|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 5, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 26, 2000|
|Written by||Marti Noxon|
|Directed by||David Solomon|
"Buffy vs. Dracula" is the first episode of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the seventy-ninth episode altogether. It was written by Marti Noxon and directed by David Solomon. It originally broadcast on September 26, 2000.
SynopsisUnable to sleep, Buffy goes out to patrol the cemetery and after staking a vampire, she returns to bed with Riley. The next day, Buffy and Riley play around at the beach, until Willow magically ignites the barbecue, and a sudden storm forces them all to seek shelter from the rain. Two men deliver a large crate to a residence, but when they drop it, a clawed hand breaks through the wood and attacks one of the men.
Giles has Willow start scanning books so that they can be resources for the gang to use. He then announces that he's going back to England because it seems he's no longer needed by Buffy nor the Scoobies. While patrolling, Buffy is confronted by a vampire who condenses from mist and who introduces himself as Count Dracula. When she tries to stake the legendary vampire, he disappears. Xander and Willow arrive to see Dracula before he turns into a bat and flies away. The women discuss how amazing Dracula is, and Riley and Xander both express their jealousy towards the infamous "Dark Prince." Willow makes a lame attempt to attract attention to Giles and his usefulness, but the gang seems oblivious.
As Xander is walking home alone, he encounters Dracula. Using his mysterious charms, the vampire persuades Xander to be his aid and lure the Slayer to him. Riley asks Spike about Dracula, but the former commando is warned that Dracula is too dangerous for him to take on alone. Buffy awakens to find Dracula in her bedroom. She is helpless against his powers and unable to stop him from biting her. When she wakes the next morning, she hides the puncture marks in her neck with a scarf.
While munching on donuts, the gang discusses their plan of attack. Buffy seems distracted and after hearing about the truths of Dracula, she leaves abruptly. Riley follows her and forces her to take off the scarf to show the puncture marks on her neck. Everyone is shocked to see that she has been under the control of Dracula. Since Xander is under Dracula's power, he has a strange hunger for spiders and attempts to defend the powerful vampire to his friends. Xander volunteers to have Buffy stay safely at his place, Willow and Tara use magic to protect the Summers' home, and Giles and Riley go after Dracula.
Anya complains about not going after Dracula herself, until Xander locks her in the closet. Xander takes the willing Slayer to his "Master" in hopes of getting immortality in return. After being left alone with Dracula, Buffy tries to take control and stake him, but he is easily able to make her put the stake down. Riley and Giles discover Dracula's castle, remarking how they've never noticed it before, and enter carefully. Dracula talks to Buffy of all the things he will do for her while she struggles to regain control of herself.
Xander tries to stop Riley from going after Dracula, but Riley quickly knocks him out. Giles finds himself victim to the Three Sisters who effectively keep him distracted. Dracula offers his blood to Buffy, and she hesitantly takes a drink. A flash of memories allows Buffy to break his control over her. Riley rescues Giles from the sister vampires, and they go to save Buffy. Buffy and Dracula fight in a vicious battle, and finally Buffy stakes him. After they leave, Dracula comes back from the dust. Buffy is there and stakes him again, knowing he would come back. Dracula attempts to re-form again but is reminded by Buffy that she is "standing right here". He slips away in his mist-form.
Buffy talks to Giles, telling him that she wants to be the Slayer again, to learn about her duties and her future. She asks Giles to be her Watcher again, and Giles is pleased. Buffy comes home and announces to her mom that she's going out with Riley. As she enters her room, she finds a girl there going through her stuff. Joyce tells Buffy that she should take her sister with her if she goes out.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
- Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
- Emma Caulfield as Anya Jenkins
- James Marsters as Spike
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
- Rudolf Martin as Dracula
- Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
- Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
- E.J. Gage as Mover #1
- Scott Berman as Mover #2
- Marita Schaub as Vampire Girl #1
- Leslee Jean Matta as Vampire Girl #2
- Jennifer Slimko as Vampire Girl #3
- The vampire who was going to show Buffy a darker side of herself was originally envisioned as "just another vampire who rode a horse and was all cool", says writer Marti Noxon. "I kept saying, 'Like Dracula'" - until Joss Whedon said, "Why not Dracula? He's public domain."
- Noxon says the scene in which Dracula implies that Buffy would "make an amazing vampire" thematically resonates with the questions of identity with which Buffy struggles throughout Season 5.
- Rudolf Martin played Sarah Michelle Gellar's love interest Anton on All My Children. He later played Vlad the Impaler (the supposed inspiration for Dracula) in a TV miniseries, Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula, released in the same year.
- Excerpts from this episode appear on a television screen in the Russian vampire film Night Watch.
- This episode is the first to give Emma Caulfield first billing for playing Anya, as she now appears in the opening credits.
Xander - "I'm exhausted just lookin' at those two. All the splashing and jumping and running. Shouldn't relaxing involve less exertion?" Anya - "Absolutely. Exertion can lead to sweatiness." Tara - "Oh, which can cause the, um, pain and heartbreak of stinkiness. Better to just stay put." Willow - "I think we've just put our finger on why we're the sidekicks."
Dracula - "[to Xander] You are strange and off-putting. Go now."
Willow - "I think we have Dracula factoids." Xander - "Like any of that's enough to fight the dark Master - [all stare at him, he acts nervous] -bater."
Xander - "I'm supposed to deliver you to the Master now. There's this whole deal where I get to be immortal. You cool with that?" Buffy - "Take me to him."
Xander - "Where is he? Where's the creep that turned me into a spider-eating man-bitch?" Buffy - "He's gone." Xander - "Damnit. You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt-monkey." -- Xander contracted a mystical form of malaria, smallpox, and syphilis in "Pangs".
Riley - "What can you tell me about Dracula?" Spike - "Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me £11, for one thing." -- in the a comic book "Spike vs. Dracula" Spike purchases a copy of Bram Stoker's new book for Drusilla, which Dracula himself destroyed. The book cost Spike £11.
Buffy - "And you're sure this isn't just some fan boy thing? 'Cause I've fought more than a couple pimply overweight vamps that called themselves Lestat." -- a reference to Anne Rice's series of vampire novels.
- Dracula and Buffy face each other again, with much similar results, in the Dark Horse Comic Tales of the Vampires #3 "Antique" by Drew Goddard. A still unliving Dracula also appears in the Season Eight mini-arc "Wolves at the Gate". A mysterious group of goth-attired Japanese vampires with powers similar to Dracula's also appear in this arc. However, by the end of the arc, both Dracula and the Japanese vampires lose their special powers.
- This is the third time that Buffy is bitten by a vampire. She was bitten by The Master in "Prophecy Girl" and by Angel in "Graduation Day, Part 2".
- This episode marks the first appearance of Dawn, Buffy's little sister.
- After Buffy is bitten by Dracula, it cuts to day outside of Buffy's house and the actual address of 1313 can be seen instead of Buffy's 1630.