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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Inca Mummy Girl

Giles: "You have responsibilities that other girls do not."
Buffy: "Oh, I know this one! Slaying entails certain sacrifices, blah, blah, bitty blah, I'm so stuffy, give me a scone."

We've reached the point where every episode is at least somewhat witty. That's about all that can be said about this one.

Buffy continues to talk about not having a life, and here, she meets another Chosen one who has it even worse than Buffy does. Ampata generates some sympathy on our part, since it is certainly not her fault that she was a human sacrifice. Sucking life out of others to stay alive, though, is probably not the way to go.

This episode is notable for the introduction of Seth Green as Oz, who immediately makes points with me by having the good taste to notice Willow under that parka ("who is that girl?"). Oz is a member of a fictional, wonderfully named rock group, Dingoes Ate My Baby, whose lead singer Devon is dating Cordelia. Willow and Oz do not meet in this episode; it's a little like Doctor Zhivago, where Omar Sharif and Julie Christie keep almost meeting, but don't.

Xander again shows jealousy of Buffy having a male exchange student as a houseguest, until he is distracted by Ampata. But he also shows great courage as well as the depth of his love for Willow when he makes Ampata attack him. Willow overhears Xander talking about how he doesn't think of Willow "that way" and decides it is time to move on. It's about time.

Bits and pieces:

— "Dingoes Ate My Baby" is a reference to a famous incident that occurred in Australia. When the Dingoes are playing, what we hear is an L.A. group called "Four Star Mary."

— Along with Oz, we get the first appearance, for about thirty seconds in a closet, of another continuing character: Danny Strong as Jonathan.

— Ampata, the Incan mummy princess, sleeps in Buffy's room with her. Where were they planning to put the original Ampata, who was a guy?

— Giles refers to the mummy freeze-drying people. This is probably an inside "Taster's Choice" joke.

— Ampata's command of English is at least explained; she has been listening while she has traveled to Atlanta, Boston, and New York.

— Xander dresses up like Clint Eastwood for the party, and mentions Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns.

— David Boreanaz does not appear in this episode.

— Note from later: Clayne Crawford from Rectify and Lethal Weapon is the victim in the teaser, and Gil Birmingham from the Twilight movies is the bodyguard.

— Obligatory dog reference: Cordelia asks Buffy why she didn't look at a photo of her exchange student: "You didn't look at him first? He could be dogly. You live on the edge." Later, Cordelia tells a friend that her exchange student, Sven, is "like one of those dogs that you leave at the Grand Canyon on vacation? It follows you back across four states." And aren't dingoes somewhat dog-like?


Buffy: "Have you ever done an exchange program?"
Xander: "My dad tried to send me to some Armenians once. Does that count?"

Xander: "Typical museum trick. Promise human sacrifice, deliver old pots and pans."

Willow: "On the other hand, maybe Rodney just stepped out for a smoke."
Xander: "For twenty-one hours?"
Willow: "It's addictive, you know."

Willow: "Giles, were the Incas very advanced?"
Giles: "Yes, yes, very."
Willow: "Did they have orthodontists?"

Devon: "What does a girl have to do to impress you?"
Oz: "Well, it involves a feather boa and the theme to A Summer Place."

Oz: "You're just impressed by any pretty girl that can walk and talk."
Devon: "She doesn't have to talk."

Xander: "I'm from the country of Leone. It's in Italy, pretending to be Montana."

Willow: "Well, you know, I have a choice. I can spend my life waiting for Xander to go out with every other girl in the world until he notices me, or I can just get on with my life."
Buffy: "Good for you."
Willow: "Well, I didn't choose yet."

Xander: "We're in the crime club. Which is kinda like the chess club, only with crime, and, um... no chess."

Could be a lot better. One star,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. How could anyone not notice Willow in the parka? She has never looked more adorable. Every time I see her in it I love her that little bit more.

  2. This is not the best ever, but there are two things I love about this episode, both of which you mention.

    The first is Xander and his platonic love for Willow. I love the fact that he can actually tell her that she is his best friend and that he stands up for her so forcibly. I also like the way he confides his frustration to Buffy, "present company excepted."

    And, like Mark says, how can you not love a guy who notices Willow in that parka. As a result, I was a fan of Oz' from the beginning.

  3. One word: Oz. That is all.

  4. Oz, indeed!

    I love Seth Green and didn't know he was going to show up at this point in the series, so I was happily surprised to see his name in the beginning credits. Now that Oz and Spike have been introduced I feel like the Buffy I was expecting has arrived.

    I love this recent interview with Alyson Hannigan on the Fallon talking about Seth Green (it starts at about the 2:30 mark) and includes a cute picture of them in their first project together when they were younger: http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/video/alyson-hannigan-talks-how-i-met-your-mother/n36720/

    Anyway, this episode was fine. I felt so bad for WIllow but optimistic once Oz showed up. I also thought that the special effects were better than in season one, which made this one not as bad as some of those...

  5. I am very happy to see Oz as well - one of my favourite characters and I agree Willow looked adorable in the Eskimo costume. It is interesting to contrast the Cordelia/band singer relationship with the way that Xander and Ampada connect. The comment that girls don't have to talk versus Xander standing up for his brilliant female friend even at the cost of love from a beautiful girl is a pretty ham fisted advertisement for "nerds". Do you want the pretty boy singer who really doesn't care about you or the loveable nerd who will lay down his live for those he cares about? Funny, that the beautiful, popular girl picks the jerk from the band! I felt sorry for Ampada as well - couldn't we have found some nasty, horrible people for her to suck the life out of? Poor Xander, he really does have terrible taste in women but then he is doing exactly what Cordelia does - go for the pretty face. He's be much safer and happier with a nerd girl. Ps. Willow is too good for him :)

  6. Wow I'd never seen this episode somehow, but realized towards the end that I had not missed out on anything. Except for Oz's introduction.

    I could have been in a bad mood the day I saw it, but I think this probably now holds the spot for my least favorite Buffy episode. I thought it was really badly made - the music, the editing...I don't know the whole thing felt off. The story wasn't the worst but the production itself didn't work for me.

  7. I groaned when I saw this in the queue. I had forgotten about Oz. He saves the episode. "Who IS that girl?" The scene with Buffy holding up boy's underpants is also amusing. I just wish her Spidey sense would have tingled a little sooner.

  8. Well, the greatness of the previous episode didn't really stick, did it? This is sooo a season-1-kinda-ep. It's probably even a season 1 left-over.

    Every time I rewatch Buffy, Inca Mummy Girl makes me start counting down..."only 3 bad episodes left". I think there's 2 more bad ones in this season and then we have the abysmal episode involving beer in season 4. But that's it!

    Willow is adorable as usual, and Oz's introduction saves this.
    It was nice to see Jonathan introduced too (although he technically already was in the unaired pilot, but that doesn't count).

  9. One star ?! It wasn't THAT bad. Unless...I am enjoying the trio's interactions very much now (Willow, Buffy and Xander; it's different with Giles) (ah crap, no Calendar, pity).

    "Isn't he lunchable ?" Oh Cordelia, you're unbeatable. Poor Giles : Buffy does kick really hard.

    "OK, I just saved us, right ?" "Ay Caramba !" Xander made me smile often today. Oh ! Seth Green ! Oh ! Danny Strong ! Oh ! An extra that I will often see on the Gilmore Girls ! LOL (oh, yes, it's a WB show, right)

    Cordy looks gorgeous with Hawaiian clothing and Willow....looks just adorable in her parka.

    "Are these tears of joy, pain, revulsion ?" Hum, I guess it had a lower rating because it was a...Spikeless episode. The mummy story is indeed overdone, but Xander's banter made me enjoy this one a lot !

  10. Newbie report:

    I guess Sunnydale is like Mystic Falls where every teenager has an unlimited closet of awesome costumes for every occasion. Willow's closet comes with a harpoon! I wonder what Buffy would have gone as?

    I got a kick out of the fact that Sven thought Cordelia was a dope.

    What kind of museum has an open sarcophagus that people can handle and touch the artifacts? Most every museum I've ever gone to, an alarm goes off if you even get close to an exhibit. Of course, there was that time when I was accidentally locked in the Smithsonian, and tried climbing on the T-Rex to cause an alarm to go off, but gee - they turn the alarms OFF after closing time. Weird. Well, back to the episode.

    The exhibit is damaged, a valuable artifact is destroyed and the mummy looks, um, different, and nobody cares? Security in that town really sucks. Wait a minute, an Inca mummy in a sarcophagus? Sarcophagi were Egyptian.

    I do like the music at the Bronze. Hey, this band has Seth Green!

    Xander is attracted to the non-humans, isn't he. I guess that's Willow's problem. Too Homo Sapiens for him. Actually, whatever affliction Xander has, I think I have it too.

    Another installment of Buffy, The Girl Who Never Slays Vampires. Not even an Angel cameo. Boo.

  11. I think I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. Whatever the case, while this episode really sucks, by this episode the first time I watched I was already enough into Buffy that just seeing the characters and getting the funny banter was enough for me.

    The best is, of course, meeting Oz. The fact that he notices Willow immediately already makes me like him. Also, Seth Green. One must always love Seth Green.

    Can we keep a tally of Xander's supernatural girlfriends? And compare it to Sam's from Supernatural?

  12. Bea, if you'd like to do that, it could be hilarious.

  13. I think its all been said already, the best thing about it is the introduction of Oz. I do feel for the poor mummy girl but really it does feel very season oneish overall.

  14. pucklady is the cherry on top of the sundae of this re-watch.


  15. These opening episodes are not the best of the series, but they do set up the wonderful ones that are just around the corner. We now have the full gang in play, and it is from now on that the show becomes what I loved so much the first time through.

  16. Installment 2 of our classic movie monster with a Buffy twist series. Less than perfect, obviously. But some memorable bits: "What he lacks in smarts, he makes up in lack of smarts."

    Also, for a one Starbucks town, Sunnydale sure has a beautiful Natural History Museum.

  17. sunbunny

    I cannot put my finger on it, but I think I saw that T rex in another TV show (??)

  18. Although I haven't been there since like fourth grade, I'm sure it's the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. They use it for a lot of stuff. But the only thing that's coming to mind now is HIMYM.

  19. So, I got some time to do a little re-watching. I started with 'School Hard' and was going to skip ahead to 'Halloween,' but decided to go ahead and revisit some of the bad ones. 'Inca Mummy Girl' is definitely a laundry-folding episode, but the introduction of Oz was absolutely worth the effort of playing it through again. I was practically giddy seeing how absolutely entranced he was by Willow in her Eskimo costume. As Chris B, notes, it certainly made him instantly likable. And how nice to have Willow finally accept her "best friend" relationship with Xander, just as a potential new love interest comes along. Karmic rewards! Yay!

    I was really surprised to see Jonathan! Danny Strong popped up on Mad Men recently, and my first thought was "Jonathan!" It was fun to see him here, for the first time. Even though the poor kid almost got mummy-sucked. Oy.

  20. "definitely a laundry-folding episode". I love this, Jess. It should be an official rating. It would be in the middle somewhere, with "edge of your seat" at the top, and possibly "background noise" or "turning it off in disgust" at the bottom. :)

  21. Oy.

    With the poodles already.

    Referring to a TV show about which I've talked about often, but that isn't reviewed on this awesome site.

  22. Sunbunny, it's definitely the Museum of Natural History. Although (and this is such an LA thing to say), whenever I see the exterior, I remember that it is used for establishing shots of the "Jeffersonian" where Bones is set, in DC.

    I don't love this episode, but I like many parts of it: Oz, the whole it-sucks-to-be-chosen thing, Oz, Willow looking adorably snug, the introduction of Danny Strong. It's funny, too.

  23. Three references to Australia in an episode is odd. Dingoes at my baby, the Australian flag over the stage and Boomerang reference from Cordelia.


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