We've made it here, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans: The Master is no more!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 12 saw Buffy's first Big Bad become nothing more than just dust in the wind. And that super creepy skeleton in the library.
There was death. There were demons. And, of course, there was drama. I couldn't wait to rewatch "Prophecy Girl".
Earthquakes are a scary phenomena. They come unexpectedly and you have to prepare yourself. (I've only experienced two in my life.)
The Scoobies in South California were probably used to it. Earthquakes are pretty common in their state. However, you knew it was a bad sign when The Master was chomping at the bits with his excitement.
Seriously! He was acting like a cartoonish comic book villain over this apocalyptic sign. For as much as I defend The Master, I will agree that he was being his worst self here.
His comment to the Anointed one was funny. His terrifying image, on the other hand, not so much.
Xander finally having the guts to ask Buffy out was so LONG overdue.
I've never liked his crush on Buffy during Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1. I didn't like it when I was seven years old. I didn't like it in past rewatches. And I still don't like it now.
Their relationship always felt more like a brother/sister dynamic than romantic. I understand why he liked Buffy and him having this early crush. But I won't deny the breath of fresh air when he moved on from it.
The scene of him asking her out, on the other hand, was beautifully shot.
I love the direct angle of the camera capturing the background behind them as everyone walks by. It looks like a mix of being both intimate and crowded. Like, they're having their own little world in the courtyard as the world moves on around them.
It's the perfect artistic touch. And it doesn't make the scene more dramatic than it actually is.
"Prophecy Girl" was the episode where Jenny Calendar became an official member of the Scoobies.
Sure, she was introduced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 8 and helped the team to stop Moloch. However, I think this is where she makes decisions within the group to stop other monsters going forward.
I like Jenny. She's sarcastic, witty and she's connected to what's happening around the world. In fact, she's more helpful than the Watchers' Council. It's a shame that fans tend to forget her or marginalize her efforts within the group.
Buffy: So that's it, huh? I remember the drill: one slayer dies, the next one's called. I wonder who she is. Will you train her or will they send someone else?
Giles: Buffy, I...
Buffy: Does it say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt?
[Angel walks to her and she moves]
Buffy: Don't touch me! Were you even gonna tell me?
Giles: I was hoping I wouldn't have to, that there was some way around it.
Buffy: I've got a way around it: I quit.
Giles: It's not that simple.
Buffy: I'm making it that simple! I quit! I resign! I'm fired! You can find someone else to stop The Master from taking over.
Giles: I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the signs indicate...
[She throws books at him]
Buffy: Read me the signs! Tell me my fortune! You're so useful, sitting here with all of your books! You're really a lot of help!
Giles: No, I don't suppose I am.
Angel: I know this is hard.
Buffy: What do you know about this? You're never gonna die.
Angel: You think I want anything to happen to you? Do you think I could stand it? We just gotta figure out a way...
Buffy: I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention.
Giles: Buffy, if The Master rises...
Buffy: I don't care! I don't care. Giles, I'm 16 years old. I don't wanna die.
Sarah Michelle Gellar is a great actress. Kudos and all the applause to her. She should've won an Emmy Award for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
She has had great moments on the show, but my favorite acting of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 is hands-down her discovering she's going to die.
Who didn't cry or tear up after that? She was flawless during her breakdown. The emotion felt real and raw.
There is no other sentence more iconic in the first season than "Giles, I'm 16 years old. I don't wanna die." It is simply perfection.
Was anyone else creeped out by the bloody student lounge?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer has horror elements to it, but this was a full horror moment. The bloody hand, the room filled with bodies and the eerie music heightened the mood to suit Willow's reaction. I think this quick jump scare was the season at its scariest.
When I was seven years old, I was just as shocked seeing the mass deaths, including Cordelia's boyfriend.
But, you know what was the creepiest part? The dancing pigs on screen. It is burned into my memory.
Whoever made those aesthetic choices knew what would make the scene so unnerving. Good job to them. (But no thank you for the childhood nightmares.)
Willow being frightened after the attack was an interesting choice by the writers.
We've already seen the character involved in fighting vampires, witches and demons. She should be used to death and the supernatural by now. However, her being absolutely shook by the mass deaths showed that she viewed high school as her safe space.
She had genuine emotions for the deaths of her classmates. I wish, however, that she showed the same remorse toward losing Jesse in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 2. I mean, he was a close friend! And yet no tears?!
Jesse will always be the character that got the short end of the stick in the pilot.
The Master: Welcome.
Buffy: Thanks for having me. You know, you really ought to talk to your contractor. Looks like you’ve got some water damage.
The Master: Oh, good. The feeble banter portion of the fight. Why don’t we just cut to the...
[She shoots her crossbow and he catches the arrow]
The Master: Nice shot.
Buffy going to fight The Master was a noble move on her part. I like that the writers emphasized her selfless nature here. She wasn't going to risk Giles or anyone else join and potential lose their lives.
The fight with The Master, unfortunately, was lackluster.
First, lighting was all over the place. There was general candlelight to set the mood in the cavern, but what was with the bright light highlighting his face? Did The Master have a spotlight for this moment?
Unless his followers cabled in electricity, I don't think light shining on his face underground is even remotely possible. (Readers, tell me if I'm wrong. I like learning something new every day.)
The Master: You tried. It was noble of you. You heard the prophecy that I was about to break free and you came to stop me. But prophecies are tricky creatures. They don't tell you everything. You're the one that sets me free. If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. Think about that.
[He bites her]
The Master: Oh, God...the power! By the way, I like your dress.
[He drops Buffy and she falls in the water]
And what was with the hypnosis? Does The Master only have this ability? No other vampire was able to do this.
I like that this power shows how different The Master is from other vampires. He's the most powerful Big Bad (at this moment) for a reason. The hypnosis was his special skill to stand out.
Though, the execution was too convenient. Buffy wasn't even looking at him and yet she fell under his spell. The writers were being inconsistent here with his abilities; she could've fought harder and broke free.
Buffy dying (and being revived) were the most impactful moments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 12.
Though, looking back now, I will agree that it was ambiguous as to how Buffy actually died.
When I was a child, I thought she died by The Master's bite. The evidence is all there on screen: she's bitten, he drains her blood, and moments later Angel finds her dead. It isn't until Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 where it confirmed she drowned after the bite.
Xander: You were looking at my neck.
Xander: You were checking out my neck. I saw that.
Angel: No, I wasn't.
Xander: Just keep your distance, pal.
Angel: I wasn't looking at your neck.
Xander: I told you to eat before we left.
I'm fine with the ambiguous death since it's a powerful moment. However, why couldn't Angel give Buffy CPR? This makes no sense.
One of my pet peeves about Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the writers' inconsistency with vampire lore.
Sure, he doesn't need oxygen to breath, but he can inhale it. Theoretically, Angel should be able to suck in air and blow it out. Is it because his lungs no longer work? (All theories are welcomed.)
Later on we will see Angel do meditation and tai chi, which does require steady breathing. This whole Xander needing to be the one to do it seems like a plot device to only push the love triangle between Buffy, Angel and Xander.
Who else loved seeing Cordelia save Willow and Jenny?
Her being on campus at night doesn't make sense from a plot standpoint. Especially when there's a dance to get ready for. Her being focused about getting ready for the Spring Fling aligns more with her character than the excuse the script provided.
However, her driving up in a car and driving through the school's doors was everything. She didn't care at that moment.
I would love to be a fly on the wall as she had to explain the next day to police/teachers why she drove through the school.
Jenny: What do we do now?
Willow: We've gotta get to the library!
Cordelia: Library. Great!
[She turns the car around]
Willow: Of course, we generally walk there.
[Cordelia drives the car and crashes through the school’s door]
The decision by the writers to make the hellmouth below Sunnydale High was pretty ingenious.
Now that you've rewatched Buffy the Vampire Season 1, think about all the supernatural drama that has happened here. And when you tie in the next two seasons, it all makes a lot of sense. The affects are strongest on the school.
We've seen invisible girls, witches, internet monsters and vampires. And now tentacle monsters emerging from the ground; this school is the nexus of evil.
This one plot decision had a big affect over the course of the series. It's quite brilliant how it's tied together.
The Master: Did you really think you could best me here when you couldn't below?
Buffy: You have fruit punch mouth.
The Master: What?
[She punches him]
Buffy: And save the hypnosis crap for the tourists.
Now that The Master is dead, how would you rank him as a Big Bad?
I've already discussed some of my thoughts previously in the rewatch for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Episode 1. Overall, he's on the lower-middle end of the list for me. He's had some villainous moments, but he's not the most dangerous or evilest Big Bad Buffy faced.
Though, his defeat is one of my favorite Big Bad deaths. Come on...Buffy gets a few quips in and throws him from a roof onto a stake. It's a simple death, but it's an effective one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 was only 12 episodes, but it created the foundation for what was needed in future seasons.
The makeup was cheesy, the lighting was dark, and the characters started as their most basic characteristics. This wasn't the best start, and I get why some fans rank it low on their lists.
Though, the first season has a special place in my heart.
This season was how I got hooked into Buffy. Even though there are terrible episodes, like "The Pack", there are many great ones that are still a must for rewatching, like "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Angel".
Everything starts from somewhere and as a rewatcher, we can't dismiss the beginning season.
But, if you're still not sold yet, just wait until we start rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2. THAT is a roller coaster...
What did you think of "Prophecy Girl"? Did Buffy's first death change her personality? Was Xander being the absolute worst toward Willow? Would you let Cordelia drive you around?
Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We will be posting new rewatch posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Come back here and let us know what you thought about the episode.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.