Willow and Xander are
walking near a graveyard playing a game where they identify movie quotes.
They think it’s a dumb activity but the summer has been so boring that
they’ve been reduced to playing childish games to entertain themselves. The
monster count has been low and Buffy, who is off in L.A. with her father,
has really been in contact with them. They stop by a wall and start
discussing the Xander-Buffy situation. Xander insists he is over Buffy,
although he still clearly has lingering feelings. Picking up the movie quote
game Xander finds an excuse to put ice cream from the ice cream cone he is
eating on Willow’s nose. Then he goes to lick it off. Willow stops him and
he cleans it off with a napkin instead, but the situation has gone from
friendly to flirty. They lean into kiss, but before they can a vampire
interrupts him. Xander pushes Willow out of the way and starts grappling
with the vamp. Suddenly a girl comes out of nowhere and pulls the vampire
off of Xander. It’s Buffy. She makes short work of the vampire and then
turns to her friends with a wicked smile on her face. “Miss me?”
Xander and Willow are thrilled to see Buffy, especially Xander. When Buffy
chides them for not having any crosses or stakes on them they tell her that
is the first vampire they’ve seen since Buffy killed The Master. This
doesn’t make Buffy happy. It’s like the vampires knew she was coming back.
Buffy tells them about her summer, which was completely free of slaying, and
then asks if they had any fun. Willow says yes just as Xander says no,
upsetting Willow. The only exciting thing Xander can remember doing is
burying The Master with Giles. They had to consecrate the ground with a
ceremony. They point out The Master’s grave to Buffy and she gets a strange
look on her face. Willow also asks her if she’s gone to see Giles, but Buffy
acts like this is a weird idea.
Back at Buffy’s house, her parents talk as they unpack
Buffy’s luggage. Hank tells Buffy’s mom that Buffy was distant over the
summer. He felt like she wasn’t there. Buffy’s mom knows what its like to
deal with a distracted Buffy. She just hopes that Buffy can get through the
The first day of school starts out fairly typically.
Cordelia is whining about having had to go to Tuscany over the summer
instead of to a beach resort and Principal Snyder is walking along with
Giles giving him a lecture on how evil high school kids are. Snyder starts
discussing how high school boys turning into gibbering fools every time they
see a pretty girl. He fails to notice that Giles has fallen behind him and
encountered Jenny Calendar. Faced with Miss Calendar, Giles has turned into
a gibbering fool. Snyder begins talking about how hormonal teenagers never
think about learning, just as Giles and Jenny stare flirtily at each other
and head off for the staff room together. Snyder ends with a sigh about how
his lectures to students fall on deaf ears. He might as well be talking to
himself. He hasn’t noticed that Giles is gone and he is indeed talking to
Giles and Jenny walk through the halls and continue to flirt until they run
into Willow, Xander and Buffy. Giles asks how Buffy is and she answers
“alive and kicking.” After the kids tell him about the vampire, Giles is
forced to explain to Jenny that even though they averted the apocalypse,
they are still going to have to fight Hellmouthy things. Giles also asks
Buffy to tell him when she’s settled back into school and is ready to begin
training again. She insists she is ready now and will meet him after school.
During training Buffy is in top form and eager to fight. As
she faces a punching-board, images of The Master flash through her mind,
causing her punching to become frantic. Giles gets worried and makes her
stop. She insists that whatever is coming for her, she is ready.
Buffy is right to think something is coming for her. In an
abandoned factory a group of vampires listen to one of their own preaching
about how they are going to regain their footing by following their new
hope, who is to come in three days. At the end of his speech the vampire
turns and looks at the Anointed One, who smiles back.
is sitting on a couch at school, completely zoned out. Xander and Willow
come up and start chatting. Buffy tells them she had bad dreams the night
before. Willow mentions a dream she had about Xander but quickly cuts
herself off. Just then Giles rushes up. He’s been researching and has
figured out what the recent resurgence in vampire activity means. He seems
very worried but Buffy insists that whatever it is, they can handle it.
Giles then says he has already killed her once so it won’t be so hard to do
it again. Then he hits Buffy hard, knocking her backwards onto a table.
Buffy struggles against him as he begins choking her, but Xander and Willow
merely sit there as though nothing is happening. As Buffy fights she pulls
at Giles’ hair and ends up ripping off his face like a mask, revealing The
Master’s face underneath.
She wakes up suddenly from her nightmare to find herself in
her own bed with Angel standing next to her open window. Buffy is snippy
with him so he gets right to the point. The Anointed One is gathering
vampire forces around town. He’s planning something. Buffy is not worried.
She thinks she can handle him. She asks Angel if that is all he had to tell
her because he woke her up from a really good dream. Then she rolls over in
bed so her back is too him. Angel apologizes and as he goes to leave he
whispers, “I missed you.” Buffy turns, beginning to say that she missed him
too, but he has already left.
The next day Buffy’s mom drives her to school and asks her
if there is the slightest chance that Buffy is going to tell her what is
wrong. Buffy just stares at her.
In school, Willow is excited
to hear that Angel visited but Buffy disappoints her by insisting nothing
romantic happened. The girls and Xander run into Cordelia who starts trading
insults with them and talking loudly about demons and vampires. She also
mentions how The Master creeped her out and she can’t stop thinking about
him. This comment doesn’t sit well with Buffy. Willow and Xander inform
Cordelia that she can’t tell anyone what she did or that Buffy is the
Slayer. Cordy insists that she doesn’t want anyone knowing that she spent an
entire evening with them, Buffy’s secret is safe with her. Buffy finishes
the conversation with a vicious insult and stalks off. The anger in her
comment surprises Xander, Willow and Cordelia.
Xander and Willow go to the Bronze to see Cibo Matto play. Willow tries to
convince Xander that something is up with Buffy, but he thinks Willow is
being paranoid. He is impatient to see Buffy and keeps turning his head away
from the conversation to watch the door for her. Willow attempts to regain
his attention by putting ice cream on her nose but when Xander notices, he
just points out that she needs to wipe her face. He doesn’t appear to
remember their romantic moment at all.
At one of the Sunnydale graveyards the Anointed One and the
preaching vampire watch as the other vampires from their group dig in the
ground. Some are digging with their hands and begin to complain that the
ground is consecrated, and is burning them. The Anointed One insists they
should continue digging. Soon they uncover a skull.
the Bronze, Buffy shows up in sexy dress. Angel is there and comes up to ask
her if he’s done something to make her angry. Buffy insists she is not
angry, so Angel asks her what she’s scared of. Buffy gets annoyed by this
comment and starts saying hurtful things to Angel about how she’s moved on
from him to the living. Cordelia, who is watching, is appalled by Buffy’s
attitude. Buffy heads over to Willow and Xander and Willow asks what’s wrong
with Angel. Buffy insists she doesn’t know and then, glancing at Angel’s
hurt face, asks Xander to dance. Xander is confused and Willow is less than
happy. But things get worse as Buffy starts doing an extremely sexy dance
with Xander. Angel grows angry, Willow is hurt and by the end of the dance
Xander knows he is being used. Yet none of the three of them confront her as
she flounces out of the Bronze and into the dark alley that runs in front of
it. Instead Cordelia does. Cordy tells Buffy that she doesn’t like her, but
since Buffy has saved the world Cordelia is willing to give her some advice.
Whatever inner pain is causing her to act so horribly, she needs to get over
it, otherwise she’ll lose the few friends she has. Cordelia has, once again,
hit the nail on the head, in her tactless way and this angers Buffy, who
stomps off. Cordy calls after her that she is going to see if Angel wants to
dance. Suddenly Cordelia is grabbed from behind by the Anointed One’s minion
vampires who cover her mouth before she can scream. They drag her off into a
side alley and shove her into a basement room when she finds Jenny Calendar
on the floor. Jenny is not moving.
Buffy, meanwhile, heads to The Master’s grave only to find
it dug up. She can’t believe he is not safely in the ground. Suddenly The
Master appears over her shoulder growling. She freaks out but he disappears.
She was imagining him.
The next day Willow and Xander sit in the cafeteria with
Giles, talking about Buffy’s behavior. Willow is convinced that Buffy is
possessed, but Giles thinks that something more mundane might be the root of
Buffy’s problems. He thinks that she was traumatized by being killed by The
Master and she hasn’t consciously dealt with her issues. Instead she’s
convinced herself that she is invincible. As he is discussing her
psychological problems, Buffy walks into the cafeteria. Xander sees her and
changes the topic as quickly as possible but it is unclear whether or not
Buffy has heard him. Either way she is steaming mad because The Master’s
bones are missing, which means someone is probably trying to bring him back.
Buffy begins arguing with the gang but before it can turn into a full blown
yelling match, Snyder interrupts and reminds them they have class. The kids
leave and Snyder insists that he can smell bad things in Buffy’s future: the
aroma of expulsion and just the slightest whiff of jail.
After school the group gathers in the library and begins
researching. Giles finds a revivafication spell that could be used on The
Master. It requires his bones and the blood of the one closest to him. Buffy
thinks that this means her. Killing each other made them pretty close. Then
a rock flies through the window. On it is a note, held there with Cordelia’s
bracelet. The note tells them to come to the Bronze before it opens or
Cordelia will be killed. Everyone realizes it’s a trap but Buffy doesn’t
care. She thinks she can handle it and she plans on doing it alone. She
tells the gang they get in the way of her fighting and then leaves.
As she approaches the Bronze, Angel comes out of the
shadows. He demands to know why she has been being so mean to him and she
reminds him that he is a vampire. She doesn’t trust him, she only trusts
herself. He insists she is not as strong as she thinks she is, so Buffy
challenges him to a fight. He refuses and reminds her that she should be
getting on with her mission. She stalks off.
She goes into the Bronze to find a brunette girl crying. But
it’s not Cordelia, just a vampire doing a very bad imitation of her. Angel
come in after Buffy and tells her this whole setup is making him nervous. If
Cordelia was the bait, where is the hook? Buffy agrees. It they vampires
wanted to take her down they would have sent more than just one.
Back at the library Giles goes back to the original Sumerian text of the
revivafication ceremony. He realizes the Latin translation was fairly
sloppy. What the ceremony actually demands is the blood of those who were
physically closest to The Master when he died. Giles realizes it is a trap,
just not one for Buffy. His conclusion is confirmed by the large group of
vampires that is emerging from the stacks.
Back at the Bronze Buffy is getting suspicious. She hands
off the female vampire to Angel telling him not to kill her, then she runs
back to the library. There are signs of terrific struggle and badly beaten
Xander is the only one there. He is angry with Buffy but tells her what is
going on. The vampires are collecting those who were in the same room as The
Master when he died: Giles, Willow, Cordy and Jenny Calendar. Buffy insists
that have to find out where the others have been taken.
Xander and Buffy rejoin Angel at the Bronze and the guys watch as Buffy
beats up the female vampire, demanding to know where her friends are. The
vampire is uncooperative so Buffy rips off the cross necklace Angel gave her
and forces it down the vampire’s throat for a few seconds, allowing it to
burn. Then she pulls it out and again demands to know where her friends are.
Angel and Xander are shocked.
In the factory The Master’s bones are laid out on a table.
The Anointed One presents the preaching vampire with a box of materials and
the revivaficatin ceremony begins. Hanging by their ankles over The Master
are Giles, Jenny, Cordelia and Willow. Buffy, Xander and Angel walk into the
factory from the back and see what is going on. Buffy is a little thrown by
seeing her friends hanging there but quickly begins to plan. Angel and
Xander are to get everyone out while Buffy distracts the vampire, namely by
Buffy bursts into the ceremony and starts fighting, as Angel
and Xander make their way up to a second story catwalk. As Buffy fights, the
guys find the pulley system controlling the chain that everyone is hung from
and they start wheeling them towards the catwalk. The preaching vampire
notices the sacrifices are being stolen and screams for the other vampires
to stop it, but only three of the vampires haven’t run away or been killed.
One of these vamps runs to stop Angel and Xander, but the other two have
their hands full with Buffy. The preaching vampire then runs away himself.
Angel and Xander get everyone unhooked from the chain before the vampire
reaches them. Angel puts on his vamp face and begins to fight him. Buffy
meanwhile kills another vamp and is left fighting only one. Angel and his
assailant crash through the floor and continue fighting. Slowly the
sacrifices begin regaining consciousness. Xander sits watching Buffy fight
with Willow leaning against him. Giles asks what is going on and Xander
tells him that Buffy is working out her issues. Indeed Buffy is fighting the
last vampire rather viciously but doesn’t seem to be going for the kill.
Angel finishes off his guy, but Buffy keeps fighting, eventually knock the
vampire into a large pile of crates, which stuns him for a moment. Just then
the preaching vampire returns with a large sledgehammer. He tells Buffy that
he is going to smash her into a sticky paste but she seems unconcerned. The
preaching vampire rushes her from one side, while the other vampire rushes
her from the other. She breaks off the top half a large, lit torch planted
in the ground near her, and holds it in front of her horizontally. The
jagged end of the wood stakes the first vampire and the flame hits the
preaching vampire, setting him on fire. Both of them dust quickly, the
sledgehammer clattering to the floor. With nothing left to fight, Buffy
suddenly seems to change. Willow comments that it’s over but Xander responds
“No, its not.” He’s right. Buffy drops the now extinguished torch and picks
up the sledgehammer. She begins bashing The Master’s skeleton with the
hammer, starting with his skull. As she continues smashing at the bones
furiously, all of her friends look on realizing just how much pain she is
in. When Buffy finally drops the hammer and begins crying Angel is right
behind her, ready to hold her. And for the first time Willow sees Xander
staring intently at Buffy and doesn’t mind.
The next day at school Cordelia confides in Miss Calendar
how traumatized she was by the previous night’s events. She can’t get any of
the stains out of her clothing and it is really upsetting her. Buffy
meanwhile tells Giles that she can never face her friends again; she was
acting like such an idiot. Giles insist that she must see them at some point
so she goes to class. There Willow and Xander are both perfectly friendly to
her. They’ve even saved her a seat. Buffy realizes they’ve forgiven her and
begins to chat with them happily. Meanwhile the Anointed One stands in the
factory looking at The Master’s smashed bones. He sighs. “I hate that girl.”
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