Monday, May 31, 2010

#45: Anne

Of all the minor characters in the Buffyverse, none has evolved as much as Anne, a/k/a Chanterelle a/k/a Lily. Played by Julia Lee with a naïveté that growns into a streetwise optimism and humanism, the character makes five appearances over a remarkable seven seasons on both shows.

Three of Anne's five appearances are on Joss Whedon scripts, and her minor début, on the Buffy season two episode “Lie to Me”, is one of them, using the mushroom-name Chanterelle and worshipping vampires in a secret society. Her character is almost painfully childlike here, and seems like the last character you'd expect to be resurrected – which, of course, is what makes her a fitting choice for the 'chance encounter' that pulls Buffy back to her destiny after having escaped to Los Angeles in the season three opener “Anne”, also written by Joss Whedon. Here, she's adopted the name Lily (Anne is Buffy's chosen alias, though she'll pass it on at the end of the episode, providing this character with her third and final name) and plays a street-kid drifter on L.A.'s 'mean streets'. This is a more substantial role, coming in at number three on the episode's word count and establishing the character who will appear in three episodes of Angel.

Youth shelter administrator Anne Steele appears in three episodes of Angel, two in rapid succession in season two: “Blood Money”, where she puts in a #2 appearance as an unwitting accomplice in Angel's schemes against Wolfram and Hart, and two episodes later, “The Thin Dead Line”, where she puts in a #3 appearance fighting zombie cops with Angel's estranged team. Suddenly, three seasons later, Anne makes a welcome appearance in the series, and the Buffyverse, finale “Not Fade Away”. It's a nice touch: all of the characters are given the chance to spend their 'last day' doing whatever they'd please, and Gunn chooses to visit Anne and help out at the shelter. It's a minor appearance, but Anne gets in the quote included above, which seems terribly mundane out of context, but within the episode serves as a kind of philosophical credo for perhaps the whole series. It's a fitting conclusion to this caring journeyman character, who ends the series still alive and kicking.

Incidentally, though Anne is the first crossover character we've seen, she's not the crossover character with the lowest word count. The Master, Buffy's season one foe, falls outside the top 50. And of course the least worthy crossover characters have to be the incompetent trio of Watcher's Council 'wet works' experts, who follow Faith from Buffy to Angel in seasons four and one, respectively.
  • Overall ranking: #45
  • Ranking on Buffy: #53
  • Ranking on Angel: #29
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 699
    • Season 2: 146
    • Season 3: 553
  • Total words spoken on Angel: 1357
    • Season 2: 1241
    • Season 5: 116
  • Total words spoken in the Buffyverse: 2056
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 2
    • Ranking #3: 1
    • Minor: 1
  • Total speaking appearances on Angel: 3
    • Ranking #2: 1
    • Ranking #3: 1
    • Minor: 1
  • Total speaking appearances in the Buffyverse: 5

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