- “You taste like strawberries.”
- ―Rack to Willow Rosenberg[src]
Rack was an evil warlock who has apparently resided in Sunnydale since 1998. In 2001, he received a visit from Amy Madison and Willow Rosenberg, after they had exhausted all their own magics at the Bronze; this is the first time that his presence was brought to the attention of the Scooby Gang, Buffy Summers, or the show's audience, though Amy had clearly had prior dealings with him. Rack was apparently well known within the demon community, though not a demon himself. Many semi-demons and weaker magical persons were scared of his very name and refused to help guide anyone to him; in fact, when Spike heard his name, he immediately recognized his name and was visibly alarmed to learn that Willow was in his company.
Rack's hideout was cloaked so that only demons and those with magic abilities could find it. Once inside, there was a waiting room, usually filled with several people (magic junkies), and a back room where he lived and did magic. He pinned Willow to the ceiling in that room with magic. Willow's pupils and irises turned a solid black for several hours at one point while she was on the ceiling—she loved the magical high.
Rack was the mystical equivalent of a drug dealer. However, he would not share his magic until after the recipient allowed him to explore her mentally. Willow didn't seem to like it, but allowed it. After this, Willow and Amy spent several hours with Rack. Willow's addiction to magic became immediately more severe and she went back to Rack's apartment the next night with Dawn Summers in tow. Willow had told Dawn they were going to the movies, but before they get to the movie, Dawn is told Willow must make a quick stop. Leaving Dawn unprotected in the waiting room, Willow spends at least 2 hours in Rack's room, just being high on magic, again on the ceiling. Willow finally emerges and ignored Dawn's concerns and complaints, apparently not realizing (or caring) how long she was in Rack's room.
Upon leaving Rack's place, they were attacked by a demon who claimed that Willow summoned him. In order to escape, Willow attempts to drive a car with magic, and gets into an accident which leaves Dawn badly injured. This terrifies Dawn, as well as seriously injuring her friendships with the Scoobies, who find them almost immediately. Buffy and her team have been searching all of Sunnydale for the pair, Buffy finally learns about Rack and, confessing sobbingly to Buffy that she is addicted and needs help, Willow renounces her magic and severs her contact with Rack and Amy.
Rack's activities afterward are unknown up until Warren Mears accidentally shot and killed Tara Maclay. Warren paid Rack for protection after he discovered that Buffy had survived his assassination attempt. Rack warned Warren that Buffy was the least of his problems compared to Willow; Rack gave Warren the protection spells and some magical weapons that Warren had paid for and sent Warren on his way, though he warned Warren that there is no guarantee that they would stop Willow. Shortly thereafter, Rack was visited by Dark Willow, who appears to kill the unstable warlock by draining his life force into hers, which gave her a much needed magical boost.
Though Rack appeared to die, in actuality he survived though lost his powers. He eventually found himself as a traveller in an alternate dimension. While travelling, magic was cut off from Earth as a result of Buffy Summers breaking the Seed of Wonder, and Rack became trapped in a mystical dimension. Some months later, he would encounter the very witch who robbed him of his powers, Willow Rosenberg, who was on a mission to restore magic to their home dimension. Rack disguised himself in a demonic form and introduced himself as Marrak and became her travelling companion, and earned her trust by rescuing her from attacking wing-heads, demons which contain dreams and nightmares from Earth.
While traveling, Willow was reunited with her long lost lover Aluwyn and her "supercoven" of traveling witches. Marrak tried to dissuade Willow from losing sight of her mission, but was banished from the witches' paradise for his impertinence. Later, he appeared to Willow in her dreams using the wing-heads to inform her that her magical paradise was an illusion and that she was being kept on a perpetual "high" while the Earth suffered. Remembering her friends, Willow parted ways with Aluwyn and returned to Marrak's company, only to find him more covetous of dark magic having absorbed all the dark magic of the wing-heads. It was then she realised who he truly was, and attacked him with a magical blast which restored his true form. Revealed, Rack vowed to steal Willow's magic away from her much as she had stolen his. After a conflict that extended across various alternate universes, their fight ended when they arrived in a sentient universe, the universe's antibodies attacking and destroying Rack while Willow survived due to her ability to accept her past darkness- admitting that Rack merely encouraged a pre-existing addiction rather than creating one-, allowing her to move on from Rack for good.
Powers and Abilities
Rack was a warlock of the highest order, capable of manipulating dark magics by the wave of a hand. He was capable of charging other beings with magical energy, causing them to experience very vivid hallucinations, and, in the case of witches and warlocks, even losing control of their own powers. He was also capable of telekinesis, extreme cloaking abilities (he could hide his entire building from all but demons and magic users), as well as sensing and reading auras. Similar to Willow, he is capable of absorbing magical energy from others and has mastered a multitude of spells. He is capable of casting purifying fires.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Jeff Kober.