"What kind of girl travels with a mummified corpse and doesn't pack lipstick?"
I haven't mentioned the infamous Buffy intro, a montage of creepy looking objects with a voiceover from Giles talking about The Chosen One™. Mercifully, they get rid of this intro by the third season, but it provides a good vocab list for you to follow the Big Themes of this episode.
SHE IS THE SLAAYEERRR!!!
Some foreign exchange students are coming to stay with Sunnydale High families, and while Cordelia is excited about a hunky dude named Sven staying at her house, Buffy is inexplicably pissed off. Xander joins in on the being pissed off because a GUY will be staying with Buffy and GUYS threaten his chances with Buffy and she shouldn't be around other GUYS. Also, Xander sucks.
The kids are on a field trip at a museum where they go to an exhibit on human sacrifice. That's a fun way to spice up your curriculum! Inside they see a mummified corpse of a beautiful fifteen-year-old girl who was chosen™ by her people to give a sacrifice. If you're seeing Slayer parallels...
Some scrubby guy who is a delinquent for the sake of being a delinquent decides to steal the mythical seal from the grip of the mummy corpse's hands, but oops! He breaks it! And the mummy comes to and sucks the life out of him! Double oops!
Buffy goes to pick up Ampata, who Xander angrily calls her "Latin lover," but it turns out he's a girl! But also we know that she's the mummy who sucked the life out of the real Ampata! Xander makes a series of such culturally sensitive remarks as, "I hope I'm not expected to speak to him in Spanish. I only know how to say Doritos and chihuaua!" And when he sees hottie Ampata, he basically forces himself upon her and tells her things like, "Your English is very bueno!" like he's talking to a two-year-old. Have I recently mentioned that I hate Xander?
Xander: Girls always tell me that. Right before they run away :'( :'( :'(
Meanwhile, the Scoobies try to translate the broken seal so they can figure out how to stop the mummy. Ampata is very emotional about it and wants them to destroy the seal. This completely lacks dramatic tension as they've already showed us that Ampata is the mummy, so the only thing we have to look forward to for the rest of the episode is Xander's whining and racist comments and even more whining and did I mention whining?
Some dude with a ponytail keeps on popping up and threatening the Scoobies with swords, demanding they give him the seal. It's never really explained who this guy is, where he came from, or why he's dressed like that, except that he's some kind of bodyguard. He is awesome though because he threatens Xander with a sword immediately after Xander shows Ampata a Twinkie and says, "This is a snack food!
He pops up again in the ladies room while Ampata reapplies her lipstick, and tells her, "You are the chosen one™! You must die!!" "No, I have a choice! I'm in love!" Ampata says before killing him. And at home you're like, ...with Xander??
At this point, none of the Scoobies realize Ampata's true identity despite the fact that Ampata has done everything but hand out her "Inca Mummy Girl" business cards and commemorative T-shirt and baseball cap. She has ten fits over the seal and how they must destroy it. The bodyguard guy has his own fit as soon as he sees her. Buffy and Ampata bond over the fact that they just want to lead Normal Lives but have to fulfill their Sacred Callings©. At one point, Buffy actually kneels down, opens up Ampata's trunk, and doesn't even see the corpse inside.
Ampata tells Buffy the story of the Inca Mummy Girl, who is like totally not her or anything, just a story she heard, and says, "Out of all the girls of her generation, she was chosen™! She was sixteen, like us! Who know what she had to give up in order to fulfill her duty to others?" At the end of that speech you almost expect Giles to jump into the room and shout, "SHE IS THE SLAYEEEEERRRR!"
There's some big dance at The Bronze, and Ampata has to decide whether or not to suck the life out of her one true love, Xander, or re-mummify. Sadly, she opts for the latter. Just in time, as Buffy and Giles finally divine that Ampata is the mummy and manage to put the seal back together. Either way, Xander ends up walking away looking like a big idiot--a bright spot in this dark depressing episode. At least it produced lots of amusing screencaps.
Favorite moment(s): This episode introduced not one but TWO new characters! First, Inca Mummy Girl tries to prey on poor weak Jonathan, who will come back in a big way!
And second, Dingoes Ate My Baby, Sunnydale High's hottest band, play their first show, leading to the first appearance of...Seth Green? If you are like me the first time I saw this episode, you'll be thinking, "Since when was Seth Green on Buffy!" But here he is, spotting Willow in her Eskimo outfit across The Bronze and asking, "Who is that girl?" Woah...could it be?