s necklace searing a deep
burn into his chest while they kissed.
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