Oh, I'm beginning to understand this now. It's all about the journey, isn't it?

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

As Buffy and Riley stand in the doorway of Joyce Summers' house, Riley tells Buffy that while he must go to a debriefing, he is in no danger of being put away for disobeying Initiative orders. Willow, Joyce and Giles look on as Xander appears from the kitchen with a bowl of popcorn. Riley says his good byes to Joyce and the gang, and everyone retreats to the living room. Giles asks Joyce to join the gang in their Videofest, but Joyce declines, saying she is too tired. As Joyce takes a personal bowl of popcorn up to her bedroom, Xander pops "Apocalypse Now" into the VCR, claiming that they have enough videos to last them all night. But before the FBI warning on the tape is over, Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles are fast asleep, physically and mentally drained from defeating Adam.

Inside Willow's dream, she sits in Tara's room, painting a message in a strange language on Tara's back. Tara is concerned that they haven't found a name for Miss Kitty yet, but Willow is not worried. Tara tells Willow that everyone will find out about her, but Willow tells her that she doesn't have time to worry about what her friends think because she has to prepare for her Drama class. Willow gets up and opens the curtains and looks out into the arid dessert outside. Willow senses that something is out there, but she can't see it. Suddenly she finds herself walking through the halls of UC Sunnydale. As she turns a corner, she is joined by Xander and Oz, who inquire about her choice to take Drama class. She barely notices Oz, who informs her that he has always been there. Before she can open her locker, the bell rings, and she goes to class. She wanders into the backstage of a theater, where a bunch of people are hastily assembling their costumes for a play that is about to start. An orchestra can be heard tuning behind the curtains. Dressed as a Swedish mountain girl, Harmony approaches Willow and tells her that she is so excited to start the play. Buffy comes from behind the curtain, dressed as a 1920's flapper, and tells Willow that her whole family is out in the audience, and they look angry. A cowboy-clad Riley tells Willow that she could have a better part if she would have arrived on time.

Confused, Willow tries to tell them that this is only the first drama class of the semester. As she tries to make sense of it all, Giles, the director of the play, comes in to rally the troops. He tells the cast that everyone Willow knows will be out in the audience, and that if they go out there and lie like dogs, this will be the best presentation of "Death of a Salesman" that they have ever seen. As they break from the huddle, a creature catches Willow's eye, but she can't make it out. A man next to her tells her that he has made room for the cheese. Confused, she turns around and walks into a corridor of curtains, where Tara waits for her. She tells Willow that everyone is starting to wonder about the 'real' Willow, and when they find out, they will punish her. As Buffy curses all males onstage, Willow tries to figure out who is following her, and as she turns around, Tara is gone. Suddenly a creature attacks Willow from inside the curtain, but Buffy rescues her and pulls her into an empty classroom. Buffy looks at Willow's clothes and tells her that the play is over, and she should take off her costume. When Willow tries to explain, Buffy rips off her clothes, leaving Willow in a young schoolgirl's costume. Suddenly, the classroom is full of Buffy's peers, and Buffy sits down and joins them as they mock her. As she starts to read her book report, the creature attacks her again, pouncing on top of her. She screams for help, but no one in the classroom seems to notice. Back in the living room, the Willow in the real world squirms in agony in her sleep.

Xander 'wakes up' into his dreamworld back in Buffy's living room. Giles and Buffy watch a distorted version of "Apocalypse Now" while Willow writhes in her sleep. Xander walks up the stairs to go to the bathroom, and Joyce greets him at the top of the stairs, dressed in a sultry red nightgown. She asks Xander to come in and lay down with her, reassuring him that she has learned a lot about boys. Xander accepts the invitation, but heads for the bathroom first. As he steps into the bathroom and unzips his fly, he notices that he is being studied by a large group of Initiative doctors and soldiers. Uncomfortable, he leaves and walks across the hall, walking into another door that leads into his basement bedroom. Someone or something is trying to open the door at the top of the stairs, and Xander tells himself that that is not the way out. Suddenly, Xander finds himself walking through a park, and he comes across Buffy, Giles and Spike. Giles and Spike swing together on a swing set, Giles training Spike how to be a watcher. Buffy plays in the sandbox, and Giles asks her if she should be playing there. Suddenly, Buffy sits in the center of a vast desert. She tells Xander that she is way ahead of him, and refers to him as her brother. After a long silence, Xander makes a comment about always moving forward, then looks off in the distance to see himself selling ice cream to children out of his ice cream truck. As he moves to the front of the truck it is already in motion, and he sits down next to Anya. She tells him that she wants to get back into vengeance. As he tries to explain that society has rules about vengeance, he turns around to see Willow and Tara, both dressed very provocatively, making out in the back of the truck. Without moving their lips, they tell him that he is interesting and invite him to come back with them. Anya tells him to go ahead, so he climbs into the back of the truck. As he climbs over a box, he ends up in his basement bedroom again, calling for the girls, who are nowhere to be seen.

The knocking at his door begins again, this time a little more fierce. As he turns around, the same man from Willows dream holds up a plate full of cheese slices, telling him that they will not protect him. As the door breaks down, Xander runs from his bedroom into the halls of UC Sunnydale. The halls are washed in green light, and no one notices Xander, or the creature chasing him through the halls. He runs into Giles, and Anya, who start speaking to him in French. He is picked up by a group of students, and suddenly he ends up inside the "Apocalypse Now" movie, walking through the forest in military camouflage. He ends up in a dark POW camp kneeling next to another one of the prisoners, Principal Snyder. Snyder tells Xander that he is a whipping boy, raised by mongrels to be a sacrificial lamb. Xander stands up to relieve a cramp and finds himself in Giles' courtyard, the creature from Willow's dream hot on his tail. He runs through Giles' house, into the halls of UC Sunnydale, through the door of Buffy's dorm room and a dark hallway, ending up back in his basement. The knocking at the door has become very fierce, and Xander whispers that that is not the way out. The door flies open and Xander's father walks down the stairs, scolding him for being ashamed of his family. As he gets close to Xander he shoves his fist through Xander's chest, pulling out his heart. As Xander looks up, he sees the creature from Willow's dream. Back in Buffy's living room, the 'real' Xander lurches in his sleep.

Giles' dream begins with him trying to hypnotize Buffy, who merely laughs at his old-fashioned ways. Suddenly, Giles finds himself walking through a macabre nighttime Fair in the cemetery with Buffy and Olivia, who pushes a baby stroller. A pigtailed Buffy runs ahead, begging to play the midway games. She finds a game where she throws a ball at a wooden vampire figure, and misses. After Giles coaches her she hits the vampire and jumps up and down. Spike calls over from his crypt, urging Giles to come over before he misses everything, and Giles obliges. When he enters the crypt, Olivia sits in the corner, crying over an overturned baby stroller, and Spike poses for bunch of Paparazzi. As Giles tries to figure out what to do with all of this, he runs into the Cheese man, who is wearing slices of cheese on his shoulders and forehead. Appalled, he walks out of the crypt and into The Bronze, where Xander and Willow study Giles' books on the old library furniture. Giles comes in carrying another book, apologizing for his tardiness. Despite boasting a gaping chest wound, Xander seems to be more annoyed by having to attend Anya's comedy act, which he professes as his real reason for being there. As Anya tells jokes on the stage, Willow and Xander tell Giles that something is following them. He suggests that their old selves are following them. Suddenly Giles jumps onto the stage, and bursts into song, singing about how the spell they performed with Buffy must have released some primal evil. As the crowd gets into the music, he sings for Willow to look into the Chronicles for a reference to a warrior beast. A burst of feedback brings the song to a halt, and Giles traces the microphone cord backstage to find the source of the problem. He crawls back on his hands and knees until he finds a watch in the wires, then freezes as he realizes the creature is right above him. He tells the creature that he knows who it is, and that he can defeat the creature with only his intellect. As he tells the creature that it underestimates his powers because it never had a Watcher, the creature scalps him, and the 'real' Giles convulses in his sleep in Buffy's living room.

Buffy 'wakes up' into her dreamworld in her dorm room. Anya, her roommate, begs her to wake up but she rolls over to go back to sleep. For a split second she sees the creature above her bed, before waking up again in her old bedroom. She stands next to Tara, asking her if she had come there to tell her something, then realizes that she needs to find her friends because they are not there. Tara tries to hand her a tarot card, but Buffy refuses. Tara tells Buffy that she doesn't know who she is to become, that she has even begun. Buffy leaves to find her friends and Tara warns her to return before dawn. Wandering through the halls of UC Sunnydale, she finds Joyce living inside a whole in one of the walls. Buffy asks Joyce to get out of the walls, but Joyce tells Buffy that she is happy living in the walls, and that she should go find her friends. Distracted, Buffy walks away and into a government map room, where she finds Riley and the whole human form of Adam sitting at a conference table. Riley informs her that his debriefing went well, that they made him the Surgeon General and that they are drawing up the next plan for world domination with coffee machines that think. Buffy disagrees with their plan of world domination, but Adam retorts by telling her that they are the same, they just go about their natural aggression in different ways. Buffy asks Adam what his name was before he was changed and he tells her that not a human alive would know. Suddenly, the alarm sounds, and Riley and Adam run off to build a fort.

Buffy sees the bag at her feet and tries to tell them that she has weapons, but they have already left. She bends down to look in the bag, and finds that it is full of mud. With the mud on her hands, the only thing she knows to do is spread it across her face. As her mask nears completion, Riley interrupts her, telling her that now that she is not looking for her friends, she must go it alone. He leaves, and the sun bursts into the room, and Buffy walks out into the same arid dessert that she appeared in before. Tara comes out to speak for the creature, a primitive young woman who Tara identifies as the first Slayer. She professes that Slayers do not walk on the earth, and work alone, only to slay. Buffy tells her that times have changed, that she needs her friends and that she wants them back. The man with the cheese pops in without saying a word, and Buffy says that she's just going to wake up. With those words, the two Slayers engage in furiously fast fight. As they roll down a huge embankment, Buffy shouts out that the fight is OVER and wakes up out of her dream in her living room. As she gets up, the first Slayer jumps at her, and she realizes she is not out yet. The Slayer tries to stab her but Buffy just ignores her and sits down on the couch. As Buffy begins to give her hair care advice, Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles snap out of their dreams simultaneously.

Sitting at the dinner table, Giles surmises that they must have stirred the spirit of the first Slayer with their spell. They all agree that the Slayer's spirit was not good for sleep. As Buffy gets up to go take a shower, she tells the rest of the group that they were lucky enough not to have dreamed about the guy with the cheese. As Buffy passes by her bedroom, she looks in and hears Tara's voice repeat: "You think you know. What's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun."

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