Buffy is waiting for a vampire to rise when Angel appears. They end up arguing over their relationship, or lack thereof (along with Angel's inability to express his jealousy of Xander because Buffy danced suggestively with him in the previous episode), and Angel decides to leave. When Buffy tries to follow him, she falls face first into an open grave. A body was apparently dragged out from it earlier.
The next day, Buffy and Xander catch Giles practicing to ask Ms. Calendar out on a date. Giles hears Buffy's findings at the cemetery and fears someone is raising an army of zombies. Buffy goes to find Willow, who is signing up for the science fair and talking to Chris, the reigning champ. As Buffy approaches, Chris' friend Eric takes pictures of girls passing by.
Willow finds that the girl in question, Meredith Todd, died in a car accident along with two other girls. They head to the cemetery to investigate. Buffy tells others not to tell Angel because they are having problems. That night, Cordelia is walking to her car after cheerleading practice when she senses that someone is following her. She eventually hides in a dumpster and when she thinks it is safe to get out, she encounters Angel. He starts to help her out when they find an arm and other body parts inside the dumpster.
The Scoobies return to the library to find a frightened Cordelia clinging to Angel. They decide to abandon Giles' zombie theory and search the lockers of science students. They find medical books and an article on Meredith Todd in Chris' locker and a jigsaw of female body parts in Eric's locker. Chris and Eric are building some sort of dream girl.
In a secret lab, the two geniuses are almost finishing their creation, except for the head. Eric lines up three candidates: Buffy, Willow and Cordelia. Chris' brother Daryl comes out from the shadows, showing a grotesque appearance, and chooses Cordelia's picture. Daryl was a popular athlete who died in an accident years ago, and he was revived by his brother and promised a stay-at-home companion.
The next day, Giles stumbles as he tries to ask Ms. Calendar out, but she ends up asking him to the football game instead, where she continues to tease him. Meanwhile, Buffy and her friends discover that the crazy boys are missing a head; brain tissue decays at such a rate that they cannot simply go grave-robbing to get one, and must actually kill a girl to gain the head they need.
Buffy finds a lab in Chris' house and discovers their target. She runs off to warn Cordelia, and Daryl walks out of the shadows. In the locker room, Cordelia is getting ready when Chris comes up behind her. Eric places a bag over her head, but is beat up by Buffy. After Cordelia leaves, Chris tells Buffy about Daryl. They head back to his house, only to find Daryl gone.
Buffy and Chris head to the school. Daryl watches Cordelia under the bleachers. As Cordelia goes to a water fountain, Daryl drags her away. He and Eric head to an abandoned building, where Eric plans to behead her. Cordelia sees her old crush and screams. At the game, Buffy and Chris realize they arrive too late, but Chris tells her where to find Eric.
Meanwhile, Willow and Xander crash Giles' date. Chris tells them what happened, while Buffy rushes to the old science lab. In the ensuing fight, a burner is knocked over and starts a fire. Xander arrives with the rest of the gang and gets Cordelia out. Giles and Willow drag out an unconscious Eric. As Daryl is about to kill Buffy, Chris stops him. Daryl decides to die beside the unfinished work while everyone else escapes.
Afterwards, Jenny promises Giles a second date. While Buffy talks to Chris, agonizing about the decision he made when he first resurrected his brother, Angel arrives. Willow and Xander talk; he brushes off Cordelia when she tries to thank him for saving her life. Buffy and Angel leave together through the graveyard. Angel admits to his jealousy, and Buffy reassures him that she doesn't love Xander.