Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Help

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Season 7, Episode 4
Airdate October 15, 2002
Production Number 7ABB04
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
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Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Seven

Help is the fourth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the one-hundred and twenty-sixth episode overall. On Buffy's first week as a counsellor she attempts to save the life of a girl who is foreseeing her own death.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Emma Caulfield (Anya) (credit only), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), James Marsters (Spike)

and Alyson Hannigan (Willow)

Guest Starring: Azura Skye (Cassie Newton), Zachery Bryan (Peter), Glenn Morshower (Mr. Newton), Rick Gonzalez (Thomas), Kevin Christy (Josh), Sarah Hagan (Amanda), Beth Skipp (Lulu) (credit only), Anthony Harrell (Matthew), Jarrett Lennon (Martin Wilder)

and DB Woodside (Principal Wood)

Co-Starring: J Barton (Mike Helgenburg), Daniel Dehring (Red Robed #1), AJ Wedding (Red Robed #2), Marcie Lynn Ross (Dead Woman)

Uncredited: Troy Brenna (Avilas Demon)


Plot Overview

In Buffy’s first week as the school’s guidance counsellor, she encounters a student who believes she is going to die this Friday. When Buffy believes she’s precognitive, the Scoobies try to find out what may be the cause and how to prevent it.


Monster of the Week

  • Avilas: Peter and his friends summon Avilas, a large demon with unnatural strength who will supposedly grant the people who summon him with a sacrifice infinite amounts of riches. He didn't make good on his promise, but then again the girl didn't get sacrificed either. Avilas managed to brush off a butcher's knife in the shoulder, but was killed almost instantly by fire.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Funeral Home
2 Avilas Buffy Lit On Fire Library
3 Cassie Heart Attack Library

Arc Advancement



  • Buffy: Buffy starts getting people to counsel starting with this episode.
  • Willow: Willow visits Tara's grave for the first time. We're reminded of her religion when she places two stones on Tara's gravestone, a Jewish tradition.


  • 1x12 - Prophecy Girl: It's likely that Buffy was thinking of the time that she was told that she would die when she said that she usually doesn't get a warning before someone dies.


The Show

  • Interweb: Cassie's website was once available to be viewed by anyone. However, because it was a GeoCities website, it has since been purged. However, the website has since been archived by Archive.org.

Behind the Scenes

  • Money for Nothing: Beth Skipp is credited as a guest star, but her scene (or scenes) was cut in which Anya talks with a woman mad her boyfriend forgot her birthday, but inadvertently counsels her. The cut also left Emma Caulfield without an appearance.

Allusions and References

  • Cassandra: Although it isn't explicitly said in the episode, Cassie Newton's name is most likely a reference to the Greek myth of Cassandra, the most beautiful daughter of the rulers of Troy. Cassandra was granted the gift of prophecy by Apollo, who wanted to seduce her. She accepted the gift, but refused Apollo, so he took away her power of persuasion.
  • French Foreign Legion: The French Foreign Legion is a branch of the French military that differs from the rest of the armed forces in that it accepts people of other nationalities into its ranks. Legionnaires must serve with the Legion for a minimum of five years and have been involved in several colonial wars.
Buffy ... You can join the French Foreign Legion, or anything you want.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five: When Dawn confronts her, Cassie is reading a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. In the book, Billy Pilgrim is a man who experiences life in a non-linear way after becoming unstuck from time. He eventually comes to meet an alien race who see their entire lives in the same way, but are helpless to change it.
  • Blue Öyster Cult: Blue Öyster Cult is a heavy metal band from New York who recorded albums between 1968 and the present day. Their most popular songs are "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Godzilla".
Buffy: I bet it's because you forgot the boombox playing some heavy metal thing, like... Blue Clam Cult?

Memorable Moments

  • Cassie delivers a heartfelt speech about all the things she wants to do but knows she won't be able to.


  • When Dawn is at school talking to Cassie, her hair is straight. However, when she arrives at the house, her hair is curly.


  • Dawn: You know, I'm not the shortest one here. I don't know why I had to be in the kid coffin.
  • Buffy: There's Willow. There's the looming humongo bad. And it's a school night. I should be home in bed, cuddled up to my insomnia, and worrying about how I'm gonna mess up tomorrow.
  • Dawn: You'll be fine. You'll be a great counsellor.
Buffy: It's my first week actually talking to the kids. What if their problems are all weird and tricky?
Xander: I think you underestimate your familiarity with the world of weird and tricky. This job's perfect for you.
  • Buffy: You know, it's awful... being teased. But the thing is, you know, with bullies like this, they're really just--
Amanda: Insecure? Yeah, everyone says that. You know, I'm really tired of everyone being so insecure.
  • Xander: I bet she's giving them great advice.
Willow: Absolutely! Those kids are lucky to have Buffy looking out for them. I just wish she believed it. She's still stressing over the whole "dropped out of college, not actually qualified" thing. Plus the salivating hellmouth underneath her feet and the whole...
Xander: From beneath you, it devours. It's not the friendliest jingle, is it? It's no "I like Ike" or "Milk: it does a body good."
  • Buffy: So, Josh, what's on your mind?
Josh: Well, I'm worried that I'm... gay.
Buffy: Okay, first of all, I... I think it's great that you would come and talk to me about this. And second of all, you should know that there is nothing shameful about being gay. Nothing.
Josh: I-I know. It's just... I'm not positive, so, uh, I was thinking that... why don't you go on, uh, a date with me so I can be sure.
  • Cassie: It's just that I'm not graduating from high school.
Buffy: Why not?
Cassie: I really like that shirt. Where'd you get it?
Buffy: Cassie, don't change the subject. Why won't you graduate?
Cassie: Because next Friday I'm gonna die.
  • Principal Wood: I kept telling everyone that he'd better sleep with one eye open 'cause I was gonna bust his ass. Well, I got suspended. Talk like that is taken pretty seriously where I come from.
Buffy: The hood?
Principal Wood: Beverly Hills... which is a hood.
  • Willow: Have you Googled her yet?
Xander: Willow, she's 17.
Willow: It's a search engine.
  • Xander: Okay, death is really on her brain.
Dawn: We all deal with death.
Xander: This girl isn't just dealing, she's giving death a long, sloppy word-kiss. She has a yen for the big dirt-nap.
Willow: I don't know. I mean, a lot of teens post some pretty angsty poetry on the web. I mean, I even posted a melodramatic love poem or two back in the day.
Xander: Love poems?
Willow: I'm over you now, sweetie.
Xander: Love poems!
Willow: Look, all I'm saying is that this is normal teen stuff. You join chat rooms, you write poetry, you post Doogie Howser fan-fic. It's all normal, right?
  • Dawn: Guys, I'm telling you, I'm liking Mike Helgenburg for the perp. Let's collar him before he lawyers up.
  • Cassie: You think I want this? You think I don't care? Believe me, I want to... be here, do things. I wanna graduate from high school, and I wanna go to the stupid Winter Formal. I have this friend and... it would be fun to go with him. Just to dance and hear lame music. To wear a silly dress and... laugh and stuff. I'd like to go. There's a lot of stuff I'd like to do. I'd love to ice skate at Rockefeller Center. And I'd love to see my cousins grow up and see how they turn out 'cause they're really mean and I think they're gonna be fat. I'd love to backpack across the country or... I don't know... fall in love. But I won't. I just never will.
  • Peter: Help! Help me, please, I'm bleeding.
Buffy: Sorry. My office hours are ten to four.