9

At the end of Homecoming, Mayor Wilkins calls the ever-so-slick vampire Mr Trick in for a meeting. They verbally spar for a bit, but when the Mayor suggests bringing Mr Trick onto his team, the vampire seems totally uninterested. He suggests that he might not want the join the Mayor, to which the Mayor responds very confidently, "that won't be a problem."

The next time we see Mr Trick, he is working for the Mayor and seemingly loyal. He even seems to have adopted some of the Mayor's standards: his suits are more conservative, and his conversational style is more straightforward and professional. Mr Trick doesn't seem to resent the Mayor, as though he's being blackmailed, and he doesn't seem particularly afraid, as though he was tortured or threatened.

Trick Before Trick After

What just happened? The implication seems to be that the Mayor has some sort of mind control ability, but that doesn't really make sense. If the Mayor could put the whammy on rebellious vampires, I imagine he'd have tried it on Angel at several points in Season 3.

Did Mayor Wilkins literally just make him a surprisingly convincing job offer, or manipulate Mr Trick in a more mundane sense? Or are we to believe that there was some magic at play here?

  • My interpretation was that Wilkins was merely very convincing, but I have no evidence for it. – FuzzyBoots Aug 21 '15 at 15:57
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    he convinced Faith, why not mr trick? – albusseverus potter Aug 21 '15 at 16:00
  • @albusseveruspotter I suppose the difference is that his relationship with Faith evolved over time, and was largely started by her (i.e. she just showed up on his doorstep one day). And it had stops and starts, he was obviously feeling his way forward with her. But when confronted with Trick's resistance, Wilkins seemed totally unconcerned, and utterly confident that Trick's present reluctance didn't matter. He just comes off as having an ace up his sleeve, more than just being a good negotiator. – Nerrolken Aug 21 '15 at 16:05
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    it probably involved a knife and mini-golf. – phantom42 Aug 21 '15 at 16:05
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    He made him ... dramatic pause ... an offer he couldn't refuse. – Valorum Aug 21 '15 at 16:47
7

Mayor Wilkins is not only the elected mayor of the people of Sunnydale, but also is — in some sense — the "mayor" of the demon population at the Hellmouth.

According to Buffy: The Animated Series, Wilkins was a human who originally arrived in California in the 19th Century, and founded Sunnydale on the site of Boca del Infierno shortly after a Vampire Slayer, Naayéé'neizgháni, had been killed there. Wilkins stumbled upon the Hellmouth and found it overrun with demons because of the death of the Slayer. He ended up making a pact to avoid being killed himself. He agreed to make Sunnydale a refuge for demons, so that they could feed on town's inhabitants without interference. As part of his pact, he sold his soul and gained immortality. In 1899, he began planning his 100-year Ascension into the form of a pure demon — this is what you see happening in Season 3 of Buffy.

In the time between first meeting the Mayor and beginning to "work" for him, Trick may have learned who the Mayor really is: the immortal founder of Sunnydale and the maintainer of the "feeding grounds" on the Hellmouth. He may also have been given details about the Ascension. Perhaps he then felt it would be prudent to cooperate with the Mayor.

Even if some of these aspects of Wilkins story are apocryphal (in all likeliness, they enjoy some level of canon, given Whedon's role as a producer, writer, and consultant for the animated episodes), my conclusion is that Wilkins did nothing to Mr. Trick apart from being powerful, charismatic, and evil. Now in Sunnydale and master-less, Mr. Trick may have decided that he didn't know how to spend his time without a master. Remember, vampires in the Buffyverse tend to develop master-servant relationships. Darla, Angel, Drusilla, and Spike all served The Master at one point:

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We know that Mr. Trick's master was Kakistos up to and including their trip to Sunnydale. In some sense, Buffy herself played the role of master to Spike in the later seasons of Buffy. In the the final season of Angel, the vampire Harmony Kendall enjoys serving Angel and the other partners as a secretary in the law firm, even though they neither need nor want her there. In general, we see countless minion vampires serving powerful, "leader" vampires (of which there are far fewer).

Wilkins easily fit the role of master for Trick, giving him various violent tasks to sate his appetite. Generally speaking, vampires in the Buffyverse do not seem to be consciously aware of their need to serve masters, and so Mr. Trick may have acquiesced gradually into the role despite his own initial reluctance.

1

From what I recall of Faith, Hope & Trick, Mr Trick arrived in Sunnydale in the employ of Kakistos, pretty much because he wanted to be evil in an evil place. He didn’t seem particularly bothered either way about the demise of Kakistos, so I suspect he was happy to work for the Mayor because it gave him scope to do more evil things alongside the biggest evil presence in Sunnydale at the time.

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