Buffy faces the Master Nightmares

Season 1, Episode 10

This episode reveals Buffy's, as well as everyone else's, innermost fears. Buffy becomes a vampire in this episode, and it marks the first time that 2 child actors are in the same episode. This episode's about what happens when the nightmare world becomes everyone's reality; the heavy theme here is how to overcome one's fears by facing them. A good ep., some good lines, and a barely-dressed Xander. To sleep, perchance to dream...


Show opens with Buffy down in the Master's Lair. She's gone to face him, but she's frozen with fear and drops her stake, allowing The Master to take control of the situation. We find out that this is a dream sequence, though, and it lends insight as to what Buffy's afraid of.

Meanwhile, down in the lair, The Master is telling The Anointed One that if you face your fears, they cannot master you. He goes over to a large wooden cross and places his hand on it, and we hear it burning. But he doesn't recoil, he just keeps his hand on it. The Master asks The Anointed if he can sense what's going on above, and The Anointed says he senses change.

Buffy's mom is driving her to school, and we learn that Buffy's dad is supposed to pick her up for their weekend visit. In class, Cordy's putting on makeup and complains that Wendell is in her light. Insults abound with Xander and Wendell and Cordelia. Then class starts, and Wendell's asked to open his book to read aloud. When the book's opened, a bunch of large hairy spiders come out of it, crawling all over Wendell's face and hair and sending the classroom into a panic. Buffy turns to look outside the door and sees a small boy standing there. He whispers, "Sorry about that," and leaves.

This is one of my favorite eps., and I know I couldn't do it justice in the plot. Let's see..more strange occurrences happen. When the gang goes to chat up Wendell to see what's up, Cordy comes by and reminds Buffy about a test they're having now. Buffy rushes off, unprepared, and she doesn't even seem to know where the classroom is. The hour passes quickly, and Buffy basically turns in a blank test.

Meanwhile, Willow and Xander learn that Wendell loves spiders and is haunted by them. Seems his brother forgot to maintain their habitat while Wendell was at some science camp, so Wendell came back to a bunch o' dead arachnids. Yuck.

Basically, when Laura, this chick, goes down to sneak a smoke, she gets attacked by something. And this little kid is always lurking around the school, looking very solemn. When Buffy and Giles go to the hospital to see Laura, they learn that the thing that attacked her said, Lucky 19. The doctor informs Buffy and Giles that Laura got off easy compared to the first victim. The first victim? Some kid who was beaten so badly he's still in a coma.

Anyway, more nightmares ensue. Xander walks into class undressed, much to his chagrin (and Willow's apparent delight); Giles gets lost in the stacks and can't read; Buffy's dad tells her that's she a disappointment and the reason her folks split up; Cordy's dragged to chess club and has bad hair, you get the idea.

Buffy sees an article in the paper about Billy Palmer, a Little Leaguer, who was attacked. She recognizes him as the boy in the coma and tells Giles that she remembers seeing the kid around school. It comes to light that they're seeing Billy's astral body, and they learn that in order for the world to be restored, they must get Billy to wake up.

In this quest, Buffy finds Billy to see what happened to him, and they encounter the thing that attacked Laura...the Ugly Man. Buffy and Billy escape into a cemetery where the Master's waiting to bury Buffy alive. Which he does.

Once Xander and Willow are clued in to the sitch, they also split up to find Buffy and Billy. This is where Xander's attacked by the clown from his sixth birthday party, and where Willow's forced to sing. If this is all making a sense that's not, forgive me, it's late, and anyway I told you I couldn't do this plot justice.

Anyhoo, the gang finds Buffy's grave (Giles's nightmare, of not being able to protect her), and they're freaked to discover that Buffy's now a vampire. They head to the hospital where Buffy faces the Ugly Man yet again. She brings the beaten Ugly Man in to Billy so Billy can get rid of him for good. Once Billy lifts off the "mask" of the Ugly Man, order is restored.

Almost...the REAL Ugly Man turns out to be Billy's Little League Coach, but Xander and Giles keep the Coach from getting away once the truth is revealed. Yi. And you know, I know I left stuff out, too...Oh well.

Willow, Giles & Xander..nightmare-bound 

What Got the Job Done:

1. Buffy broke the Ugly Man's arm off.
2. Billy Palmer unmasked/ripped the face off of the Ugly Man.
3. Xander detained the Little League Coach, who was supposedly taken away by the authorities.

What We Learn in This Episode:

1. There's some really good continuity from The Puppet Show..that's where we first learned of everyone's fears.
2. The Anointed One was afraid of monsters when he was human.
3. Cordelia's fears include having bad hair, being dressed poorly, and being on the chess team.
4. Xander's also afraid of clowns and Nazis and coming to school in a state of undress.
5. Giles's fears include being illiterate and being responsible for Buffy's death.
6. Buffy's fears include being the reason her folks split up, having her father be disappointed in her, and being unprepared for a test.
7. Willow's most afraid of performing in public, especially if she has to sing.

An Amusing Quote:

"Well, that explanation was shorter than usual..It's Billy! Who's Billy?" -- Xander to Willow and Giles, after Giles says "It's Billy," when he realizes what's going on.

Settings Seen:

1. Sunnydale High School
2. Buffy's house
3. The Master's Lair
4. Sunnydale Hospital
5. The Cemetery

Characters Seen:

1. Buffy
2. Willow
3. Xander
4. Giles
5. Cordelia
6. Joyce Summers
7. Hank Summers
8. Billy Palmer
9. The Master
10. The Anointed One
11. Wendell
12. The Ugly Man
13. Laura
14. Miss Tischler

clown, courtesy of little willow Next Episode

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Clown Pic courtesy of Little Willow, who'll stake y'if you snag w/out her permission.

This page last updated on January 25, 1999.

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