At the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Cultural Partnership Center at UC Sunnydale, Dean Guerrero introduces the curator of the new facility, Professor Gerhardt. After finishing her speech, Prof. Gerhardt turns the digging duties over to the nearby workers, one of whom is Xander. No sooner does the digging begin when the ground gives way beneath Xander's feet, causing him to fall into an underground chamber. It is the remains of a lost Sunnydale mission that was buried by an earthquake in 1812.
Later that night, Buffy senses a mysterious presence somewhere outside of the dorm, but she can't place her finger on what it is. Unbeknownst to Buffy, Angel has arrived in Sunnydale to follow up on a foreshadowing vision that his partner had. Knowing only that Buffy will encounter some great danger in the near future, Angel stands hidden in the bushes outside of Stevenson Hall, staring up at the window of his former love's room. Turning back to her roommate, Buffy decides that they should have their own Thanksgiving celebration, seeing how Joyce is out of town for the holidays. Although she is opposed to the genocidal history of Thanksgiving, Willow agrees to the plans for her friend's sake. Buffy then decides to hold the dinner at Giles' home.
At Elsewhere, Riley, Forrest, and Graham decide to give up their search mission for the time being. Forrest reminds them that Spike can't hurt anybody. Sure enough, Spike has seen better nights as he desperately tries to survive on an empty stomach. Meanwhile, Anya visits Xander's place to find out why he hasn't returned to the digging site. She soon realizes that Xander is overwhelmingly sick. As Anya tends to Xander's needs, a green mist rises from the Sunnydale mission site and drifts into Prof. Gerhardt's office. Settling over a display case that contains an early 1800 Chumash knife, the mist materializes into an Indian spirit warrior named Hus. Before she can make a sound, Prof. Gerhardt is grabbed by the invader and sliced at the neck by the jagged edge of the knife.
Buffy and Willow investigate Prof. Gerhardt's office the next day, looking for any clues concerning the nature of the attack. While Willow tries to figure out why one of Gerhardt's ears was missing from the corpse, Buffy notices the empty spot in the display case where the knife once rested. Afterwards, Buffy unpacks several bags of groceries in Giles' kitchen while she describes the findings at the office. Giles is familiar with the Chumash tribe, but he can't explain why a peaceful group would be involved in Gerhardt's murder. On her way out, Buffy is momentarily stopped by the same sense she experienced earlier. After Buffy brushes it off and leaves, Giles calls Angel out of hiding to talk about the murder. Angel recommends contacting Father Gabriel, who may know more about what's going on. When Giles expresses his discomfort with keeping Buffy in the dark, Angel insists that knowledge of his presence would only distract Buffy and make her more vulnerable.
Downtown, Buffy and Willow shop for the remaining items on the Thanksgiving dinner list. When Riley appears to talk to Buffy about his trip home to Iowa for the holiday, Willow leaves the two alone and enters the nearby coffee shop. Inside, she encounters Angel, who quickly fills Willow in on the details concerning his return to Sunnydale. Meanwhile, Spike tries to find comfort in Harmony's arms, but she refuses to let him reenter her life. Later, Buffy follows Giles' referral to Father Gabriel's church. What she finds is the hanging corpse of Father Gabriel, along with an Indian warrior cutting off the body's ear. Buffy engages in battle, but Hus' declaration of vengeance for his people's suffering causes Buffy to break off the fight.
On the morning of Thanksgiving, Buffy tries to prepare the dinner while Giles and Willow get into an ethical debate over what to do with Hus. Having researched the persecution of the Chumash people nearly two centuries ago, Willow ponders the idea of trying to help Hus in some way. On the other hand, Giles acknowledges the fact that Hus has murdered two innocent people and needs to be stopped. Xander and Anya arrive, arousing numerous questions about his deteriorating health. When Willow and the others conclude that Hus is inflicting that which was done to his people, Xander is diagnosed with the same diseases that befell the Chumash people: malaria, smallpox, syphilis, and so on. Suddenly, another knock at the door concerns the group. Buffy and Giles open the door to find a desperate Spike, who offers information on the Initiative in exchange for shelter and food. After tying Spike to a chair, Buffy sends Willow, Xander and Anya to warn Dean Guerrero of a possible attack. Unfortunately, their warning falls on disbelieving ears, and the trio find themselves heading back in defeat. Suddenly, Angel appears, much to the shock of Xander. Angel quickly figures out that Buffy is Hus' next target, leading the group to race back to Giles' place immediately.
A barrage of arrows signals the invasion of Hus and several Chumash warriors that he has summoned. As Buffy and Giles duck for cover, Spike is impaled by several projectiles, each narrowly missing his heart. When Willow, Xander, and Anya return, Hus decides to give up the arrow attack and challenge Buffy face-to-face. While the gang futilely tries to fend off the invulnerable attackers, Angel arrives to help turn the tide. Back inside, Buffy learns that Hus' knife is the only thing that can wound him. Hus transforms into a large bear in an attempt to overpower Buffy, but the Slayer manages to fatally stab Hus with his own knife. Dissolving into green mist, Hus and the other Chumash disappear.
Now that Thanksgiving dinner has finally commenced, Buffy tries to look on the bright side of things. However, a steadily recovering Xander accidentally spills the beans on Angel's assistance, casting a spell of silence over the stunned Slayer.
Episode Synopsis by: Alan Hufana