After Buffy finally breaks the silence lingering in the room, Riley tries to figure out who she really is. When Riley withholds information on his own secret identity, Buffy offers her own description of what he does for a living. Surprised by Buffy's accuracy, Riley turns the spotlight back on her. However, Riley is not at all familiar with the name Slayer, so Buffy encourages him to find out on his own. Just as Riley is about to leave the dorm, they notice some rattling coming from the rat's cage, followed by a sudden earthquake. Although the quake is relatively brief, it's more than enough to alarm Buffy.
A short while later, Willow returns to her room and tells Buffy about an aftershock party at Porter Hall, due to the entire building being blacked out. Buffy turns down the invitation, instead heading over to Giles for some answers. While Buffy fears that something bad is coming, Giles insists that the earthquake was nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, Spike finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into depression. No longer the fearsome night stalker he once was, Spike cannot comprehend how he ended up living in Xander's basement. Underground, Riley asks Forrest about the Slayer. According to Forrest, the Slayer is nothing but a myth. Over at the aftershock party, Willow runs into Percy West, whom she tutored last year at Sunnydale High. In another room, a lone student finds himself in a sudden encounter with a large, green demon with several spines protruding from the back of its head. Before he can run or scream, the demon slashes the boy's throat, spilling blood all over the floor.
When Willow overhears Percy referring to her as a geek from high school, she wanders away from the main party crowd. Ending up in a dark room, Willow feels her way to the bed and lies down, wishing that she were somewhere else. When the power is restored to the building and all the lights turn on, Willow realizes that she is not alone in the bed. Lying next to her is the body of the boy, drained of its blood. Carved on the boy's chest is a symbol that consists of an eye inside a triangle. Willow shows a drawing of the symbol to Giles, who immediately recognizes it as a sign of the apocalypse. Buffy recognizes the symbol, and she grabs the crossbow on her way out to the cemetery. Finding a mausoleum with the symbol carved on one of the walls, Buffy enters and spots the demon collecting the bones of one of the skeletons. Engaging the demon in battle, Buffy quickly realizes its great strength. After delivering a blow that lands Buffy on her back, the demon escapes with the bones it stole from the mausoleum. Riley arrives shortly and tells Buffy which way the demon ran. Before she takes off in that direction, Buffy informs Riley that she can't continue their relationship any longer.
Back at Giles' apartment, the gang learns that Buffy's enemy is called a Vahrall demon. One of the passages in the demon's description leads Willow to another book that describes a ritual called the Sacrifice of Three. Along with the sacrifices, the ritual requires the blood of a man, the bones of a child, and something called the Word of Valios. Assuming it's the title of a book, Xander and Willow head to the library. When they stop by Xander's basement for supplies, they find Spike trying to kill himself with a stake. Uncomfortable with the idea of letting the harmless vampire die, Willow and Xander take Spike with them to the library in order to keep an eye on him. After coming up with nothing at the library, Spike mocks Willow and Xander's belief that they play an important role in Buffy's duty. Meanwhile, Buffy runs into Riley while patrolling the streets. Riley tries to convince Buffy that she can't make it through the rest of her life alone. Unable to describe her full history with Angel, Buffy turns a cold shoulder to Riley. Back at the apartment, Giles researches the ritual further. He comes upon an illustration of the Word of Valios, which turns out to be fifteenth-century talisman. Rummaging through a box of valuables, Giles discovers that he had the talisman all along. Before he can get out of the house, Giles realizes he has visitors in the form of three Vahrall demons.
While the gang tends to his wounds, Giles tells them that the Vahrall demons are attempting to open the hellmouth. Reluctantly, Buffy, Xander, and Willow return to Sunnydale High, accompanied by an irritated Spike. As they enter the crumbling halls of their old high school, Xander accidentally steps on the remains of late Mayor Wilkins. The gang finds the three Vahrall demons chanting around a gap in the floor. While Buffy attacks, Xander and Willow work on retrieving the blood, bones, and talisman in order to prevent the ritual from being completed. One of the Vahrall demons grabs the jar of blood from Xander's hands and dives into the hole. Realizing that the demons themselves are the three sacrifices, Xander warns the others. Tired of taking a beating from another one of the Vahrall demons, Spike smashes his fist into the demon's face. Instead of receiving immediate shock to his brain, Spike feels absolutely no pain. Realizing that the implant does not prevent him from harming demons, a wave of unadulterated joy overcomes Spike as he wails on the Vahrall demon. Caught up in the excitement, Spike picks up the demon, who grabs the bag of bones before being lifted up into the air. Xander and Willow's warnings come too late as Spike throws the demon, along with the bones, into the hole.
Another earthquake signals the near-completion of the ritual. As Buffy hurls punches and kicks at the demon, Riley comes to her aide. Managing to escape the attack for a brief moment, the third Vahrall demon grabs the talisman and drops into the hole. Riley hooks up a cable from his belt to Buffy's, and the Slayer dives in after the demon. Through the rumbling of the quakes, Riley manages to pull Buffy back to the surface. As Riley pulls her up by her right hand, Buffy drags the demon out of the hole with her left. Having failed to complete the ritual, the Vahrall demon dies, and the earthquakes stop. Afterwards, Riley unsuccessfully tries to explain his camouflage outfit to Xander and Willow, who immediately figure out that he's one of the commandoes. When he spots Spike, Riley can't recall where he's seen him before.
The next morning, Buffy pays a visit to Riley's room. Having revealed his identity to Buffy and her friends, Riley prepares himself for some dark consequences. What he doesn't expect is the kiss that Buffy plants on his lips. In the meantime, Spike shuts off the television in Xander's basement. Before Xander and Willow can protest, Spike insists that they get out and continue the fight against evil. For a dead man, Spike has never felt more alive.
Episode Synopsis by: Alan Hufana