-- Quotes --
Sunnydale Cemetery. Evening.
A body once known as Andrew Hoelich rises from its grave, ready for
a new life as a creature of the night. Standing in his way is not the Slayer,
but rather her closest friends: Willow, Xander, and Oz. Unfortunately,
without the powers that make Buffy special, the three friends are unable
to kill the vampire before it can escape into the night. Afterwards, the
group prepares themselves for the new school season, which begins the very
next day. They also wonder if and when Buffy will return to Sunnydale after
her unannounced absence since saving the world from the Acathla threat.
What they don't know is that Buffy is currently living alone in an apartment
in downtown Los Angeles. Buffy's dreams are haunted by Angel, reminding
of her of what she had to do in order to stop Acathla.
The next morning, Willow
learns that Oz flunked his senior year and needs to repeat it, Xander and
Cordelia's anticipated reunion has no sparks whatsoever, and Giles gets
the latest in a long line of leads concerning Buffy's possible location.
Meanwhile, Buffy is working as a waitress in a diner, under the alias of
Anne. During work, she serves a romantic couple of runaways. The girl's
name is Lily, while the guy's is Rickie. They both have each other's name
tattooed to their forearms. When Lily recognizes the waitress, Buffy denies
any familiarity with the girl. At one point, Rickie says to Lily the exact
same words that Buffy heard from Angel in one of her dreams. The next day,
on the way to work, Buffy passes by an old homeless woman who repeatedly
says, "I'm no one." Back in Sunnydale, Giles pays Joyce Summers a visit
to inform her that his latest search turned up empty-handed. Joyce expresses
her resentment toward Giles, blaming him for Buffy's distance from her
On her way home from work,
Buffy runs into Lily again. Lily gets Buffy's attention by calling her
by her real name, then reminds Buffy that she once went by the name of
Chantarelle and was involved in a vampire-worshipping cult. Buffy explains
that Anne is really her middle name. During their conversation, an old
man rudely bumps the both of them aside as he walks towards the street.
When asked if he's okay, the old man turns to them and says, "I'm no one."
With that, he walks into the middle of the street, then stops in the path
of an oncoming car. Buffy dashes into the street and pushes him aside just
in time, but not before the car collides and sends her slamming into the
pavement. A few locals offer to help her and call an ambulance, but Buffy
quickly leaves the scene without even a limp. On the way, Buffy meets a
relatively clean-cut man. His name is Ken, and he's handing out flyers
for a shelter called the Family Home. Meanwhile, in the Bronze, Xander
chats with Willow and Oz about their failure at vampire slaying. Seeing
Cordelia enter the Bronze with a few of her friends, Xander hatches a plan
to use her as bait.
The next day, Lily visits
Buffy at work and tells her that Rickie's been missing for a while. Buffy
reluctantly agrees to help, and they first visit the local blood bank where
Lily and Rickie often donated in order to make some money. According to
the doctor, Rickie hasn't been there in the last few days, so Buffy and
Lily agree to split up and meet up later at Buffy's apartment. During a
search in an abandoned building, Buffy finds a dead old man with a bottle
of Drain Cleaner next to his head. Since the bottle is empty, the old man
must have killed himself with it. However, that's not the most disturbing
thing: Buffy notices a familiar tattoo on the man's forearm. It says "Lily",
which means that this dead old man was Rickie. Back at her apartment, Lily
cannot believe the news. She blames Buffy for bringing along some evil
from Sunnydale, causing her boyfriend's untimely death. Lily exits the
apartment and meets Ken, who tells her that Rickie is alive and staying
at the Family Home. Relieved, Lily follows Ken to the shelter. Determined
to get to the bottom of things, Buffy breaks into the blood bank after
closing hours and finds Rickie's personal file. Alarmed by the word "Candidate"
stamped in it, Buffy questions the doctor, who has just arrived on the
scene. Buffy gets the info that leads her to the Family Home, where she
finds Lily alone with Ken in a room. Before Buffy can find out what's going
on, Lily is pulled into the floor through a strange black pool. Buffy struggles
with Ken before they both fall into the pool. On the other side of it,
they crash down hard on the floor. While Buffy takes care of Lily, Ken
removes his mask to reveal the face of a demon underneath. He calls the
guards, and Buffy grabs Lily and tries to escape. As the guards give chase,
Buffy and Lily run into an enormous factory room. Hundreds of missing runaways
work slave labor, while the demonic guards watch them, whips in hand. Ken
and the guards catch up to them. With a swift swing of his club, Ken knocks
Back in Sunnydale, Xander,
Willow, and Oz try to dust the vampire again, this time with Cordelia as
bait. While everyone assumes their hiding positions, Xander and Cordelia
argue over what they did or didn't do during the summer. Their fight is
interrupted by a scream, for the vamp has snuck up behind Willow and attacked
her first. Oz runs in to the rescue, but the vamp quickly knocks him to
the ground. Xander tries to drive his stake into the vampire's chest, but
they get their arms locked up, preventing Xander from thrusting the stake
any further. Cordelia charges the vampire from behind, and all three of
them fall to the ground. The vampire lands into the stake, and immediately
explodes into dust. This causes Cordelia to fall into Xander's arms. They
finally give in to their desires and kiss right then and there.
Buffy regains consciousness
inside a prison cell. Lily, who's sitting inside the same cell, believes
they're in Hell. Buffy denies this, but that becomes irrelevant as Ken
explains their situation. Apparently, they are in some alternate dimension
outside of Earth, and time passes differently here. According to Ken, one
day on Earth equals one hundred years in this dimension. Buffy puts the
pieces together and realizes that the disoriented old people she saw on
the street must have been former slaves in this dimension, including Rickie.
Buffy, Lily, and several other runaways are then led into a room. A demon
guard tells them that they no longer have any individual identities. He
then asks a boy to identify himself. When the boy responds with his own
name, the guard beats him with a club. Lily's next, and her answer is "no
one". A few more slaves respond in the same manner. The guard then asks
Buffy. Instead of giving the expected answer, Buffy finally comes to terms
with who she is and responds with her true identity, that of the Slayer.
With that, Buffy proceeds to fight and subdue the guards in the room. After
telling Lily to lead the others to the exit, Buffy runs out into the middle
of the factory and battles an endless number of demon guards. One after
the other, Buffy defeats them, until Ken grabs Lily and threatens to slice
her throat with a knife for Buffy's disobedience. Surprisingly, Lily pushes
Ken off the balcony while his back is turned, enabling Buffy to fight off
the guards holding her and climb to safety. At the exit, they encounter
a heavy gate which Buffy uses all of her strength to lift. Just as she's
about to escape herself, Ken tackles her. As he does so, Buffy is knocked
towards the outside of the gate, which comes crashing down on Ken's legs.
Buffy then takes Ken's club and smashes it onto his skull. After Buffy,
Lily, and the other runaways climb through the black pool, it seals itself.
Deciding it's time to
go back home, Buffy gives her apartment and her job to Lily. Buffy is confident
that Lily can take care of herself from now on. Before Buffy leaves, Lily
asks her if she can use Buffy's middle name, Anne, as her own. Buffy agrees
and leaves. Back in Sunnydale, Buffy knocks on the door to her home.
After Joyce opens it, they stand there, completely speechless. Finally,
they embrace. For Giles and the rest of the Sunnydale, the Slayer has returned.
For Joyce Summers, someone more important is finally home: her only daughter.
~Episode Summary by: Alan Hufana