- “When you brought me back, you promised you'd take care of me. I need this, Chris. I need someone.”
- ―Daryl Epps[src]
Daryl Epps (1978-1996) was a Sunnydale High School student who died in a rock climbing accident, but was brought back as a sentient undead by his younger brother Chris. In life, he had been a running back for the Sunnydale Razorbacks, one of the most talented and popular football players in the school.
Life and death
- “He always looked out for me... stood up for me...”
- ―Chris Epps[src]
On November 17th 1995, Daryl played at the "Westbury game" rushing 185 yards and scoring four touch downs that night. He was MVP and made All City that season. That same year he made All-State.
Prior to the accident, Cordelia Chase had fallen in love with him, but he ignored her. Nevertheless, Daryl stood up for his more intellectually-inclined little brother.
Daryl's death in 1996 heavily affected his family. Chris became more reclusive, while their mother fell into a heavy depression, staying at home all day and constantly watching videos of Daryl's games.
- “He promised me! Promised! I wouldn't have to be alone!”
- ―Daryl Epps[src]
Daryl was reanimated by his brother, who employed unknown means — Willow Rosenberg would speculate that Chris employed an electrical current combined with an adrenaline boost — to restore Daryl’s “spark of life”.
After Daryl had overcome his initial shock at the transformation, Chris tried and find a way to give his brother a ‘mate’ like him so that he wouldn’t have to be alone. Taking advantage of a car accident, Chris was able to acquire the bodies of three dead teenage girls to create the body, but the rapid decay rate of brain tissue meant that Chris would need to actually kill someone in order to obtain a viable brain.
After Chris left because of a crisis of conscience, his lab partner, Eric Gittleson, helped Daryl abduct Cordelia Chase to use her head. However, Buffy Summers and Xander Harris managed to find them in time with help from Chris. Xander took Cordelia out of the lab, while Buffy fought Daryl. During the fight, some containers were knocked over, and a fire was started near the body. Daryl chose to die in the fire with the unfinished “project” instead of living alone.
Behind the scenes
- He was portrayed by Ingo Neuhaus.
- Daryl was based on Frankenstein's monster. His desire for a mate was based on the film Bride of Frankenstein, itself based on a subplot of the original novel, in which the Creature demands his maker to create a similar mate.