Online Edition



Season 1, episode 02
Season 102
1st release (U.S.): 03/10/97
Production number: 4V02
Last update: 02/26/05

Previous Episode | Buffy Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode

SYNOPSIS by Sally Dye

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers)
Nicholas Brendan (Xander Harris)
Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg)
Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase)
Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles)

Mark Metcalf (The Master)
Brian Thompson (Luke)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Ken Lerner (Principal Flutie)
Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers)
Julie Benz (Darla)
Eric Balfour (Jesse)
Deborah Brown (Girl)
Mercedes McNab (Harmony)
Jeffrey Steven Smith (Computer class student)
Teddy Lane, Jr. (Bouncer)

Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: John T. Kretchmer

WB, Monday, 9pm


Buffy gradually learns to accept her role as the Slayer and prepares to battle the Master's minions in order to stop the Harvest, a ceremony which will free the Master from his prison in the sewers. Willow and Xander are confided in by Giles about the existence of Vampires and Demons and, although overwhelmed, pledge to help Buffy in her fight. TVTome


This synopsis is by Sally Dye.

Luke is about to bite Buffy when he is burned by the cross necklace that Angel gave her. Buffy runs out of the mausoleum and catches up to the others in time to save Willow and Xander from a bunch of vampires. They tell her that Jesse was dragged off by the blond vampire.

Back at the library, Giles fills Willow and Xander in on vampires. They are grossed out by the info. Giles warns them not to reveal that Buffy is the slayer.

Luke and Darla bring Jesse to the Master, who is displeased that Darla has already "tasted" him. Darla and Luke tell him about Buffy, and he deduces that she is a slayer. They decide to use Jesse as bait to trap her.

The gang speculates on where the vampires could have taken Jesse. Buffy says they could have gone anywhere. Xander: "They can fly?" Buffy: (patronizing look) "They can drive." Willow accesses the town's underground tunnel system on her computer. Buffy realizes that the entrance to those tunnels must be in the mausoleum. She heads for there to see if she can find Jesse. Principal Flutie intercepts her as she is leaving the school grounds and locks the gate, but when he leaves Buffy is able to jump over the fence.

At the mausoleum, Buffy runs into Angel again. He cautions her about going into the tunnels. Buffy: "Deal with my going." She says she has to go because a friend is down there. He tells her where the likeliest gathering place is. Buffy makes her way down into the tunnel system and is exasperated when she bumps into Xander, who has followed her. She allows him to stay when he insists that Jesse is his friend, too. She gives him a cross and fills him in on the basics of how to kill a vampire.

In computer class, Willow overhears Cordelia complaining that Buffy is weird, based on her behavior last night at the Bronze. Harmony chimes in with the story of how Buffy got kicked out of her former school. Willow speaks up to defend Buffy, but Cordelia is indignant: "Who gave you permission to exist?" When Cordelia wants to know how to save her program, Willow says, "Deliver". Cordelia finds the DEL key and pushes it, deleting her whole program.

Xander and Buffy find Jesse chained to a wall. Buffy breaks the chain, and they try to escape, but are pursued by growling vampires. They lose the vampires but are now lost in the tunnels. Xander: "What can we do?" Jesse: (turning into a vampire) "You can die." Buffy shouts to Xander to use the cross, and Xander holds up the wooden cross that Buffy had given him. Buffy and Xander escape through a grate just as the other vampires find them. Just as they emerge into the sunlight one of the vampires grabs Buffy's ankle, but the sun burns the vampire's hand and he lets go. The Master is not pleased when he learns that the slayer escaped. He says to bring Luke to him and then puts out the eyes of the vampire who brought him the bad news. The Master has Luke drink his blood, making him "the vessel". He puts a special sign on Luke's forehead.

Buffy and Xander return to the library, where they have to break the news to Willow that Jesse is a vampire. Giles relates the history of the Master and the Hellmouth -- a portal to another reality. An earthquake had thwarted the Master's earlier attempt to exist in this reality, but now he is making another try. If one of the Master's minions -- known as "the vessel" -- can "feed" on enough people, the Master will gain enough strength to break through the portal. They decide that the Bronze is the most likely place to find all those people and set out for there.

Buffy stops by her house to gather some supplies -- stakes, holy water, etc. -- and is confronted by her mother, who grounds her for skipping class that day. Buffy has to crawl out the window to join the others.

The vampires arrive at the Bronze and take over. Luke calls for people to be brought to him so he can feed. He bites a couple of people, and the Master feels his strength growing.

Buffy and the gang also arrive. Buffy tells the others to get the people out, and she will deal with the vampires. She gets into the building through an upstairs window. Looking down at the stage, she sees that Luke has the sign of the vessel on his forehead. Luke is just about to bite Cordelia when Buffy kills another vampire and throws him down onto the stage. Then she leaps down, and she and Luke fight. Meanwhile, Xander fights Jesse, but is unable to stake him until another guy bumps into Jesse, impaling him on the stake Xander is holding. Willow throws holy water on Darla, and she runs out, screaming and sizzling. Buffy breaks a window and warns Luke to look out for the sunrise. He turns in horror, but it's just a street light. Buffy stakes him from behind: ""It's in about nine hours, moron." In the tunnels, the Master screams as he realizes his vessel is gone. All the other vampires run in terror. Angel sees them fleeing and realizes that Buffy prevented the Harvest after all.

The next day at school Cordelia tells everyone that rival gangs -- very ugly gangs -- were fighting for turf, and Willow and Xander are amazed that no one really seems to know what happened. Giles says they still have to be on the alert -- there's no telling what they might face next. Buffy says she is going to look on the bright side -- maybe she can still get kicked out of school. Willow suggests she blow something up, and Buffy, Willow and Xander walk off laughing. Giles: "The earth is doomed."


Some versions of this episode have a "previously" re-cap of the Part One's events at the beginning, others do not. 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' and 'The Harvest' were released together as the original feature-length episode on September 15, 1998 as part of the first home video box-sets.

The novelisation of the premiere two part episode gives us more information about The Master. According to author Richie Tankersley Cusick and Joss Whedon's original script, The Master's real name is Heinrich Joseph Nest and he is 600 years old.

Mercedes McNab (Harmony, one of Cordelia's group), originally auditioned for the part of Buffy.

Introduces Harmony Kendall.

In this episode we learn from Giles that demons came before man, a theme in which we learn a lot more about in Season Seven.

The opening line of the band playing the Bronze in this episode is 'You fight the good fight'. This is a constant theme throughout the first series of Buffy's spin-off Angel. Probably not intentional, but its strange how that band brought the phrase up long before Angel's show came about.

When Buffy stops the Harvest, Angel says surprised "I'll be damned," which in is case has a double meaning, because he happens to be damned.

Giles says that the next threat they face may be something quite different from vampires. This foreshadows the events of the next episode.

Fast National Rating: 3.4.

The song playing in the Bronze as Darla and the vamps arrive is "Ballad for Dead Friends" by The Dashboard Prophets and can be heard on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack 'Radio Sunnydale'.

Previous Episode | Buffy Guide |Episode Guide |Next Episode

Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!