Takes place directly after Season Eight and Angel Season Seven.
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
(Spike is off with Angel, Anya is dead, and Dawn is going to college in Rome, so they are not regulars)
1: Cleveland (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amy Acker, Iyari Limon, Indigo, Felica Day, and J. August Richards) - Flashback to 2003, a few days after "Chosen": The school bus is parked outside a small diner in Nevada. Buffy announces to Xander, Willow, Giles, Dawn, Faith, Andrew, Kennedy, Rona, Vi, and Robin that she will be splitting everybody up to round up other activated slayers around the world before settling down in Cleveland. Flash forward to 2005, two days before real-time: In Rome, Buffy isn't comfortable leaving Dawn by herself while she rearranges everybody's locations, so she allows her to come with her to the Cleveland airport where they will rendezvous with the others. Giles agrees to accompany Dawn back to Rome and help enroll her into college. They take the next plane back while the rest of them head off to their new home. Angel and Spike continue to work in Los Angeles and Illyria is watching over Gunn. One night, a demon breaks into Gunn's hospital room and kidnaps him.
2: Vengeance (Guest Star: Andy Umberger) - A Vengeance demon blends in as a slayer and causes mayhem by having the others unintentionally state wishes (including Andrew's "I wish that everyone liked me more.", causing everyone to clamor for his attention, Willow's "I wish that everyone would back off me a little.", after which nobody could come near her, being stopped by an invisible force field, and Faith's "I wish we could have more action instead of sitting around.", resulting in the base being attacked non-stop by demons and vampires). After realizing what is happening, Xander summons D'Hoffryn and convinces him to withdraw his demon after telling him about Anya's death and that he knew how he had felt when she had chosen to become human and had lost her forever. They eventually decide to form to a truce.
3: Amy Witch Way (Special Guest Star: Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Star: Elizabeth Anne Allen) - Amy returns for revenge on Willow by trying to trick her to delve into dark magic again to destroy her. Willow is almost tempted, but with help from Giles, defeats her and turns her back into a rat. Buffy and Xander consult each other about Anya and Spike's passing, then spontaneously kiss. Xander admits that he still has feelings for Buffy, but is guilty about it after everything he went through with Anya, while Buffy isn't sure what she's feeling and doesn't want to risk rushing into another failing relationship. Andrew suggests that they let it play out and see how they feel about each other later.
4: Where No Man has Gone Before (Special Guest Star: Leonard Nimoy) – Xander and Andrew go to a Star Trek convention, meet Leonard Nimoy and later end up in a battle with a group of demons, who tried to assassinate Nimoy, who is revealed to be a sorcerer. After the battle, Nimoy tells Andrew he can have either his autograph, or retain the knowledge of his secret (he will wipe everyone else's memories). Andrew chooses the memory. But after getting his memory wiped, Xander gets him the autograph for him anyway.
5: Xanderless (Special Guest Stars: Charisma Carpenter, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Mark Metcalf, Robia Lamorte, Clare Kramer, Bianca Lawson, Harry Groener, George Hertzberg, and Eric Balfour) - Xander experiences a universe in which he was never born, in which Buffy, Angel, Giles, Wesley, Cordelia, and Spike have died early, while Jesse and Jenny Calendar are alive until they, along with Willow and Oz, are killed by The Mayor and his Ascension, which happened because of a chain of events starting with Buffy's permanent death at the hands of The Master. Then Glory ascended without any interference, resulting in all dimensions, including the Mayor-controlled-Earth, to be destroyed. (See my separate post 'Xanderless' for the entire story)
6: Old Wounds (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Amy Acker, Andy Hallett, Vincent Kartheiser, D.B. Woodside, and J. August Richards) – Illyria and Lorne call Spike and Angel about Gunn. Leaving Connor in charge of A.I., Angel helps Lorne research the demon's origin, while Spike and Illyria track it down. Angel discovers that the demon is a Hellmouth worshipper, so he, Spike and Illyria track the demon down to Cleveland and, unwillingly, Buffy. Robin demands to know how Spike came back to life. Spike briefly explains about the amulet. After Willow mistakenly addresses Illyria as Fred, Spike explains her story by saying it was Giles' fault since he didn't agree to help them. Giles says that there was nothing they could have done for Fred anyway. Underground, the demon deposits Gunn in a dark cavern and awakens him from his coma. The first thing Gunn sees when he wakes up is a floating, pulsating ball of light hovering in front of him.
7: The Truth Hurts (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Vincent Kartheiser) - Giles says that this Hellmouth is the location of a portion of the Source of Magic, and if it is destroyed, all supernatural power will be erased from the world. The Source was separated by The Powers to ensure that the whole thing is not destroyed all at once, because it would cause a huge imbalance on the world. Since only a mortal can get near enough to destroy it without harming themselves, (it is fatal to supernaturally enhanced beings) Gunn was the easiest for them to use. Spike and Buffy catch up. Angel is upset when Connor arrives, but he says that Lorne is watching the office. Buffy also discovers that Connor is Angel's son. She is furious that Angel found other love interests after her ("Even Cordelia!?"). Angel says that he loved Cordelia, but not as much as he loved her. Later, Buffy tells Xander that she won't forget about him because of Angel and Spike returning.
8: The Darkness in Me (Special Guest Star: James Marsters. Guest Star: Amy Acker) - Faith and Illyria discuss each other's evil pasts and realize they have a lot in common. Spike and Andrew also relate to having been evil and how meeting Buffy had changed them.
9: Trust (Special Guest Stars: Peirce Brosnan, James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, D.B. Woodside) - Bernard Crowley visits Robin and discovers that he is working with Spike, who he knows killed Robin's mother. He is outraged. After Spike saves his life, Crowley accepts Robin's choice to work with him. Robin tells Spike that he'll never forgive him for killing his mother, but accepts that he has changed.
10: Rescue (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amy Acker, Vincent Karthieser, and J. August Richards) - Dawn arrives, meets Connor, and is reunited with Spike. Buffy, Xander, Willow, Spike, and Dawn volunteer to go rescue Gunn. Inside the Hellmouth, they encounter the kidnapping demon, who says that the Source must be destroyed so the slayers will lose their powers and not be able to destroy the Hellmouth, but Buffy quickly kills him. Then they find the room with Gunn and the Source. Gunn is overcome with guilt over his actions during The Fall. After discovering what the ball was, Gunn realizes that that if it is destroyed, all supernatural effects on the world would be erased, including everyone's memories of The Fall. But Buffy realizes that this would also erase her and Willow's powers and Dawn's existence. She struggles to stop Gunn, but the closer they get to the Source, the weaker she becomes (Gunn is unaffected since he is human). He manages to get past her and destroys it. At once, Dawn vanishes in a flash of green light, and Buffy, Willow, and Spike lose their supernatural abilities.
11: Redemption (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Amy Acker, Vincent Karthiser, and J. August Richards) – They remember Gunn destroying the Source and who they are, but not The Fall or Dawn. When they return, they find out that Faith is still a Slayer and Angel is still a vampire, but the other slayers are human. Giles reasons that the Source only erased supernatural power within a few feet of itself and that the reason the other slayers were affected was because Willow created their power, and since hers were wiped, theirs was too. Angel and Connor take Gunn back to LA; Giles departs to work in England; Spike stays with Buffy because now that him being alive is out in the open, he feels obliged to stick with her; Illyria stays because Spike is staying.
12: Only Human (Special Guest Star: James Marsters. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Amy Acker, Vincent Kartheiser, and J. August Richards) - Spike adjusts to being human, while Angel, Connor, and Gunn discuss recent events.
13: Cold Flame (Special Guest Star: James Marsters. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, Iyari Limon, Amber Benson as Tara) – Kennedy returns to find out what had happened to her powers. Later, Tara appears to Willow in her room, incorporeal. Then Kennedy walks in. She assumes Willow summoned Tara from the dead to be with her. She storms out. Later, Willow tells Kennedy that Tara is dead and she can't resume her relationship with her. Feeling slightly better, Kennedy suggests that they go out and prove that they can still handle themselves even without powers. But while encountering a pack of vampires, Kennedy is killed. In her room, Willow sits on her bed, crying. Tara appears again, looking sympathetic. She sits on the bed, reaches out and holds her (The Powers have allowed her to be corporeal this one time).
14: The First Move (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Nathan Fillion. Guest Star: Amy Acker) – Illyria is visited by The First, who wants revenge on Buffy and Spike. It tells her that it knows she still wants to rule the world. She agrees, but says she is working with it, not for it. Flashbacks featuring Caleb meeting The First are shown.
15: Nostalgia (Special Guest Stars: Kristine Sutherland, James Marsters, Nathan Fillion, and Anthony Stewrat Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Merecedes McNab, Robia Lamorte, Danny Strong, Adam Busch, Jeremy Roberts, Brad Kane, Juliet Landau as Drusilla) – Andrew suggests that everyone tells an interesting story from their pasts. He starts by recounting how he became a member of The Trio: Originally, Warren and Jonathan wanted to recruit Tucker, but since he was currently locked away, they resorted to use Andrew. Faith told the story of how she met and dealt with Kakistos. Willow talks about when Jenny Calendar and Giles introduced her to magic. Xander admits that after his eye injury, Caleb had visited him to boast and try to break his morale. Buffy then explains how she told Joyce all the things she had done as a slayer that she was oblivious to. Angel calls about Harmony being spotted in the area. Spike and Buffy find Harmony, then Drusilla appears and Spike finds himself once again in the same awkward position he was in six years ago: surrounded by his three loves. Dru tells Spike that she is all alone now. Spike tells her that he hadn't gotten his soul to hurt her. Harmony starts to whine about how much she had dealt with being with him, but is interrupted by her body exploding into dust. Buffy urges Spike to kill Dru before she escapes, but Spike tries to persuade Dru to leave and not give him or Buffy any reason to kill her. Then without warning, she jumps the now-human Buffy and, knowing Buffy can't hold her off now, Spike is forced to stake her from behind. Later, Spike laments that you never seem to realize how important people were to your life until after they're gone. Andrew goes to visit Tucker in his rehab cell in L.A., telling him that even though they don't like each other, he is the only family he has left and wanted to see him.
16: Secrets and Lies (Special Guest Star: James Marsters, Nathan Fillion. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, D.B. Woodside) – The First appears to Illyria again and starts to tell her more if it's plan. Walking by, Buffy hears what sounds like Illyria talking to herself and walks in. They fight, but since Buffy doesn't have powers now, she loses. Illyria escapes with Buffy, but not before being noticed by the others. Xander confronts Spike about his assurances that Illyria was on their side. He retorts that Illyria had always been a loose cannon and is still confused about the world and her place in it. Illyria brings Buffy to The First unconscious and tells it that everybody saw her attack Buffy, so she can't be a double agent anymore. The First changes into Buffy, saying that it can be the insider now and blend in, since they have the real Buffy captive. Illyria argues that this plan can't work because at some point, they will realize that it is incorporeal. The First assures Illyria that it had blended unnoticed into Buffy's group before, but this time, she won't be there to realize it. It tells her to recover the dust of The Master's bones at the bottom of the crater of Sunnydale while it is gone, and to let the Bringers do the rest. As Faith and the others continue to debate why Illyria betrayed them and how to rescue Buffy, 'Buffy' returns. She says that she fought her way free, and asks that nobody touches her, as she is very sore from fighting Illyria.
17: Masquerade (Special Guest Star: James Marsters. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, D.B. Woodside) – Illyria travels to Sunnydale's crater and uncovers The Master's dust and returns. The Bringers take some of Buffy's blood and start a ritual. Meanwhile, The First has successfully passed by as Buffy and, one by one, subtly manipulates the others against each other. Buffy wakes up and escapes. In the hotel, everybody confronts each other until Spike senses something familiar about this and breaks it off, calling Buffy in. At that moment, the real Buffy arrives and runs through The First and into Spike, proving she is the real one. Now exposed, The First says it has the advantage this time and vanishes.
18: Confessions (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Nathan Fillion. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, Mark Metcalf, D.B. Woodside) - Illyria questions how the project can work with Buffy's blood instead of the people nearest 'him' when he died. The First says that Buffy was both his killer and his victim, creating a mystical link between them. After the ritual is done, The Master arises. The First says that if he does what it tells him to do, he will have a better chance of ruling the world and opening the new Hellmouth. After much arguing, they agree to take over together, then battle each other at the end to decide who will actually rule. In the hotel, everyone is ashamed of the truthful-lying stuff The First had revealed to them all. After confessing the true stuff and correcting the false stuff, they come to terms with it.
19: Once in a Full Moon (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Seth Green, Marc Blucas. Guest Star: D.B. Woodside) – Riley and Oz explain about Oz's village in Tibet being purged by Riley's army group. Buffy fills them in on what they'd missed in the past five or six years, plus their current situation.
20: The Truth Still Hurts (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, Nathan Fillion, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: Eric Balfour, and Lindsay Crouse as Maggie Walsh) – Buffy calls back Giles. Up in his room, Xander is approached by The First, appearing as Jesse, saying that Xander forgot about 'him' because of Buffy, who took his place in their group of friends and that Buffy didn't try hard enough to rescue him from the vampires and adds that Buffy is only stringing him along by pretending to like him so he will do whatever she wants him to do. Xander says he doesn't believe it, and that Buffy being too late to save Jesse was beyond her control. 'Jesse' warns him that one day she may be 'too late' for him too, then vanishes. The First also visits Riley (As Professor Walsh), trying to get him and Oz to back out of fighting for Buffy by reminding him of everything she did to result in them leaving her (using Walsh's psychological approach). Riley is somewhat affected, but refuses to leave Buffy, saying he accepts her flaws as part of her, which he still loves no matter what.
21: End of the Line (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: Amy Acker, Mark Metcalf, Robin Sachs, D.B. Woodside) – Buffy sends Spike to find Illyria and The First. He arrives at the Hellmouth in time to hear The First telling Illyria to timeslip again to find another portion of the Source of Magic and The Master to reprogram it to erase only good magic and to amplify its power to affect the whole world. Buffy is unnerved to learn that The Master is alive again. Giles says he has an idea on what to do about The First, while the others depart. They find Spike, but Illyria has already returned and The Master has already reprogrammed the Source. Spike tells them that they've made it immune to physical attack this time and The First is now corporealized as an exact duplicate of Buffy with Slayer powers (its Buffy form was from the time she died last, when she was still a slayer). As Buffy and the others debate what to do, Giles returns with Ethan Rayne, saying he has found help.
22: The Source (Special Guest Stars: James Marsters, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, and Anthony Stewart Head. Guest Stars: David Boreanaz, Amy Acker, Vincent Kartheiser, Andy Hallett, Mark Metcalf, Robin Sachs, D.B. Woodside, Amber Benson as Tara, and J. August Richards) – Ethan says that The First had tried to recruit him, but he'd turned it down. Angel, Connor and Gunn arrive, due to a call from Spike earlier. Ethan then reveals what was erased before, including Dawn, and that the only way The Source can be shut down now would be if a good supernaturally enhanced person merged with it, resulting in that person's death. Refusing to sacrifice anyone on her side, Buffy insists that since Ethan is supernaturally enhanced and is helping them, he should qualify. Ethan reluctantly agrees, but is killed by The First. Gunn saves Buffy from The Master and dies, making amends for before. Illyria sees the ghost of Wesley, who asks her to think about what she is doing. After listening to Wesley and seeing Gunn's body, Illyria realizes that she cared about everyone (thanks to Fred's memories), that she will die if the plan proceeds, and she was tricked into switching sides. She rips The Master's head off, saying she was wrong. As the Source activates, Illyria says she wants to die doing the right thing, then merges with it and disintegrates, but it does not shut down. The First says Illyria does not have a soul. Angel realizes this is what he was meant for and that the Shanshu prophecy actually referred to him and Spike in different ways (Spike becomes human, Angel prevents the final apocalypse, and they both helped save the world on multiple occasions). He tells Buffy and Connor that he loves them, then merges with the Source, combusting into dust, and The Source and The First vanish with him. Wesley appears and confirms that The First is now trapped in limbo (Not able to interact with the world, while still existing and keeping the balance of good and evil intact). He also points out that since only one portion of The Source was officially destroyed, there will still be demons, vampires, and a single Slayer to fight them once again. A few weeks later, Giles has begun reforming the Watcher's Council as its new head, hired Andrew and Robin, and becomes Faith's official Watcher; Connor returns to L.A. where he and Lorne continue running Angel Investigations in his father's honor; Riley returns Oz to Tibet, and Buffy and Xander live together with Willow (Who starts astral-training with Tara on how to channel her magic back again). Spike lives by himself, but visits a lot. They continue to help out Giles and Faith occasionally.