"A Slayer hunts vampires; Buffy is a Slayer; don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need."
Rupert Giles
"The Harvest"
Series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 1, Episode 2
Buffy Episode 1x02 004.jpg
Air date March 10th, 1997
Writers Joss Whedon
Director John T. Kretchmer
Producers Joss Whedon; Gail Berman; Sandy Gallin; Fran Rubel Kuzui; Kaz Kuzui; David Greenwalt; Gareth Davies; David Solomon; Joseph M. Ellis
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar; Nicholas Brendon; Charisma Carpenter; Alyson Hannigan; Anthony Stewart Head
Episode guide
"Welcome to the Hellmouth"

"The Harvest" is the second episode of season one of the WB Network television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The episode was directed by John T. Kretchmer and written by series creator Joss Whedon. This episode continues the story begun in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" with Buffy Summers only narrowly escaping from the monstrous vampire Luke. Meeting back up with Giles and her friends, Buffy puts together a plan to track the vampires down and save their friend Jesse McNally. Meanwhile, the Master prepares for the coming Harvest in which he will achieve great power and break free of his underground prison to walk the Earth once more.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Bringing Jesse before the Master.

Luke tries to bite Buffy, but burns himself when he touches the cross that the stranger had given her. Buffy kicks him off of her and runs out of the mausoleum. She comes upon Willow who is being attacked by a vampire. She stakes the vampires then does the same to another group attacking Xander. Jesse however, is nowhere to be found. The group reconvenes with Giles back at the library.

Luke and Darla have Jesse and they bring him before their Master as an offering. The Master sees that Darla has already tasted his blood and is offended by the idea that she is merely giving him her leftover scraps. Darla meekly apologizes for her indiscretion. Luke tells the Master how well Buffy had fought against him and they realize that they have now encountered a Slayer. The Master decides that instead of killing Jesse, they are going to use him as bait for the Slayer.

At the library, Giles gathers together several books and explains to the group the nature of vampires. Xander is having a particularly hard time dealing with this new knowledge and feels useless. Both Willow and he want to help, but Buffy reinforces the notion that it is too dangerous and that only she has a hope of finding Jesse, hopefully alive. Realizing that the vampires must be using an underground network of sorts, Willow volunteers to hack into the county records website and find some blueprints. Buffy recalls that Luke had attacked her from behind while she was facing the door to the mausoleum. Since he never followed her out, she determines that the access to the vampire tunnels must be through the mausoleum.

Buffy goes off to investigate, but as she tries to leave the school she encounters Principal Flutie. Flutie warns her that nobody leaves the campus while school is in session, but as soon as he turns his back, Buffy hops the gate and runs off. She goes to the mausoleum and finds the gate locked up with an iron chain. From out of the shadows steps the mysterious man that she had met the evening prior. She asks him his name and he tells her that it is Angel. Without revealing everything he knows, he warns her against the dangers of exploring the underground warrens of the vampires. Buffy appreciates, though disregards his concern and breaks the chains on gate and heads into the crypt. After she leaves, Angel whispers "Good luck".

Buffy escapes from the vampires.

Buffy creeps about through the dark tunnels, but before long, Xander Harris arrives, offering his help even though Buffy had instructed him to stay behind at school. He is compelled to do everything he can to help find his friend. Buffy reluctantly lets him tag along. As they continue down into the darkness, Buffy tells Xander the do's and don'ts of vampire slaying. They eventually come upon Jesse McNally lying down chained to the floor. Buffy breaks the chain and Jesse tells them that he was being used as bait for the Slayer. They take note of a throng of vampires that begin skulking about behind them and they start running. They reach a service alcove and Jesse reveals that he is now a vampire. Xander is stunned, but at Buffy's urging, holds up a cross that she had given him and Jesse recoils. Buffy pushes him out into the corridor and Xander and she press the heavy door shut. They climb up through an access grate that leads to the surface of a power plant. The sun is up and the vampires cannot pursue them any further.

Back at the Library, Giles scours through the Book of Thoth searching for any information that might shed some light on the upcoming Harvest. He finds a section which speaks of a ritual that allows a vampire to channel the vitality of the blood of his victims into a vampire elder, granting the immense power. Willow comes in and shows him old newspaper clippings that detail an earthquake that took place in 1937, which buried an old church. They deduce that this vampire Master had come to the Hellmouth more than sixty years ago, but when attempting to access its power, found himself trapped underground instead. This particular confluence of energy only takes place once every one-hundred years, which means that the Harvest will take place tonight.

In the underground church ruins, Luke kneels before the Master who allows him to drink some of his blood. The Master then anoints Luke with a mystic sigil upon his brow and declares him his Vessel. He declares that every soul Luke claims will feed his own power, ultimately giving him the strength to break free of his prison and walk the Earth again.

Buffy and Xander meanwhile make it back to the library where they deliver the unhappy news about Jesse. Giles and Willow bring them up to speed on what they have learned concerning the Harvest. Buffy leaves to gather together some supplies, but when she returns home, her mother Joyce tells her that the principal called about Buffy skipping classes. She tells Buffy that she is not allowed to go out this evening, but as soon as she leaves her room, Buffy slips out the bedroom window.

As the sun sets, Sunnydale's youth begin to gather at The Bronze. Cordelia arrives with a group of her friends, but goes to the dance floor once the music starts. Jesse McNally appears and approaches her. She tries to brush him away, but he pulls her close and makes her dance with him.

The Master awaits the Harvest.

Outside, Darla, Luke and a brood of vampires approach the front door. They grab the door man and drag him inside, locking the door behind them. Luke pulls the door man onto the center of the stage and the music stops. Showing them his vampire visage, he addresses the crowd and tells them how they will all partake in the Harvest. With that, he bites down on the door man's neck, killing him in front of the entire assembly. As he drinks his blood, the Master can feel the power of the man's soul flowing into him. Luke continues to take victims and the Master grows stronger with each death. Darla grabs Cordelia from Jesse's arms, declaring her as the next victim. Left empty-handed, Jesse says, "I don't get one?” Darla brings Cordelia to the stage and Luke prepares to feed from her.

Buffy and the others arrive and manage to break inside. Buffy leaps down from the rafters and stops Luke from feeding on Cordelia. The two begin trading blows on stage while Giles, Willow and Xander begin letting people out of the Bronze. A vampire attacks Xander, but Buffy takes a cymbal from a drum kit and flings it like a throwing star, killing him. Xander then finds Jesse attacking Cordelia and warns him to leave her alone. Jesse spins about and sees Xander holding a stake to his chest. He tries to talk some sense into his former friend, but the decision to kill Jesse is taken away from him as a panicking woman runs by, bumping into Jesse and accidentally driving him into Xander's stake.

Outside, Darla attacks Giles, but Willow takes a bottle of holy water from Buffy's supply bag and splashes it onto her. Darla's face begins burning and she runs off into the night screeching in pain.

Back inside, Buffy continues to fight Luke. He grabs her in a bear hug, but she delivers a head butt, forcing him to let her go. She scoops up a microphone stand and hurls it through the window. The amber floodlight from an adjacent room shines through the glass and Buffy tricks Luke into thinking that it is actually sunlight from outside. While Luke is distracted, Buffy stakes him from behind. As the body crumbles away, the Master loses all of his newfound power. The other vampires flee from the Bronze after witnessing the Slayer take down their strongest. Outside the Bronze, Angel observes the entire affair and mutters to himself, "She did it. I'll be damned."

The following day at school, Xander and Willow are surprised to see people acting normally, in lieu of what transpired only hours earlier. Giles explains how the rational mind sometimes re-interprets what it sees when faced with something that defies belief. He reminds them that just because they prevented the Master's ascension, there is nothing preventing him from trying again. Buffy and the others walk away from Giles and begin making wise cracks, showing little seriousness for what they have all just experienced. As Giles turns away he sarcastically mutters to himself, "The Earth is doomed".

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Part 2 of a 2 part episode.
  • The mysterious stranger reveals his name as Angel in this episode. Angel becomes a major player throughout the first three seasons of the series.
  • First appearance of Harmony Kendall. Harmony is the blonde-haired girl seen talking with Cordelia in computer class. She will become a more important character as the series progresses. She appears next in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight".
  • Originally, Darla was slated to die when Willow throws the holy water onto her, but the script was changed so that she runs away and survives. Darla appears next in "Angel".
  • Buffy tells Xander how she once beheaded a vampire with a small Xacto knife.

Inconsistencies[edit | edit source]

  • The Master recounts the time when his minion Luke was nearly killed by a Slayer. Luke responds with "He caught me sleeping". The Slayer mythos establishes that all Slayers are female. There is no record of any Slayer being male.
  • No explanation is provided as to how Xander got off the school campus after Principal Flutie locked the gate. Also, since he was only seconds behind Buffy, he would have likely ran into Angel at the gates to the mausoleum.
  • Considering her enhanced strength levels, Buffy has a lot of difficulty closing the steel sewer door as well as pushing open the grate that leads outside.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Luke: I thought you nothing more than a meal, boy. Congratulations, you've just become bait.



  • Angel: You shouldn't be putting yourself at risk. Tonight is the Harvest. Unless you can prevent it, the Master walks.



  • The Master: You are all weak! It has been too long since you have faced a Slayer.


  • Xander Harris: I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good.


  • The Master: Luke is the vessel. Every soul he takes will feed me. Their souls will grant me the strength to free myself. Tonight I will walk the Earth and the stars themselves will hide!


  • Luke: This is a glorious night. It is also the last one any of you shall ever see.


  • Luke: Tonight is his ascension. Tonight will be history at its end. Yours is a glorious sacrifice.


See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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This article pertains to an episode from season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1 episodes category.
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