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Kendra Young

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Kendra Young
Kendra - 01
First appearance "What's My Line, Part One"
Last appearance "Becoming, Part One"
Information
Name Kendra Young
Aliases The She-Giles
Pink Ranger
Percepto Girl
Status Deceased
Classification Slayer
Affiliation Watchers Council
Scooby Gang (ally)
Known Relatives Unidentified parents
Notable powers
  • As a Slayer, Kendra possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, rapid healing and received prophetic dreams
  • Textbook knowledge of Slaying
  • Knowledge of demonology from studying ancient texts
Portrayed by  Bianca Lawson

B2

"You talk about slaying like it's a job. It's not. It's who you are." ―Kendra

Kendra Young was a Slayer from Jamaica who was activated in 1997 by Buffy Summers' temporary death. Trained by her Watcher Sam Zabuto, Kendra was completely dedicated to her calling. She was an ally to the Scooby Gang in battling the vampires Spike and Drusilla, but was killed in 1998 by Drusilla after only a year-long tenure as Slayer.

Biography

Early life

Kendra Young's parents gave her up for Slayer training at a very early age after she was identified as a Potential Slayer; she did not even know her own surname as she studied under her Watcher, Sam Zabuto, but the name remained in Watcher records.[1] By the time of her activation, Kendra couldn't even remember who her parents were but was allowed of see pictures of them. Zabuto was very strict with his charge, forbidding her from enjoying a social or romantic life, which he taught her would distract her from her duties as the Slayer. Kendra became fully versed in the Slayer Handbook and fighting techniques, and owned a trusty stake which she named Mr. Pointy. After a lifetime of preparation, she was called in 1997 when Buffy Summers died at the hands of the Master; although Buffy's friend Xander Harris managed to revive her with CPR, her death nevertheless activated a second Slayer, causing two to co-exist for the first time.[2][3][4]

Kendra69

Kendra arriving in Sunnydale

Meeting Buffy 

"I am Kendra...the Vampire Slayer"
―Kendra, proudly revealing who she is.[src]
In her first year as the Slayer, Zabuto sent Kendra to Sunnydale when signs indicated that a very dark power was about to rise there. Kendra arrived to Sunnydale via an airplane cargo hold and beat up one of the workers on the way. Arriving at the ice-skating rink, she then saw the benevolent vampire Angel kissing Buffy, and mistakenly assumed that Buffy was also a vampire — the first of many quick conclusions she would draw. Kendra fought Angel and locked him in a cage, leaving him trapped in a spot that would be in direct sunlight within a short time. She then moved on to Buffy and attacked her at Angel's apartment, where she was sleeping. After a brief battle, they discovered that they were both Slayers.[2] Buffy's Watcher Rupert Giles told them that two Slayers existing at the same time was unprecedented and suggested they work together. Kendra's social isolation and dedication to discipline and technique contrasted sharply with Buffy's independence; Buffy believed that her emotions and friendships made her a better Slayer. The two girls initially shared an antagonistic
Buffy&kendra

Two Slayers existing for the first time.

relationship, but they eventually began to empathize with each other's lifestyle, and Kendra helped Buffy realize that being the Slayer was not simply a burden, but part of who she was. Buffy's friends, the "Scooby Gang," learned that the dark power Zabuto detected was the vampire Drusilla, whose boyfriend Spike was planning to sacrifice Angel in order to restore Drusilla's strength. Despite her reservations about saving a vampire, Kendra aided Buffy in the rescue of Angel from Spike and Drusilla. Kendra then departed Buffy on friendly yet conditional terms (not willing to hug her goodbye), now using a plane ticket, taking a taxi and wearing one of Buffy's shirts, as she had ripped her own while fighting Patrice. She also admitted that Angel was "pretty cute".[3]

Death

Buffys1 drusilla

Drusilla hypnotizing Kendra

Kendra returned in 1998 when her Watcher informed her that the demon Acathla would open its mouth and suck the world into hell. By that point, Angel had lost his soul and reverted to the infamous Angelus, and was the one destined to activate Acathla alongside Spike and Drusilla. Zabuto gave Kendra a special sword that could stop Acathla, which Kendra passed onto Buffy after surprising her during her patrol. At Sunnydale, Kendra took Xander Harris' side and believed Angelus should be killed but Buffy was keen on allowing Willow Rosenberg preform Ritual of Restoration to restore Angel's soul. As Angelus threatened to kill more people if Buffy didn't confront him at the graveyard, Kendra elected to join Buffy but she insisted she stay and help protect Willow during her attempt at restoring his soul.
Kendra death

Buffy finds Kendra's dead body

Just before Buffy left, Kendra gave Buffy her "lucky stake" for good luck, which Buffy was touched by

Eventually, Drusilla and her vampire lackeys arrived in the library to stop the attempt to bring back Angel and after a brief fight, Drusilla hypnotized Kendra and slit her throat, killing her.[4] At the very moment that Kendra lost her life, her successor Faith Lehane was called as a Slayer in Boston.[5]

Legacy 

"I lost a friend that day - and I may lose more!"
―Buffy, upset over Kendra's death.[src]

As Buffy was found next to Kendra's body, she became a suspect for murder and expelled from Sunnydale High; later, Buffy had been cleared of all charges by eyewitness reports, but Principal Snyder, who despised Buffy with a passion, initially refused to allow Buffy to return to Sunnydale High, citing her poor grades, spotty attendance record, and "tingling pleasure" that he was finally rid of her; however, he was eventually forced to do so thanks to the intervention of the school board, as well as physical and professional threats from Rupert Giles. Buffy was devastated by Kendra's death. She kept Kendra's favorite stake, Mr. Pointy, and also had it bronzed.

Personality

" Look at she-Giles."
Buffy to Willow about Kendra[src]

Kendra possessed more textbook knowledge about slaying than Buffy from her Watcher and the Slayer Handbook - a book that Giles felt was pointless to give to Buffy. Unlike Buffy, Kendra wielded her power "exactly as her superiors instruct." Kendra believed that Buffy's social life was problematic because the Handbook insisted on the importance of maintaining a "secret identity", and also preferred to keep an even mind, believing that emotions were a weakness.

Due to her upbringing, Kendra acted very shyly around men, not even being able to look Buffy's friend, Xander Harris, in the eye. She also had an initial distrust of all vampires, wanting to let Angel die even though he had a soul and had turned to the side of good.  

Kendra seemed to be unfamilar with certain terms Buffy used such as "chick fight" and "wiggy".

Powers and Abilities

Kendra was endowed all of the powers of a Slayer and in addition possessed an efficient and organized fighting style developed over years of training before her activation, allowing her to easily take out Angel, a 200 year old vampire, and match Buffy in a one-on-one fight, who was a Slayer for longer her. Buffy recognized her skill though noted her lack of emotion and improvisation as weakness. 

Kendra also possessed a high level of knowledge of demonology. She knew about the Order of Taraka from reading the Writings of Dramius. Kendra also claimed to be an expert on all types of weapons, though she misfired one of Buffy's crossbows shortly after making this statement, as its trigger mechanism was different to what she knew.

Gallery

Wiki-wordmark The Kendra Young article has a Photo Gallery.


Behind the Scenes

  • She was portrayed by Bianca Lawson, who went on to appear in The Vampire Diaries as Emily, the ancestor of Abby who was played by Persia White (Aura).
  • According to writer/producer, Marti Noxon, in the DVD commentary for "What's My Line, Part One," Kendra was never intended to have an accent. The addition of the Jamaican accent to the character was a last minute decision, and a dialect coach was brought in; he taught Lawson a dialect supposedly from a very specific, obscure region of Jamaica. Cast, crew, fans, and even Bianca Lawson herself have stated that it sounded like a very bad impersonation of a common Jamaican accent.
  • J.P. Williams states that from the perspective of the Watchers Council, Kendra is the "practically perfect Slayer: solemn, respectful, and efficient." Jana Riess argues that Kendra's death occured because "she always obeyed without question and had not strengthened her mind and spirit by discovering her own unique path." Ironically, Kendra's initial reaction to Buffy's insistence on doing things her own way instead of following orders was to retort, "No wonder you died."
  • The First Evil was rumored to appear to Buffy in the form of Kendra sometime during the show's seventh season, but Bianca Lawson was busy with other projects. This has never been confirmed.
  • Bianca Lawson was originally cast to portray Cordelia Chase but she had scheduling conflicts so the role was given to Charisma Carpenter. The crew then offered Lawson the role of Kendra which she accepted.

Appearances

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season Two:
When She Was Bad Some Assembly Required School Hard Inca Mummy Girl Reptile Boy Halloween Lie to Me The Dark Age What's My Line, Part One

Appears

What's My Line, Part Two

Appears

Ted
Bad Eggs Surprise Innocence Phases Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Passion Killed by Death I Only Have Eyes for You Go Fish Becoming, Part One

Appears (killed)

Becoming, Part Two

(mentioned)

Season Three:
Anne Dead Man's Party Faith, Hope & Trick

(mentioned)

Beauty and the Beasts Homecoming Band Candy Revelations Lovers Walk The Wish Amends Gingerbread
Helpless The Zeppo Bad Girls Consequences Doppelgängland Enemies Earshot Choices The Prom Graduation Day, Part One Graduation Day, Part Two

External links

References

  1. Joss Whedon created surnames for Kendra and Faith to be used in the Buffy and Angel role-playing game supplement Tea and Crossbows: The Watcher Sourcebook. The RPGs were terminated before the supplement could be published, but the names are considered official.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "What's My Line, Part One"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "What's My Line, Part Two"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Becoming, Part One"
  5. "Faith, Hope & Trick"

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