Buffy tells Kendra, who has just introduced herself as the Vampire Slayer, that she cannot be as she is the Chosen One. Kendra maintains her story, so Buffy calls a truce and the two go to Giles for assistance in explaining their situation. Giles confirms that he knows of the watcher Kendra claims to be learning under, and then realizes that she was 'called' when Buffy temporarily died in her fight with the Master. Their discussion reveals that Kendra had locked Angel in a cage, leaving him to be dusted at sunrise. Buffy and Kendra arrive to find only an empty cage with a bit of smoke; Buffy fears the worst, but Kendra points out the absence of dust.
Willy saves Angel from near-death, only to dump him in a sewer with Spike, who pays him generously for it. Spike takes Angel back to the warehouse, where he will be held until he can be sacrificed to restore Drusilla to full strength. Drusilla asks Spike to let her have fun (a.k.a. torture) Angel. Although Spike briefly hesitates, he soon smiles and agrees, unable to resist indulging her whims. Meanwhile, as Buffy ruminates on the co-existence of two slayers, she entertains the possibility of quitting and letting Kendra take over her Slayer duties.
Giles begins to bond professionally with Kendra, who seems to be more dedicated to her calling than Buffy, on a professional, intellectual, and academic level. Her only life is slaying. Xander and Cordelia face even bigger problems when they find that the salesman that Cordelia let into the Summers' house is actually an assassin who can transform himself into thousands of mealworms. They run and hide in the basement, although before long, they are having a fight and hurling insults at each other. Abruptly, they kiss, and then Xander and Cordelia rush to escape the basement, running past the assassin.
At school, the career placement test has thrown Willow and Oz together, and they discuss their similar interests. Buffy, whose test results recommend a career in law enforcement, attends the career fair seminar to appease Principal Snyder. The police officer leading the seminar calls Buffy's name, but when Buffy identifies herself, the officer, Patrice, draws her gun and aims it at the Slayer, revealing herself as the third assassin. Buffy avoids the bullet, which instead hits Oz in the arm as he pushed Willow out of harm's way. Kendra comes to Buffy's rescue, and they fight off the attacker. The Scoobies then gather in the library, where Giles announces that Spike intends to kill Drusilla's sire in the ritual in order restore Drusilla to full strength. Buffy reluctantly admits that Angel is Drusilla's sire, adding that Spike can do anything to her, but he had better not mess with her boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Angel is being tortured by Drusilla, both emotionally and physically; she pours holy water on him as she reminds him about how he killed her whole family. Spike comes in and announces that it is time for the ritual to begin. Angel taunts Spike with insinuations that he's had sex with Drusilla and she enjoyed it, but that Spike is unable to satisfy her, in hopes that Spike will kill him before he can be used to cure Drusilla. Spike is infuriated, but does not lose sight of the big picture.
Meanwhile, Kendra gains a new found respect for Buffy's qualities as a Slayer. Later, the Slayers go after Willy to learn what happened to Angel. Buffy forces Willy to take her to the location of Spike and Angel, but Kendra refuses to accompany her because proper procedure dictates she return to tell her Watcher first, and she doesn't think they can stop the ritual alone. So Buffy alone accompanies Willy, but it's a trap – he takes her to the assassins, then together they go to the ritual which has already started. Spike orders Buffy's death, but at that moment, Kendra arrives to save her, along with Giles, Willow, Cordelia, and Xander. Xander and Cordelia work together in the hallway to kill the worm assassin; since he can only be destroyed in his "disassembled state," they lure the worms underneath a door into a sticky trap and then kill him by stomping on the worms. Willow and Giles work together to stake a vampire while Buffy and Kendra fight Patrice and Spike. Spike starts a fire and rushes to rescue the unconscious Drusilla, hoping that the ritual has had time to cure her. However, Buffy prevents their exit, crushing them in falling rubble. She rushes to the floor to help the weakened Angel, while everyone watches in awe, and she helps him exit the building, believing the fire would consume Spike and Drusilla.
At school, Willow finds Oz by the vending machine where he is buying a box of animal crackers. The two have a conversation in which Willow tries to thank Oz for saving her life (he says he doesn't do thanks) and he compliments her smile in between talking about the monkey's clothes.
It's soon time for Kendra and Buffy to say goodbye, with the two now on friendly terms, with Kendra even wearing Buffy's shirt (although Kendra refuses to give Buffy a hug goodbye, and instead gives a smile). She tells Buffy she does not blame her for being with Angel, since he is a very beautiful man, and that slaying is not a job, it is a part of who they are. The two part ways, with Buffy feeling comforted by the knowledge she is no longer alone in her sacred duty.
In the ruins of the church, it is revealed that Spike has only just managed to survive but has been severely scarred and injured. He is helped out of the rubble by Drusilla, who has been successfully cured and fully revived. She promises to return the favor, and make him strong like her as she carries him out.
Buffy's comment "You and bug people, Xander. What's up with that?" is a reference to the season one episode "Teacher's Pet," in which her friend develops a crush on the exotic and alluring Biology substitute, who turns out to be a giant praying mantis monster.
Kendra's dry question to Buffy "Did anyone explain to you what 'secret identity' means?" recalls Buffy's own exasperated observation to that same effect in the series premiere, "Welcome to the Hellmouth."
When Kendra learns that Buffy is attending Sunnydale High, she speculates that she's also a cheerleader, and Giles comments that she quit the cheerleading squad and that this was "quite an amusing story," referring to the events of the Season One episode "Witch."
This is the beginning of Xander and Cordelia's romantic relationship.
This episode includes the first time Giles kills a vampire onscreen, and the first time Willow ever kills a vampire. However, like Xander's first vampire kill, she does it with some help, in this case Giles who holds the vampire still for her.
The organ collapse and fire at the end of this episode will put Spike in a wheelchair for most of the rest of the Season.
This episode is later referenced in the Season Eight issue, "Time of Your Life," when Buffy tells Melaka Fray's sister she "thought about being a cop. A law. In high school. I took a test, said I fit the profile." after Buffy's career test results recommend a career in law enforcement for her.
This episode marks the beginning of a certain maturity for Buffy. She accepts more seriously her status of slayer and stops complaining about it.
Giles claims that he thought it was unnecessary to give Buffy the Slayer Handbook, however, as Scott Allie confirmed, Giles did present Buffy with the handbook in the first episode as the Vampyr book, though she never accepted it so it can be assumed Giles never bothered to offer it to her again.
Xander and Cordelia kill the Tarakan demon Norman Pfister together. They'd once again kill a vampire together in "Anne," though more by accident there. Xander makes his first solo kill in "Phases" and Cordelia in "Graduation Day, Part Two," whereas before that they'd killed enemies with each other's help or, in Xander's case, a patron of the Bronze.
This episode marks the first time Cordelia ever kills someone, albeit with the help of Xander.
Unlike most episodes, while all of the Scooby Gang kills someone, Buffy herself kills no one in this episode.
While Spike survives and Drusilla is restored to full strength, the organ crashing on Spike and the fire leaves Spike paralyzed from the waist down for months. However, unlike Drusilla, he eventually recovers on his own though he keeps it to himself until "Becoming, Part Two."
Patrice, presumably killed in the fire after being knocked out by Kendra.
Behind the Scenes
Bianca Lawson commented on her accent during her stint on Buffy in an interview with SFX magazine: "I really hated that accent! I got the part, and I didn't originally have an accent. Then, literally the night before, they said 'What about a Jamaican accent?' So it's one of those things where, y'know, I just had to put it on tape, but I didn't have a chance to get comfortable with it. And the thing is, certain things – if you say it properly [in Jamaican patois], people don't really fully understand it, so they would change things. They'd say, 'Well, say it like this' and it's like 'Would that be accurate in that accent though?' 'It doesn't matter because no-one's going to understand you!' So different people were giving their interpretations of it. I was like 'But everyone's going to think that I'm doing it wrong!' So personally, I wasn't happy with the accent!"
Seth Green mentioned in an Ultimate TV talk that the line "I mock you with my monkey pants" was initially dreamed by Alyson Hannigan. Joss Whedon decided to insert it in the episode. Marti Noxon said in her commentary for the season four DVD, that all the lines after Oz's compliment about Willow's smile were ad-libbed by Seth and Alyson.
Spike was originally to be killed in this episode, but Joss Whedon decided to keep him and merely paralyze him.
Sarah Michelle Gellar improvised the line "I tink we might make him," where she mocks Kendra's accent, as Kendra's accent was a last-minute addition to the episode.
"What's My Line, Part Two" pulled in 3.9 million households on its original airing.
Xander says "Okay, Mary Kay, time to…" Xander is referencing Mary Kay Cosmetics, since the Bugman had been posing as Norman Pfister, a salesman from a cosmetics company.
Buffy says to Kendra, "Back off, Pink Ranger!" This is likely an in-joke since Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double, Sophia Crawford, used to be the stunt double for the Pink Power Ranger on the TV show, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
Buffy said "After all of this is over, I'm thinking pineapple pizza and teen video movie fest. Possibly something from the Ringwald oeuvre."
Xander says, "Welcome, my little pretties." This likely refers to The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West calls Dorothy her "pretty."
After successfully researching an assassin Cordelia and he encountered, Xander says, "I am the Bug Man, Coo Coo Ca Choo," clearly, though incorrectly, referencing the "I am the Walrus" by The Beatles. The Beatles used the phrase "Goo goo g'joob" while "Coo coo katchoo" is from Simon & Garfunkel's song Mrs. Robinson. It's a common mistake, though.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
After bringing Angel to Drusilla, Spike says that all they need for the ritual is the full moon tonight. Later, Giles explains that the ritual must take place on the night of the new moon, and Kendra adds that it is tonight.
After Xander and Cordeila have been attacked by bugs, when Xander closes the book, crushing the worm inside, at the end of one shot it's a gray biology text book but in the next shot it's a plain red book.
At the very last shot of the episode when Drusilla is carrying Spike as she leaves the church, the wire holding Spike is slightly visible.