Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#48: Prof. Walsh

Professor Maggie Walsh is one of the many Buffyverse characters with a double life: on the one hand, she's a well-respected psychology professor at U.C. Sunnydale. On the other hand, she's the main visionary behind 'the Initiative', a government-sponsored project designed to research demons and to harness their powers. Professor Walsh is not season four's 'Big Bad', but she is, perhaps inadvertently, its author: her pet project is the Frankenstein-esque Adam, the season's main antagonist. As such, while she definitely falls into the evil side of the good-evil spectrum (trying to have Buffy killed at one point, for example), she can't be considered entirely evil.

On Buffy, Professor Walsh is entirely a season four phenomenon, débuting in the Joss Whedon-penned season opener, “The Freshman” and going on to appear in eight of the first thirteen episodes, often as the stock university professor (she is the only one of any real consequence we ever meet). Her swan song, season 13, “The I in Team” is also by no small amount her biggest role. In that episode alone, she logs in 796 words of dialogue, second only to Buffy. She dies at the end of this episode, killed by her creation Adam, appearing only once thereafter, as a kind of zombie in episode 21, “Primeval”. Inasmuch as it even counts, her five-word appearance here is her briefest appearance.

Professor Walsh ranks in the top five only once, excepting her co-starring role in “The I in Team”. That is in the much-reviled episode “Beer Bad”, where she merits a fifth place ranking. Despite this, she actually makes it into the top ten of the season: she has the ninth-largest word count of season four.
  • Overall ranking: #48
  • Ranking on Buffy: #30
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 1912
    • Season 4: 1912 (#9)
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 9
    • Ranking #2: 1
    • Ranking #5: 1
    • Minor: 7
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