Buffy Character: Mr. Trick | K. Todd Freeman

Mr. Trick was a vampire who is more modern in style and originally worked for his master, the ancient vampire Kakistos before deciding to work with Mayor Richard Wilkins.

Mr. Trick is the main antagonist of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 and poses a great threat towards Buffy and the Scooby Gang before facing his death at the hands of fellow Slayer, Faith.

His character was instantly recognizable thanks to his flamboyant style, smooth articulation as well as adapting his demeanor and appearance depending on the time which is a rare trait to see among vampires.

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Biography

When Mr. Trick first arrives on the scene in Sunnydale, he is instantly recognizable thanks to his well-dressed appearance that consists of tailored suits. He is a mercenary with a cunning personality and works for his master, the ancient vampire Kakistos who has tasked Mr. Trick with causing chaos to overrun the humans at the Hellmouth by killing the new Slayer.

It is mentioned that Kakistos has killed Faith’s unidentified Watcher and now is on the hunt to find and kill Faith and anyone else who tries to stop him.

Mr. Trick’s first attack is at a fast-food restaurant where he attacks and feeds on a clerk. Where Mr. Trick has moved on with the times and adapted accordingly, Kakistos is stuck in his traditional ways and it is this mindset that proves his downfall.

Mr. Trick’s killer instinct is evident as he is filled with bloodlust and shows no remorse for the amount of death and destruction he causes; however, he prefers to task subordinates into getting into the fights on his behalf rather than getting his own hands dirty, although he couldn’t resist having his final fight with Buffy as he was impressed by her skill.

He enjoys the Marmaduke comic strips as he openly loves the titular character’s uncontrollable nature which reflects his own personality. He abandons his original master Kakistos because he looks down on his previous master’s inability to adapt to modern circumstances and his limited view of the world.

Kakistos is eventually slain by Faith and Mr. Trick manages to escape and finds himself working for Mayor Richard Wilkins who tasks him with organizing “Slayerfest 98”, an event where humans and demons hunt down and kill Buffy and Faith, the Slayers in an organized hunt. This sees Mr. Trick bringing back Ethan Rayne to help regress Sunnydale’s population thanks to some drugged chocolate.

It is during Mr. Trick’s tenure working for Mayor Richard Wilkins that a little snippet into his background is revealed. He comments that he has never fit into any neighborhood and this was the case long before he was turned into a vampire.

This not only suggests that Mr. Trick has been an outsider all his life before and after turning into a vampire, but it is also an indication that he is an old vampire with plenty of experience given the level of emotional detachment from the situation as well as the lack of care he has for others in a similar situation.

Having been relocated to an elaborate mansion where he lives in luxury and comfort, Mr. Trick organizes “Slayerfest 98”, a huge event that sees a large group of contestants, both human and demon, who are tasked with tracking down and killing Buffy and Faith in order to win a large amount of money.

Each contestant has gambled a large amount of their own money to take part in the hunt so they have a lot to lose themselves. They know what Buffy looks like but they have never seen Faith so they mistake Cordelia as the second Slayer.

Now that Mr. Trick is under Mayor Richard Wilkins’ service, he is the leader of the mayor’s vampire subordinates meaning that he has generated a lot of power within Sunnydale.

Mr. Trick’s loyalty to the Mayor is unquestionable as he hires Ethan Rayne to gain the tribute that Wilkins needs in order to pay the demon, Lurconis as well as arrange a welcoming committee for Spike when he returns to Sunnydale.

It is Mr. Trick’s job as Wilkins’ hitman that proves to be his undoing as he is tasked with hunting down and killing Buffy and Faith himself when all else fails. He gathers a team of vampires and manages to track Buffy down and injures her.

Just as he is about to kill her, Mr. Trick begins to gloat about his victory and is then staked through the back by Faith and crumbles to death. Just before he crumbles into dust, his last words are: “Oh, this is no good. This is no good at all…” proving that he is able to be articulate and suave even in his final moments.

It also shows Faith saving Buffy’s life as she stakes Mr. Trick just as he is about to bite Buffy. His position is then filled by Faith herself meaning that a Slayer now works for the Mayor, despite the Mayor wanting to hunt down the Slayers and have them killed.

Personality/Traits

Mr. Trick was unlike other vampires in his personality as he was enthusiastic about modern technology and the advancements that have been made over time. This means that he is able to adapt according to the times and isn’t hindered or ignorant like other vampires such as his first master, Kakistos, whose death comes as a result of his ignorance and inability to adapt.

Mr. Trick is a mercenary and likes the finer things in life which can be seen by the way he dresses, often appearing in well-tailored suits as well as his eventual relocation to a mansion where he is able to live in the luxury and comfort that he desires. There are traditional activities that he considers outdated such as hunting and prefers to feed on various kinds of people such as fast-food employees, pizza delivery boys, and humans stuck in traffic.

Mr. Trick can be seen as a calculating individual as he isn’t afraid to change his allegiance according to his own beliefs. Where some vampires remain loyal to their master no matter what, Mr. Trick’s declining respect for his master is evident when he abandons Kakistos and leaves him to his fate.

He swaps allegiance to Mayor Richard Wilkins because he understands that Wilkins has the power and resources to rule over the Hellmouth which in turn can enhance his own position.

This plan works as Mr. Trick is eventually promoted from assistant to personal hitman for Wilkins. Although this proves to be the character’s downfall, this proves that Trick was right about Wilkins providing plenty of opportunities for him to grow in power himself.

Powers And Abilities

Mr. Trick doesn’t have any distinctive powers and abilities that make him different from any other vampires.

What makes him different is his personality and his viewpoint on the world as he is considered a modern vampire. Where some vampires consider this a laughable quality, Mr. Trick is able to view situations pragmatically and come up with clever schemes that are capable of working.

He has the standard vampire powers and abilities and has a bloodlust for feeding on humans.

In the first scene, he attacks and kills a fast-food employee but unlike the majority of vampires, Mr. Trick does not engage in fights as he prefers to watch from the sidelines and control the situation from afar.

In the majority of episodes that he is in, Trick is portrayed as the mastermind behind the various schemes but he doesn’t involve himself in the fight. However, when he does eventually fight Buffy in his final episode, his fighting skills are impressive as he is able to injure and disarm Buffy. Were it not for his gloating nature, he would have killed Buffy before Faith staked him in the back.

Relationships

Through Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mr. Trick can be seen engaging with various characters. As he is a regular vampire, he doesn’t have a soul meaning that he isn’t capable of forming emotional bonds with others and this comes through in the various choices that he makes throughout his short run on the show:

Kakistos

The first relationship that we see Mr. Trick engaging in is the one he has with his previous master, Kakistos. Kakistos is an extremely powerful and ancient vampire who is set in his traditional ways and refuses to catch up with the times.

This causes some disagreement and disruption between Kakistos and Mr. Trick as the latter is very modern in his demeanor and appearance which proves to be the smarter choice. This is because Kakistos is ignorant of the developments that have occurred over time which proves to be his downfall.

Over time, we see Mr. Trick’s respect for Kakistos diminish as he knows that his master is going to be killed eventually thanks to his ignorance.

Kakistos has successfully killed Faith’s old Watcher before their appearance on the show and they are now tasked with tracking down Faith and any other Slayers and killing them before it is too late; however, Faith manages to overcome her fear towards Kakistos and stakes him, turning him to dust.

Mr. Trick manages to flee the scene before Faith can eliminate him which is an unusual act for a vampire to do as they usually remain loyal to their masters; however, this highlights Mr. Trick’s disgust at his master’s attitude and the lack of respect he has towards him at the end of his life.

It also shows how emotionally detached vampires are as a species as they are known to be selfish and only care about themselves the majority of the time.

Mayor Richard Wilkins

After Kakistos’ demise, Mr. Trick then works for Mayor Richard Wilkins who has a large team of vampires under his control. Mr. Trick clearly has more respect for Wilkins and uses his new position to live in luxury and comfort as he is relocated to a mansion where he can come up with new schemes.

Wilkins tasks Mr. Trick with organizing “Slayerfest 98” which saw various humans and demons gamble their own money to hunt down and kill Buffy and Faith. However, having never seen Faith before, they mistakenly believe that Cordelia is the Slayer and the plan fails.

This doesn’t stop Mr. Trick from coming up with more plans as Wilkins makes him leader of his group of vampires which means that Trick doesn’t have to get involved in any fights.

Although he does fail in a slew of plots, Wilkins promotes Trick from assistant to personal hitman thanks to his smooth-talking and calm demeanor. However, it is providing Trick with an abundance of power and resources which proves to be the character’s undoing as he becomes deluded by the power that he now has.

Buffy Summers

Initially, Mr. Trick is tasked with hunting down and eliminating Faith following the death of the latter’s former Watcher. However, when it becomes evident that there is another Slayer in Sunnydale, Mr. Trick makes it his mission to kill Buffy as well. They don’t share any meaningful relationship other than that they are enemies trying to kill each other.

Mr. Trick’s elaborate schemes are often thwarted by Buffy and Faith and this causes irritation and intrigue on Trick’s part. Since Trick often has his own subordinates fighting against the Slayers rather than getting his own hands dirty, Trick tends to watch the drama unfold from the sidelines.

After a slew of plans fail and Trick is unable to complete his task, he manages to track down Buffy with a small group of vampires and fights her himself, injuring the Slayer in the process. Just as he is about to bite Buffy, he begins to gloat and is then staked in the back by Faith who has managed to sneak upon him.

Faith Lehane

Lastly, it’s worth discussing Mr. Trick’s relationship with Slayer, Faith Lehane. Like Buffy, Trick’s relationship with Faith is no more than enemies trying to kill each other but there is an extra layer of hatred that Faith has towards Trick because he was responsible for the death of her previous Watcher.

Just as with the fights and hunts regarding Buffy, Trick has other vampires and demons do the dirty work for him and watches from the sidelines. This includes the “Slayerfest 98” where other humans and demons are tasked with hunting the Slayers down and killing them for their own monetary gain.

Eventually, it is Trick’s intrigue with Buffy’s fighting style that encourages him to put himself in harm’s way as he fights the Slayer and manages to injure and disarm her. As he gloats before biting and draining Buffy, Faith manages to get revenge by staking Trick in the back which puts an end to him.

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Appearances

Mr. Trick is viewed as one of the major antagonists of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Three and is in a handful of episodes. Although he isn’t in many episodes, he has an impact that affects the rest of the season making him one of the most distinct and important characters of Season Three. Here are the appearances that Mr. Trick makes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Three

  • Episode 3: ‘Faith, Hope & Trick’
  • Episode 5: ‘Homecoming’
  • Episode 6: ‘Band Candy’
  • Episode 8: ‘Lovers Walk’ (only mentioned)
  • Episode 14: ‘Bad Girls’
  • Episode 15: ‘Consequences’

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Marianne LeBlanc
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