Buffy wakes up to find herself beside Angel, on his bed in the mansion. Exhausted after a night of patrolling, she apparently crashed at Angel's instead of returning home. Before getting up, Buffy reminds Angel that the Senior Prom is quickly approaching. Back at Sunnydale High, Xander is approached by Anya, who has not yet regained her powers. Confused by the wealth of human emotions inside her, Anya asks Xander to be her date to the Prom. Aware of his situation and general lack of alternatives, Xander accepts.
While he tells the rest of the gang about this recent development, Joyce pays a visit to the mansion. Angel listens as Joyce tells him about the reality of his relationship with her daughter. Deep down, Angel knows that what Joyce wants is also what needs to be done. Back at the library, Giles futilely tries to keep everyone's mind focused on the Mayor's Ascension plans. However, all Buffy and her friends can think about right now is the upcoming Prom.
Elsewhere, a boy inserts a videotape into a VCR for the viewing pleasure of his "pet", a demon beast locked in a cage that goes berserk as the tape begins to play. Later that night, Angel has a nightmare that begins pleasantly with a wedding between himself and Buffy. After they are wed, they head down the aisle and step out into the sunlight. Angel then watches in horror as Buffy ignites into flames. He can do nothing as the fire consumes her completely. After Angel wakes up, he joins Buffy on a nightly patrol. While tracking down a vampire in the sewers, Angel admits to Buffy that he can't maintain their relationship, knowing what it will mean for her future. Buffy refuses to believe what he is saying, but Angel makes it clear that he doesn't want her to spend the rest of her life with him. As it slowly sinks in, Angel announces his decision to leave Sunnydale after the threat of the Mayor's Ascension has been eliminated. Later, Buffy tells Willow everything that happened. Although they both understand and agree with Angel's intentions, Buffy lets her tears flow instead of hiding her grief.
Noticing Cordelia checking out a dress once again in one of the shops, Xander enters the store and pries into the matter. He soon learns that Cordy works there. Cordy's family is now broke as a result of her father committing tax fraud for a number of years. Cordy's verbal outburst is interrupted by the sudden intrusion of the demon beast into the store. Xander tries to fight it, but the beast tosses Xander aside and mauls a well-dressed boy to death. As soon as its job is done, the beast looks at the remaining customers before quickly exiting the store. At the library, Xander and the others review the store's security video of the event. Cordy makes an observation that the demon beast was seemingly interested in the tuxedoed boy only. During the beast's exit, Oz spots a boy standing outside of the store with what looks like a remote control of some sort. Using the Sunnydale High yearbook, the gang identifies the boy as Tucker Wells. Upon figuring out that Tucker's plan is to set the demon beast -- which Wesley identifies as a hell hound -- loose on the students at the Senior Prom, Buffy vows to take care of this matter personally and ensure a safe and happy Prom for all.
While everyone splits up to investigate, Buffy goes to a butcher shop since the hell hound eats brains. She gets Tucker's address from one of the employees. Buffy then notices that Angel is also there, buying a supply of blood for himself. Angel tries to talk to her, but Buffy opts to focus her attention on Tucker and his hell hound. She returns to the library and tells the others that it's all in her hands now. After the gang leaves to get ready for the Prom, a concerned Giles wonders what's gotten into Buffy. She tells him about Angel's plans to leave her and Sunnydale.
As she clocks out for the night, Cordy finds out that Xander helped pay off the dress she was hoping to wear to the dance. At the Prom, Xander painfully listens to Anya's countless stories of male persecution, while Wesley assists Giles in his chaperone duties. Cordy enters in her dress, which draws Wesley to her in an instant. Arm in arm, they meet up with Xander and Anya. Cordy subtly thanks Xander for his generosity. Meanwhile, Buffy breaks into Tucker's house and encounters him in the basement. After subduing him, Buffy notices the stacks of teen flicks -- some horror, some not -- on top of a nearby VCR. Tucker then surprises Buffy by revealing three empty cages in an adjoining room. Buffy races back to the school to stop the three hell hounds from completing their mission. One by one, she kills them off, taking out the last one in front of a bewildered student.
With the hell hounds taken care of, Buffy finally arrives at the dance to join her friends. Later that evening, during the presentation of the class awards, Jonathan addresses Buffy in response to an overwhelming number of write-in votes for a new category. Buffy listens in pleasant surprise as Jonathan states the senior class' appreciation for her life-saving deeds over the course of the past three years. Named the Class Protector, Buffy steps up to the stage to receive her reward while the entire class applauds. After the awards ceremony, Angel arrives in a tux for one last dance with Buffy. In each other's arms, they enjoy what little time they have left before the Mayor's Ascension arrives at last.
Episode synopsis by Alan Hufana
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