In the Summers' kitchen, Giles is helping Buffy and Dawn wash the dishes, after having cooked dinner for them. While Dawn goes to see if there are any dirty dishes in her room (before they get furry), Giles asks Buffy how she and Dawn are dealing with the loss of Joyce. Buffy says that "some minutes are harder than others," but they've established something of a routine. Giles reassures Buffy that it will get better; she figures it has to. He then suggests that maybe they could return to Buffy's training schedule. Buffy hesitates, admitting that she was thinking of taking it easy for a while. They go into the living room to talk, and Buffy explains that she worries that being a Slayer is turning her into stone. She says that she's been emotionally shut down for quite a while now, and she worries that Joyce didn't know how much she loved her. To sum it up, Buffy is concerned that being the perfect Slayer might mean being too hard to love at all. She suddenly tells Giles that she loves him, and repeats the word "love" a few times, commenting that it feels strange. Giles says that if Buffy's serious about all this, there is a quest that Buffy could go on, to find answers. Buffy doesn't want to leave Dawn, who has just come into the living room. Dawn says that if it'll help Buffy, she should go, and Dawn will be fine hanging out with the gang. Buffy tells Dawn that she loves her, and asks if she knows that. Dawn says she does, and she loves Buffy too. Buffy again repeats that she loves Dawn, and starts to weird Dawn out a little. The sisters hug.
Over at Warren's house, Spike is picking up his custom made Buffybot a robot made to look and act just like Buffy. A somewhat frantic Warren assures Spike that the robot has everything Spike wanted real-world knowledge, profiles about Buffy's family and friends, the "special skills" that Spike requested (this elicits a giggle from Warren). Warren is anxious to leave town, but Spike isn't sure he's satisfied, as she looks a little shiny. The Buffybot suddenly activates, and instantly goes to Spike, planting a big kiss on him. Warren slips out, and Spike decides, "She'll do."
At Glory's condo, Glory's minions listen attentively as she complains that she's losing control of Ben, and isn't moving forward with her plans quickly enough. The minions remind her that she's a god, but she points out that she's a god in exile, far from the hellfires of home, and sharing her body with an enemy (one that stabs her boys in their "fleshy little stomachs"). Getting inspiration, she comments that the Slayer must have contact with the Key. She tells the minions to follow the Slayer, and look for someone new and important in her life.
Giles and Buffy arrive in the desert in his little red convertible. Giles explains that he can't take Buffy directly to the sacred place, as it's a guarded secret. He'll have to perform a ritual transfer his guardianship of Buffy temporarily to a guide. Giles describes the ritual to Buffy, who jokes that it sounds rather like the hokey pokey. Giles begrudgingly jumps out of his circle of twigs, jumps back in, and shakes his gourd. Buffy remarks in deadpan, "And that's what it's all about."
At Spikes crypt, the Buffybot and Spike "fight," but she remarks that though she wants to hurt him, she can't resist the attraction of his "cold and sinister body." She suddenly hurls him onto his back on the bed and jumps on top of him, stake to chest. She rips his shirt open, but then admits that she can't stake him: "I'm helpless against you, you fiend!" Spike flips her over onto the floor, pinning her underneath him. He kisses her passionately, murmuring "Buffy," and heads toward the lower regions of her body.
In the desert, Giles sits in his circle of twigs and reads a chant in another language from a book. Buffy wanders in the desert, and spots a wildcat. She says hello to it, and follows it further into the desert, until she comes to a dark rock. She sits down, and comments, "I know this place." It's the spot where she met the First Slayer in "Restless."
At Xander and Anya's apartment, Tara has done a warning spell on the apartment to help protect them from Glory. Tara comments that Willow could probably do it better, as she's blown right past Tara in magic skills. Dawn sits, bored, on the couch. She notices a pair of Anya's earrings sitting unattended, and slyly walks over and puts them in her pocket, then remarks that their slumber party requires pizza. As she turns toward the rest of the group, one of Glory's minions peers in the window, unnoticed.
Spike and his new toy are lying together in a post-coital cuddle, as the Buffybot continues to rave about Spike, telling him to devour her. Spike tells her, "You're mine, Buffy." She wonders if she should "start this program over." Spike frowns, disturbed, and asks her not to use the word "program" "Just be Buffy." The Buffybot smiles agreeably.
At UC Sunnydale, Willow is lending her notes to a fellow student. Obviously a little nervous about the situation, she gives him some instructions, such as not to spill coffee on them or fold the page corners down. One of Glory's minions follows Willow as she leaves campus.
Back at the crypt, Spike sleeps as the Buffybot prepares to patrol, commenting to herself, "Vampires of the world beware."
In the desert that night, Giles sits on his car sipping a cup of tea. Buffy sits alone on her rock, getting sleepy.
In the cemetery, the Buffybot runs into Xander and Anya on patrol. She recognizes Xander, and we see her display as she looks at him. The folders shown are labeled Hard Drive, Slaying, Locate Spike, and Make Spike Happy. Under the latter folder can be seen a few files: kissing01, kissing02, positions01, positions02, positions03, positions04, and positions05, with a flashing "More" link. Some data on Xander comes up, indicating that Xander is friend and a carpenter, and that he dates Anya. She looks at Anya, whose data indicates that she dates Xander, likes money, and is an ex-demon. Using this information, the Buffybot cheerily asks Anya, "How is your money?" Anya is visibly pleased, and thanks "Buffy" for asking. (Xander and Anya, of course, assume this is Buffy.) Anya notes that she's back early from her quest, and Xander asks how it went. The Buffybot says that she doesn't understand this question, but thanks Xander for asking; she then happily informs him that he is her friend, and a carpenter. As Xander asks "Buffy" if she's okay, Spike comes running up. He tries to pretend that the Buffybot is the real thing. As the Buffybot attempts to hold onto his arm, Spike pretends that she's trying to hurt him. A few vampires approach, and the foursome take them on as two of Glory's minions lurk in the bushes, observing how concerned "Buffy" is for Spike. After the vamps are dusted, Spike gives Xander and Anya "permission" to leave. The Buffybot agrees that she and Spike will do it alone. Xander reluctantly heads off with Anya. The Buffybot and Spike banter and then kiss.
As Xander and Anya walk home, Xander notes that "Buffy" seemed a little spacey, and didn't even ask about Dawn. He thinks something is wrong, so he and Anya go back... to spy "Buffy" straddling Spike, with her skirt splayed out around her, calling out to Spike, "Oooh Spike! You're the big bad! You're the big bad!" The two are obviously having sex; Xander and Anya are shocked.
Willow and Tara are watching a program about the Salem witch trials at Xander and Anya's apartment when the two return. After making sure that Dawn is sleeping, they break the news to Willow and Tara that Buffy is boinking Spike. The gang is concerned, and Xander decides to go find her and help her, as she's clearly insane.
In the desert, Buffy wakes up to find a campfire burning in front of her, and the First Slayer lurking on the other side of it.
At the crypt, Spike hears someone coming and sends the Buffybot downstairs to hide, telling her not to come out until he gets her. Xander comes in and tells Spike what he saw. Spike figures it's none of his business. Xander accuses Spike of taking advantage of Buffy's grief. He grabs Spike by the shirt and threatens him, but is interrupted by a group of Glory's minions, who think Spike is the Key. A fight ensues, and Xander is knocked unconscious. Spike is to be taken to Glory carefully, as Glory will want the Key intact.
In the desert, the First Slayer explains that she is Buffy's guide, just using the form of the First Slayer. Buffy says she has some questions: "What about love?" The guide perceives that Buffy worries that she's losing her ability to love, losing her humanity. She reassures Buffy that she is full of love, and loves with all her soul, and will only lose love if she rejects it. She tells Buffy that she should risk the pain, and that love will bring her to her gift. This throws Buffy for a loop, prompting her to ask, "What?"
At Spike's, the Buffybot comes upstairs and calls for Spike, as she missed him. She doesn't notice the unconscious Xander as she leaves to go find Spike.
There's a knock on the door at Xander's apartment, and Willow opens it, thinking it's Xander. She finds "Buffy" outside instead, who informs her that Spike's gone. Willow takes her to the balcony out back, because everyone is asleep. As the Buffybot looks at Willow, her data informs her that Willow is her best friend, is gay ("1999-present"), is a witch, and is good with computers. Willow tells "Buffy" that Xander went looking for her and hasn't come back, but the Buffybot is only concerned with finding Spike. Willow asks if it's true that she slept with Spike, and the Buffybot says no she had sex with him. She says she's sorry that it bothers Willow, as Willow is her best friend. Willow surmises that it was just one time, but the Buffybot cheerfully explains that it wasn't one time, "it was lots of times, and lots of different ways." She helpfully offers to make sketches, but Willow is seriously not interested. Willow tells "Buffy" that this is wrong, and although she has been with a vampire before, Angel was different and had a soul. The Buffybot interrupts to share her programmed opinion on Angel: "Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up, and he's bloody stupid!" Willow isn't sure what to make of that, and says she just wants to help. The Buffybot again tells Willow that she's her best friend, and then tells her, "You're recently gay!" Before Willow can respond to that odd statement, Xander arrives. He tells them that some demony guys, who he surmises are Glory's minions, took Spike and must be taking him to Glory. Willow, Xander, Anya, and the Buffybot leave, and Tara stays behind to watch Dawn.
In the desert, Buffy tries to get some clarification on this "gift" thing. The guide "clarifies" by telling her that death is her gift. Buffy will have none of that, insisting that she knows from experience that death is a gift to no one. The guide simply tells Buffy that her question has been answered; with that, she disappears. Buffy is left alone and confused.
The next morning, Jinx and Murk enter Glory's room and present her with Spike. Glory wonders, "What the hell is that, and why is its hair that color?" The minions tell her that they believe this is the Key, but Glory points out that he's a vampire, and thus cannot be the Key the Key has to be pure, and vampires are not. They can't even be brainsucked; they're useless. The minions tell Glory that they observed the Slayer, and that she protected Spike above all others and treated him as precious. Glory is intrigued at this. Spike tells her to sod off, and is rewarded with a nice punch in the face. Glory throws him onto the bed, and, wondering if there's something useful on the inside, proceeds to shove her finger straight into Spike's stomach, clearly a painful experience for Spike.
Willow, Xander, Anya, and the Buffybot arrive at Buffy's house to get weapons. Willow asks "Buffy" where they should start looking for Glory, but the Buffybot has no clue all she knows about Glory is that she's a god and wants the Key. She insists that they need to rescue Spike. The gang send her upstairs to get more weapons and change clothes; when she's gone, they discuss the situation and decide that they need to stage an intervention to bring the Slayer back to her senses. The real Buffy walks in, and the group is startled at how quick she was. Buffy thinks they mean that her quest was quick, and says it doesn't seem like it to her. "Death is my gift," she comments, "pffft." Xander says they need to talk; Anya tells her that what she's doing is wrong; Willow insists there's no blame, just love (and fear). Anya comes out with it, saying they're thrown by the "you having sex with Spike." Buffy is now the one who's thrown: "The who whating how with huh?" Buffy insists that she's not having sex with Spike, but she wonders if Xander is when he explains how understandable it is ("Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact, but well muscled."). Xander tells Buffy that they saw her and Spike, "with the straddling." The Buffybot comes back, not having changed her clothes, and demands to know who's straddling Spike. Buffy is shocked. The Buffybot seems pleased to see someone who looks just like her, noting that they're very pretty. Xander figures they must both be Buffy, as happened to him in "The Replacement," but Buffy is much quicker on the uptake: "No. She's a robot. She acts just like that girlfriend-bot that Warren guy made. You guys couldn't tell me apart from a robot?" Anya comments that she's very well done, and earns a friendly smile in return from the Buffybot. Xander realizes that this is Spike's doing, and the gang is disturbed to realize what the purpose must have been. The Buffybot reminds them of the most important thing that Glory has Spike and is going to harm him. Buffy isn't pleased to learn that Glory has Spike, and insists they start looking fast, as they have to kill him.
At Glory's place, Spike is chained up and badly beaten. Glory cuts a nice slice across Spike's chest, wondering if she could peel him in one strip, like an apple. Spike tells her that's enough; he'll tell her who the Key is.
Buffy takes the gang, now including Giles, to where she killed Glory's key-sniffing snake, which was headed to Glory. That will have to serve as their starting point. Giles comments on how extraordinary the robot is, but is less impressed when the pronounces his name with a hard G, like "Guy-els." Buffy explains to the Buffybot that they're not going to save Spike, they're going to kill him, because he's evil and will tell Glory who the Key is. The Buffybot admits that Spike is evil, "but you should see him naked." Buffy tells the gang to split up.
Glory is giving Spike some water, and tells him that she's tired of his games and he should start talking now. He does: "It's that guy... on TV... what's his name... that show, the price show, where they guess what stuff costs." The minions realize that he's referring to "The Price is Right," hosted by Bob Barker. They willingly offer to bring Glory "the limp and beaten body of Bob Barker," but she's not fooled by Spike's lie. Spike laughs, and tells Glory that he's not telling her jack. He throws a string of insults at her, prompting her to send him flying, knocking him loose from his chains. He heads for the elevator, missing it but prying open the doors and dropping himself on top of it. He gets inside of it, but the minions meet him downstairs. They're distracted when Buffy and Xander arrive. Spike slumps down in the elevator. Buffy and Xander fight the minions, and are soon joined by Giles and the Buffybot. The robot runs to Spike, but saves Giles when he calls out for Buffy. Unfortunately, this makes her the recipient of a harsh blow from a minion, and she's put out of commission.
Jinx and Murk, the only two minions still standing, scurry upstairs and tell the tale to Glory that the Slayer, a lethal fighter, seemed to be everywhere, and she had friends with many weapons, who may have been demons. Glory doesn't care; all she cares about is that her vampire got away. The camera cuts away, but we hear the two minions screaming in pain.
Back at the Magic Box, Willow investigates the robot. Buffy says the robot situation is weird, "but at least it's not a very good copy. I mean, look at it." As Buffy peers at the Buffybot, Willow humors her, pretending to agree. Xander and Giles arrive, telling Buffy that they left Spike at his crypt, and that he was too badly beaten to make any sense, so they're not sure if he told Glory about Dawn. Buffy insists that they need to know, because if he did, she and Dawn need to get out of town. Willow exclaims that she's found where the robot is broken, and comments that it's an easy fix. She's rewarded with a dirty look from Buffy, and says that she wouldn't do that. Xander feels some pity for Spike (for once), noting that he got a hell of a beating and had his best toy taken away, all in one day. Buffy hopes he's not suggesting that they give him toy back, and Xander says no, "It's just... the guy was so thrashed."
That may be an understatement. A battered, bleeding and bruised Spike barely manages to sit up when the Buffybot comes in. She asks why she let Glory hurt him, and Spike tells her that Glory wanted to know who the Key is. The Buffybot offers to go tell her, but Spike adamantly stops her, explaining that if "anything happened to Dawn, it'd destroy [Buffy], and I couldn't live with her being in that much pain." Spike says that he would let Glory kill him first. The Buffybot pauses, and gives Spike a gentle kiss on the lips. He pulls away, giving her a funny look. She stares at him, then begins to walk away. Spike, realizing that this is the real Buffy asks, "And my robot?" Buffy tells him that the robot is gone, and was gross and obscene, and not real. She starts to leave, but pauses, and tells Spike that what he did for her and Dawn was real, and she won't forget it. She leaves Spike staring after her.