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Richard Wilkins

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"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 III 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.

Biography

Background

RichardWilkinsTotS

Richard Wilkins, before founding Sunnydale.

Wilkins arrived in California in the 1800s. He went on to found the town of Sunnydale, California in 1841[2] 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.

MayorPast

Wilkins circa 1907

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.[3]

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

MayorHomecoming

The Mayor hires Mr. Trick to do his dirty work

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 SchoolPrincipal Snyder — to keep the Slayer Buffy Summers out of school (which proved unsuccessful)[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

MayorBadGirls

The Mayor gains total invincibly in preparation for the ascension.

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.[7] 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.[8]

Working with Faith

MayorChoices

Faiths joins the Mayor as his personal assassin and errand girl.

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're fully aware of what she did, Faith told Wilkins that Willow was going through his personal files and he ordered to have her killed (which was fortunately averted when the henchmen he sent mistook her vampire counterpart for her who beat them into submission).[9]

The Mayor and Faith formed something of a father-daughter relationship. Wilkins treated her like a young woman rather than a cold-bolded killer, while at the same time fostering her descent into evil by assigning her on deadly missions and rewarding her with an expensive knife for her services.[3] 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,[10] picking up the Box of Gavrok and murdering the courier so they got it free of charge,[3] and murdering a volcanologist who discovered the fossil remains of the same Old One the Mayor aspired to ascend to in a previous ascension.[11]

MayorEnemies

The Mayor uses Angelus to get rid off Buffy.

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, but not kill her as it would lead to a replacement Slayer. However, it turned out the loss of Angel's soul was actually a ploy set by the Scooby Gang to trick Faith into revealing that the ascension occurred 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.[10]

The Ascension

TheMayorOlvikan

The ascension is finalized; Wilkins becomes a pure demon.

It later turned out that the ascension will occur during the graduation ceremony because the Mayor himself will 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, and 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 to the death using her own knife.[11] Faith survived, but was rendered 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 time 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.

Olvikan

The Mayor moments before his death

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 everyone 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 avoidance of foul language, Wilkins' last words are "Well, gosh."[12]

Legacy and Afterlife

TheMayorVideoMessage

The Mayor's message to Faith.

Immediately after Faith feel 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. This gave Faith the opportunity to start her life anew by switching bodies with another person. She did this with Buffy, but the Scooby Gang nevertheless discovered what had happened and returned them to their respective bodies. With nobody to stand on, Faith left Sunnydale for L.A..[13]

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".[14] The First Evil used his likeness on occasion.[15][16]

Wilkins lived on as a ghost for a while, possessing the bodies of dead animals, demons, and vampires.[17] 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.

Personality

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]
The-mayor-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-1195621 500 644

Wilkins had quite a pleasant demeanor. A polite man with an aversion to swearing and bawdy humor, he nearly always wore a smile on his face. He called himself a "family man", though he claimed that he never had any children[18] and his wife, Edna Mae, died resenting him for his youth. He loved The Family Circus, Tollhouse Cookies, and miniature golf, but he disliked Marmaduke, who seemed unsanitary to him. Despite his status as a demon, he was quite friendly. He had a close father-daughter relationship with Faith, and seemed genuinely distraught when she went into a coma. Wilkins' most notable trait was his obsessive hygiene.

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, and he tells Angel that "misery loves company" and then refers to Buffy as Angel's "whore" - a break in his normally clean language that showed the depth of his distress). Buffy was able to bait Wilkins after Ascension into following her by taunting him with the custom knife he had given to Faith as a present, which Buffy had taken and still was smeared with Faith's blood.

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.

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 What's My Line, Part Two Ted
Bad Eggs Surprise Innocence Phases Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Passion Killed by Death I Only Have Eyes for You

(mentioned)

Go Fish Becoming, Part One Becoming, Part Two

(mentioned)

Season Three:
Anne Dead Man's Party

(mentioned)

Faith, Hope & Trick

(mentioned)

Beauty and the Beasts Homecoming

Appears

Band Candy

Appears

Revelations Lovers Walk

Appears

The Wish Amends Gingerbread

Appears

Helpless The Zeppo Bad Girls

Appears

Consequences

Appears

Doppelgangland

Appears

Enemies

Appears

Earshot

(mentioned)

Choices

Appears

The Prom

(mentioned)

Graduation Day, Part One

Appears

Graduation Day, Part Two

Appears (killed)

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

(mentioned)

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

(mentioned)

Where the Wild Things Are New Moon Rising The Yoko Factor Primeval

(mentioned)

Restless
Season Seven:
Lessons

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

Angel

Buffy the Vamp​ire Slayer Season Eight

Angel and Faith Season Nine

Tales

Dubious canon

See also

References

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