While Buffy and Faith are fighting two vampires, Faith is asking Buffy if she has ever slept with Xander (of course, Buffy hasn't). After they dust those two, they encounter another vamp who is armed with two swords, and dust him as well. When they turn around to get his swords, they are gone.
In the mayor's office, Mr. Trick has brought the swords to Mayor Wilkins, saying that their owner is dead, but he's been seeing his breed around. The mayor's first reaction is to say how much he likes the "Family Circus" comic (Mr. Trick likes "Marmaduke" because no one tells that dog what to do). Then he says to keep their eyes out for the vampires Trick has seen around, because he doesn't want anything to get in the way of "the dedication." The mayor's assistant, Allan Finch, suggests they postpone it, but the mayor won't hear of it - it is "the final step before [his] ascension" (which is in 100 days). He suggests that any information they learn about these vampires be passed on to the slayers, which ideally will lead to them all killing each other.
The next day at school, Willow is showing Xander her early admission packets (including Harvard and Yale). Xander is just expecting "No Way" letters, and Oz (who has dyed his hair black) emphasizes graduating ("Getting left back isn't the thrill ride you'd expect."). Cordelia enters, insulting Xander as usual. Buffy is concerned about tomorrow's chemistry test. She and Willow set a study date for that night, and Willow tells Buffy that Giles was looking for her, and he didn't look too good.
In the library, Buffy's new watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, is telling Giles that "training procedures have changed since [his] day," and that he has faced two vampires himself - under controlled circumstances (he is quite proud of this). Buffy walks in, he introduces himself, and Buffy immediately knows that he must be the new watcher. She asks Giles if he is evil ("The last one was evil"). Wesley asks Buffy for last night's patrol rundown, and he realizes that the swords belonged to a 15th century duelist cult (El Eliminati) who worshipped a demon called Balthazar; Balthazar was killed, and the leftover Eliminati must be looking for Balthazar's amulet (which he says is harmless, but they might as well get it and keep it from them). Faith comes in, realizes who Wesley must be, and promptly walks out.
Buffy goes after Faith, but Faith insists they shouldn't let him take the fun out of slaying. Buffy says it isn't fun, but Faith refuses to accept that Buffy doesn't get a thrill out of slaying - and if she doesn't, she's doing something wrong.
That night Buffy has gone to the crypt where Wesley said the amulet would be. She finds it in one of the coffins, but hears voices and hides in the other coffin. After they leave, she climbs out and Faith appears, insisting they follow the vampires underground.
Back in the library, Wesley is reading Giles' Watcher Diaries. Giles thinks Buffy should be back by now, but Wesley's "mission scenario has her back in one minute." That is doubtful, since Faith and Buffy are now underground fighting a herd of Eliminati vampires. One of them shoves Buffy into a pool of sewer water and holds her down until her body goes limp. But after a few seconds she jumps up and they manage to get the amulet.
The next day Buffy is giving Giles and Wesley the rundown, and Wesley tells her that she should stop coming to Giles for anything other than overdue book fees. She ignores him, and goes off to take her chemistry test. In class, Buffy is babbling excessively to Willow and Xander about the thrill she got from the fight last night. Even after the test starts, she can't shut up about it. Willow reminds Buffy they are taking a test - the test that she didn't show up at Willow's to study for last night. Buffy notices that Xander's eye twitches every time she says Faith's name, which Xander denies and then attributes to caffeine. Just then, Faith appears at the window, urging Buffy to ditch class with her. Buffy hesitates for only a second before crawling out the window. They go to a vampire nest that Faith has found. That night they are out dancing, surrounded by admiring boys. Angel comes in, and Buffy jumps onto him (literally). While he tries to tell her about Balthazar, she flirts. Wesley shows up, and Angel takes the amulet from him (to keep it in a safer place than Wesley's jacket). He kisses Buffy on the lips, and leaves. Buffy grabs Faith (who tells the guys to call her), and they also leave.
Elsewhere, we see Balthazar, a big, really fat demon, in a small pool of water, with one of the Eliminati pouring water on top of him. He is yelling at the members of the Eliminati for not having brought him his amulet yet, and kills one by pulling him towards him telekinetically and squeezing his neck. Buffy and Faith spot them all through a window, and realize they will need weapons to take them all on. Faith spots a sporting goods store across the street, and promptly leads Buffy over and breaks in. She proceeds to break into the weapon display cases, encouraging Buffy to do so, which she does. They are interrupted by two armed policemen ordering them to drop their weapons and get down on the ground. Faith flirts with one of them, but they are arrested. Faith has the bright idea to break out of the police car, and they do so by kicking the cage forward and causing a car accident.
The next morning, Buffy is poring through the "Sunnydale Press" (presumably looking for an article on what happened last night). At the mayor's office, the mayor poses for pictures with some Boy Scouts, and after they leave he closes the blinds and lets Mr. Trick out of the closet. Upon opening his liquor cabinet, one of the Eliminati guys (Vincent) jumps out and attacks him, but Mr. Trick knocks him out. The mayor finds it odd that he could have gotten in there, and casts a meaningful look at Finch, who is unnerved. He orders them to lock up Vincent.
Balthazar is again griping about not having the amulet yet, because if he does not get it, his enemy will soon have ultimate power (the enemy whom he says crippled him 100 years ago). He demands that they bring the watchers to him and kill the slayers.
In Buffy's room, Willow is giving Buffy a charm bag (scented with lavender) as part of a protection spell. Buffy then tells Willow that she shouldn't come slaying tonight, because it could be too dangerous. Willow is obviously disappointed, especially when Faith then walks in and leaves with Buffy. Faith has with her the bow and arrows that she had gone back to the store last night to steal, and as soon as she says that she is eager to try it out, an Eliminati jumps out.
In the library, Giles and Wesley are arguing again when they spot some Eliminati outside the window.
Buffy and Faith dust the Eliminati, and then another one, then Finch appears in the alley and Faith goes to attack him, too, thinking that he is another vampire. Buffy shouts, "Faith, no!" but it is too late. Faith stakes him. Buffy goes to him, and he dies right there. Buffy wants to call 911, but Faith drags her away, and they split up. Buffy runs into Angel, who sees blood on her hand. Faith goes back to Finch's body.
In the warehouse, Giles and Wesley are brought before Balthazar. Wesley is extremely scared, while Giles is calm. Wesley tells Balthazar that Buffy gave the amulet to a friend, and just as Balthazar asks what his name is, Angel walks in, in vampire face, and introduces himself. He and Buffy start kicking some ass. Buffy unties Giles, who with some fancy sword-work beheads one of the Eliminati. Balthazar pulls Angel toward him and starts to squeeze, but Buffy spots a light above him and yanks it down, electrocuting Balthazar. Before he dies, though, he tells Buffy that when "he" rises, she'll wish he'd killed them all.
The mayor is chanting inside a pentacle, and then he gives Vincent his sword back and has Mr. Trick release him. Vincent chops the mayor's head in half, and it promptly regenerates. Mr. Trick dusts Vincent. The mayor pulls out a "to do" list, including such things as "call temp agency," and checks off "become invincible." He says that this officially commences the 100 days, and that nothing can harm him until the ascension.
The next day, Buffy goes to Faith's place, where Faith is washing the shirt she wore last night. Buffy wants to talk about the murder, but Faith says they don't need to, and tells Buffy that she dumped the body. Buffy says that Faith doesn't get it - "You killed a man," but Faith argues, "No, you don't get it. I don't care!"