Buffy walks back inside Der Zauber Kasten to find the gang sitting around pondering the Dawn situation. Buffy wants to know if there's anything new, and Giles snips that there isn't anything she would "want to hear." Buffy asks him to explain it again, and then curtly orders him to do so when he resists. So we go through it again. For the third episode. In a row. "The blood flows, the gates will open. The gates will close when it flows no more," finishes Giles ominously. We interrupt this very important exposition bulletin for Tara to shriek that she has places to be. As do I. So let's get on with it. Xander wants to know why the ritual deals with blood, and Spike explains that it's "always got to be blood." Oh. Well, good thing the monks were so freakin' obliging and made Dawn into a bleedable object. Buffy listens to all of this in stony silence, then decrees that all they need to do is stop the ritual before it starts. "Yes, but Buffy…" continues Giles, but she cuts him off with an "I don't want to hear it" and turns away. "I understand that," Giles remarks dryly. "No you DON'T!" She wheels towards him and shouts that they aren't talking about this. Giles stands and just screams at Buffy that "yes we bloody well are!" Buffy's eyes go wide but she doesn't give, instead goading him to "tell [her] to kill [her] sister." Giles softly tells her that Dawn isn't really Buffy's sister, and I think that truly is the wrong tactic. It doesn't really matter to Buffy if Dawn was born into her family or if the monks ordered her out of the Sears & Roebuck catalog -- at this point in time, she's certainly Buffy's sister. Buffy tries to explain that Dawn is "more" than her sister, that she's in fact Buffy because the monks made her out of Buffy. Whoa there. Nice to see that, despite everything she's been through, Buffy is still able to make sure that everything is all about her. Buffy breaks down a little, and Willow reassures Buffy that they'll solve this riddle. Giles, leaning on the table, has the hard task of trying to make Buffy understand that once the portal is opened, every creature in every dimension will be having a very bad day, and therefore, if that happens, Dawn has to die. Buffy, refusing to listen to reason, says, "Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her. I'm sorry," she shakes her head, "I love you all but I'm sorry."
Anya brightly tries to jump-start something productive and asks for suggestions on defeating a Hell God. Willow comes up with the grand solution that they only need to slow Glory down, since the ritual seems to be of the one-time-only, blue-light-special variety. Anya encourages everyone to think outside the box, and Giles snips at her, asking if she has any ideas. She shoots right back with "the Dagon Sphere," which has been hanging out in the basement all this time. On the phone, Ace and I did a list of the top ten places that the Dagon Sphere has been hiding all season. The only one I can remember is "in the middle of the word 'dragon,'" so you can see why I'm not going to strain myself coming up with the rest of them. Apparently, we were wrong. Anya then goes over to the shelf behind the counter and presents "Olaf the troll god's enchanted hammer. You want to fight a god, use the weapon of the god." Okay! Back the truck up! Troll god? Wasn't Olaf Anya's two-timing ex-boyfriend from her human days whom she then cursed into being a troll? Troll god, my ass! Way to over-romanticize your past boyfriends. And besides. How much could that hammer possibly hurt Glory? Even Xander managed three direct hits from the thing and suffered no ill effects. "Smart chicks are so hot," drools Xander. Willow glances over and slyly comments, "You couldn't have figured that out in the tenth grade?" Aw. And to answer Willow's question: No. It is statistically impossible for a guy to have figured that out in the tenth grade. In fact, Xander is still ahead of the learning curve.
Ben, wearing that awful robe, comes in to find Dawn sitting and trying real hard to blend into the wall. He holds a dress out to her and tells her that she has to put it on. She sulks that she might not like the color, and Ben has the gall to say, "I wish there was another way." Dawn snarks back with, "And I wish you'd fall on your head and drown in your own barf so I guess we're both disappointed." Heh. Dawn tells Ben to let Glory come out and play, because she can't stand the sight of him. He tries to talk her out of it, but she starts screaming, "Glory! Glory! Glory!" until finally he morphs into Glory and starts prattling on, blaming Ben's human influence for her incompetence as a villain. Dawn doesn't like the sound of that and suggests that it's really because Glory can't handle the Slayer. Glory takes umbrage and decides to hit Dawn where she lives, turning the tables on her by suggesting that Buffy is either not going to come for her at all or, if she does, that it's going to be sacrifice her. Glory shoves Dawn away, and she lands face-first on a grate. "Buffy," she whispers.