A cute guy named Ben approaches Buffy at the Bronze, hoping she'll
ask him to the upcoming Sadie Hawkins Dance, but Buffy, still
suffering over what happened with Angel, turns him down. Willow
expresses her concern at Buffy's increasing withdrawal, but Buffy
doesn't agree. She leaves, planning to see Giles at the library
on her way home.
she gets to the school, she sees a guy holding a gun on his girlfriend.
"Don't walk away from me, bitch!" he screams. Buffy
disarms him before he can shoot, but the gun disappears, and
both the guy and his girlfriend can't explain what was going
on or what they were fighting about. Buffy's turn as a good samaritan
lands her, not surprisingly, in Principal Snyder's office, where
he swears to find out how the whole incident is her fault. When
he leaves her alone for a minute, a Sunnydale
High yearbook from 1955 mysteriously falls out of the bookshelf
and lands on the floor. Later in class, Buffy drifts off and
sees a scene right out of the 1950's she watches class
let out, and sees a student named James share a seemingly too-intimate
moment with his teacher. When she snaps out of it, she finds
that her present-day teacher has written "Don't walk away
from me, bitch!" on the blackboard. Then, as she tells Xander
of the incident, a hand thrusts out of his locker and tries to
pull him in. Buffy fights it off and slams the locker shut, but
when she and Xander re-open the locker, the hand is gone. They
take their experiences to Giles, who surmises a poltergeist.
He says that someone died with unresolved issues, and the only
way to make the ghost go away is to resolve those issues. That
night, teacher Ms. Frank leaves for the night, saying good night
to George the janitor. But as she walks away, a gun appears in
Giles is working late and
hears the argument. "Don't walk away from me, bitch!"
George yells. Then Giles hears a woman's voice whisper, "I
need you." Thinking it's the late Ms. Calendar, he goes
to investigate, just in time to see George shoot Ms. Frank dead.
As Giles tackles George, the gun dissipates. Just like the couple
the previous night, George has no idea why he did it. Giles is
convinced the ghost is Ms. Calendar's, but the kids beg to differ.
On the 'Net, Willow reads about an incident in 1955 where a student
named James Stanley killed his teacher, Grace Newman, when she
broke up with him, then went to the music room and killed himself.
The story strikes an angry chord in Buffy, who plans to deal
with James' ghost harshly. Later that day, the school lunch mysteriously
turns into a mass of snakes, causing an evacuation of the school.
Principal Snyder tells the police chief that he doesn't know
how much longer he can cover up the existence of the Hellmouth.
That night, Willow tells the four teens of an exorcism ritual
called a Mangus Tripod, which they head off to the school to
perform. As they enter, all the school's doors slam shut.
Spike, Drusilla and Angel have moved into new garden-like digs,
where Dru has a vision. "A gate. It's opening," she
says. "It's black. It wants her. The Slayer." At the
school, Buffy hears the song "I Only Have Eyes For You"
and peers into the music room to see James dancing with Miss
Newman except his face is horribly
decomposed. Giles is trying to contact Ms. Calendar's
ghost, but when Willow is nearly consumed by a whirlpool that
appears from nowhere, he is forced to conclude the spirit couldn't
possibly be Ms. Calendar. The students attempt the exorcism,
but it's clear it was unsuccessful when a cloud of wasps hurtle
towards them. They escape in time to see the wasps cover the
outside of the school. Heading to Giles' house, Buffy reiterates
her conviction that James doesn't deserve forgiveness for what
he did only it's now clear that she's also refusing to
forgive herself for what happened with Angel. Hearing a voice
that sounds like Angel's whispering, "I need you,"
she returns to the school, where the sea of wasps parts to let
and the kids hope that since the school is deserted, there'll
be no-one to act out James' part and Buffy won't get shot, but
they don't count on Angel showing up, which he does. He seems
ready to kill Buffy, but then they're both possessed and start
re-enacting the scene but the genders are reversed, with
Buffy playing James and Angel as Grace. The scene plays out to
its gruesome end, with Buffy/James shooting Angel/Grace, then
going to the music room where she puts on the song "I Only
Have Eyes For You" and prepares to shoot herself. But Angel,
whose undead body was not killed by the gunshot, arrives to stop
her, and through him Grace forgives James for killing her. Angel and Buffy kiss, and the ghosts finally
go to their rest. As they snap out of it, Buffy breathes,
"Angel," but the vampire shoves Buffy away and runs
from the room. Disgusted, he tries to wash the memory of love
away, and finally decides to take Dru and go feed. "Try
to have fun without me," he tells Spike. "Oh, I will,"
Spike says, standing up and trashing his wheelchair after Angel
and Dru have left. "Sooner than you think."