|This article is about the episode. For the character, see Inca Mummy.|
"Inca Mummy Girl" is the fourth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and the sixteenth episode in the series. It was written by Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer, and directed by Ellen S. Pressman. It originally broadcast on October 6, 1997 on The WB.
MUMMY MAY I — Buffy and Giles are suspicious of Ampata, a Peruvian exchange student staying at Buffy's house, when a fellow student goes missing during a school field trip to the Natural History Museum and a broken Peruvian pictogram-cover plate is found in his place. Meanwhile, after Xander falls head over heels for Ampata, he faces certain death when his love interest is revealed to be an ancient mummy who must kill to stay alive.
Sunnydale High School is hosting a cultural exchange program, and students have been paired with international exchange students who will live with them for two weeks. In preparation, Buffy's class takes a field trip to a museum, where they see an Inca exhibit. Buffy's mom signed Buffy up for the exchange, and she is paired with a student she knows nothing about, except that it's a boy named Ampata. Xander becomes jealous when he learns that she will room with a guy.
After everyone leaves the museum, a class delinquent, Rodney Munson, tries to steal a ceramic plate held by an Inca mummy, but instead, he breaks the seal. Instantly, the mummy — a princess — wakes up, and pulls the unfortunate student into her coffin. That night, the Scoobies, having heard of something suspicious going on, sneak into the museum, where they encounter a man in traditional Inca clothing wielding a sword. Initially he attacks them but quickly vanishes. Willow notices that the supposed 500 year old mummy has modern braces on its teeth, and it is assumed that the original mummy sucked the life out of the Sunnydale High student.
Buffy remembers she is late to pick up the exchange student at the bus station, and she rushes there. While she is on her way, though, the mummy lures the real Ampata away and sucks the life out of him, restoring her youth and beauty. When Buffy arrives, the now youthful mummy poses as Ampata. Xander is instantly smitten with her, and the two begin a mutual flirtation.
At school, Giles has been trying to decipher the markings on the fragments of the Inca seal, and he asks Ampata to decipher it. She reluctantly explains that it describes how a 16 year old girl was chosen to die to save her people, and a bodyguard has also been chosen to keep her from straying from the path. She also tells Giles to destroy the seal completely, with an implication that if it is reassembled, it will be a danger to Ampata. The bodyguard, meanwhile, has gone to the school. He finds Ampata and confronts her. She evades him, but he finally catches up with her later on. She tells him that she wants to live, that she shouldn't have been forced to give up her life at such a young age, that she was innocent. He tells her it was her duty, and that she has killed other innocent people now. She then grabs him and gives him the kiss of death in the school bathroom, sucking out his life to keep herself alive, young, and beautiful. Back in the school hallway, the smitten (and oblivious) Xander asks Ampata to the dance and she gladly accepts. Willow is crushed to see Xander yet again with another girl while he continues to see Willow as his best friend and never in a romantic light.
Back at Buffy's, Ampata's trunk has arrived from the bus depot, and as Buffy starts to open it, fake-Ampata urges her not to bother, and distracts Buffy by talking more about the Inca mummy's ceremonial seal as the camera briefly reveals that inside the trunk is the real Ampata's now mummified corpse. "Ampata" speaks eloquently of the princess's suffering and difficulty in obeying her duty to die at 16, the same age Buffy is. Buffy is primarily miffed that she can't go to the dance because she must help Giles with her Slaying duties and save lives, and Ampata is occupied with eagerly anticipating the dance. She killed three people for this opportunity, and since she was sacrificed at such a young age, she was never able to experience such social activities when she was alive.
The dance is a costume party in which students are supposed to embrace other cultures' attire. Cordelia has an argument with Devon, who then discusses her attractiveness with his guitarist Oz who is absolutely unflappable and doesn't really care. Ampata dresses in her flattering Inca princess clothing, and Xander can't take his eyes off her. Willow has gotten dressed up in an Eskimo parka, unintentionally making her look like a dork. Except for Cordelia, who speaks to her only to insult her, Willow is by herself at the dance. As Xander and Ampata share a romantic dance, Oz notices Willow and is instantly drawn to her. During their dance, Ampata's hands start to return to their mummified state. She runs away from Xander, and then draws a student, Jonathan, into another room with plans of sucking the life out of him to preserve her own youth. However, Xander arrives, looking for Ampata, and the student runs away.
Back at Buffy's place, Giles tells the Slayer that the bodyguard's mummified remains were found in the school bathroom. They rush to open Ampata's trunk to find out more about her, and discover Ampata's real body. They inform Willow, who leaves the dance just before Oz can introduce himself. Giles then heads to the museum to piece together the Inca sacred seal while Buffy hurries to save Xander from Ampata's deadly kiss. Ampata cares too strongly about Xander, however, and instead of kissing him, she runs away and heads to the museum. She grabs the seal from Giles and shatters it. Buffy rushes to save Giles, but Buffy and Giles both end up entombed together in the mummy's sarcophagus, unconscious. Willow arrives, and the deteriorating Ampata goes to feed off her. Xander shows up and insists that if she must feed on anyone, it should be him; despite Ampata's feelings for him, she is quickly deteriorating back into a mummy, and is now willing to kill him to remain alive. Buffy wakes up and escapes from the tomb to fight her, saving Xander. In the battle, Ampata weakens to the point of returning to her mummified form, and when Buffy grabs her, she breaks and the rest of her body shatters on the floor.
The next day at school, Xander claims to have bad taste in women. Buffy assures him that Ampata did care for him but was simply in poor circumstances. When likening her situation to how Buffy was expected to die at the hands of the Master, and how she fought him anyway, Buffy reminds Xander that he was the one to bring her back.
- This episode features the first appearance of Devon and Oz. Devon will go on to appear and be mentioned in a number of episodes, while Oz will go on to be a central character and member of the Scooby Gang until season 4. This is also the first appearance of Oz and Devon's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, though the band is mentioned in the pilot episode.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Jonathan Levinson, a minor character who repeatedly pops up in following seasons.
- Xander asks Ampata: "You're not a praying mantis, are you?", in reference to Xander's crush in "Teacher's Pet", who turned out to be a She-Mantis.
- This episode marks the first of several times Oz will spot Willow, before finally meeting her in "What's My Line? Part Two". In this episode, through the crowd, Oz spots Willow in her Eskimo outfit and is instantly smitten. When he tries to speak to her she is being pulled away by Buffy to find Xander.
- In the episode "Anne", Xander and Cordelia are arguing because Xander thinks she's had an affair, to which Cordelia retorts, "Oh yeah, sure, I bet you met up with some little Inca Mummy Girl over the summer. Yeah, I heard about that."
- This is the first time Xander kisses someone on screen.
- Cordelia Chase
- Gwen Ditchik
- Rupert Giles
- Ampata Gutierrez
- Alexander Harris
- Jonathan Levinson
- Devon MacLeish
- Rodney Munson
- Daniel Osbourne
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Joyce Summers
- Inca Mummy
- Unidentified tour guide
Organizations and titles
- Peru (Only mentioned)
- Sunnydale, USA
- Sweden (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
- Rodney Munson, drained of his lifeforce by the Inca Mummy at the museum.
- The real Ampata Gutierrez, also drained of his lifeforce by the Inca Mummy at the bus station.
- The "bodyguard", also drained of his lifeforce by the Mummy in a school bathroom.
- The Inca Mummy, kept away from her life force.
Behind the scenes
- David Boreanaz (Angel) does not appear in this episode. This marks the first and only time (until his departure from the show after "Graduation Day, Part Two") he is absent from an episode since joining the main cast.
- This is the fifth episode of the series without any vampires, after "Witch", "The Pack", "I Robot, You Jane", and "The Puppet Show".
- Both Nicholas Brendon and Ara Celi had to eat up to ten Twinkies each for each take of the scene in which they are eating "snack food"
- "Inca Mummy Girl" pulled in an audience of 3.2 million households.
- This exchange was cut because of length:
- Ampata: "He [Xander] has a way of making the milk come out of my nose."
- Buffy: "And that's good?"
- This line was also cut:
- Buffy: "I'm not a big secret-sharer. I like my secrets. They're secret."
Pop culture references
- Xander's costume for the exchange-student dance references the Man with No Name, the character Clint Eastwood plays in The Dollars Trilogy. When Buffy asks about his costume, he explains that he is from "the country of Leone; it's in Italy (actually Spain), pretending to be Montana (actually Texas or New Mexico)" — a further reference to the Spaghetti Westerns directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone.
- There is a black and white oval sticker labeled by the letters "WP" seen behind Xander when he says to Ampata, "Why'd you run away?" The letters stand for the southern jam/rock band Widespread Panic. The same sticker appears in a number of episodes: "Halloween", "Bad Eggs", "Surprise", "Phases", "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "Becoming, Part Two", "Dead Man's Party", "A New Man", "Wild at Heart", "The Yoko Factor", and "The Replacement". Later, starting in season 4, Buffy and Willow have a Widespread Panic poster in their dorm room.
- Oz mentions the theme from A Summer's Place, a 1959 movie. The theme is later used in Buffy episode "Him".
- Armenian: "Ինկերի Մումիա-աղջիկը" (Inca Mummy-Girl)
- Czech: "Incká mumie" (Inca Mummy)
- Finnish: "Inkamuumio" (Incamummy)
- French: "La Momie Inca" (The Inca Mummy)
- German: "Das Geheimnis der Mumie" (The Secret of the Mummy)
- Hungarian: "Inka hercegnő" (Inca Princess)
- Italian: "La Prescelta" (The Chosen One)
- Japanese: "インカ帝国のミイラ王女" (Inca Empire Mummy Princess)
- Polish: "Mumia" (Mummy)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "A Múmia Inca" (The Inca Mummy)
- Romanian: "Fata mumie" (Mummy Girl)
- Russian: "Девушка-мумия инков" (Inca Mummy Girl)
- Spanish (Latin America): "La Momia" (The Mummy)
- Spanish (Spain): "La Momia Inca" (The Inca Mummy)
- The book The Xander Years, Volume 1 includes a novelization of this episode.
- The English language teaching reader Inca Mummy Girl includes a second novelization of this episode.
- The episode script was included in The Script Book: Season Two, Volume 1.
- A scene based on this episode was included in the Big Bads & Monsters Adult Coloring Book.
- This episode's original score was included in the album Buffy the Vampire Slayer Soundtrack Collection.
- Gil Birmingham, who portrays the bodyguard, would become better known for his portrayal of Billy Black in the Twilight films, another vampire series.
- Ampato and Sabancaya are both volcanoes in Peru.
Behind the scenes
|Buffy - "Oh, I know this one! 'Slaying entails certain sacrifices, blah blah bliddy blah, I'm so stuffy, give me a scone.'"|
|Willow - "Well, you know, I have a choice. I can spend my life waiting for Xander to go out with every other girl in the world until he notices me, or I can just get on with my life."|
|Buffy - "Good for you."|
|Willow - "Well, I didn't choose yet."|
|Willow - "The non-violent approach is probably better here."|
|Buffy - "I wasn't gonna use violence. I don't always use violence. Do I?"|
|Xander - "The important thing is: you believe that."|
|Willow - "On the other hand, maybe Rodney just stepped out for a smoke."|
|Xander - "For twenty-one hours?"|
|Willow - "It's addictive, you know."|
|Giles - "We'll deal with that when we've ruled out evil curses."|
|Buffy - "One day I'm gonna live in a town where evil curses are just generally ruled out without even saying."|
|Buffy - "Come on! Can't you put your foot down?"|
|Giles - "It is down."|
|Buffy - "One of these days you're gonna have to get a grownup car."|