Buffy Character: Caridad | Dania Ramirez

Caridad, portrayed by actor Dania Ramirez was a potential slayer that worked with the Scooby Gang in the fight against the First Evil, and although she was only seen in a handful of episodes, had an important impact on this storyline, including getting activated as a full slayer during the Battle at the Hellmouth.

Caridad first appeared in Dirty Girls, the eighteenth episode of the seventh season of Buffy, which was the one hundred and fortieth episode of the show as a whole.

Alongside Dania Ramirez and a number of other potential slayers, this episode also marks the first appearance of the antagonist Caleb, played by Nathan Fillion.

She is an adept fighter, and the object of one of Xander’s dreams, along with Colleen.

Biography

Whilst being targeted by the First Evil, many Potential Slayers needed to take refuge in Sunnydale with Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang.

The threat becomes greater as a misogynistic preacher named Caleb who has aligned himself with the First Evil starts targeting other potential slayers, trying to get a message to Buffy.

Shortly after her arrival, Xander has an erotic dream involving Caridad and Colleen, suggesting that he is interested in them romantically. His dream is cut short, however, before anything too saucy can occur.

After Buffy is expelled from the Summers Residence, Faith is appointed as the Scooby Gang’s new leader – including knowing what to do with all the Potentials that have started to show up.

Soon after, Cardidad is very important in the plot to capture one of the Harbingers of Death so that the group can learn more about the First’s plans.

Later, Caridad joins Faith and the other Potentials in a raid on the Bringers’ underground armoury, only to be caught up in a bomb blast that had been set as a trap for all the potentials.

Prior to this point, Caridid has mostly only been a background player, however, due to the fact that she is one of the only survivors of the bomb blast, she becomes a much more central part of the team.

Not only did she survive the explosion, but also the subsequent ambush of recently released Turok-Hans. This meant that she was present when Buffy returned with the Mythical Scythe (written symbolically as mʔ) and was the one question whether or not Buffy was back on the team.

In the episode End of Days, Caridad joins the Scooby Gang in the battle at the Hellmouth against the First Evil. During this fight, she is activated as a full Slayer, and ends up surviving the destruction of Sunnydale.

Personality/Traits

Due to the fact that Caridad only appears in three episodes, and one of those she only appears in a vision, not a lot is known about Caridad’s personality or traits, however a lot can be inferred from what appearances she does make.

Caridad is brave and outspoken, as seen in how she fights alongside the Scooby Gang against the First Evil, even before she is properly trained or activated as a full Slayer.

She is also a very capable fighter, which helps her survive the ambush of the Turok-Hans and the Battle of the Hellmouth.

The fact that Caridad can call out Buffy and question her shows that she is outspoken and unafraid to quiz those in authority. Had she been in more episodes, this would probably be something that would have been developed.

You can also see Caridad is emotional and upset following the deaths of several of the other Potentials in a stand off against Caleb.

Appearance

Caridad is played by the beautiful Dania Ramirez, who is a Dominican actress, meaning that the character is also of Dominican descent.

Her ethnicity or heritage is not a feature of her character, which is evident in the fact that this character was originally named Kelly in the script, and therefore the fact that she ended up being Latina was not an imperative aspect of her character.

Caridad has long light brown hair that falls just below her shoulders. Her hair in the show is a lot lighter than Ramirez’s hair is in real life, and so it must have been dyed a lighter color. 1She also has very dark brown eyes.

After the events of the bomb explosion and the Battle at the Hellmouth, Caridad is shown with lots of battle scars and dirt – as to be expected after a major battle like that.

The most prominent of these injuries is a large cut and bruise that extends from her hair line to her eye, giving her a slit in her eyebrow.

Powers/Abilities

As a Potential and later Activated Slayer, Caridad would have similar abilities to the other Slayers in the series like Buffy and Faith. A slayer is a young woman that has been bestowed with musical powers that originate from the essence of a pure-demon.

This gives activated Slayers superhuman strength, sensee, agility, and speed. Occasionally it will also provide the Slayers with Prophetic dreams.

Throughout the world and even other dimensions, Slayers are well-known and revered. Slayers are, for demonic entities, like a boogey-man: to be feared and considered unconquerable.

Slayers are able to move faster and lift more things than regular people, even though they maintain the appearance of slender women. This makes them incredibly adept fighters, capable of holding their own against men and monsters alike.

Most Slayers are stronger than most vampires, making them the perfect people to fight the demons.

It is also implied throughout the series that Slayers get stronger as time goes on.

This is insinuated by Riley, who mentions that Buffy is “getting stronger everyday”. Buffy has been an activated Slayer for the longest amount of time and therefore it would make sense that she continued to grow stronger.

These abilities and powers are innate after activation, however, the Slayer’s protectors – known as Watchers.

The Watchers have their own council, and are tasked with protecting and also training the Slayers, often taking jobs that allow them to stay close-by. For example, Buffy’s Watcher, Giles, takes a job as her school Librarian.

It is clear that Caridad possesses some of these abilities due to her skill whilst fighting.

However, I would go one step further and say that Caridad is even more skilled than her natural powers would allow, given that she survives where many of her Slayer sisters perish.

Relationships

Caridad does not get the opportunity to meet many of the characters but does seem to form at least some kind of a relationship with the majority of the characters that she shares a screen with.

Xander

Their interactions are brief, but it is clear that Xander is at least somewhat attracted to Caridad, given the fact that she shows up in an erotic dream that Xander is having shortly after she arrives. Although Xander doesn’t pursue anything, due to his ongoing relationship with Anya.

Xander Also directs the Potentials, including Caridad, on the methods of attacking in battle, and Caridad is seemingly convinced when Xander defends Buffy’s character.

Faith

Caridad is shown to be able to follow instructions well via the way that obeys when Faith is in charge of the Scooby Gang and the other Potentials after Buffy’s departure. Caridad trusts Faith and follows her into the First’s armoury, even though this ends up being a trap.

Buffy

Again, Caridad doesn’t spend very much time on screen with Buffy, however it is shown that she has a deep respect for Buffy, although she isn’t afraid to question her when she needs clarification on whether Buffy is actually back for good after she returns with the mythical Scythe. As Buffy has been a slayer

Photos

Buffy Character: Caridad | Dania Ramirez

Appearances

Caridad appears in three episodes of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these episodes are Dirty Girls (episode 18), Touched (episode 20), and End of Days (episode 21). All of these episodes premiered in 2003 and mark the beginning of the end of the seventh and final season of the show.

Dirty Girls

This episode sees the return of Faith to Sunnydale, just in time for the arrival of the misogynistic preacher Caleb, who is working for the First Evil and is trying to get in contact with Buffy.

We see the Potentials training and building an army to be able to take on both Caleb, as well as the First Evil. They have made their base of operations the Summers residence, where all the potentials are being trained by the Scoobies.

Buffy leads a team of Spike, Faith, Xander, and the more experienced Potentials to a Vineyard to fight Caleb, however the fight very quickly goes downhill.

Although the initial slash between the assault tem and the Bringers, when Caleb joins the fight it turns into a disaster.

Thanks to intervention from the First, Caleb now has super-strength and is able to easily knock aside Buffy and Spike, breaking Rona’s arm in the process.

The back-up team arrives, but the battle is still lost. Caleb kills two Potentials (Molly and Dianne), and gouges out Xander’s eye with his thumb. From this episode onwards, Xander wears an eyepatch.

Caleb informs the First Evil that their victory is imminent, as the episode ends with Buffy, alone and distraught, walking away from the other other injured girls and along the empty streets on her own.

Touched

With Buffy still gone, Faith must claim leadership of the Scoobies and the Potentials. Everyone in town appears to be fleeing, including the local power company – something they realise when the power goes out everywhere.

Whilst Buffy finds a place to stay and lay-low, the rest of the gang figure out a way to get some more information on their enemies.

This leads Faith to decide that they should go after one of the Bringers in an attempt to get some information about the First Evil, or Caleb.

Although some of the Potentials are against it, Faith asserts that she is their leader now, and they all agree to the plan.

This moves onto Kennedy (one of the Potentials) walking alone down an alley until a Bringer steps out to try and attack her. Immediately, Faith and her team of Potentials (including Caridad) are able to ambush the Bringer and capture him.

Once back in the house, they find a way to communicate with it. They discover that the Bringers have a lair somewhere in the sewers.

Whilst Buffy, having been convinced to continue fighting by Spike, deals with Caleb, Faith and the Potentials traverse the sewers, eventually coming across the Bringer armoury.

They need to fight a hoard of Bringers, but they eventually manage to dispose of them all. However, in the armoury, Faith finds a locked metal box.

Once the box is open it is revealed that there is a ticking bomb inside. Though Faith tried to warm everyone to take cover, it’s no use and the bomb explodes just seconds later – ending the episode.

End Of Days

Having retrieved the Scythe from the stone, Buffy is set to fight Caleb, however the First Evil tells her that she needs to hurry and save her friends that have fallen in the sewers – Caleb is reluctant to let her leave, but is convinced by the First.

Dawn, Willow, Xander, and Anya return to the Summer’s residence, having been unable to find Buffy, and are told by Giles that Faith and the others have not yet returned from the Bringer’s base.

Only a few of the Potentials survived the blast, including Caridad, and even Faith has been knocked unconscious.

Whilst the survivors attempt to retrieve their wounded and bring them to the surface, they are ambushed by three Turok-Hans. Although the girls fight well, it appears they are totally outmatched, until Buffy arrives just in time. Using her newly acquired Scythe weapon, she easily kills the Turok-Hans and rescues the survivors.

When they return home, the Scooby Gang and the rest of the Potentials happily elect Buffy as their leader once again.

Whilst Willow and Giles research the mythical Scythe and discover a connection to the Ancient Egyptians, Buffy convinces a reluctant Xander to render Dawn unconscious and drive her far away from Sunnydale for her own safety.

This seems to work for a little while as Xander manages to knock her out with chloroform, but as soon as Dawn regains consciousness, she hits Xander with a zap from her taser and drives them straight back home.

Back with Caleb, he complains to the First about their insistence that they let Buffy go and leave with the Scythe.

However, the First Evil then tells Caleb that his strength and power are waning and that he would not have been able to take her in a fight.

In order to increase his power again, the First merge with the preacher to give him their power. Caleb emerges looking demonic, with black eyes, and states that he is able and ready to fight Buffy once again.

Buffy and a now conscious Faith reconcile their differences. Faith admits that a lot of the bad blood comes from her jealousy over Buffy having friends.

The two discuss how lonely it is to be a Slayer, and how they are the only ones that can truly understand each other. Buffy then has an equally emotional discussion with Spike.

Following the lead that Giles and Willow have given her about the Egyptian connection, Buffy brings the Scythe to a small pyramid that she discovered right outside the gates of the Sunnydale cemetery that she’s been patrolling since she came to town.

Inside the pyramid, Buffy finds a woman who claims to be the last of the Guardians, a secret and ancient order of women that have been watching over the Watchers for as long as the order has existed.

She tells Buffy more about the Scythe, and how it was forged for the final battle against the First, however before she can share more, Caleb appears behind her and kills the woman.

In a brief battle, it seems as though Caleb – merged with the First – will be able to defeat Buffy, but suddenly Angel shows up and is able to step in and save her.

Not to be outdone, Buffy demands that she fight Caleb on her own, slicing his abdomen with the Scythe. Although at first Caleb laughs it off, he quickly changes his expression and falls down, seeming as though he is dead.

Trivia

The character was originally named Kelly, but was renamed after Ramirez was cast in the role.

Caridad is mentioned briefly in the Chosen: The One novelisation of the series, noting that she survived the battle at the Hellmount after becoming an activated Slayer.

She is also mentioned in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine

Bottom Line

Caridad was only a background player for a couple episodes, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have an impact.

Not only did she advance the audience’s understanding of the Potentials, but she was also a helpful member of the Scooby Gang at a critical time in the battle against the First Evil.

Marianne LeBlanc
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