The 411 -- Story Arcs

Following is one of the main story arcs and what's happened on the show to date. Although this first story arc of Season 1, Buffy vs. The Master, is resolved, it must be mentioned since it's central to the development of the characters, their relationships with one another, and their actions in Season 2. And, okay, Season 3!

Buffy versus The Master

Although Buffy's struggle to be a normal teenager while also fulfilling her duty as the Slayer remains a constant throughout Season 1 and most of Season 2, the other main story arc of Season 1 concerned Buffy's quest to keep The Master from opening the Hellmouth and bringing the demons into the world. She first learned of this in the premiere episodes, Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest. She kept the Master from rising by defeating Luke, the Master's minion, on the night of the harvest.

A few episodes later, in Never Kill a Boy on the First Date, Buffy heard about the prophecy that The Anointed was to rise and become the Master's great warrior. It was in this episode that she mistakenly believed she killed The Anointed.

When the nightmare realm was opened in Nightmares, Buffy's fear of being unable to stop The Master from rising was realized. But when the realm was closed, it was as if the event hadn't really taken place, and Buffy was able to come to terms with facing The Master.

Prophecy Girl tied together the two themes of Buffy-as-normal-teenager and Buffy-faces-The Master. In this episode, when she learned of the prophecy that she would face The Master and die, she renounced her status as Slayer. Eventually she accepted her position, and went to face The Master. The prophecy, then, did come true, because when Buffy faced The Master, he bit her, and she fell into a pool of water and drowned. The Master then was able to go up into the world and the Hellmouth opened. As for Buffy, Xander and Angel arrived, pulled her out, and Xander revived her. This event is something that has quite an impact on Buffy, and in Season 2, we see more consequences arise as a result of her death and of her killing The Master. How'd she kill him, you ask? She tracked him to the school's roof and tossed him through the glass-paneled ceiling into the library, where he was impaled on a wooden table that split when the Hellmouth opened.

The Anointed tried to resurrect The Master in Season 2's first episode, When She Was Bad, but was unsuccessful. Buffy smashed The Master's skeleton and was finally able to deal with her dying and her fear of The Master's rising.

In Season 3's The Wish, we see what might have happened had Buffy never made it to Sunnydale as she was supposed to. She ultimately still would have met the Master, and he still would have killed her. Only, here she dies by neck snappage, not a bite and then a dip in the pool (aka drowning). Harsh.

The 411 for More Story Arcs

For more story arcs that are relationship-driven, but not central to the show's mythology, check out The 511/Relationships and The 611/Slayerships

The 511/Relationships

The 611/Slayerships

The ABCs of Sunnydale

The Episodes


Main Entrance

Missing Lynx

This page last updated on January 31, 1998.

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