Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#29: Jonathan

Season Four featured the episode “Jonathan”, a clever episode where Jonathan has altered reality to make himself into an overtalented, uber-famous alpha male, by far his weightiest appearance with 1177 words, over 25% of the whole episode's dialogue, a shoo-in for #1. Yet by the time that episode appeared, Jonathan had already been in 11 episodes, rather pathetically racking up a mere 442 words among them.

The reason for this is that, for several seasons, Jonathan was little more than a stock 'high school geek', a character who could be used for single-line roles whenever required. To that end, then, Jonathan has a fair amount of them: we first see him in Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer's “Inca Mummy Girl” (one of two recurring characters introduced that episode), where he says a total of 14 words: “Your hands feel kinda rough”, “Aren't you with Xander?” and “That's my cue to leave”. His other Season Two appearances are for, in order, 9 words, 4 words, 18 words, 17 words and 42 words. His Season Three episodes are not much more impressive, really: despite being, in a sense, the central character of “Earshot”, he still gets only 124 words in, and in “The Prom”, his lovely speech to Buffy gets him 190 words.

Of course, the eponymous episode notwithstanding, Jonathan really starts to matter in Season 6, where he's rather unexpectedly (and ungratefully) joined up with Warren and Andrew as 'the Trio', a group of three social misfits bent on 'taking over Sunnydale' and causing the Slayer no end of trouble in the process. Jonathan speaks 2211 words this season, more than Andrew's 2084 words, but quite a bit less than Warren's 3493 – still enough to be the tenth wordiest character that season (if the Trio were considered as one character, they'd be fifth that season). In eleven episodes that season, Jonathan ranks #3 once, in “Life Serial”, with 430 words, and ranks #5 in “Villians”, a bit of an anomaly in that his meagre 175 words is a smaller number than fully five of his 'minor' appearances that season, but “Villians” is a four-character episode, with the remaining 19 characters being barely more than bit parts.

Jonathan shows up in Andrew's “Storyteller” fantasies, and The First uses his visage, but as a living human, the last we see of Jonathan is a single appearance in Season Seven, in “Conversations with Dead People”, where he meets his demise being stabbed to death on the Seal of Danthazar, by Andrew under the First's persuasive influence.
  • Overall ranking: #29
  • Ranking on Buffy: #18
  • Total words spoken on Buffy: 4306
    • Season 2: 104
    • Season 3: 338
    • Season 4: 1177
    • Season 6: 2211 (#10)
    • Season 7: 476
  • Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 25
    • Ranking #1: 1
    • Ranking #3: 1
    • Ranking #5: 1
    • Minor: 22
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