A nightly patrol begins as Buffy, rather to her own surprise, thwarts a simple mugging. From the darkness, Spike tries to come to the rescue. Unfortunately, the muggers are human so his chip activates. After the pain is relieved, Buffy and Spike argue briefly about their kisses. Once again, Buffy blows him off.
At the Slayer's home, Willow finds herself lonely without Tara and starts talking to Amy the rat, quickly realizing that she knows a way to turn her back to human. Summoning a spell containing the correct spell words, she does just that and Amy is finally restored to human. At the Sunnydale Museum of Natural History, The Trio steal a diamond and foze Rusty the security guard with their Freeze Ray.
Amy and Willow catch up and Amy finds out that she has been a rat for almost three years. Buffy returns home confused to find a non-rat Amy. Buffy intends to tell Willow about her attraction to Spike, but the shock of seeing Amy derails the conversation.
After seeing the frozen museum security guard on the news, Buffy rushes to investigate only to find Spike already there. After a heated exchange, Buffy slugs Spike and he hits her back however the chip does not activate much to his surprise however he quickly pretends to be in pain to stop Buffy from finding out. Thinking that the chip has malfunctioned, Spike takes to the streets looking for a victim. After choosing one, he dives in for the kill however the chip activates allowing the girl to get away and leaving Spike really confused. Meanwhile Tara takes Dawn for the day, and after a movie Dawn asks about the possibility of her and Willow getting back together. Tara confirms she still loves Willow, but right now there's other stuff getting in the way.
Meanwhile, at the Magic Box, Buffy, Anya, Willow, and Xander research the stolen diamond. Willow takes out a computer to look up information and everyone is happy to see her doing things the old fashioned way until she uses magic to connect with the computer. As the Trio prepare to begin the next phase of their plan, Spike arrives looking for Warren and coerces him into looking at his chip by threatening a vintage Boba Fett action figure.
After assessing Spike's chip, Warren tells him that it is not malfunctioning. Spike concludes that there is nothing wrong with him, but that there is something wrong with Buffy. Across town at the Bronze, Willow continues to bring Amy up to date, when two boys ask them to dance. Amy is only too happy to accept. Later, when the two college guys forcibly try to get Amy back on the dance floor, Willow and Amy magically trap the two into go-go cages and skimpy outfits.
At the Magic Box, Xander, Anya, and Buffy continue their detective work. discouraged by their lack of progress, their focus changes to Willow as Xander and Anya tell Buffy that they share Tara's concern that Willow is using magic far too often this days and Anya warns that once someone good gets a taste of bad that it's difficult to bring them back. Spike calls, inviting Buffy to the cemetery. At first she declines, but after Xander and Anya head home for the night, the trench-coated vamp appears from the shadows. He stands in front of Buffy, not letting her pass. She smacks him. To her horror, Spike hits her back. Unaffected by the chip, Spike explains saying, "Don't you see? You came back wrong." Immediately, a scrap breaks out.
At the Bronze, Willow and Amy continue generating havoc. As Willow turns a boy band into a girl band, people are dancing aimlessly in elaborate outfits and mutate. Dawn and Tara return to the Summers' residence, and since neither Buffy or Willow have returned home Tara agrees to wait.
The brawl continues between Spike and Buffy at a condemned house, the Slayer and the vampire are knocking the structure, as well as each other, all over the place. Suddenly, Buffy pins Spike against a wall and begins kissing him. Buffy jumps onto Spike, and in the moment a season and a half in the making, the two sexually consummate their violent relationship. As they engage in their most passionate make out session to date, the house crumbles all around them and they fall through the floor.
- Accidental Innuendo (In-Universe)Buffy: You have a lead on this ice monster thingy?Spike: Something like that, yeah. Thought you might be up for a little grunt-work.Buffy: "What?!? No! (lowering her voice so the Scoobies can't hear) No grunting!Spike: (smirking) I was talking shop, love, but if you've got other ideas... You, me, a cozy little tomb with a view... (Buffy hangs up on him)
- Asshole Victim: The two guys at the Bronze who will not take no for an answer.
- Bait-and-Switch: It looks like Spike intends to kill Buffy when he realises his chip has failed. Instead they end up having sex for the first time.
- Baleful Polymorph: Actually "transmogrification" would be the accurate term within the show's mythology. Willow and Amy transform the dancers at the Bronze into sheep, giant strawberry people, cage dancers, and various other things just for the Hecate of it.
- Beware the Nice Ones / Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Buffy thinks it's unlikely that Willow ("She Of The Level Head") will get into trouble. Xander and Anya say that responsible types - so concerned with being good all the time - are more likely to go off the rails when they have a taste of Forbidden Fruit. "It's got to be seductive." Buffy doesn't like the sound of the word 'seductive', especially when Spike chooses that moment to call her up on the phone acting all mysterious and...seductive.
- Blatant Lies: Dawn telling Tara that Willow has cut down on her magic use. Buffy on why she kissed Spike. Buffy on why Spike called her on the phone.
- Brutal HonestyAnya: Oh, for crying out loud. This is bizarre. You're all, 'la la la!' with, with the magic, and the not talking, like everything's normal, when we all know that Tara up and left you and now everyone's scared to say anything to you. (pauses, smiles) Except me. (looks at Xander) Is this that thing I do that you were commenting— (Xander nods)
- The Bus Came Back: Amy has been a rat for several seasons now and even the rat hasn't been seen all that often - now she's back.
- Came Back Wrong: Spike becomes the Trope Namer in reference to Buffy. If he can hit her without his Restraining Bolt firing, it means that she too is a demon. It's this revelation, as well as the sexual excitement generated by fighting Spike, that causes Buffy to give in to her feelings for him.
- Can't Spit It Out: The appearance of Amy gives Buffy an excuse not to confess to Willow about kissing Spike.
- Coincidental Broadcast: At least we just see the tail end.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Buffy and Spike are making out so passionately they don't even notice the building is collapsing, including a massive beam that crashes to the floor seconds after they've moved out of its way. Falling through the floorboards doesn't stop them either.
- Combat SadomasochistSpike: I'm in love with you.
Buffy: You're in love with pain! Admit it. You like me, because you enjoy getting beat down. So really, who's screwed up?
Spike: Hello! Vampire! (They exchange punches) I'm supposed to be treading on the Dark Side. (Spike throws Buffy against the wall) What's your excuse?
- Come Alone: Buffy receives a phone call from Spike as sinister music plays.Spike: (talking in a low voice) Slayer...Buffy: Spike?Spike: Meet me at the cemetery. Twenty minutes. Come alone.Buffy: Spike?
- Continuity Lock-Out (In-Universe)Amy: I felt like I was in that cage for weeks. (Willow looks nervous) But it can still be okay ... right? I-I can still get into the swing of things, like ... prom's coming up. I-I'm so hoping Larry would ask me. We would make such a splash at- (sees Willow's expression) Oh. Oh god. (sighs, anxiously) He hasn't asked someone else, has he?
- Continuity Nod: Spike can enter the Trio's headquarters without an invitation because Warren's mother invited him inside in "I Was Made To Love You."
- Cliffhanger: The episode ends on our first Spuffy sex scene, with the day after shown in "Wrecked".
- Death Glare: By an olive with pimento filling. Well you would too if you were about to be eaten.Willow: No use looking at me like that. It's the gullet for you, mister.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Buffy
- Destructo-Nookie: Spuffy
- Destructive Romance: The self-destructive cycle of the Spuffy relationship is established before it even begins. Buffy deals with the guilt over her lust for Spike by pigeon-holing him as an evil demon, despite knowing Spike is at his best when treated as an equal. Faced with this attitude, Spike feels the only way he can have Buffy is to drag her down to his level, which makes Buffy feel even more guilty. And the only way they can communicate without restraint is through sex and violence.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Enemy Mine: Averted; Warren thinks he can help Spike in exchange for help against the Slayer. Spike shoots down any idea of a deal before he's finished talking. As the Trio don't know about Spike's inhibitor chip, none of them have the cojones to protest.
- Eureka Moment: Spike after Warren tells him his chip appears to be working normally.Spike: Nothing wrong with me. Something wrong with her.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: Averted; Spike weakens a chandelier while swinging from it to kick Buffy in the face, including a closeup showing how it's been pulled out of the ceiling. By the time it falls however neither of them notice, because they're too busy having sex up against the wall.
- Failsafe Failure: Jonathan's arm freezes up after firing the Freeze Ray.
- Foe Romance Subtext: The subtext becomes text — It's the discovery that Spike can now kill Buffy that is the catalyst for their affair.
- When Amy is eating cookies, a commercial for "Doublemeat Palace" can be heard playing on the television.
- The reason the Trio stole the diamond will be revealed two episodes later in "Gone".
- Warren's indifference to whether Rusty will survive being frozen shows an amoral nature that will come out fully in "Dead Things".
- Buffy initiating sex with Spike in the middle of a violent confrontation will have dire consequences in "Seeing Red".
- Freeze Ray
- Funny Background Event: Buffy jumping up and down to see over the crowd at the museum.
- Gender Bender: Willow transforms the band playing from a boy band to a girl band mid-song, although nobody seems to notice.
- Gigantic GulpTara: Good God, that's a lot of shake. (Dawn nods) I mean, I know, part of our ... big ... Movie & Milkshake Fun Day, but ... good God, that's a lot of shake.
- Harmless Freezing: According to Warren anyway, though it's clear his word isn't trustworthy.
- Held Gaze: The mutual "Oh-my-God-I-Can't-Believe-We're-Actually-Doing-It" look between Buffy and Spike when they start, umm, doing it.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Buffy wears the Leather Skirt of Forbidden Lust during her fateful fight with Spike.
- Homoerotic Subtext: The two men wearing gold lame bikini briefs dancing in cages at the Bronze. Also with Spike/Warren.Warren: It'll be a deal. We scratch your back, you scratch—Spike: I'm not scratching your anything.
- Hypocritical Humor: Might be a YMMV but Spike making fun of The Trios nerdy behavior is a bit odd considering all the references he makes.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: First episode out of three in a row named after an euphemism for being drunk or high.
- Implausible Deniability / Trouble Entendre: The Trio turn away from the museum case they've just cut a hole in and find themselves facing Rusty the security guard.Rusty: What are you boys doing?Warren: Um, we're with a tour group. (pauses) The Get-The-Freeze-Ray tour group. (Andrew and Warren don't move) Musta gotten separated.Rusty: Museum closed five hours ago.Warren: Really?Rusty: Uh-huh.Warren: Huh! Guess we just lost track of time, we should probably get the freeze ray out of here now.(Death Glare at the others who finally get the point and start rummaging in their bag for the freeze ray)
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Four and a half years of Foe Yay and UST culminate in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with Spike getting Buffy so excited she gives into her lust for him.
- Interrogation by Vandalism: Spike gets the Trio to work for him by holding their limited edition Boba Fett action figure hostage.
- Ironic Echo: In "The Gift" Spike said that he's a monster, but he likes the fact that Buffy treats him like a man. Here Buffy says, "You're not a man. You're a thing!" causing Spike to act like a monster again.
- It Doesn't Mean Anything: Buffy tells Spike she only kissed him because she was depressed over Giles leaving for England. Spike knowingly smirks and asks, "Did it work? Did you convince yourself?"
- Kids Play Matchmaker: Dawn is trying to get her two mommies back together.
- Language of Magic: With the spell being in Italian rather than Latin.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Since Amy was turned into a rat; Synder was eaten by a snake, the high school got destroyed, and Gatorade has a new flavor — Blue.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Buffy would so like to do this with the whole kissing Spike thing. Spike of course has no intention of letting the subject rest in peace.
- Love Is in the Air: Amy makes a tall brunette lesbian instantly fall for Willow.
- Lust Object: Spike/Buffy
- "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Parodied when Andrew drops down on cables to steal a diamond, only to have Warren and Jonathan stroll into the museum normally.
- Mixed Metaphor / Master of the Mixed MessageSpike: You're a tease, you know that, Slayer? Get a fellow's motor revving, let the tension marinate a couple-a days, then bam! Crown yourself the ice queen.Buffy: Need a few more metaphors for that little mix?
- Mugging the Monster: Subverted when Buffy discovers the rough characters menacing a couple are, in fact, muggers. She invites them to attack her anyway. "Come on, it'll be fun."
- Mundane Utility: Using magic for Hollywood Hacking and playing pool.
- Naked on Arrival: Amy
- Never My Fault: Willow keeps insisting that Tara left her over 'minor' issues that got blown out of proportion.
- The Nicknamer: Xander refers to Spike as "Captain Peroxide"
- Note to Self: Willow offers to help Amy with a forgetting spell, but given what happened in the previous episode suggests she sew nametags into her clothes first.
- Oh, Crap!: The Trio when Spike bursts in on them. Buffy when Spike hits her without any sign of pain.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Buffy's hair once Spike starts pounding on her.
- Pun: Warren says "Dude that is so cool!" after using the Freeze Ray.
- Punctuated Pounding: Spike and Buffy insult each other between punches, likely because hurting each other emotionally is as important as hurting each other physically.
- Relationship Upgrade
- Right Through His Pants: Averted; Buffy just happens to be wearing a skirt the night she chooses to have sex with Spike, and we hear the (quite loud) sound of Buffy undoing Spike's zip before he starts to Wall Bang Her.
- Rule of Symbolism: The house collapsing around them as Buffy and Spike begin their Destructive Romance.
- Rule of Threes: Spike's third kiss from Buffy is the lucky one.
- Sex Is Violence
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Buffy to SpikeSpike: I wasn't planning on hurting you. (smirks) Much.
Buffy: (sneering) You haven't even come close to hurting me.
Spike: Afraid to give me the chance? (Buffy throws him up against the wall) You afraid I'm gonna— (Buffy kisses him)
- Shout-Out: Apart from various geek references with the Trio, Spike says, "Oh the pain, the pain...is gone."
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: More like Bash-Insult-Kiss-Rough Sex as the House Falls Down.
- Slasher Smile: Spike when he first realises his chip isn't working.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The romantic music playing during the Spuffy Destructo-Nookie.
- Special Effect Failure: During the magic-fest at the Bronze, a hand can be seen pushing the floating man on the catwalk behind Willow and Amy.
- Talking to Themself: Spike working himself up to bite the girl in the alley.
- That Came Out WrongBuffy: When I kissed you? You know I was thinking about Giles, right?
Buffy: Just have to get your rocks off fightin' demons.Spike: (suggestively) There are other ways.Buffy: And to that, an extreme 'see you later.'
- Spike gripes about how the chip prevented him from hurting the muggers.
- Tempting Fate: Buffy says, "We can't assume that everybody's getting seduced, you know." Next moment Seductive Spike calls Buffy to set up their fateful meeting.
- "What are you gonna do, walk behind me to death?" As Spike says in reply, Buffy ought to be careful; things might be different.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Buffy rejects Spike's advances as he's "an evil twisted thing". It's at this point Spike discovers the chip doesn't work, so Spike's first act is to find a female victim and try to feed on her.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Amy for Willow.
- Trash Talk: Buffy and Spike trade Breaking Speeches while trying to bash each others' heads in.
- Two-Part Episode
- Walk-In Chime-In: A husband and wife are being mugged.Husband: (nervous) I'm sure we can work something out.
Wife: A deal of some sort. Anything you want.
Buffy: I always wanted a pony. (everyone turns to look at her) Oh. You weren't really speaking to me, were you? My bad.
- Wall Bang Her: Not that the wall's there for long.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Ashamed over her growing attraction to Spike, coupling it with the ennui she's felt since her resurrection, Buffy reverts to pre-"Intervention" behaviour, punching Spike at will and deriding him as an evil disgusting thing unworthy of her love.
- You Won't Feel a Thing: Spike about to eat someone. "This might hurt a little..."