Buffy is still looking over the balcony, in a state of shock. She puts the knife down and starts climbing down the fire escape. Just afterwards, the Mayor and his henchman arrive. The Mayor looks through the broken glass out onto the balcony, not realizing he just missed Buffy. He orders his henchman to find them, and when the henchman hesitates, reminding him about the Ascension, the Mayor fiercely shouts "Find them!" He stands there, quietly repeating, "She'll be alright" over and over.
In the library, Xander and Giles are researching, and Giles is drinking coffee instead of tea ("Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense.") - though his expression reveals that he obviously hates it. Cordelia barges in, demanding an explanation as to why Wesley is returning to England (which he just told her on the phone). Giles tells her that Buffy has quit the council and no longer needs a Watcher. Cordelia doesn't understand why that means he has to leave: "I mean, you got fired and you still hang around like a big loser, why can't he?" Xander asks her to give them a hand with the research, and Cordy agrees. She sits down, mumbling ironically, "That's just such a Buffy thing to do. She's always thinking of herself."
Back at the mansion, Daria is tending to Angel. He wakes up, kisses her hand, and tells her "I thought I'd never see you again. I can't leave you. I was wrong. I need you." A bewildered Daria realizes he thinks she is Buffy and corrects him, reassuring him that Buffy will be back soon. She leaves the room, and tells Oz that he's delirious. They kiss, but break up guiltily when Buffy enters. They ask if she found Faith, but Buffy doesn't answer. She asks to be alone with Angel, and Daria and Oz leave. Buffy goes into Angel's room, where he tells her he is ready to die. She disagrees, telling him he has to live. She slips off her jacket. "Drink me," she says. He refuses, saying it will kill her, but she says it won't if he doesn't take too much. He stumbles out of the bedroom, but falls onto a table. She tells him that she killed Faith, and that she will not let him die. She hits him in the face. She hits him again. And again ... and he turns back to her, in vamp face. She pushes her shirt aside and pulls his face to her neck. He begins to feed. Blood drips down her shoulder. Buffy goes weak, and they fall to the floor. Buffy grabs a metal water jug and squeezes, crushing it. She pulls her leg in toward him, then kicks it out violently, kicking the table and breaking it in two. Her eyes close, and Angel finally breaks himself free ... but gets no response from an unconscious Buffy.
Angel is carrying Buffy into the hospital and lays her on a bed. The doctor on hand barks out some orders to the nurse, and asks Angel (who says something bit her, he doesn't know what) if she was conscious when he found her, if she has any allergies, and if they've been doing drugs. Angel, who has ripped the handle off the door in frustration, goes out to the payphone. In a nearby room, a doctor is telling the Mayor that Faith has broken bones, damage to the kidney, head trauma, and severe blood loss - there is almost no chance that she will ever regain consciousness. The Mayor caresses Faith's bruised face, telling her, "It's your day." The nurse comes in to tell the doctor about the other girl with severe blood loss (Buffy). The Mayor realizes who it must be, walks into her room, and puts his hand over her mouth, trying to smother her. The nurse tries to stop him and calls for security. Angel bursts in and pulls the Mayor away from Buffy. The Mayor and Angel exchange words, and Angel shoves him backward, breaking a window. The Mayor gets up, chuckling and noting Angel's regained strength. The Mayor leaves, after making a veiled threat about the Ascension.
Giles, Willow, Daria, Oz and Xander arrive. Angel tells them that Buffy is OK, that she put Faith in a coma, and that she cured him. He starts to say that she made him drink of her, but Giles interrupts: "You fed off her?" Willow is worried that she will be a vampire, but Angel reassures her that Buffy didn't feed off him, so she won't. Xander pipes in with, "Well, it's just good to know that when the chips are down and things look grim, you'll feed off the girl who loves you to save your own ass," which prompts a Mona Lisa smile from Daria. Giles insists that Angel go, reminding him that the sun will be up soon. They go in to see how Buffy's doing.
Buffy is in Faith's apartment, and spots a cat. "Who's gonna look after him," she wonders. Faith appears, telling her it's a she, "And aren't these things supposed to take care of themselves?" Buffy feels that there's something she's supposed to be doing. "Oh yeah," Faith says, "Miles to go. Little Miss Muffet counting down from seven three oh." "Great. Riddles," says Buffy. The cat on the bed dissolves into an illusion of Faith in the hospital bed, then becomes the cat again (all while healthy-Faith stands by the bed). Buffy looks down at her hand, where the knife she killed Faith with appears and then disappears. Faith offers Buffy a tip: "Human weakness. It never goes away. Even his." Buffy asks Faith if this is her mind or Faith's, but Faith doesn't know. Faith tells Buffy to take what she needs from the apartment, then asks if she's ready. Buffy wakes up in the hospital, and walks into Faith's room. She kisses the unconscious Faith on the forehead, and walks away. Then, after changing from the hospital gown into her street clothes, goes out and tells the gang to get Angel; she's ready for war.
In the high school quad, Snyder is by himself, looking out over the chairs set up for Graduation.
Back in the library, Buffy has just finished describing her plan to the gang. Cordelia doesn't think they could come up with a crazier plan, but Oz proves her wrong, pointing out that they could attack the Mayor with hummus ("Just keeping things in perspective" as Daria puts it with a Mona Lisa smile). Nonetheless, Cordelia actually supports Buffy. Buffy tells Xander that he's the key figure, asking if he remembers his military training from when he became "soldier-guy." He thinks she wants to use a rocket launcher, but she says that won't get it done. She tells them that Faith told her to play on the Mayor's human weakness. Willow is confused, asking "Faith told you? Was that before or after you put her in a coma?" "After," Buffy answers. A confused Willow can say nothing but, "Oh." They try to figure out what that weakness is, and when Angel mentions the germs-thing, Cordelia suggests chasing him with a box labeled "Ebola virus." Xander thinks the hummus idea is better than that, but Angel tells them how upset the Mayor was over Faith. Buffy is pleased. Wesley enters, and Buffy tells him she has no time for orders, but he's not there for the council; he just wants to help. "If I need someone to scream like a woman, I'll give you a call." Cordelia is nevertheless impressed with his class for offering to help in a non-Watcher capacity.
At City Hall, the Mayor is laying out his plan for his vamp henchmen. The sun, he tells them, will not be a problem.
Back in the library, the gang figures out that there will be an eclipse, putting Angel "back in the game." Buffy tells Xander and Angel they'll have to work together; when they are none too pleased about this, Buffy tells them they're like little old ladies.
At City Hall, the Mayor orders the vamps that there is to be no snacking, only killing.
In the library, the gang is arranging "volcano detail" - "Fun with chemistry," says Willow. Buffy instructs Giles to get "weapons, weapons, weapons," and leaves, saying there's something she needs to get.
Daria Wispers something to Oz, who nods, leaves the library and returns ten seconds later, carrying his guitar case. He opens it, pulls out the guitar, then opens a secret compartnemt behind the guitar and pulls out General Barksdale's Civil War Saber and gives it to Daria.
Daria: I do hope that Mom won't get mad. But, after all, it _is_ going to get put to good use.
At City Hall, the vamps are leaving, and the Mayor reminds them to keep if fast and brutal - and to watch the swearing.
At school, Xander approaches Harmony, needing to talk to her. Willow goes to talk to Percy. Wesley and Cordelia are in the library, packing up all the books. Wesley tells her that once this is over, he'll be going back to England, since there's no reason to stay. They inch closer, Wesley takes off his glasses, and they kiss awkwardly. They stop. They try again. It just isn't working; they have no chemistry. Cordelia wishes him good luck in England, and they get back to work, each looking displeased with the other's kissing. Outside, Willow, Oz, Jonathan, and Larry are unloading bags of fertilizer from Oz's van. Jonathan and Oz leave, and Daria and Oz are alone in the van. Oz tries to reassure a visibly nervous Daria that they'll be okay. They kiss.
In a shower stall, Willow asks Xander how long they have until Graduation. "A little while," he replies. They start to kiss as well.
In Giles' office, Buffy tells Angel that she got what she needed, and that there aren't enough weapons, and he tells her that Giles is on it. She looks down at the what she's been holding wrapped in a rag - Faith's knife.
The students march in to the Graduation ceremony. Snyder steps up to speak: "Congratulations to the class of 1999. You've all proved more or less adequate. This is a time of celebration, so sit still and be quiet. (Spit out that gum!) Please welcome our distinguished guest speaker, Sunnydale's own Mayor, Richard Wilkins the third. (I saw that gesture. You see me after Graduation.)" Willow, Xander, Oz and Daria run in, frazzled. Willow sits next to Buffy, who sits just behind Daria, who is three seats away fron Xander. The Mayor begins his speech ... and Buffy and Willow realize he's going to do the whole speech. Buffy declares that he is evil. A little way into the Mayor's speech, the sky goes dark. The Mayor appears to be in pain, but tries to continue - to no avail. The Mayor suddenly morphs into a giant serpent/dragon thing. The parents and guests rush to get out. Well, Most of them. Helen Christine Barksdale-Morgendorffer stands up, draws her pistol from an ankle-holster and begins firing at Mayor-Demon.
A troupe of vampires stands behind the students, a ways back. Buffy calls, "Now," and the students take off their gowns to reveal a full range of medieval-type weapons (plus a few flame-throwers). Buffy calls for the flame units, and the Mayor finds himself attacked with fire. It does no damage; he eats a student. Snyder finds this whole scene unacceptable. Oz notices the vampires and calls to Xander, who yells "Fire!" Some students shoot flaming arrows at the vamps, killing two. They fire again, killing one. The vamps turn to run, but are faced with a troupe of good guys, including Angel, Wesley, and Percy. They engage in hand-to-hand fights, while the students keep attacking the Mayor. The Mayor's tail whacks Larry, killing him. Snyder shouts up at the Mayor, telling him he needs to maintain order on his campus. He is interrupted when the Mayor takes him into his jaws, eating him. The Mayor and then eats Helen as she is fumbling to reload her revolver. Buffy orders the students to fall back, and tells Willow to go. Xander orders everyone to go hand-to-hand. The students come down the stairs in a herd, attacking the vamps with their weapons. A vampire feeds on Harmony, presumably killing her. Cordelia stakes a vampire. Wesley is down on the ground, calling for help. Buffy shouts up at the Mayor, holding the knife he gave Faith in front of him, describing how smoothly it slid into Faith. "You wanna get it back from me, Dick?" She runs into the school, the Mayor right behind her, pushing through entire walls. She runs through the library, and bursts through a window, leaving the Mayor in there to see himself surrounded by explosives. "Well, gosh," he exclaims. Giles sets off the explosives - and the library, the Mayor, and the whole darn school are awash in a sea of flames, sparks, and smoke. Buffy has outdone herself this time.
In the aftermath, fire trucks and ambulances litter the area. Wesley is put into an ambulance, moaning. Angel and Buffy are together, and Angel notices that Buffy is looking for Xander. He tells her that Xander made it through the fight; he must have taken off afterwards. He walks away; Giles approaches her. She tells him that her brain is not operating on the higher levels ("It's pretty much, 'fire bad, tree pretty.'"). He congratulates her on a job well done, and pulls out her diploma, which he somehow rescued from the wreckage. Giles starts babbling about the irony of the situation, using some words which are a bit too big for Buffy right now. He goes to check on Wesley. Buffy spots Xander about 20 yards away, haze and smoke surrounding him. She waves and shouts, and Xander notices and runs to Buffy, Angel and Giles.
The gang gathers together, taking stock of the situation. Willow asks Buffy if she is OK; she is, but she's tired. Oz suggests they take a moment to deal with the fact that they survived ... high school, that is.
Daria: Speak for yourself. (Sweeps her intensely pained gaze across the group) My mother DIED back there. Died saving my life. This moment of silence should not be for us but for them.
After the moment of silence. Daria speaks again.
Daria: Now I know where I'm going to college.
Willow: Where, Daria?
Daria: Miskatonic, and you're coming with me, Oz.
Oz: Okay. Lots of college campuses to visit in Massachusetts. I think Devon can come along, Too.
Xander: Daria, why not here?
Daria: (losing her temper) Because my first real crush was killed here! Because my first real boyfriend was vamped here! Because my father and my mother, who have shown themselves to be my true personal heroes lost their lives here! Because I've lost everyone I ever cared about here except all of you! (losing steam, tears streaming from her eyes as she sighs) And because I can't fight the good fight yet. I'm not yet ready. I want to train myself. Learn. as much as I can. (Looks up with an expression of iron determination on her face.) And when I come back her, and I swear I will, I will be good and ready!
Male Voice: (Off Screen) Xander Harris?
Xander looks offscreen. Pan to a middle aged man in a Dress Green military uniform.
Man: I am Captan Jason West, Percy's father and commandant of U.C. Sunnydale's ROTC unit. That was incredible work you did, son. How would you like a ROTC scholarship?