PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Unholy Prince-bator

Episode 5.1: Buffy vs. Dracula. Original Airdate 9.26.00

"Buffy finds herself pitted against the legendary Prince of Darkness, Count Dracula."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Already we start to see that Buffy feels like she’s missing something in her life. She’s lying with the beautifully shirtless Riley, but she’s frustrated and needs more…action? The only thing that satiates that frustration is going out and staking a vamp. Now she can sleep.
  • Yay! Emma Caulfield’s in the credits!
  • Location! A real beach! It’s not a parking lot beach!  And considering Sunnydale is...out in the middle of some desert somewhere...spoilers for season 7....I guess this beach is a distance from their home town.
  • Willow’s got the shortest hair of her Buffy career. I like it.
  • And already, we’re seeing Willow’s powers are getting stronger…
(And Leon's getting larger...)
  • That’s a lot of pink, Willow. At least it’s not a fuzzy pink sweater.
  • No, Giles! Don’t go back to England!
  • Hey Joyce! In the first episode! I bet she has a good year. …
  • Those leather pants, Buffy!
  • “Do you know what a slayer is?" // "Do you?” You know, this isn’t the best season opener but it does lay the groundwork for a great season. It prepares us for Buffy, Joyce & Willow especially.
  • “I am Dracula”//”Get out!”
  • Oh man, that shirt, Xander. The Hawaiian shirt is bad enough – but it’s actually sparkling!
  • This whole conversation between Buffy & Dracula is so telling.
  • Anya hung out with Dracula! Again, a missed opportunity because lack of putting Anya at the center of things. A reunion would have been cool.
This amused me because it reminds me of co-blogger, Zelda.
  • Awww, jealous Riley is adorable.
  • And jealous Xander is just a dork.
  • Ooh, a wolf!
  • “You are strange and off-putting.” Dracula to Xander. Yep.
  • Spike’s so condescending to Riley. It does feel like he’s hundreds of years older than him.
  • Oooh, a fog machine!
  • “You walk in here with your music video wind…” Hey kids, music videos used to be a thing. And they were mostly creative and cool.
  • Angel reference!
  • I can’t believe I’m about to admit this but Nicky Brendan is doing a kick-ass job playing Dracula’s butt-monkey. (His words). I just don’t get why no one is noticing.
  • Eww, Xander, ewww with the spider.
  • She could have easily hid the bite with her hair. No scarf needed. [Hair ... moves around? - Z]
  • I guess Joyce doesn’t know about Willow and Tara yet which is odd since it's mentioned in the very next episode of her knowing.
  • It’s interesting that Buffy doesn’t seem too surprised that Xander was possessed this whole time.
  • The Master had the thrall as well and Buffy overcame it. I guess it’s one of the perks of being a real old vampire. Though Dracula doesn’t have the animal appendages that some of the older vampires get. (But he can change into animals.)
  • Oh Giles. At least the fall didn’t knock you out.
  • “You think you know what you are…” I don’t know if I’ve noticed that before. I love that Dracula repeats the same words as the first slayer in Restless.
  • I love the overuse of the word thrall in this episode.
  • Nice jump, Buffy’s stunt double!
  • And now pink leather pants? Does Buffy just have leather pants in every color?
  • The fight choreography has really stepped up this season.
  • Interesting end to Buffy vs. Dracula. I mean, I guess Buffy can’t really kill an iconic character but…that leaves Dracula still alive and…well it feels unfinished. Did Dracula just leave town or what? He never comes back. It’s not really like the characters to just let the evil of the week off. (Might’ve been a better season 7 big bad than the First. Just sayin’)
  • Hey, who is that chick in Buffy’s bedroom? SISTER? WHUUUUUUT? 
  • I watched Buffy late. Years after it aired and I’m glad I was never spoiled about who or what Dawn was. I even went to the IMDB boards and luckily no one was asshole enough to spoil it for me.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Oooh they splurged for a real graveyard for the premiere! Well, for some of the shots anyway.
  • Sneaky Buffy. You don't just crawl back into bed covertly, you crawl in, scooching immediately into spooning position.
  • Aw credits. So happy to see all my friends again!
  • Buffy beaning Riley in the face with a football will never not be hilarious.
I'm sitting here watching it over and over again.
  • Hi everyone's new season hair!
  • Oops Willow did a spell that was too powerful, created a sudden storm, and then denied responsibility for it. FORESHADOWING.
  • Oh look a black man in Sunnydale. Someone's about to die.
  • And I was right - of the two men moving the box of dirt, the only one to die on screen was the black man.
  • Willow's not in a pink sweater, but she is in a crushed velvet pink sleeveless what even is that.
  • Noooooooooooooooo Giles don't leave us! NO NO NO NO NO
  • I wonder if this was a nod toward the fact that ASH missed his family and did indeed want to return to England - laying out the groundwork, even though he wouldn't leave until a season later.
  • Aw hi Joyce. You're gonna be more important this season on account of Dawn and also brain tumor and GODAMMIT JOSS.
  • I'm not ready for this season.
  • Oh hey Dracula. I wish you were a better actor.
  • Aw Willow. You're so bad at secrets. It's adorably consistent of you.
  • Buffy, stop fangirling for the goofy guy in the cape just because he's heard of you.
  • This episode is mostly just a goof, but I do like that it sets up the question for Buffy this season of the root of her power, something we opened with the invoking of the Primeval spirit in S4. It's something that will continue to bother Buffy through the end of the series. What is the source of the power, is it rooted in darkness and demonness, is she a killer or a protector, is death her gift or just a party favor?
  • Xander's mocking of Dracula is pretty delightful. And then his twitchiness immediately after
Vun Two Three - Three Victims!
  • Riley, your jealous is showing. To be fair, so is Tara's.
  • And a quick reminder that Xander lives in the basement. Don't worry, Anya! He'll have a nice new place soon.
  • Parking lot! Do a shot.
  • I mean, he's goofy, but I like that Xander's (foolish) impulse is to fight Dracula, not run like a scared baby.
  • Of course, that did turn him into this episode's Renfield, so, you know, oops.
  • "You are strange and off-putting. Go now."
  • I think Xander's plotline this ep is kind of silly, but Nicky's clearly having fun, so I guess I can't begrudge it too much.
  • I love the idea that the vampires all resent Dracula for ruining the covert nature of their existence - as well as how to kill them - he may be the most famous, but he's by no means the most popular.
  • At least for this scene, Spike's crypt is lit by 3000 candles and not mysterious electricity that powers his TV.
  • Riley is so much taller than Spike. Tiny Spike.
  • Dammit Dracula stop Edward Cullening Buffy's bedroom.
  • "I bet you say that before you bite all the girls."
  • It's interesting that even Buffy is semi-susceptible to Dracula's compulsion. We saw that, too, with the Master - he was able to compel her up to a point. But then he had fruit punch mouth. And we know Buffy will eventually break this compulsion too.
  • So how come Drac has fangs but his forehead don't vamp out? Just curious.
  • It's possible I'm dealing with roaches right now.
  • Funny point - Xander is speaking about blood being life, which he seems to be in gross touch with on account of his thralling. Spike will remind us of this in The Gift.
  • Dear Riley, Do not take it personally that Buffy tried to hide her bite. It's thrall. You said it yourself. It's fucking thrall. It has zilch to do with you and stfu. It ALSO has zilch to do with Angel so stop obsessing over Buffy's ex.
  • "I am not transfer-y." Listen to Buffy, Riley. She knows her own mind. You're already pissing me off.
  • So here Joyce seems pretty oblivious to Willow's and Tara's relationship. But next episode she's very much aware. The inconsistency annoys me. I'll wait to call my shenanigan until next episode though.
  • Random castle in Sunnydale. To go with the airport, the seaport, the University of Contrivance, and other such excitements.
  • At least they call attention to it with the big honking castle line.
  • This episode is just a whole lot of weird, tonally. Goofy. The episode is goofy.
  • This season really is about the Slayer's relationship with death, and I guess that exploration starts with her sampling of Drac's blood. Continues with her near-death experience in Fool For Love, the death of Joyce, her desert adventure with the First Slayer, and the one thing she won't bargain - Dawn's life.
  • "Wow. That was gross." Yay! Go Buffy! "You know, I really think the thrall has gone out of our relationship."
  • "What is this?" / "My true nature. Want a taste?" Our Buffy is the best Buffy.
  • Drac's facial expressions during the fight scene are why I'm incapable of taking him seriously. He's way too smiley.
Haha! Yay fighty!
  • Buffy, watching where Drac's vapo-dust heads, runs up and stakes him just as he re-corporeals. I love it. I just wish it were permanent.
  • Haha Buffy staked Drac twice.
Again, the face acting of this guy.
  • I love that Buffy comes to Giles like this, acknowledging that Giles hasn't been her Watcher for a while - but it's to remind him, herself, and us, that there's still so much growing and understanding to be done here. She's an adult but she's in her college years which are all about self-exploration and self-knowledge. She wants to understand her power and her heritage, and she needs Giles's guidance to get through that.
  • And then freaking Dawn appears. Sigh.
  • That is a pretty big HAHA on the audience for a season premiere though. "Mom!" they both yell. And the audience says "whaaaaaaaaa?"
  • And I love that they don't explain it for a while. They just leave her there and everyone acts like she's always been there.
  • It's WEIRD you guys.


Riley: You're under the thrall of the Dark Prince!
Daniel: Bator.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: 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.

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Anya's in the credits now!
  • Recurring characters: Tara, Joyce
  • Anya and Dracula hung out a few times back in her demon days.
  • Also Dracula owes Spike 11 pounds.
  • Buffy's on-again off-again scar from Angel's bite gets a cameo.
  • Jelly doughnuts, currently being devoured by Xander, are, as we all know, Giles's favorites.
  • So Buffy has a sister now.


Anya's Hair - short and dirty blonde, curly shoulder length
Xander's Job - Dracula's Butt-monkey
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 2 (Dracula didn't die)
Dead Football - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0 
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. See? Riley sucks ass. Always me-me-me.

    Immediately after this episode, Willow goes to Buffy and says, "How come your mother doesn't know about me and Tara making the snugglies? Are you embarrassed by us?" And Buffy says, "Will! How could you think that? I'm so sorry, I've just been distracted by the continued cheese nightmares I've had all summer. I'll talk to her right away and tell her the good news!"

    I can fan-wank any plothole you can find.

  2. I love Xander in this episode.

  3. I think that Willow really didn't provoke the storm, but Dracula did. He has magical powers (cf season 8) and he needed Sunnydale to be cloudy for his arrival.

    What do you think?

  4. I agree there is something odd about the tone of this episode. When I first saw it I wasn't sure I liked it but it grew on me after a good three or four viewings.
    Love love love the way they turned the Dracula story on its head with Spike calling him out for unveiling all the vampire ways…and the fact he owes him money is hilarious.
    Also love that whole breakfast scene. Probably my favourite scene at Giles' house (its so easy to forget that this is the same place Jenny was left :( )
    The 'bator' bit is hilarious and I agree its so cool how important that whole blood comment turns out to be.
    The ending threw me so much first time round but I always think Buffy and Dawn look really similar when they make that comment.

  5. Also Dracula should have been much hotter but Giles…is it wrong that I found the whole scene with him and the brides/sisters hot! Well I did!