Get It Done (Buffy episode)

Storyteller (Buffy episode)

"Storyteller" is the sixteenth episode of season 7 of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "Storyteller" refers to Andrew Wells, who became a pseudo-member of the Scooby Gang after being one of the Big Bad guys in Season 6, and has been held hostage at Buffy's home since early in the season. See also List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes.

Plot synopsis

Summary

Andrew begins a video documentary narrating the apocalyptic adventures of Buffy and the Scooby Gang, leading Anya and Xander to begin talking about their relationship (and later have sex). Meanwhile, the seal underneath Sunnydale High begins exerting an evil influence upon the students, who begin to riot. Andrew had originally activated the seal at the command of the First Evil (by murdering his best friend, Jonathan), so Buffy and Principal Robin Wood turn to him for information. He relates the details of Jonathan's murder (in several different ways), and Buffy decides to take him to the Hellmouth to neutralize the seal. At the school, students continue to riot. As Spike and Robin guard the entrance to the basement, Buffy takes Andrew downstairs to the seal. She tricks Andrew, pretending that she is about to kill him in order to force him to face what he had done to Jonathan. Andrew, repentant, begins to cry, and his tears of remorse de-activate the seal. Upstairs, Robin's suspicions that Spike killed his mother (Nikki Wood, a Slayer) are confirmed.

Expanded overview

Andrew, taking refuge in the bathroom, describes his own version of "Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres" to a video camera (imagining that he is situated in an old library with a roaring fire, dressed in a smoking jacket and holding a pipe, not unlike Masterpiece Theater). His dramatic narrative of her exploits is cut short when Anya knocks on the bathroom door. He tries to explain his actions, and Anya is unsatisfied (reminding him of Buffy's irritated reaction the previous night, when he had followed her on patrol). He explains his desire to make a record of the events leading up to the apocalypse, in case humans survive, so that they will know what Buffy and her allies did.

Later, Andrew talks to the video camera and uses his big white board to illustrate and explain the array of evil forces in Sunnydale. He continues to interview the residents of the house, starting with the Potentials. He introduces a romanticized version of everyone to the camera (in his fantasy, Buffy seductively pours cereal, Spike appears without a shirt, and Anya eats from a bunch of grapes). Buffy reiterates her irritation with Andrew's behavior. As she describes her vision of vampire armies to her friends, Andrew sneaks away to continues his narrative, describing an idyllic scene of himself as leader of the Trio. As Buffy continues to talk, Andrew observes Willow and Kennedy and recounts his encounter with Dark Willow. Altering the past, Andrew imagines himself standing up to Evil Willow and deflecting her power while Jonathan meekly hides behind him.

Buffy arrives at the school to find two boys fighting, a shy girl turning invisible because nobody notices her, and various other disturbances. Buffy finds Robin, who has just been injured by a thrown rock. As she bandages his head, they discuss the bizarre (yet familiar) chaos dominating the school. She explains her suspicions that the activation of the Seal of Danzalthar is behind the morning's chaos. They investigate the newly-uncovered seal in the school basement. As Robin gets close to the seal, he is infused with evil. In a demonic voice, he berates Buffy for her involvement with Spike. The connection is broken when Buffy pulls him away from the seal, leaving Robin with no memory of the possession.

Meanwhile, at the Summers' home, Andrew films Dawn, then praises Xander's expert repairs to the windows (ignoring Willow and Kennedy, who are kissing in the living room). He re-interviews Xander and Anya, prying into their feelings about their ruined wedding. Afterward, the two to talk to each other about what happened and what feelings still exist between them. In the basement, Spike tells Andrew and his camera to get lost; Andrew interrupts with a lighting correction, and Spike (performing for the camera) enthusiastically repeats his verbal assault. Upstairs, Xander and Anya discuss their love for each other; they are recorded by a hidden camera, which Andrew reviews later. When Buffy and Robin arrive, they inform Andrew that he is going to help them deal with the Seal (which, at this point, is surrounded by five possessed students and glowing with light).

The gang drills Andrew for information about the seal and tries to force out his memories with a special charm. He remembers an event from Mexico, where he had fled with Jonathan the year before. In his memory, he and Jonathan suddenly wake from the same nightmare, both haunted by their evil pasts. After Jonathan leaves the room, the First appears to Andrew in Warren's form, questioning his progress in obtaining the knife necessary to sacrifice Jonathan. In the present, Willow asks Andrew where that knife is now (Buffy's silverware drawer). The knife is engraved with a language that is tied to the seal, and Willow begins to research.

Buffy tells Andrew that she believes that he can help her quiet the seal. They leave for the school, accompanied by Spike and Robin. They arrive to find that the school is being destroyed by ongoing student riots. Andrew tries to film their walk through the halls, but they are attacked by several strong students. Buffy and Andrew make their way to the basement while Spike and Robin guard the stairway entrance. As they walk, Andrew revisits his memories of killing Jonathan, relating several different versions of the story as if each are true. They enter the basement room carefully and find five students standing around the seal, their eyes freshly cut and sealed (like the Bringers). In the Summers' basement, Xander and Anya revel in the aftermath of having sex again before talking about moving on with their lives (a conversation that fades into an awkward silence).

At the school, Spike and Robin are attacked by more students. Spike inadvertently confirms his role in the murder of Robin's mother, and Robin makes a failed attempt to stake Spike; in the chaos of the fight, his actions go unnoticed. Buffy battles the new Bringers while Andrew records the scene with his camera. Once she has killed the Bringers, Buffy pulls out the knife and advances on Andrew, revealing that they must spill his blood to quiet the Seal, since he was the one who initially activated it. Buffy describes the bitter prospects for their future, and chastizes his constant attempts to avoid taking responsibility for his actions. Andrew, frightened to tears, admits how willingly he had murdered Jonathan, and how he is sorry. He tells Buffy that he deserves whatever happens to him. Buffy leans Andrew over the Seal so that his tears fall on its surface. The Seal closes and becomes quiet. Buffy reveals to Andrew that tears, not blood, were necessary to close the seal; she has no plans to kill him. The students around the school are released, and the violence stops.

Later, a sad Andrew talks to the camera in the bathroom again, confessing that he probably will die, and that he deserves to. Without another word, he shuts the camera off.

Acting

Starring

Guest starring

Co-starring

Production details

Music

Translations

  • Italian title: On TV "Il narratore" ("The storyteller") or, on DVD, "Narratore" ("Storyteller")
  • German title: "Der Geschichtenerzähler" ("The Storyteller")
  • French title: "Sous influence" ("Under Influence")
  • Spanish title: "Cuentacuentos" ("Storyteller")

Quotes and trivia

  • The opening scene is done in parody of the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre.
  • The monster of the Mutant Enemy Productions logo, instead of saying his famous "Grr, Argh!", he sings "We are as gooooooods!!!"
  • The "Cheese Man," who appeared in the dreams of Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles in the Season Four finale, appears for a split second (along with his cheese) during Andrew and Jonathan's nightmare.
  • The voice in the nightmare says in Spanish "Desde abajo te devora", that is, "From beneath, it devours you". Andrew and Jonathan hear it as "Desme adbul te debora", and incorrectly translate it as "It eats you, starting from your bottom."
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Jonathan. Warren will not reappear until the in-canon Season Eight comic.

Continuity

  • This episode serves as a partial standalone story, while at the same time addressing the ongoing concern that Buffy's constant speeches and nagging of the Potentials is getting on their nerves. Andrew steps out of the room while Buffy gives a speech (indicating her vision of hundreds of Übervamps from the previous episode, "Get It Done") and even Willow appears bored with it from the young nerd's perspective.
  • The episode continues the "back to the beginning" theme of the season by addressing earlier incidents from Sunnydale High's past. Buffy notices a student turning invisible because no one has noticed her, echoing the events of Season One's "Out of Mind, Out of Sight." Buffy mentions that she's seen all of the things happening before, but several incidents (the exploding student, the talking mirror) were not featured in any episodes.
  • Andrew's video references past events without detail in some cases, and with extreme modifications in others. He states that the seal under the high school was recently opened but fails to indicate that he was responsible for it. Andrew notes a previous encounter he had with Dark Willow, recalling a scene from Season 6's "Two to Go," albeit with changes. In this recount, Andrew is more powerful than Willow, and he deflects her attacks. In the original episode, Dark Willow's responses shown in this episode referred to a counterspell that Anya was chanting.

Arc significance

  • Andrew states in the narration for his video that Kennedy and Willow are patching things up after having been in a "bad place" in recent episodes.
  • Events in this episode close the Seal of Danzalthar, stating that it could only be done with the tears of the person who opened it. This recalls Andrew's actions in "Conversations with Dead People."

Timing

  • Stories that take place around the same time in the Buffyverse:

External links

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