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Discussion of 5.01 "Buffy Vs. Dracula" - Aired 9/26/00 (WB-US)

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,657
Age
49
I read somewhere that Dracula was originally supposed to be played by Freddie Prinz. Now, there's something that's the stuff of nightmares!

But I did enjoy this episode. Dracula has always been one of my favorite movie monsters, and the actor who portrayed him gave us a somewhat different view of the character than we normally get to see. The ending was funny, where Buffy keeps staking him, and he keeps coming back. You just can't keep a classic vampire down.
I dated one of the characters voiced by him and yes I was surprised when I found that out but he does quite a lot of video game voices these days - huge video game geek always has been apparently used to take pleasant in beating up tough guys in street fighter games as the Chinese girl that Nicki Minaj rapped about.
 

Oromous

Socially Awkward
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
650
Age
31
Location
Singapore
Sineya
Season 5 marks a certain unique period of growth in the series, and it's something you could tell right from the first episode. Unlike the season 4 vibe of "moving on from high school to college," Buffy vs. Dracula is more focused on Buffy's maturity as a Slayer, with Giles admitting that she has become wiser and stronger that she very well might not need him anymore. Naturally, by the end of it, this is proven to be not true in a very heartwarming moment that's definitely a highlight moment in the series.

I like this development. For much of season 4, Giles (along with Xander) has been sitting around being treated as the elderly facing midlife crisis. This development in the season 5 opener gives us the reminder of Giles' significance among the Scoobies, Giles the Mind.

I love Dracula and the other Universal Monster Trio, and I think this crossover was a matter of time. Many superheroes have gone against Dracula, from Spider-Man to Batman, so the Vampire Slayer has to have this one encounter with the vampire of legends. Unfortunately, he turns out to be something of a joke, but it's not surprising considering whom he's up against. Dracula is just among the many who underestimates the Slayer's powers (see the equally cheesy Sunday from "The Freshman"). That said, I love that Marti Noxon really played up all the familiar vampire tropes associated with Dracula; turning into mist, turning into a wolf, turning into a bat, hypnosis, etc. But in hindsight, it makes Dracula feel like such a drama queen, prettying up his entrance instead of getting down to it. Bonus points for the Lestat reference as well.

Speaking of references, Xander wins the best joke of the episode: "Also, where did you get that accent? Sesame Street? Von, two, three! Three victims! Mah-ha-ha-ha!" Ouch! Somebody get Dracula a wet towel for that burn.

As with season 4, Xander is becoming more likable than the first three (even if he still has that childish fetish for Willow's relationship with Tara). It's so Xander in these later seasons to remain pleasant while under Dracula's thrall: "I'm supposed to deliver you to the Master now. There's this whole deal where I get to be immortal. You cool with that?" Bonus points for Xander acknowledging his long-running status as a butt-monkey. Whether if the writers would decrease the usage of such a tired trope remains to be seen.

Other characters would still remain the same this episode without any growth or maturity... namely Riley:
"I couldn't believe the first 20 times you told us, but it's starting to sink in now."
"What with Angel, it's understandable that there would be transference."
"But you are NOT going anywhere near (Dracula) again."


And there's the passive-aggressive misogynist I loathe so much. Welcome back, I guess. Could you please leave? Like forever? Like never return to the series this or the next season? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Sigh.

To be fair, the other male characters were also under the influence of jealousy as well, so Dracula might have simply amplified the inherent toxicity within Riley up to eleven. Who knows with Dracula lore? It's so arbitrary. Like is Dracula going to stay as mist for the rest of the series? Oh well.

I also hated this line from Riley: "If the Initiative was still around, we would have been able to find everything in a few hours." I'm sorry, but you lost me at "If the Initiative was still around." Do you have rocks for brains, Riley? Initiative, evil, remember? It's like Captain America saying, "Boy oh boy, if only the HYDRA-infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D was still around!" 🙄

Something of a return to form that I like is Willow becoming computer-savvy again. While she did do some hacking in season 4, those moments were far and few between, so I'm hoping we get more of these moments to show Willow's smartness with both magic and technology.

Also, beginning this season, every of Joyce's dialogue feels like it would be a foreshadow to "The Body". What little dialogue she has in this episode feels like it's building up on the loss of connection between her and the Scoobies, with her voicing out about her loneliness and her own midlife crisis.

Overall, a fun season opener, but not one that says as much about the characters as the other openers, especially "The Freshman". In fact, I would rank this above Freshman just for being far more fun, and also how it introduces us to the darker elements behind Buffy's Slayer powers.

Final Rating: 7/10

Next episode...
dawn-scream.jpg


Oh boy.
 
Last edited:

Oromous

Socially Awkward
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
650
Age
31
Location
Singapore
Sineya
Just a small correction that I only noticed now, something I can't really ignore:
"Overall, a fun season opener, but not one that says as much about the characters as the other openers, especially "The Freshman"."

I meant to say "except The Freshman," not especially. :p Most of the season openers except The Freshman felt significant to the character development, whereas The Freshman felt more like "Here we go again; Buffy is still on top form."
 

Faded90

Scooby
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
843
Age
63
Season 5 marks a certain unique period of growth in the series, and it's something you could tell right from the first episode. Unlike the season 4 vibe of "moving on from high school to college," Buffy vs. Dracula is more focused on Buffy's maturity as a Slayer, with Giles admitting that she has become wiser and stronger that she very well might not need him anymore. Naturally, by the end of it, this is proven to be not true in a very heartwarming moment that's definitely a highlight moment in the series.

I like this development. For much of season 4, Giles (along with Xander) has been sitting around being treated as the elderly facing midlife crisis. This development in the season 5 opener gives us the reminder of Giles' significance among the Scoobies, Giles the Mind.

I love Dracula and the other Universal Monster Trio, and I think this crossover was a matter of time. Many superheroes have gone against Dracula, from Spider-Man to Batman, so the Vampire Slayer has to have this one encounter with the vampire of legends. Unfortunately, he turns out to be something of a joke, but it's not surprising considering whom he's up against. Dracula is just among the many who underestimates the Slayer's powers (see the equally cheesy Sunday from "The Freshman"). That said, I love that Marti Noxon really played up all the familiar vampire tropes associated with Dracula; turning into mist, turning into a wolf, turning into a bat, hypnosis, etc. But in hindsight, it makes Dracula feel like such a drama queen, prettying up his entrance instead of getting down to it. Bonus points for the Lestat reference as well.

Speaking of references, Xander wins the best joke of the episode: "Also, where did you get that accent? Sesame Street? Von, two, three! Three victims! Mah-ha-ha-ha!" Ouch! Somebody get Dracula a wet towel for that burn.

As with season 4, Xander is becoming more likable than the first three (even if he still has that childish fetish for Willow's relationship with Tara). It's so Xander in these later seasons to remain pleasant while under Dracula's thrall: "I'm supposed to deliver you to the Master now. There's this whole deal where I get to be immortal. You cool with that?" Bonus points for Xander acknowledging his long-running status as a butt-monkey. Whether if the writers would decrease the usage of such a tired trope remains to be seen.

Other characters would still remain the same this episode without any growth or maturity... namely Riley:
"I couldn't believe the first 20 times you told us, but it's starting to sink in now."
"What with Angel, it's understandable that there would be transference."
"But you are NOT going anywhere near (Dracula) again."


And there's the passive-aggressive misogynist I loathe so much. Welcome back, I guess. Could you please leave? Like forever? Like never return to the series this or the next season? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Sigh.

To be fair, the other male characters were also under the influence of jealousy as well, so Dracula might have simply amplified the inherent toxicity within Riley up to eleven. Who knows with Dracula lore? It's so arbitrary. Like is Dracula going to stay as mist for the rest of the series? Oh well.

I also hated this line from Riley: "If the Initiative was still around, we would have been able to find everything in a few hours." I'm sorry, but you lost me at "If the Initiative was still around." Do you have rocks for brains, Riley? Initiative, evil, remember? It's like Captain America saying, "Boy oh boy, if only the HYDRA-infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D was still around!" 🙄

Something of a return to form that I like is Willow becoming computer-savvy again. While she did do some hacking in season 4, those moments were far and few between, so I'm hoping we get more of these moments to show Willow's smartness with both magic and technology.

Also, beginning this season, every of Joyce's dialogue feels like it would be a foreshadow to "The Body". What little dialogue she has in this episode feels like it's building up on the loss of connection between her and the Scoobies, with her voicing out about her loneliness and her own midlife crisis.

Overall, a fun season opener, but not one that says as much about the characters as the other openers, especially "The Freshman". In fact, I would rank this above Freshman just for being far more fun, and also how it introduces us to the darker elements behind Buffy's Slayer powers.

Final Rating: 7/10

Next episode...
dawn-scream.jpg


Oh boy.
Riley is like a giant fun sponge in that scene in Giles’ apartment. The others are all having fun talking about their experience. Plus he’s pacing behind the sofa while the others are all sitting amongst each other. Buffy looks uncomfortable at him a few times this scene as he’s making it clear how jealous he is

I’ve always interpreted Riley in Willow’s dream in Restless as that Willow just doesn’t view Riley as fitting in with them ‘why is there a cowboy in the play anyway?’. This is painfully clear in this episode because he never joins in with their dorky fun and clearly despite all evidence seems to view The Initiative as superior to the scoobies efforts
 

palabravampiress

Bidet of Evil
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
3,045
Location
Sunny SoCal
Black Thorn
Just did a rewatch of this ep after reading Season 8: Wolves at the Gate. Honestly, I was disappointed with Drac in the TV show. Season 8 really gave me the Drac that I wanted (and that the character deserves).

In the S5 opener, while I enjoyed the humor, I would have liked an explanation of why they, apparently, let Drac and his brides live. Err, un-live? No one went back to stake the brides. Side note: get you some, G-man. At the end, Buffy let him dissolve into mist with something like, "Seriously? I'm still here."

There seemed to be professional respect and admiration on both sides which, actually, I really liked.

Not terrible, but S8 Wolves at the Gate? Waaaay better.

P.S. Would love to see Buffy vs. Lestat, but not the pimply fanboy versions. Maybe those, too.
 
Priceless
Priceless
I loved Drac and Xander's relationship in Season 8 so much

Stake fodder

Soulless
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
679
Location
Caught on a root
I would have liked an explanation of why they, apparently, let Drac and his brides live. Err, un-live? No one went back to stake the brides. Side note: get you some, G-man. At the end, Buffy let him dissolve into mist with something like, "Seriously? I'm still here."
I think Dracula proved impossible to kill. He just kept turning into mist and re-forming. The truth is, they're always letting vampires un-live, if they have any kind of relationship with them.
 

ILLYRIAN

Druish Pervonian Wizard
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
9,072
Age
65
Location
Toodyay
Black Thorn
That makes the sort of sense that is, not.
Now, if the (Dracula) mist was about to be Dracula, then Buffy saying "Seriously I'm still here" makes the sort of sense that is.
 
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