The ABCs of Sunnydale

The Master:

Debut -- Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season 1)

Other first season appearances: The Harvest, Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, Angel, Nightmares, Prophecy Girl

Death -- Prophecy Girl (Season 1)

In Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest, The Master is summoned by Luke. He rises from a pool of water deep within the earth. We can tell right away that The Master is a figure of authority when we see Luke bow before him. This episode sets the stage for a story arc that lasts the entire first season...namely that The Master's hell-bent on breaking free from his entrapment -- he's caught in the Hellmouth as a result of trying to open it at the same time an earthquake was occurring -- and opening the Hellmouth to bring the demons into the world. He also plans to take care of the Slayer! This episode defines The Master's character -- we learn that he's a force to be reckoned with and that he's got a flair for humor. This isn't The Master at his best, though; I found that as the series went on, he became more amusing.

In Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, The Master is standing at a pulpit, reading aloud to some of his vampires, about a prophecy that is to be fulfilled. The prophecy concerns The Anointed. The Master continues to explain to his minions just what he needs them to do, namely, to bring The Anointed to him; he's pretty threatening. As he continues reading, he makes up a line about how on the night before the arrival of the anointed, one of the vampires goes for a snack instead of finishing his job and gets himself killed. At this point, The Master's directly in front of a frightened-looking vamp, and The Master stops reading and says, "Oh, wait...that's not written anywhere!" He then picks up the vampire in one hand and throws him a few feet. I know it sounds violent, but it's kind of funny anyway.

The Master's next appearance is in Angel. He sends The Three to go after Buffy, but they fail since Angel and Buffy are able to fend them off. The Master lets Darla kill them, and he later listens to Darla's plan of how to get Angel to come back to the fold. They set the plan in motion and it backfires, leaving Darla dead and The Master upset.

The Master briefly appears in Nightmares...he's standing near a large wooden cross, holding his hand to it. We hear it burn, and he's telling The Anointed that fear can be overcome. He's in Buffy's nightmare, also. Although the two have not met face-to-face, Buffy's having dreams with him in them..apparently one of her greatest fears is that she won't be able to kill him. In the nightmare of hers that is realized, though, she meets The Master in the cemetery. He tells her, "I am [free] because you fear it. Because you fear it..." the world will end. He then shoves her into an open coffin and begins to shovel dirt on top of it, burying her alive. This episode marks the first time The Master is seen above ground.

Prophecy Girl is The Master's final episode. We first see him underground with The Anointed. He's saying, "Yes, yes! Shake, earth! This is a sign. We are in the final days! My time has come! Glory, glory!" He then looks at The Anointed and says, "Whaddaya think? 5.1?" There's been an earthquake and other portents signaling the end of the world. Buffy goes to stop The Master from breaking free, and ironically, she is the one who enables him to free himself. He kills Buffy, she kills him back....This episode lets The Master go out with many amusing lines. Sadly, it's also the episode in which he dies. Although in Season 2, we see him in Buffy's dreams, and we see his skeleton, that's all we ever hear of him again.

Most Memorable Lines:
"Oh, good. The feeble banter portion of the fight." -- to Buffy as she makes glib remarks to him.

"You heard the prophecy that I was going to break free and you came to stop me. It was noble of you. But prophecies are tricky things, they don't tell you everything. You're the one that sets me free. If you hadn't come, I couldn't go. Think about that." -- to Buffy, standing behind her, about to bite her neck.

It's Hard to Keep a Good Vamp Down:

The Master's skeleton made an appearance in Season 2's When She Was Bad. In a nightmare of Buffy's we also glimpse the Master, but he doesn't speak, and it's probably safe to say it's a different actor. Buffy stopped the ritual that would have brought the Master back to life (death?), and she crushed his skeleton with a sledgehammer. Yowtch.

Buffy vs. The Master Story Arc

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This page last updated September 19, 1998