- “I've made certain deals to get where I am today. This demon requires his tribute. You see, that's what separates me from other politicians, Mr. Trick... I keep my campaign promises.”
- ―Richard Wilkins III[src]
Richard Wilkins was the Mayor of Sunnydale. A family man with an aversion to swearing, he almost always wore a smile on his face and was obsessed with cleanliness. Additionally, he was a sorcerer bent on becoming a pure-breed demon, Wilkins had made a number of pacts with demons to obtain immortality as well as his power-base, though his public persona was that of a charismatic, conservative and pleasant family man.
Wilkins arrived in California in the 1800s. He went on to found the town of Sunnydale, California in 1841 on the location of Boca del Infierno after the last Slayer, Naayéé'neizgháni, died there. Wilkins found the Hellmouth infested with demons, with whom he made a pact to avoid being killed himself.
He agreed to found a town on the Hellmouth where demons could freely feed on the inhabitants of the town. In his deals with demons (including Lurconis), he sold his soul and gained immortality. In 1899, he began planning his Ascension into the form of a pure demon called Olvikan that would take place in one hundred years.
Wilkins married Edna May in 1903. In time, she grew senile and cursed him for his youth until she finally died of old age. It was not a happy time for the couple and Wilkins learned from experience what an immortal's relationship with a mortal would become.
Richard Wilkins III also happened to be Richard Wilkins Senior and Junior. He pretended to be his own son in each subsequent generation, in order to conceal his immortality.
Preparing for the Ascension
Filling the power vacuum left by the absence of Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla, Wilkins quickly assumed control and leadership over Sunnydale's vampire population. In the coming months to the ascension, Wilkins worked to ensure his transformation into an Old One would run smoothly and free from interference. This involved using the principal of Sunnydale High School — Principal Snyder — to keep the Slayer Buffy Summers out of school (which proved unsuccessful) and hiring the vampire Mr. Trick to help organize some of his supernatural dealings, such the ritual offering of Lurconis that was thwarted by Buffy when she killed the demon. Wilkins also kept tabs on Spike's various "shenanigans" the previous year and when it was discovered that he had returned to Sunnydale, Wilkins had Trick arrange a "welcoming committee" consisting of Spike's former lackeys to keep him from messing in his plans. Again, this "welcoming committee" was thwarted by the Slayer.
Two day before the Dedication commencing the 100 days of invulnerability before the Mayor's ascension, Wilkin's old rival Balthazar arrived in Sunnydale along with his vampire army in search of his amulet that would restore his power so that he could have his revenge on Wilkins who crippled him many years ago. Mr. Trick presented the Mayor with evidence that Balthazar's minions had come to town, but the Mayor decided to just keep an eye on them in hopes that the vampires and the Slayers — Buffy and Faith — would kill themselves off. He was attacked by one of Bathazar's minions who managed to intercept his office, and then used the minion to test his immortality following the Dedication. During this, the Mayor's deputy Allan Finch betrayed him by leaving a paper trail of the Mayor's dealings (which the Mayor subsequently shredded) and going to fill in the Slayers behind his back. However, Faith accidentally killed him in the crossfire and dumped the body. The Mayor initially saw this as beneficial because it meant one of the Slayers would end up in prison and out of his hair, but he soon realized that the Slayers were onto him when he discovered them sneaking into town hall on the building's security camera. Because he lacked sufficient evidence to lock them away, Wilkins ordered Mr. Trick to assassinate the Slayers. To the Mayor's surprise, Faith killed Trick along with his henchmen in the attack before visiting the Mayor himself and agreeing to work for him in Trick's place.
Working with Faith
Faith and the Mayor quickly got along swimmingly and he even bought her a full-sized, fully furnished apartment complete with a PlayStation, because he did not like to see her stay at a place with an "unsavory reputation." In the meantime, the Scooby Gang was trying to find out all they could about the Mayor. Because Faith was still working alongside them (despite the fact they were fully aware of what she did), Faith told Wilkins that Willow was going through his personal files and he ordered her to be killed (which was fortunately averted when the henchmen he sent mistook her vampire counterpart for her, and she beat them into submission).
The Mayor and Faith formed something of a father-daughter relationship. Wilkins treated her like a young woman rather than a cold-blooded killer, while at the same time fostering her descent into evil by assigning her deadly missions and rewarding her with an expensive knife for her services. The Mayor's assignments for Faith in preparation for his ascension include killing a demon who offered the Slayers the Books of Ascension for a price and taking the books to prevent the Scooby Gang from learning more, picking up the Box of Gavrok and murdering the courier so they got it free of charge, and murdering a volcanologist who discovered the fossil remains of the same Old One the Mayor had aspired to ascend to in a previous ascension.
The Mayor also attempted to have Angel lose his soul and become evil in hopes that he would get Buffy out the way and be another asset to the Mayor that would be at his side during the ascension. He initially got Faith to try to seduce him, but failed due to Angel's ability to refrain from intimacy and his devotion to Buffy. Wilkins then employed a demonic shaman to remove Angel's soul magically. The Mayor then had the seemingly-desouled Angelus team up with Faith to capture and torture Buffy (but not kill her as it would lead to a replacement Slayer). However, it turned out that the loss of Angel's soul was actually a ploy set by the Scooby Gang to trick Faith into revealing that the ascension would occur during this year's Graduation Day at Sunnydale High, with even shaman Wilkins hired being in on the plot. This event revealed Faith's true allegiance to everyone, fully isolating herself from the gang and bringing her closer to the Mayor.
It later turned out that the ascension would occur during the graduation ceremony because the Mayor himself would attend the event as a guest speaker. In order to distract Buffy the day before the event, the Mayor had Faith shoot Angel with an arrow tipped with Killer of the Dead, a poison that slowly kills vampires in a slow and excruciating way. Buffy learned that the blood of the Slayer was the only thing that could cure Angel and fought Faith almost to the death using her own knife. Faith survived, but was put into a coma due to her severe injuries. Wilkins was so distraught by Faith's predicament and displeased that she wouldn't be alongside him come the time of his ascension, so he attempted to smother Buffy to death with his bare hands in her hospital bed after she was taken to the same hospital for letting Angel drink her own blood because Faith's was unavailable.
Wilkins then achieved his ascension into the gigantic demon known as Olvikan during the graduation ceremony (earlier than expected to his annoyance since he had not finished his speech) and planned on devouring all the graduating students. However, Buffy and her friends managed to get every one of the graduates to fight back against Wilkins and his vampire lackeys. The Mayor resisted their attempts and killed many people there, like Snyder and several students (such as Larry Blaisdell). Buffy exploited his love for Faith by taunting him with the knife he had given to Faith and with which Buffy put her in a coma. That, combined with calling him a "dick", caused the Mayor to charge at her angrily. Buffy lured Wilkins into the empty library, now filled with bags of dynamite, a trap also planned by the class. Rupert Giles pressed the trigger that obliterated the Mayor and the school building. Staying true to his distaste for foul language, Wilkins' last words are "Well, gosh."
Legacy and Afterlife
Immediately after Faith fell into a coma, Wilkins knew that she would eventually wake up, despite the doctors telling him otherwise. Accepting the possibility that his plan would fail, Wilkins filmed a message to Faith on videotape for her to receive when she came out of her coma (given to her in an envelope by a demon courier). Wilkins knew that Faith wouldn't last in this world without him so he left her a Draconian Katra, a magical trinket he got over the years. The device would allow Faith to switch bodies with someone else and, as payback for being "moving on" and overall jealousy towards Buffy's life, she switched with her. However, her ruse was discovered and Buffy managed to swap back. With nobody to lean on, Faith fled Sunnydale for L.A..
When Buffy, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, and Spike visited the ruins of the high school to prevent the Hellmouth from opening, the Mayor's burnt remains were founded scattered all over the dilapidated halls. Xander stepped on his corpse and remarked, "Mayor meat, extra crispy". The First Evil used his likeness on occasion, especially with Faith.
Wilkins lived on as a ghost for a while, possessing the bodies of dead animals, demons, and vampires. In the process, he was responsible for the creation of Adam, when he possesses the corpse of a powerful demon (his earlier vampire body had been captured by the Initiative) and badly injured then-human Adam. After a battle with Buffy in the clock tower, where Buffy finally learned of his inhuman nature after she decapitating his current body to no effect. Willow, with the assistance of Xander and Buffy, sent him to the next realm. Faith later told Angel in prison that she recalled the Mayor's ghost visiting her using the body of a dead bird while she was in her coma.
Powers and abilities
- “You see, I'm what you might call "impervious." Can't be killed, or harmed, in any way.”
- ―Mayor Wilkins to Angel[src]
Before transforming into a demon, Wilkins was a powerful sorcerer who specialized in the dark arts. He had a cabinet full of shrunken heads, bones and supernatural paraphernalia. He became immortal and gained eternal youth thanks to demonic benefactors. After performing the dedication, he could not be harmed in any way for 100 days until the Ascension, and was able to heal from massive injuries immediately.
As the embodiment of the demon Olvikan, he possessed inhuman strength, endurance, and size, endowed with a thick, bone-armored hide, sharp teeth and mandibles, and a spiked tail-club.
Additionally, Wilkins possessed great political power. After the departure of the Order of Aurelius, and their successors, Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla, he filled the power vacuum left behind, allowing him to assume control of the majority of Sunnydale's vampire population.
- Faith: “Thanks, sugar daddy.”
- Wilkins: “Oh! Faith. I don’t find that sort of thing amusing. I’m a family man. Now, let’s kill your little friend.”
- — Faith and Richard Wilkins[src]
However, it was this same parental love for Faith that allowed his darker side to show. When Buffy managed to critically hurt her, Wilkins, in a fit of grief and rage, almost smothered Buffy to death in the hospital (until Angel stopped him). He tells Angel that “misery loves company” and then refers to Buffy as Angel’s “whore” (which was a break in his normally clean language that showed the depth of his distress). Buffy was able to bait Wilkins after his Ascension into following her by taunting him with the custom knife he had given to Faith as a present, which Buffy had taken and which was still smeared with Faith’s blood, exploiting the remnants of his humanity.
It should also be noted that, despite early signs of bad decision making, Faith’s full transition into Buffy’s enemy was aided by the Mayor, who freely pushed her to embrace being the “Dark Slayer”. Combined with gifts such as her own apartment, a custom knife and poison, Faith saw no apparent downsides to being evil, and only much later realized how manipulated she had been by Wilkins.
Wilkins displays the flag of the United States on the viewer’s right. This is incorrect; the flag is supposed to be displayed on “its own right,” which is to say the viewer’s left.
Behind the Scenes
- Despite only making an appearance starting Season 3, the Mayor has been referenced several times in earlier seasons.
- He was the first Big Bad of Buffy that was not a vampire.
- He was portrayed by Harry Groener and by Chris Mezzolestaref in the Buffy Season Eight Motion Comics.
- Richard Wilkins, along with The Anointed One, was one of the few Big Bads with whom Buffy did not physically fight.
- In a deleted scene of the series premiere of Firefly, it is learned that the Alliance troops who advanced on the Independents in Serenity Valley were led by General Richard Wilkins. The characters are not related, as Firefly is not part of Whedon's Buffyverse.
- Harry Groener later guest-starred with Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Brian Thompson (Luke/The Judge), Christopher Wiehl (Owen Thurman), Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder), Greg Vaughan (Richard Anderson), Julia Lee (Anne Steele), Lorna Scott (Ms. Beakman), Jeremy Roberts (Kakistos), Mariah O'Brien (Nancy), Jeff Kober (Zachary Kralik/Rack), Channon Roe (Jack O'Toole), Eric Matheny (Colm), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Alastair Duncan (Collins), Jeff Ricketts (Weatherby), Charlie Weber (Ben Wilkinson), Amy Adams (Beth Maclay), Brigid Brannagh (Virginia Bryce), Kevin Weisman (Dreg), Daniel Dae Kim (Gavin Park), Leland Crooke (Lillian/Sebassis), Keith Szarabajka (Daniel Holtz), Ron Melendez (James), David J.Miller (Rat-faced Demon), Andrew Reville (Timothy Blane), Ivana Milicevic (Samantha Finn), Alex Breckenridge (Kit Holburn) on Charmed.
- Harry Groener later starred with Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Julie Benz (Darla), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), James Marsters (Spike), Jack Plotnick (Allan Finch), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Amy Acker (Winifred Burkle/Illyria), John Rubinstein (Linwood Murrow), Felicia Day (Violet), Chad Lindberg (David Kirby), Jack Conley (Gib Cain/Sahjhan), Jeff Kober (Zachary Kralik/Rack), Aldis Hodge (Masked Teen), Rob Benedict (Jape), Todd Stashwick (M'Fashnik Demon), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Sam Ryan), Megalyn Echikunwoke (Vaughne) and Ridge Canipe (Tommy) on Supernatural.
- Harry Groener later guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother with Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg). This show include also many guest-stars of Buffyverse like Seth Green (Oz), Danny Strong (Jonathan Levinson), Danielle Weeks (Debbie Foley), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), Kal Penn (Hunt/Brain man), Tom Lenk (Cyrus/Andrew Wells) and Amy Acker (Winifred Burkle/Illyria).
- Harry Groener later guest-starred on Bones with David Boreanaz (Angel) and T.J. Thyne (a lawyer in fifth season of Angel). This show include also many actors of Buffyverse like Clea DuVall (Marcie Ross), Brent Jennings (Absalom), Gregory Scott Cummins (Big Ugly), Bianca Lawson (Kendra Young), Edward Edwards (Travis), Channon Roe (Jack O'Toole), Michael Cudlitz (Big Bob), Andy Umberger (D'Hoffryn/Ronald Meltzer), Tracy Middendorf (Tina), Michael Mantell (Oliver Simon), Beth Grant (Maude Pearson), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Colby French (Tay), Justina Machado (Jo), Melissa Marsala (Judy Kovacs), Edwin Hodge (Keenan), Kali Rocha (Halfrek), Mik Scriba (Sam), Tom McCleister (Lorne's mother), Kate Norby (Elisabeth), David Denman (Skip), Kristoffer Polaha (Dylan Blim), Jim Ortlieb (the translator in Lullaby), Mark Harellik (Kurskov), Clayton Rohner (Lee DeMarco), Azura Skye (Cassie Newton), Randy Oglesby (Oliver Seidel), Jack Kehler (Manjet), Joel David Moore (Karl), K.D. Aubert (Nikki Wood), Gina Torres (Jasmine), Bonita Friedericy (Patience), Patrick Fischler (Ted), Danny Woodburn (Finger eating demon), Rod Rowland (Corbin Fries), Ryan Alvarez (Pee Pee demon) and Adam Baldwin (Marcus Hamilton).
- Harry Groener later starred with Eion Bailey (Kyle DuFours), Emma Caulfield (Anya Jenkins), Amy Acker (Winifred Burkle/Illyria) on Once Upon A Time.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
|Anne||Dead Man's Party
|Faith, Hope & Trick
|Beauty and the Beasts||Homecoming
|Helpless||The Zeppo||Bad Girls
|Graduation Day, Part One
|Graduation Day, Part Two
|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
Appears (Only in dreams and on video tape)
|Who Are You||Superstar
|Where the Wild Things Are||New Moon Rising||The Yoko Factor||Primeval
Appears (Only the First Evil)
|Beneath You||Same Time, Same Place||Help||Selfless||Him||Conversations with Dead People||Sleeper||Never Leave Me||Bring on the Night||Showtime|
|Potential||The Killer in Me||First Date||Get It Done||Storyteller||Lies My Parents Told Me||Dirty Girls||Empty Places||Touched
Appears (Only the First Evil)
|End of Days||Chosen|
- "The Girl in Question" (Only mentioned)
Tales of the Slayers
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
- No Future for You (Only in flashbacks)
Angel & Faith
- ↑ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight motion comics
- ↑ Buffy the Animated Series
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Choices"
- ↑ "Dead Man's Party"
- ↑ "Band Candy"
- ↑ "Lovers Walk"
- ↑ "Bad Girls"
- ↑ "Consequences"
- ↑ "Doppelgangland"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "Enemies"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Graduation Day, Part One"
- ↑ "Graduation Day, Part Two"
- ↑ "This Year's Girl"
- ↑ "Doomed"
- ↑ "Lessons"
- ↑ "Touched"
- ↑ Haunted
- ↑ “No Future For You”