Sunnydale, Present -- Angel watches Buffy from afar as she battles a pair of vampires. She orders one of them to take a message to Angel, saying that she's taking the offensive. The vampire doesn't comply, so Buffy finishes him off. The next day, Giles pays a visit to the museum, where a newly-discovered stone artifact has been discovered. It is a few feet taller than Giles, and it contains some form of text on the side. Giles asks the man in charge, Doug Perren, if they attempted to open it yet, but Doug didn't notice the crack running down the side of the stone until Giles pointed it out. Giles then asks Doug to refrain from opening it until he can decipher the text. At school, Buffy declares to her friends for the umpteenth time that she's ready to face Angel, despite the fact that final exams are approaching. Willow offers to tutor Buffy in chemistry during one of their free periods.
London, 1860 -- Before she became a demon, Drusilla was a young Catholic woman who only wanted to follow the right path in life. She enters a church and steps into the confessional booth, failing to notice one of the priest's arms reaching out in desperation before being pulled back in. Drusilla does not realize that Angelus has just murdered the priest and is now acting in his place behind the confessional screen. After Drusilla tells him of her problem with her visions of the future, Angelus torments her by claiming that she is a child of the devil. Drusilla does not want this to be true, and pleads for help. Finally, Angelus lets her go with a request for Hail Mary's and an act of contrition.
Sunnydale, Present -- Drusilla, Spike, and Angelus read about the museum's new artifact in the newspaper. Angelus knows what it is immediately. Back in Sunnydale High, Buffy hopelessly tries to solve a chemistry problem when she accidentally drops her pencil. It rolls off into the desk and falls on the floor, right next to Ms. Calendar's disk which has remained their ever since the night of her murder. Buffy pulls the disk out and hands it to Willow, and pops it into the disk drive to check out its contents. What they find is Jenny's final project: the curse for the restoration of Angel's soul. Meanwhile, Dru, Angel, and several other vamps go to the museum to retrieve the stone, killing Doug Perren in the process.
Rumanian Woods, 1898 -- The dead body of a gypsy girl lays stretched out on the ground next to a fire, while an elder gypsy woman chants the curse of restoration. Glowing beneath her is an Orb of Thesulah. While she chants the curse, Angelus flees through the woods, trying to escape the scene of the crime, for he is the one responsible for the girl's death. The elder woman completes the curse, and Angelus is stopped in his tracks. He falls to his knees, and his eyes glow as his soul returns to his body for the first time in over a century. A gypsy man steps out of the woods and explains to Angel that he is being punished for the countless murders he has committed.
Sunnydale, Present -- Buffy and Willow show Giles a printout of the restoration curse. Giles claims that the curse would require a great knowledge of the black arts, and Willow feels that she's up to the challenge. While everyone talks of Angel's salvation, only Xander is upset, for he feels that Angel must pay for his murders with his life. Xander gets into an argument with Giles over Jenny's last wish before telling Buffy that she's willing to forget all about the murders in order to get her beloved Angel back. Elsewhere, Angel tells Spike the story of a demon named Acathla. This demon possesses the power to literally swallow the Earth into Hell, but he was stopped by a knight centuries ago. His body turned to stone with the sword still embedded in it, then was concealed in the stone tomb and buried deep beneath the ground. With that, two vampires open the tomb, revealing the body of Acathla inside. Only someone worthy can remove the sword from Acathla's body, freeing him to reign terror on the world. Later that night, Buffy finds the claddagh ring that Angel gave to her before he lost his soul. She goes outside for a walk and encounters Kendra, who has returned to take care of another dark force in Sunnydale. At the library, Kendra shows them a valuable weapon that she brought with her. It is a sword that was blessed by the same knight who stopped Acathla. If Angel succeeds in reviving the demon, it may be their only chance to stop it. Buffy asks Willow to perform the curse as soon as possible, but they need an Orb of Thesulah first. Luckily, Giles already has one in his office.
Manhattan, 1996 -- Angel stumbles through the streets of Manhattan, living like a bum ever since he regained his soul. He is approached by another demon named Whistler who say's he too is on the good side. Whistler offers Angel a chance to pick himself up from this foul life and become someone important in the world. But first, Angel has to see something before he can make his decision.
Los Angeles, 1996 -- A car with windows painted black parks outside of Hemery High, and Angel rolls the window down just enough to see what he came there for: the Chosen One. He observes Buffy's first meeting with a Watcher, then follows her to the cemetery where she first learns the truth about vampires and her destiny in life. Angel also follows Buffy to her home, where her mother is upset because Buffy got home late. Buffy goes to the bathroom and listens to her parents arguing with each other. Having seen enough, Angel asks Whistler to help him to a better life, teach him to become somebody.
Sunnydale, Present -- A human sacrifice is brought before Angelus, who promptly feeds on his blood, making sure to spread some on the palm of his right hand. Angelus then approaches the body of Acathla, reciting the incantations for the ritual of his revival. Angelus grabs the sword and pulls it with all his might, but he fails. Spike is amused at Angelus's failure, and Dru is very upset. Angelus then swears that they will turn to an old friend, and then succeed.
The next day, Buffy and the others take one of their final exams, unaware that a concealed vampire is walking down the hallway toward their classroom. The vampire steps into the room, and smoke begins to rise from her body as the rays of sunlight hit it. She warns Buffy that more will die if she does not meet Angel that night. As she finishes the message, her body disintegrates. Buffy tells Willow to perform the curse, leaving Kendra behind to stand guard. Buffy finds Angel at the cemetery, and they begin to fight. Meanwhile, a group of vampires invades the library during the restoration ritual. Back at the cemetery, Buffy realizes that her fight with Angel is merely a diversionary tactic, so she turns and runs towards the school as fast as she can. While Kendra battles one of the vampires, another one pushes a bookshelf over, crushing Willow underneath. Xander fights another one, but it brutally breaks his right arm before he can shake him off. After Kendra slays a vamp, she attacks another that has knocked out Giles. As they surround her, Cordelia escapes from the library, while Willow lays unconscious under the bookshelf. Drusilla then enters and takes on Kendra one-on-one. Kendra is no match for Dru, who defends all of her attacks before hypnotizing the Slayer into an immobile trance. Dru then slashes a cut in Kendra's neck with her nails. Kendra falls to the ground as blood pours out of her neck. Taking Giles with them, the vampires leave the library only moments before Buffy bursts into the school hallways. She finally makes it to the library, but it is too late. She runs over to Kendra's fallen body, but there's nothing she can do. Suddenly, the police arrive to see Buffy over the body of a dead woman. One of them aims a gun at Buffy, ordering her to freeze. Buffy's disastrous night has just gotten worse.