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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Prophecy Girl
June 02, 1997
4V12

 
Credits

Writer:
Joss Whedon


Director:
Joss Whedon


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Mark Metcalf as The Master
David Boreanaz as Angel
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
Andrew J. Ferchland as The Anointed One
Cast:
Scott Gurney as Kevin

 
Synopsis

Xander finally gets the nerve to ask Buffy out, and she feels bad when she has to tell him that she doesn't feel that way about him. Things get far worse, though, when she overhears Giles and Angel discussing a prophecy saying that the Master's ascension is at hand and that she will die trying to stop him — at this she shouts out, telling Giles that she quits. But the vampires are growing stronger and after an attack at the school she decides it is time to face the Master. She is led to him by the Anointed One and is quickly overcome, the Master draining her blood and leaving her face down in water. Xander finds Angel, telling him she has gone to face the Master, and the pair set off to help, arriving to find her apparently dead. Xander, however, performs CPR and Buffy awakes feeling stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Giles, Willow, Cordelia and Ms. Calendar are fighting off vampires and a huge monster that has come from the Hellmouth at the school. Buffy arrives back at the school to face the Master again and this time wins, throwing him through a glass roof onto a wooden shard below. At this, the monster disappears back into the Hellmouth and the gang retire to Bronze to relax. — Short synopsis by angel_star.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

The vampiric hijinx are consistent with the vampire mythos created by Joss in "Welcome To The Hellmouth," while the big ol' demon that tries to come through the opening Hellmouth seems inspired by the writings of 1920's horror author H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote many stories concerning eldritch dimensions peopled with horrific creatures of all descriptions.

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Dialogue to Die For

Xander, practicing to ask Buffy to the Spring Fling dance: "Y'know, Buffy, Spring Fling just isn't any dance. It's a time for students to choose, um... a mate and then we can... observe their... mating rituals and tag them before they migrate just kill me!"

Willow: "You think I wanna go to the dance with you and watch you wish you were at the dance with her? You think that's my idea of hijinx? You should know better."

The entire scene in which Buffy reacts to finding out the fatal prophecy, known affectionately to us as the "I Quit" scene, is one of the finest pieces of writing and acting in the entire series, and it ends with perhaps the most heartbreaking line ever: "Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die."

Buffy: "I may be dead, but I'm still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Buffy: "He's not going anywhere. Loser."

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References

    Locutus
  • "I'm sorry, calm may work for Locutus of the Borg here, but I'm freaked out, and I intend to stay that way."  In the third-season finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an episode entitled "The Best of Both Worlds," Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard was captured by the Borg, an emotionless cyborg race bent on universal assimilation, and turned temporarily into one of them. In his converted state, he was known as Locutus of the Borg.
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Notes

  • The Pergamum Codex, given to Giles by Angel, returns in this episode. According to Giles, "There is nothing in it that does not come to pass," which explains why he was so eager to get it in "Invisible Girl."

  • Buffy's parents met at the Homecoming dance in Joyce's freshman year of college, when Joyce didn't have a date and Hank did.

  • Giles: "The Master is as old as any vampire on record."

  • Cordelia has apparently succeeded in getting her driver's license sometime since failing her driving test in "The Witch."

  • After being resuscitated by Xander, Buffy says, "I feel strong. I feel different." No explanation of the nature or cause of this change is ever given, either in this episode or in subsequent episodes.

  • Unlike other vampires, only the Master's soft tissue turns to ash when he dies, and his skeleton is left behind. Other than as a setup for the plot of the second season premiere, "When She Was Bad," no explanation is given for this discrepancy. The accepted theory seems to be his age, but this is never explained on the show.
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Music

  • Patsy Cline - "I Fall to Pieces" (Recorded in 1960, available on many albums and collections)
      Xander listens to this song as he sulks in his room and ignores the phone after being rejected by Buffy.

  • Jonatha Brooke & the Story - "Inconsolable" (From Plumb, MCA/Blue Note Records, 1995)
      Plays as Buffy sadly looks through her photo album, and continues through subsequent scenes.
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Comments

Brian:
Season finales, especially those in continuty-reliant shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The X-Files, should be slam-bang, memorable feats of writing, production, and acting which leave the viewer breathless, craving more, and cursing the show's makers for making them wait through the whole summer for more. "Prophecy Girl" fulfilled all my expectations on those scores with flying colors and panache to spare. SMG tears the lid off the role of Buffy in a passionate and memorable performance which left me with no doubt that she is the best thing to happen to television since Full House got canceled. :-) Xander and Willow charm and endear even more than usual; Willow's reaction to the AV room massacre was wonderfully heart-breaking, as was Giles concern for Buffy. The acidic Ms. Calendar makes a welcome return, and contributes a nice balance to the normal self-absorption of the regulars (When Willow, concerned for Buffy's safety, petulantly asks Giles, "How come she's in the club?", Ms. Calendar replies, "Hey, the Hellmouth opens, the demons come to party, and then everybody dies!"). The ending was a bit weak, I thought: it wraps everything up a little abruptly and doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the episode. However, considering the strength of the rest of the episode and the fact that at the time this was filmed, it wasn't known if Buffy would be back for a second season, the ending's flaws are forgivable. (10/10)
Will:
Going into this episode I was enthusiastic to see how they would end the season, and depressed because I knew that I would have to wait until September to see what happens. I was not disappointed. Joss Whedon served up a vicious cliffhanger...kind of. The Master was killed...Buffy is a vampire? ...Maybe. This episode was, in my opinion, true drama. The normal humor was toned down for this episode, but that is what made it work so well. It was scary, suspenseful, intelligent, and wonderfully true to the story and the characters. September is too far away. (10/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
June 02, 1997 2.3 97 of 113 (tie)
September 8, 1997 NA NA
August 3, 1998 2.5 91 of 112 (tie)

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