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Jonathan Levinson
Jonathan-Levinson
First appearance "Inca Mummy Girl"
Last appearance Retreat
Information
Name Jonathan Levinson
Aliases Short Round & Frodo (used by Warren)
Status Deceased
Classification Human
Affiliation The Trio
Scooby Gang (ally)
The Initiative (reality alteration)
Sunnydale High students
Class of '99
Notable powers
  • Skilled practitioner of magic, capable of performing reality alterations, time loops, and glamors.
  • Moderate proficiency in Latin.
  • Fluent in Klingon.
Portrayed by  Danny Strong
Amelinda Embry

B2 - B3 - B4 - B6 - B7

"I wouldn't ever hurt anybody. I came up here to kill myself."
Jonathan Levinson[src]

Jonathan Levinson was a Sunnydale High student, part-time sorcerer and member of the Trio.

Biography

Sunnydale High

Jonathan was born in 1981 and raised in Sunnydale, California. He was at the same college that Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris. He attended Sunnydale High School, where he was often bullied, ridiculed, and ignored by his more popular peers, and had low self-esteem.

3x18 Earshot

Jonathan tries to kill himself at Sunnydale High.

In 1997, while attending the World Culture Dance, Jonathan was singled out by Ampata (a resurrected Incan princess pretending to be an exchange student), who wanted to transfer his life-force to herself via kissing him, which would be fatal. Not knowing her true nature, he does not resist, believing his luck in love has changed; he was only saved when Xander showed up and, feeling weirded out by Xander's attitude towards Ampata, Jonathan left them alone. A week later, Jonathan was picked by Cordelia to accompany her to The Bronze after she had had a bad dating experience with Crestwood College student Richard Anderson who had tried to sacrifice her to the demon Machida. The relationship did not last though, and Cordelia soon moved on to Xander. Soon after this he was used momentarily as a hostage by Patrice of the Order of Taraka, but was quickly let go.

The following year, Jonathan became possessed by a Bezoar that had been given to the class by Mr. Whitmore (as did many others at the school). As soon as Buffy Summers killed the mother Bezoar, he was freed from the Bezoar's control, and believed himself to have been caught in a gas leak, as did the rest of the school. Jonathan's self-esteem was dealt another crushing blow later that year when he tried out for the school swim team, and did not make it because of being asthmatic. Following that, he was picked on by members of the swim team, such as Dodd McAlvy, who repeatedly dunked his head in a bucket of ice cold water to see how long he would be able to hold his breath. Buffy saved him, further bashing his esteem, and he went on to relieve himself in the swimming pool, which he later confessed to Willow Rosenberg under duress.

The following academic year, Jonathan became a senior and he was invited to a "welcome back" party for Buffy
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at her house. Zombies raised by Ovu Mobani crashed the party but Jonathan made it out alive. Prior to the Homecoming Dance, both Cordelia and Buffy campaigned to become Homecoming Queen, allowing Jonathan to show his mercenary side by trying to get as much out of both of them as he could in exchange for his vote. Towards the end of that year, Harmony and the Cordettes picked him as a possible boyfriend for Cordelia, who had just broke up with Xander, as a way of ridiculing Cordelia--the idea being that Jonathan was a loser. The incident was humiliating for Jonathan and was yet another incident that contributed to his spiral into depression.

Having had enough of being ridiculed and picked on, Jonathan took steps to commit suicide atop the bell tower at the high school, leaving a suicide note for Freddy Iverson to publish in the Sunnydale High Sentinel, the school newspaper. Buffy soon tracked Jonathan down, mistakenly believing that he planned to kill other students with his rifle. But after learning the truth, she then talked Jonathan out of suicide, informing him that everyone in the school was dealing with just as much pain as he was. For bringing a gun into the school, Jonathan was suspended for a couple of weeks and ordered to attend counseling.

Upon returning to the school, Jonathan's confidence had marginally increased, and, at the senior prom, he had a date with a girl much taller than he was. At the prom, he also found the confidence to present Buffy with a Class Protector award. Come graduation day, Jonathan joined the rest of the Class of 1999 in fighting against Mayor Richard Wilkins III who had completed his Ascension to become the demon Olvikan. During the battle, he aggressively pounced on many vampires, and survived to see the school be blown up to and catch a jumpy Cordelia in his arms.

Superstar

417 Superstar1

Jonathan as the Superstar.

After trying to kill himself, Jonathan entered into counseling, where he met another suicidal person, who introduced him to an augmentation spell, which Jonathan cast. As a result of the spell, Jonathan became the paragon of everyone’s ideal qualities, and fame, fortune, and universal admiration followed. He was a doctor, created the Internet, starred in The Matrix, had a best-selling autobiography, a swimsuit calendar, a mansion, and was a deadly fighter. Buffy, however, grew suspicious of one person accomplishing so much. The spell had also created a monster (metaphorically and literally) to embody all of the negative qualities that were needed to balance all of the positive qualities he possessed. Jonathan reluctantly assisted Buffy in killing the monster and thus breaking the spell; he apologizes to Buffy the following day. Soon after, the Swedish twins Ilsa and Inga leave him at his mansion, and he loses his job as tactical consultant at the Initiative.

"Superstar" accomplishments

Below is a list of some of the many stunning achievements that Jonathan supposedly made according to the illusion he created in the episode "Superstar".

The Trio

Nerd-trio

Jonathan and Andrew.

Over a year later, Jonathan, in a moment of boredom, joins Warren Mears and Andrew Wells, and they agree to become "supervillains" and take over Sunnydale, with Jonathan using his expertise in magic to help them; though taking over Sunnydale is their ultimate goal, most of their schemes revolve around neutralizing Buffy, who, as the Slayer, is their main threat. A month later, Andrew summons a M'Fashnik Demon to cause a distraction in the Sunnydale Securities Bank while they rob it. Buffy interferes and almost ruins the plan. Over Jonathan's objections, Warren steers the demon into a fight with Buffy, who kills it. Soon afterward, the Trio spend some time harassing Buffy with mystical and technological tests of her abilities, making it a competition among themselves for ingenuity; Jonathan uses a magic bone to put Buffy in a time loop which can only be broken if she performs a seemingly impossible task for a customer at the Magic Box. On escaping the loop, Buffy suspects that she was being tested and nearly succeeds in tracking down the Trio; to shake her, Jonathan uses magic to impersonate a horned demon. It doesn't give Jonathan any increased abilities and he is forced to take a blow from the Slayer, a difficult thing to do. Jonathan serves somewhat as the Trio's conscience, often providing non-violent solutions to their schemes against Buffy, whom he has a soft spot for because of his past history with her.

A few weeks later, Jonathan aids the other two in stealing the Illuminata diamond from the Sunnydale Museum of Natural History. A security guard is hit with their freeze ray during the incident. The three are later confronted by Spike, who wants Warren to examine his defective behavior modification chip that forbids him from harming humans. Warren agrees only after Spike threatens to break their Boba Fett action figure.

In 2002, after accidentally making Buffy invisible with another of Warren's gadgets, Jonathan agrees with Andrew that they should return her to normal before she disintegrates, while Warren would be happy to see her dead. A confrontation between the two sides leads to the Trio's identities being discovered. With the Scooby Gang now knowing who the Trio are and where they are based, the Trio flee Warren's booby-trapped basement.

Jonathan suggests turning themselves in to the police when Warren accidentally kills his ex-girlfriend Katrina Silber. Warren decides to frame Buffy for the murder. Although Warren's plan fails, Katrina's death is ruled as a suicide. As neither Warren nor Andrew show remorse, Jonathan feels increasingly alienated from them, and soon finds that they are keeping some of Warren's plans from him. He finally betrays Warren by telling Buffy how to defeat an altered, magically enhanced Warren. Ultimately, Warren escapes, betraying the other two.

In jail, Jonathan makes sure that Andrew knows Warren will not be coming to save them, insisting they will be forced to spend time in prison. To make matters worse, while the pair have been in jail, Warren has killed Tara Maclay in an attempt to kill Buffy, causing Willow to go on a homicidal rampage. With Warren dead, Jonathan and Andrew are her next targets. Anya teleports to warn them and Buffy helps them escape, driving them to the Magic Box for protection. Willow eventually tracks them down and the pair accompany Xander and Dawn to safety as Buffy fights Willow. Andrew becomes nervous though and threatens Xander with a sword. Jonathan draws a sword on Andrew, telling him that after Willow is defeated, they will be going back to jail to do their time.

On the way to another hiding spot, an attack by Willow leaves the two able to flee. Jonathan's resolve disappears in the face of Willow's ground-shattering magic fireball. They hitch a ride and head for Mexico.

Conversationjonathan

Jonathan, dead in the seal

Redemption and Death

While in Mexico, both Jonathan and Andrew begin having dreams that lead them back to Sunnydale where they know a great power is rising. This is the First Evil. The two return on November 12th, with Jonathan having the intention of finding the Seal of Danzalthar and alerting Buffy to it so she can stop the coming evil and allow Jonathan to join the Scooby Gang. They make their way into the newly rebuilt high school basement to uncover the seal, with Jonathan unaware that Andrew is being guided by an ethereal image of Warren (actually the First Evil). While digging, the two engage in a conversation, and Jonathan reveals that he has reached a redemption of sorts: all the pain and hurt associated with his high school years, the pain that shaped his life, has faded away. He wishes the people he spent six years with well, even if they don't care about him (echoing back to "Earshot"). Andrew is not impressed and with a glance at Warren, stabs Jonathan, letting his blood flow on the seal. Jonathan dies, but his blood isn't sufficient to open the seal because of anemia. Robin Wood, the principal of the new Sunnydale High, discovers and subsequently buries Jonathan. In later episodes, Jonathan's form occasionally appears as an avatar of the First Evil. Buffy and the others learn Andrew murdered Jonathan, and have him face the consequences later on.

Powers and Abilities

Though he had no innate powers, Jonathan became an accomplished sorcerer, capable of performing reality alterations,[1] time loops and glamours.[2] Additionally, he could speak Latin and Klingon[3] and construct a sniper rifle in a matter of seconds.[4] During his Superstar phase, Jonathan had many talents such as fighting skills superior to Buffy's, effectiveness with weapons such as crossbows, master strategy, singing ability and other assorted talents he lost when he reverted to normal.

Behind the Scenes

  • He was portrayed by Danny Strong.
  • Jonathan has appeared in five television seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a total of 30 episodes in some form or another.
  • Jonathan is second only to Joyce Summers in appearing in the most episodes of Buffy without being part of the main cast. Other characters such as Spike, Anya, Oz, and Riley were eventually elevated to main characters after intitially recurring. Tara Maclay appeared in 46 episodes before being made a main cast member in her final episode.
  • Jonathan's singing voice in "Superstar" was provided by Brad Kane, who incidentally played Andrew's brother, Tucker in "The Prom".

Appearances

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season Two:
When She Was Bad Some Assembly Required School Hard Inca Mummy Girl

Appears

Reptile Boy

Appears

Halloween Lie to Me The Dark Age What's My Line, Part One What's My Line, Part Two

Appears

Ted
Bad Eggs

Appears

Surprise Innocence Phases Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Appears

Passion

Appears

Killed by Death I Only Have Eyes for You Go Fish

Appears

Becoming, Part One Becoming, Part Two
Season Three:
Anne Dead Man's Party

Appears

Faith, Hope & Trick Beauty and the Beasts Homecoming

Appears

Band Candy Revelations Lovers Walk The Wish

Appears

Amends Gingerbread
Helpless The Zeppo Bad Girls Consequences Doppelgängland Enemies Earshot

Appears

Choices The Prom

Appears

Graduation Day, Part One Graduation Day, Part Two

Appears

Season Four:
The Freshman Living Conditions The Harsh Light of Day Fear, Itself Beer Bad Wild at Heart The Initiative Pangs Something Blue Hush Doomed
A New Man The I in Team Goodbye Iowa This Year's Girl Who Are You Superstar

Appears

Where the Wild Things Are New Moon Rising The Yoko Factor Primeval Restless
Season Six:
Bargaining, Part One Bargaining, Part Two After Life Flooded

Appears

Life Serial

Appears

All the Way Once More, with Feeling Tabula Rasa Smashed

Appears

Wrecked Gone

Appears

Doublemeat Palace

Mentioned

Dead Things

Appears

Older and Far Away

Mentioned

As You Were Hell's Bells Normal Again

Appears

Entropy

Appears

Seeing Red

Appears

Villains

Appears

Two to Go

Appears

Grave

Appears

Season Seven:
Lessons Beneath You Same Time, Same Place Help Selfless Him Conversations with Dead People

Appears (killed)

Sleeper Never Leave Me

Appears (Only the First Evil)

Bring on the Night

Mentioned

Showtime

Mentioned

Potential The Killer in Me First Date

Appears (Only the First Evil)

Get It Done Storyteller

(Only in flashbacks)

Lies My Parents Told Me Dirty Girls Empty Places Touched End of Days Chosen

Buffy Season Eight

Buffy Season Nine

References

  1. "Superstar"
  2. "Life Serial"
  3. "Conversations with Dead People"
  4. "Earshot"

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