It’s night-time in Sunnydale and a girl and boy break into the school, they look around in the dark until suddenly the girl morphs into a vampire and kills the boy.
It’s a bright and sunny morning in Sunnydale when Buffy wakes (after obligatory prophecy dream) to her new bedroom and her new house. Buffy and her Mom have relocated from L.A. to start a new life after the revelation that she was a slayer led Buffy to burn down her old school gym (Hemery High) in the line of duty and get expelled.
At Sunnydale High, Buffy meets with Principal Flutie who is less than impressed with her past record but tells her that she can start with a clean slate so long as she is not found anywhere near the gym with a box of matches. After her successful meeting with the Principal, Buffy bumps into a student and drops all her things. Xander (the class clown), smitten by the new girl, helps her pick up her things and introduces himself, awkwardly. Having picked up her things, Buffy hurries off leaving behind a stake, which Xander picks up puzzled.
In history class, Buffy is befriended by Sunnydale Queen, Cordelia who, after sharing her textbook, tells Buffy she can get her very own at the library. Passing the coolness factor test with flying colours, Buffy is informed that she will get along just fine if she hangs with Cordelia and her gang. On the way to the library they bump into the shy, quiet, Willow at the drinking fountain. Cordelia soon sends Willow on her way, points out to Buffy that she should know her losers and invites her to the Bronze that night.
Buffy finds the library apparently empty, until she is startled by Mr Giles the librarian who, to her surprise, instantly knows who she is and presents her with a book entitled Vampyr. Telling him that is not what she is looking for, Buffy leaves in a hurry.
Outside she meets up with Willow again and they are soon joined by Xander and his friend Jesse. They are getting on well until they are interrupted by Cordelia with the news that a body has been found in the girls’ locker room. Buffy makes her excuses and heads off to investigate. To her dismay she finds that dead guy has two holes in his neck. Suspect? Vampire. Heading back for the library, Buffy storms in and demands that Giles tells her what’s going on; informing him that she has come here for a new start and has retired as slayer. Giles’ best British efforts to persuade her otherwise prove useless and she leaves, followed closely by the librarian, who explains that it is no coincidence that she has come to Sunnydale, there have been lots of strange occurrences of late.
Xander, meanwhile, has made an unprecedented trip to the library and has overheard the whole conversation.
That night, while Buffy is getting ready to go to the Bronze, vampires chant in an underground, ruined church. Their apparent leader, Luke, kneels by a pool of blood. Walking to the Bronze, Buffy is accosted by a tall, dark and gorgeous (in an annoying sort of way) cryptic stranger who lets her know that he knows who she is, informs her that he is on her side, tells her that Sunnydale is on a Hellmouth and warns her of a coming evil, the Harvest. Before disappearing into the darkness, he throws her a jewellery box containing a cross on a chain.
At the Bronze, Buffy bumps into Willow and they chat until Buffy spots Giles on the balcony and heads up to confront him. She tells him what cryptic guy said believing him to be one of Giles’ friends. Giles denies all knowledge and continues to try to persuade Buffy to continue her duties as slayer. Telling her that she does not yet know or understand her own powers he asks her to pick out a vampire in the crowd. Scanning the clubbers, Buffy picks out a likely candidate in dated clothes and notices that he is chatting to Willow.
Making for the stairs, she finds she is too late and they have gone. Following them she is startled by Cordelia and turns on her with her stake. Realising her mistake she heads back into the club. Giles returns to the library to research the Harvest and Buffy goes off in search of Willow and the vampire. On her way out she passes Jesse chatting to Darla, the vampire from the opening scene. Outside the Bronze, she bumps into Xander who, to Buffy’s exasperation, reveals that he knows she is the slayer, or she thinks she is. Buffy convinces him that their friend is in real danger and the two set off to look for Willow.
Meanwhile, in the underground church the chanting continues, until from the pool of blood rises an age-old vampire, The Master. He reaches out to Luke who takes his hand and tells his Master that, though he is weak now, his strength will return after the Harvest. The time for which is fast approaching.
Willow herself has wandered into the graveyard with her vampire date in search of ice cream. Instead of the ice cream, however, he takes her to a mausoleum where they are soon joined by Darla and Jesse, (who appears to have rather a bad love bite). Hot on their trail, Buffy and Xander soon arrive and Buffy is surprised to learn that the two vampires don’t know who she is. It’s not long before Willow’s date gets the bad end of a stake and, turning on Darla next, Buffy tells the others to get out of there; which they do.
As Darla and Buffy fight, Luke comes in from behind, grabs Buffy and throws her across the mausoleum. Luke tells Darla to leave while he takes care of Buffy. As Buffy and Luke fight, Xander, Jesse and Willow meet with three other vampires in the woods. Backing away, they find their path blocked by Darla.
In the mausoleum, Luke tells Buffy of the forthcoming Harvest which will rid the earth of the plague of mankind. Getting the better of Buffy, Luke throws open a tomb and, with one swift strike, Buffy is laying there, leering, he bends over ready to bite…
TO BE CONTINUED…………………
- When initially creating the idea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon’s aim was for the blonde girl in the alley to turn around and fight back for a change. This idea is shown in the very first scenes of this episode when we see Darla enter the school with a young boy. We initially believe that Darla is going to be the victim and the boy the vampire, when in fact it is the other way around. The scene then played out again when Buffy encounters Angel in the alley.
- There are several references to Buffy burning down the gym at her previous shcool, Hemery High. Although this did not occur in the original movie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was in the original script for the movie.
- Buffy has the first of her prophetic dreams, she sees several events that will happen during the course of the series, including Moloch and The Master.
- Before Buffy starts her first day at Sunnydale High, Joyce asks her ‘try not to get kicked out’. She will be expelled by the end of the second season.
- The High School used for filming the exterior and some of the interior scenes of Sunnydale High School is Torrence High, which was also used in Beverley Hills 90210.
- We see Mr. Gordo for the first time in this episode.
- When Buffy meets Angel for the first time, Angel acts as if he has never seen her before, when in fact he saw her in L.A. on the day that she was called and has been awaiting her arrival in Sunnydale.
- The character of Jesse was set up to appear to be one of the main characters so that audiences wouldn’t expect his death. Joss Whedon wanted to create a separate set of credits for the opening episode to include Jesse, however, the budget wouldn’t stretch to two sets of credits.
- In this season Darla appears to be a very different vampire to the one we come to know in Angel. Rather than the confident 400 year old vampiress we know and love, she appears scared and timid in front of The Master. Of course, Darla was never originally intended to come back from the dust!
- Cordelia mentions the America actor James Spader, Joss Whedon would later cast James Spader as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mr Flutie: All the kids are free to call me Bob —
Mr. Flutie: — but they don’t.
Cordelia (to Xander): Don’t you have an elsewhere to be?
Joyce: Are you going out tonight?
Buffy: Yeah, I’m going to a club.
Joyce: Will there be boys there?
Buffy: No, Mom, it’s a nun club.
Buffy: Who are you?
Angel: Let’s just say I’m a friend.
Buffy: Well, maybe I don’t want a friend.
Angel: I didn’t say I was yours…
Willow (re: Xander): No. We’re just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up.
Buffy: How come?
Willow: He stole my barbie. We were five.
Cordelia: God, what’s your childhood trauma?
Buffy: Now, we can do this the hard way, or… well, actually, there’s just the hard way.
Darla: That’s fine with me.
Buffy: You sure? Now this is not gonna be pretty. We’re talking violence, strong language, adult content.
- When Xander is talking to the girl at the Bronze his hand is on the pole and off the pole throughout.
- When Buffy and Giles are talking about Sunnydale he hands her a series of books with the spine toward her, but when she hand sthe books back to him the spines are toward Giles.
- No Heroes – Dave Agron (as Joyce drives Buffy to school)
- Saturated – Sprung Monkey (as Buffy is choosing her outfit for The Bronze
- Believe – Sprung Monkey (as Buffy arrives at The Bronze
- Swirl – Sprung Monkey (as Jesse talks to Cordelia and Darla at The Bronze
- Things Are Changing – Sprung Monkey (as Buffy talks to Xander outside the Bronze when looking for Willow)
- Losing Ground – Mindtribe
Characters and Story © Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & 20th Century Fox