You know, for a while, I was feeling kind of bad for Ampata. Which was, of course, the point. And it’s easy to, considering the clear parallels between her and Buffy’s fates.
…Er, without the whole sucking the life out of people thing.
Still, Ampata (wait, why do we call her that? I mean, that’s not her name…) was chosen to sacrifice herself at a young age to save the world. All she wants is a normal life. Although how normal that life would be when she has to take sucking-the-life-out-of-people breaks throughout the day is a mystery to me. Still. The desire is understandable, and one with which Buffy is highly familiar.
However, Ampata is prepared to go much further than Buffy to fulfill that desire, and this is what ultimately makes her the bad guy. Shades of Invisible Marcie.
The mummy tries to get out of her duty (and a shitty duty it is, admittedly) by forcing other people to take her place. Buffy can’t. And what’s more, I don’t think she would. With the mummy as an example, she knows that way lies badness.
Plus, it’s like totally ugly:
Sidenote: It’s interesting how Xander takes so quickly to Ampata. I like to think it’s to emphasize how similar her plight is to Buffy’s, and to show some consistency in Xander’s character re:what he finds attractive. From the perspective of the character it would seem to be because she’s hot and exotic and blah de blah blah, but we, as viewers can make all sorts of theories, and I choose to make this one, so there.
Another thing to note: Xander tries to sacrifice himself. I don’t always like him, but this habit of his is an admirable (albeit stupidly reckless) trait.
I think this episode is good for both Xander and Buffy. Buffy’s grown-up enough to realize that the unfairness of her Chosenhood is not an excuse to trample upon other people (something, you’ll remember, that she learned back on Never Kill a Boy on the First Date), and Xander is big-hearted enough to sacrifice his happiness (and himself) for his friends.
Meanwhile, Willow is…
- I have to, ‘cause it’s awesome: (Source)
- I love that the gang gets it in one. Mummy came to life and is killing people. Yep.
- *sigh* She’s South American, Xander, not stupid.
- Hi, Oz!
- Is it me, or does Xander seem to prefer brunettes?
- Willow playing with a stuffed frog. Hmmm.
- …Where did Ampata get that costume?
- That Slayer stuff seems to be kind of… exposed. Wouldn’t Joyce find that while cleaning?
- Hi, Jonathan!
- Uh… Adult men are allowed in Buffy’s room?
- “Oh. Good. Xander!”