Buffy drops out of college, notifying one of her professors about the decision and regretting the need to make the decision. Ben finds himself fired from his job at the hospital because Glory has been monopolizing the human form they share. Glory takes a bath while she demands that her blindfolded minions tell her everything they know about the Key (this episode marks the last appearance of Glory's affectionate minion Jinx). Dawn and Buffy are called into Dawn's principal's office where Dawn's poor grades are discussed. At the magic shop, Anya talks about patriotism and how money ties into that.
Buffy seeks Giles's advice about being Dawn's mother figure then takes her sister home, attempting an authoritative role with Dawn. Glory's minions provide her with enough information to conclude who the Key is and Glory leads the way to gather it. Tara and Willow discuss their relationship and Willow's powers as a witch, but the discussion ends up angering Willow when Tara expresses first her concern about Willow's "frightening" power and then her fear that Willow may eventually decide that being a lesbian is not what she wants.
Buffy talks with Dawn about how Dawn's situation needs to improve in school or Buffy could possibly lose guardianship of Dawn. Depressed over her first major fight with Willow, Tara goes to a cultural fair, but finds herself sitting next to Glory on a park bench. Giles finds one of Glory's minions at the shop and questions him about Glory's plans. Willow goes after Tara who is in Glory's grasp, but can't get to Tara before it's too late. Glory discovers that Tara isn't the Key, and offers to let her go if she reveals the key's identity. Protecting Dawn, Tara refuses, and Glory drains Tara's mind of sanity.
Willow tries to destroy Glory after Glory removes Tara's sanity.
At the hospital, doctors look after Tara while Willow plans her vengeance against the evil god, Glory. Buffy arranges for Dawn to be kept safe by Spike in some underground caves while she takes care of the issues involving Tara. Dawn worries that she is evil and feels guilty, but Spike tries to convince her otherwise. Buffy thinks she's talked Willow out of any attempts to go after Glory, but Spike and Dawn later convince her that one can't be talked out of something like that. Willow rages, going to the magic shop to gather dangerous magic supplies in preparation for her attack on Glory.
At Glory's place, Willow makes an unexpected, but grand appearance, casting spells wildly, all in attempts to attack and destroy Glory. Although she causes Glory some pain (something no one else, not even Buffy, was able to do) the god is far more powerful than the witch, and Willow is almost seriously wounded. Luckily, Buffy shows up in time to stop it. Buffy and Glory battle ferociously, until one of Willow's force fields allows Willow and Buffy to escape. The next day, Willow, Tara, Buffy and Dawn eat, with Willow and Dawn spoon-feeding applesauce to Tara, while discussing the responsibilities that Willow and Buffy have now. Glory makes a surprise appearance, tearing out an entire wall. Tara, distressed, reveals Dawn is the key.