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The Harvest

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This article is about the episode. For the ritual, see Harvest.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 1, Episode 2
The harvest Screencap Infobox
Air date March 10, 1997
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by John T. Kretchmer
Production Code 4V02
Episode Guide
previous
"Welcome to the Hellmouth"
next
"Witch"
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
Brian Thompson Luke
David Boreanaz Angel
Ken Lerner Principal Flutie
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Julie Benz Darla
Eric Balfour Jesse
Co Starring
Mercedes McNab Harmony
Jeffrey Steven Smith Guy in Comp. Class
Teddy Lane Jr. Bouncer
Deborah Brown Girl
Uncredited
Christopher Doyle Colin
Kerry Zook First Female Victim

"The Harvest" is the second episode of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is the second episode overall. It was written by Joss Whedon and directed by John T. Kretchmer.

Synopsis

This episode picks up where the series premiere left off. Luke is about to finish off Buffy, who is trapped in a stone coffin, but is repelled by the silver cross that a mysterious stranger had given her earlier that evening.

Buffy escapes the mausoleum and saves Xander and Willow from vampires in the graveyard. Darla has taken Jesse, however. She and Luke inform The Master that there is probably a Slayer in town. The Master decides to use Jesse as bait.

Giles and Buffy give Xander and Willow a brief introduction to the world of vampires, demons, and Slayers. Willow accesses the city council's plans for Sunnydale's tunnel system. In a flashback, Buffy realizes that there must be an access to it in the crypt. Xander is hurt when Buffy declines his help and follows her anyway.

Buffy and her stake The Harvest

Buffy gathers her stake and other items to bring to the Bronze.

Willow is researching the Master in the computer lab when Cordelia trash-talks about Buffy and insults Willow again. In a fine show of nerd revenge, Willow convinces Cordelia to press the DEL key to "deliver" her assignment. It ended up erasing her hard work. The dark stranger appears just as Buffy is about to enter the tunnel system in the crypt. He is named Angel. He gives her directions to The Master's lair, but only wishes her luck after she is out of earshot.

Xander catches up with Buffy, wanting to help save his friend. The enter the lair and managed to find him. But upon trying to find their way out, they're ambushed by vampires to which Jesse, upon hitting a dead end, reveals he also as well. Buffy and Xander barely manage to escape via vent leading to above ground, with Xander pulling Buffy out of a manhole. Underground, The Master is unhappy about their escape and punishes the vampire Collin by poking his eye out. Luke drinks the Master's blood, turning Luke into the Vessel. Every soul Luke now takes will give the Master more strength to break out of his confinement.

Buffy and Xander return to the library. Giles explains that the Master arrived 60 years ago to open the Hellmouth, a portal to another reality, but was swallowed by an earthquake. He is now hoping to escape with the help of a Vessel in a once-in-a-century opportunity called "The Harvest." To prevent the Master from escaping and opening the Hellmouth, they must kill the Vessel. Xander suggests that the vampires will be at the Bronze.

On her way there, Buffy swings by her house to get weapons, and is promptly grounded by her mother, who has been called by the Principal about Buffy skipping classes. Buffy grabs her weapons from a secret compartment of a chest and climbs out of the second-floor window. While Giles, Xander and Willow head to the Bronze to back her up. with Giles warning the two (specificlly Xander) that the Jesse they know is dead and all they will see of him now is "the thing that killed him".

Luke and other vampires burst into The Bronze and start the killing. Buffy arrives in time to save Cordelia. She also notices the Vessel mark on Luke's forehead. Xander ends up staking Jesse with unknowing help from a fleeing man. Willow pours holy water on Darla when she is about to bite Giles.

Harvest

Buffy after killing vamps.

Buffy tricks Luke to win her fight, making him believe an outside light is sunlight from Daylight Savings Time, and then staking him while he has his back turned. With Luke dead, the Master's plan fails and he weakens again, but is not destroyed. The other vampires flee. Outside The Bronze, Angel realizes that Buffy has done it. "I'll be damned," he says.

The next morning, Cordelia exemplifies the denial most Sunnydale residents undergo after paranormal encounters. Giles warns the budding gang of more battles ahead, which they accept more nonchalantly than he would like as Buffy, Willow and Xander go off and discuss to see how Buffy could get herself get kicked out of school while Giles looks on after them as they walk on, while saying to himself "The Earth is Doomed"- *A line that is similarly repeated in the last episode "Chosen"*.

Continuity

  • Giles's line "The earth is doomed" will later be spoken again, except later he will say "the earth is definitely doomed" after Buffy, Willow and Xander discuss going to the Mall after destroying The First Evil's army.[1]
  • While discussing possible actions that could get Buffy kicked out of school, Willow suggests that she blow something up; although Buffy dismisses the idea in favor of something that won't get her sent to prison, she goes on to destroy Sunnydale High itself in order to defeat the Mayor.[2] Buffy also mentions "obsessive non-studying" which Buffy appears to do in the next season, forcing her to take several make-up tests in the next.
  • When Willow asks why they could not contact the cops, Buffy replies that they would go in with guns, which are not particularly useful against vampires or demons. In "Flooded," when a security guard tries shooting a demon robbing a bank, Buffy, referring to the gun, tells him "these things, never useful."
  • The concept of the Old Ones and their history on earth was discussed by Giles.

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Events

Locations

Weapons and Objects

Body Count

  • Unidentified Aurelian vampire, dusted by Buffy Summers with a tree branch at the cemetery
  • An unidentified bouncer, drained by Luke at the Bronze
  • An unidentified girl, also drained by Luke at the Bronze
  • Unidentified Aurelian vampire, dusted by Buffy with a pool cue at the Bronze
  • Another unidentified Aurelian vampire, beheaded by Buffy with a cymbal
  • Jesse McNally, sired by the Order of Aurelius, later accidentally pushed into a stake held by Xander Harris
  • Luke, staked by Buffy on the Bronze's stage

Behind the Scenes

Production

  • Joss Whedon noted in the commentary for this episode that he felt horrible for giving Eric Balfour so many lines with "s" in them, which he had to recite while in "Vamp-face". He had such a difficult time getting the lines out around the prosthetics that new ones were designed for vampire characters required to speak frequently; the older style ones were given to vampire lackeys with few or no lines in future episodes. 
    • Additionally, Joss Whedon commented on Buffy flipping onto the Bronze stage, noting that she never did that again as she could've just walked or ran. The 1992 film, on the other hand, featured Buffy flipping towards small distances numerous times.

Broadcast

  • "Welcome to the Hellmouth"/"The Harvest" were originally presented as one two-hour long feature. However, they are split up into two separate episodes on the DVD release, as well as in syndication.
  • "The Harvest" (along with “Welcome to the Hellmouth”) reached a Nielsen rating of 3.4 on its original airing.[3]

Pop Culture References

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • When Luke was talking about the last time he faced a Slayer he said "he caught me sleeping" even though Slayers are always girls.
  • Harmony asks Cordelia if they are going to the Bronze tonight. She replies yes, that it's Friday night and there's no cover charge. However, there is clearly a cover charge when they go.
  • When Buffy has thrown Luke away from her, she wears her crucifix necklace, but when she exits the crypt, it has disappeared. When she returns to the library, it's suddenly back on.
  • Just after Buffy decapitates the Vampire that attacks Xander, Sarah Michelle Gellar can be seen laughing just before Luke grabs Buffy.
  • When Buffy stakes Luke, the stake turns to dust with him, though this stake makes many more reappearances. This specific stake itself is most noticeable in the first few moments of Prophecy Girl.
  • Each time a vampire is dusted off-screen, the sound effect of their demise is not heard.

Music

  • Sprung Monkey - "Right My Wrong" (Plays as Buffy talks to Principal Flutie at the gates.)
  • Dashboard Prophets - "Wearing Me Down" (Plays when Cordelia steps onto the dance floor at the Bronze.)
  • Dashboard Prophets - "Ballad for Dead Friends" (Plays as Luke leads the other vampires to the Bronze.) (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale)
  • Walter Murphy - original score

International Titles

  • French: Bienvenue à Sunnydale, partie 2 (Welcome to Sunnydale, part 2)
  • Portuguese: A Colheita (The Harvest)
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Bem-vindo à Boca do Inferno, Parte 2 (Welcome to the Hellmouth, Part 2)
  • Finnish: Ystäviä ja paholaisia, osa 2 (Friends and demons, part 2)
  • Spanish (Spain and Latin America): La cosecha, Parte 2 (The Harvest, part 2)
  • German: Die Zeit der Ernte (Time of the Harvest)

Quotes

Giles - "A Slayer hunts vampires; Buffy is a Slayer; don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need."
Buffy - "Well, I gotta look on the bright side. Maybe I can still get kicked out of school."
Xander - "Oh, yeah, that's a plan. 'Cause lots of schools aren't on Hellmouths."
Willow - "Maybe you could blow something up. They're really strict about that."
Buffy - "I was thinking of a more subtle approach, y'know, like excessive not studying."
Giles - "The Earth is doomed."

References

  1. "Chosen"
  2. "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  3. "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's First Season." <http://home.insightbb.com/~wahoskem/buffy1.html>

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