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STORYTELLER (ep #7.16)

(a.k.a. Buffy: Slayer of the Vampyres)

Written by: Jane Espenson
Directed by: Marita Grabiak
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Guest Starring: Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
Adam Busch as Warren Meers and the First Evil
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Iyari Limon as Kennedy
Sarah Hagan as Amanda
Indigo as Rona
DB Woodside as Principal Wood
Co-Starring: Alan Loayza as Stressed Out Boy
Corin Amber Norton as Crying Girl
Sujata DeChoudhury as Shy Girl
TW Leshner as Feral Teen

Plot Summary

Andrew attempted to create a video record of the fight against the First Evil.

Plot Details

To the sound of violins, we pan over great works of literature, including those by William Shakespeare, Friedrich Nietzsche, and George Lucas. The host, Andrew, sat by a fire and talked about how wonderful it was to get lost in a story, namely "Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres."

At first, we see Andrew's version of a typical battle between Buffy and vampires. Soon, we see that he is just sitting on the toilet narrating into a video camera. Before he finished the story, Anya burst in and suggested a more productive use of his time.

Back at the battle, Buffy finished off the final vampire only to have Andrew come out and congratulate her. She did not appreciate being taped. In the present, Anya dragged Andrew out so others could use the bathroom. She seemed to share Buffy's opinion of his documentation of the preparations for the great battle until he tried some flattery and asked for her input. She suddenly seemed interested.

Andrew used his white board to illustrate important features of the upcoming apocalypse. He ignored minor details such as the identity of the person who first spilled blood on the Seal of Danzalthar.

In the morning, Andrew filmed breakfast preparations, including the Raisin Bran shortage. Xander was flattered to be the heart of the operation. Amanda was also eager to be part of Andrew's project, but he was more interested in fantasizing about Buffy and Spike as romance novel cover models and about Anya eating grapes. In reality, Buffy the launched into a speech that we were fortunate enough not to hear because Andrew left the room to talk about himself.

In his mind, he was the leader of the Trio and main strategist with two minions: Warren and Jonathan. He used glassware filled with colored water as part of a plan to make Buffy super magnetic, which would keep her from foiling their plans as long as they were beltless. In fact, he greatly resembled Jonathan from "Superstar."

Buffy was still giving her speech, so Andrew discussed his version of the encounter with Willow in "Two to Go." This time, Andrew was the one who countered Willow's magic instead of Anya.

Buffy stopped her speech just in time to go to work. She encountered two people fighting and a young woman turning invisible a la Marcy Ross. She broke up the fight and went to talk to the woman who was turning invisible. The latter seemed pleased that someone noticed her, but another woman interrupted them as she walked out of the bathroom in tears because the mirror told her that she was fat. Finally, another student was so stressed that he felt like he was going to explode.

Buffy found Principal Wood, who was wondering what was going on. She explained that the Hellmouth was responsible for everything and expected things to escalate into a riot or a war. An exploding student interrupted their conversation. Buffy concluded that the Hellmouth needed to be sealed again. They examined the Seal of Danzalthar while discussing what Buffy saw at the end of "Get It Done." Eventually, Principal Wood started berating Willow and Buffy with white eyes like several characters had in "After Life."

Meanwhile, Andrew conducted interviews with Dawn, Xander and Anya, and Spike. Andrew confronted Xander about his actions in "Hells Bells," which interested Anya. She still thinks that he made a mistake and that they should be together. Spike demanded that Andrew turn off the camera, but willingly did a second take when Andrew noted that the light was wrong. Later, Andrew secretly taped Xander and Anya admitting that they still love each other. Andrew repeatedly replayed that scene, mouthing Anya's words.

A few months previously, Andrew and Jonathan had a fitful night's sleep filled with nightmares involving the Seal of Danzalthar, the Ubervamp, the murders of young women (presumably potential slayers) in the beginning of "Lessons" and "Beneath You," and, of course, the Cheese Man from "Restless."

Willow interrupted and told Andrew to get back on track. He was to remember how he learned to open the Seal of Danzalthar. Andrew responded by saying that the First Evil, as Warren, approached him while Jonathan was in the bathroom. It told him that he needed to drive the "words" deep into Jonathan in order to achieve their goal of godhood. It appears that the carvings on the knife blade were actually words in a demon language. His translation gave Willow the information necessary to come up with the plan.

Buffy, Andrew, Spike, and Principal Wood went to the riot-torn school, including the requisite fires in metal barrels. It was clear that Principal Wood was not happy at Spike, something that Andrew mistook for sexual tension. Soon, a group of students attacked Buffy, Spike, and Wood, but allowed Andrew to sneak off.

Eventually, they reached the basement door. Buffy dragged Andrew toward the seal while Spike and Wood kept guard. Andrew told her that he tried to resist the First Evil's goading only to have an angry Jonathan charge him. After Buffy pointed out that the seal possessed Principal Wood, Andrew claimed to be possessed as well. When they reached the seal, they found five students who appeared to be halfway toward becoming bringers.

Meanwhile, Xander and Anya realized that the Romance scores for seventh season episodes have generally been quite low. As a result, they decided to have "one more time." Anya was as convinced that this would help them move on as she was early in "The Harsh Light of Day."

Spike was getting impatient for Buffy to return when a few students attacked him and Principal Wood. In the process, a stake-sized piece of wood broke off a club. Wood planned to use it on Spike when an attacking student interrupted him.

At the Hellmouth, Buffy fought the potential bringers as Andrew narrated. When the potential bringers fled, or fell unconscious, Buffy told him that the Seal of Danzalthar understands blood, not words. Therefore, Andrew's blood was necessary to close it. While holding him above the seal, Buffy lectured him about his telling stories to deflect responsibility from his actions. In tears, Andrew repented his murder of Jonathan and admitted that he always knew that Warren was not the one who ordered him to do so. When his tears hit the seal, it stopped glowing.

Instead of taking Anya's advice, Andrew went back to the bathroom to tape a confession. He confessed that he murdered Jonathan and that he probably deserved to die in the upcoming fight.

The Good

This is one of the funniest episodes of the entire show.

However, like with earlier Jane Espenson episodes, the humor leads a serious point.

It appears that the writers have figured out how tiresome Buffy can be when she is making speeches.

The potential slayers had only a minor role in this episode.

The Bad

No potential slayer died, left town, or put themselves in a position where they would stop sucking the life out of the show.

Overall Rank: 20

Action: 7

Buffy fought two vampires in the story that Andrew told during the teaser.

Buffy, Spike, and Principal Wood fought students at Sunnydale High.

Buffy fought potential bringers at the Hellmouth.

Comedy: 10

Nearly everything having to do with Andrew's video record of the events was funny as well as everyone's reaction to the record.

Anya had one of the funniest lines of the seventh season when she had an alternate suggestion for how Andrew could spend his time.

Andrews god fantasy was also very funny.

Drama: 7

Andrew was forced to face the enormity of his actions, especially what he did at the end of "Conversations with Dead People."

Romance: 6

Willow and Kennedy make out on the couch, not that Andrew noticed.

Xander and Anya discussed the events of "Hells Bells" and their feelings for each other.

Andrew fantasized about Spike and Buffy and about Spike and Principal Wood.

Xander and Anya had a "one more time."

Character Development: 8

Andrew concluded that he is an observer rather than a participant in the events of the seventh season. He fantasizes about being the major villain of the sixth season, even more powerful than Willow at her worst. Like most viewers, he finds Buffy's speeches to be tiresome. He finds Xander's carpentry to be more interesting than Willow and Kennedy kissing, but he does fantasize about sexual tension between Spike and Principal Wood. By the end of the episode, he expressed sincere regret for killing Jonathan and realized that he probably deserved to die in the final battle.

Willow can put up with Buffy's speeches better than most people can.

Principal Wood is starting to pick up SlayerSpeak. He is not fond of Spike.

Xander claims that he did the right thing by not marrying Anya in "Hells Bells," but he still loves her.

Anya still feels pain from "Hells Bells," but she seems to want to get back together with Xander.

Importance: 3

The Hellmouth is now sealed.

Andrew believes that he deserves to die and regrets murdering Jonathan.

Most Valuable Player: Buffy

Buffy gets the MVP of this episode for inducing the tears necessary to close the Seal of Danzalthar.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Willow gets this award for recognizing the importance of the word "words" in Andrews story and for finding out how to seal the Seal of Danzalthar.

Goat of the Week: Nobody

Nobody really failed in this episode, unless one wants to say that Principal Wood failed to kill Spike. However, considering Buffy's likely reaction, Wood is probably better off this way.

Memorable Dialogue

"Why can't you just masturbate like the rest of us?" Anya

"Buffy and Spike have some kind of history. You can feel the heat between them, although, technically, as a vampire, he's room temperature." Andrew

"If we save the world, it would be kind of nice to have a record of it." Rona
"If we don't save the world, then nothing matters." Amanda
"That's catchy, Amanda. Let's make that our slogan." Kennedy

"Honestly, gentle viewers, these motivating speeches of hers tend to get a little long." Andrew

"In my plan, we are beltless." Andrew

"It's like all the Hellmouth's energy is trying to escape from that one little spot and it's getting all..." Buffy
"Focusy." Principal Wood
"Careful, you're starting to speak like me now." Buffy

"You're running to catch the bus naked? That's a dream. Army of vicious vampire creatures? That's a vision. Also, I was awake." Buffy
"Bus to where?" Principal Wood

"Desde abajo, te devora." Disembodied voice

"We are as gods!" Andrew and Mutant Enemy

"You put your old murder weapon in with our utensils?" Willow

"Check out Spike and the principal. There's something going on there: sexual tension you could cut with a knife." Andrew

"You stabbed Jonathan to death. What were you trying to do, scratch his back from the front?" Buffy

"Here's the thing. I killed my best friend. There's a big fight coming, and I don't know what's gonna happen. I don't even think I'm gonna live through it. That's probably the way it should be. I guess I'm..." Andrew

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on January 12, 2013