Getting help from Dracula seemed like a good idea, until he stole the Vampyr book – and Xander! Now Buffy, Spike, Dawn, Willow, and Giles must save Xander and retrieve the book before it’s too late. Dracula has already begun to study how the lack of magical rules can work in his favor…
Buffy tries to work out a plan for stopping Dracula and getting Xander back. With Xander unwillingly back under Dracula’s thrall, he helps Dracula write in the Vampyr book to make Dracula look youthful forever. Buffy, Spike and Dawn go on shake down mission to try and find the whereabouts of both Dracula and Xander. Dawn confides in Buffy that since she was saved after the Seed of Wonder was restored, she is reliving and feeling all her old memories.
Dracula has used the book to make himself Master of all the Vampires. Three vampires come to pay homage and end up attacking him, saying that if they can kill Dracula then one of them will become the King. He disposes of them, but this makes him realize that he needs to make the entry more definitive.
Giles is still struggling with his new childlike form and Willow reassures him that someone else can take over the grownup responsibility for awhile. Buffy, Dawn and Spike return to their apartment still unable to locate Dracula until they realize that Spike also considers Dracula his own Master and can lead Buffy to him.
Dracula and Xander change the wording in the book to make Dracula “the most powerful vampire of all,” which has immediate repercussions. Buffy, Andrew, Spike, Giles, Willow and Dawn arrive at the hotel and are met by vampires trying to protect Dracula. They are able to fight their way through and make it to Dracula’s hotel room, just in time to see him start to transform. Xander tries to undo what he’s written in the book to no avail. He begs for Buffy’s help to save him. Andrew and Xander realize that the book has a “monkey’s paw” tendency, where-in you get what you ask for, but not in the way you intend. They work together to try and undo what was done by writing something else in the book to no avail. Dracula grows taller and bigger by the second.
Dawn realizes that Xander may be able to provide a link into what is happening inside Dracula’s brain since the two are linked. He finds that he is able to see inside Dracula’s head. He sees himself in the Deeper Well, fighting Buffy. Willow and Giles realize that what was written has turned Dracula into the old one who created vampires. When Willow tells Giles that he was killed, Giles tells her that the most powerful old ones cannot be destroyed and came back when they have an opening. Buffy realizes what is happening and tells the gang to hit them with everything they can, but it is too late. Dracula has already transformed into Maloker.
- "Dark Willow" is a recurring gag in this issue, remembering the events from "Villains," "Two to Go," and "Grave."
- Dawn recalls Buffy saving her from fading away ("The Core"), but reveals it caused a reset of her emotional memory, restoring her to her first appearance with fourteen years old, when she had a crush on Xander ("Real Me").
- Buffy and Dawn talks about the death of Joyce ("The Body").
- Buffy mentions fruitlessly trying to stake Dracula, in "Buffy vs. Dracula."
- Despite not identified, the Soul Glutton makes his first appearance, in Maloker's flashback.
- Xander visualizes Maloker's memories from the Deeper Well fight in "The Core;" Willow recalls his death, and Buffy recognizes it, mentioning she had Magic Council members on their side.
- Buffy Summers
- Willow Rosenberg
- Xander Harris
- Andrew Wells
- Rupert Giles
- Dawn Summers
- Mohawk vampire
- Orange spiked demon
- Red horned demon
- Purple fish-like demon
- Brown-haired conquest vampire
- White-haired conquest vampire
- Conquest vampire with bandana
- Bald Dracula-worshiping vampire
- Red-haired Dracula-worshiping vampire
- Blond-haired Dracula-worshiping vampire
- Brown-haired Dracula-worshiping vampire
- Soul Glutton (Only in flashbacks)
- Unidentified black-haired caveman (Only in flashbacks)
- Unidentified light-haired caveman (Only in flashbacks)
- Unidentified cavewoman (Only in flashbacks)
- Maloker's caveman victim (Only in flashbacks)
- Joyce Summers (Only mentioned)
Organization and Titles
- Scooby Gang
- The Key
- Magic Council (Only mentioned)
- Redwood Investment Group (Only mentioned)
- San Francisco, USA
- Transylvania (Only mentioned)
- Deeper Well (Only mentioned)
Weapons and Objects
- Mohawk vampire, staked by Buffy.
- Brown-haired conquest vampire and Conquest vampire with bandana, decapitated by Dracula.
Behind the Scenes
Pop Culture References
- Spike mentions Buffy watching marathons of the police and legal TV series Law and Order.
- The Purple fish-like demon swears to Lovecraftian character Cthulhu.
- A poster in Slurg's Supernatural-American Social Club mentions "Hellapalloza," in parody of the music festival Lollapalooza.
- Buffy says Dawn is going "Heisenberg in yoga pants," referring to the character Walter White 's nickname on TV series Breaking Bad.
- Spike and Andrew say the expression "catch-22," from the novel Catch-22 (1961).
- Buffy quotes the popular phrase "Take us to your leader."
- Xander mentions the story of The Wizard of Oz.
- Giles refers to Buffy as the detective character Sherlock Holmes.
- Xander compares Dracula's transformation to the character Hulk.
- Andrew and Xander compares the Vampyr's rules to "The Monkey's Paw" (1902) short story.
- Andrew mentions the "Newhart Gambit," referring to the season finale of the Newhart TV show.
- Xander mentions film director, producer, and screenwriter Peter Jackson.
|Buffy - "Beautiful. So a soulless evil monster took the power to write the rules of the universe out from under our noses."|
|Dawn - "And Xander."|
|Buffy - "What?"|
|Dawn - "He took Xander too. Put him back in "Yes Master" mode, like flipping a switch. And I…I couldn't make him stay."|
|Giles - "Damn it all to hell! This is complete and utter bull –"|
|Willow - "Language, mister!"|
|Dawn - "I remember everything that's happened. Being with Xander, falling in love with him. But I don't feel it. I have that stupid high school crush on him I had when I was fourteen. But what he feels for me is so deep, so intense…"|
|Buffy - "And you can't handle it."|
|Dawn - "No. I can't. Not on top of…everything else I'm catching up on…"|
|Buffy - "Everything…wait, are you saying it's like the past few years are coming back to you all at once, for the first time? Dawnie…even Mom?"|
|Dawn - "It's like I just lost her. All over again."|
|Andrew - "Work with me here. Vampires have a kind of special relationship with their sires, right? Well, isn't Dracula, like, Big Daddy Master of all vampires in a way?"|
|Spike - "Listen up, Sunshine. No one's my master. No one. Except, of course, for the Lord of all Vampires, Dracula."|
|Willow - "We need to make a path to the stairs."|
|Giles - "I suggest a spell of cleavage – Cleaving. I meant cleaving."|
|Buffy - "Hormones are fine until they get you killed. Do it!"|
|Xander - "Now I'm in the deeper well…and I see us. I'm fighting us. Buffy, you look tiny! Like a feisty, foul-mouthed action figure!"|
|Willow - "Oh Godess. I understand now."|