Inca Mummy Girl
|"Inca Mummy Girl"|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
The mummy, Ampata, before being awoken
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Ellen S. Pressman|
|Written by||Matt Kiene
|Original air date||October 6, 1997|
"Inca Mummy Girl" is episode four of season two of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The episode was written by former series story editors Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer (penning their second and final script for the show) and directed by Ellen S. Pressman, inspired by the story of Momia Juanita, a real mummy discovered on the extinct volcano Ampato near Arequipa, Peru, in 1995. The narrative revolves around a "cultural exchange" event at Sunnydale High, involving a museum exhibit, a dance, and foreign exchange students, two of whom stay with Buffy and Cordelia. After a class troublemaker is reported missing after the museum trip, the Scooby Gang investigates and finds the Incan mummy from the exhibit gone and the missing student mummified in her place. Meanwhile, Buffy must hide her identity as the Slayer and the mummy investigation from her exchange student, Ampata, who has a secret of her own.
To prepare for Sunnydale High's cultural exchange program, Buffy visits an Incan exhibit with her schoolmates. She is paired with an exchange student with whom her mom signed her up. Xander becomes jealous when he learns that she will room with a guy.
The students learn that the mummy in the museum is one of a beautiful Incan princess, sacrificed by her people to save them from destruction. Willow and Buffy express remorse for the princess; dying before she could really live her life. After everyone leaves the museum, a class clown breaks the seal on the mummy while trying to steal it. The princess wakes up, for the curse is broken, and pulls the unfortunate student into her coffin. She mummifies him by a kiss on the lips. When the Scoobies rush to the museum, they encounter a sword-wielding guard and the remains of the missing student.
Buffy's exchange student arrives at the bus station, and the mummy girl sucks out his life, too. The 500-year-old becomes a beautiful teenager, and poses as "Ampata," the boy who was supposed to stay with Buffy (everyone simply assumes that the information was wrong on her gender). Xander is smitten with her, and the two begin a relationship. Giles asks "Ampata" to decipher the seal from her tomb, and she explains (reluctantly) that it describes a girl chosen to die to save her people, and a bodyguard who will keep her from straying from that path. She also tells Giles to destroy the seal completely; apparently it being rebuilt will end Ampata's life. This bodyguard appears again and again, trying to stop Ampata, until she finally manages to use her kiss on him in the bathroom, sucking out his life to keep herself from dying.
Buffy and Ampata bond over the tale of the Inca Princess, Ampata stating that the princess was forced into her "destiny" by her people, as they claimed she was the only girl of her generation who could save them; Buffy miserably notes that this parallels her own life. Xander asks Ampata to the dance to enliven her; she gladly accepts. Willow is downtrodden to find her crush with another girl when the guitarist (Oz) at the Bronze notices her. Meanwhile, Buffy and Giles open Ampata's trunk and discover the real Ampata's body. Giles tries to piece together the seal while Buffy tries to save Xander from Ampata's deadly kiss. But Ampata feels too much for Xander and leaves for the museum. She tries to stop Giles from putting the seal back together. Buffy saves Giles, then Ampata starts to deteriorate as she tries to feed off Willow. Xander shows up and insists that if she must feed on anyone, it should be him; despite Ampata's feelings for him, she is quickly deteriorating back into a mummy, and is willing to kill him to remain alive. Buffy shows up to fight her, saving Xander, and in the battle, she weakens to the point of returning to her dead form.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
- Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
- David Boreanaz as Angel (credited but does not appear)
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
- Xander asks, "You're not a praying mantis, are you?" Ms. French, Xander's crush in "Teachers Pet," turned out to be a giant She-Mantis.
- This is the only episode of the second or third seasons from which Angel is absent.
- This is one of only eight episodes not to feature at least one vampire, the others being "Witch", "The Pack", "I, Robot... You, Jane", "The Puppet Show", "Living Conditions", "Fear, Itself" and "Beer Bad".
- Along with "Witch", "The Puppet Show" and "Nightmares", this is one of only four Buffyverse episodes in which Cordelia appears but Angel does not.
- This episode features the first appearance of Devon and Oz. Devon will go on to appear and be mentioned in a number of episodes, while Oz will go on to be a central character and member of the Scooby Gang. This is also the first appearance of Oz and Devon’s band, Dingoes Ate My Baby.
- This episode marks the first of several times Oz will spot Willow, before finally meeting her in What's My Line, Part 1. In this episode, through the crowd Oz spots Willow in her Eskimo outfit and is obviously smitten.
- This episode marks the first notable appearance of Jonathan Levinson, a minor character who repeatedly pops up in Seasons Two, Three, Four, Six and Seven. In the early seasons, Jonathan often escapes near death situations through blind luck. In Season Six, he is one member of The Trio, with Warren Mears and Andrew Wells, who have plans to take over Sunnydale.
"Inca Mummy Girl" had an audience of 3.2 million households.
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