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Flashback in Dublin, 1838. A man (Daniel) is running through the streets in winter, but his pursuer — Angelus — catches up to him, and bites him. Angel wakes up in bed — he was dreaming.

A bit later, Angel is walking through downtown Sunnydale. A newscast on a TV in a store window says that the temperature will be in high 70s for the holiday weekend. Angel runs into Buffy, and awkwardness ensues. Angel is shocked to spot Daniel in the street, but Buffy doesn't see him.

Oz and Willow make up

The next day at school, Buffy tells Willow and Xander that Angel was acting weird when she ran into him; Xander isn't surprised. Buffy says that she's trying to stay away from Angel and get over him. She then states that she just wants a nice quiet Christmas vacation. They discuss their Christmas plans — make that vacation plans, since Willow reminds them that she's Jewish. Buffy just plans to do something casual with her mom, Willow notes that her plans with Oz are presumably off (since they have broken up), and Xander plans to sleep in the backyard to enjoy nature. Cordelia overhears this and reveals that he actually does that to avoid his family's drunken fights. She's going to Aspen to ski — where there's actually snow. Willow thinks they should cut her some slack for her meanness, after what she and Xander did to her. Oz comes along and awkwardly says hi to Willow. They go into an empty classroom to talk. Oz reveals that he's not completely sure that it will ever be truly over between Willow and Xander, but he misses her, as though he'd "lost an arm ... or a torso," so he's willing to give it another shot with her. Willow is pleased, and they hug.

That night, Buffy and her mom are at a Christmas tree lot, looking to buy a tree. Joyce suggests inviting Faith to spend Christmas Eve with them, and guilts Buffy into agreeing. Buffy suggests they invite Giles, but Joyce very quickly and firmly dismisses the idea. They split up, and Buffy happens across a group of ugly dead trees. The salesman says he doesn't know why they died, but he could make her a good deal on one. Joyce calls out that she found a good one. Elsewhere, three shrouded men appear to be performing a ritual of some sort, chanting around an altar. Angel wakes abruptly from another dream.

Buffy goes to Faith's motel room, where Faith is banging on her TV, trying to improve the reception. Buffy invites her over, but Faith says she's going to a party; Buffy says the offer still stands if she changes her mind.

Angel shows up at Giles's house, asking for help. He says he has no one else to turn to. Before inviting him in, Giles gets his crossbow, just in case. Angel explains that he's been dreaming of the past. He wants to know why he's back on earth, instead of being tortured in the demon dimension. Suddenly, Angel sees Jenny Calendar behind Giles, but Giles sees nothing. Angel runs out. Later, Angel is in bed, dreaming again. He's at a fancy party, under the stairwell with one of the maids (Margaret). She is scared, and Angelus threatens her to keep her quiet. Then, after mentioning that her son will make a good dessert, he bites her. Suddenly, Buffy appears in front of him, and he wakes up. Buffy also wakes up, in her own bed. Angel gets up, to find Jenny in the mansion. Angel apologizes for killing her, and then she morphs into Daniel.

Buffy goes to Giles, trying to explain that she was in his dream of the past. She feels that something is wrong with him. Giles reveals that Angel came to him, and they agree to help him. Xander appears, and surprisingly offers to help. Willow arrives, and she helps, too; they begin with book research. Willow tells Buffy that she and Oz are back together, though it's uncomfortable between them. Buffy tells her she just has to show Oz that he comes first.

Jenny and Angel

At the mansion, some guy in a suit is reminiscing to Angel about when he found his children murdered by Angelus. The man becomes Margaret, then Daniel, then Jenny. They show a clip of a drunken Angelus. Margaret tells him he was worthless even as a human. They tell him that he was more evil than any other creature, killing for pleasure, not just food. Jenny tells him she doesn't want to hurt him, but cruelty is the only thing he has a true talent for. She advises him that evil is his destiny.

The gang is still researching at the library, though Buffy has fallen asleep, as has Angel at the mansion. They dream that they are in bed, kissing passionately. They begin to make love, but then Angel vamps and bites her. Angel wakes up to find Jenny encouraging him to make love to Buffy, so that he can kill her. She says that "we" brought him back so he could do just that.

Back in the library, Giles has found records of "The First Evil," who he thinks could have brought Angel back. Buffy says that she had another dream (giving no details). Giles shows her a picture of the Bringers, or Harbringers, the High Priests of the First, who have the power to conjure spirit manifestations. Giles says she can't fight the First, because it's not a physical being, but she points out that she can fight the Bringers. She and Xander go to Willy's bar, where Xander tries to intimidate Willy. Willy tells them that something has been scaring off some of Sunnydale's underground inhabitants, so maybe the Bringers are living underground also. On their way out, Willy tells Xander he did a good job of intimidating him, and wishes them a Merry Christmas. The two come out into the heat of Sunnydale, displeased because there's so much underground in Sunnydale.

Oz shows up at Willow's place with videos, where she's dressed up and waiting with Barry White music and soda in an ice bucket. She tells Oz that she's ready to "do that thing" with him. Oz stands up, as a dramatic gesture, but decides that they should sit down again. Willow insists that she's ready, but Oz tells her that he isn't (though he has had sex before). He reassures her that she looks great and all, but he wants it to be because they're both ready and doing it for the same reason, not because she's trying to prove something to him. They kiss.

At Buffy's house, Joyce builds a fire, despite the "blistering heat." The doorbell rings; it's Faith — her so-called party was drag. Faith has brought a gift for Joyce. Buffy goes up to her room to get their gifts, and finds Angel there. He's nervous, and finds himself staring at her neck. Jenny is with him (though Buffy can't see her), encouraging him to taste her. He tells her that she has to stay away from him, and then he jumps out the window. Buffy goes after him, leaving Faith to stay with Joyce. She goes to Giles, wanting to do something pronto. He warns her that she may have to kill Angel if he becomes a serious danger.

Back at the mansion, Jenny is still trying to push Angel to drink from Buffy. He says that he will never hurt her; he'd die first. Jenny says he's not strong enough to kill himself, but he points out that he doesn't need strength — he just needs the sunrise. He goes outside. Jenny says that this wasn't the plan — but it'll do.

Giles finds in a book the fact that nothing can grow above or below the Bringers, and Buffy thinks of the dead Christmas trees in the tree lot. She goes there, and digs herself a hole to jump down into. They are indeed, there, chanting and eye-free. She begins to do some damage, and "Jenny" reveals herself to her, introducing herself as the First Evil, insisting that she is everywhere and unable to be fought. "Jenny" morphs into some big scary thing, telling Buffy that Angel will be dead by sunrise. Buffy takes off, and finds Angel on a hilltop, waiting for the sun to rise. Buffy tells him there's only a few minutes left; he's aware of that. Snow in SunnydaleBuffy says that it doesn't matter what they told him, he can fight it. He admits that he wants to make love to her, and a part of him doesn't even care that it would cost him his soul. Buffy insists that he has the power to do good, to make amends for what he's done in the past. She refuses to go, and he hits her, knocking her to the ground. She cries, and tells him that she loves him, and that she hates how hard it is; she wishes that she wished him dead, but she doesn't. He pleads with her to let him be strong, but she counters that being strong is fighting. Suddenly, they notice that it's snowing. The sun is too cloud-covered to appear, and Angel is saved.

Oz and Willow see the snow from Willow's bedroom window, Joyce and Faith go out the front door to get a good look, Giles spots it out his window, and Xander notices the hard way (when it snows on him outside). A TV weatherman (on the TV in a store window) is commenting on the sudden cold front in Sunnydale, where it's snowing for the first time ever; the sun is not expected to show up all day. Buffy and Angel walk down the snow-covered street, hand in hand.

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