Synopsis of Sleeper
This episode takes up not long after the last one, Buffy goes to Xander's looking for Spike but he isn't there. Spike is in the basement of a house somewhere, digging a hole in the dirt floor. Spike hums as he digs. The dead blonde woman is nearby and he puts her in the hole. A man named Robson enters a home looking for a girl whose name I didn't catch. It appears he is a watcher and she is a potential slayer. He finds her but she is dead. A bringer stabs him in the back.
Willow rushes into the Summers home looking for Buffy. Dawn informs her that Buffy isn't there. She hurries to Dawn who has cuts on her face and arms. Dawn claims she is fine and tells Willow she "saw Mom". The living room is still ruined and Willow realizes Dawn must have been visited by The First, not Joyce. Willow tells Dawn not to believe what she said because it was not really Joyce. Dawn does not admit that *Joyce* said Buffy will turn on her.
Xander can't think of a reason why a vampire would like about who his sire was. Buffy thinks it can't be true because Spike still has the chip and has a soul. Xander reminds her that Spike could hurt her before and maybe the chip doesn't work anymore. Spike enters and quickly heads off to his closet/bedroom. Buffy says they need to watch over Spike but she needs to go check on Dawn and Xander needs to leave for a meeting with a client.
Anya reluctantly agrees to stay with Spike while Xander is gone. She is worried now that he has been killing again. Anya asks if anyone has searched his room for clues, maybe he has kept trophies from his victims. He turns to leave, telling her there is plenty of sunshine to keep her safe. As he goes out the door, she yells after him that if she gets vamped, "I'm gonna bite your ass!" He smiles and tells her it wouldn't be the first time, then shuts the door behind him.
Buffy finds Willow upstairs, she is worried after seeing what the lower level of the house looks like. Willow tells her not to worry because Dawn is OK and she's asleep now. Willow informs Buffy of her visit with The First in the library and that she thinks The First appeared to Dawn as Joyce. Buffy informs Willow of Holden's claim that Spike sired him. Willow assumes that he was a vision apparition also but Buffy tells her that Holden "dusted real enough". But Buffy still says she needs to see it for herself before she will believe that Spike is killing again.
Anya gets up from the sofa and enters Spike's room, carrying a stake. She starts looking through his belongings while Spike sleeps nearby. As she tries to look in his jacket pockets, he reaches out and grabs her wrist. Spike demands to know why she is in his room. Anya tries to stall but can't think of anything, so she blurts out that she is there for sex. Spike appears surprised and uneasy. Anya claims that she couldn't forget their brief time together. She babbles and says that it's not like she's "snooping around for proof that you're some whacked-out serial killer". She tries to kiss him, but Spike pulls back. He is obviously not interested. It appears that her feelings are hurt and wonders if he said no because he thinks she is fat or doesn't like her hair. Anya claims that she liked him better when he didn't have a soul because "soulless Spike would have had me upside down and halfway to happyland by now." Later Spike prepares to leave and apologizes for hurting her feelings. She pretends not to be hurt. Once he's gone, Anya calls Buffy and tells her that Spike has left the apartment.
Spike walks through the crowd and Buffy follows. She sees him talking with a woman but then they walk away. Buffy tries to follow them but gets lost in the crowd. In a side alley, the woman makes chit-chat with Spike and tries to kiss him but they are interrupted by The First-in-Buffy-form. It tells Spike that it knows Spike wants to and it wants Spike to do it. Spike looks confused but then realizes what The First means. Spike bites the woman on the neck and The First-in-Buffy-form is pleased. Spike is confused again. He lets the woman fall to the ground and runs away. The First morphs from Buffy-form into Spike. He sings "How could you use a poor maiden so?"
[This song will become important later.]
Buffy arrives at Xander's apartment. She wakes Spike up and asks if he killed the girl from the night before. He tells her she should know that he can't and reminds her that he went to the other side of the world to get his soul back. He says he has lots of guilt over what he's already done. Buffy calls the girl a "drunk co-ed" and Spike thinks she's jealous. She explains what Holden said and Spike claims that he goes out and talks to girls because he can't talk to Buffy. But then he tells her that no other girl could mean anything to him. She admits that she followed him and he looked like he was "on the prowl". Spike says he talks to people, or not; that it's boring and it "all bleeds together". Buffy suggests that maybe just can't remember feeding on someone. Spike doesn't think he would forget something like that but Buffy reminds him that he was recently crazy in the school basement.
At the house, Buffy wants evidence that Spike is killing. Dawn thinks that Holden might have been lying because of what she and Willow went through with The First pretending to be Cassie and the vision of Joyce and therefore Spike could be innocent. Willow points out that just because they were evil, does not mean she was lying. Anya agrees and states that she would frequently tell the truth back when she was evil. Willow uses the computer to search for reports of victims with neck trauma. The result does not show any bodies, but does tell them that ten people are missing.
As Spike gets ready to go out, he touches the pack of cigarettes in his pocket and it triggers a memory of talking to the blonde woman and then a flash of seeing her dead on the ground. Spike starts to leave but Xander gets to the door first, blocking Spike's exit. Xander says Buffy made it clear that Spike is not supposed to leave. Spike claims he wants to go find proof of his innocence. Xander says no again. Spike hits Xander in the face, winces slightly then steps over him to leave. We get a few brief shots of Spike asking people questions in The Bronze. Xander has woke up and called Buffy to let her know Spike is gone. Spike sits in the balcony watching the crowd below when a woman asks who he's looking for. She starts flirting with he but he tells her no. She keeps trying and eventually reveals that she is a vampire also and suggests they attack a couple together. She asks if she was only a "one bite-stand" and they end up fighting. Spike stakes her as she falls from the balcony and she explodes into dust before hitting the ground. The music stops and everyone looks around for a bit but it quickly starts up again.
Buffy questions a bouncer outside a club, describing Spike. The bouncer remembers him and says that Spike leaves with a different girl every night. Buffy asks how many girls, and the bouncer tells Buffy she can do better because Spike "is a real player".
Spike calls Buffy using a pay phone and tells her that he thinks he's starting to remember and he thinks he's "done some very bad things". They agree to meet and he gives her the address to a house somewhere. Spike hangs up and walks past The-First-in-Spike-form who states that it's "not time yet". Spike takes Buffy to the basement of the house to show her something. The-First-in-Spike-form is there; Buffy can't see it and Spike tries to ignore it. Spike tells Buffy that he thinks he killed the lady who lives in the house and some others and buried them in the basement. Spike doesn't understand how he would be able to kill people but then The-First-in-Spike-form starts to sing. Spike changes to vamp face and attacks Buffy. She tries to talk him out of it and that's when vampires emerge from the (dirt) floor. The anonymous vampires attack Buffy and hold her. The-First-in-Spike-form urges Spike to attack her but when he licks the blood from one of her cuts, he starts having flashbacks, remembering what he's done. As the memories return, guilt overcomes him, causing him to stagger backward and fall on the floor. Buffy uses the opportunity to resist and ends up staking all the newly sired vampires. The-First-in-Spike-form leans down and tells Spike that "now she's gonna kill you". After staking the last vampire, Buffy turns to see Spike huddled at the bottom of the stairs. As Buffy approaches him, Spike pulls his jacket back off his shoulders and tells her to do it fast. When she just stands there, Spike states that "He said you would do it." Spike tells her that "he" was there watching and singing but when Buffy tries to question Spike further, he claims he can't remember. Buffy finally realizes that there is something there she can't see. She tosses the stake to the floor. Spike asks her to kill him because he can feel his victims and it hurts like a knife. Buffy tells him that something is playing with them and she doesn't know what it is. Spike asks for help. The-First-in-Spike-form sits on the stairs and shakes his head in disappointment.
Next we see Spike in a chair with a blanket around him, the camera moves behind him to reveal Buffy talking to the rest of the gang about what happened. Xander thinks it's not safe to have Spike in the house. Dawn asks if Spike is staying there. Willow states that feeding on human blood has "gotta do stuff" to him. Buffy says she also wants to keep a close watch on Spike so she can learn more about what was controlling him.
In England, Giles enters the apartment from the beginning of the episode and finds the other watcher (Robson) on the floor seriously injured but still alive. Robson tells Giles to "Gather them, it's started." Giles tries to comfort Robson and we see over Giles' shoulder that a 'bringer is approaching him. As the bringer's axe swings toward Giles' neck, the screen goes black and that is the end of the episode.