Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Helpless

Season 3, Ep 12, Aired 1/19/99
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  • Episode Description
  • For her upcoming 18th birthday, Buffy declines the Scooby gang's offer of a big party, hoping to celebrate with quiet reflection and a traditional trip to the ice show with her father. Suddenly, Buffy finds that her Slayer abilities are fading, perhaps completely. Is this some natural event in the lifecycle of the Slayer, or is it something more sinister?

  • Cast & Crew
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Buffy Anne Summers

  • Seth Green (I)

    Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne

  • David Boreanaz

    Angel

  • Nicholas Brendon

    Alexander 'Xander' Harris

  • Alyson Hannigan

    Willow Rosenberg

  • Fan Reviews (20)
  • Helpless

    By arkanitoo, Jul 13, 2012

  • Hey there little red riding hood...

    By joxerlives, Jan 19, 2012

  • Happy Birthday Buffy!

    By addict666, Aug 01, 2008

  • Helpless

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 15, 2010

  • Season 3, Episode 12.

    By Wanted23, Apr 26, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (18)

    • Angel: Buffy, you could never be helpless or boring, not even if you tried.

    • Kralik: She'll go to sleep, and when she wakes up, your face will be the first thing she eats. I have a problem with mothers. I'm aware of that.

    • Cordelia: What's going on? Oh, God. Is the world ending? I have to research a paper on Bosnia for tomorrow, but if the world's ending, I'm not gonna bother. Giles: You can't walk home alone, Buffy. It isn't safe. Buffy: I don't know you. Cordelia: Did something take her memory? He's Giles. Giiiiillles. He hangs out here a lot. Buffy: Cordelia, could you please drive me home? Cordelia: Of course. But if the world doesn't end, I'm gonna need a note.

    • Angel: It was a bright afternoon out in front of your school. You walked down the steps. And I loved you. Buffy: Why? Angel: 'Cause I could see your heart. You held it before you for everyone to see. And I worried that it would be bruised or torn. And more than anything in my life I wanted to keep it safe, to warm it with my own. Buffy: That's beautiful....Or taken literally, incredibly gross. Angel: I was just thinking that, too.

    • Buffy: Before I was the Slayer, I was... Well, I don't want to say shallow, but... let's say a certain person, who will remain nameless, we'll just call her Spordelia, looked like a classical philosopher next to me.

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    Notes (11)

    • Angel references 2 season 2 episodes: "Surprise", when he mentions the severed arm of the Judge at Buffy's last party; and "Becoming Part 1", when he is sitting in a dark car, watching Buffy being called in Los Angeles at her school, in a flashback that was in the episode.

    • The vampire Zachary Kralik was named after writer David Fury's nephew.

    • The original idea for this episode had Buffy hallucinating that her friends and family were vampires and demons, but it was eventually changed because it was considered too similar to "The Wish" (3x09).

    • We know that there must have been Slayers for at least 1200 years, as Quentin tells Giles, "It's been done this way for the past dozen centuries."

    • Buffy says that parties in her honor tend to go badly ("monsters crash, people die"), referring to her surprise party in "Surprise" and her welcome-home party in "Dead Man's Party".

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (10)

    • Goof: When Giles is injecting Buffy, he rolls up her sleeve so he can puncture her skin, but he never rolls it down. When Buffy leaves, you can see the sleeve is rolled back down, but neither one of them moved it.

    • Nitpick: In previous episodes when vampires have come into contact with holy water the burning and pain experienced is immediate. Yet Kralik not only touches holy water to his lips without reacting but continues to take several swallows and starts talking to Buffy before any effects are seen or felt.

    • Goof: Kralik takes a Polaroid picture of himself with Buffy's mother. These cameras use mirrors to reflect the light inside the device and so the vampire shouldn't show up on film.

    • Nitpick: After Buffy stakes the first vampire from the teaser, they cut to a shot of outside the school...you can tell that it is the same shot from "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" when Cordelia is rejected from her group because you can see Harmony in the background and you can see the same people walking and sitting down on the side of the screen.

    • Nitpick: Why doesn't Buffy ask for Angel for help against Kralik? She isn't obliged to play by the rules of the Council's test and her mother's life is at danger.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (7)

    • Cordelia: Did something take her memory again?
      Referring to the season 2 episode "Halloween" in which Buffy "became" her costume of a 17th Century woman and forgot who she was, and who her friends were.

    • Visual: Angel's gift to Buffy.
      Angel gives Buffy "Sonnets from the Portuguese" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning for her birthday. It was originally published in 1850 in a two volume publication entitled Poems. It contains the famous poem "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."

    • Kralik: Why did you come to the dark of the woods? To bring all these sweets to grandmother's house?
      Kralik refers to the story of Little Red Riding Hood in which a wolf accosts a young girl who is carrying a basket through the woods to her grandmother's house. The fairy tale has been around since the early 19th century and has been written in many different languages with many different versions.

    • Quentin Travers: Cruciamentum is not easy for Slayer or Watcher.
      The name of the rite of passage that every Slayer must complete is the "Cruciamentum", which is a Latin word meaning "torture" or "torment".

    • Xander: Maybe what we should be looking for is something like slayer kryptonite.
      The primary weakness of the character Superman is kryptonite, a radioactive substance created from Superman's homeworld when it exploded. Various forms of kryptonite will render him helpless, kill him, or have other strange effects depending on the color of the stone.

    Show More Allusions
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