|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Air date||October 6, 1997|
|Written by|| Matt Kiene|
|Directed by||Ellen S. Pressman|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Ara Celi||Inca Mummy|
|Seth Green|| Oz |
|Gil Birmingham||Peru Man|
|Samuel Jacobs|| Peruvian Boy |
|Bernard White||Tour Guide|
"Inca Mummy Girl" is the fourth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the sixteenth episode altogether. It was directed by Ellen S. Pressman and was written by Joss Whedon, Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer. It was originally brodacast on October 6, 1997.
Sunnydale High is hosting a cultural exchange program, and students have been paired with international exchange students who will live with them for two weeks. In preparation, Buffy's class takes a field trip to a museum, where they see an Inca exhibit. Buffy's mom signed Buffy up for the exchange, and she is paired with a student she knows nothing about, except that it's a boy named Ampata. Xander becomes jealous when he learns that she will room with a guy.
After everyone leaves the museum, a class delinquent tries to steal a ceramic being held by an Inca mummy, but instead, he breaks the seal. Instantly, the mummy - a princess - wakes up, and pulls the unfortunate student into her coffin. That night, the Scoobies, having heard of something suspicious going on, sneak into the museum, where they encounter a man in traditional Inca clothing wielding a sword. Initially he attacks them but quickly vanishes, as Willow notices that the supposed 500 year old mummy has modern braces on its teeth - the original mummy had sucked the life out of the Sunnydale High student.
Buffy remembers she is late to pick up the exchange student at the bus station, and she rushes there. While she is on her way, though, the mummy lures the student (a handsome young man) away and sucks the life out of him, restoring her youth and beauty. When Buffy arrives, the now youthful mummy poses as the student, Ampata, and everyone simply assumes that the information stating that Ampata was male was wrong on the form. Xander is instantly smitten with her, and the two begin a mutual flirtation.
At school Giles, has been trying to decipher the markings on the fragments of the Inca seal, and he asks "Ampata" to decipher it. She reluctantly explains that it describes that a 16 year old girl was chosen to die to save her people, and a bodyguard has also been chosen to keep her from straying from that path. She also tells Giles to destroy the seal completely, with an implication that if it is reassembled, it will be a danger to Ampata. The bodyguard, meanwhile, has gone to the school, since he had seen that the princess was gone and that students from the school took the seal. Searching for the seal, he finds Ampata, and confronts her. She evades him, then finally she confronts him and tells him that she wants to live, that she shouldn't have been forced to give up her life at such a young age, that she was innocent. He tells her it was her duty, and that she has killed other innocents now. She then grabs him and gives him the kiss of death in the school bathroom, sucking out his life to keep herself alive, young, and beautiful. Back in the school hallway, the smitten (and oblivious) Xander asks Ampata to the dance and she gladly accepts. Willow is crushed to see Xander yet again with another girl while he continues to see Willow as his best friend and never in a romantic light.
Back at Buffy's, Ampata's trunk has arrived from the bus depot, and as Buffy starts to open it, fake-Ampata urges her not to bother, and distracts Buffy by talking more about the Inca mummy's ceremonial seal as the camera briefly reveals that inside the trunk is the real Ampata's now mummified corpse. "Ampata" speaks eloquently of the princess's suffering and difficulty in obeying her duty to die at 16, the same age Buffy is. She laments the fact that the princess was... and then she and Buffy say the word "chosen" at the same time, with each of the two girls thinking that she is the only one weighted down with the burden of saving her people at the loss of her life--though this night, Buffy is primarily miffed that she can't go to the dance because she must help Giles with her Slaying duties and save lives, and Ampata is primarily occupied with eagerly anticipating the pleasures of the dance, which she has killed three people for, and which she missed in life due to the weight of her duties.
The dance is a costume party in which students are supposed to dress like people from other countries. Ampata dresses in her flattering Inca princess clothing, and Xander can't take his eyes off her. Willow has gotten dressed up in an Eskimo parka, making her look like a dork, and she gets ignored by everyone except Cordelia, who insults her. However, Willow doesn't notice that the guitarist (Oz) at the Bronze is watching her. As Xander and Ampata share a romantic dance, Ampata's hands start to return to their mummified state. She runs away from Xander, and then draws a student into another room in order to kiss him and draw his life essence from him. But Xander arrives and Jonathan runs away.
Back at Buffy's place, Giles tells the Slayer that the bodyguard's mummified remains were found in the school bathroom. They rush to open Ampata's trunk to find out more about her, and discover the real Ampata's body. Giles then heads to the museum to piece together the Inca sacred seal while Buffy hurries to save Xander from Ampata's deadly kiss. But Ampata cares too strongly about Xander and instead of kissing him, runs away and heads to the museum. She grabs the seal from Giles and shatters it. Buffy rushes to save Giles, but Buffy and Giles both end up entombed together in the mummy's sarcophagus, unconscious. Willow arrives, and the deteriorating Ampata goes to feed off her. Xander shows up and insists that if she must feed on anyone, it should be him; despite Ampata's feelings for him, she is quickly deteriorating back into a mummy, and is now willing to kill him to remain alive. Buffy shows up to fight her, saving Xander, and in the battle, Ampata weakens to the point of returning to her mummified form, and when Buffy grabs her, she breaks apart and her pieces shatter on the floor.
The next day at school, Xander claims to have a bad taste in women. Buffy assures him that Ampata did care for him but was left with no alternative in the circumstance she was in. When likening her situation to how Buffy was prohecied to die to the Master and how she fought him anyway, Buffy reminds Xander that he was the one to bring her back.
- This episode features the first appearance of Devon and Oz. Devon will go on to appear and be mentioned in a number of episodes, while Oz will go on to be a central character and member of the Scooby Gang until season 4. This is also the first appearance of Oz and Devon’s band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, though the band is mentioned in the Pilot.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Jonathan Levinson, a minor character who repeatedly pops up in Seasons Two, Three, Four, Six and Seven. In the early seasons, Jonathan often escapes near death situations through blind luck. In Season Six, he is a member of The Trio, with Warren Mears and Andrew Wells, the three men who have plans to take over Sunnydale.
- Xander asks Ampata "you’re not a praying mantis, are you?", in reference to Ms. French, Xander’s crush in "Teacher's Pet" who turned out to be a giant She-Mantis.
- This episode marks the first of several times Oz will spot Willow, before finally meeting her in "What's My Line, Part Two". In this episode, through the crowd, Oz spots Willow in her Eskimo outfit and is obviously smitten. When he tries to speak to her she is just being pulled away by Buffy to find Xander.
- In the episode "Anne", Xander and Cordelia are arguing because Xander thinks she's had an affair, to which Cordi retorts "Oh yeah sure, I bet you met up with some little Inca Mummy Girl over the summer, yeah I heard about that."
- Oz remarks what impresses him about a girl involves a feather boa and the theme from 'A Summer's Place'. In the season 7 episode 'Him' when all the girls fall in love with the character of RJ we hear that very music.
- Rodney Munson, drained of his lifeforce by the Inca Mummy at the "Incan Burial Chamber" in the Sunnydale Museum
- The real Ampata Gutierrez, also drained of his lifeforce by the Mummy at the Sunnydale bus station
- The Peruvian "bodyguard," also drained of his lifeforce by the Mummy in a bathroom of Sunnydale High
- The Inca Mummy, shattered to pieces after being thrown by Buffy Summers
Behind the Scenes
- David Boreanaz (Angel) does not appear in this episode.
- This marks the first and only time (until his departure from the show) David Boreanaz is absent from an episode since joining the main cast.
- This is the fifth episode of the series without any vampires. ("Witch" "The Pack" "I Robot, You Jane" and "The Puppet Show" are the first four).
- Both Nicholas Brendon and Ara Celi had to eat up to ten twinkies each for each take of the scene in which they are eating lunch.
- "Inca Mummy Girl" pulled in an audience of 3.2 million households.
- This exchange was cut because of length:
- Ampata: "He [Xander] has a way of making the milk come out of my nose."
- Buffy: "And that's good?"
- This line was also cut:
- Buffy: "I'm not a big secret-sharer. I like my secrets. They're secret."
Pop Culture References
- Xander's costume for the exchange-student dance references the Man with No Name, the character that Clint Eastwood plays in "The Dollars Trilogy". When Buffy asks about his costume, he explains that he is from "the country of Leone; it's in Italy, pretending to be Montana" - a further reference to the Spaghetti Westerns directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone.
- There is a black and white oval sticker labeled by the letters "WP" seen behind Xander when he says to Ampata, "Why'd you run away?". The letters stand for the southern jam/rock band Widespread Panic. The same sticker appears in a number of episodes: "Halloween", "Bad Eggs", "Surprise", "Phases", "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "Becoming, Part Two", "Dead Man's Party", "A New Man", "Wild at Heart", "The Yoko Factor", and "The Replacement". Later, starting in Season 4, Buffy and Willow have a Widespread Panic poster in their dorm room.
- Four Star Mary - "Shadows" (the Cultural Exchange Dance at The Bronze)
- Four Star Mary - "Fate" (when Xander asks Ampata to dance)
- Christophe Beck - "Ampata's Kiss"
|Buffy - "Oh, I know this one! 'Slaying entails certain sacrifices, blah blah bliddy blah, I'm so stuffy, give me a scone.'"|
|Willow - "Well, you know, I have a choice. I can spend my life waiting for Xander to go out with every other girl in the world until he notices me, or I can just get on with my life."|
|Buffy - "Good for you."|
|Willow - "Well, I didn't choose yet."|
|Willow - "The non-violent approach is probably better here."|
|Buffy - "I wasn't gonna use violence. I don't always use violence. Do I?"|
|Xander - "The important thing is: you believe that."|
|Willow - "On the other hand, maybe Rodney just stepped out for a smoke."|
|Xander - "For twenty-one hours?"|
|Willow - "It's addictive, you know."|
|Giles - "We'll deal with that when we've ruled out evil curses."|
|Buffy - "One day I'm gonna live in a town where evil curses are just generally ruled out without even saying."|