December 4, 2021

Buffy 2.4, Inca Mummy Girl: Who’s That Girl?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Bro, I don’t know what the rules were 500 years ago, but nowadays, this is considered creepy

Summary: Buffy, Willow, and Xander are on a field trip to a museum, and Buffy’s complaining about how Joyce signed them up to host an exchange student for a couple of weeks. Sunnydale High is doing a whole exchange extravaganza, including a dance. Xander’s looking forward to the events, since they get to learn about other cultures. Buffy asks if he’s ever participated in an exchange program before. “My dad tried to sell me to some Armenians once. Does that count?” he asks.

The museum exhibit they’re there to see is about South America, but Cordelia’s mind is currently on Sweden, since that’s where her family’s exchange student is from. She expects Sven to be hot. Xander gets worried when he learns that Buffy’s student is a guy. Cordelia says she’s living on the edge by not checking out what he looks like ahead of time. Buffy and Willow smirk over Xander suddenly being less excited about the exchange program.

They spot a guy named Rodney (“God’s gift to the bell curve” – Xander) doing something he probably shouldn’t be doing to an artifact. He growls at someone who approaches him. “What he lacks in smarts he makes up in lack of smarts,” Xander continues. Willow knows Xander’s just resentful because Rodney beat him up for five years. Buffy offers to stop him, but Willow thinks this is a situation better left to someone who won’t use violence. She goes to talk to Rodney, whom she’s been tutoring in chemistry. He seems to respect her, or at least he talks to her like a human instead of growling at her.

A tour guide takes the students into an exhibit about an Incan princess. “The human sacrifice is about to begin,” he says. Anything to make a field trip more exciting, right? The guide tells everyone that 500 years ago, the Incas chose a teenage girl to be their princess, then sacrificed her to a mountain god by burying her alive. Willow feels really bad for her. The princess is protected by a cursed seal that warns away anyone who might want to wake her.

Xander isn’t that interested in looking at a 500-year-old dead body, so he brings up Buffy’s exchange student again. His name is Ampata and he’ll be arriving tomorrow night. They leave the mummy behind, and later, Rodney sneaks back into the exhibit. He tries to remove the seal the mummy’s holding, but he breaks it. She wakes up and strangles him.

At school the next day, Buffy asks Giles if she can go to the dance. He says no, since she’s the Chosen One. Buffy says that this one time, she’d like to be the Overlooked One. She mocks his usual speech about her responsibilities and the sacrifices she has to make, ending it with, “I’m so stuffy; give me a scone.” “It’s as if you know me,” he replies.

They’re training while they’re talking, so Buffy takes out her anger on the punching bag Giles is holding. He thinks that Buffy’s going to have a hard enough time keeping her Slayer identity secret from her temporary house guest; she doesn’t need another challenge on top of that. Xander objects to the idea of Ampata living with Buffy, like, he’s not staying in her room, buddy. You need to chill. Buffy thinks going to the dance would help her maintain the illusion that she’s a normal student. Giles is in danger of being kicked again, so he gives in.

Xander offers to drive the Scoobies to the dance, since he’d like a third person present with him and Willow. He’s afraid she’ll get the wrong idea and think they’re on a date. As Willow enters the library, unseen, Buffy asks if Xander has really never thought about kissing Willow in all the years they’ve known each other. He certainly did the day before school started. Xander says he loves Willow and she’s his best friend, but he doesn’t think of her romantically. Willow finds it hard to hide her disappointment.

She tells the others that Rodney’s missing, and his parents say he didn’t come home last night. Buffy realizes he wasn’t on the bus back from the field trip. The Scoobies joke that he might have awakened the mummy and been attacked. Then they realize they shouldn’t joke about that because this is Sunnydale and it’s extremely likely that happened.

They take their own field trip back to the museum, where they find the broken seal. The mummy’s still in the tomb, though, so everything seems okay. Suddenly, a guy runs at them with a knife, yelling. Xander jumps on him, and when the guy sees the mummy, he runs off. Giles decides they should leave before the guy comes back. Willow asks if the Incas were advanced. Yes, but probably not so advanced that their sacrificed princess had braces. Looks like Rodney is the new princess.

The Scoobies return to the library to try to figure out what’s going on. They guess that the pictograms on the broken seal can provide some answers, but it’ll take a while for Giles to translate them. Buffy suddenly remembers that she has to go pick up Ampata from the bus station. Since he’s from South America, she wonders if he could help them translate the seal.

Ampata has already arrived, and while he’s waiting for Buffy to show up, he hears a girl whispering his name. He follows the sound to the mummy, who grabs him and kisses him. Sometime later, the Scoobies arrive and search for Ampata. Instead of a boy, they get a girl. Since she’s pretty, Xander’s back on board with the whole exchange program.

They take Ampata to Buffy’s house and chat with her about things like whether she’s been to America before (she’s toured but hasn’t seen much) and how she speaks English really well (she’s a good listener). Xander is totally in love. At bedtime, Ampata appreciates her soft bed. She tells Buffy that back home, things are “cramped and very dead.” Compared to her, Buffy has a lot. Ampata wants to learn all about what it’s like to be a normal teenager. Buffy’s like, “Yes, I’m exactly the person to teach that.” Outside, the man from the museum is lurking in the bushes.

The next day, Cordelia tells a guy named Devon that she’ll be at the dance that night but she’s not going to be one of his groupies, so she won’t be worshiping him from the edge of the stage. She’ll meet him there after the dance, though. Unfortunately, they’ll have a third party in the form of Sven, who’s not as hot as Cordelia had hoped. She tells Devon the whole exchange thing has been horrible: “They don’t even speak American.”

After she leaves, Devon asks his bandmate Oz what he thinks of Cordelia. Not much, is the answer. Devon asks what a girl has to do to impress Oz. “Well, it involves a feather boa and the theme to A Summer Place,” Oz replies. “I can’t discuss it here.” Devon says he’s too picky for a guy who plays lead guitar, something all girls love. Oz says he’s not picky; Devon’s just impressed by any pretty girl who can walk and talk. “She doesn’t have to talk,” Devon says.

Willow has made her costume for the dance, but Xander hasn’t figured his out yet. He wants to look impressive for his new crush. Buffy’s just arriving with Ampata, and the two go see Giles. He shows Ampata the seal, which she of course recognizes. The Scoobies lie that they have an archaeology club. Ampata asks where the other pieces are, since the Scoobies only have one, then tells them to hide it. Giles asks about a picture of a man with a knife. Ampata says he’s like a bodyguard for the mummy.

Since Buffy now has “archaeology club” responsibilities to handle, she starts to ask Willow to spend the day with Ampata. Xander volunteers instead, because of course he does. Poor Willow can’t ignore how much Ampata and Xander like each other. Later, Xander introduces Ampata to the American wonder that is the Twinkie. She says he’s strange, but in a good way.

Buffy researches the seal while Willow tries to focus on Scooby stuff instead of thinking about Xander and Ampata. Buffy reminds her that Ampata’s only staying for two weeks. Willow’s bummed mostly because Xander actually has a shot with Ampata, which he never did with Buffy. She decides she can either wait for Xander to notice her or she can live her life. Buffy’s proud of her, but Willow says she hasn’t chosen which path to take yet.

Buffy’s research helps Giles figure out that Rodney may have been killed by the mummy. She’s capable of feeding on a person’s life force and basically mummifying them. Now they just need to figure out how to find and stop the mummy. Meanwhile, the guy with the knife (who we now know is a bodyguard) is back, and he demands the seal from Xander. When he sees Ampata, he recognizes her. Xander fights him off and runs away with Ampata.

They go to the library, where Ampata tells Giles that he needs to destroy the seal before anyone gets killed. She’s distressed to learn that Rodney has already died. Xander decides to tell Ampata who the Scoobies really are, but Giles and Buffy object, so Xander says their archaeology club is really a crime club. It’s “kind of like the chess club, only with crime and, um…no chess.” Ampata repeats that the seal has to be destroyed.

She leaves and Xander follows her, promising that he won’t let anyone hurt her. Ampata says the investigation is dangerous, and she just wants a normal life. Willow comes out to check on them, and she suggests that Xander take Ampata to the dance so she can have a normal teenage experience. Willow will go by herself. Xander thanks her by calling her his best friend.

Buffy can’t figure out why the bodyguard wants the seal. Giles guesses he needs to put it back together. The other pieces must still be at the museum. If the Scoobies go back there, the bodyguard will probably show up, too. Buffy’s pleased that she and Giles have come up with a plan. Unfortunately, they need to go tonight, which means Buffy will have to skip the dance.

Xander tells Ampata he likes her and wants to take her to the dance. She admires his courage in telling her how he feels. She says she likes him, too. “You’re not a praying mantis, are you?” he asks. Ampata heads to the bathroom to reapply her lipstick, but the bodyguard is waiting for her there. She begs him not to kill her. He reminds her that she’s already dead. Ampata argues that she was innocent and her death wasn’t fair. The bodyguard points out that the people she’s killing to stay alive were also innocent.

Ampata says she’s in love, but that doesn’t matter to the bodyguard: She’s the Chosen One, so she has to die again. She doesn’t get a choice here. He tries to stab her, but she grabs him and gives him a soul-stealing kiss. When she leaves the bathroom, all smiles, she tells Xander she’ll go to the dance with him. Sorry to whoever finds the mummified bodyguard on the bathroom floor.

While getting ready for the dance that night, Ampata tells Buffy she doesn’t have any lipstick. (Since we just saw her with a tube, I’ll give the writers the benefit of the doubt and pretend she means she doesn’t have lipstick that matches her outfit for the dance.) Buffy says she can borrow one, then tells her that the bus station finally delivered the rest of her things. She offers to unpack for Ampata while she’s at the dance, which Buffy laments she has to miss. Ampata admires that Buffy always puts others before herself. She’s like the Inca princess that way.

As Buffy starts looking through Ampata’s things, finding boy’s clothes, Ampata says that the princess was told that she was the Chosen One of all the girls in her generation. She absently opens one of Buffy’s desk drawers, which Buffy rushes to close before Ampata can notice her cross and holy water. She can obviously relate to the princess and her sacrifices, like not getting a chance to fall in love. Buffy starts to open Ampata’s chest, but the doorbell rings, distracting her before she can see the mummy inside.

Xander arrives dressed like a character from a spaghetti western. Ampata appears to be dressed as…herself, I guess, since she looks like an Inca princess. Joyce thinks Buffy’s voluntarily skipping the dance. Xander tells Buffy to be careful as they head out. Joyce comments that after just two days in America, Ampata already seems like she belongs.

Devon and Oz’s band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, provide music for the dance at the Bronze. Cordelia’s dressed like a luau dancer, and Willow’s dressed like…well, this. Cordelia’s trying hard to ditch Sven, who’s dressed like a viking. One of her friends thinks he’s cute, and that Cordelia should appreciate a guy who doesn’t put her through the horrors of small talk. Cordelia’s mostly annoyed that he doesn’t take orders in her broken English. Xander and Ampata arrive, and Willow feels less than beautiful compared to the princess.

Giles goes to the Summers’ house to tell Buffy that someone found the bodyguard’s body. Buffy doesn’t get why the mummy would kill him. Giles tells her that the bodyguard’s job wasn’t really to protect the princess – it was to make sure she didn’t awaken and escape. Buffy thinks Ampata translated the seal incorrectly, but then she remembers that Ampata’s been uneasy about the seal. They look through Ampata’s things and find the mummy.

Back at the Bronze, Xander and Ampata dance. Oz looks out at the crowd and asks Devon about a girl he sees. Devon thinks he’s talking about Ampata, but he’s talking about Willow. He’s immediately smitten. Giles and Buffy rush to the dance, or try to, since his car doesn’t drive very fast. Ampata’s getting closer and closer to kissing Xander, which could spell his doom. Just as they’re about to smooch, Ampata notices her hand mummifying and runs off.

Still in the car, Buffy and Giles discuss the seal. They realize that Ampata wanted them to destroy the seal because if they put it back together, she’ll be trapped as a mummy again. They need the other pieces. Giles decides to drop Buffy off at the dance and go to the museum himself to put the seal back together. Buffy hopes to arrive in time to stop Xander from getting “smoochy with mummy dearest.”

Xander asks if Willow’s seen Ampata. She shrugs, but her heavy coat makes it hard to notice. Xander tells her to actually say, “Shrug” next time. He leaves, and she says, “Sigh.” Nearby, Sven complains to Cordelia’s friend – in fluent English – about how annoying it is living with Cordelia. Because of her broken English, he wonders if she’s really from America.

Ampata needs to kiss someone to get a life-force boost, and she’s chosen Jonathan, a nerd who has most definitely never kissed a girl before. He’s surprised she’s showing interest, since he saw her with Xander. Xander comes looking for her before the kiss, and Jonathan realizes he needs to leave before Xander catches them together. Xander asks Ampata why she ran away. She says she doesn’t deserve him, which he thinks is funny, since he felt the same way about her.

She’s upset that her dream of falling in love seems to be out of her reach. Xander jokes that she can’t tell him what’s going on with her because then she’d have to kill him. He moves to kiss her, and she can’t resist, even knowing what could happen. After a few moments of kissing, Ampata resists her urge to feed on his life force, even as she starts mummifying.

Somehow, Ampata can sense Giles piecing the seal back together, so now she has something else to worry about. Buffy arrives at the Bronze and tells Willow that Ampata is the mummy. At first Willow’s happy, since they’ll have to get rid of her, but then she realizes that Xander’s in danger. Oz approaches just as they run off, so he doesn’t get a chance to strike up a conversation with his new crush. “Who is that girl?” he asks himself, intrigued.

The girls find Xander, who just remembers having a great kiss. They head off to the museum, where Ampata has already snuck in to stop Giles. He’s one piece away from putting her back in her tomb. She grabs the seal and breaks it again, then strangles Giles. Buffy arrives just then, making a “kiss and tell” joke that isn’t one of her best. Ampata notes that Buffy’s been keeping secrets just like Ampata has. Neither is a normal girl.

They fight, and Ampata wins, trapping Buffy in her tomb. Willow arrives and Ampata strangles her, but Xander offers up himself to save his best friend. He’s accepted that he and Ampata can’t be together. Ampata says she has to kill someone to stay alive, and she has to do it now. Xander again offers himself, challenging her to kill him if she wants to live. She decides she can handle that, and she starts to kiss him as her mummification continues.

Buffy gets out of the tomb and pulls Ampata off of Xander, but Ampata’s body is starting to fall apart, and her arms stay clutched onto his. If that doesn’t traumatize Xander, nothing will. Buffy drops Ampata, who shatters. Xander is single again, but he has his best buddy Willow and his other good friend Buffy to comfort him. Also, Giles. They all leave the museum, like, you’re not going to at least put Ampata back in her tomb?

The next day, Xander’s down because he’s 0 for 2 on choosing a love interest who’s secretly evil. Buffy thinks Ampata really did care about Xander, and she at least didn’t start out evil. Yeah, but she still tried to kill him, so…that’s not a lot of consolation. Buffy is sympathetic toward Ampata since she was sacrificed without having any say in the matter. Buffy went through something similar with the prophecy about her death. Xander notes that Buffy chose to sacrifice herself then because she knew it was the right thing to do. She reminds him that she had him to bring her back.

Thoughts: Oz! Oz! Oz! Who doesn’t like Oz? (The facial hair can go, though.)

This isn’t a great episode, but I like that for once, the audience knows what’s going on before the Scoobies do. Gotta keep things interesting.

I’m sorry, Cordelia would never go for Devon. He’s not high-class enough for her.


  1. Deja said,

    Oz was a babe

    • Deja said,

      sans that facial hair

  2. Myriam said,

    I love Oz but man re-watching this ep, it’s a bit brutal. That facial hair :/ and also I’m a bit bothered with the whole “Oooh, I’m attracted to Willow because she’s wearing an Inuit costume instead of something skin-revealing like the other girls! She’s not like other girls!”. I get they wanted us to know that Oz is special/not superficial like Devon/attracted to Willow despite the fact that she isn’t considered “pretty” by Sunnydale High standards but it just comes a bit off.

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