Monday, April 23, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Inca Mummy Girl

Sunnydale High is abuzz with excitement about their new cultural exchange program.  They even go to a museum to check out an exhibit about ancient Incan mummies, which is really where all the problems start, because that's where the mummy sucks the life out a student and escapes.

Meanwhile, Buffy's got her hands full with her exchange student, a beautiful South American girl who Xander's got a big ole monster-sized crush on.  Uh-oh.  A girl is interested in Xander?  She must be evil.  Except I don't know if Ampata really qualifies as evil, per say.  She's a girl forced into a bad situation, who has to suck the life out of people to stay alive ok I'm not really making her case very well, am I?

I want a companion episode about the bodyguard, as he adapts to the 20th century and hunts down the mummy he is sworn to protect people against.  Come on, that's a spinoff waiting to happen.  Crap.  Too late.  He's dead.

Anyway, Buffy has to stop Ampata, before her trail of dehydrated corpses includes Xander.

Things I Like:

Crime Club?  That's a slippery slope to Vigilante Justice Club.  I love that you people could not come up with a better lie than Crime Club.

It's sweet that Ampata genuinely cares of Xander, so much so that she's (almost) willing to die rather than hurt him.  But damn, Xander has bad luck with the laydeez.  Seriously, though, Ampata is actually a sort of interesting character.  It's not like she kills people for the lulz, she does it because if she doesn't, she'll turn into a freeze-dried mummy.  She's not doing the right thing, but at the same time there's room for a little bit of a gray area.

Dingoes Ate My Baby is probably the best band name I've ever heard in my life.

OMG OMG Willow's an Eskimo I take back everything I ever said about cultural stereotypes because that is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  And awwww Oz notices Willow even when she's covered head to toe in parka.

And speaking of Oz...I'm so glad Seth Green is finally here!!!

"Sven!  Momenta!  Needa!"  I find it hilarious because every Scandinavian person I know speaks better English than I do.  And I love Sven talking shit about Cordelia at the end.  It's so perfect.

Things I Don't Like:

Privileged California kids flipping through a catalog of foreigners like they're picking out a new stereo system.

"I don't know how good his English is, he's from South America.  Hey, maybe he can help us translate this seal."  Of course, he's from South America, he must be fluent in an ancient indigenous language.  Hey Buffy?  Can you speak Old English?  Didn't think so.  Even Giles thinks she's should be able to translate the seal.  When she says, "Why are you asking me?" I'm like THANK YOU!

"So do we have to speak Spanish when we see him?  Because I don't know anything besides Doritos and Chihuahau."  Xander, you live in Southern California.

What happened to all the foreign exchange students after this episode?  What, they flew them all in from their home countries to spend two weeks in Southern California and attend a dance where a bunch of American teenagers dress up as semi-offensive stereotypes of their cultures?  Sorry...I went to a liberal arts university in Massachusetts and sometimes I have a hard time turning off the PC.  For the record, this episode and it's cultural sensitivity (or lack thereof) really don't bother me as much as it sounds like they bother me.

Questions I Have:

Why would Buffy's South American exchange student be at the bus station?  No one could pick him up at LAX?

What kind of horrible chaperone doesn't check to make sure they've got all the kids on the bus after a field trip?

Why are there no security guards at this museum?

How are they glossing over the fact that the real Ampata died?  How is this not a foreign relations nightmare?


This episode is...fine.  I consider it to be pretty average in the grand scheme of Buffy episodes.  The effects are pretty cool, with the dehydration, and the end when Ampata's decomposing arms are stuck to Xander is horrifying/hilarious.  The one thing I've always loved this episode for is its introduction of Oz.  He's probably one of my favorite characters, and I remember when I was younger watching this show, I always tried to be more cool and laconic like he was.  He's the perfect guy for Willow at this point in her life, and I just love them together.  Any guy who thinks you're cute while you're in a parka is probably a keeper.

6 Stakes Out of 10

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