-- Quotes --
Written by Zinna
Buffy surveys coffins in a dimly lit room. Giles and Dawn come into the room with the mortician. The mortician asks if Buffy has made a decision. She says yes and points to a nice brown casket. Buffy and Giles are about to leave with the mortician when they notice Dawn lingering by the casket that Buffy has chosen. Dawn is afraid that their mom may not like that particular casket and wonders how Buffy can be so certain without Mom there to decide. Buffy just tells Dawn that she shouldn't have to worry about that kind of stuff.
At the Summers house, Giles, Xander, and Willow are over for dinner. Giles and Buffy are making the funeral arrangements as Dawn becomes increasingly annoyed that Buffy has been fussing non-stop over the funeral arrangements since their mom died. Buffy and the gang try to figure the best way to say there will not be a wake after the funeral at Joyce's request. Dawn becomes more perturbed at the thought of her mother and Buffy talking about Joyce's funeral wishes without Dawn. Dawn asks Buffy what they will do after the funeral instead of a wake but is ignored. Buffy says something about her not being able to get a hold of their father. Dawn then asks Willow if she can go with them after the funeral. Willow isn't opposed to this idea but thinks that Dawn and Buffy should be together at that time. Dawn repeatedly asks Buffy if she can go to Willow's house after the funeral until she gets an answer. Buffy nonchalantly gives Dawn her permission.
After dinner, Willow and Xander leave. Outside, they encounter Spike, who has flowers. Xander becomes enraged and prevents Spike from leaving the bouquet, even though Spike asserts his intentions were completely honorable. He just wanted to anonymously leave the flowers for Joyce. Xander is unconvinced, and makes Spike leave, accusing Spike of being uncaring and only out to score points with the object of his obsession - Buffy. After Spike has gone, Willow notices that Spike did not include a card with the flowers, which means that Spike was not looking for credit with Buffy.
The next morning, Joyce Summers is ceremoniously laid to rest at her gravesite. Buffy and Dawn stand at the front of the circle of mourners surrounding the casket. After the ceremony, one by one the attendees leave. The last ones left are Buffy and Dawn. Tara tries to persuade Buffy to leave with them or let them wait for her. Buffy tells them to take Dawn home and not to worry about her. They leave Buffy standing at the edge of Joyce's grave staring at her lowered coffin.
Night finds Buffy in the exact same place when Angel appears. He takes her hand in his and expresses regret for not getting there sooner.
In Willow and Tara's room, the couple attempts to console Dawn. Dawn does not want comforting; she wants the witches to help her raise her mother from the dead. Tara firmly tells Dawn that it is out of the question. Willow explains that it is a tricky and dangerous process that may not be possible. Tara reiterates that witches take an oath not to be involved in resurrection spells. Dawn takes this to mean that resurrection is possible and desperately demands that the girls help her. They refuse.
Back at the cemetery, Buffy and Angel sit together under a tree a few feet away from Joyce Summers' grave. Buffy expresses fear that she will not be able to pull it together. She may have fought countless demons but her mother was the strong one. For Buffy, her mom always knew what to say. Buffy is even more worried because of Dawn. Buffy's has to take care of Dawn and she has no idea how to do that. Angel asserts that she is stronger than she feels and offers to stay as long she would like. She says she wants him to stay forever.
Knowing he cannot stay forever, Buffy tells him that he should go soon because she is too needy. Angel says he doesn't mind staying no matter how needy she is. She kisses him. It is intense. Angel realizes it would be a bad idea and tells her that he will leave in a little while. Buffy expresses her gratitude for him coming and gives him the credit for her being able to make it through the night.
Somewhere else in Sunnydale, Glory's minion, Jinx, asks Ben about his budding romance with the slayer. Ben replies that their romance is non-existent. Then in scolding the demon, he accidentally hints that the key is in human form by referring to it as "an innocent." Jinx flat-out asks if the key is a human and Ben shoves a knife into the demon's stomach, so that Glory may never find out about his mistake.
The next morning, Willow tries to get Dawn to come with her and Tara to breakfast, but Dawn isn't up to it and says she needs to sleep. Before the couple leaves, Willow magically pulls out a book on their bookshelf, so that Dawn can easily pick it out. Dawn notices it and takes it with her when she leaves.
Later at the magic store, Dawn tricks Giles into unwittingly telling her where all the dangerous books and artifacts/trinkets are kept. When no one is looking, she sneaks up to the loft and takes what she needs for the resurrection spell. Giles never suspects a thing.
Later that night Dawn sits at her mother's grave and puts dirt into a jar. Spike catches her and offers to help with her spell as long she doesn't tell Buffy. Dawn wonders why Spike would help her if it wasn't going to get him points with Buffy, and Spike explains that he doesn't like to see the Summers women hurting.
Meanwhile, an injured Jinx tells Glory that the key is a human. Glory is delighted that their search has been drastically narrowed.
Spike takes Dawn to a man that is known for his great knowledge of resurrection spells and such. The man tells them all they need to know including the spell's ingredients, location of the ingredients, the incantation, and the way to reverse the spell if something goes wrong. During their visit it is also revealed that the man is some sort of demon or beast, for he has a tail and his eyes turn completely black when Dawn shakes his hand.
The spell requires the egg of a ghorrah demon. Spike and Dawn go to the ghorrah demon's nest in the sewers. Spike tries to get Dawn to wait for him while he attempts to get the egg but she will not allow it. She insists that he needs her to get the egg while he distracts the demon. Spike calls Dawn, "Bitty Buffy" which in later episodes becomes shortened to "Bit".
They are able to get the egg but not without getting Spike badly bitten by the three-headed ghorrah beast. Dawn takes the ingredients home and carefully follows the instructions of Doc, the man Spike took her to visit.
In Tara and Willow's room, Tara notices that the book Dawn stole is missing. Willow inadvertently confesses to leaving the book out for Dawn, in hopes that it will answer some of her questions and help Dawn with the grieving process. Tara convinces her that Dawn will try a spell and suffer horrible consequences. Tara insists that these types of spells always go wrong. They call and warn Buffy.
Buffy bursts in on Dawn just as she is finishing the incantation and yells at her for trying such a dangerous spell. Dawn defends herself saying that she had to bring Mom back - without her mom she had no one. Buffy is taken aback and tells Dawn with tears welling up in her eyes, that Dawn has her. Dawn retorts that it is obvious from Buffy's behavior that Buffy doesn't want Dawn around. Buffy begins to emotionally unravel. Through tears she explains to Dawn that she is scared and doesn't really know how to be strong or be a mom to her. Dawn says that Buffy doesn't need to be her mother. By this time, Buffy is completely bawling as she says "Who is [gonna be Mom] if Iím not." Dawn realizes that Buffy is suffering too and suddenly regrets her spell, but at that moment there is a knock on the door. The knock is presumably coming from the late Joyce Summers, who has been raised from the dead by Dawn's spell. In order to reverse the spell Dawn must destroy the image of her mother that she used in the original spell. Buffy rushes to the door hoping to find her mother on the other side, but Dawn tears the picture of Joyce in half. Buffy opens the door and there is no one there. She looks back at Dawn and her face crumbles. Dawn goes to her and they hug. Bawling they collapse to the floor.