Angel winds an antique clock on his desk. He has been back in L.A. for three days since assisting Buffy (unbeknownst only to her) during Sunnydale's latest mysterious manifestation. Now, Cordelia and Doyle closely watch Angel for signs of depression. Cordelia reveals that since he doesn't look depressed, then him seeing her again cut deeper than they thought. She probes for details about his trip, and is in the midst of expressing her tart opinion of Angel's inconsistent secretiveness when the Slayer herself suddenly appears in the office doorway. Cordelia quickly introduces a fascinated Doyle, then pushes him into the outer office.
In L.A. visiting her father, Buffy now demands an explanation for Angel having went to her town and followed her behind her back. Angel, though he apologizes for the way he handled things, remains convinced he did the right thing.They conclude that they should stick to the plan: keep their distance time enough so they forget. As Buffy turns to leave, a sword-wielding warrior demon crashes in through the window and knocks Angel to the floor. Buffy disarms the demon and engages it hand to hand, allowing Angel to retrieve the sword and plunge it into the demon's abdomen. The demon escapes back through the smashed window. Finding themselves in uncomfortable proximity, Buffy and Angel sort themselves out and prepare to give chase.
As they track the demon through the sewers, Buffy mocks his choice of weapon, sarcastically praises his ability to track by the smell of blood, and alludes to their breakup on a similar hunt through the sewers of Sunnydale. When Angel says he feels weird, Buffy confesses her pain and confusion over still wanting him without being able to have him. Angel corrects Buffy, saying that the demon's blood on his fingers is powerful enough to make him feel strange. When the demon's track seems unclear, one path leading deeper into the sewers and one leading up to the surface, Buffy and Angel split up. Angel follows the demon underground and flushes it from cover. During the first volley of blows, the demon inflicts a shallow cut on Angel's palm. Angel recoils and vamps, then renews the fight with increased ferocity. When Angel delivers a fatal thrust, some of the demon's phosphorescent blood mixes with his own. White light suffuses his body and he drops to his knees with a shout. Noticing his own heartbeat, Angel whispers: "I'm alive."
Angel enters the office through the front door in full daylight. Cordelia guesses that Angel has an umbrella to shield him, but Doyle discerns that their friend is alive. After briefly standing in the sunlight streaming through the windows, Angel realizes his incredible desire for food and demolishes the contents of the office fridge. Trying to figure out what to do next, Angel sends Cordelia to call Buffy off the hunt, but asks her not to mention his altered state yet. Doyle pages quickly through a reference book and Angel identifies the Mohra demon. While Angel moves back to the window, this time to marvel at his reflection in the glass, Doyle reads that the Mohra demon, which incidentally needs great quantities of salt to survive, works for the "other side" to take out warriors for good like Angel and Buffy, good agents of The Powers That Be. The reference also states that the Mohra's "veins run with the Blood of Eternity."
Musing that this explains what happened to him, Angel becomes determined to ask the Powers why. Doyle cautions Angel that they cannot be questioned directly, but must be approached through channels. When Angel demands access, Doyle obligingly takes him to see The Oracles, using a spell to gain entry into their realm through the Gateway for Lost Souls. Accepting the gift of Angel's watch, The Oracles confirm that he is both alive and truly human, with all the attendant pain and pleasure of that mortal condition. Angel reports back to Doyle, who concludes that the next logical step would be to figure out what Angel wants.
Along a sunlit garden path, Buffy gazes out at the ocean. Suddenly, she turns and sees Angel striding toward her. He takes the Slayer into his embrace and they kiss. Back at Angel Investigations offices, Cordelia brings Doyle up to speed about the "forbidden love of all time" between Buffy and Angel. Meanwhile, Angel is wondering aloud about his options and his purpose, now that he's human. Buffy thinks his concerns sound far too cautious. Suddenly, Buffy and Angel lunge into each others arms and begin making out on the kitchen table. Later, Angel raids the fridge in the nude, bringing an impromptu picnic back to bed for Buffy. The two of them spend much of the night together sensually exploring being human.
Cordelia and Doyle commiserate over drinks, wondering if they are out of a job. Doyle suddenly has a vision and returns to Angel's place to report that the Mohra demon has unexpectedly regenerated itself, bigger and meaner than ever. Doyle joins Angel for another hunt, suggesting they include the Slayer to provide some supernatural muscle, but Angel believes that his being human will never work unless he can still fight demons on his own. Researching clues about Mohra vulnerabilities on the way, Angel and Doyle track the demon to a nearby salt refinery, where it ambushes them, knocks Doyle unconscious with a single kick, and proceeds to severely thrash Angel.
In the meantime, Buffy, waking alone in Angel's bed, forces Cordelia to tell her what's happening. She then finds Angel and the Mohra at the bottom of an empty salt silo and takes over the fight, while the demon declaims prophecies about dark hordes and the end of days. Angel spots the jewel on the demon's forehead, remembers that destroying its "thousand eyes" will stop it, and shouts instructions to the Slayer. Buffy smashes the Mohra's forehead jewel, whereupon the demon fractures and shatters in a burst of radiant light. In the sudden quiet, Buffy kneels down and gathers the battered Angel into her arms.
Returning to The Oracles, Angel asks about the portents described by the Mohra and learns that, if he remains human, Buffy will face the minions of darkness alone and die much sooner. Angel asks The Oracles to take back his life. At first, they refuse to interfere in "a matter of love" between "lower beings." Angel argues that there are larger issues at stake; if he remains human, the "other side" will have certainly succeeded in removing one champion from the cause of The Powers That Be, as well as hastening the demise of another. The Oracles decide that Angel's willingness to sacrifice happiness and love qualifies him as a "higher being," but that his request to give back his life can only be granted if the entire day is erased, although Angel alone would have to remember it all in order to prevent circumstances from repeating exactly.
Returning to Buffy, Angel tells her he has been to The Oracles to ask to become a vampire again and that they granted his request. She rapidly passes through disbelief, anger, and rejection, then grieves upon learning how little time actually remains to them and that she will have no memory of what happened. They weep and kiss as the final seconds click past and as they hold each other, Buffy repeats that she will never forget.
In a flash, time folds back to the moment in Angel's office when Buffy told him about sticking to the plan of keeping their distance, so Angel responds again they should do so until they forget. Buffy turns to leave and the Mohra bursts through the window, Angel picks up the antique clock from his desk, ducks the demon's first kick, and steps inside its first sword thrust. Quickly, he smashes the clock into the demon's forehead, destroying its "thousand eyes," then steps back to watch it shatter and disappear in a thousand glowing fragments. Buffy asks how Angel was able to destroy the demon so decisively. Angel says he had a lot of time to catch up on his reading. When Buffy says "that's all there really is to say," Angel turns to look down at the damaged clock and agrees. When he turns back, she's already left.
Tropes in this episode:
- Achilles' Heel: The Mohra demon can be killed by breaking the jewel on its forehead.
- Alien Blood: Angel is "infected" with demonic blood that cures him of his vampirism. It's bright neon green.
- Almost Kiss: Angel and Buffy in the sewer; they stop it themselves.
- Ancient Grome: The "Oracles" dress in purple togas, albeit with bronze body paint.
- Bargain with Heaven: Angel volunteers to become an ensouled vampire again and erase the past day's events, putting himself back into the fight for the Powers That Be, so that Buffy will not be killed in battle thanks to his absence.
- Beautiful Dreamer: Doyle has come to warn Angel about the Mohra demon. Buffy is still asleep.Doyle: I think we should bring someone a little... supernatural.
[Angel pulls a sweater over his head and looks where Doyle is looking.]
Doyle: Don't you want to wake the girl?
Angel: [smiling] Not for the world.
- This becomes Fridge Horror when you realise the last time Angel and Buffy slept together, she also woke up alone because Angel lost his soul and nearly precipitated the apocalypse. Leaving her to wake alone here is (presumably accidental) thoughtlessness on Angel's part.
- The Big Damn Kiss: When Angel becomes human, Buffy finds out about it when he walks up to her in the sunlight and sweeps her into his arms for a passionate embrace.
- Bloody Murder: Having blood that can remove the demonic aspect of an enemy is a good way to weaken a supernatural foe.
- Brick Joke: The peanut butter.
- Brought Down to Normal: Angel's humanity is restored by some blood from a demon with "regenerative properties."
- Comically Missing the Point: Angel walks in off the street in broad daylight.Cordy: Hey, you walked in the front door—from the street! [beat] You got an umbrella!
- Can't Stay Normal: After losing badly in a fight with a demon, Angel reverses time because he fears he won't be able to protect Buffy.
- Delicious DistractionAngel: Yeah. I'm mortal now. I have a mortal body. [stares at where Cordy is standing] And I'm so... hungry!
[Cordy jumps out of his way as he comes charging towards her.]
Cordelia: Look out, he's gonna eat— [Angel grabs one of the donuts on the little refrigerator behind Cordy and stuffs it in his mouth] everything in sight!
- Description Cut: After Angel temporarily becomes human, Doyle mentions that Angel is now immune to the "perfect happiness" curse (implying he and Buffy can now have sex without repercussions) and says sarcastically that they're eating tea and crackers. Cut to Buffy and Angel enjoying some tea and crackers. Then subverted after talking for less than a minute, they practically leap into each others' arms.
- Eek, a Mouse!!: Buffy jumps at the sight of a rat, in contradiction to her behaviour in "Welcome to the Hellmouth"—a sign that being around Angel is making her nervous.
- Erotic Eating: Combining the two things Angel's missed most about humanity, our loving couple are shown in bed after sex, with Buffy sensuously eating chocolate and Lecherously Licking spilt ice cream off Angel's chest.
- Fantastic Fragility: The Mohra's regenerative blood ensures that he can never be permanently killed. Unless you smack the jewel in his forehead.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest:Cordy: Where is the crabby scowl, the morbid gloom? [turns to Doyle] This just means that it cut deeper then usual. Batten down the hatches, here comes Hurricane Buffy.
Cordelia: I'm good for exactly two things: international superstardom, or helping a vampire with a soul to rid the world of evil. That makes for a short but colorful resume.
- For the Season 3 episode "Birthday".
- Buffy's future death is foreshadowed for the first time. While Angel believed making himself a vampire again and turning back the day would save her life, she would later die anyway in two years time.
- Gilligan Cut:Doyle: You don't know what Buffy and Angel are doing down there.
Cordelia: They've got the forbidden love of all time. They've been apart for months. Now he's suddenly human. I'm sure they're down there just having tea and crackers.
[cut to Angel pouring himself some tea while Buffy munches on some crackers]
- Plus, there's the scene that references the title of the episode. Buffy is in tears, and swears she will never forget that day. Then the Elders press the Reset Button, and Buffy (along with everybody else except Angel) has forgotten everything that happened that day.
- A Handful for an Eye: Angel throws salt in the Mohra demon's eyes.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Humanity Ensues
- It's a Long Story: Averted as usual.Angel: It's complicated how this all happened, Buffy, you know? It's kind of a long story.
Buffy: Your new sidekick had a vision, I was in it, you came to Sunnydale?
Angel: Okay, maybe not that long.
- "Leave Your Quest" Test: Angel becomes a human briefly and happily reunites with Buffy, but realizing that he can't effectively fight evil as a normal human, he persuades the Powers That Be to return him to his vampire state.
- Lets Wait Awhile: Averted—Angel suggests they take their relationship slow while he sorts out the implications of being human again. Buffy (with reluctance) agrees. One accidental moment of body contact later and they're frantically clearing the kitchen table to have passionate sex.
- Love Theme: The return of "Close Your Eyes", Buffy and Angel's theme.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: When Angel becomes human, he and Buffy agree they should take their relationship slow. One accidental moment of body contact later and they're shoving the cutlery off the kitchen table to have passionate sex.
- Mood Whiplash: From the light-hearted fun of "Pangs" to this Tear Jerker episode.
- Not Quite Dead: The Mohra demon can regenerate itself
- Not What It Looks Like: Angel's Interrupted Suicide—he just wanted the stake to prop a wobbly desk. (Never mind why he chose that particular thing to balance the desk, let alone why he has it in his office. Later, Doyle and Cordy leave at the sound of Angel and Buffy fighting a demon because they assume it's Slap-Slap-Kiss behaviour. When they return to find the room trashed and dust on the floor, Cordy's first thought is that Buffy has dusted Angel; turns out Cordy was too lazy to sweep under the carpets.
- Orbital Kiss: Buffy first discovers that Angel has become human again when he walks up to her in the daylight as Buffy is walking by the seashore and sweeps her into his arms for a passionate embrace.
- Required Spinoff Cross Over: Buffy visits Angel after the events of "Pangs".
- Relationship Reset Button: Angel turns human just as Buffy comes to town, so they can spend the day eating peanut butter in bed (and incidentally having lots of sex). It ends up being a disaster, and he needs to beg the Powers That Be for a do-over. Angel remembers; Buffy doesn't.
- Reset Button: Angel erases the events of the previous 24 hours in order to save Buffy's life. However, as the events erased including Angel becoming human and having a perfect night with Buffy, and that Angel's price for getting the Reset Button pushed was that he alone remembered everything, it became an instant Tear Jerker.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Only Angel remembers the original events, so he won't repeat them. Angel also knows to immediately break the jewel in the demon's forehead. Buffy is surprised he can defeat it so quickly but he reacts like "Eh, Mohra demons, see 'em before."
- Rule of Symbolism: The various references to time—Angel starts the episode by winding a clock, gives a watch as a gift to the Oracles, and breaks the clock when using it to kill the demon at the end.
- Sarcasm Mode:Buffy: You know it's a good thing I didn't fantasize about you turning human only about 10 zillion times, because today would have been a real let down.
- Saying Too Much:Angel: I feel weird.Buffy: I know. I do, too. I mean, I only came to see you so I could tell you face-to-face not to see me... face-to-face anymore... and I know there is a fly in the logic ointment here somewhere, but... The next thing I knew we're being attacked by this mutant ninja demon thing, and then we're on the floor on top of each other, and it's just really confusing being around you.Angel: No, I meant I felt weird from the demon's blood. [looks down at his hand] It's powerful.Buffy: Oh. Okay. Let's just rewind Buffy's little outburst and pretend it never happened.
- Scenery Censor/Hand-or-Object Underwear: Naked!Angel fetching strawberries and chocolate chip ice cream for Buffy.
- So Was X: Following Angel's (temporary) reversion to human, Cordy and Doyle suddenly find themselves out of work. Doyle is upbeat:Doyle: I'll finally be free to go out and make me own mark on the world.Cordelia: We had a cat that used to do that.
- Suggestive Collision: Happens between Angel and Buffy, and lampshaded by her later.The next thing I knew we're being attacked by this mutant ninja demon thing, and then we're on the floor on top of each other, and it's just really confusing being around you.
- Talk About That Thing: Averted, since we're dealing with Cordelia.Cordy: Well, this is Doyle. And he gets visions of people in trouble.Doyle: Nice to make your—Cordy: [takes his arm and pulls him out of the office] And this is us leaving you two alone.
- Tempting Fate:Doyle: Well, what ever happens from here on out, at least I will be able to say good-bye to them bone-crushing, head-wrenching, mind-numbing visions. [Doyle's head smacks into the bar as he has a vision]
- Violently Protective Girlfriend:Buffy: You hurt my boyfriend.Mohra: A great darkness is coming.Buffy: You got that right.
- Walk-In Chime-In: For once it's not Angel who does this.Cordy: If my ex came to town and was all stalking me in the shadows and then left and then didn't even say "hello" I'd be—Buffy: [from the door] A little upset. [Angel looks at her, his mouth dropping open] Wouldnt you?
- Weapon of Choice: Buffy is carrying a stake while stalking the demon with Angel "Because I know how to use it. Besides it's a lot handier than your fighting ax." Of course another reason could be that Buffy knows she'll need a stake if she can't resist having sex with Angel.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: This is as close as Buffy and Angel may ever come to true happiness.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: When Angel returns from the Oracle's realm, Doyle assumes he's been thrown back by the portal and never left.
- You Owe Me:Buffy: You bailed me out last night. I'd like us to be even.Angel: We're keeping score now?