Buffy Logo 'The Freshman'
Story Code '4ABB01'

by Joss Whedon

Buffy and Willow are trying to choose Buffy’s classes for the coming semester, although Buffy is worried about balancing college and slaying. On their first day at UC Sunnydale, Buffy is completely overwhelmed, while Willow is just ecstatic to be there. Oz is already familiar with the campus, since his band has played there; Giles has been unemployed since Sunnydale High was destroyed, and Xander is still on his road trip. Discovering that the UC library is enormous, Willow becomes giddy with excitement; Buffy drops some books onto the head of Riley, the teacher's assistant for their psychology class. Buffy then meets her new roommate, Kathy, who is not only extremely hyper, but likes Celine Dion, and later snores horrendously. The following day, Buffy is kicked out of a class for talking; however, she meets Riley again, who walks her to psychology class. Later that evening, Buffy realises that she does not know where on campus she is; she bumps into Eddie, who is also lost. They both get on well and promise to look out for each other in psychology class, but after Buffy has left, Eddie is attacked by vampires, who then go to his dorm room, steal all of his belongings and leave a forged farewell note on his bed. Noticing that Eddie has gone missing, Buffy checks out his room, becoming suspicious when she notices that he did not take his favourite book with him. Meanwhile, Eddie has been turned into a vampire, and is now part of the gang terrorising campus. Buffy consults Giles, and is surprised to find him entertaining an old friend, the sultry Olivia; Giles informs Buffy that she must do now things for herself, as he is no longer her Watcher. While on patrol that night, Buffy is confronted by Eddie and has to slay him; but then the rest of his vampire gang arrive and beat up her, wounding her left arm, and leaving her with no choice but to run away. The next day, Buffy hides from her friends, and when she visits her mother at home, is upset to discover her room is now crammed with packing crated from the art gallery. She returns to her dorm room, only to find that the vampires have taken all of her things, making it look as if she too, has run away. Buffy heads for ‘The Bronze’, and is overjoyed to find that Xander has returned; his trip did not turn out as planned, and he is now living in his parent’s basement. Buffy tells him of her problems, and they team up to find the vampires. They discover where the vampires are living, and climb up onto the skylight; but after Xander leaves to get weapons, the skylight gives way beneath Buffy and she crashes to the floor beneath, landing on her wounded arm. Xander rushes to the dorm to get weapons and runs into Willow and Oz, who are chatting with Kathy, who has found Buffy’s note. They all rush off to save Buffy. Meanwhile, Sunday, the leader of the vampires, ridicules Buffy’s Class Protector Award, which infuriates Buffy so much that she immediately slays all of them. Her friends arrive, along with Giles, who felt guilty about his earlier conversation with her; together they help Buffy take her things back to her dorm room. Elsewhere on campus, a vampire is suddenly shocked with a taser gun, and as he lies motionless, three mysterious men in ski masks emerge from the bushes and close in on him…

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Seth Green (Oz), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Marc Blucas (Riley), Dagney Kerr (Kathy), Pedro Balmaceda (Eddie), Katharine Towne (Sunday), Lindsay Crouse (Maggie Walsh), Mike Rad (Rookie, the stoner vamp), Shannon Hillary (Dav, the unskinny vamp), Mace Lombard (Tom, the zapped vamp), Robert Catrini (Prof. Riegert, the mean teacher), Scott Rinker (R.A.), Phina Oruche (Olivia), Denice J. Sealy (Student Volunteer), Evie Peck (Angry Girl), Jason Christopher (Nonserious Guy), Jane Silvia (Conservative Woman), Mark Silverberg (Passing Student), Walt Borchert (New Vampire)
Directed by Joss Whedon

TX (US): 5th October 1999
TX (UK - Sky One): 26th November 1999
TX (UK - BBC): 21st September 2000

*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, and Oz

*This episode introduces Reily