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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 4: Inca Mummy Girl, Original air date: 10/6/1997

by Helen 

Buffy, Willow and Xander walk up to the Sunnydale Natural History Museum for a field trip to a special Cultural Exchange exhibit. The exhibit is part of Sunnydale High’s large Cultural Exchange program that includes a costume ball and foreign exchange students. Buffy’s mom has invited an exchange student to stay at the Summers residence and Buffy is not happy about it. Xander, on the other hand, thinks it is kind of cool. Cordelia also likes the program. Inside the museum she shows off a picture of the cute Swedish boy who is staying at her house. Buffy mentions that her exchange student is also a guy, although she hasn’t seen a picture of him. The moment Xander finds out that Buffy will be having a boy staying at her house, he changes his mind about liking the foreign exchange program.

Buffy notices a student vandalizing a mask on display. She asks Willow and Xander about it and they tell her that the boy doing it is a Rodney Munson. He is a known troublemaker. Someone walks up to Rodney and he growls at them, baring his braces-covered teeth and scaring the kid away. Willow, who is Rodney’s Chemistry tutor, goes to talk to him.  

A tour guide leads the students into an exhibit about Incan human sacrifice. He shows them an Incan mummy and tells them that she was once a beautiful teenage girl, chosen to be the Incan princess and then sacrificed to the gods. She is protected from any who would dare to wake her by a cursed seal which she still holds in her hands. While standing over the mummy. Xander starts interrogating Buffy about her very male houseguest and Buffy reveals that his name is Ampata and they are picking him up from the bus depot the next night. After the tour guide leads the students to the next room Rodney sneaks back to the Incan mummy’s coffin and attempts to pry the seal out of her hands. In doing so he breaks its. Suddenly the mummy wakes up and starts choking him.

The next day Buffy is training with Giles in the library and begging him to let her go to the Cultural Exchange dance. Every time he says “no” Buffy starts hitting and kicking the training pads he is holding harder, until finally his sore muscles force him to agree. Xander volunteers to drive. He is taking Willow to the dance and is eager for Buffy to come along so that there is no danger of it turning into a date. Buffy questions Xander about whether he has ever thought of Willow in a romantic way and he insists that he loves her only as a friend. Neither of them notices that Willow has walked into the library quietly and heard most of their conversation. Eventually Willow interrupts to tell them that Rodney’s mom has reported him missing. They start cracking jokes about how maybe he awakened the mummy and it attacked him, until they realize that very well could be what happened. That night the gang heads to the museum where they find the mummy and a large piece of the broken seal but no sign of Rodney. Out of nowhere a fearsome man with a large knife attacks them. While fighting he looks into the mummy’s tomb. The moment he sees what is in there he runs away. Just then Willow notices that the mummy in the coffin has braces.

Back at the library the gang muses as to how Rodney was turned into a mummy and who attacked them. They decide that the answers are locked in the seal, which unfortunately is written in a South American pictograph writing that is going to take Giles weeks to translate. Just then Buffy remembers that she is late for picking up Ampata from the bus station. Noting that Ampata is from South America she suggests that perhaps he could help them translate the seal.

Ampata is standing at the bus station waiting to be picked up. He hears a woman’s voice calling to him from between two busses. Going back there, he is grabbed by the Incan mummy, who is now walking but still looks dead. She kisses Ampata and sucks the life out of him with her kiss. Buffy, Willow and Xander show up at the bus station and start calling out for Ampata. A beautiful girl walks out from between two busses wearing Ampata’s clothes. She introduces herself as Ampata, leaving Xander gape-mouthed and Buffy and Willow pretty shocked as well. Buffy, Willow and Xander give Ampata a tour of Buffy’s house and then sit down in the kitchen for snacks. Xander is completely enraptured with Ampata and the two of them flirt, making Willow jealous. Ampata tells them that she has toured America before and that she learned English by listening a lot. Later that night Buffy makes up a bed for Ampata in her room. She asks Ampata about her life, and the girl tells her that her home is very cramped and dead and she is alone. She wants to fit in at Sunnydale and have a normal life, just like Buffy. Buffy smiles at the irony of this statement before turning off the light. Outside her window the man who attacked them before is standing in the bushes, watching.

Cordelia is talking to Devon, her new fling and a member of the band playing at the Bronze that night for the dance. Cordelia’s exchange student Sven is with her, but he is awkward and stiff. Cordy is very annoyed by him, as he apparently doesn’t speak English. After she and Sven leave, Devon asks his bandmate Oz what he thinks of Cordelia. Oz isn’t impressed which annoys Devon. Devon doesn’t understand why Oz doesn’t use his cache as the leader guitarist of a rock band to get girls.

Willow and Xander are walking around talking about their costumes for the Cultural Exchange dance. Willow is excited about hers but Xander still hasn’t picked one out and is nervous about looking dumb. Willow doesn’t understand why his appearance is bothering him all of the sudden until she notices him staring off towards Ampata who has just arrived at school with Buffy. Buffy asks Ampata if she is nervous about her first day of school. Ampata is just impressed by the amount of people there. Buffy assures her that she will make friends quickly and takes her off to meet Giles.

In the library Giles gives Ampata the seal and asks for her help translating it. Ampata seems taken off guard by the presence of the seal and urges them to hide it. When pressured by Giles, she translates one of the pictographs as “bodyguard.” She also tells them that legend says the seal protects the mummy from any who would dare disturb her. Buffy asks Willow to spend the day with Ampata, but Xander volunteers to do it instead. He and Ampata go off laughing together, much to Willow’s dismay. Xander and Ampata sit on the school bleachers where Xander teaches Ampata about twinkies. They laugh and flirt together.

Back in the library Buffy finds some of the pictographs they need in a book and goes to tell Willow, only to find Willow moping about Xander and Ampata. Buffy tries to comfort her but is unsuccessful. Giles comes over to look at Buffy’s work and is pleased because it allows him to translate a portion of the seal that says the mummy has the ability to suck the life force out of a person. On the bleachers Xander is attacked by the same man who attacked the gang at the museum. He accuses Xander of stealing the seal and demands to know where it is as he swipes at Xander with his knife. Ampata screams and the man turns around to look at her. When he sees her, recognition spreads across his face. “It is you!” he cries before Xander kicks him off the bleachers. Xander and Ampata run.

In the library Ampata and Xander tell the gang what happened. Ampata urges the gang to destroy the seal, insisting that it is going to get someone killed. She becomes very upset and runs out of the library. Xander follows her. Out in the hall Ampata tells Xander that their investigation is dangerous. She doesn’t want danger, just a normal life. Xander is trying to comfort Ampata when Willow comes into the hall to check on them. When she sees how upset Ampata is she urges Xander to take her to the dance as his date. Xander is reluctant because knows how much Willow wants to go with him and how excited she is about her costume. Willow says she’ll see him there.

Back in the library Buffy wonders out loud why this bodyguard guy wants their piece of the seal so much. Giles theorizes that he wants to put back together with the other pieces. They figure the rest of the seal is at the museum and make a plan to go to the museum after it closes that night so they can look for the missing pieces. They figure the bodyguard guy will also show up to search for them, but this time they will be ready to face him. Of course, this means that Buffy will have to give up going to the dance.

Walking through the halls, Xander admits to Ampata that he likes her and wants her to go to the dance with him. She tells him she likes him too then she excuses herself to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom Ampata discovers the man with the knife waiting for her. She begs him not to kill her because she is in love. This doesn’t matter. She is the Chosen One and she must die. He goes to stab her, but, in a show of supernatural strength, she deflects his arm and grabs his face. She kisses him, sucking his life force out of him. Ampata comes out of the bathroom glowing with life. She tells Xander that she will gladly go to the dance with him.

That night Ampata walks into Buffy’s room dressed as an ancient Incan, asking if she can borrow some lipstick. She notices that Buffy has a bunch of luggage on her bed and she asks about it. Buffy tells Ampata that it is the rest of her luggage. The bus station sent it over. Ampata tells Buffy she will unpack it later. Buffy tells her not to worry; she is not going to the dance tonight so she has time to do it. She directs Ampata to her desk to search for lipstick. Ampata thanks Buffy for her selflessness, saying that Buffy reminds her of an Incan princess from long ago. As Ampata searches for lipstick and tells the story of the princess, Buffy starts to unpack the luggage. The first thing she pulls out is pair of men’s underwear. Meanwhile Ampata tells her that the Incan princess was told that she was only girl in her generation that could save her people from the Netherworld. The girl was-. Just then Buffy is distracted from the men’s underwear by the fact that Ampata is opening the drawer that Buffy keeps some her slaying supplies in. Buffy rushes over and slams its shut, finishing Ampata’s sentence for her, -the Chosen One. It is a story that Buffy can relate to. Ampata finishes the story. The girl was 16 when she was sacrificed. No one knows what she had to give up, what chance at love. The story is starting to sound far too familiar for Buffy’s comfort so she goes over to unpack one of Ampata’s trunks. Ampata sees what trunk she is opening and distracts Buffy so that Buffy doesn’t see the mummified body of the real Ampata in there. Buffy hears the doorbell and goes down to answer it. Ampata puts a lock on the trunk. It’s Xander at the door, in a South American rancher costume. Ampata comes down the stairs and Xander is again struck by her beauty. Buffy’s mom, Joyce, comes into the room and sees them off. Then she comments to Buffy how easily Ampata is fitting in, which doesn’t cheer Buffy up any.

At the Bronze Devon and Oz’s band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, are playing, with Devon singing lead. Girls are pouring in wearing sexy outfits, including Cordelia, who sees Willow standing there dressed in an elaborate Eskimo outfit and makes fun of her. Willow isn’t as excited about her costume anymore. Cordelia goes up to her friends and they ask her about Sven. Cordelia talks about how annoying he is, especially since he follows her around and doesn’t understand her instructions. Just then Sven walks up. One of Cordelia’s friends finds him cute, so she leads him away.

Xander and Ampata get to the dance. Willow sees how beautiful Ampata looks and again regrets her unsexy costume. When Xander and Ampata see Willow they go up to talk to her but it soon becomes awkward, so Willow asks where Buffy is. Buffy is at her house with Giles. He has come to tell her that the man with the knife was found mummified in a Sunnydale High bathroom. Buffy is confused as to why the mummy would kill her own bodyguard. Then Giles gives her another piece of news. He was doing more translating and discovered that the pictograph didn’t mean “bodyguard” but just “guard.” The man was supposed to be guarding the mummy and keeping her from escaping. Buffy gets suspicious, realizing that Ampata has been scared of the seal since she first saw it. She decides they should go through Ampata’s luggage. After digging through nearly all of it Giles and Buffy have found nothing but men’s clothing. Then Buffy uses her super-strength to break the lock on Ampata’s last trunk. She finds the mummified body of the real Ampata.

Back at the Bronze Ampata and Xander dance, completely involved in each other, while Willow watches sadly from the sidelines. Up onstage Oz finally sees a girl who grabs his attention, Willow. Buffy and Giles rush towards the Bronze in Giles’ extremely slow car. Ampata and Xander meanwhile have become lost in their own world. After some intense staring, Xander leans in for a kiss. Just then Ampata sees her hand shrivel. She runs away from Xander and scans the crowd for someone to suck the life out of. Suddenly she spots a small guy sitting alone on the stairs. Back in the car Buffy and Giles are berating themselves for not having figured out Ampata was the mummy earlier, especially with the way she was acting around the seal. Then Giles realizes something. Breaking the seal freed Ampata and she was eager to get rid of the piece they had, so reassembling the seal will probably bind her again. Giles decides to drop Buffy off at the Bronze to get Xander away from Ampata while he goes to the museum to reassemble the seal. Xander runs up to Willow and asks her if she’s seen Ampata. She hasn’t and he gets short with her. Sven on the other hand is having a good time, talking to Cordelia’s friend in perfect English. He thinks Cordelia is an idiot. Meanwhile Ampata has brought the small guy backstage and is preparing to kiss him. Just then she hears Xander calling out for her, so she shoves the small guy away. Xander comes in and Ampata hides her mummified hands behind her back. Xander notices Ampata is crying. He holds her, asking what is wrong. Eventually she kisses him and it is romantic at first, but then it becomes a life-sucking kiss. For a few seconds it seems as though Xander is going to become a mummy, but Ampata finally pushes him away, unable to go through with it. He collapses to the floor and Ampata holds him in her now-decayed arms, apologizing. At the museum Giles begins gluing the pieces of the seal back together. Ampata can feel it happening and drops Xander to run for the museum.

In the main room of the Bronze, Buffy runs up to Willow and explains that Ampata is the mummy. Buffy and Willow rush backstage to look for Xander, not noticing Oz is standing behind Willow, trying to get her attention. Buffy and Willow find Xander still somewhat dazed by the kiss. They ask where Ampata is and he tells them she said something about the seal before running away. The girls realize she is headed for Giles.

Giles only has one more piece of the seal to glue on when Ampata shows up at the museum. She grabs him and shatters the seal. Her grip around Giles’ neck is so strong that he falls into unconsciousness. Just then Buffy shows up. Ampata tosses Giles into the tomb and the girls fight. Eventually Ampata gets her hands around Buffy’s neck and chokes her into unconsciousness as well. She dumps her into the tomb on top of Giles and shuts the lid. By now Ampata’s entire body is shriveled, with only her face left intact. Willow runs into the room and Ampata grabs her round the throat and leans in to kiss her. But Xander is close behind and demands that Ampata stop. Ampata tells him that it is the only way for her to live, for them to be together. Xander grabs Willow away and says that if Ampata wants to take a life, she has to take his. Ampata considers it for a moment and then decides it is worth it. She grabs Xander and leans in for the kiss, but she is too late. Her whole body is shriveling up. Just then Buffy’ breaks her way out of the tomb and runs up to pull Ampata off of Xander, but Ampata is already dead and though Buffy rips her body away, her shriveled hands stay attached to Xander’s throat. He yanks them off in disgust. The gang slowly gathers itself together and leaves.

The next day Buffy and Xander walk together at school. Xander is upset, convinced that he has the worst taste in women. Buffy insists that Ampata wasn’t naturally evil. She got a bad deal. Buffy remembers how horrible she felt when the prophecy in the Codex said she was going to die. Doing the right thing wasn’t in the forefront of her mind. Xander reminds her that in the end she did sacrifice her life, and Buffy reminds Xander that she had him to bring her back. They share a moment then keep walking. 


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Updated 2/1/08  


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