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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Episode Slayer, Season 1, Episode 10: Nightmares

by Helen

            Buffy has found her way into The Master’s underground lair. Stake raised she walks around the candle-lit cave, unaware that The Master himself is lurking in the shadows. Finally, Buffy hears him move behind her and spins to face him. She drops her stake in fear and freezes, unable to fight. He reaches for her neck, fangs bared and she screams. “No, no!” Buffy tosses in her sun-drenched bed, muttering to herself “No, no!” until her mother shakes her out of her nightmare, waking her up for school. She also tells Buffy that her dad has confirmed that he is coming to visit her this weekend.

            At school that day Buffy talks to Willow about her dad’s visit. She reveals that her parents divorce is fairly recent and that she doesn’t know why they split. She wonders if the trouble she used to get into at her old school because of her slaying contributed. She also tells Willow that she only sees her dad on occasional weekends when he comes from L.A. to visit.

            Cordelia is fixing her makeup before health class when a guy name Wendell accidentally annoys her. She is telling him off when Xander walks up and begins mocking her. Buffy and Willow walk into the classroom and Xander and Wendell head over to them. They all chat until class starts. Buffy drops her pencil. As she leans over to pick it up she sees a small boy standing in the doorway of the classroom. Buffy is too busy staring at him to notice the teacher asking Wendell to read a paragraph from the textbook. He opens his book and large spiders pour from between its pages. The spiders crawl all over Wendell and he screams “Get them off of me!” Everyone else is screaming as well, everyone that is except the boy standing in the door. He looks on calmly and then says quietly. “Sorry about that.”

            The Master is giving a lesson to the Anointed One. He tells him that the most powerful force in the world is fear, but it can be conquered if you are willing to face it. Then he tells him that he can feel a powerful psychic force rising in Sunnydale.       

            Buffy’s mom drops her off at school the next day and notices that Buffy seems kind of sullen. Buffy says she didn’t sleep well, something her mother already knows since Buffy was shouting in her sleep. Buffy is also nervous about her father’s impending trip.

            Willow and Xander find Buffy in the hallway. Willow is very keen on investigating the previous day’s spider attack, so they head into the library to find Giles, who promised to do some research for them. The library at first appears to be empty but then Giles runs out of the back room looking very flustered. He tells them that he got lost back in the stacks and that he wasn’t able to find anything particularly useful. He suggests they talk to Wendell himself. The three of them find Wendell sitting alone in the courtyard. He seems to be in shock. As they are talking to him, Cordelia stops to snidely remind Buffy that she should be heading for their history test. Buffy had no idea she had a test and rushes off to class. Xander and Willow continue talking to Wendell and he tells them that he used to collect spiders. They were his pride and joy until he went off to camp for a few weeks. His brother didn’t take care of the spiders properly and when Wendell came back they were all dead. Ever since then he has had a recurring nightmare. He is in class. The teacher asks him to read something. He opens his book and his old spiders attack him. Yesterday, when it happened in real life, he thought he’d just fallen asleep in class. Then everyone else started screaming too.

            While Wendell is recounting his living nightmare, Buffy wanders the halls looking confused. She sees Cordelia standing at the door of a classroom. Cordy realizes that Buffy doesn’t even know where their history classroom is, but she’s not surprised. Buffy has cut history nearly every day. Buffy is freaked out. She has no idea how she is going to pass this test. She goes into class. Everyone, except her, already has the exam. She tries to get the teacher’s attention but he doesn’t notice her. Finally he hands her a test. It’s very long and all open-ended questions. She glances at the clock. It is 11:20. Buffy goes to write her name on the test and her pencil tip breaks. She sharpens her pencil and glances at the clock again. It is 12:05. Suddenly the bell rings. Everyone but Buffy turns in their tests. She sits at her desk in shock and suddenly sees the same boy as she saw yesterday, again standing in the classroom doorway. He stares at her with a sad look on his face before walking away. The young boy walks down the halls of the school and sees a girl sneak into the basement to have a smoke. He shakes his head, saying quietly “You shouldn’t go in there.” The girl heads into the basement and is lighting up when a large, monstrous looking man comes out of the shadows. He says “Lucky 19,” before charging at the girl. She screams and he begins beating her with an arm shaped like a giant club.

            That day Giles and Buffy go to the hospital to visit Laura, the girl whose been beaten. Laura tells them what happened. They talk to her doctor who says she’ll be fine. Despite her extensive injuries she got off easier than the first victim. When they ask what he means, he shows them the room of a comatose young boy. He was attacked the exact same way Laura was except he hasn’t woken up since. He may die.

            Back at school, some tough guy is talking to his friends about fighting while down the hall Willow and Xander discuss whether Wendell and Laura’s cases are connected. Willow wonders if maybe Laura had a nightmare about being beaten. Just then the tough guy’s mother runs up to him and starts hugging and kissing him and calling him cutesy nicknames right in front of his friends. He is completely mortified. Xander and Willow walk into health class. Suddenly the whole class looks up and starts laughing and pointing at Xander, who is now wearing only his underwear. Xander freaks out, screams, and runs from the room.

            Back in the library Giles is squinting at a bunch of back issues of the local paper mumbling to himself, “This can’t be, this can’t be.” Buffy walks in and asks him what he’s found and he reveals to her that he has lost the ability to read. Buffy picks up the paper he was trying to read and recognizes the picture on the front page. It is a photo of the boy she has been seeing around school, except here he is wearing a baseball uniform. The article reveals that the boy, Billy Palmer, was found beaten and unconscious after a baseball game. He is currently in a coma and in critical condition. Buffy realizes that this is the boy the doctor showed them at the hospital and the date of his attack was last week, before she saw him wandering around the school. Giles theorizes that Billy may be projecting an astral body, a second body that can wander around while you’re sleep. Then Buffy notices that the number on Billy’s uniform is 19. She wonders if he is Lucky 19. Just then Buffy’s dad walks into the library. He’s come early because he needs to speak with her about something. Buffy introduces him to Giles as Hank Summers and then goes off with him.

            Hank and Buffy go outside to talk. Hank says he is here to tell Buffy the real reason that he and her mother broke up. It was because of Buffy. Because she was self-centered, and rude and always getting in trouble. He couldn’t stand to live in the same house with her. Buffy is extremely upset by this and starts crying. Hank doesn’t seem to care and adds that he doesn’t get anything out of his weekends with her so he’s going to stop coming to see her. Then he gets up and walks away. Billy peaks out from behind a pillar and watches Buffy cry, but when Buffy sees him he leaves.

            Willow and Xander rush into the library as Xander puts on gym clothes. Giles asks what happened to Xander’s other clothes and the two admit they don’t know. Xander refers to the situation as a total nightmare and Willow has a realization. Wendell dreamed about being attacked by spiders and it happened, Xander has dreamed about being naked in front of class and it just happened. Giles catches on. He has dreamed about being lost in the stacks and losing the ability to read and both of these things actually happened to him today. Unfortunately not all their dreams are coming true, only their nightmares. Giles believes that this is Billy’s fault. He thinks that by being in a coma Billy has been trapped in a nightmare world. Thanks to his close proximity to the Hellmouth he has been able to cross over to the real world and has brought the nightmare world with him, which means soon everyone in Sunnydale is going to be experiencing their worst nightmares. In fact they already are. Cordelia looks into her locker mirror only to discover that her hair is terrifying.

            Meanwhile Buffy is walking around campus still miserable about what her father said to her. She sees Billy again, this time sneaking into the gym. She follows him and finds him sitting alone on the bleachers. She talks to him and he seems confused and upset. She asks if he is Lucky 19. He tells her that that’s what the ugly man calls him and then he starts to freak out, saying the ugly man hurt him and the other girl. He screams “He’s here!” and Buffy turns around just in time to see the man who attacked Laura swinging his club-arm down towards her. He hits Buffy but she gets back up and fights him. While they fight Billy runs away. Eventually the ugly man hits Buffy’s leg, making it hard for her to fight, so she limps out of the gym as quickly as she can.

            Back at the library the rest of the gang rush off to tell Buffy’s what’s happening. Since she dreams a lot about monsters she is probably in more danger than everyone else. They split up to find her faster.

            Buffy jams the outside gym doors with a field hockey stick and finds Billy standing nearby. Billy apologizes and says he can’t help it. Buffy asks Billy who is attacking them but Billy just calls him the ugly man. He insists they have to hide. Buffy wants to find her friends, so she hurries away from the gym, taking Billy with her.

            Willow is walking through the halls looking for Buffy when she hears Cordelia shrieking. Her hair still looks atrocious but now she is wearing really ugly clothes as well and being forcibly pulled into a Chess Club meeting by two very nerdy boys. Willow stops to watch and hears her name being called from behind the door that leads to the basement. Thinking it might be Buffy calling her, she heads down to the basement. By the time she gets there she is very frightened. All of the sudden a hand grabs her shoulder and yanks her into the shadows.

            Xander meanwhile comes in from searching outside only to find that the hallway he is standing in is a mess. Most noticeable is a good deal of plastic sheeting hanging from the ceiling. Xander is distracted by a candy bar that’s been left on the floor. As he starts to eat it he finds another one. He starts to eat that one too and then spots another one.

            Buffy isn’t so happy. She’s limping around the school with Billy unable to find the library. They’ve ended up outside and she notices Billy watching some guys playing baseball and looking sad. She asks him what’s wrong and he answers, “Baseball.” He talks about how bad it is when you lose and tells her that it was his fault his team lost the game last week. Buffy insists that it couldn’t have been entirely Billy’s fault that they lost but Billy replies “He said it was my fault.” Buffy want to know who “he” is and if “he” hurt Billy after the game. Billy gets uncomfortable, so they go off in search of Buffy’s friends again, only to find the ugly man heading towards them. They jump through the hedge they are standing next to and come out on the other side in a nighttime cemetery.

            The hand that grabbed Willow belongs to a stage manager. He leads Willow, who is now dressed in an elaborate costume, into a busy backstage, telling her it’s time for her show to start. Willow hears an announcer presenting the performance and much to her horror realizes that she is supposed to be singing an operatic duet. The stage manager shoves her on stage. When it’s Willow’s turn to sing she opens her mouth but only a squeak comes out. The crowd gasps disapprovingly.

            Xander is still wandering down the trashed hallway, his hands now full of candy bars. He walks through some of the plastic sheeting and finds a candy bar called a Chocolate Hurricane. At first he is excited; he hasn’t had one since his 6th birthday. But as he realizes this he grows scared. Someone is laughing maniacally down the hall and as the laugh grows closer, Xander turns around. Suddenly a clown burst through the sheeting and still laughing, swipes at Xander with a large knife. Xander screams, trips, and runs from the clown on all fours.

            Back in the cemetery, Billy finds an open grave with an open coffin in it. Billy asks who died and suddenly The Master comes from behind a tombstone telling them no one died. It’s no fun to bury people if they’re dead. He looks Buffy up and down and declares her prettier than the last Slayer. Buffy doesn’t understand how The Master escaped. He explains that her nightmares are coming true, so whatever she is deeply afraid of is becoming reality. The Master grabs Buffy by her throat, and just as she did in her nightmare, she freezes. He throws her into the open coffin and it shuts itself. Then The Master starts to bury her alive.

            Willow rushes offstage and through a door, boos and rotten fruit following her. She finds herself in the now scary halls of Sunnydale High. She runs into Xander who reminds her of his 6th birthday party where a clown chased him and he got so scared that he had nightmares about it. Willow laughs as she remembers but then recalls what happened in those nightmares and realizes they are in trouble. Just then the psycho clown slashes through some plastic sheeting with his knife and charges at them. They run and slam right into Giles, who upon seeing the clown also runs. Bursting through curtain after curtain of plastic sheeting, they find themselves in the same hallway as Xander started in. Finally Xander gets frustrated. He turns around and punches the clown in the face, knocking him into a ladder. Then he yells at the unconscious clown about how lousy an entertainer he was.

            The three of them rush out of the front of the school. Xander feels good, but he is the only one. Chaos surrounds them. Giles realizes that soon the real world will fall completely into the nightmare world. He decides the best course of action is to try and wake Billy but first they have to find Buffy. Suddenly they notice that there is cemetery across the street that wasn’t there before and for some reason it is nighttime over there. They go to investigate. Xander asks who nightmare this is and Giles reveals it’s his. He knows because he has just spotted a tombstone bearing Buffy’s name. He kneels by her fresh grave and puts his hand on the soil. Suddenly a hand reaches up and grabs his wrist. Giles tries to pull away but only succeeds in pulling the owner of the hand out of the grave. It’s Buffy and she’s sporting a vamp face. The moment she realizes she’s become a vampire she freaks out and tries to hide her face. Now they are in Buffy’s nightmare. Giles tells her what’s going on and begs her to hold onto her humanity long enough to help them. She says she’ll try but they better hurry because she’s getting hungry.

            Like the school, the hospital is in shambles. The gang rushes into Billy’s room without anyone noticing. Astral Billy is there standing by comatose Billy’s bedside. Giles tells him he needs to wake up. Billy says he can’t, he has to hide. Giles ask from what and Buffy answers, “From him.” She is talking about the ugly man who is now in the hallway outside the room. Buffy goes out to face him. Willow checks on the state of the town through the window only to find all of Sunnydale has been infested by huge swarm of bees. Back in the hallway the ugly man is grunting “Lucky 19.” Buffy attacks him with a vampire’s ferocity. They fight and the end up knocking each other into the hospital room. Buffy breaks the club-shaped arm off of the ugly man and he seems to lose all his power, falling to the ground. Buffy tells Billy he has to finish the job. No more hiding. Billy comes over and grabs the ugly man’s face, peeling it off like a mask. A white light fills the room and suddenly everything returns to normal. The hospital is functioning, they are all in their original clothes and Buffy is human again. Astral Billy is gone and the real Billy is waking up. He says he had the strangest dream and all of them were in it. Then he asks who they are. Just then Billy’s baseball coach walks in. He starts chatting with them, telling them that he calls Billy his Lucky 19. Suddenly everyone realizes who the ugly man is. Buffy confronts him, telling him Billy is awake. Billy confirms that his coach attacked him for losing the game. The coach tries to run but Xander grabs him before he can escape.

            They all return to school, where Buffy expresses her amazement that the coach of children’s team would do something like that. Xander’s not surprised though, he’s just amazed it wasn’t one of the parents. Buffy insists that Xander is a hero for grabbing the coach when he ran and Xander is happy to find Buffy viewing him that way. Just then Buffy’s dad shows up to pick her up for the weekend.  He is warm, loving and very happy to see her. After Buffy leaves Willow asks Xander if he was still attracted to Buffy when she was vampire. Xander admits that he was.       

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Updated 9/14/07  


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