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Yes, we're back with another look at the most memorable characters in the Buffyverse.
[For more information on what I'm doing here and why I'm doing this, I recommend an archive search using the word "Buffyverse". That'll show you the character countdowns for the first two seasons.]
Keep in mind, this is a subjective exercise that I've tried to make as objective as possible.
The following horserace takes the first three seasons into account. All three seasons. NOT just Season Three. However, it does not include the last four seasons of Buffy or any season of Angel.
First some honorable mentions from the third season (in reverse order of importance)...
*The Lunch Lady who tried to poison the entire student body.
*D'Hoffryn, the Demon who gave Anya her powers and refused to give them back when she lost them. This is cheating a bit. He may not have made that much of an impression if I didn't know he'd be more important later.
*Tucker Wells - The student who sent hellhounds to the Prom. This is WAY cheating. If I didn't know Tucker's brother Andrew would become important, I'm not sure I'd have remembered this guy much at all.
*Mr. Platt - A sympathetic guidance councelor killed by a Mr. Hyde like student. He just had a couple of great scenes with Buffy.
*The Shrouded Sorceror who helped Angel and Buffy con Faith and the Mayor into thinking Angel had lost his soul. Two memorable things. The way he'd exit a room backwards into darkness. And the fact that Giles had introduced him to his wife.
*Ms. Gwendolyn Post - The fallen watcher who cons everybody.
*Zackary Kralik - The serial killer turned vampire, that Buffy tricks into drinking holy water. A real fun sick puppy, played by the always interesting Jeff Kober.
*Balthazar - You may not remember the name, but I'm sure you'd remember the obese demon body sitting in a wine vat, with vamp slaves ladeling some liquid onto his skin. One of the best and most fun creatures they ever created. Funny too. "Unacceptable. Unacceptable." The Wallace Shawn of the Demon World.
*The First - Makes its first appearance this season, trying to turn Angel. Mostly uses Ms. Calendar's form.
*Sheila Rosenberg - Willow's mom. Wish we had seen more of her.
*Lily (alias Chanterelle alias Sister Sunshine alias Anne). The former Vamp-wannabe reappears in Buffy's life as a homeless girl. Buffy seems to set her on a more positive path... and I know that in Angel, the actress Julia Lee who plays Lily winds up playing a homeless advocate. I'm looking forward to seeing whether or not I can discern if she's playing the same character -- now with her act together.
*Quentin Travers - Head of the Watcher's Council has a neat first appearance.
*Mr. Miller - The one teacher at Sunnydale High who keeps making continuity appearances over and over across Buffy's Junior & Senior years. Has one fun scene in the Graduation 2-parter where he's leading the class in a game of Hangman: "They always go for the E."
And now the top 40...
#40 THE JUDGE (Previous Rank: 30)
Dropping ten slots from last season, the big blue smurf is still holding on to the top 40. Barely.
#39 NORMAN PFISTER THE WORM GUY (PR:29)
Also dropping 10 slots. But still a cool idea a year later.
#38 LUKE (Previous Ranks: 14 (1st Season), 27 (2nd Season))
Our first episodic villain is still pretty memorable, though this may be his last season in the rankings. He's fallen eleven slots from last season. 24 from the first. Of course, it's still impressive that actor Brian Thompson still has two characters (Luke & the Judge) in the top 40.
#37 HANK SUMMERS (PR:21, 25)
Hank's falling fast (12 slots this season alone), as the guy rapidly becomes a dead-beat dad -- due more to story space constraints than anything we would have gleaned from the times we've seen him in person. He goes from taking Buffy for an entire summer to not even showing up for her birthday. And his inattention is only going to get worse.
#36 DETECTIVE STEIN (PR:32)
Down only four slots, and I'm sure you're all asking, "Who?" But if you had just finished the third season, you'd know. This guy is a subplot that never quite came to life. He's an honest cop, who suspects Buffy's up to no good -- or at least that something no good is happening around her. He's interrogated (or tried to interrogate) her three times. After the deaths of Ted, Kendra and the Deputy Mayor. He interests me. But I don't think we'll be seeing him again.
#35 UNCLE ENYOS THE GYPSEY MAN (PR:21)
Still holding on in points from Season Two. But he's fallen 14 slots, and counting.
#34 JESSE (PR:13, 20)
Falling another 14 slots, Jesse, the forgotten sacrificial lamb of the pilot is still hanging on.
#33 SCOTT HOPE (First appearance)
Scott's the nice guy who tries to date Buffy on the rebound from Angel's "death" in Season Two -- and while she's trying to nurse Angel back to health in Season Three. He winds up dumping her because she's so angsty. Wish we had seen a bit of him at the end of the season, but he vanishes after Homecoming.
#32 DEPUTY MAYOR ALLAN FINCH (First appearance)
The Mayor's right hand man -- until he decides to betray the Mayor to Buffy. He goes to find her, and winds up getting accidentally killed by Faith. He then becomes a guilt trip for both slayers.
#31 WHISTLER (PR:18)
Falls 13 slots in the rankings. But still a memorable character. The guy who brought Angel back from the brink.
#30 KENDRA (PR:17)
The first supplemental slayer. Begins to pale now that we've met Faith.
#29 ETHAN RAYNE (PR:22)
Ethan falls seven slots despite another interesting appearance as a Band Candy distibutor.
#28 DEVON (PR:37)
The lead singer for Oz's band (Dingoes ate my baby), has multiple brief funny appearances. He's likely to fade after Oz leaves the show.
#27 AMY MADISON THE RAT (PR: 17, 23)
She's fallen four slots, but that's more a factor of so many more characters coming in. I even gave her partial credit when she appeared ONLY as a rat.
#26 PERCY WEST (First appearance)
Percy was the Basketball Player that Willow was forced to tutor. He tried to take advantage of her, but VampWillow put a stop to that. He makes a number of appearances afterward and joins the final battle against the Mayor. I keep watching that last episode, but I can't see if they show us his final fate.
#25 LARRY (PR:35)
Larry actually gains ten slots, as he continues to make appearances. He's memorable as one of the "White Hats" in the alternate universe that Anya creates for Cordy. He's also fun as the jock who comes out as gay and mistakenly tries to help Xander come out as well. He appears to die heroically fighting the Mayor, but I like Larry, and I'm hoping he was merely knocked unconscious.
#24 PRINCIPAL BOB FLUTIE (PR:9, 16)
Falling another 8 slots. But still with enough first season points to keep him a fond memory.
#23 DARLA (PR: 11, 15)
Also falls eight slots. Still a potent memory. And she'll make a comeback.
#22 ANYA/ANYANKA (First appearance)
Who knew? She was fairly disposable in her first appearance, and I'm convinced she was only brought back a second time, because Joss was fascinated with VampWillow. But Anya made a strong enough impression in her second appearance, to warrant a comeback for the Prom. She quickly becomes fascinating opposite Xander. She bolts from Sunnydale during the pilot. But I should have known she'd be back.
#21 WILLY THE SNITCH (PR:24)
Up three slots. Just fun to be around. He'll start to fade as actor Saverio Guerra became a regular on Becker...
#20 HARMONY KENDALL (PR: 18, 26)
Up six slots from last season (although still down two from season one), she just has a few memorable bitchy/ditzy/comic appearances. And a couple of really great lines. If you look carefully, you can in fact see her get bitten by a vamp during graduation.
#19 COLIN THE ANNOINTED ONE (PR:10, 14)
Fallen five slots and still coasting on big point totals from season one and the beginning of season two.
#18 MR. TRICK (First appearance)
A breath of fresh air who I was really sorry to see get staked by Faith.
#17 JONATHAN (PR:19)
Jonathan moves up two slots (in an increasingly tougher field) based on strong appearances as a near-suicide and as the guy who gives Buffy her School Protector award at the Prom. Hard not to love.
#16 THE MASTER (PR: 8, 13)
The Big Bad of Season One falls three slots, despite having a delicious appearance (where he gets to kill Buffy AGAIN) in the alternate universe episode.
#15 WESLEY WYNDAM-PRICE (First appearance)
It's amazing how this goofball got us to care about him more with every year. He may be the single character who grew the most over the course of the serieses. Maybe even more than Spike.
#14 MAYOR RICHARD WILKINS III (PR:40)
The Mayor barely leaps 26 slots -- which would be even more impressive if he had actually appeared in Season Two, instead of just getting some points there for interesting foreshadowing. He certainly lived up to the bill.
#13 JENNY CALENDER (PR:15, 11)
Jenny falls a couple slots (though she's still ahead of her season one ranking) despite appearing as The First.
#12 SPIKE (PR: 9)
Spike, who'll be making quite a comeback of course, falls three slots, despite a very fun appearance as a drunken lout who wants Dru back.
#11 DRUSILLA (PR: 8)
Dru still manages to just barely stay ahead of Spike, based on her Season Two point total.
#10 FAITH (First appearance)
Faith is number ten with a bullet (or at least a very fancy knife). It's a stunning accomplishment to see how she enters partway through this season and rises so far, so fast.
#9 PRINCIPAL SNYDER (PR: 12, 10)
Snyder continues his slow rise, up another slot. But after being eaten by the mayor, he's poised to begin a slow slide. Always thought that his death was great, but it did surprise me as I thought the Mayor was less of an ingrate than that.
#8 JOYCE SUMMERS (PR:7, 7)
Joyce drops down a slot from seventh place to make room for Oz.
#7 OZ (PR:12)
Oz leapfrogs five hard-earned slots. Has some nice werewolf moments too.
#6 ANGEL (PR:6,6)
The top six haven't changed. Angel just can't quite pull up even with Cordy. Of course, next season, his own show'll put him on the fast track. Maybe even for #2.
#5 CORDELIA CHASE (PR:5,5)
Got some real great moments this year.
#4 WILLOW ROSENBERG (PR:4,4)
Inching closer to Xander, but doesn't quite pull up even in points.
#3 XANDER HARRIS (PR:3,3)
#2 RUPERT GILES (PR: 2,2)
I keep expecting Giles to slip relative to Xander & Willow, but in fact he extended his lead this season. Probably, because they so evenly split each other's screentime as Buffy's best buds.
#1 BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS (PR:1,1)
That's it for now. But here's my plan... I'm going to get the DVD's for Buffy Season Four AND Angel Season One. I'm going to watch the episodes (44 total) in AIRING ORDER. When I've gone through 22 episodes (the equivalent of one season), I'll be back with another update.
Hope this is at least mildly interesting. If not, well, then just skip it. Who's holding a gun to your head, anyway?