|'Buffy vs. Dracula'
Story Code '5ABB01'
by Marti Noxon
Buffy, Riley, Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya are enjoying a day at the beach; however, just after Willow uses magic to light the barbeque, the sky suddenly darkens and a torrential downpour curtails their fun. That evening, two delivery men are carrying a mysterious crate to a castle situated on the outskirts of Sunnydale when the crate slips and breaks open; something inside gets loose, killing one of the men instantly and attacking the other. The next day, Willow is helping Giles scan the contents of his occult book collection into the computer when Giles admits to her that he no longer feels needed by Buffy, and plans to return to England; he feels extremely proud of Buffy and her achievements, and will tell her the news himself soon. After having dinner with her mother Buffy goes out on patrol, and has just finished staking a vamp when a dark stranger appears and introduces himself as Dracula; at first Buffy scoffs at his claims, but when she attacks him the vampire transforms into mist and then reforms behind her. Buffy is then joined by Willow and Xander, who are also out on patrol; they heckle Buffy’s overdressed opponent, but soon realise that Dracula is who he claims to be when he turns into a giant bat and flies away. Xander, Willow and Buffy head for Giles’ house and tell him, Riley and Anya of their encounter with Dracula; Anya tells the gang that she once hung out with Dracula when she was a demon. After everyone goes home Xander is approached by Dracula, who hypnotises him into being his eyes and ears during daylight, promising that he will repay Xander with the gift of immortality. Riley visits Spike to find out what he can tell him about Dracula, and Spike reveals that he and Dracula were once rivals. Later, as Buffy sleeps, a white mist pours into her room, and she wakes to find Dracula standing at the foot of her bed; the vampire hypnotises Buffy into letting him bite her neck. The next morning, everyone meets at Giles’ to discuss Dracula; after Willow talks about Dracula having a connection with his victims, they all notice that Xander is acting strangely, especially when he talks about ‘the dark Master’. Buffy is uncomfortable with all the talk of Dracula’s victims and decides to leave, but Riley runs after her, pulling her scarf from her neck and exposing the bite wounds for everyone to see. Riley accuses Buffy of being under the thrall of Dracula, and Xander offers to keep an eye on her at his place. As dusk falls Giles and Riley search all the mansion houses in Sunnydale for traces of Dracula, while in Xander’s basement, Xander shoves Anya into a closet and then takes Buffy to Dracula’s castle. Confronted with the dark prince, Buffy tries in vain to fight his hypnotic powers. At that moment, Riley and Giles find the mansion; they spilt up to look around, but Giles falls into a pit where three female vampires surround him and seductively begin kissing and caressing him. Xander tries to protect his Master by attacking Riley, but Riley promptly knocks him out. Dracula offers Buffy a taste of his blood, telling her that she should know what she is fighting against. Riley finds Giles and rescues him from the pit. The taste of Dracula’s blood breaks his spell over Buffy, and the two of them begin fighting in hand to hand combat; Buffy is able to stake him, and the vampire explodes into dust just as Riley, Giles and Xander rush in. Xander is furious at being under Dracula’s control, and declares that this sort of thing will never happen again. As the four of them leave, a mist rises and takes on Dracula’s form - but Buffy stakes him again, telling Dracula that she has seen too many of his movies and knows that he always comes back. The fog completely dissipates for the last time. The next day, Giles invites Buffy over so that he can tell her his plans for returning to England; however, before Giles can say anything, Buffy tells him that, following her encounter with Dracula, she needs him to train her and be her Watcher again, and to help her find out what it really means to be a Slayer. Giles is touched and happily accepts, choosing not to mention his plans at all. Buffy returns home to tell her mother that she and Riley are going to the movies, but Joyce suggests that they should take Buffy’s sister Dawn along as well…
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), Emma Caulfield (Anya), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Rudolph Martin (Dracula), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn [Buffy's sister]), Amber Benson (Tara), Kristine Sutheralnd (Joyce Summers), E.J. Gage (Mover #1), Scott Berman (Mover #2), Marita Schaub (Vampire Girl #1), Leslee Jean Matta (Vampire Girl #2), Jennifer Slimko (Vampire Girl #3)
Directed by David Solomon
TX (US): 26th September 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 5th January 2001
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya and Tara and introducing Dawn