Buffy Summers, The Chosen One, arrives in Sunnydale, California trying to forget all the talk about her destiny and the vampires, only to discover that the quiet, small American town sits atop a Hellmouth and a master vampire is about to be brought forth. With the help of her new Watcher, Giles; and new friends Xander and Willow, Buffy tries to do her sacred duty while also leading a normal teenagers life.
Buffy gradually learns to accept her role as the Slayer and prepares to battle the Master's minions in order to stop the Harvest, a ceremony which will free the Master from his prison in the sewers. Willow and Xander are confided in by Giles about the existence of Vampires and Demons and, although overwhelmed, pledge to help Buffy in her fight.
When several cheerleaders are involved in strange accidents that cause them to spontaneously combust or leave them without eyes or a mouth, Buffy and the gang suspect that one of the cheerleader wannabes is practicing witchcraft and is trying to eliminate her competition.
When Xander and most of the male population of Sunnydale High fall for the substitute science teacher Miss French, Buffy tries to warn him that she may not be what she seems when she sees the well-proportioned female specimen scare off a vampire.
Buffy sets her sights on the mysterious and brooding Owen and she opts to go on a date rather than help Giles prevent a prophecy about an unstoppable vampire rising to help the Master. Giles decides to face the prophecy alone and gets himself trapped and when Buffy is forced to save him she learns that Owen is a little too enticed by her dangerous lifestyle.
While enduring the annual field trip to the Zoo, Xander and several other students enter the quarantined Hyena pen and leave in an altered state. Xander begins acting strangely, sniffing Buffy and being cruel to people, including Willow; and Buffy becomes convinced that he has been possessed by the spirit of the wild animal.
After saving her from a gang of vampire warriors, Angel and Buffy's "relationship" grows until he reveals his true self to her. Angel is really 'Angelus', a 240-year-old vampire who has a reputation for being the most violent creature to ever walk the Earth. Faced with the reality that her possible true love is an enemy, Buffy must ask herself - can a vampire really be a good person or must she do her sworn duty and destroy him?
Willow, saddened by Xander's affection for Buffy turns to the chat rooms and meets a charming boy on-line, ignoring Buffy's concerns about Internet freaks. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang discover a demon trapped in the school computer network.
The new principal forces Giles to run Sunnydale High's annual talent show and Buffy, Willow and Xander have to perform against their will. Things get worse as the talent show proves to be a deadly place when one of the participants is found with her heart removed and the clues all point to one boy and his ventriloquist puppet.
When strange things begin happening to the students at Sunnydale High, it seems that everyone is living their worst nightmares. Buffy and the gang must hold together to stop the phenomena before reality and the nightmare world become one.
When a seemingly evil invisible force centers around Cordelia, Buffy investigates and discovers that a student who was ignored by all her classmates, including Willow and Xander; became invisible by their perception of her and she plans revenge on Cordelia because of her popularity.
With the help of Angel, Giles discovers an ancient prophecy which foresees that Buffy will die if she fights The Master. Upon hearing of her doom, Buffy is met with the biggest decision of her young life. When vampires attack a group of students at the school, Buffy decides to face her destiny. Unfortunately, the prophecy is deceiving and it is actually Buffy who frees the Master when he feeds on her and gains the power to break through the barrier. Buffy falls unconscious into a pool of water and drowns but Xander and Angel arrive in time and Xander performs CPR to bring her back. Buffy wakes and is stronger after the encounter and the three head to the school to stop the Master, while the rest of the gang have their hands full fighting off the Hellmouth.
Buffy returns from her summer vacation after defeating the Master and is not the same fun-loving slayer she used to be. Her cold, distant behaviour escalates when she discovers that the remaining vampire population are planning to resurrect The Master.
When the bodies of several teenage girls are dug out of their graves and some of their parts are found soon afterwards, the gang discover that two students are trying to create the perfect woman; with the final touch being Cordelia's head.
A cool, badass vampire named Spike comes to Sunnydale intent on using the Hellmouth's energy to restore the health of his ailing love Drusilla. To prove his worth to the Anointed One, he offers to kill Buffy and add her to the two Slayers he has already destroyed. Buffy is forced to organise the Parent's Night at school and tries to keep her mom away from Principal Snyder. Unfortunately Spike and his new gang crash the party and Buffy must stop the ensuing slaughter while also keeping her mom and friends safe.
While on a visit to the local museum one of the students accidentally breaks an ancient seal buried with an Inca Mummy. Without the seal to hold her, the mummy rises and must consume the life force of the living in order to stay alive and she assumes the identity of Ampada, Buffy's South American exchange student previously thought by the gang to be a boy. Xander falls in love with the female Ampada and asks her to the dance and she accepts. Willow is contemplating her love for Xander but hasn't decided to give up on him yet. Unfortunately, while she pines over Xander she fails to notice the attention she is receiving from handsome older student Oz. Buffy and Giles discover the truth about Ampada and try to reassemble the seal but Ampada intervenes. She tries to kill Willow so she can keep her humanity but Xander offers himself. Ampada cannot kill someone she loves and eventually her body turns to dust.
Becoming fed up with Giles' rules and guidelines, Buffy makes an unusual friendship with Cordelia when she accompanies her to a fraternity party where they are both drugged and used in the ritual feeding of a demon.
On Halloween, Buffy, Willow and Xander are 'volunteered' by Principal Snyder to take groups of kids trick-or-treating. They get their costumes from a new store run by an Englishman, Ethan Rayne. Xander chooses a soldier outfit, Buffy buys an 18th century noblewomans dress to impress Angel; and Willow, despite Buffy's attempts to get her to dress in a sexy skirt and halter, dresses as a ghost. Unfortunately Ethan turns out to be a bad guy and casts a spell to transform everyone into their costumes. Xander is now a real soldier, Willow is a real ghost (without the sheet), and Buffy is at the mercy of Spike, who uses the convenient event to go after the now powerless Slayer. Willow goes for Giles' help who, it turns out, has a bad history with Ethan and beats the spell reversal out of him. Buffy is released from the spell just in time to save herself from Spike.
Ford, an old boyfriend of Buffy's comes to Sunnydale and, unknown to her, is part of a secret sect which worships vampires. While the others in the sect are misguided teens who believe that vampires are a higher order of life, Ford has a more sinister reason for his deciet. Because he is going to die soon of cancer, he makes a deal with Spike to hand over Buffy in return for eternal life.
The secrets of Giles' unnatural past as a wild teenager are revealed when an old friend of his comes to warn him that a demon that they both summoned has returned. As a young man, Giles turned in his Watcher studies in favour of dabbling in witchcraft and the occult with his old buddy Ethan Rayne and several others. They discovered Eyghon The Sleepwalker and summoned him while one went into a deep sleep. Unfortunately, Eyghon gained power by this and killed them all one by one over the years by possessing a dead or unconscious person and is now after the last two members, Giles and Ethan.
Its Career Week at Sunnydale High and Buffy is faced with the reality that she has no future apart from that of a Slayer. While Spike prepares a ritual to restore Drusilla's strength he sends a trio of deadly assassins after Buffy to keep her out of the way, one of whom attacks Buffy and Angel on their date at the ice rink. Another apparent assassin attacks Angel after he wrests information out of Willy the Snitch who runs a vampire-friendly bar. The young woman locks Angel in a cage where the rising sun will eventually finish him off while she goes to find Buffy. Buffy and the woman fight in Angel's apartment until Buffy asks the question: "Who are you?" to which she replies: "I am Kendra, the Vampire Slayer".
Buffy and Kendra call a truce and head to see Giles who confirms that Kendra is indeed a Slayer, called during the few minutes that Buffy died at the hands of the Master. Kendra has been trained very differently than Buffy, she has been taken from her family and has no friends but then criticises Buffy for her slaying lifestyle, causing friction between the two. Angel is saved just in time by Willy, who then turns him over to Spike. Xander and Cordelia are trapped by an assassin in Buffy's basement (the perfect setting for them to begin making out), and Oz and Willow are getting along well but are interrupted by another assassin, disguised as a policewoman who shoots at Buffy. Buffy is helped by Kendra and sees her finally as an ally. The gang find out about Spike's ritual and how it involves killing Angel. Buffy and Kendra storm into the church to rescue Angel and Spike gets a beating from two slayers this time, eventually being crippled by a falling pipe organ. Unfortunately the ritual was enough to restore Drusilla's strength and she hauls Spike out of the debris.
Buffy has parental issues when Joyce comes home with a boyfriend, the computer expert and master chef Ted; whose charming personality impresses everyone. Everyone except Buffy that is, who is not at all willing to give her mother up to someone else.
The students are given eggs to look after to teach them about parenthood but they aren't what they seem. Soon the eggs hatch and the creatures inside take over their owners and lead them to the school basement to dig up the mother creature.
On Buffy's 17th birthday, Drusilla prepares to awaken a powerful demon named The Judge who was brought forth a thousand years ago to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity. His body was dismembered by an army and the parts were buried in every corner of the Earth but somehow all the parts have made their way to Sunnydale. Buffy intercepts one of his arms and Ms Calendar convinces Angel to take it to the most remote region possible. Unknown to everyone else, Jenny Calendar is actually Janna, a descendant of the Romany clan who cursed Angel and has been sent to Sunnydale to ensure that the curse isn't lifted. Buffy and Angel say their goodbyes at the docks when they are ambushed by Spike's gang who retrieve the arm and Drusilla is able to reassemble the demon. Buffy and Angel just manage to escape from The Judge and while recuperating in Angel's apartment, they consummate their relationship. Some powerful, dark magic is released by this and Angel runs into the street, screaming Buffy's name in pain.
Angel is still in the street in pain but suddenly the pain stops and his first act is to kill a human. Angelus has returned as a result of he and Buffy making love. Meanwhile The Judge is returning to full power and Spike is impatient to get on with the killing when Angelus walks in and declares that he is back. The three reunited once again prepare to unleash The Judge on Sunnydale and Angelus persuades them to let him kill Buffy before they begin. Willow discovers Xander and Cordelia kissing and runs from the library only to be met by Angelus. Buffy comes in and fights him off and they ponder what could have happened to turn him evil. Buffy realises that she was the cause and runs off. Angel appears to her in a dream to warn her about Ms Calendar and Buffy confronts Jenny demanding answers. She reveals her heritage and says that the curse can only be lifted if Angel experienced a moment of true human happiness and he is no longer plagued by guilt and remorse. Distraught, Buffy still keeps her eye on the ball long enough to defeat The Judge with a rocket launcher acquired by Xander, and in her fight with Angelus after she realises that she cannot, yet, kill him.
Buffy and the gang track down a suspected werewolf roaming in the woods and also try to stay out of the way of a maniacal werewolf hunter, while Willow tries to get closer to Oz, unknown to her that he is the same killer they are after.
Xander tries to use Valentines Day to further his relationship with Cordelia but she succumbs to peer pressure and breaks up with him. With the help of Amy (who is exploring her mother's witch powers), he puts a love spell on her which goes horribly wrong, turning him into every woman's desire; except Cordelia's.
Angelus continues his obsessive torment of Buffy by visiting her during the night and leaving presents in her bed. Meanwhile Ms Calendar tries to make amends for her deceit of Buffy and Giles by attempting to translate the Gypsy curse to restore Angel's human soul, with dire consequences.
When Buffy is admitted to hospital with a raging fever she meets a young boy, Ryan, who has the same flu virus and claims that the sick children in the hospital are being persecuted by a monster that may be death himself.
As the Sadie Hawkins Dance nears, Buffy faces inner demons as she feels responsible for Angel's epiphany, meanwhile Sunnydale High is even more dangerous than usual as the ghost of a former student who killed his sweetheart and then committed suicide haunts the halls forcing people to relive the moments that killed them over and over.
When several members of the Sunnydale High swim team are mysteriously skinned alive, Buffy and the gang take it upon themselves to protect the remaining members which results in Xander revealing a side of himself rarely seen.
Angelus' origins from being vamped by Darla in 1753, vamping Drusilla in 1860, being cursed by the Gypsies in 1898, and meeting a demon named Whistler in New York in 1996 who shows him a better way of life are revealed while Angelus prepares to awaken Acathla, an ancient demon that will suck the Earth into the Demon Dimension. Buffy and Willow find the spell to restore Angel's soul and Willow declares that she knows enough about magic to perform it. The gang almost come to blows when Xander tells Buffy outright that she doesn't care what happened to Ms Calendar, she only cares that she can get her boyfriend back. Kendra returns to Sunnydale because a dark power is rising and comes bearing a sword blessed by the knight who first slew Acathla. Angelus tries to awaken the demon but fails. Needing someone to help him with the ritual, he distracts Buffy while Drusilla goes to collect Giles. Drusilla and her friends attack the rest of the gang but only Kendra is there to defend them, and the stakes are high.
After Drusilla's attack on her friends which resulted in the death of Kendra and Giles' abduction, Buffy is arrested for the murder but escapes from the police. She heads to the hospital where she learns that Xander has a broken arm and Willow is left in a coma. They all realise that Giles was taken by Drusilla and Buffy prepares herself to face Angelus. After being stopped by another cop, Spike comes to her aid and convinces her that he wants to be rid of Angelus too and they form an unusual alliance. Buffy is forced to slay a vampire in front of her mother and tells her the truth but she does not want to accept it. When Buffy tries to leave to fight Angelus, Joyce tells her that if she goes she better not bother coming back. After retrieving Kendra's sword from the library she heads toward Angelus' mansion. Meanwhile, Willow wakes up and decides to try the spell again and Xander runs to Buffy's aid. Drusilla uses her psychic powers to make Giles reveal the secret of the ritual to wake Acathla, and Angelus begins again. Buffy arrives and fights him while Spike takes Drusilla and leaves and Xander escapes with Giles. Acathla begins to awaken as Willow completes the spell and Angel returns. Unfortunately it is too late and Buffy must send Angel to hell to stop Acathla's vortex. Devastated, Buffy returns home only to pack her bags and leaves Sunnydale on a bus.
Willow, Xander and Oz are attempting to keep the Sunnydale vampire population in check during Buffy's absence with only moderate success. As the gang restarts school we learn that Buffy is working as a waitress in L.A. using the name Anne and trying to forget her old life. Buffy runs into Lily (formerly known as Chanterelle) and her boyfriend Rickie who quickly turns up missing. Buffy discovers Rickie dead but mysteriously aged to an old man. Continuing her investigation Buffy tracks down Ken (a social worker) and Lily and all three fall through a portal in the floor. They are in a demonic factory where the humans are slave labor. Back in Sunnydale the gang succeeds in staking a vampire though it's not exactly pretty. Meanwhile Buffy and Lily wake up in a cell and Ken explains they are in an alternate dimension where a hundred years passes before a day on Earth goes by. Buffy overcomes the guards with some help from Lily and leads her and the other slaves back to Earth. After handing over her alternate life to Lily, Buffy returns to Sunnydale and wordlessly embraces her mother.
When Buffy returns home she finds that the life she left behind may not be as easy to slip back into as she has to battle not only the rising dead, but also the distrust of her mother and the silent resentment of her friends.
The new Slayer Faith arrives in town and seems like a fun-loving wacky teenager who integrates herself into the gang. While Buffy is getting 'Single White Female-d' she notices that Faith is becoming more mysterious and discovers that she has been followed by an ancient vampire who murdered her watcher.
When a student is found savagely mauled in the woods the Oz-werewolf is suspected, but when Buffy discovers that Angel is back on Earth after hundreds of years of torture and has been reduced to nothing more than a wild animal, she fears that he may be the killer.
When Cordelia flaunts her sure win for Homecoming Queen it awakens the prom queen within Buffy and they become rivals for the title. Meanwhile the new vampire in town, Mr. Trick, rallies a group of tough vampires, demons and mercenaries together to set up a surprise for the two slayers.
Mr Trick enlists Giles' old buddy Ethan Rayne to manufacture and distribute boxes of candy which turn the adult population into uninhibited, irresponsible teenagers to keep them out of the way while the mysterious Mayor Wilkins pays a tribute to a demon.
Xander finds out about Angel's return to Sunnydale and promptly informs the gang who confront Buffy with the fear that he may turn evil again, while Faith finds herself under the wing of a new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post, an outwardly prim and proper Englishwoman who was expelled from the Watcher's Council for practicing evil magic.
Spike returns to Sunnydale a shadow of his bad-ass vampire self and kidnaps Willow so she can put a love spell on Drusilla. While he is out collecting magic spell ingredients and convincing Buffy why she shouldn't kill him, Willow and Xander lose their inhibitions in the heat of the moment only to be caught in the act by a rescue party in the form of Oz and Cordelia.
Wanting to be rid of Xander for good, Cordelia comes to the conclusion that Buffy is the cause of all her problems and makes a wish that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. A demon grants the wish and Cordelia's world suddenly changes.
While the gang prepares for their Christmas vacation, Angel is haunted by visions of his violent past. A mysterious force called the First Evil takes the form of Jenny Calendar and tries to convince him to lose his soul in Buffy and become evil again. Believing that he isn't strong enough to fight the demon within, Angel waits on the top of a hill for the sun to rise. Buffy finds him and tells him to fight back, that he can do real good in this world, but just as she is giving up it begins to snow, preventing Angel from being killed by the sunlight. Meanwhile, Willow goes to great seductive lengths to win Oz back.
Picking the wrong night for mother-daughter bonding, Joyce discovers the bodies of two children apparently sacrificed in an occult ritual and she rallies the adults of Sunnydale convincing them to rid the town of evil, including Buffy, Willow and Amy. Giles soon realises that the children are actually demons that do not kill people themselves but invoke fear and panic and gain their power by watching normally calm and sane people persecute each other.
For her upcoming 18th birthday, Buffy declines the scooby gang's offer of a big party, hoping to celebrate with quiet reflection and a traditional trip to the ice show with her father. But unbeknownst to Buffy, preparations are being made for a life-threatening rite of passage that drains the slayer of her powers and then entraps her with a powerful vampire foe that she must defeat in a defenseless state in order to pass the test.
When Xander realises that he isn't needed by the gang as much as he'd like to believe, his quest to prove he's cool leads him to an unforgettable night that finds him consorting with fast women, raising the dead and rolling with a dangerous crowd that could put Sunnydale in a world of hurt. Meanwhile, Buffy, Giles and the rest of the crew engage in a furious battle with the Sisterhood of Jhe, an all-female demon apocalypse cult that intends to reopen the Hellmouth and bring about the end of the world. Also, Faith and Xander grow somewhat closer when they have sex after he saves her from an apocalypse demon.
While on a mission to retrieve an amulet before a powerful demon can restore his strength with it, Faith introduces Buffy to her reckless method of slaying which leaves Buffy wanting more of the wild life; while Giles is trying to keep his cool in front of the stuffy new watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. When Faith accidentally kills the deputy mayor Allan Finch, she tries to clean up the crime but when Buffy confronts her about her actions, she simply replies "I don't care".
Buffy tries to face up to the consequences of her wild actions with Faith but Faith seems to think herself above the law. Buffy confides in Giles about the murder and he oversteps his bounds by not involving the new Watcher, Wesley. Angel captures Faith and tries to connect with her but Wesley and the Watcher's Council intervene and take Faith to be transported to England. Faith escapes and prepares to leave Sunnydale on a cargo ship but Buffy finds her. Mr Trick and several vampires attack them and Faith saves Buffy from almost being bitten by Trick. Buffy and the gang think that Faith can be saved but while they discuss it, she is offering her services to the Mayor.
While unknowingly participating in a spell with the wish-granting demon Anyanka in order for her to get her powers back, Willow accidentally brings forth the vampire Willow from Cordelia's alternate universe. The vampire Willow sets her sights on turning Sunnydale into the vampire-ruled world she knows but when she learns of her counterpart, she decides to make Willow send her back. After trying to seduce Willow and freaking her out a bit, the vampire Willow is captured. The real Willow, dressed in her doppelganger's outfit, attempts to stop the ensuing slaughter at the Bronze and is almost killed by the vampire Willow before Buffy saves her. Giles and Anya successfully send the vampire back to her world but she arrives at the exact same moment she left, right before she is staked by Oz.
Faith's new alliance with the Mayor goes as far as them conspiring to rob Angel of his soul. Faith tries to seduce him but he is thinking Buffy Summers in a big, one-track way. When the old-fashioned way doesn't work, the Mayor summons a powerful sorcerer who does the job for them. Faith and Angelus team up and capture Buffy but while they are preparing to torture her, Faith lets loose some details about the Mayor and his upcoming Ascension; at which point Angelus reveals that his being evil was all an act for them to get information. Faith escapes after she and Buffy battle and Buffy tells Angel that she needs some time alone after having to watch him and Faith kiss.
After a close encounter with a mouthless demon Buffy is infected with the demon's blood and she gains the ability to hear people's thoughts. Her new found ability at first is good for cheating on schoolwork, but when the voices continue to flood her mind, she realises that she cannot control the power. While the gang tries to track down a would-be killer at the school, Buffy is slowly going crazy from the inability to block the noise from the minds of the people around her.
Buffy's acceptance to college leaves her with even more doubts about her life outside of Sunnydale with Faith and the Mayor still around. Buffy decides to take the fight to the Mayor and discovers a secret delivery for him, the Box of Gavrok which contains a mystical energy vital to the Ascension. Buffy and Angel successfully break into Town Hall and snatch the box but unfortunately, Willow is captured by Faith. Are they willing to give up their best chance at avoiding the Ascension to save Willow's life? Is there any doubt?
As the all time night-of-nights for the senior students peeks around the halls, Buffy must save her friends and the rest of the school from a scorned student who has trained a pack of hellhounds to attack formalwear. Meanwhile, Angel reveals his feelings that he and Buffy could never have a normal life together and has decided to do the right thing and break up with her and plans to leave town after the Ascension. Of course Buffy saves the day and her night doesn't turn out so bad when she receives a special Class Protector award from her fellow students and Angel shows up looking very dapper in a tux and asks for one last dance.
The gang receive some valuable information from old enemy Anya who has actually witnessed an Ascension. She reveals that the Mayor plans to transform himself into pure demon, something that has not been seen for thousands of years. When Angel is poisoned by Faith to distract Buffy, Buffy faces Faith for the final time in order to get the only cure to the poison: Faith's blood.
After their ultimate 'Fight-to-the-Death' Faith escapes from Buffy, albeit in a coma, so Buffy offers her own blood to Angel to rid his body of the poison. When she recovers the gang finally devise a plan to defeat the Mayor, rallying the students and asking for their help in fighting the resulting serpent demon before Buffy leads him into the library which has been rigged with explosives.
Buffy moves into her dorm and attempts to adjust to college life. Everything around her seems to have changed without the constant interaction with the gang she had in High School. With Giles becoming a 'gentleman of leisure', Willow getting more and more excited about college and Xander still away on his road trip, she again believes that she must fight and survive on her own when she discovers a gang of tough vampires operating on campus.
Dorm life proves to be a challenge as Buffy has to deal with a roommate who is more than a little bit difficult. Kathy continually imposes her idiosyncrasies onto Buffy and even begins to invade her dreams which has Buffy acting just a little too strange about the situation. Buffy sets her sights on Parker Abrams, the first college guy to pay her any attention, but when Kathy becomes more friendly with him than her, Buffy declares that she must kill Kathy.
Spike returns to Sunnydale with his new girlfriend Harmony who is now also a vampire. Spike is searching for the Gem of Amara - a stone which makes vampires invulnerable, which he believes is buried somewhere under Sunnydale. Buffy is preoccupied with her budding relationship with Parker and sleeps with him but he proceeds to ignore her. Meanwhile Anya returns and throws herself at a flabbergasted Xander.
To help Buffy get over the pain of having been used by Parker, the gang head to a fraternity Halloween party expecting a few cheap scares and a bit of harmless fun. Unfortunately, some accidental magic turns the party into a house of horrors where everyone's fears come to life.
Still trying to come to terms with Parker's womanising, Buffy starts to hang out at the college bar where she and a group of upperclass students really regress when they start drinking a 'special' beer.
Spike, after being captured by the commandos, is being held hostage by them in a hi-tech facility underneath the University. He manages to escape and heads to find Buffy, whom he assumes is behind this. Instead, he finds Willow...
Angel covertly comes to Sunnydale fearing Buffy is in danger after Doyle's vision of her in Angel. While digging for a new Cultural Centre at the college, Xander falls into a sacred Indian burial area and releases Hus, a vengeance spirit of the Chumash Indians, the original residents of the Sunnydale area. Buffy is busily planning a traditional home cooked Thanksgiving while people around Sunnydale are being killed and Xander gets sicker and sicker. Hus summons a group of warriors and they attack Buffy and the gang at Giles' house. With Angel's help they repel the attackers until Buffy finds a way to kill Hus. As they sit down to dinner Xander lets it slip that Angel was in town.
Willow, in her attempt to get over Oz, casts a spell that ends up causing all sorts of chaos for the gang. Giles goes blind, Xander becomes a demon magnet, and Buffy and Spike fall in love and get engaged.
The entire town of Sunnydale goes silent when a group of fairy tale demons called The Gentlemen appear and steal everyone's voices. Without being vulnerable to the one thing that can kill them (a human scream) they are free to steal the hearts of seven people. Buffy and gang must solve the mystery and overcome the bad guys without being able to discuss anything.
Buffy and Riley have to work out their relationship given their new understanding of what they do. An earthquake rocks Sunnydale and Buffy worries that it could signify the end of the world. They find out about a group of demons who are in town collecting sacred items which together have the power to end the world. When the plans of the demons are uncovered, the gang must return to their former sanctum inside the dilapidated Sunnydale High School (the library) to stop the Hellmouth from opening.
At Buffy's 19th birthday party, Giles finally realises that he is a middle-aged man hanging around with a bunch of teenagers and starts to get depressed about his life. He feels even more like the third wheel when he finds out about Riley and the Initiative, which Buffy neglected to tell him about. When Ethan Rayne returns to town, instead of kicking his butt back to England, Giles goes for a drink with him. The next morning Giles wakes up and notices that he has turned into a demon.
Buffy becomes familiar with the Initiative and begins to work with them although they are still unaware of her true power as a Slayer. After Buffy abandons her friends at the Bronze for a mission with the Initiative, Buffy and Riley consummate their relationship unaware that they are being watched on a hidden camera by Walsh. Meanwhile, Giles and the rest of the gang remove a tracking device the commandos shot into Spike's back.
Buffy and Riley get mutually suspicious of each other when Buffy reveals that Professor Walsh tried to have her killed. When Professor Walsh is found dead things get even more out of hand, with the commandos quick to blame Buffy. Riley is even more agitated when he sees Buffy with Spike (hostile 17) and then again at Willy's Place. Riley progressively gets sicker and we learn that the commandos have been taking medication to increase their strength. Meanwhile the man-demon-machine Adam that Professor Walsh created is roaming Sunnydale and even Buffy can't seem to stop him.
Faith, still in a coma in the hospital, is dreaming of being pursued by Buffy. Riley, partially recovered from his encounter with Adam leaves the Initiative infirmary and joins up with Buffy. While Buffy and gang plot how to go after Adam, Buffy finds out that Faith has awoken. Faith wants revenge and confronts Buffy. A message from the Mayor and a mysterious device come to Faith through a friend of the Mayor's (a demon who Faith kills). Later Faith goes after Joyce in her own home and of course Buffy arrives to save the day. Faith uses the device with unknown powers before Buffy strikes her down.
After Faith switches bodies with Buffy via the device that was left for her by the Mayor, she begins to slip into Buffy's life. When the police try to take away Faith (Buffy in Faith's body) she is kidnapped by a special group from the Watcher's Council. As Buffy tries in vain to convince them that she is not Faith, Faith in Buffy's body is out having a good time. Willow attempts to introduce Tara to Buffy but when Tara senses that something is amiss they perform a spell which uncovers the switch. The man/demon/machine Adam has determined that his purpose is to kill and recruits some vampires to help. The vampires take over a church and both Faith and Buffy arrive to stop them. Using a Katra that Willow and Tara conjured, Buffy gets her own body back and Faith runs and disappears without a trace.
Buffy and Riley are spending all their time in bed (and they're not sleeping). Their round-the-clock exploration of each other awakens the spirits of children who were sexually repressed by their foster mother back when Lowell House was a home for orphaned and runaway kids. Willow, Giles and Tara divert the angry children while Xander and Anya go to try and stop Buffy and Riley.
Tara and Willow's relationship seems to be progressing when Oz returns to town. Through his travels Oz has found a combination of charms, potions and meditation that allows him to avoid turning into a werewolf. When Oz discovers that Willow and Tara are more than friends he loses control and as a werewolf chases Tara.
Adam enlists Spike to turn the gang against each other, leaving Buffy alone and helpless. Spike plays on their fears of how the others perceive them, telling Xander that Willow and Buffy no longer think that they need him and that he would be better off joining the Army; telling Willow that Xander and Buffy believe her experimenting with magick is just a phase; and elaborating on Giles' own beliefs that he no longer needs to be in Sunnydale. Giles ends up drunk while Buffy, Willow and Xander fight. Angel comes from L.A. to apologize to Buffy after their fight over Faith in 'Angel' but he ends up fighting with Riley. Buffy sees Adam kill Forrest and tells Riley. The distraught Riley goes to confront Adam while Buffy determines she has to face him alone.
Adam tells Riley that he has a behavior modification chip wired to his central nervous system behind his heart. Through the chip Adam has control over Riley. When Buffy find Spike in Adam's cave she figures out that he intentionally tried to split up the gang. Buffy tells the rest of them and the find that Adam wants Buffy to go to the Initiative as part of his plan. Xander suggests that they need the power of all the gang members combined to defeat Adam and Giles agrees. The gang all break into the Initiative.
Buffy, Xander, Giles and Willow sit down to watch videos after defeating Adam. They enter a bizarre dream world where they are pursued by a primitive force that they released via their enjoining spell. The force turns out to be the spirit of the first Slayer who speaks through Tara in their dream world and is confronting each of them with their deepest secrets and fears before killing them. Buffy eventually dispatches the primitive girl by ignoring her and they all wake up.
Giles tells Willow that he's planning to move back to England since he's feeling less then vital to the work in Sunnydale. Meanwhile on patrol, Buffy runs into a vampire who claims to be Dracula. Dracula turns out to have powers above and beyond the vampire norm such as the ability to turn into a mist and then re-appear, and the ability to turn into a bat. The gang sets about researching Dracula. Dracula visits Buffy during the night and drinks some of her blood but leaves her alive and under his seductive spell. Xander runs into Dracula and also falls under his power and brings Buffy to him. Dracula claims Buffy's power derives from evil and invites her to feed on him. She does but overcomes his mind control. She is able to slay him as he re-appears from a mist but he keeps re-appearing and Buffy keeps slaying. Eventually he gives up. Buffy tells Giles of Dracula's comments about her power deriving from evil and her own feelings of hunting vampires rather than slaying as a duty. Giles agrees to stay on to help research the nature of the slayer.
Buffy's little sister puts forward her view on the slayer and her friends and feels nothing but contempt for all of them apart from Xander. Dawn feels in the way when Buffy complains about having to take her school shopping when she is supposed to be training with Giles. While on patrol, Buffy leaves Dawn with a babysitter, Xander and Anya, but she accidentally invites Harmony into the house which Buffy does not respond to kindly. Harmony kidnaps Dawn to draw Buffy into a trap and Buffy is obliged to save her sister, as usual. Meanwhile, Giles takes up tenancy in the recently vacated magic shop in order for him to slip back into the role of Watcher.
Are two Xanders really better than one? We find out when a demon searching for the Slayer accidentally hits Xander with his weapon, splitting him in two; one with all the positive aspects of his personality, the other with all the negative. While each of them try to convince the Scooby Gang that the other is a demon, Buffy must find the real demon to put the Xanders back together.
Riley is in bad shape due to the drugs pumped into him by Prof. Walsh from the Initiative. A special government doctor needs to operate on Riley before his body can no longer support his heart rate of 150. Riley, however, is doing everything he can to avoid the medical treatment. It may be because he is scared of what the doctor may do to him, or he may just not want to be a normal man again. It's up to Buffy to get Riley to the operating room on time, which of course she does, but someone else gets in the way. Spike's plan is to force the doctor to remove the chip from his brain, therefore freeing him for slayer killing.
Buffy's mother continues to be sick and the doctors can't figure out why. Buffy finds a strange orb while on patrol and later the security guard who pointed it out to her shows up in the hospital apparently crazy. Buffy suspects that there's a supernatural reason behind her mother's illness and goes into a spell-induced trance provided by Willow which reveals Dawn fading in and out of reality.
Tara's about to celebrate her 20th birthday. Her family arrives but not to celebrate the occasion. They've come to take her home before she turns into an evil demon just like her mother did at the same age. When Glory sends some Lei-Ach demons to take care of the Slayer, Tara inadvertently helps the demons toward their goal by casting a spell to keep her friends from seeing the demon inside her. When the gang have a fight the resulting group of invisible demons, Tara lifts the spell to help them and they find out her secret. Willow tries to stop her from leaving with her family, but Tara is convinced of what her father says about her. Spike ends the argument by punching Tara in the face and then flinching from the pain, proving that she is a human.
When a vampire impales Buffy with her own stake, she wants to find out how her predecessors have lost in battle. Because of Giles' lack of info on the final battles of previous Slayers she turns to the only person she knows who has killed two: Spike. In exchange for cash, he not only details why his victims lost their battles, but his personal history as a vampire. Meanwhile, Joyce's condition worsens and she has to spend the night at the hospital.
Riley is looking for Buffy at her house, but all he finds is Spike in her room smelling her sweater. Spike informs Riley of Buffy's mom's illness and rubs it in his face that Buffy told the vampire about it before her own boyfriend. Riley goes to the hospital, and Buffy gives him plenty to do, like taking care of Dawn and patrolling, but what Riley really wants is to take care of Buffy. He ends up taking Dawn to an amusement park where they talk about a few things. Despite her good intentions, Dawn makes Riley feel like he's not good enough for Buffy and that he can't compare to Angel. Later on in the episode he feels even further away from being close to Buffy, and he goes and gets himself bitten by a vamp whore. Meanwhile, at the magic shop Giles accidentally sells two very bad, powerful ingredients for a spell to a "young woman", who turns out to be the all powerful lady who creamed Buffy the last time they fought. Buffy tries to stop her again, but she's no match for the lady in red who's name we later learn is Glory. With her spell, Glory conjures up a big reptile with the vision to seek out and find the Key. Once the snake finds out that Dawn is the key, Buffy must keep it from bringing the news back to Glory.
The Summers women are at the hospital when the doctor informs Joyce she'll have surgery in two days. The rest of the gang go vampire slaying. Willow and Tara are camping out on the roof of a building watching the stars when a large object crashes down in Sunnydale. A mental patient who has been released from the hospital is walking through the forest when a creature attacks him. At the hospital, the creature climbs along the ceiling, undetected. Buffy and Joyce talk the doctor into letting Joyce go home until her operation. The gang finds the location of the crash and the dead body of the released hospital patient. While everyone else goes to find help, Riley calls Graham. He later advises the military officers who answer the call on how to deal with the situation. At the hospital, the mental patients are attacked by the demon. Buffy's mom continues to act strangely and say things she doesn't remember. Dawn is hurt when Joyce calls her a "thing", but Buffy comforts her and tells her to ignore the comment. The gang finds that a Queller demon has been summoned to kill crazy people. Joyce is attacked by the demon who spits its slime onto her and Dawn comes to the rescue. Buffy eventually hears Dawn's scream and goes after the demon. Buffy finds Spike stealing pictures from her basement, but can't yell at him as the demon attacks again. Ben gets into his car at the hospital and Dreg is waiting in the backseat. Ben reveals that he summoned the Queller, to clean up Glory's mess like he has done all his life. Back at the hospital, Joyce asks Buffy for the truth about Dawn and she is wheeled away into surgery.
At the hospital, the Scooby Gang awaits news from the doctor about Joyce's surgery and they are all relieved when the surgery is a success. Dawn spends the night with Xander and Anya. With the house to themselves, Buffy and Riley spend a romantic evening together. In the middle of the night, Riley sneaks out through the window and Spike follows him into an old building.
Giles goes off to England to talk to the council about Glory. Meanwhile, Anya and the gang tend to the magic shop. While attempting a new spell to assist Buffy with her slaying, Willow is distracted by her and Anya's constant bickering and accidentally conjures a troll. Actually Anya turned the guy into a troll 1000 years ago when he dumped her and she was then offered the chance to become a vengeance demon. The big, dumb guy goes around smashing things with his hammer until the gang is able to stop him and send him off to troll land.
A team from the Watchers Council show up in Sunnydale with some info on who or what Glory is. Before they allow Buffy the details however, they want her to pass a series of psychological and physical tests. They even interview her very nervous gang of friends. Glory shows up at Buffy's house and has a chat with her about the Key and Buffy freaks and takes Dawn and Joyce to Spike so that he can protect them. After being attacked by a group of human Knights who claim they will send an army to defeat her if she continues to protect the Key, Buffy decides she's had enough and the Watchers will have to play her way. Buffy lays down the law and the Watchers agree and reveal to her what Glory is. Not a demon but a god.
Buffy finally tells her friends about Dawn being the Key and they start acting weird around Dawn, which leads to her seeking answers. She knows that crazy people know what she is, so she goes to the mental ward at the hospital. While she's there, she runs into Ben. Ben freaks when she tells him she is the key and tells her to run away fast, but before she gets a chance to get away from him, he turns into Glory.
Buffy notices that Dawn is spending a lot of time around Spike and surmises that she has a crush on him, which Dawn shoots down saying that Spike has a crush on Buffy. Meanwhile a vampire has attacked the passengers on a train and Buffy is finding it hard to concentrate on investigating with the thought that Spike is in love with her.
Buffy is very upset about Spike falling in love with her instead of a nice, good boy that she could date. Spike shows up at the same party as Buffy, and he gets thrown out a window by a strange girl who has been wandering around looking for a guy named Warren. The whole slaying team agree that the girl is a robot because of the way she acts. Buffy pays a visit to the girl's supposed boyfriend, Warren and finds out that Warren made the girl, April, to be the perfect girlfriend. April thinks only of Warren and devotes her entire existence to making him happy. The only problem is that Warren doesn't want her anymore, he has fallen for a real girl and has been running away from the robot.
After finding Joyce unconscious on the couch, a terrified slayer calls 911. Unfortunately, it's too late to do anything. The paramedics tell Buffy that her mom had been dead for a while already. We see Dawn at school for the first time, and she's just getting over the freakout she had after finding out she was the key. Rumors were spread and Dawn was hurt by them, but she feels better after talking about it with a nice boy in her art class. Buffy interrupts this conversation though to tell her sister the bad news. Everyone is devastated by this tragedy and they spend the episode grieving, and dealing with their pain in all sorts of ways. Xander punches through a wall while Willow changes her outfit continuously. They are obviously very shaken up, especially since they were all so close with Buffy and her family. Even Anya sheds her first human tears.
After dealing with the pain of Joyce's funeral, Buffy falls into the arms of Angel who has come from LA to pay his respects, and he consoles her on the future and about getting her and Dawn's lives back together. Dawn becomes fixated on using witchcraft to resurrect her mother and despite her best intentions, Willow actually helps her toward her goal. Dawn gathers information for a powerful spell and enlists Spike to help her complete the task. He takes her to a witch doctor who gives Dawn some advice and warning. After collecting the final ingredient Dawn performs the spell. Willow warns Buffy about Dawn and she confronts her. Dawn cries that she has no one, Buffy has been pushing her away since Joyce died and hasn't even cried yet. Buffy tells her that when everything is over her mother will be truly gone, and she can't face that. Someone approaches the door and knocks and Buffy rushes to let Joyce in, but Dawn, realising that she was wrong, breaks the spell. Buffy opens the door to an empty porch, before turning to Dawn and finally crying with her sister.
Buffy and Giles leave for the desert on a self-discovery/guidance quest led by the First Slayer. While they are gone, Spike decides to have a little fun with his BuffyBot but the gang mistakes it for the real Buffy and think that she has gone crazy. Meanwhile, Glory's minions also mistake the Buffybot for the Slayer and, noticing how it acts around Spike, begin to suspect that he is the Key.
The Slayer in Buffy is catatonic due to Glory's abduction of Dawn so Willow psychically enters her mind. Willow goes through a loophole in Buffy's mind and sees several replays of Buffy's childhood when she first sees her sister; and of Buffy as she is now smothering Dawn to death. Buffy's guilt over Dawn being kidnapped finally proved to her that she is no match for Glory and she believes she killed Dawn herself. Meanwhile, Glory vents her frustrations about being stuck on Earth to Dawn and is beginning to feel real human emotions as the barrier separating her and Ben's psyches becomes weaker. She and Ben fight in a confusing switching back and forth argument as he tries to help Dawn. Eventually, Ben is the one to give Dawn away to Glory, knowing that it is his life or hers. Spike, Xander and Giles are left to try to figure out how to undermine Glory's plans, but the options don't look good. Buffy may have to end up choosing between killing her own sister or letting the world be destroyed.
Another imminent apocalypse is at hand in Sunnydale. Buffy must square off against a true God when Glory prepares to use Dawn to break down the walls between the dimensions and unleash all Hell on Earth but she needs Dawn's blood before her home dimension portal can be opened. Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Anya, Tara and Spike go to battle with the knowledge that they may not all survive.
Several months have passed since Buffy sacrificed herself to save Dawn, her friends and the world. The Slayerettes are doing their best to keep the demon population down and Willow has repaired the Buffybot so the world remains unaware of the Slayers death. Unfortunately a vamp discovers the truth and escapes to tell his friends. With no Slayer to watch, Giles makes preparations to return to England and leaves Anya in charge of the magic shop. Willow, Tara, Anya and Xander secretly perform a powerful spell at Buffy's gravesite to resurrect the Slayer, but the spell is interfered with by a group of demon bikers and the Slayerettes flee, not knowing if the spell worked or not.
The Scooby Gang run from Buffy's gravesite and her resurrection goes unnoticed. When she does get back above ground, she is confused and disoriented and wanders around looking at the carnage caused by the demon gang. The demons damage the Buffybot badly and notice the real Buffy wandering around. They chase her and she eventually runs into the Slayerettes, who realise that she has been traumatised by having to dig out of her own grave. When the demons arrive for a final fight, Buffy, still very confused, returns to her Slayer ways and defeats them all; but runs away from her friends after. The Buffybot stays "alive" long enough to tell Dawn of the real Buffy's return. Dawn finds Buffy at Glory's tower, and she wants to jump off again. As the tower begins to collapse Dawn manages to coax Buffy down and they land just as the tower crumbles around them. Buffy and Dawn hug, but the Slayer is still not herself.
The first repercussions of the resurrection spell has the Scoobies battling with a demon ghost and Buffy realizes she was happier with the peace of the afterlife but cannot bring herself to tell her friends. She finds a sympathetic ear in someone else who knows a little about an afterlife: Spike.
With Joyce gone, Buffy finds herself trying to contend with burst pipes and home-improvement loans. She seeks out the advice of a just-returned Giles who expresses his concern over Willow's attitude toward bringing Buffy back. While trying to get a loan, Buffy's meeting is crashed by a demon, dispatched by a trio of bored, twenty-something would-be sorcerers who want to cause mischief (and to hypnotise Buffy and make her their love slave). The demon makes its way to the Slayers home and Buffy begs him not to break anything, and winds up drowning him in a pool of water formed by her plumbing leak.
As Buffy tries to 'normalise' her new life as a parent and return to college and attempt numerous jobs, she again comes up against the Troika, a group of would-be sorcerers, who test the Slayer by casting spells on her which make her experience time distortions, magically appearing demons and a strange "Groundhog Day" time loop.
Dawn lies to Buffy and spends Halloween night joyriding and partying with her friend Janice and two older boys. She develops a crush on one of the boys, Justin, and receives her first real kiss. When the boys reveal themselves to be vampires Dawn stakes Justin and is devastated. Buffy decides Dawn needs a serious grown-up talk but she hands the task over to Giles, who is not at all happy about the way Buffy is depending on him so much. Meanwhile, after Willow and Tara have a fight about Willow's abuse of magic, Willow casts a spell on Tara to make her forget the fight.
A mysterious force causes everyone in Sunnydale to reveal all of their innermost thoughts and feelings in song. Buffy tells the gang the truth about where she was when she was dead and they are devastated, none more than Willow. Tara sings a love song to Willow professing all her love, but does Willow feel the same way? Dawn confesses that she has been stealing, and finally, Giles reveals his belief that Buffy is never going to learn to survive on her own with him around and decides to return to England for good.
After the gang finds out about Buffy's true afterlife, Willow does a spell to make her forget that she was actually in heaven, despite Tara's pleas for her to slow down with magick. Unfortunately the spell goes awry and the gang all wake up with amnesia, forgetting everything about their lives including the existence of vampires and the Slayer. Because of their British accents, Giles and Spike ("Randy") think they are father and son, Giles and Anya think they are engaged, Willow and "Alex" think they are dating, and due to the absence of ID, Buffy names herself Joan. When a demon loan shark comes to collect a long overdue loan from Spike, "Joan" and "Randy" discover their true nature when they are forced to fight, while Dawn, Willow, Tara and "Alex" head out to try and restore their memories. At episodes end when they get their memories back the gang goes through some changes, with Tara breaking up with Willow and Giles finally leaving Sunnydale behind forever.
After breaking up with Tara, Willow successfully de-rats Amy and the two witches begin hanging out and having fun with magick, drawing Willow further into her growing addiction. Meanwhile, Spike notices that his chip doesn't kick in when he hits Buffy but it only works with her, leading him to believe that she is not entirely human anymore.
When they finally return home from their nights out, Buffy is ashamed of having slept with Spike and Willow is exhausted from casting spells all night. Amy takes Willow to a warlock whose particular brand of magick quickly has Willow hooked. While looking after Dawn, Willow decides to get another quick fix and leaves the warlock's place looking very high and not at all in control of herself. To escape a demon Willow and Dawn steal a car but Willow seems it better to drive using magick, not her hands, resulting in them crashing. Willow breaks down and seems truly sorry for what she has done, but her actions further enrage Buffy who is now convinced that Willow is completely out of control and may need to get help.
Buffy and Dawn clear the house of magic items to help Willow and Buffy has a surprise visit from a social worker checking on Dawn's home life. The meeting doesn't go well and in a fit of rage afterwards, Buffy cuts off her hair. Meanwhile, the Geek Trio have built an invisibility ray and accidentally hit Buffy with it.
Starved for cash, Buffy gets a job in a fast food resturant where the weird manager and high turnover of employees has her more than a little suspicious. When co-workers start ending up in pieces, the mystery behind the "secret ingredient" comes into question. Willow works on staying clear of magic, but Amy gives her an unwanted gift and Willow is forced to make a big decision. A vengeance demon friend of Anya's visits and questions her relationship with Xander, leaving Anya doubtful about their soon-to-be-married life together.
The Troika's latest escapade to make Warren's ex-girlfriend Katrina their willing slave goes horribly wrong when she is accidentally killed. The trio use magical and demonic forces to make Buffy think that she has killed Katrina - and it works. With finding out the truth about her resurrection and believing she killed an innocent girl, Buffy's world begins to fall apart.
Old and new friends gather at the Summers home for Buffy's 21st birthday party and it goes off without a hitch - mostly. Feeling neglected by Buffy and the Scoobys, Dawn's wish to keep people from leaving her is answered by Anya's demon friend Halfrek, who binds the attendees of the party to the house. When Tara tries a spell to free them, she only makes the situation worse by accidentally releasing a demon trapped inside a sword.
Riley pursues a demon to Sunnydale and seeks Buffy's help in killing it. He also comes with a surprise... he is married. His wife, fellow demon hunter Sam, befriends the enitre Scooby Gang and gets along quite well with all of them, but Buffy's own "relationship" with Spike comes into question when her ex's perfect romance shows her just what she doesn't have.
The day of the wedding has finally come and Xander and Anya are preparing for the hoards of "guests" to arrive. While Xander's screwed up human family go head to head with Anya's mostly non-human friends, a special guest approaches Xander to warn him that his life with Anya may not turn out to be the married bliss he has hoped for.
After being poisoned by a demon, Buffy comes to believe that she is confined to a mental hospital, her mother is alive and her parents are still together and that her life as a Slayer was all an hallucination for the past six years. Deciding that she prefers this 'normal' life with her parents a whole lot more, Buffy attempts to kill the things that tether her to the 'fantasy' life of the Slayer: the Scoobies.
Having accepted the offer to become a vengeance demon again, Anya attempts to curse Xander for the pain he caused her... but she can't do it herself. Instead, she enlists the help of some old friends but it doesn't go how she expected. Buffy spends some quality time with Dawn to make up for her violent actions in "Normal Again", but Dawn's idea of time well spent is the dangerous world of patrolling; while Willow and Tara go on a coffee date and begin to mend their troubled relationship. The gang discover that the Troika have been watching their every move with hidden cameras. The cameras are traced to the trio's lair and what is seen on video proves to be devastating for all of them.
Willow and Tara are well on the road to recovery but love lives are not as good for Xander and Anya or Buffy and Spike. The Troika move full swing into their biggest plan ever: stealing a pair of mystical orbs which imbue the bearer with super strength and invulnerability. They attempt to rob an armoured van but Buffy crashes the party resulting in a battle between her and SuperWarren. Buffy is all but finished until Jonathan reveals the secret to Warren's power. Buffy manages to defeat him but he escapes by use of a rocket pack and Jonathan and Andrew are arrested. Buffy heads home to await the next encounter but it comes all too soon. A crazed Warren proves he is evil enough on his own and shoots at Buffy. She takes a bullet in the shoulder but a wild shot fatally hits a Scooby...
While the paramedics work on Buffy in the yard, in her bedroom Willow deperately calls on Osiris to bring Tara back to life the same way as she did for Buffy. She is told that the spell will not work for a natural human death and becomes consumed with rage and wants revenge in the worst way. She runs to the magic shop and draws the dark power from the books into her causing her hair and eyes to turn black. After saving Buffy by magically removing the bullet from her shoulder she heads out to find Warren.
After exacting revenge on Warren for Tara's death, an extremely powerful and vengeful Willow now vows to go after the other two members of the trio, Jonathan and Andrew, forcing Buffy into the unlikely role of nerd-villain protector. After freeing the Duo from jail and escaping from Willow, the expanded group runs to the Magic Box to find a protection spell. While all this is going on in Sunnydale, Spike undergoes a fierce challenge given by an African demon in order to become what he once was. Willow, drained of her power, finds Rack and draws his energy into her, killing him in the process. At the Magic Box, Willow catches up to them all and takes on Buffy and Anya, who is doing her best to keep a magical barrier up around Willow. Buffy is no match for Willow's power, but eventually she is drained again and they escape while she is down. Willow regains her strength and brings down Anya's barrier, tossing both her and Buffy aside. Willow heads out of the shop intent on completing her mission when an old friend magically appears in her way, willing to challenge her power....
Giles's new-found power brings Willow down momentarily and Giles magically binds her and leaves to catch up with Buffy. Willow telepathically controls Anya and gets her to break the binding spell. Willow draws Giles's energy into her and is hit by a sudden burst of emotion. Willow feels so much pain and hurt in the world and she decides to end it all.
The re-opening of Sunnydale High School is not without trouble for Buffy as some undead students and faculty are raised, and blame the Slayer for failing to protect them. Dawn and Buffy, together with some of Dawn's new friends join together to defeat the evil. Meanwhile, Spike and his new soul are seeking solace in the maze-like basement of the new school, and Willow begins her redemption with Giles in England.
Soon after Buffy's first day as Sunnydale High Guidance Counselor, the gang meets a young woman, Nancy, who's dog was eaten by a large creature living in the sewer. Spike offers his assistance in tracking down the monster, but the gang and Buffy are still a little uneasy with him being around. The gang soon discover the cause behind the monster is an old, estranged friend; who is relishing in her return to form. Meanwhile, Willow has mixed emotions as she prepares to leave England and return to Sunnydale.
Buffy, Xander and Dawn are unable to find Willow who, shortly after returning to Sunnydale, is captured by a demon who enjoys eating the skin of his victims. Meanwhile, Anya pays the price for undoing the curse on Ronnie (the giant worm demon) and is restricted to only being able to teleport for vengeance jobs.
Buffy is settling in to her counselor's role at the high school helping troubled teens and sorting out problems, but is left speechless when Cassie, a student, comes to her and calmly tells her that she (Cassie) has only a week to live. Suspecting the girl is suicidal, Buffy investigates and discovers a cult of students playing with dark forces and comes to believe Cassie is psychic.
Anya grants a young woman's wish, but the violent and deadly act of vengeance leaves Anya completely guilt-ridden. In order to fix her mistake, she asks that the spell be undone. Knowing the price of the reversal is the life of a Vengeance Demon, she's willing to make the sacrifice.
Dawn's simple crush on Sunnydale High's star quarterback RJ Brooks, goes far enough to make Buffy try and steer her attention elsewhere, especially when she falls for the boy herself. With the women all desperately trying to win RJ's affections, Spike and Xander, now quasi-roommates, team up to discover why the teen seems to have the ability to make all women infatuated with him.
Five seperate stories in this episode has the gang encountering a paranormal force which spells future doom. While out on patrol, Buffy squares off with a former classmate and current vampire, who goads her into revealing her insecurities. Back at home, Dawn is thrown into a panic when an invisible force trashes the Summers' house and deposits the corpse of her mother on the sofa. The ghost of Cassie visits Willow under the guise of being sent by Tara; and Spike apparently has returned to his killing ways. Meanwhile, nerdy villains Jonathan and Andrew return from Mexico.
After discovering that an old friend may have been recently sired by Spike, Buffy informs the gang that they must keep a close eye on him. When Spike manages to go out, he gets put in a mysterious trance and then seduces and kills a girl with the evil morphing entity watching over him. Meanwhile in England, Giles finds a fellow watcher close to death. While he is finding out what happened, a man with no eyes approaches Giles from behind, and swings an axe at his head...
Spike is held captive in the Summers home while the Scoobies ponder their options in the aftermath of his murder spree. Willow finds Andrew buying blood and decides to take him prisoner also. After much questioning, the gang are interrupted by mysterious hooded figures called Bringers. They take Spike to Sunnydale High, where they use his blood to raise an old, mysterious vampire.
With Spike missing, the gang try to cope and clear the damage done to the Summer's home. Giles arrives with three potential slayers and he reveals that the 'First Evil' is killing off the line of slayers in an attempt to rid the world of good, leaving The Hellmouth free to open. He tells Buffy that there are more potential slayers on their way to Sunnydale. Buffy and Giles search the christmas tree lot where they last discovered the Bringers, Buffy goes underground and is challenged by a very strong vampire who is luckily scared off by the sunrise. Giles confirms that he was a Turok-Han, a vampire which vampires fear. After one of the other slayers gets killed trying to escape, Buffy comes across the Turok-Han once again, it beats Buffy within an inch of her life and remains unharmed. Later on at the Summer's home, Buffy declares that she isn't going down without a fight, and neither is anyone else.
More potential Slayers arrive at the house and one of them, Eve, creates tension as she openly voices their fear that Buffy alone cannot save them. Buffy and Xander discover the body of the real Eve and rush home to confront The First, and she warns them that the Turok-Han will be coming for them and disappears. Willow creates a barrier to keep it out, but it isn't strong enough. Buffy runs one way as bait, while the rest of the gang escorts the potential slayers to Xander's construction site to hide. The Turok-Han arrives at the site, but Buffy gets there just in time. She defeats Turok-Han and boosts the potentials confidence, but Spike is still missing. After enduring painful torture and being tricked by manifestations, Spike is greeted by a heroic Buffy. They escape and return to her house. Giles and Anya visit an Oracle and discover that when Buffy was resurrected, she created a vulnerability in the Slayer chain that The First is now exploiting.
Buffy and Spike begin to train the potential Slayers, while Willow performs a locator spell and discovers another potential at Sunnydale High. At first, it seems as though Dawn has been chosen, but she soon discovers that her friend Amanda is the one. Dawn helps Amanda fight off a vampire trapped in the school and then goes back to being a 'normal' person. Xander gives her an inspiring speech, which helps her deal with her missed opportunity.
After sharing a lingering kiss with would-be Slayer Kennedy, Willow bafflingly transforms into Warren and must confront the loss of Tara. When Spike's chip begins to malfunction, he and Buffy take a trip to the Initiative stomping grounds, where they meet up with a few remaining soldiers who give her a choice of how to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, when Giles takes the Potentials on a self discovery retreat, the rest of the gang are stunned when they discover clues that lead them to believe Giles may be The First Evil.
Buffy goes on a dinner date with Principal Wood to try and find out what is really going on with him. After they are attacked and he shows off some fighting skill in dusting a few vamps, he explains that he is the son of a Slayer that was killed in New York. Xander, too, finds a date when he impresses a girl with his rope knowledge, however her interest in him is much more demonic. Meanwhile the First contacts Andrew in another attepmt to destroy the potentials and Giles finds himself tounge-tied with the new potential, Chao-Ahn.
Principal Wood gives Buffy a bag of items that used to belong to his mother, the slayer killed on the subway by Spike. The bag contains many various items including weapons, a book, and a strange sealed box. After opening the box, Buffy and gang watch a puppet show that opens a portal sending Buffy to a strange land and leaving in her wake a demon. Buffy meets three men who offer her more power, but it doesn't come freely. It's up to Willow to get the portal open and Spike to get the demon back. Meanwhile, the Potentials are feeling the stress of the situation, and the First takes full advantage of this, with dire consequences.
Andrew creates "Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres", a documentary describing the current situation in Sunnydale to show to future generations. Many emotions are captured during its filming, from Willow and Kennedy's make out fest to the recognition of what would be Xander and Anya's 1 year anniversary. Meanwhile, the Hellmouth, or more appropriately, the Seal of Danzalthar, is activated causing outbreaks of violence and mystical occurences at the high school. The gang forces Andrew to reveal his own past and come to terms with it to help stop the madness.
Giles returns with a device that will deactivate Spike's trigger. It takes him into his past and shows the close relationship with his mother, who used to sing 'Early One Morning' to him. After he was sired by Drusilla he tried to save his dying mother by vamping her, but she turned on him and he had to stake her, leaving an emotional wound that has never managed to heal. When Buffy still refuses to believe Spike is a danger to them all, Robin asks Giles to help him get his revenge on Spike, leaving Buffy betrayed by the person she trusts the most.
As they drive into town, Willow and Faith find themselves behind a truck. A young girl is thrown out with a deep wound and the truck drives off. The girl is unconcious so they take her to the hospital and report to Buffy. Faith's arrival brings a lot of tension to Buffy's house. All the potentials ask questions, but Faith is only interested in talking with Buffy. They clear the air and then receive a phone call from the hospital. The girl is called Shannon, she tells Buffy about a young preacher that saved her from bringers. He then called her dirty, branded her with his ring and stabbed her. Willow takes a photo of the mark from the ring. Shannon mentions the man's message; that he has something that belongs to Buffy. The gang discover that 'Caleb' is dwelling at a nearby vineyard with his bringers. They set out (against Giles' advice) to confront him, but upon arrival Buffy gets knocked out in one punch. Caleb breaks Rona's arm, before killing Molly and a few Potentials, then he approaches Xander. He says Xander is 'the one who sees things', then stabs his thumb into his eye socket. Spike knocks Caleb away, giving Buffy a chance to rescue Xander. Admitting defeat, Buffy and what's left of the gang escape.
Following Caleb's attack, Xander is now blind in one eye. Buffy takes all the guilt and again encounters Caleb at the abandoned school. Faith presses her fun-loving nature on the potentials and takes them all to the Bronze, which leads to an argument between Faith and Buffy, culminating in forcing the potentials to choose between their two leaders, but because of Buffy's recent decisions and behavior, they all side with Faith. Meanwhile, Spike and Andrew look into an abandoned mission and discover a plaque which reads: 'It is for her alone to wield'.
After being kicked out of her house, Buffy walks alone and breaks into another house to get some sleep. Spike and Andrew return with news about the vineyard, but when Spike finds out what happened he hits Faith and leaves, trying to pick up Buffy's scent. The First pays Faith a visit in the form of the Mayor, but she isn't fooled. It tries to unbalance her by saying that Buffy still, and will always think of her only as a killer. Robin finds Faith and the two share a moment, which leads to them having sex. When Spike finds Buffy, they talk about her being rejected. She says that everytime she makes a decision, someone dies and that maybe Faith is best in charge. She tells him to leave, but he refuses, telling her what he knows about the vineyard and that he loves her. She tells him she just wants to be held, so they fall asleep in each other's arms. The next morning Buffy pays Caleb a visit, prepared for what he throws at her. He tries to hit her time and time again, but still misses. The two fight for a while and Buffy eventually discovers a hidden room containing a weapon. Meanwhile, working off information from a captured Bringer, Faith and the Potentials go to the sewers searching for a weapons stockpile. After a brief battle they realise that there aren't many weapons there and Faith looks around and discovers a bomb about to explode.
Buffy finds the weapon The First is keeping from her: a scythe embedded in stone. Buffy easily pulls it free much to Caleb's dismay and The First tells Caleb to let her go. Faith and the potentials get caught in the explosion, leaving many dead and Faith unconscious. They are attacked by a few Ubervamps, but Buffy arrives and easily slays them all with the scythe, allowing everyone to escape. After giving Buffy his word, Xander leaves Sunnydale with Dawn against her will. Buffy and Spike are feeling awkward regarding the recent events, so she sets out for information on the scythe. She finds a tomb where she runs into an old woman. She tells Buffy how the scythe was created to destroy the last pure demon, but it was made in secret and hidden from the shadow men. Caleb arrives and snaps the woman's neck. He and Buffy wrestle control over the scythe until he gets the upper hand. As he is about to strike, Angel knocks him down, and then stands back so Buffy can finish the fight. She guts Caleb and leaves him for dead, before passionately kissing Angel. Spike watches them from nearby with a broken heart, as The First approaches him in the form of Buffy.
Buffy and Angel's reunion is interrupted by Caleb, who is ready for a final battle. The First Evil tells Buffy that it is everywhere and it will never die, but the Turok-Han will upset the balance, making it corporeal. Buffy conceives a plan that will turn the tables on The First.