BtvS 3.12

© Text and musical examples: Rob Gokee

Promotional CD tracks

11. Betrayal (1'10) 64kbps / 192kbps
12. Kralik's house (3'46) 64kbps / 192kbps
13. A father's love (1'55) 64kbps / 192kbps

Three tracks this time around, all very different from each other and all very exciting. The first of these is "A Father's Love," a cue split in two parts for the episode. The cue refers to a line spoken by Quentin Travers to Giles in regards to Buffy. Giles' feelings for Buffy are those of a parent, and Chris beautifully weaves this into musical form to enhance the scenes. In the first half, the strings are well placed fading in and out of the cue while a droning line, changing pitch every measure, hovers above the melody. In the second half of the cue, a flute (courtesy of Chris Bleth) comes in (at around 1'06) playing a new melody [Ex.1], until the strings and flute fade out together.

The second track is titled "Betrayal" and aurally depicts Giles' betrayal of Buffy. This cue consists almost entirely of synth effects and sounds, with strings making an occasional appearance. Synth bass starts the cue, which feels like its slithering up your spine as it works against Giles' daily injections into Buffy's unknowing arm. String-like synth noises play over the top, ending shortly as the cue fades out when Buffy comes out of her trance. The cue has an "X-Files" feel to it, very atmospheric.

Finally, the episode climaxes with "Kralik's House," a frenzied cat-and-mouse piece depicting Buffy's frantic search for her mother while trying to stay alive herself. Brass and percussion start out the cue, followed by thumping bass and percussion. As Kralik shows himself, strings begin a frenzied attack of ascending and descending arpeggios following a changing rhythm. At 0'47, the cue falls away to faint percussion as Buffy warily makes her way around the dilapidated house. Sound effect noises and synth bass lead us on, slowly rising back to a maniacal string attack beginning at 2:19 and moving to brass and percussion brought to a climax at 2'57. Percussion and effects come back, and at 3'22 strings return with full brass to take us out in a flourish.

The episode

Buffy's turning 18, and like many teenagers has to face daily horror and misery in the midst of it. Unfortunately in Buffy's case, it's literal. She's losing her edge and her powers, and can't figure out why. The Watcher's Council arrives in Sunnydale, represented by Quentin Travers, and he's there to test the slayer. For 1200 years, slayers are tested when (and if) they reach 18 by fighting a vampire alone without the use of their powers. Giles has been giving Buffy injections that sap her of her strength and agility, and regrets it enough to finally tell her. The vampire (Zackary Kralik) escapes prematurely, and kidnaps Joyce in the hopes of luring Buffy to him. Buffy uses her cunning to dust him from the inside out (with the help of some ingested holy water), but although she passes the test, Giles is fired for his emotional attachment to her.

Fun quotation:
Buffy: "Before I was the Slayer I was… well, I don't wanna' say shallow but… let's say a certain person who shall remain nameless, we'll just call her Spordelia, looked like a classical philosopher next to me."

The music

Much of the episode is atmospheric and synth heavy, which fits the nature of the story. The betrayal by her father, Giles and the Watcher's Council are the emotional focus, and the battle with Kralik is the physical one. Chris Beck uses both emotions to create a blend of the two in his score which covers about 26 minutes of the 44 minute episode. Strings and brass cover the emotional drama unfolding in the Slayer's life, and synth sounds and sound effects mirror the terror and helplessness of fighting the psychotic Kralik.

Cue notes

All timings are approximate and originate from the region 1 NTSC DVD.


A flute opens the scene, changing quickly to brass as we catch Angel and Buffy sparring during a joint training session. The cue moves back to strings as the two almost kiss, and fades out for the conversation.


Timpani changing to brass and percussion as we are treated to an early action cue while Buffy fights a random vamp. Sound effects take over when she weakens momentarily and the vamp gets the jump on her. Strings quiver with tension as she is forced down at the teaser's end.


Ah, it's Nerf Herder, here for dramatic pause…]


Strings, percussion and brass envelop the scene as Buffy finds a way to kill the vamp. We end with strings as the scene moves to the library the next morning.


Buffy's disappointment in her father is depicted with strings by Chris as this cue moves to Kralik's house and synth sounds. We see Quentin Travers for the first time, and then quickly move back to the library.


"Betrayal" cue comes in as Giles injects Buffy with the Council concoction. On Giles' creepy smile we fade out to the end of act 1.


Soft strings and woodwinds move in to emphasize the weight of her helplessness as Buffy gets knocked down by a school bully. The scene and cue move us inside the school hallway.


Strings and woodwinds once again as Giles shows concern for his slayer, and Quentin does not. The creepy synth and sound effects come back in as Kralik is fed his pills, we end the cue and the scene on the slam of the wooden door housing the vampire, and we're immediately back at the library.


Double bass and synth as Kralik screams for more pills. The cue turns to high pitched and tremolo strings as Kralik grabs Blair, moving to soft strings as the scene moves to the mansion and Buffy opening Angel's gift.


Strings play under Angel's speech about seeing Buffy for the first time. The melody is beautiful and haunting (again by Bleth and his magical flute).


In what I've loosely dubbed "Kralik's Theme," low strings play as Blair rises and sets Kralik free. This cue has a lot of the same elements as Betrayal," although it ends with high strings and caps off the second act.


The cue beings as Giles enters the house, and quickly moves to percussion and strings as he sense something is amiss. Percussion leads us (and Giles) through the house until he find Hobson, and a multitude of strings fall away, descending into the depths. They return and begin to race as we move out of the house and to a very non-slayer like Buffy walking home in the dark. The strings (arpeggiated with a high droning note below them) that accompany her turn to brass as she runs through the streets, becoming more frenzied as the red-jacketed Buffy is grabbed by the big bad wolf Kralik. The strings become more and more frenzied as she cries on deaf ears for help, only to be grabbed by Giles at the last moment. The cue ends on a shot of Kralik's calves and feet as he dangles the jacket below him and his theme appears before we fade out.

There is a very Joss-like absence of music during Giles' confession to Buffy, which needs no scoring to make the scene comfortable for the viewers.


As Buffy shows her anger, we hear the beginning strains of "A Fathers' Love." This is the first half of the promo cue, which changes after the exchange with Cordy to "Kralik's Theme" again as Joyce is duped into stepping outside and into Kralik's trap. Chris gives us a brass upswing ending to the cue and act three.


Strings open the last act as Buffy gets home and discovers Joyce kidnapped. Chris switches to pumping battle music as she gathers weapons, and the scene moves to Kralik as he waxes poetic about mothers to Joyce. The cue ends abruptly on the climax of his plan.


Pounding timpani as Buffy enters the house, followed by strings and synth to color the cue ever so slightly as she moves cautiously. There is a slow build (this section is very reminiscent of Elektra's score, perhaps something Chris built on when the movie came into play) ending on strings as the scene switches.


Brass, march-like, as Giles mounts up to save Buffy despite Traver's objection. The cue moves back to "Kralik's Theme" as we switch back to the slayer and at first sight of Blair we get brass and "bee-like" strings with percussion. It continues as Kralik plays hide and seek with Buffy, strings building as she holds up a cross to him, only to find he enjoys the pain as the cue stops abruptly.


"Kralik's House" cue begins as they play cat-and-mouse in the cavernous dwelling. The cue cuts out after Buffy tricks him in the basement and he turns to dust, but comes back in when Giles and Blair bust through the wall into the basement. A low drone and strings move us back to the library.


Piano and flute play the second half of "A Father's Love" as Traver's utter the title during his firing of Giles. The scene plays beautifully under Giles tending to Buffy's wounds. The end of the cue moves us to the Summers' home.


Nerf Herder transitions us out of Sunnydale.]

Musical examples

Ex.1 [midi] "Father's Theme "
Musical example 1