Friday, May 28, 2010

#46: Caleb

Joss Whedon-regular Nathan Fillion plays the evil priest Caleb, a 'right hand man' for Season 7 Big Bad the First, whose non-corporeal nature made it a rather ephemeral enemy to fight against. Caleb is a misogynist, who uses a preacher's cadences to declaim against women and in favour of evil. He seems to be a bit of a last-minute addition for the writers, who found themselves having written an enemy that somehow didn't seem scary or villiany enough. Suddenly, a trash-talking 'man of the cloth' comes along to do an appropriate level of damage.

Caleb makes his first appearance in the show's fifth-last episode, but appears in every episode after that. That début, “Dirty Girls”, written by Drew Goddard, could not be a more auspicious one. With a stunning 1236 words, Caleb not only gets the #1 rank for this episode, speaking more words than anyone else, Buffy included, but he actually speaks an amazing 27.9% - more than a quarter – of the whole episode. It's the fourth highest single-episode word count of the season.

It's downhill from there, of course, as he totals only 789 words in his other four appearances combined. The very next episode, “Empty Places”, he comes in fourth. But it's minor appearances after that, until series finale “Chosen”, where he gets a mere 28-word swan song between near-fatal and fatal scythe slices from Buffy (the 132 words that the First speaks in Caleb's body don't count: those go on the First's word count).
  • Overall ranking: #46
  • Ranking on Buffy: #29
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 2025
    • Season 7: 2025
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 5
    • Ranking #1: 1
    • Ranking #4: 1
    • Minor: 3
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