Andrew Wells

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For the mayor of St. John's, Newfoundland, see Andy Wells.
Andrew Wells
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel character
First appearance "Flooded"
Created by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Douglas Petrie
Portrayed by Tom Lenk
Information
Affiliation The Trio
Scooby Gang
Watchers' Council
Classification Watcher
Notable powers Demon summoning

Andrew Wells is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, played by Tom Lenk. The character also appears in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, the canonical continuation of the series.

Character history[edit]

Andrew Wells is the younger brother of Tucker Wells, who summoned hellhounds to attack the Prom in the Season Three episode "The Prom". Andrew himself has skills in demon-summoning and animal control, although these were never used after Season Six; in the Buffy finale "Chosen" he credits his brother with having given him the courage to develop this talent.

At some point during Buffy's senior year in high school, he summoned "flying demon monkeys" to attack Sunnydale High's production of Romeo and Juliet, apparently for no other reason than to amuse himself. Years after the fact, both Jonathan (Danny Strong) and Warren (Adam Busch) recall the incident with amusement; since Warren, Buffy's contemporary, is known to have spent only his senior year at Sunnydale High (he attended the prom to which Tucker sent the hellhounds), his memory of the occasion proves that it occurred during his senior year, which was also Buffy's. The Scooby Gang have no memory of this whatsoever; viewers are left with the impression that the attack ranks among any number of less-memorable supernatural incidents which plagued Sunnydale. They also have no recollection of who Andrew is, until he informs them of his relation to Tucker. This becomes a running joke, as from then on, he is often referred to as "the other guy," "Tucker's brother," and so on.

Sunnydale[edit]

Andrew is only introduced (long after the destruction of the school) in Season Six, as a member of the Trio, Buffy's self-styled "arch-nemeses". He is a crucial member of the group, since many of their endeavors rely upon his ability to summon and control various demons. Warren, the leader of the gang, is almost entirely driven by greed and lust for power; whereas Jonathan apparently joined the gang for excitement, being shocked by Warren's ruthlessness and eventually helping to save Buffy's life. Andrew occupies a sort of middle ground between these two, initially, as before, simply seeking power and amusement, but becoming more evil as the show progresses, for example, cheering "kill her!" as Warren fights Buffy. When Warren accidentally kills Tara Maclay while aiming for Buffy, Tara's vengeful girlfriend and powerful witch Willow Rosenberg hunts Warren down and skins him alive. Andrew and Jonathan then flee to Mexico to avoid a similar fate. While living in Mexico with Jonathan, Andrew is approached by the First Evil, who, in the guise of Warren, convinces him to open the Seal of Danzalthar. Returning to Sunnydale in Season Seven, Andrew murders Jonathan in an attempt to open the seal, but is soon discovered and held hostage by the Scooby Gang. At first, the Scoobies are hostile towards Andrew, partially because he murdered Jonathan, partially because of his alliance with Warren and partially because of his annoying habits. Andrew provides much of the comic relief in Season Seven along with the advancement of major plot points. In his own episode "Storyteller", Andrew decides to document the Scoobies' adventures for future generations using a video camera. Andrew has a tendency to exaggerate, or tell his own version of the "truth," routinely relating overly-dramatic personal narratives. Although Xander, Anya, Spike, and Dawn are happy to let him interview them, Buffy is angered by his attempt to turn everything into a story and forces him to finally face up to the seriousness of his actions. After this, he becomes somewhat remorseful and repentant, joining Buffy as a comic sidekick in the fight against the First, surviving the apocalyptic battle at the end of Season Seven. Thus, Andrew is an example of the show's strong emphasis on redemption. When Anya dies in the battle, Andrew comforts Xander by lying to him that she died saving his life. Joss Whedon comments on this in his commentary for "Chosen"; "The thing that [Andrew] is sort of reviled for, making up stories, becomes the thing that he helps Xander with. Becomes the thing that he actually is good at, giving her the epic death she didn't actually get to have."

Watcher[edit]

Andrew returns in two episodes of “Angel”’s fifth season, and he appears to have matured slightly. Now under the mentorship of Rupert Giles, who is training him as a Watcher, Andrew comes to Los Angeles to help contain psychotic Slayer Dana (cf. “Damage”). When Angel tried to take Dana back to Wolfram & Hart, Andrew asserts his authority, standing up to Angel (one of the few who do) and explains that she belongs with them, not him, also revealing that the Scooby Gang no longer deems the Angel Investigations team trustworthy due to their association with Wolfram & Hart, Buffy herself having ordered Andrew not to leave Dana with Angel.

In Italy, Andrew reappears in the “Angel” episode “The Girl in Question”, explaining to Spike and Angel that Buffy is now dating the Immortal, a longtime rival of Angel and Spike. It is later retconned in the “Buffy” Season Eight comics that Andrew had fabricated the notion of Buffy dating the Immortal, both as a measure of protective misdirection and as a way of pranking Angel and Spike due to their history with the Immortal. In the Season Eight comics, Xander refers to Andrew as the leader of a Slayer cell in Southern Italy. He is seen giving a group of Slayers a lecture about why Slayers never use guns, which had somehow progressed into a commentary on Lando Calrissian. He is transferred a difficult Slayer named Simone into his care from Rona, but Simone eventually goes rogue.

In “Wolves at the Gate, Part I” Willow flies Andrew to the Scottish castle where Buffy, Xander, Dawn and the other slayers operate. He is among the group that walks in and catches Buffy and fellow slayer Satsu in bed together. Assisting the team against a shrewd cabal of Japanese vampires, he instructs Dawn on how to destroy a mecha version of herself. Later, in “Predators and Prey”, Andrew and Buffy team up to hunt down his former charge and rogue Slayer, Simone. Andrew is responsible for recreating an extinct species, the Ragna Demon, through recombinant DNA experiments. The Ragna falls into the hands of Simone’s rogue squad. Although Buffy and Andrew are unsuccessful at capturing or killing Simone, Buffy reminds Andrew that he is “part of the family” and so forgives him for his mistakes.

Following Harmony Kendall’s reality show, in the new anti-Slayer, pro-vampire social order (“Harmonic Divergence”), Andrew is on the run from humans and demons alike. While underground in “Retreat, Part I”, he encounters Twilight’s minion and former best friend Warren, who is now skinless. Warren claims to have been dumped by Amy and left for dead, and takes credit for the First’s actions under his disguise. When demons attack, Andrew figures out the distraction ploy, fights back and escapes with his Slayers. From there, they head to Scotland to reunite with Buffy’s squad. Suspecting a traitor in their midst, Andrew willingly reverts to his annoying ‘film documentarian’ persona as a way to spy on the group. He discovers the spy is a local feline (Amy, magically disguised).[1] When Twilight’s forces eventually attack, Andrew is captured along with Giles and Faith.

In “Twilight”, Andrew finds himself hostage in Twilight’s headquarters. Andrew attempts to attack Twilight with a composite Captain America and Iron Man armor, but is rebuffed. After Twilight—revealed to be Angel—and Buffy play their part in an age-old prophecy and bring about the birth of a new universe, extra-dimensional demons begin flooding the current one. Warren and Andrew squabble over ownership of the armor until Andrew is severely wounded by one of the demons; Warren protects him using the Iron Man repulsor gloves. Buffy and Angel then return and save the Earth, temporarily. Andrew survives his injuries and works with the others to protect the universe from the threat posed by the sentience of the new universe. For his part, Andrew is left knocked senseless in the ruins of Sunnydale.

Life in San Francisco[edit]

Months after the Twilight crisis is averted, in Buffy Season 9 Andrew Wells has gathered a team again and formed an ad-hoc disaster relief for former Slayers. He attends 'house-warming' party for Buffy's new life in San Francisco. In "Apart (of Me)" it is revealed Andrew misinterpreted Spike's request that he look into and protect Buffy from threats. At the party Andrew drugged Buffy's drink and then switched her mind into a robotic body that accidentally made Buffy think she was pregnant. He placed a dim-witted robotic mind into Buffy's human body and sent her to live an ideal life in the suburbs. Both Buffy and Spike are furious with him. Rogue Slayer Simone Doffler captured Buffy's real body and is confused when it seems so weak and is able to convince it to join with her against the real Buffy, Spike, Andrew, and Spike's crew of space insects. Buffy's real body is recovered after Simone kills several insects and escapes. Andrew transfers Buffy's mind back into her human body however, she is still angry with him. Andrew next appears in "Welcome to the Team" when Xander calls him and Andrew is unable to diagnose what is wrong with a comatose Dawn. Xander and Andrew break Dawn out of the hospital and take her back to Andrew's apartment where an attempt to transfer her mind into a robot fails. In "The Core", Willow returns to San Francisco and is able to buy Dawn time and wake her up. Buffy, Willow and Xander head to the Deeper Well in England in hopes to find enough magic to save Dawn. Andrew is present when Spike returns to San Francisco to comfort a rapidly fading Dawn even as everyone's memories of her grow weaker and she eventually vanishes from sight. Andrew celebrates with everyone after Willow uses magic and Buffy's blood to restore Dawn.

Sexuality[edit]

Andrew is occasionally hinted to be gay in the series. However, in the Angel episode "The Girl in Question", Andrew is shown leaving for the opera with two attractive women, commenting that "people change". In January 2008, gay men's website AfterElton.com awarded Andrew the status as the tenth best gay or bisexual character in modern science fiction, despite commenting upon the textual ambiguity of Andrew's sexual orientation.[2] This prompted creator Joss Whedon to more formally comment on Andrew's sexuality, on Whedonesque.com.

"It has to be said: the Andrew scene in 'The Girl in Question' was a victim of me dropping the ball. I specifically said there should be a party of men AND women, all glamorous and Italian, waiting for Andrew. I wasn't there when it was shot, and didn't have the time/money/energy to change it after the fact, though it made me crazy. Andrew's sexuality is always on the cusp of self-awareness because Andrew is stunted emotionally and because it's hilarious." [...] "The 'people change' thing is a hold-over from the fact that the scene was originally written for Dawn (but Michelle turned us down). The idea was, there's little Dawn, then in the last scene there's hot grown-up Dawn going out on the town, a heavy visual support of people changing (since Spike and Angel always see her as older brothers do)."[3]

In November 2008, Tom Lenk came out as gay in The Advocate magazine. Joss Whedon was interviewed for the article, and revealed that it was decided that the character of Andrew was to be gay when they decided to cast Lenk in the role.

"Tom has a bit of a fey thing going on in his persona that, you know, you can't really deny. When I first looked at his audition tape, I said 'OK, he, uh, he seems kinda gay. Do we want to make that decision [about the character]? There's no reason why he couldn't be, so, great, let's pick the funniest actor.' [...] The character became very charming in his complete lack of awareness about, among other things, his own sexuality."[4]

Appearances[edit]

Andrew has been in 41 canonical Buffyverse appearances.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
Andrew appeared as a guest in 26 episodes:
Angel 
Andrew has appeared as a guest in 2 episodes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
Andrew has appeared in thirteen issues so far:

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” #28 (2009)
  2. ^ "Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters". AfterElton.com. 2008-01-20. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  3. ^ Caroline van Oosten de Boer, Milo Vermeulen. "Comments on 15286 : Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters". Whedonesque. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  4. ^ "Coming Out But Canceled". The Advocate (1019). November 18, 2008.