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I've made certain deals to get where I am today. This demon requires his tribute. You see, that's what separates me from other politicians, Mr. Trick… I keep my campaign promises.
―Richard Wilkins[src]

Richard Wilkins was the Mayor of Sunnydale since its foundation up to 1999.[6] He was a sorcerer bent on becoming a pure demon,[7] Wilkins had made pacts with demons[8] to obtain immortality as well as his power-base,[6] though his public persona was that of a charismatic, conservative, and pleasant family man.[9]

Biography

Background

Wilkins arrived in California in the 1800s. He went on to found the town of Sunnydale, California in May 1899,[1] where a Slayer, Naayéé'neizgháni, had died.[10] Wilkins found the Hellmouth infested with demons, with whom he made a pact to avoid being killed himself.[citation needed]

He agreed to found a town on the Hellmouth where demons could freely feed on the inhabitants of the town.[citation needed] In his deals with demons such as Lurconis,[8] he sold his soul[11] and gained immortality.[6] In 1899, he began planning his Ascension into the form of an Old One called Olvikan that would take place in one hundred years.[citation needed]

Wilkins circa 1907.

Wilkins married Edna May in 1903. In time, she grew senile and cursed him for his youth until she died of old age. It was not a happy time for the couple, and Wilkins learned from experience what an immortal's relationship with a mortal would become.[12]

To conceal his immortality, Richard Wilkins pretended to be his own son in each subsequent generation. By the year 1999, he had adopted the names Richard Wilkins Junior and Richard Wilkins III.[6]

Preparing for the Ascension

The Mayor hires Mr. Trick to do his dirty work.

Filling the power vacuum left by the absence of Angel, Spike, and Drusilla, Wilkins quickly assumed control and leadership over Sunnydale's vampire population.[11][9] In the coming months to the Ascension, Wilkins worked to ensure his transformation into an Old One would run smoothly and free from interference. This involved using the principal of Sunnydale High School, Snyder, keep the Slayer Buffy Summers out of school (which proved unsuccessful)[13] and hiring the vampire Mr. Trick to help organize some of his supernatural dealings,[4] such the ritual offering of Lurconis that was thwarted by Buffy when she killed the demon.[8]

Wilkins also kept tabs on Spike's various "shenanigans" the previous year and when it was discovered that he had returned to Sunnydale, Wilkins had Trick arrange a "welcoming committee" consisting of Spike's former lackeys to keep him from messing in his plans. Once again, his attack was thwarted by the Slayer.[11]

The Mayor gains total invincibility in preparation for the ascension.

Two days before the Dedication, commencing the 100 days of invulnerability before the Mayor's ascension, Wilkin's old rival Balthazar arrived in Sunnydale along with his vampire army of El Eliminati in search of his amulet that would restore his power. Mr. Trick presented the Mayor with evidence that Balthazar's minions had come to town, but the Mayor decided to just keep an eye on them in hopes that the vampires and the Slayers — Buffy and Faith — would kill themselves off. He was attacked by one of Bathazar's minions who managed to intercept his office, and then used the minion to test his invulnerability following the Dedication.[14]

During this, the Mayor's deputy Allan Finch betrayed him by leaving a paper trail of the Mayor's dealings (which the Mayor subsequently shredded) and intending to fill in the Slayers behind his back. However, Faith accidentally killed him in the crossfire. The Mayor initially saw this as beneficial because it meant one of the Slayers would end up in prison and out of his hair, but he soon realized that the Slayers were onto him when he discovered them sneaking into the Sunnydale City Hall. Because he lacked sufficient evidence to lock them away, Wilkins ordered Mr. Trick to assassinate the Slayers. To the Mayor's surprise, Faith killed Trick along with his henchmen before visiting the Mayor and offering to work for him in Trick's place.[15]

Working with Faith

Faiths joins the Mayor as his personal assassin and errand girl.

Faith and the Mayor quickly got along swimmingly and he even bought her a fully furnished apartment complete with a PlayStation, because he did not like to see her stay at a place with an "unsavory reputation" like the Sunnydale Motor Inn. In the meantime, the Scooby Gang was trying to find out all they could about the Mayor. Because Faith was still working alongside them, Faith told Wilkins that Willow was going through his personal files and he ordered her to be killed. His plan was averted when the henchmen he sent mistook her vampire counterpart for her, and she beat them into submission.[9]

The Mayor and Faith formed something of a father-daughter relationship. Wilkins treated her like a young woman rather than a cold-blooded killer, while at the same time fostering her descent into evil by assigning her deadly missions and rewarding her with an expensive knife for her services.[12] The Mayor's assignments for Faith in preparation for his Ascension include killing the demon Skyler, who had offered the Slayers the Books of Ascension for a price, and taking the books to prevent the Scooby Gang from learning more;[6] picking up the Box of Gavrok and murdering the courier, so they got it free of charge;[12] and murdering Lester Worth, a volcanologist who had discovered the fossil remains of the same Old One the Mayor aspired to ascend to.[7]

The Mayor also attempted to have Angel lose his soul and become evil in hopes that he would get Buffy out the way and become another asset to the Mayor's team. He initially got Faith to try to seduce him, but failed due to Angel's ability to refrain from intimacy and his devotion to Buffy. Wilkins then employed a demonic shaman to remove Angel's soul magically. The Mayor then had the seemingly-desouled Angel team up with Faith to capture and torture Buffy (but not kill her as it would lead to a replacement Slayer). However, it turned out that the loss of Angel's soul was actually a ploy set by the Scooby Gang to trick Faith into revealing that the Ascension would occur during that year's Graduation Day at Sunnydale High, with even the shaman Wilkins hired being in on the plot. The event revealed Faith's true allegiance to everyone, fully isolating herself from the gang and bringing her closer to the Mayor.[6]

The Ascension

The ascension is finalized; Wilkins becomes a pure demon.

The Ascension would occur during the graduation ceremony, where the Mayor would attend the event as a guest speaker. In order to distract Buffy the day before the event, the Mayor had Faith shoot Angel with an arrow tipped with Killer of the Dead, a poison that slowly killed vampires. Buffy learned that the blood of the Slayer was the only thing that could cure Angel, and she fought Faith almost to the death using her own knife.[7] Faith survived, but was put into a coma due to her severe injuries. Wilkins was distraught by Faith's predicament and displeased that she wouldn't be alongside him come the time of his Ascension. He attempted to smother Buffy to death in her hospital bed, after she was taken to the same hospital for letting Angel drink her own blood because Faith's was unavailable.[1]

Wilkins then achieved his ascension into the gigantic Olvikan during the graduation ceremony. It occurred slightly earlier than expected, to his annoyance, since he had not finished his speech. He planned on devouring all the graduating students; however, Buffy and her friends managed to get every one of the graduates to fight back against Wilkins and his vampire lackeys. The Mayor resisted their attempts and killed many people there, like Principal Snyder and several students, such as Larry Blaisdell. Buffy exploited his love for Faith by taunting him with the knife he had given to Faith and with which Buffy put her in a coma. That, combined with calling him "Dick," caused the Mayor to charge at her angrily. Buffy lured Wilkins into the empty library, then filled with bags of dynamite, a trap also planned by the class. Giles pressed the trigger that obliterated the Mayor and the school building. Wilkins' the exclaimed his last words: "Well, gosh."[1]

Legacy

The Mayor's message to Faith.

Immediately after Faith had fallen into a coma, Wilkins knew that she would eventually wake up, despite the doctors telling him otherwise. Accepting the possibility that his plan would fail, Wilkins filmed a message to Faith on videotape for a demon courier to give her when Faith came out of her coma. Wilkins knew that Faith wouldn't last in a world without him, so he left her a Draconian Katra, a magical trinket he got over the years. The device would allow Faith to switch bodies with anyone, and she chose Buffy. However, her ruse was discovered and Buffy managed to swap back. With nobody to lean on, Faith fled Sunnydale for Los Angeles.[16]

When Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Spike visited the ruins of the high school to prevent the Hellmouth from opening, they found the Mayor's burnt remains scattered over the dilapidated halls.[17]

The First Evil used Wilkins' likeness on occasion,[18] especially with Faith.[19]

Return

During the Reckoning, Wilkins returned once again as a threat to the Scooby Gang. He revealed to have survived his apparent death during the Graduation Day battle thanks to his Old One constitution, spending years pulling himself back together.[2]

During the decisive battle of the Reckoning, Wilkins was eventually killed for a second time, betrayed by Harth Fray, who beheaded him to preserve the power just to himself.[3]

Powers and abilities

You see, I'm what you might call 'impervious'. Can't be killed, or harmed, in any way.
―Richard Wilkins[src]
  • Magical manipulation: Before transforming into a demon, Wilkins was a powerful sorcerer who specialized in the dark arts. He had a cabinet full of shrunken heads, bones and supernatural paraphernalia.[8]
  • Immortality: He had gained an extended lifespan and eternal youth thanks to demonic benefactors.[6]
  • Regeneration: After performing the Dedication, he could not be harmed in any way for 100 days until the Ascension, and was able to heal from massive injuries immediately.[14]
  • Political influence: Wilkins possessed great political power. After the departure of the Order of Aurelius and their successors, he filled the power vacuum left behind, allowing him to assume control of the majority of Sunnydale's vampire population.[11] He used his political power to cover up supernatural phenomenon[20] and keep an eye on the Slayer in Sunnydale.[21]

Demon physiology

As the embodiment of the demon Olvikan, he possessed superior strength, endurance, and size, endowed with a thick, bone-armored hide, sharp teeth and mandibles, and a spiked tail-club.[1][22]

  • Self-reconstitution: After being blown up in 1999,[1] Wilkins spend about a decade reconstituting himself back into being.[2]

Personality

Oh! Faith. I don't find that sort of thing amusing. I'm a family man. Now, let's kill your little friend.
―Wilkins answers being called "sugar daddy"[src]
B3 Wilkins 01.jpg

Wilkins had quite a pleasant demeanor. A polite man with an aversion to swearing and bawdy humor, he nearly always wore a smile on his face. He called himself a "family man",[9] though he claimed that he never had any children[7] and his wife, Edna May, died resenting him for his youth.[12] He loved The Family Circus, Toll House cookies, and miniature golf, but he disliked Marmaduke,[14] who seemed unsanitary to him. Despite his status as an evil sorcerer, he was quite friendly. He managed to develop a close father-daughter relationship with Faith (despite attempting to send her to prison and killing her at first) and was genuinely distraught when she went into a coma. One of Wilkins' most notable traits was his obsessive hygiene,[6] which he learned from his mother.[4]

However, it was this same parental love for Faith that allowed his darker side to show. When Buffy managed to critically hurt her, Wilkins, in a fit of grief and rage, almost smothered Buffy to death in the hospital (until Angel stopped him). He tells Angel that "misery loves company" and then refers to Buffy as Angel's "whore" (which was a break in his normally clean language that showed the depth of his distress). Buffy was able to bait Wilkins after his Ascension into following her by taunting him with the custom knife he had given to Faith as a present, which Buffy had taken and which was still smeared with Faith's blood, exploiting the remnants of his humanity.[1]

Despite early signs of bad decision making, Faith's full transition into Buffy's enemy was aided by the Mayor, who freely pushed her to embrace being a rogue Slayer. Combined with gifts such as her own apartment,[9] a custom knife,[12] and poison,[7] Faith thought that it was possible that he may have been exploiting her, but it did not feel like that.[23] Years after his death, she still felt fondness for him, saying that he used to be "like a dad" to her, regardless of the fact that he was evil.[19]

Gallery

Behind the scenes

  • He was portrayed by Harry Groener, then dubbed by Chris Mezzolestaref in Season Eight Motion Comic.
  • In a deleted scene of the series premiere of Firefly, it is learned that the Alliance troops who advanced on the Independents in Serenity Valley were led by General Richard Wilkins. The characters are not related, as Firefly is not part of Whedon's Buffyverse.

Appearances

Canonical

Other

References

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