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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1, Episode 2: The Harvest

by Helen

            Just when it looks like everything is over for Buffy, Luke recoils. Buffy is wearing the metal cross the mysterious man gave her and it has burnt Luke’s hand. Buffy take advantage of his moment of weakness to escape. Speeding across the graveyard she finds and saves Willow and Xander from the vampires but Darla has already grabbed Jesse and no one saw which way they went.

            The next morning in the library, Giles and Buffy explain everything to Xander and Willow. Earth was once ruled by demons and vestiges of that old world exist in the form of magic and supernatural creatures such as vampires. Although they are skeptical, after their experiences the previous night, Xander and Willow can’t help but accept that vampires do exist.

            Underground in the sewer system, Darla and Luke force Jesse into their cavern and present him to The Master. Darla accidentally reveals that she’s tasted Jesse which displeases The Master. He complains about being trapped in a church (for the underground cavern is actually a collapsed church) and mentions that he soon will be able to ascend. Darla and Luke tell him that they may have encountered a Slayer.

            Back at the library Giles and Buffy are explaining what a Slayer is. Xander wants to know how to kill vampires but Buffy tells him that he is not the Slayer, so it’s not his concern. Then they work on making a plan to save Jesse. Buffy heard what Luke said about offerings and so they hope Jesse isn’t being used as simple food, giving him a longer lifespan. But in order for them to track the vampires they are going to need a schematic of Sunnydale’s sewer system and underground tunnels. Meanwhile The Master wants to confirm that Buffy really is the Slayer, so he decides to use Jesse as bait, rather than as a meal.

            Back at the library, Willow pulls up the city plans on the Internet (a simple task since she had previously hacked into the city government’s security system). They find the tunnel the vampires probably took but don’t see any access points to it from the graveyard. Then Buffy realizes that when Luke first attacked, he came from behind her even though she was facing the entrance of the mausoleum. She also realizes that he never followed her out, so the access to the tunnel system must be in the mausoleum. Xander wants to accompany Buffy but she won’t let him, again telling him that since he is not the Slayer, it is not his concern. Willow also wants to help so Giles asks her to research The Harvest on the Internet.

            Just as Buffy walks out the front gate of the school, Principal Flutie catches her and informs her rather angrily that she cannot leave campus while school is in session. He then closes and locks the front gates. The moment he walks away Buffy uses her Slayer abilities to flip over the fence.

            As Xander and Willow walk to class they work on thinking up Internet search terms to help them find info about The Harvest. They are feeling overwhelmed because their lives have changed so suddenly and Xander is feeling useless because he has no official role to play in Jesse’s rescue.

            Buffy goes into the mausoleum and finds the mysterious man waiting for her. He tells her his name is Angel and insists Buffy she shouldn’t go down there and put herself at risk so close to The Harvest. The Harvest is happening that night and if Buffy can’t stop it The Master will escape. Buffy says she has to go down there because her friend is down there. She then asks Angel if he knows what it’s like to have a friend. She means it as simple taunt but the look on Angel’s face reveals that his answer may well be “No.”

            Descending underground Buffy finds Xander following her. She tries to get him to leave but he won’t go. As they walk Buffy describes how to kill vampires and hands Xander a cross. It is another image from her dream. Back at the library Giles continues researching The Harvest in the books from Buffy’s dream and realizes that The Harvest is that night. In computer class Cordelia and her friend Harmony are having trouble with a program they’ve wrote. However, they spend more time gossiping about Buffy than trying to fix it. Willow attempts to defend Buffy and Cordelia responds by attacking her. Once their program finishes running Cordy isn’t sure how to save it, so Willow takes her revenge by tricking her into deleting it instead.

            Back in the underground tunnels, Buffy and Xander find Jesse chained up. They break him free of his shackles but make noise doing it. Shadows begin moving around them, as though someone is approaching, so they run. Jesse reveals that he is bait and the group suddenly finds themselves blocked at every turn by vampires. Jesse leads them into a small room that he says may be an exit. But the room is actually a dead end and Jesse reveals that he is actually a vampire. As Jesse taunts them, Buffy begins to close the door to the room they are in so they will only have to deal with one vampire. Xander attempts to hold Jesse back with the cross Buffy gave him but Jesse gets around him, so Buffy picks Jesse up and throws him into the pack of vampires that is heading for their room. Xander then helps her close the door on them and latch it. But the vampires are fighting against the door and it is not going to hold long. Buffy and Xander find a roof grate and escape just as the vampires are about to grab them. The Master is irate that Buffy escaped and punishes one of his higher ranking minions by digging out his eyeball with a long, sharp fingernail.

            Willow goes to see Giles to show him some research she has found about vampire murders in the 1930’s and Giles begins to understand what is going on. Luke meanwhile presents himself to The Master in a formal ceremony during which The Master draws a symbol on Luke’s forehead and reveals that anybody Luke feeds off of tonight will feed The Master, giving him the strength to escape his prison. That night The Master will walk the Earth again.

            Willow and Giles are researching in the library when Buffy and Xander come back and give them the bad news. Giles then reveals to them that The Master came to Sunnydale 60 years ago to open the Hellmouth, which acts as a mystical portal between this world and the demon world. He wished to return Earth to the way it was before mankind was here. However while opening the dimensional portal he caused on earthquake and got swallowed up along with a lot of the town. He ended up getting stuck in the Hellmouth, acting as a sort of cork sealing it up. The Harvest, which can only happen once a century, will allow him to break free, thus popping the cork on the Hellmouth and opening it. Giles adds that The Master will gain his strength through a minion bearing a symbol on his head. It is the same symbol that The Master drew on Luke. Xander is convinced that The Master’s servants are going to The Bronze. After all it is dark place full of tasty young morsels.

            As the sun sets Buffy goes to her house to change into more appropriate clothing and gather supplies. She is confronted by her mom who got a call from Principal Flutie telling her that Buffy missed several classes today. Buffy’s mom is worried that Buffy is falling back into her old habits so she forbids her from going out that night. Buffy is forced to sneak out the window.

            As it gets dark, the Bronze fills up with young people. Cordelia is there dancing with Jesse watches her from a distance. Now that he is vampire he looks more confident and handsome. When a slow dance comes on Cordelia finds herself confronted by Jesse. She rejects him again but this time Jesse won’t take no for an answer and so Cordelia agrees to one dance.

            Outside a gang of vampires lead by Darla approach The Bronze. They force the bouncer inside and take over the club. Luke addresses the crowd from the stage, shocking them all with his vamp face. Cordelia at first thinks Luke is part of a band until she realizes that Jesse is now sporting a vamp face too. Luke then drinks the bouncer’s blood in front of the whole crowd. Underground The Master grows stronger.

            The gang rushes up to The Bronze and finds it locked. Buffy sends the rest of them around to the back entrance with vampire fighting supplies and tells them to get the people out.  As Luke continues to feed, The Master continues to get stronger. Jesse meanwhile is disappointed when Darla takes Cordelia away from him to give to Luke. Buffy breaks into The Bronze on the second story interior balcony and sees Luke on the stage with the symbol on his head. She then sees Darla hand Cordelia over to Luke. Buffy jumps down and confronts Luke who shoves Cordelia aside so he can fight.

            As Buffy and Luke battle, the gang breaks open the back door and starts evacuating the people. Suddenly a vampire grabs Xander from behind, so Buffy takes a cymbal off the stage and throws it frisbee-style to chop off the vamp’s head. This moment of distraction allows Luke to grab Buffy from behind. Jesse reclaims Cordelia, pins her to the ground, and tries to feed off of her. Xander distracts him by threatening him with a stake as Willow and Giles continue the evacuation. Darla, seeing them, attacks Giles. Xander meanwhile isn’t able to bring himself to stake Jesse and Buffy seems to be slowly passing out in Luke’s ever-tightening grip. Suddenly Buffy flings her head backwards, smashing it into Luke’s face. Disoriented, he lets go of her. Willow takes some of the holy water Buffy gave them and splashes it in Darla’s face, sending her screaming away. Jesse however still has the best of Xander. Knowing that Xander doesn’t have the nerve to kill he walks right up to Xander’s stake and continues to taunt him. Suddenly one of the innocent bystanders who is running for the exit bumps into Jesse, shoving him into Xander’s stake. He dusts and Xander is attacked by two new vampires. Buffy picks up a metal pole and aims it in Luke’s direction. Luke grins at her. “You forget…metal can’t hurt me.” Buffy responds. “There’s something you forgot about too…sunrise.” She flings the pole behind Luke’s head and shatters the painted-over window behind him. He is bathed in light and desperately tries to cover himself before he notices that it is not the sun shining on him but an overhead lamp from the next room. Buffy stakes him in the back during his confusion. “It’s in about nine hours, moron.” Underground, The Master feels Luke’s death and realizes he is still trapped. He falls into despair.

            In The Bronze the vampires carrying Xander away see Buffy kill Luke and then see the look on Buffy’s face when she sees them. The let Xander go and run. Outside the Bronze Angel sees the vampires running and smiles. “She did it…I’ll be damned.” Buffy and the gang regroup inside. They are glad they won but still sad that things got as bad as they did. Xander is convinced that nothing will ever be the same.

            The next morning Sunnydale High is bright and sunny with students bustling about, much as it was on Buffy’s first day there. Cordelia is gossiping as usual. She’s spreading the rumor that rival gangs took over The Bronze the night before, and that Buffy knew them. Xander and Willow are amazed that people are rationalizing what happened but Buffy and Giles aren’t surprised. Giles then informs that living on the Hellmouth they should prepare to face many more supernatural threats, and may even have to save the world again. Buffy instead decides to focus on getting kicked out of school for a second time and as the teenagers wander away helping Buffy with her plan, Giles sighs to himself, “The Earth is doomed.”


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Updated 7/15/07  

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