This episode that has a story by Joss Whedon and was written by David Greenwalt starts off with a bang. Buffy is walking through the Masters lair and he moves in for the kill when Buffy wakes up. Joyce sends her off to school but assures her that her father is going to come see her this weekend. Buffy tells Willow that her parents got divorced last year but were separated a while before that. It doesn't really fit with the comics but that means they messed up since this came first.
We learn very quickly that Xander only pays attention to what girls wear and not what they say, even if the girl in question is his teacher. Buffy spots a little boy hanging out outside the classroom and moments later a kids book is over come with spiders. They swarm all over him.
Buffy keeps having nightmares, waking up screaming throughout the night. Buffy keeps worrying that her father isn't going to come for her but Joyce keeps telling her that she will show. Giles was lost in the back of the library. He seemed shaken. The Scooby's go to talk to the guy who was over run with spiders and he tells them how he loves spiders, until he was set off to camp and his brother let them all die and ever since he has had nightmares about spiders overrunning him. He blames himself for getting them all killed.
Cordy tells Buffy there is a history test and Buffy follows her. She isn't ready for it, Cordy seems unusually cheerful towards her. It is nice to see them getting along again. If only for a bit. Buffy goes to write her name on the test and her pencil breaks. Time seems to just be flying by. Her history teacher is a guy but in the pilot wasn't it a woman? She talked about the fun part of the black plague was. . . I think that was a mistake but it could just be part of the nightmares.
A girl goes down stairs to have a smoke break and the creepy little boy tells her that she shouldn't go down there. A monster attacks her beats her up, ironically there is a sign that says smoking kills. Buffy and Giles go to visit the girl who was beat up and she tells them that the only thing she heard was lucky 19. It turns out that she is the second victim. The first is the little boy who Buffy keeps seeing around the school and he is in a coma.
People around the school start having their worst fears come true. Xander and Willow walk into class and suddenly his clothes are gone. Giles can't read, he can normally read 5 languages. Buffy thinks the coma kid might be astral projecting. They are trying to figure it out when Hank Summers, Buffy's dad shows up and asks to talk to her. They go outside and he says that it is time to tell her the truth. He tells her that they broke up because of Buffy. Her being there was too much for them to handle. They couldn't deal with it. She ruined their lives because she was rude and not as smart as she should have been. He also tells her that she is being immature by crying about it. He also tells her that he doesn't want to do these weekend visits anymore, they don't do anything for him so he leaves. She sees the coma boy.
Xander and Willow head to the library to find Giles and Buffy. They only find Buffy, she is still elsewhere. Willow puts together that it is everyone's nightmares coming true. Giles said that dreams would be a wacky musical version of this. . . can you say Once More With Feelings!!! Giles and Willow put together that it must be Billy, the coma kid. They need to stop him fast because he just turned Cordy, my love, into a nerd with bad hair and that can not stand!
Buffy goes to talk to Billy. He is so sad, poor kid. He is lucky 19, or at least that is what the monster calls him. Buffy tries to get the information out of him but the monster shows up and starts attacking the slayer. He is a lot stronger than she is, forcing Buffy to run.
The Scooby's split up to find Buffy. Willow spots Cordy being dragged kicking and screaming into the chess club. That poor poor girl I should go save her. Some grabs Willow and she screams as we jump over to Xander finding a blocked off part of the school and a trail of candy bars leading him down a path he should not follow. Look I love candy but even I'm not that stupid. Come on Xander!! Buffy and Billy end up at the baseball field where the kid tells Buffy how he messed up the game. He should have won it for them. Buffy points out that there were other kids playing and it wasn't all his fault. The monster has found them again! They run off! Leading them to a cemetery.
Willow is thrown on stage to sing an opera, something she doesn't know how to do!! She is scared out of her mind of being in front of people as we learned last episode with the dramatic reading. Xander is attacked by a killer clown, something that he has been afraid of since he was 6. Buffy and Billy are attacked by the Master who throws her in a coffin and buries her alive, something that I has always been scared of, and something that will come back to hunt her in a few years. Willow and Giles find Xander as the killer clown chases them down, until Xander mans up and knocks the clown out. It makes him feel a lot better. No one else seems to be facing their fears the way he is.
Willow spots that the graveyard is across the street and it is night there. They find Buffy's gravestone. Giles is devastated. Buffy digs her way out of her grave, something she will do again years later. Giles and the others freak out for a moment when they see that she is a vampire. He tells her that they can fix this. She just has to keep it together till then.
The Scooby gang goes to Billy's room and see his astral form telling him that he is too scared to wake up. The monster attacks. Buffy goes to face him. Vampire slayer verses the monster, it is a lot closer fight this time. Buffy knocks him out. She tells Billy to come finish it himself. He does it and the nightmares all go away as Billy wakes up. Just then the coach shows up and calls the boy his lucky 19. Buffy tells him he is awake and the coach doesn't seem happy. The boy calls him out on it and he tries to run off but Xander and Giles catch him. The coach gets arrested and Buffy's dad, her real dad comes to pick her up, thus ending this episode.
I like this episode a lot because it shows us that sometimes the most evil of monsters are really humans. We are the most evil thing in this world and this episode shines a light on it.