Debut -- Halloween (Season 2)
Other 2nd season appearances: The Dark Age
Last Seen -- A New Man (Season 4)
We first see Ethan in Halloween. He's the proprietor of a costume shop where Buffy, Willow, and Xander are getting costumes. He sees that Buffy is entranced by a beautiful dress, and he holds it up to her, and makes a remark about discovering "the hidden princess." When Buffy tells him she can't afford the dress, Ethan tells her that he's prepared to make her an offer she can't refuse. So we are left to think, this guy is cool!
Later it becomes apparent that he's not all that and a bag of chips; we see him reciting a Latin incantation. He's surrounded by candles and a bust of Janus, the Roman god that is identified with doors, gates, and all beginnings and that is often represented by two opposite faces. Y'know, just think of those drama masks, happy/sad, etc. or better still, check out the pic above. Basically, Ethan's spell affects all those who have bought costumes or props from him, and it turns them into the personas of what their costumes represent. So Willow turns into a ghost, Buffy becomes a naive member of nobility, and Xander's an army-guy.
Willow takes Giles to the costume shop where they run into Ethan, and we learn that Ethan and Giles are already acquainted. Ethan calls Giles "Ripper" and we have no idea what that's all about. Giles beats the tar out of Ethan and breaks the spell by smashing the bust of Janus. When Giles turns around, Ethan's gone. He's left a note behind for Giles which reads: Be seein' you.
It's all very sinister, don't you think? Despite being sort of evil, though, Ethan has some good lines. Witty fellow he is, and I have to like him a little. Sort of.
Ethan pops up again in The Dark Age. This time we learn more about his association with Giles. Apparently, the two were acquainted when Giles was living in England, and when he was acting a bit of a rebel. The two of them, plus some other folks -- Philip, Deirdre, Thomas, and Randall -- used to conjure up spirits. Actually, they conjured up a demon named Eyghon..they each bore the mark of Eyghon and it's in this episode that the demon is paying housecalls. Basically, the demon wants to kill all those who bear his markings, and Ethan is aware of this. Giles becomes aware of this, also.
Ethan shows up at the school and Buffy sees him in the library. She recognizes him as the owner of the costume shop and confronts him. She says, "You sold me that dress for Halloween that nearly got us all killed!" (that's a paraphrase). He replies, "But you looked great!" (that may also be a paraphrase, I'll have to check.) Anyhoo, he ends up going to the costume shop with Buffy, where he proceeds to knock her out and transfer the mark of Eyghon onto her. This way, Eyghon, who's now manifested in the form of Jenny Calendar, will kill Buffy instead of him. yeah, yeah, I know this sounds convoluted. But once I get the plot written on the episode page, you can sort things out for yourself, okay? Anyhoo, at the end of this episode, Ethan has once again left without a word, and we are left to wonder if he's still in Sunnydale. I kind of hope he is, because he's a (yegads) charming villain...
Ethan returns to Sunnydale in BC. This time, he's called in by Mr. Trick to cast some kind of spell over the Milkbar chocolate that's being sold. The spell renders the folks kind of out of it, they regress back to the teenage state o' mind. Later, when Ethan's found out by Buffy, he does his wise-man disappearing act..oops, I mean, his cowardly disappearing act. This cat is consistent..he always runs. He ran in Halloween, he ran in The Dark Age, and here he tries to run again. He also tries to brain Buffy, but she's on to him this time. Don't know if Ethan's fled Sunnydale or what..we do know he did get paid for doing his part of the work, though. Trick did say he didn't like to burn bridges.
Ethan didn't have many good lines this time out...maybe if I come across one I like I'll put it in later.
A New Man
Well..guess who's back, and just in time for his good pal Giles's birthday? Yes!
In A New Man, Ethan's lurking inside of a crypty-mausoleumy thing. Well..he thinks he's lurking. He's been listening in on Giles's convo with Xander and Willow, and after they leave, he comes out from his hiding place to speak of his ill intentions. (Ill intentions? Er..you know, his unspeakable sinister plans.) But alas, Giles has heard something and pokes his head back inside to find his old nemesis standing there. What's a guy to do but say, "Oh, bugger! I thought you'd gone." Heh.
Anyhoo, Giles and Ethan go out for a few drinks...Ethan tries to hit on a waitress (although at the time, and from the camera angle, it sounded like he could've been propositioning Giles!), and tells Giles he's slipped something in his drink to kill him. Too amusing. Ethan also imparts some info. to Giles about The Initiative, rumors about something in room 314 that's causing the demons and all to freak out. He speaks of something that could throw the worlds out of balance. He seems pretty genuine when he says all this.
Next day, Giles wakes up to find that he's been turned into a (must check tape with captioning, sounds like) Feorol demon or whatever. Turns out that yes, Ethan is responsible. And Ethan gets a visit from Giles, Buffy, and Riley. Also some military guys from the Initiative. According to Riley, the Initiative guys are gonna take Ethan to "a secret detention facility somewhere in the Nevada desert." Heh. With any luck, he'll be able to sorcer (?) his way out of it. In the meantime, we can wonder why Ethan got caught this time, instead of getting away with it. Oh wait. Maybe this is why...
Ethan: "I've really got to learn to just do the damage and get out of town. It's the "stay and gloat" that gets me every time." -- to himself, mostly.
Hey Ethan..guess we won't "be seein' you"...for a while. (Did I mention I'm rather corny?)