The Master comes to Sunnydale in the hopes of taking control of the Hellmouth. The spell goes awry and an earthquake erupts trapping him inside the buried ruins of a church. A mystical field prevents him from leaving the area and he remains there for the next sixty years.
Buffy Summers and her mother Joyce relocate from Los Angeles to Sunnydale, California. Joyce opens an art gallery and Buffy begins attending school at Sunnydale High. She meets friends Cordelia Chase, Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg and Jesse McNally. She also meets her new watcher, school librarian Rupert Giles.
The Master rises and prepares for the coming Harvest, but he is still trapped within the underground walls of a buried church. He anoints Luke as his vessel and tries to draw power from Luke's victims, but Buffy kills him and the Master remains trapped.
Witch Catherine Madison uses magic to switch bodies with her daughter Amy. She then tries to join the high school cheerleading team, but has to use her powers to eliminate the competition. Buffy and Giles find a counter-spell to reverse the effect. Catherine tries to put a hex on Buffy, but the spell backfires, trapping her spirit inside of a small, bronze statue.
A mythological She-Mantis takes the form of substitute teacher Natalie French and kills Sunnydale biology teacher Stephen Gregory. She then seduces Xander Harris with the intent of mating with and then killing him, but Buffy and the crew learn the truth about her. Buffy dismembers the She-Mantis with a machete.
Mayor Wilkins assigns his underlings Mister Trick and Ethan Rayne to distract Sunnydale's adult populace with cursed candy thereby allowing him the chance to steal babies required as tribute to the demon Lurconis. The candy alters the personality of those who consume it, making them act like wild, irresponsible teenagers. Buffy finds Lurconis and incinerates him using a flaming gas pipe in the sewers.
Willow's spell of forgetfullness backfires, causing everyone at the Magic Box to temporarily lose their memory. Spike thinks he's Rupert's son, Randy, and Buffy begins calling herself Joan. The effect last until Xander steps on the crystal that is keeping the spell intact.