The camera focuses on Buffy from above, so I guess it's her dream now. She's dreaming of her room at college. Willow is in her bed, frantically whispering to Buffy that she's got to wake up right away. Buffy grumbles that she's "not really in charge of these things." "Please help me. Please," mouths Willow from her bed. "I need my beauty sleep," replies Buffy testily, and rolls over. Hmm -- I wonder if this is actually her dream or just some candid footage they had in the archives. Next we get a scary overhead shot of the primal creature screaming up at us, and then Buffy wakes up in her bed at the Summers's house, last seen in Faith's dream sequence in "This Year's Girl." "Faith and I just made that bed," says Buffy, who has been magically transported to the other side of the room. "For who?" queries Tara. "I thought you were here to tell me," says Buffy. She wonders where the rest of the gang is, and Tara says that they've lost them. Buffy thinks they need her to find them and, looking at the time, remarks on how late it is. We see that the clock is showing a time of 7:30, because Joss likes to tease us. "Oh, that clock's completely wrong," says Tara, as she hands Buffy some sort of tarot-looking card that reads, "Manus." Buffy declines, saying she's "never going to use those." Tara responds, "You think you know. What's to come. What you are. You haven't even begun." Buffy glances at the bed, which has been magically remade, and then splits to go find the rest of the gang. "Be back before dawn," Tara calls out softly to Buffy's retreating figure.
In the hallway at Sunnydale High, Buffy is asking random students if they've seen the gang. She pauses at a hole in the wall and peers in to find Joyce. Buffy doesn't think her mother should live in the wall, but doesn't actually do anything to help her out, and then wanders off to find her friends after catching sight of Xander walking up the stairs. Ah, symbolism. We see a shot of Buffy's feet, and then suddenly we're not at the school anymore but in a large room that features a glass table with two figures seated at it. "Hey there, Killer," calls out a suited Riley to Buffy, who is crossing the room. She asks Riley how his briefing went, and he says it went fine. In a vain attempt to justify last week's surgery, he tells Buffy that they've made him Surgeon General. Riley tells Buffy that they're "drawing up a plan for world domination. The key element? Coffee makers that think." Buffy wonders if world domination is a good thing, and Riley swivels in his char as the camera swings in under the glass table to highlight a gun that is lying on it. "Baby, we're the government. It's what we do," replies Riley. The man across the table says, "She's uncomfortable with certain concepts. It's understandable. Aggression is a natural human tendency. Though you and me come by it another way." The last bit is directed either at Buffy or the primal force that we see standing behind her. Buffy protests that they aren't demons, and the innocuous blue-shirted man questions her assessment. Riley tells her that they have a lot of Big Important Secret Things to do, like "giving things names," which prompts Buffy to ask innocuous blue-shirted man what his name was. "Before Adam? Not a man among us can remember." The room is cast in a blue light as a disembodied voice intones, "The demon has escaped. Please run for your lives." At this, Riley and pre-FrankenFlash Adam stand. "We'd better make a fort," says Riley. "I'll get some pillows," responds Adam. Ha! I have to say their delivery cracked me up. And boy, out of the green rubber freak suit, Adam is cute and real skinny. Sounds of chaos can be heard in the background as Buffy glances down at a bag near her feet. She opens it to find more mud. She runs her hand through it and then spreads it all over her face. We get the special infrared cam again and then Riley, in civilian clothes, accusingly says, "I thought you were looking for your friends. Okay, Killer. If that's the way you want it, I guess you're on your own," and walks off. Buffy looks confused but gets up and starts walking.
The terrain slowly changes from a concrete floor to rippling sand, and then we're in full on desert. "I'm never going to find them here," says Buffy. "Of course not, that's the reason I came," says Tara, who is clad in hot pink genie top and skirt. Tara explains that she's not really in Buffy's dream, that she's just on loan because "someone has to speak for her." Buffy says, "Let her speak for herself. That's what done in polite circles," as the primal force wanders into the shot and circles around Buffy. We finally get a clear shot of her and can see that she wears dreadlocks, and that the white paint on her face is reminiscent of a skeleton. Buffy asks where her friends are, but Tara/primal force tells her that she's asking the wrong questions. Buffy orders Tara to make the primal force speak, but Tara replies, "I have no speech. No name. I live in the action of death. The blood cry. The penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute. Alone." That's a lot of talk from someone who has no speech. "Slayer," whispers Buffy. "The first," replies the primal force through Tara. "I am not alone," says Buffy, looking down at the card in her hands that shows a scene of the gang in the living room. "The slayer does not walk in this world," says the First through Tara. "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm going to be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out and I don't sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends," orders Buffy. Whatever that means. "No friends! Just kill! We are alone!" grunts out the First Slayer, who I guess has been studying her Berlitz tapes. The cheese guy jumps between them and waves some slices at Buffy. Buffy says she's had it, and the First attacks her. They fight a bit and then Buffy says, "It's over. We don't do this anymore." In response, the First tackles her and they go rolling down a hill. "Enough!" screams Buffy, and wakes up in her living room where she's lying on the rug. Suddenly the First is on top of her, stabbing. Buffy just rolls her eyes and gets up. She says that she's going to ignore the First and that she's not the source of Buffy's power blah blah blah. She insults the First's hair and then wakes up for real. I guess the First was too insecure about her split ends to continue menacing Buffy. The rest of the gang stirs around her. Is that barbecue sauce on the table next to the popcorn? What kind of freak eats their popcorn with barbecue sauce?