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Buffy and Angel The episode starts out with the Mayor giving Faith a gift, as an early reward for going to the airport for him tomorrow night to pick up something that is crucial to his Ascension. The gift: a big, expensive, mean-looking knife. Faith is quite impressed with her new toy.

In the cemetery, Angel and Buffy dust a couple of vampires together. Buffy expresses concern that they are in a rut; all they do is patrol and Angel never takes her anywhere new. She wonders if their life together will always be this way.

The next morning, Joyce is thrilled to find out that Buffy has been accepted to Northwestern University. Buffy doesn't seem as excited, and tells Joyce that she hasn't decided yet what school she will go to. At school, Principal Snyder attempts to bust a drug deal, but the lunch bag he confiscated contained only lunch. Buffy tells Willow that Joyce is in "a continent of denial," not understanding that she can't leave Sunnydale. Buffy says it looks like she'll be going to UC Sunnydale, but she's excited for Willow, who got into Oxford (as well Yale, MIT, and Harvard). Xander, who is reading "On the Road," says that he wants to go on a road trip. Cordelia wanders by to throw some insults their way, ridiculing both Xander and Willow, and she refuses to tell Xander where she's going to school. When Buffy speaks up, Cordelia tells her that their conversation is reserved for those who have a future. Willow comforts her. Buffy goes to tell Wesley that she wants to leave Sunnydale for college, but Wesley forbids it. She decides to launch an offensive against the Mayor instead of waiting around for the Ascension.

At the airport, a freaky looking man gets off an airplane with a mysterious box handcuffed to his wrist. Faith appears and shoots him from behind with a bow, to the surprise of one of the Mayor's vampire henchmen. When she pulls out her shiny new knife to remove the box from the dead man, he tells her that it can't cut through steel. "No," Faith says, "but it can cut through bone." Faith takes the box to the Mayor, who is quite tickled that Faith has killed the courier, and he tells her that if Buffy ever wanted to work for him, he would turn her down; Faith is all he needs. Faith starts to open the box, but the Mayor stops her.

Buffy, who saw Faith take the box into City Hall, attacks the limo driver and demands to know what's in the box. Later, at the Library, Buffy tells the gang where the box is, and they develop a plan to get it. Wesley doesn't like how fast they are moving, and points out that the Mayor will have supernatural powers protecting the box. "Looks like a job for Wiccan girl," replies Buffy.

Xander, on his way to get spell ingredients, spots Cordelia in a clothing store, and can't resist the urge to go in and press her buttons. She reveals that she was accepted to USC, Colorado State, Duke, and Columbia, and tells him to go away. Later, Wesley and Giles drop off Willow, Buffy, and Angel at City Hall, and remind them that they'll be waiting outside. Oz and Xander are at the library, following Willow's directions for preparing the spell which will destroy the box. On the roof of City Hall, Willow pours a powdery substance through the skylight onto the box and performs a spell, breaking the supernatural barrier around it. She starts to climb down the ladder, to head back to Wesley and Giles, and Angel lowers a harnessed Buffy down into the room. When she lifts the box, an alarm goes off, and the chain Buffy is attached to gets jammed. Since Angel can't bring Buffy up, he comes down to help her fight the guards who came upon hearing the alarm. The two get the box and run outside, where Giles and Wesley take off in the van, luring the vamps to chase them.

Buffy and Angel A bit later, the Mayor is scolding the guards. He is very upset that they got his box, but Faith puts a smile on his face when she enters holding Willow at knife-point. At the library, the gang tries to decide how to get Willow back. Buffy proposes they trade for the box, but Wesley insists the box has to be destroyed. The group argues about this, until Oz, who has been watching quietly, gets up and smashes the cauldron containing the ingredients for the spell. Buffy instructs Giles to call the Mayor and arrange a meeting.

Willow is trying to escape the room she's locked in when one of the vampire guards comes in, deciding he wants a taste of her. But she uses her telekinesis abilities to kill him with a nearby pencil, and runs out of the room. She almost gets caught by Faith and the Mayor, but hides and overhears the Mayor compare Buffy to a dog and state that he plans to kill her like one. Willow ends up in the Mayor's office, where she opens up his secret closet and finds the Books of Ascension. Faith catches her reading them, and Willow tells her off, calling her a selfish, worthless, waste. The Mayor interrupts their fight to tell them about the phone call he got from Giles.

The gang is waiting in the cafeteria where they have arranged for there to be only one way out (or in). The Mayor, Faith, and Willow arrive, along with a couple of henchmen. The Mayor offers up some "fatherly advice" about Buffy and Angel's relationship, which he sees as doomed; Angel's immortality will cause problems, not to mention that he can't have a moment of true happiness. He says it would be selfish of Angel to stay with Buffy. They make the trade, and Principal Snyder comes in with some cops, thinking he's caught them in a drug deal. The Mayor, surprising Snyder, is about to explain when one of the cops opens the box, letting out some big bug thing (sort of a cross between a beetle, spider, and crab), which attacks and kills him, then scurries away. Giles tells them not to open the door; they can't let the bug out. The bug jumps onto the mayor's face, and Faith grabs it and throws it across the room. The Mayor's wounded face heals right up, shocking and frightening Snyder. Buffy stops another bug from getting out of the box, but another one lands on her back; she falls backwards and squashes it. Faith spots one on the wall behind Wesley and hurls her knife at it, killing it. Oz asks if that's all of them, and the Mayor says no, there's about fifty billion in the box. He orders Faith to go with him. She hesitates, looking back at the bug she killed, then follows. Buffy pulls the knife out of the wall.

Later, Willow is telling Buffy about her "adventures," but Giles wants to know what she remembers from the Books of Ascension, and she surprises him with a few pages that she stole. Wesley is upset that they are right back where they started. The next day, Buffy tells Willow that she thinks she's never going to get out of Sunnydale. Willow comforts her by telling her she will be going to UC Sunnydale with her. Although Buffy is thrilled, she tells Willow she can't do that, but Willow won't budge; she wants to stay to fight evil and help people. Buffy tells Willow she loves her, and they decide to go get mochas.

Buffy and Angel Cordelia is in the store again, looking at a dress, when another woman comes in and tells her to stop goofing off; she has work to do. Cordelia has a job!

That night, Buffy tells Angel about her and Willow going to the same school; she's hoping to live on campus. She tries to reassure him that the Mayor didn't know what he was talking about (he's just a "stupid evil guy") and that they'll be okay. They cuddle up, both looking pensive.

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