Buffy's younger sister, Dawn


Title: Buffy S5.E01 “Buffy Vs. Dracula” + Buffy S5.E02 “Real Me”
Released: 2000

Drinks Taken: 31
Vamps Dusted: 7


Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome to season five, friends! Last week, the Scoobies defeated Adam, the Initiative left town, and we were treated to some very boring dream scenarios as season four went out with a whimper. But hold onto your butts, because despite what the premiere may lead us to believe, season five is not here to play. And neither are the new and improved drinking game rules! 

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Five Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it
Riley’s a drag
Things get uncomfortable between Anya and Xander
Dawn is annoying
Anya loves money
Spike has zero chill around Buffy
The Magic Box has customers

Drink twice every time:

Giles drinks tea
There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Someone uses a payphone
Glory sucks someone’s brain

I sure hope you’ve got that bottle of hooch ready.

Dracula hovers behind Buffy, whose eyes are closed

5.01 “Buffy Vs. Dracula”

Buffy is laying in bed awake next to a sleeping Riley. Drink! No, it’s not in the rules, but don’t you need one already? Buffy sneaks out for a quick slay in the cemetery (oops, drink again!) before climbing back into bed with Riley, and now she can sleep.

The gang is hanging at the beach on a beautiful sunny day, which we have never seen them do before. Just like no one has probably ever tossed a football in a sarong and a tube top before, but you try telling Buffy that. Riley negs her about throwing like a girl so she heaves it straight into his face and they’re quickly done with football and head over to demand burgers from Xander, who hasn’t even managed to light the grill. Willow “helps” by doing a quick spell that almost catches Xander on fire. At Buffy’s compliment, Willow claims it’s no big deal, you just have to balance the elements, which she clearly hasn’t done, since a storm immediately ruins their beach day. But it provides the perfect ambiance outside a new castle (You know, one of those Southern California stone castles that are so popular.) where movers are unloading what is clearly a casket, and complaining about how weird rich people are, when an arm busts through and grabs them.

At Giles’ place the next day, Willow sets up his computer so they can scan in some texts. She’s disappointed that he’s been “Mr. Project” all summer, with cataloging amulets and his Watcher’s diaries. She suggests it may be time for him to get a life, which is apparently, what he’s doing. He wants the gang to have all the resources they need because he’s planning to go back to England, since Buffy doesn’t need him anymore. He makes her promise not to tell Buffy, he’ll do it soon himself.

Buffy wraps up dinner with her mom and turns down ice cream, like a lunatic, to head out and patrol. It’s clearly summer break, but they’re both wearing sweaters. Buffy’s is a turtleneck! Back at the cemetery, Buffy slays a vamp in her sweater and leather pants and a ridiculous-looking vampire with long hair, pale skin, a cape, and a vaguely European accent, praises her hunting skills. They briefly banter, with Buffy announcing herself as the Slayer, and he introduces himself.

She doesn’t believe him at first but definitely preens at the fact that he’s heard of her. When she tries to stake him, he turns into mist, only to reappear elsewhere. Willow and Xander arrive to see what she’s up to, and she warns them to get out of there. But when Dracula appears behind them, they’re less than impressed, until Buffy tells them it’s Dracula and he turns himself into a bat and flies away.

At Giles HQ, they excitedly recount the story. Tara is dismayed to hear Willow describe Dracula as sexy, and Anya admits she hung out with him a few times in her demon days. Riley is obviously over the entire thing but is also threatened enough to propose that they head after him with stakes and crossbows. But Buffy and Anya think Dracula is too slick for that and they should do their homework first. Riley claims to be too wired to go to sleep with Buffy just yet, and heads to Spike’s crypt for info on Dracula. Spike claims they’re old rivals and that the poncy bugger owes him 11 pounds. Spike tells him that he won’t find Dracula in a cemetery, because he likes his fancy digs. He also tells Riley that he’s out of his depth, which leads to an up-close conversation that just illustrates that Riley can be kind of a reckless hothead and Spike is way shorter than him.

Xander walks home after dropping Anya off and runs straight into Dracula. Xander plans to fight him, but Dracula does a hypno whammy thing on him and tells him that Xander will be his emissary, his eyes and ears in daylight, and will be rewarded with immortality. Xander now calls him Master and thinks he’s a genius.

As Buffy sleeps, fog pours through her open window and materializes into Dracula. He tells her that she is magnificent, and not like the other girls. Seriously, Buffy? He hypnotizes her with his eyes and all his lines about yearning for her and he drinks from her neck. The next morning, she covers the bite mark with a scarf and is put off when Riley offers her a jelly donut at Giles’ place. Although, I would be revolted too, since he tries to hand it to her with his bare hands. Gross, dude. Willow has tons of info on Dracula’s mental powers and corroborates Riley’s intel about Dracula preferring swanky mansions. The entire time, Xander tries to throw them off Dracula’s trail, does a bunch of weird stuff, like refer to him as the Dark Master (bator) and Unholy Prince and rhapsodize about how blood is life, and EATS BUGS, and all they do is look at him oddly. Willow and Giles say that Dracula prefers to lure in his victims and for them to be willing. Buffy is obviously disturbed by all of that and distractedly leaves. When Riley follows her, he can’t get her to remove the scarf and decides she’s under the thrall of the Dark Prince. He rips it off, exposing her to the group. Riley is surprisingly understanding about how there could be some transference of her Angel feelings onto Dracula. They sideline Buffy, Xander proposes his place for safekeeping, while Giles and Riley go looking for Dracula, and Willow and Tara do a protection spell to keep Dracula from re-entering Buffy’s house after Joyce admits to inviting him in.

At Xander’s, he’s pacing around nervously before he stashes a whining Anya in the closet and announces to a zoned-out Buffy that he’s supposed to deliver her to the Master so he can become immortal. Buffy is fine with this. At Dracula’s castle, she has one moment of busting out of his thrall and brandishes a stake but puts it down when he orders her to. He stalks her across the room telling her that she doesn’t resist him because she doesn’t want to. Giles and Riley finally locate the big honking castle they’ve never noticed before and walk right in and split up. Are you guys new? Riley gets blocked by Xander, who is quickly knocked out. Giles gets waylaid by three succubus sisters who molest him until Riley rescues him. Dracula talks Buffy into drinking his blood, but when he brings up her “true nature”, it reminds her of her lessons from the First Slayer (DRINK!), and it knocks the thrall right out of her. They fight and she finally manages to stake him. But then he re-materializes multiple times after that, so, I guess Dracula just can’t be killed?

Giles has Buffy over for tea and cookies because he has something to tell her, but she wants to go first. She tells him he hasn’t been her Watcher for a while. She hasn’t been training and she hasn’t been coming to him for help. But since the First Slayer, Buffy has been going out every night hunting, and Dracula saw darkness in her power. She wants to know more about her power, and where she comes from, and she can’t do that without Giles and she wants him to be her Watcher again. How can he leave now?

At home, Buffy tells Joyce she’s going to the movies with Riley, as she walks into her bedroom to find a teenage girl going through her stuff. Buffy asks what she’s doing there and Joyce calls from the other room, telling her that if she’s going out, she should take her sister. They both look appalled and yell “MOM!”

How many times do I have to take a drink?


Vamps Dusted

3. Does Dracula even count?

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

“A good Sunnydale rule of thumb: Avoid light-skinned men in capes.” – Willow

“You think you know, who you are, what’s to come. But you haven’t even begun.” – Dracula

Stylish Yet Affordable Boots

Buffy wears a black sweater with pastel pink pants and long wavy hair

Buffy’s season five hair is spectacular, but we really need to talk about these bubblegum pink leather pants. It’s Barbie the Vampire Slayer!

Harmony is backed by her vampire gang of four

5.02 “Real Me”

Giles is training Buffy with some New Agey guided meditation with crystals that helps her to do a one-handed handstand on the end of a two-by-four. When her annoying little sister gets bored and messes with the crystals, Buffy loses her balance and falls.

Dawn whines to her diary that nobody knows the real her and nobody has bothered to find out. No one understands her plight, because no one else has a sister who’s a slayer. She goes on and on about how no one would think Buffy was that great if they had to live with her, and that basically anybody could be a superhero if they were handed superpowers. The rest of the episode is filled with Dawn’s diary observations about the people in Buffy’s life.

Buffy tells Joyce that she’s going to the magic shop with Giles for supplies for her new intensive training, and Joyce doesn’t understand why Buffy can’t take Dawn along and also get her new school supplies. There’s a lot of back-and-forth sister arguing and if this is what Joyce’s life has been like all along, there’s no chance she wouldn’t have run away and abandoned them years ago.

Riley arrives to suck up to her mom and make out with Buffy in front of Dawn, but Buffy forgot about plans she made with him and ditches him to go shopping with Giles in his hot new sports car. They run into Willow and Tara on the way to the Magic Box and they’re all dismayed to see the shop closed and dark. They go ahead inside anyway and find the shopkeeper murdered by vampire bite. Buffy quickly shoves Dawn outside to wait, and a creepy stranger approaches her outside and terrifies her with his insane babbling. The last thing he says to her is “I know what you are. You don’t belong here.” Tara sweetly comes outside to keep her company and they thumb wrestle on the sidewalk. The Scoobies do an inventory and determine that the only thing missing seems to be books, notably, books on vampire slayers. While warning Buffy about the danger of someone doing research on her, Giles looks through the bookkeeping and is surprised to find how much money can be made there and starts looking around the store with new eyes. Then he notices one other item missing from the store, which turns out to be a unicorn figurine.


Giles: Which begs the question: what kind of unholy creature fancies cheap, tasteless, statuary?

Cut to Harmony congratulating her new minions on a successful raid on the magic shop the night before. Harmony has been skimming through the book jackets and thinks she’s found some really useful information on killing the slayer tonight.

Joyce lectures Buffy for failing to do the one thing she asked her to do and for taking Dawn to a murder scene. Joyce has a gallery event she needs to get to and Buffy is supposed to watch Dawn instead of going out on patrol with Riley. This will be the most irritating recurring argument throughout the season, about how 14-year-old Dawn needs a babysitter. Even Dawn points out that she is old enough to be a babysitter, to no effect. When Buffy announces she’ll call Xander to come watch Dawn, she is instantly mollified. Dawn tells her diary that Xander is cute and way smarter than everyone else since he skipped college to get a job in construction. She is less enthused when Anya arrives, way too excited about board games. When Xander explains that cash equals good when it comes to winning The Game of Life, we now know who to blame for Anya becoming super greedy.

Later, as they unpack in their new shared dorm room, Tara tells Willow that she feels bad for Dawn, that she’s not allowed to help and that feeling like an outsider is hard. It’s obvious, she’s also talking about herself, and Willow assures Tara that she’s not an outsider. But Tara knows that the Scoobies have been a tight-knit group for a long time and that breaking into that is hard, and she’s not sure she even wants to.

Patrolling in the cemetery, Buffy rants to Riley about the unfairness of the Dawn situation and Riley kind of rightly (Ugh, show. Stop making me side with Riley!) calls her out for being a little too tense about the whole thing. Buffy mainly seems to resent that Dawn gets to have a childhood when she didn’t, and that like most teenagers, Dawn doesn’t even appreciate how good she has it.

Harmony and her minions arrive at the Summers house to “call Buffy out” and Harmony is completely flummoxed that Buffy isn’t home. Xander apologizes that she’ll have to come back to be killed by Buffy later. When Xander outright laughs at the idea of Harmony having minions, she rubs it in that everyone heard about him being Dracula’s lapdog. Dawn is so offended on Xander’s behalf (and also maybe kind of an idiot) and she invites Harmony in (drink!) to say that to his face. Dawn screams and runs upstairs while Xander and Anya fight off Harmony long enough to boot her out. When Buffy gets home, she finds the entire story hilarious until the part where Dawn gave Harmony an open invite to their house.

In the cemetery, Spike runs into Harmony’s gang, ready to kick some demon ass, when he gets distracted by his ex. He’s understandably amused that Harmony is now into his old hobby of slayer killing. In being dismissive, he inadvertently gives her the idea to kidnap one of Buffy’s group and use them as bait. After hearing Buffy go on another tirade about how dumb and helpless her sister is, Dawn runs out into the night to prove her point, I guess. Anya tries to stop her, but they’re confronted by Harmony’s minions who knock Anya out and take Dawn. Xander and Riley call an ambulance for Anya while Buffy runs off to save Dawn. Her first stop is Spike’s crypt. She hits him enough times that he spills the location of Harmony’s lair. Meanwhile, Harmony is complaining to Dawn about how hard it is to make all the decisions and not be appreciated. But the minions have decided to rise up and overthrow Harmony so they can eat Dawn. Buffy arrives to save the day, but spends so much time telling Harmony how she sucks that the big ox minion almost gets the best of her. When Buffy finally dusts him, she threatens Dawn with all the things she’s going to tell on her for, but when Joyce gets home, Buffy says they hung out and watched TV.

The next day, as Buffy and Giles talk about him taking over the Magic Box and how there might be room for her to train there and that it’ll keep the gang from trooping through his place at all hours of the day and night, Dawn updates her diary that it was kind of cool that Buffy didn’t tell her mom on her. She also writes that Buffy still thinks Dawn is just her dumb little sister and boy is she in for a surprise.

How many times do I have to take a drink?

17. Uh oh, sorry if Dawn got you wasted.

Vamps Dusted


Giles For Life

Buffy: Have you ever run a store before?
Giles: I was a librarian for years. This is exactly the same except people pay for the things they don’t return.

Buffy: How bored were you last year?
Giles: I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it.


Rewatchers should recognize that Harmony’s minion, Cyrus, is played by Tom Lenk, who will appear again in season 6 as Andrew, one of Buffy’s nemeses.

actor Tom Lenk as a vampire with spiked hair and a leather jacket

Man, I love the callback to Spike’s Passions addiction. Are you as excited to be done with season four as we are? I’m not a huge fan of the Dracula episode, but considering the places season five goes, I should probably be more grateful for the silly monster-of-the-week episodes.

Tell the truth, do you think we’re being too hard on Dawn? To be honest, I don’t think these interactions are very flattering to Buffy either. If you watched the original airing, what did you think of that Dawn reveal? I tend to find it a bad sign when a show has to start adding kids, but I do love Dawn’s relationship with Spike and some of her season 7 storylines.

Meet us back here next week, when Meredith will be covering the double Xander episode, “The Replacement” and a visit from The Initiative (already?) in “Out of My Mind”.

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.