New York City: 1977
Spike is fighting a woman who seems more than a match for him, while a little boy watches, hidden behind a bench. The woman is Nikki, a Slayer, and the boy is her son, Robin. When Spike leaves, Nikki explains to Robin that the mission is what matters.
Present day Sunnydale
Buffy, Spike and Robin fight vampires in an alley. Spike saves Robinâ€™s life but Robin is still waiting for his moment.
At school, Buffy and Robin remark on how things seem normal in Sunnydale since the seal was shut. Robin tells Buffy she reminds him of her mother, which she takes as a compliment. Giles arrives and complains about the new school library, before being introduced to Robin. Giles says the First is still gathering his forces but seems more worries about the computerization of the library. He goes on to explain that his trip to England was to do with Spike, which annoys Buffy. He wants to investigate Spikeâ€™s trigger even further and thinks he has something magical to disable it.
Giles wants to put something in Spikeâ€™s brain, with the help of Willow, which will root out the trigger. Spike reluctantly agrees and it painfully enters his head. It transports him to his pre-vampire days as William, trying to impress his mother with a poem about Cecily. He reassures his mother she is the only woman in his life. His mother is sick but refuses a doctor. She sings him an old English folk song called â€œNever Leave Meâ€ which has quite an effect on him and back in the present day he turns violent and Gilesâ€™ device leaves his head. Giles tries to find out about the song but Spike thinks it is irrelevant.
Willow receives a phone call from Fred in LA.
Giles explains the trigger is still active and Spike remembers being with Drusilla after she has sired him and they plot world domination. Drusilla is perturbed that Spike wants to take his Mom with them. Spike then explains to his mother that he has become a vampire and introduces Drusilla to her. He tries to tempt her into becoming one herself and then bites her.
Willow tells Buffy she has to go away for a day or so but doesnâ€™t tell her why but that she might bring back good news. Buffy then unchains Spike despite Gilesâ€™ warnings. Robin tells Giles he sympathizes with the problem and that the First will soon use Spike against them. He says that something needs to be done and reveals to Giles that he is a Slayerâ€™s son and that his mother was killed by Spike. Giles realizes he has a personal vendetta against Spike but Robin claims he is acting for the greater good. Robin asks Giles to keep Buffy away for a few hours.
So Giles takes Buffy away on an impromptu training session. He tells her to look at the big picture and lead better. Robin takes Spike to his sanctuary but it is full of crucifixes so Spike begins to get suspicious. Robin tells Spike he has been searching for him since he killed his mother, the Slayer. Robin wants to kill Vampire Spike and activates his trigger by playing â€œNever Leave Meâ€.
Spike remembers his newly-sired mother who is no longer sick and he is ecstatic. But she has turned cold and tells Spike she wants to leave him, reveling in being cruel to him, telling him she should have killed him at birth and wishes he had left years ago. She calls him a limp, sentimental fool. Meanwhile, Robin sets to work on brutally attacking Spike and Buffy attacks a vampire, while Giles asks her what sacrifices she would make to save the world. Giles tries to get through to her that Spike is jeopardizing their chances of winning and yet she lets him live. Robin moves in for the kill on Spike while he continues to remember his motherâ€™s cruelty and that he staked her. He then fights back against Robin and says that Nikki knew the game and that he isnâ€™t sorry. He sympathizes with Robin for having a mother who didnâ€™t love him enough. Spike has realized that his mother loved him until she was sired and he gains strength from this. He is now able to play the song without it setting off the trigger and thanks Robin for freeing him. He is no longer influenced by the First.
Buffy tells Giles she wants Spike for the fight against the First and she realizes he is stalling her. Buffy runs away and arrives as Spike leaves Robinâ€™s sanctuary. Spike has let Robin live but says he will be keeping his eye on him. Buffy tells Robin about her own motherâ€™s death and that she understands his actions. She tells him to stop thinking about revenge and that the demon Spike is dead. She will let Spike kill him if he tries anything again because she needs to save the world the mission is what matters.
Giles tells Buffy that nothing has changed but she disagrees and says he has taught her everything she needs to know, shutting the door in his face.