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Prophecy Girl

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 1, Episode 12
Prophecygirl
Air date June 2, 1997 (USA)
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
Episode Guide
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"Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
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"When She Was Bad"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Mark Metcalf The Master
David Boreanaz Angel
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Robia LaMorte Jenny
Andrew J. Ferchland Collin
Co Starring
Scott Gurney Kevin

"Prophecy Girl" is the first season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is the twelfth episode overall. It was both written and directed by Joss Whedon. The episode originally broadcast on June 2, 1997.

Giles discovers an ancient book foretelling Buffy's death at the hands of The Master. Will she stay true to her destiny or abandon her calling?

Synopsis

Xander is practicing lines on Willow in the Bronze, preparing how best to ask Buffy to an upcoming dance . Cordelia is in a car making out with Kevin, as Buffy slays a vampire nearby. An earthquake is felt all over town, and the Master revels in it.

The next morning, Buffy is meeting Giles in the library, where no significant damage was sustained in the earthquake. Buffy explains that the vampires are rising in number and getting braver, but Giles is distracted by his thoughts. After biology class, Willow finds an excuse to leave, leaving Xander alone to ask Buffy to the prom. Buffy gives him the "let's just be friends" routine. Xander takes the rejection badly, and walks off to wallow in his misery.

Meanwhile, Miss Calendar interrupts Giles' study in the library, telling him that she sees apocalyptic portents and demands to know what is happening. She tells him Brother Luka, a monk in Cortona, is e-mailing her about the Anointed One. Giles asks her to get more information about this, promising he will explain everything later. In the school hall, Kevin and Willow promise to help Cordelia set everything up in the Bronze for the dance. Willow sees Xander wallowing in his misery and offers sympathy. When Xander asks her to the dance, she refuses to be his second choice, despite the fact that she is in love with him.

That evening, as Buffy enters the library, she hears Giles telling Angel that the prophecies say that she will face the Master and die. A shocked Buffy yells that she is quitting, leaving the cross Angel gave her on the table. She goes back home and tries to convince her mother that they go away for the weekend. Instead, Joyce tells her that the gallery is open on weekends, and then gives her a stunning white prom dress. After she tells her about when she met Buffy's father, Joyce encourages her to go to the dance.

BuffyMaster

Buffy killing The Master

The next day at school, Cordelia and Willow find the members of the audio video club, including Kevin, slaughtered by vampires, as "Three Little Pigs" cartoons play. Having heard the news, a sympathetic Buffy shows up at Willow's, all decked out in her prom dress. Willow is shell-shocked; even though she has faced vampires and death before, until this it has never been quite so personal. Buffy heads back to the library, where Giles has explained to Miss Calendar that Buffy is the Slayer. Buffy reinstates herself as the Slayer, knocks Giles out when he tries to stop her and goes to face the Master. Outside of school, Colin the Anointed leads her by the hand to the Master's lair.

Willow and Xander show up at the library, where they discover that Buffy has gone off to see the Master. Xander leaves, only to show up at Angel's apartment, where he forces Angel to lead him to the Master's lair. Xander and Angel approach the lair, as the Master and Buffy fight and taunt each other. The Master tells Buffy that it is her blood which will free him, drinks from her and leaves her to drown in a shallow pool. At the library, Willow and Ms. Calendar decide that the Hellmouth is underneath the Bronze, and leave. However, as they leave, they see an army of vampires approaching the library. Cordelia rescues them in her car, and drives the car straight into the school. Xander and Angel reach Buffy, and Xander performs CPR (as Angel couldn't do it himself, since vampires don't breathe). When Buffy regains consciousness, she heads to the surface to kill the Master. Cordelia, Willow, Giles and Jenny fight off vampires trying to enter the library, and just as Giles realizes that the Hellmouth is directly underneath the library, a tentacled creature rises through the floor. Buffy throws the Master into the library, where he is impaled on a jutting piece of wood and his soft tissues disintegrate, leaving only his skeleton and the hellmouth closes, sucking the tentacled creature back down.

The gang regroup and reflect on everything that happened, including Buffy's temporary death. The hellmouth is closed and the vampires have gone, the world is saved. Giles notes that he should have known Buffy wouldn't have let death stop her. The stunned friends stare at each other wondering what to do now, and Giles suggests that they leave as he doesn't like the library that much anymore. The group decide to head to the dance, with Buffy stating "We saved the world. I say we party,". Miss Calendar asks about what they should do with the Master's skeleton, and Buffy tells her not to worry... he's not going anywhere, before calling him a loser. The gang then leave for the Bronze, leaving the skeleton behind.

Continuity

  • Buffy Summers dies for the first time, not from the Master's bite, but from drowning in the pool of water after he feeds on her. This has major repercussions as her death caused a new Slayer, Kendra, to be called.
  • Buffy Summers was essentially cut off from the Slayer line (no new Slayer is called after her second death), with Kendra, and later Faith, being the ‘active’ Slayer; although many assume that Buffy's death would still activate a new Slayer, the lack of any record of a new Slayer after her second death suggests that this is not the case.
  • Buffy Summers tended to favor the crossbow when heading to face a particularly dangerous vampire.
  • The Master dies. Unlike lesser vampires, The Master's bones are left behind after his death, not turning dust like the rest of the body.
  • Xander goes to the apartment of Angel, but there are no references that he knew the address above.
  • Angel notes that vampires cannot give CPR due to their lack of breath. He's probably meaning "healthy" breath, since he, like all vampires, is able to talk, for which breath is needed.
  • When Buffy Summers rejects Xander Harris, he says "Guess a guy has to be undead to make time with ya", referring to Angel. This is ironic as Buffy's most true loves Angel and Spike are both vampires.
  • This is the first of three times that Buffy is bitten by a vampire. (the other two being Angel in "Graduation Day, Part Two" and Dracula in "Buffy vs. Dracula").
  • This episode marks the first time Hypnosis is used in series. 
  • In the comic "False Memories" that shows previous events in the first four seasons, altered to include Dawn, Buffy's death is featured with Dawn witnessing the event before the intervention of Angel and Xander.
  • This isn't the first time hypnosis is used against Buffy. Lothos uses it in The Origin, but unlike the Master, Buffy manages to resist it the first time, meaning the Master's hypnotic power is superior to Lothos'.

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Locations

Body Count

  • Three unidentified vampires, sprinkled by Buffy near the Campus. Two of them before the start scene
  • Five students were killed by vampires in the audiovisual room: Kevin Benedict and two unidentified boys and two girls
  • Buffy, temporary left to drown by the Master at the Order of Aurelius' lair. Xander saved her with CPR
  • Several vampire minions dusted by Angel and Xander, only one being shown
  • The Master, impaled on a broken piece of table desk wood after being thrown by Buffy to the floor of the Sunnydale High library

Behind the Scenes

Production

  • While Joss Whedon had written other scripts for the show before, this episode was his first turn as writer/director.
  • The exchange between Buffy and Angel where he starts to tell her that he likes her dress but she cuts him off saying "Yeah, yeah. It was a big hit with everyone." was added in production and not in the original script[5].
  • The huge demon that comes up out of the Hellmouth at the end of the episode was created at Optic Nerve. The budget didn't allow for a computer-generated effect, so tentacle "costumes" were created. Each tentacle has a human being inside manipulating it from within[6].

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • When Buffy dies Angel is not able to give her CPR because vampires can’t breathe. However, There are two instances where vampires can, and need, to breathe. A few of the vampires on the show were seen smoking (especially Spike). Also, on both Buffy and Angel, vampires have been choked into unconsciousness. An example of this is seen when Spike choke-holds Drusilla into unconsciousness before leaving Sunnydale. Actually, vampires can inhale air as being able to speak.
  • When Cordelia arrives with her car at the school, she says to Willow and Jenny that she and Kevin were attacked, but Kevin was already dead.

Broadcast

  • "Prophecy Girl" pulled in an audience of 2.8 million households[7].


Pop Culture References

Deleted Scenes

  • The following scene - right after Buffy has turned Xander down - was cut because of length:[8]
Xander bails, wandering off under the archway. Buffy sits by herself on the bench, bummed. Which is when the hail of pebbles starts. The first few get Buffy's attention, tiny hard pellets hitting the ground around her. She stands as more start coming down. People - including Buffy - all run for cover as the real shower starts. Buffy stands under the archway, watching the hail come down.
ANGLE: XANDER
Walking away, not near Buffy. He hears:
Student (O.S.) - "Check it out! It's raining stones!"
Xander looks back over his shoulder.
Xander: - "Figures."

Music

  • Patsy Cline - "I Fall to Pieces" (Played by Xander as he is moping in his room after turned down by Buffy and Willow.)
  • Jonatha Brooke & The Story - "Inconsolable" (Plays as Buffy looks at her photo album.)
  • Nerf Herder - "Buffy Main Theme" (Plays after Buffy is resuscitated and goes off to kill The Master.)
  • Walter Murphy - original score

International Titles

  • French: Le Manuscrit (the Manuscript)
  • Portuguese: A Garota da Profecia (The Girl of the Prophecy)
  • Finnish: Ennustus (Prediction)
  • German: Das Ende der Welt (The End of the World)

Other

  • A "Just say NO" poster was hung in the room where Xander was wallowing in his misery, where Willow rejects his rebound attempt to get a date to the dance. This is ironic because both Willow and Buffy "just said no" to Xander.
  • Other than the prophecies, the fact that the Master was surprised that Buffy was revived may be because of him being imprisoned for 60 years while CPR was introduced to the general public in the 70s.

Quotes

Buffy - "Mom, let’s go away!" (smiles)
Joyce - "What?"
Buffy - "Anywhere, just for a while, all weekend!"
Joyce - "Honey, I-"
Buffy - "No, it’ll be great! You and me - a mother-daughter thing. We can talk about all the embarrassing things you love to bring up."
Joyce - "You know the gallery’s open on weekends."
Buffy - "Mom, please!"
Joyce - "Isn’t the Prom tomorrow night? Or Spring Fling? Whatever they’re calling it?"
Buffy - "I-I guess."
Joyce - "Nobody asked you?"
Buffy - "Oh, someone…"
Joyce - "But not the right someone. See, sometimes I actually do know what you’re thinking."
Buffy - "No, I-I can’t go to the dance."
Joyce - "Says who? Is it written somewhere? You should do what you want. Homecoming, my freshman year of college. I didn’t have a date, so I got dressed up and I went anyway."
Buffy - "Was it awful?"
Joyce - "It was awful. For about an hour."
Buffy - "Then what happened?"
Joyce - (smiles) "I met your father."
Buffy - "He didn’t have a date either?"
Joyce - "He did. And that’s a much funnier story that you will not get to hear. Oh, but it was a beautiful night!"

References

  1. "The Gift"
  2. "The Wish"
  3. "Villains"
  4. "The Zeppo"
  5. The Watcher's Guide, Vol.1 by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder, 1998.
  6. The Watcher's Guide, Vol.1 by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder, 1998.
  7. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's First Season." http://home.insightbb.com/~wahoskem/buffy1.html
  8. Golden, Christopher, and Nancy Holder. The Watcher's Guide, Vol. 1. New York: Pocket Books, 1998.

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