"Buffy vs. Dracula"
Written by Marti Noxon; directed by David Solomon

Buffy lies awake in bed with Riley asleep next to her. A little later, she runs through a cemetery and kills a vampire. She returns home and goes to sleep next to Riley. (I know it doesn’t seem important now, but be patient.) Buffy, Xander, Willow, Tara, Riley, and Anya hang out on the beach for possibly the first time ever. Buffy and Riley play football and he learns not to insult her. Xander is unable to start a fire so that they can barbeque, but Willow magically solves the problem. However, she also upsets the balance of natural elements and it starts to rain. Somewhere, two delivery men unload a box outside of a castle. A hand reaches out of the box, killing one of the men. At Giles’ apartment, Willow sets up his computer so that they can archive his library. She asks why they’re doing it now and mentions that they’ve been cataloging things all summer. He confesses that he’s getting everything organized for the Scoobies because he’s going back to England. He asks her not to tell anyone, especially Buffy.

Buffy finishes up dinner with Joyce, then heads out to patrol. Joyce comments that the house will be quiet when Buffy goes back to school. (Oh, Foreshadowing, you old clown.) As Buffy fights a vampire as smoke around her turns into a face. A man appears and compliments her on her skills. She asks him if he knows what a Slayer is and he asks if she knows. She asks him who he is and he introduces himself as Dracula. “Get out!” Buffy exclaims. In another area of the cemetery, Willow debates telling Xander that Giles is leaving, then decides not to. Buffy implies that she doesn’t believe Dracula is telling the truth but is flattered to learn that he’s heard of her. He tells her that her power “is rooted in darkness” but she doesn’t seem to care. She tries to stake him but he dissolves into smoke. Xander and Willow meet up with Buffy, who tells them that Dracula is there. Dracula decides that the timing is off; he turns into a bat and flies away.

At Giles’ apartment, the three tell him, Anya, and Riley about their encounter with Dracula. Buffy and Willow both seem to find Dracula sexy, which makes Tara a little jealous. Anya reveals that she used to know Dracula years ago. Giles says that he’s kind of sorry he missed the encounter and Willow quickly says that she wished he had been there, too. The Scoobies decide to research Dracula to figure out how to defeat him. Anya and Xander head out, Anya still talking about Dracula and wondering if he remembers her. She notes that Xander is jealous, and after she leaves, Dracula appears in front of him. Dracula recruits Xander to be his emissary and spy on the Scoobies. In exchange, he will be sired.

Riley heads to Spike’s crypt and asks him about Dracula. It turns out Spike knew him, too - they’re old rivals. He blames Dracula for informing everyone how to kill vampires. Spike mentions that Dracula will probably be in a mansion somewhere and suggests that Riley go home and let Buffy take care of things. They have a brief stand-off, and as Riley leaves, Spike says that he won’t be able to stop Dracula before he gets back to Buffy. In fact, Dracula is now in Buffy’s house, admiring Buffy’s neck. He sees the scar from when Angel fed off of her (see “Graduation Day, Part 2”) and says that Angel was unworthy because he left her. He leans down to bite her. The next morning, Buffy wakes up and is unsure whether what happened the night before was a dream. She realizes that it wasn’t when she sees bite marks on her neck. She covers it with a scarf and heads off to Giles’ apartment.

The Scoobies convene to discuss their uninformative Dracula research and decide to check out nice places where Dracula might be living. Willow says that Dracula likes to have mental connections with his victims - he can appear in dreams and read minds. Giles announces that, in the end, he always sires his victims. Unseen by anyone else, Xander eats a spider while Buffy decides that she’s going to go after Dracula. Riley thinks that she shouldn’t go on her own, and when she tells him she can handle it, he asks her to take off her scarf. She refuses and he removes it for her, revealing the bite marks. Riley says that he’s not surprised - Dracula is probably a lot like Angel. Giles tells Buffy to stay out of the picture while they look for Dracula, and she realizes that she can’t go home, since Dracula showed up there. Willow wonders how Dracula got inside the house.

At the Summers’ house, Tara and Willow work on a protection spell while Joyce admits that she invited Dracula in for coffee because she was lonely. Willow advises her to “avoid white-skinned men in capes.” Giles and Riley look at different mansions but don’t find any evidence of Dracula. In Xander’s basement, Anya complains about being recruited to stay with Buffy while the other Scoobies are off doing Dracula-related stuff. Suddenly, Xander shoves her into a closet and locks her in. He tells Buffy that he’s supposed to take her to Dracula. “Take me to him,” she replies. They arrive at Dracula’s castle and Dracula tells Xander to leave. Buffy worriedly realizes that she’s under Dracula’s thrall.

Riley and Giles spot the castle and head towards it. Once inside, they split up. Buffy tells Dracula that she won’t let him bite her again and he challenges her to stop him. He tells her that she won’t resist him because she doesn’t want to, and that she’s always alone. He wants to teach her about her history and what she’s capable of. Riley runs into Xander, who tries to stop him. Riley punches him out and continues on his way. Elsewhere in the castle, Giles falls off a ledge into a pit inhabited by three female vampires. He recognizes them as the mythical three sisters (aka the Dracu-babes) and they start to seduce him.

Dracula rolls up his sleeve, cuts his arm, and asks Buffy if she’s ever wanted to know what makes vampires tick. He tells her that she craves darkness and encourages her to drink some of his blood to get a new insight. “You think you know…what you are…what's to come. You haven't even begun,” he says. (See “Restless.”) Buffy leans over to take a sip and he tells her to find the darkness and her “true nature.” She sees flashes of herself fighting and the First Slayer (again, see “Restless”). Suddenly she pushes him away and proclaims the experience gross. She tells him that his hold over her is gone and begins fighting him. Riley finds Giles in the pit and protects himself with a cross. Giles pretends that he was trying to get out and Riley pulls him up. Giles tries to find an excuse to go back down but Riley tells him, “No more chick-pit for you.” Buffy finally stakes Dracula as Riley and Giles find her. Xander arrives and complains that he’s sick of always being the whipping boy. Dracula reappears and Buffy stakes him again, saying that she knows he always comes back.

Buffy goes to Giles’ apartment and he announces that he has something to tell her. She says that she wants to go first and tells him that she hasn’t been training and hasn’t come to him for help for awhile. She admits that she’s been going out and hunting a lot since they did the spell invoking the First Slayer (see “Primeval”). She says that Dracula understood her power better than she does and that she wants to know more about Slayerhood so that she can improve her skills. “I need your help,” tells Giles. “I need you to be my Watcher again.” She asks him what he wanted to say and he tells her it’s nothing. Back at home, Buffy starts to head off for the movies with Riley when she spots a girl in her room. Joyce calls out to Buffy, “If you're going out, why don't you take your sister?” Buffy and Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) protest, “Mom!”


GRADE: B- This show is supposed to be too original for this sort of thing. And don’t get me started on the sudden arrival of Dawn.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - Buffy: “Ha! Touchdown! Oh yeah. Go Team Me.”
Riley: “Anybody ever tell Team You the quarterback throws like a girl?”

“The, uh, fire's not cooperating. It's comforting to know that I lack the culinary finesse of a caveman.” - Xander

Willow: “Now that I know there's something to know, I can't not know, just because I'm afraid somebody'll know I know, you know?”
Giles: “Did that mean yes?”
Willow: “Yeah.”

Xander: “And where'd you get that accent, Sesame Street? Vun, two, three - three victims. Mwa ha ha!”
Buffy: Xander, I'm pretty sure that's Dracula.”
Xander: “Wow, really?” (hides behind Buffy) “Hey, sorry, man, I was…just jokin' around.”

“You are strange and off-putting. Go now.” - Dracula to Xander

“I'm supposed to deliver you to the master now. There's this whole deal where I get to be immortal. You cool with that?” - Xander to Buffy

Riley: “I've lived in Sunnydale a couple of years now. Know what I've never noticed before?”
Giles: “Uh, a castle?”
Riley: “A big honking castle.”

Xander: “You want him? You come through me.”
(Riley punches him and he falls to the floor)
Riley: “Okey-dokey.”

“Oh, good show, Giles. Uhh…at least you didn't get knocked out for a change.” - Giles

Giles: “Thank God you came.”
Riley: “Come on!”
Giles: “There was no possible escape. Oh, my shoe. Silly me, I'll just pop--.”
Riley: “No, no, no, sir! No more chick pit for you.”

Xander: “Where is he?? Where's the creep that turned me into his spider-eating man-bi%@#?”
Buffy: “He's gone.”
Xander: “Da*%&#! You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt-monkey!”
Buffy: “Check. No more butt-monkey.”
Riley: “It coulda been worse. At least you weren't making time with the Dracu-babes like Giles here.”
Giles: “I was not making time! I, I was, uh, just about to kill those, uh, loathsome creatures when Riley interrupted me.”
Riley: “You were gonna nuzzle 'em to death?”
Giles: “Of course not! I was in complete…control.”

(Dracula begins to reappear in smoke)
Buffy: “I’m standing right here!”

Dracula: “We understand each other. Both of us are born of darkness, masters in the art of death.”
Buffy: “No. Hold it. Enough with the darkness. I’m born of Joyce, pal.” (from the original script)

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