Guest Starring: 
 Kristine Sutherland: 
 (Joyce Summers) 
 Amber Benson: 
 Rudolf Martin: 
 (Count Dracula) 
  1. Buffy versus Dracula.  
  Buffy encounters the most famous and powerful vampire of all, Count Dracula himself.  
  Great quotes:  
    Count Dracula.
  • Giles asks Willow if she can keep a secret, Willow responds: "Oh God, I guess. Now that I know there's something to know I can't not know, just because I'm afraid sombody'll know I know. You know?" Giles is slightly confused by this answer: "Did that mean 'yes'?", Willow: "Yeah."
  • Dracula to Xander: "You are strange and off-putting."
  • Spike on Dracula: "The bugger owes me 11 quid."
  • Hypnotised Xander: "... the dark master ... baiter!"
  • Xander is annoyed with being Dracula's puppet: "Where is he? Where's the creep that turned me into a spider-eating man-bitch? ... 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 am finished being everybody's butt-monkey." Buffy: "Check, no more butt-monkey."
  Fantastic moments:  
  • The scenes in which Buffy and the Scoobies
    Buffy is taunted by Dracula.
    encounter Dracula are brilliant, they show just how cleverly the BtVS writers use classic vampire mythology in the show. The SFX for Drac's entry are just on the right side of cheesy, as is Buffy's reaction: Dracula: "I am Dracula." Buffy: "Get out!" She then goes on to accuse him of being a fanboy and seems very pleased when her tells her that she is known across the globe "... nah; really?".
  • Joyce is talking, with Willow and Tara, about her failing love life: "Sometimes you just feel like giving up on men altogether." Willow and Tara exchange a knowing look.
  • The episode has a lovely ending, Buffy tells Giles that she needs him back in her life. Giles then resolves to remain in Sunnydale.
  Duff Bits:  
  • Only 13 minutes into the season and they're already engaging in lengthy exposition scenes. After we meet Dracula it's back to Giles' house for tea and an arduous discussion on Dracula in the BtVS world. They shouldn't feel that they have to give every character a line just for the sake of it, a short snappy scene would suffice in order to get the mythology out of the way. It does give Nicky Brendon a chance to do his brilliant Sesame Street style impressions of Dracula though.
  • Whether Buffy is ever hypnotised by Dracula or if she is faking it like in 'Prophecy Girl' is never clear. My own take is that she is hypnotised until she drinks Dracula's blood, this then ignites some kind of darkness inside her which gives her the strength to fight him.
  Dean's comments:  
Who's this then?
A great start to the new season (the best since season 2), giving us the first taste of the fact that Buffy herself has become famous in the world of the undead. As usual the big bad of episode 1 has nothing to do with the big bad for the season. The episode itself treads new water in a similar way, once again the season opener tells us that the season will be exploring new sides of the characters' personalities. Xander is going to grow up, Giles is going to become useful again, Willow is going to get more powerful while Buffy will face up to the question of whether she is merely a killer rather than a heroic warrior (look at the way Buffy gets a kick out of killing the vampire at the start of the show). In 'Buffy versus Dracula' the BtVS production team have dragged the fantasy genre into the postmodern age. They've mixed pop and classic vampire mythology and have produced a weird crossbreed which is thoroughly engaging and entertaining. The episode opens with a brilliant cut to Dracula's castle accompanied by stirringly outlandish gothic music, it then continues to de-base the traditional vampire mythologies at every turn (think of the way that Buffy tells Dracula " think I don't watch your movies? You always come back!"). Of course the kick to the storyline is that Buffy has to use the darkness inside her in order to defeat Dracula, it's Dracula's blood that gives her the strength to resist his thrall. This will be a constant theme in the fifth season.

The episode then ends with a rather shock revelation, that Buffy has a sister. Ok then...

Home, next review.