Buffy 3×14: Bad Girls

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie | Director: Michael Lange | Aired: 02/09/1999]

This episode represents an interesting experiment in trying to make Buffy more like Faith. The problem is that most of Buffy’s actions seem rushed and out-of-character rather than a natural extension. Faith is pushing her to be more free-spirited right when the new prissy Watcher, Wesley, comes to town. The combination of these things is sure to make Buffy want to act out a bit, but giving into Faith’s “want, take, have” philosophy in response is just out of character. That and the fact I find Belthazar pretty corny are the reasons why I’m not crazy about this episode.

The fun begins with Faith telling Buffy she “thinks too much” while fighting some vamps in the cemetary. Right away the core topic touched on. Faith believes Buffy thinks too much while the new Watcher, Wesley, seems to believe she doesn’t think enough. Buffy is torn between two worlds; Faith’s of “do what you want” and Wesley’s of “do what you’re told.” Early on Buffy shies away from thoughts of doing (and doing) what she wants and disobeying authority, but as Wesley continues to pressure her with orders and attitude she decides to gives Faith’s method a try. It’s also really fun to see her still discuss everything with Giles, even against the Council’s wishes.

All of this leads to Buffy skipping out on her chemistry test and then later breaking into the weapons shop with Faith and stealing stuff (including a longbow Faith is amusingly fond of). Faith tells her in the shop, “want, take, have.” This really sums up Faith’s philosophy of life at this point. Rather quickly the two of them get caught by a pair of police and we can immediately see Buffy is scared by the experience. In the cop car she is extremely quiet and it’s obvious that “bad Buffy” is dead for now. The following day when looking in the paper we even see her dressed completely in black. She feels dirty and bad about what she did. Faith, on the other hand, isn’t affected by getting caught at all which is the first sign of her indifference at being involved in crime.

Faith’s indifference is naturally carried over when the big “staking a human” scene arrives. She kills a human, shows little remorse, and immediately wants to flee the scene and not accept responsibility for she’s done. Buffy is terrified and can’t understand why Faith doesn’t appear to have any problem with what she did. We know from future episodes of BtVS and AtS that she does have feelings of guilt but they are buried deep and are repressed within her.

I really love Wesley’s addition to the show. Aside from pushing Buffy towards Faith, the introduction of Wesley also sparks changes in Giles who now looks a whole lot cooler. During the fight against Belthazar’s minions he really kicks some quality ### and even cracks jokes in the face of torture (he has been tortured recently in “Becoming Pt. 2” [2×22] ). He really mixes up the tedium of monster research and adds an interesting dynamic to the group’s discussions.

Unfortunately, Belthazar just doesn’t work for me as a threatening villain. While I love the idea of a crippled and fat demon it is his personality that loses me. He just comes across as hokey and the effect of him pulling vampires towards him is poor as well. Ultimately this episode tries to do some interesting things but simply doesn’t manage to fully succeed. The highlight is definitely the somewhat surprising ending where Faith says she doesn’t care that she’s now killed a human. Based on her character’s development throughout the season thus far, this turn, while surprising, is still completely believable. If nothing else, that alone gives this episode importance.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Faith wondering why Buffy hasn’t had sex with Xander before.
+ Buffy acting hot and wild and Angel not liking it.
+ Wesley being completely out of the Buffy loop.
+ The Mayor genuinely enjoying taking photos with kids.
+ Ending fight scene is well done except it’s far too easy to spot Buffy’s stunt double.
+ Finding out more of what it is exactly that the Mayor is trying to do. 100 days to his ascension.
+ The Mayor’s “to do” list is absolutely hilarious.

– The fake drowning of Buffy and the lame joke that follows.


Foreshadowing

* Willow feeling disconnected from Buffy because of Faith. This is yet another thing that puts a wedge between these two that will only continue to grow through S6.


[Score]

70/100

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61 thoughts on “Buffy 3×14: Bad Girls”

  1. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on May 8, 2006.]

    I’ve just finished watching “Bad Girls”, again, off of Sky One. As I hadn’t seen it for a while I wasn’t sure what to expect. After seeing it, I looked at your review, and whilst I agree with you about the “Want, Take, Have” seen, I have to disagree with you on the following:

    “Unfortunately, Belthazar just doesn’t work for me as a threatening villain. While I love the idea of a crippled and fat demon it is his personality that loses me. He just comes across as hokey”, etc.

    I personally didn’t mind Belthazar, mainly because, like the Judge, he was never intended to be a serious villain and was just there for some good comic relief as well as a reasonable inconvenience. I don’t know who played him, but the comic timing never fails to amuse me, especially when Angel and Buffy attack and he simply sits about incompetant, booming “unacceptable!”. Of course that’s simply a matter of taste, but I wondered whether you found him amusing at all, or whether you just felt he was much more out of place than the Judge?

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. I did think the episode was too unsubtle and the development of Buffy a bit forced and rushed in a few places, but I personally find most of S3 to be rather unsubtle – take, for instance, the Xander-Willow tryst which was not unfeasible, and was arguably foreshadowed on Xander’s part in “Becoming 2”, but the execution felt completely childish and unnatural. Still, S3 always entertains me, even if I feel it represents a dumbing down of the show at that point in it’s history. Maybe someone felt it wasn’t aimed at teens enough.

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  2. [Note: Grounded posted this comment on May 8, 2006.]

    I always wondered if Belthazar was supposed to be based on some existing character from non-Buffy mythology, the reason being that there’s a very similar looking character in the vampire movie Blade. I’m a little scared to try and back this up with Google searching… 😉

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  3. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 8, 2006.]

    The Judge is pretty hokey, as I mentioned in my review of “Surprise,” but he didn’t annoy me. Belthazar did annoy me in addition to being hokey. I didn’t find his yabbering entertaining in the slightest. Maybe it was his voice? But yeah, that’s just my own feelings.

    I hated the Willow/Xander thing in S3 as I mentioned in my reviews and on these boards many times before. I hated the idea of it and the execution of it. It felt completely rushed and out of place at the time it happened.

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  4. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on May 8, 2006.]

    I disagree with your criticisms of this episode, particularly in regard Buffy’s development. I don’t percieve Bad Girls to be about her development so much, but to highlight the differences between Buffy and Faith and the idea of them as doppelgangers. Buffy realises that Faith’s methods don’t work for her, reinforcing what she already knew. It’s a worthy set-up to Consequences which explores the issues of this one in more depth.

    It’s hilarious when Balthazar is shouting in anger and those arms of his are waving.

    Rewatching S3, I think it would be close to my favourite season. Dumbing down? Unsubtle? I’m not sure I get it.

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  5. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 8, 2006.]

    How easily Buffy skips out on important stuff on her life just to go rebel against Wesley and try out Faith’s way of doing things was very poorly done. Buffy was simply out of character here. There was no build-up to this and Wesley wouldn’t push Buffy that far away that quickly. The writers forced Buffy to go that far to make a point, and I can see through their manipulation. It’s not a natural extension of the place Buffy’s character was in at that point. The episode isn’t without merit, but I’m sorry, Buffy repeating Faith’s “want, take, have” in the weapons store made me cringe. I mean, seriously, at that point there’s no way Buffy would realistically skip out on her Chemistry exam and then start acting all thuggish with Faith for a while. That just wasn’t developed at all except within the confines of this episode.

    I think they highlighted the differences between the two with expert precision, and kept Buffy completely in-character, during “Consequences.” That episode fantastically jumped into the issues between them and brought up some excellent commentary on Slayer darkness and impulses, as well as just the differences in their characters. “Bad Girls” really missed the boat, although it did have some good and memorable stuff in it. I’m open to being convinced otherwise, but you’re going to need to pour on some heavy evidence to shoot down my reasoning.

    I’ll always maintain that, as consistent as S3 was, it’s not the beacon of perfection many fans label it as. It’s also not even close to my favorite or most-watched season.

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  6. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    She wasn’t acting out of character, though. Why did this stuff need further development? She didn’t go too far at all. It wasn’t a step into darkness, if so I’d be inclined to agree with you.

    She’s skipped out on class countless time before, there was plenty of precendent. They were going to kill vampires, after all. But, I have to concede having Buffy skip out on an exam was a silly decision on behalf of the writers.

    Faith had broken into the weapons store before Buffy knew what was going on and went in after her. She knew she shouldn’t have been doing it and as soon as they were caught she did what she was told while Faith continued mouthing off. She was acting as Faith’s conscience throughout the episode.

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  7. [Note: fryrish posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    Another thing about this episode.

    Am I the alone in thinking the group never gave Wesley a chance? They pretty much ostracised from minute one. Seriously, the guy was only trying to do his job and they never attempted to integrate him into the group. For shame…

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  8. [Note: Grounded posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    Buffy clearly skips out on the exam because she’s madly in love with Faith. Am I the only one who sees it? 😉

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  9. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    Rewatching S3, I think it would be close to my favourite season. Dumbing down? Unsubtle? I’m not sure I get it

    It’s only my view of it, but it felt a lot like someone felt that Buffy was outgrowing its original concepts too much. After the changes in S2, S3 took the show back to its “wisecracking” roots, and it felt slightly forced to me. In season 1 it felt perfectly natural to me, but after S2 and the shocking changes and growth to the characters, the heavy-handed approach to the “teen” issues didn’t always seem to work. However, I always enjoy S3, and it’s good to be able to watch Buffy for light-hearted fun, and I agree with Mikejer that it’s very consistant. I just felt it could have been better.

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  10. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    Another thing about this episode. Am I the alone in thinking the group never gave Wesley a chance? They pretty much ostracised from minute one. Seriously, the guy was only trying to do his job and they never attempted to integrate him into the group. For shame…

    I too felt this about the episode the first time I watched it, and disliked it, but it doesn’t feel unnatural. I personally feel the viewer is supposed to sympathise with Wesley, and it seems natural for Buffy and co to act like that, given what the council had done. Desinof plays the part to perfection, as well.

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  11. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    How easily Buffy skips out on important stuff on her life just to go rebel against Wesley and try out Faith’s way of doing things was very poorly done. Buffy was simply out of character here. There was no build-up to this and Wesley wouldn’t push Buffy that far away that quickly. The [i]writers [/i]forced Buffy to go that far to make a point, and I can see through their manipulation. It’s not a natural extension of the place Buffy’s character was in at that point. The episode isn’t without merit, but I’m sorry, Buffy repeating Faith’s “want, take, have” in the weapons store made me cringe. I mean, seriously, at that point there’s no way Buffy would realistically [b]skip out [/b]on her Chemistry exam and then start acting all thuggish with Faith for a while. That just wasn’t developed at all except within the confines of this episode.

    I personally didn’t feel it was completely out of character, only rather rushed, and confined to one episode. I could see the build up, and why Buffy acted that way, but they took it to extremes in the “Want, take, have” seen, which was way to heavy-handed and unsubtle. I guess I didn’t mind it that much because the writers had done this before in the season. I don’t believe S3 puts a lot of faith in subtlety.

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  12. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    I just felt it was OOC for the moment. I do agree that, had they better led up to Buffy’s actions in “Bad Girls,” her comments could have worked. But in the context of that moment, it felt OOC based on what we’d seen up to that point. All of the sudden Buffy’s being thuggish with Faith. But I pretty much agree with you.

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  13. [Note: Dingdong posted this comment on May 9, 2006.]

    I actually think the episode built up to Buffy’s trying Faith’s world as well as it could – but it deserved more time. I think that Buffy finally decides to go nuts after nearly being drowned – again. Suddenly she’s fed up of taking the slaying life so seriously, as she has to get used to it, it happens all the time, so she may as well get something from it. However, the “Want, Take, Have” scene felt completely OTT, IMO.

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  14. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    I watched this episode just the other day and I really liked it. Hadn’t seen it for a while, but wow the comedy! A very funny episode with excellent performances and then WHAM! in your face – the killing of Allan. Very Whedon, that.

    Buffy’s actions has to be seen in the context of her great disappointment with the Watcher’s Council. They betrayed her, they betrayed Giles – even Giles betrayed her, acting on behalf of the WC. Don’t forget Gwendolyn Post and the killing of Faith’s watcher. Trust in authority does not rank high in Buffy’s life right now. And Faith seems to be doing allright on her own, so why don’t try her lifestyle out?

    Faith is a tragic figure. I don’t like her, but I can understand why she acts and talks like she does. No one is close to her, she doesn’t have a real friend or a family. She is a very lonely girl and obviously has been for a very long time. Tragically, no one understands how to talk to her or how to react properly. Of course she ends up with the Mayor. I believe she went looking for security, to be protected from the WC and The Scoobies and maybe she was prepared to kill the Mayor if he hadn’t reacted in her favour.

    Well, she found security and in more ways than one. The relationship between Faith and The Mayor seems repulsive and wrong, but it’s also exactly what Faith says to Robin Wood in season seven: The Mayor becomes her father figure and that’s rather obvious from the start. He’s not the greatest “parent”, being evil and all, but compared to being totally alone all the time, this is good for Faith. In his own peculiar and disturbing way, he takes good care of Faith. She could be doing a lot worse, considering her situation.

    So, in conclusion, I think this is a great episode.

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  15. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    I don’t think this is a great episode, the execution is rather too unsubtle and rushed, but I like your views on Faith. In particular the take on what happened at the end of Concequences, which is a great episode in my opinion. I’ve always regarded Faith’s arc to be somewhat dodgy in places, not the actual character development which I have no problem with (with the exception of some of “F,H &T”) but rather the way it was structued, centering mainly about “Enemies” in which a huge amount of potential is wasted, and the great idea of a shock discovery of Faith’s betrayal completely abandoned. Instead we’re led to believe that the gang suddenly believes for no reason that Faith has turned traitor, and set her up. No wonder Faith didn’t trust these guys!

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  16. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    As is obvious, I forgot to clarify that I saw the episodes “Bad Girls” and “Consequences” as one – mostly. BG is the one that I think is a great episode, C is rather weak and only works in the way that it continues what was started in the previous one when it comes to Faith’s reactions and the failure of Buffy, Xander and everyone else to communicate with her. In “Consequences”, everyone fails rather remarkably.

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  17. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    Oh no, I strongly disagree here. I regard Concequences to be the best episode of season three, because it delves into serious ideas and concequences to earlier events, and characterises everyone extremely well. Coupled with this the plot takes many surprising directions, but ones which make sense, which are very engaging. The study of guilt is particularly well done, and even Angel is used very well. Wesley also is used best here, and the episode wastes very little potential. There’s also demonstration of exactly the right balance of subtlety and obviousness, which season three sadly lacks as a whole.

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  18. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    As my reviews of these episodes make obvious, I agree with DD on this one. In addition to what he’s said about the eps, I think the exploration of Buffy’s morality base is expertly handled in “Consequences” and is something vital for us to delve into so we can see her growth throughout the series in this area.

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  19. [Note: Clem’s Kitten Basket posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    Well, we disagree on this. People have very different opinions and takes on characters as well as episodes. Who is Buffy? What is “good” and “evil”? How to define morals, ethics, duty etc. Nothing is crystal clear and sometimes people change over time.

    Not for the first time, I’ve been trying hard to remember what my own thoughts and instincts might have been, say 25 years ago. Let me tell you, that is NOT easy to do. But I do know for a fact, that I had a much more simplistic and naïve view of almost everything back then. That kind of view makes it easy to judge and draw extensive conclusions from very little fact. Now, I’m only talking about myself here. I don’t know anything about you guys.

    When it comes to “Consequences”, age might have something to do with it, i.e. my age, since I know I have changed over the years. I watched this and every other episode from my own, personal perspective and therefore this episode didn’t make a very deep impact on me. When I write that “everyone fails”, it means that they (“they” meaning the good guys) do everything wrong when trying to deal with Faith. Still, this could very well be the best they were able to do. The only one who comes close to finding the right way, is Giles.

    Giles: Buffy, this is not the first time something like this has happened. (A very important piece of information.)
    Buffy: (confused) It’s not?
    Giles: The Slayer is on the front line of a nightly war. Now, it’s, it’s tragic, but accidents have happened. (Again, important information that puts the event into a reasonable perspective.)
    Buffy: W-what do you do?
    Giles: Well, the Council investigates, um, metes out punishment if punishment is due. But I… I have no plans to involve them. I mean, it’s the last thing Faith needs at the moment. She’s unstable, Buffy. I mean, she’s utterly unable to accept responsibility. (Somewhat stating the obvious here, but still, it needs to be said.)
    Buffy: She’s freaking. So, so then we just have to help her deal, right?
    Giles: She’s in denial. There *is* no help for her until she admits what happened.
    Buffy: (uncertainly) I-I could talk to her.
    Giles: (sighs) Perhaps. (He knows that won’t help.)
    Buffy: Or maybe I’m too close. Maybe, maybe one of the guys could.
    Giles: We should meet. It-it may be that they’re seeing a different side of her. (This is where he takes the wrong turn. No one is close to Faith, so any “different side” they see in her is of no value in this situation.)

    If Wesley hadn’t overheard this conversation, Giles might have found a constructive solution to the problem, but there is nothing to suggest that. Buffy, Xander and Willow are far too young to deal with these complex psychological issues. Angel does even worse when he compares himself to Faith. I think that could actually be fuelling her confusion and self-contempt, and make her believe that she really belongs on the dark side, the she is in fact evil.

    Maybe we just disagree on what we see in these episodes. You know, as Buffy says in End of Days: “Well, the good guys aren’t traditionally known for their communication skills.” This is what draws me to the show and keeps me there; communication and relationships. From that point of view “Consequences” is an excellent example of communication failure, so maybe I should change my rating? Compared to for example “Go Fish”, it’s a masterpiece. I just don’t enjoy watching people do and say stupid things for an entire episode. Their reactions are predictable and the only somewhat surprising thing that happens, is when Faith seeks out the Mayor. – All this is how it seems to me, from my perspective. I do understand your perspective and I don’t think it’s wrong. It’s just different.

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  20. [Note: Dingdongalistic posted this comment on September 6, 2006.]

    Oh, that’s completely fair.

    I myself do agree with you in that quite a few people fail, and that’s why I like watching concequences, the sheer difficulty in the situation and the way different characters approach it. I can sympathise if you don’t find that sort of thing pleasant to watch, but I personally love stuff like that. It’s just different tastes.

    However, I do disagree with you on Angel. I thought he was starting to make progress before the WC interrupted. I think the way he talked to Faith wasn’t exactly nice, but it was frank, and she respected that. Giving her an idea of the seriousness and danger of the situation was working.jun

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  21. [Note: jun posted this comment on April 15, 2007.]

    Rewatching this today, and the bit with Xander’s twitchy eye… when he claps his hand over it, it struck me.. that’s the eye he loses in S7.

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  22. [Note: Xenophon posted this comment on October 3, 2007.]

    I’m a noob on watching buffy (ie first time i am watching all the seasons from 1-7 all through) and firstly i just want to say I really enjoy these reviews. After every +/- 4 episodes I watch I come and read up on this site and I always enjoy it. The foreshadowing I don’t mind because it’s very interesting that when I get to the episode that was foreshadowed it makes more sense.

    What I also found funny is how when everyone sees Wesley the first time and just says “the new watcher?”. Also when Giles & Wesley both take off their glasses, cleans them and puts them back on again.

    When Wesley is checking Cordelia out and he asks her if she teaches psychology, and she says, no she takes it and then either Willow or Xander (can’t remember which) says something about two words : Jail Bait

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  23. [Note: XY posted this comment on October 14, 2007.]

    One thing that contributed to Buffy’s faith-like actions is the “epiphany” (probably too strong a word) she had regarding slaying. She felt one with her slaying, as it were. She couldn’t even stop talking about it during the chemistry exam (just before she took off).

    That experience combined with Wesley and Faith’s influence put her into a state which influenced her into doing untypical things. Like she was drunk — until the cops showed up, at which point she sobered up really quick.

    They did the break-in to get weapons to fight villains, so it wasn’t for fun. Buffy seemed very casual about it, but it is in-character for her to sound casual about all sorts of serious things (so I don’t see “want, take, have” as Buffy really, deeply giving in to Faith’s philosophy, it’s just Buffy being casual, like “if apocalypse comes, beep me”. Although, of course, those words are coupled with a corresponding action, so it isn’t just a comment, and what she’s doing *is* serious, there is no denying that.)

    Or something, I dunno. Haven’t really given it that much thought. : )

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  24. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on October 24, 2007.]

    I don´t think her actions are rushed and unnatural because her actions are supposed to be like that and the viewer is supposed to see that this side of Buffy doesn´t work, she´s not like Faith. Sure she has a darker side but she doesn´t let that control her like Faith does. I like this episode a lot also because of Wesley. He is introduced here as an idiot and the gang couldn´t care less for him. He plays everything by the book and has his notion of “right and wrong” and “black and white scenario”.

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  25. [Note: gabrielleabelle posted this comment on November 9, 2007.]

    The point’s already been debated quite well. Personally, when I first watched it I thought Buffy was under some spell or something cause of the way she was acting. I found it OOC and I wish there’d been more build up to it.

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  26. [Note: Sam posted this comment on November 20, 2008.]

    Consequences is definitely a far superior episode than Bad Girls. In fact, I think Season 3 is the only season where the best episodes are not w/d by Joss Whedon, so that alone may qualify it as off.

    I still liked this episode a lot, although my favorite part is certainly Buffy and Faith’s sexy dancing at the Bronze. 🙂

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  27. [Note: Sanjuro posted this comment on November 30, 2008.]

    I agree that Consequences is a far superior episode, but that’s not really a fair reason to criticize this one. I’d give it at least a solid B: it introduces Wesley (one of my 5 favorite Buffyverse characters), the MOTW is decent enough since you know he won’t be sticking around, the Mahyor gets in some choice moments (“oh, that P.J.!”) and it nicely sets up the next episode. And I was going to take you task for not putting any of the Giles/Wesley exchanges in the quotes section, but as I tally them up, I can understand why: it would have consisted of nothing else:

    WP: I didn’t say you had emotional problems, I said you had an emotional problem. It’s quite different.
    G: If you want to criticize my methods, fine. But you can keep your snide remarks to yourself. And while you’re at it, don’t criticize my methods.

    WP: Stay calm, Mr. Giles. We have to stay calm.
    G: Well, thank god you’re here. I was planning to panic.

    WP: I have, in fact, faced two vampires myself. Under controlled circumstances, of course.
    G: No danger of finding those here.
    WP: Vampires?
    G: Controlled circumstances.

    Genius.

    Also, it retains none of its hilarity when you write it down, but Denisof’s deadpan delivery of the “Three P’s: Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.” is one of the funniest moments in the whole show to me.

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  28. [Note: AAA posted this comment on December 24, 2008.]

    Another episode of season 3 mikejer totally misunderstood. Buffy has not been in agreement over Faith’s action in this episode , and she never gave in into Faith’s want,take have philosophy which is pretty obvious in this episode. She may have been tempted to but she obviously attempted to stop Faith from the want,take ,have road. One of the great episodes of a very good season. The fact that it is followed by consequences and sets up that storyline is also extremely important.

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  29. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on December 25, 2008.]

    AAA, I don’t buy your comment that I “misunderstood” this episode. You claim:

    Buffy has not been in agreement over Faith’s action in this episode , and she never gave in into Faith’s want,take have philosophy which is pretty obvious in this episode.

    Unfortunately, your comment is made void by the episode itself. Buffy, inside the weapons shop, says “Want… take… have. I’m gettin’ it” and steals a knife from the broken glass. If that’s not momentarily giving into and/or trying out Faith’s philosophy, I don’t know what is.

    I think you might be mistaking ‘misunderstanding’ for ‘disagreeing.’ I don’t happen to worship Season 3 like much of the fanbase does, and I’ve yet to hear a convincing argument of why I should start now. It’s a very good season of television, but it’s not one of my favorite seasons of Buffy.

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  30. [Note: Tara posted this comment on May 15, 2009.]

    Although I enjoyed this episode, it’s one of only two episodes in the series (the other is Triangle) in which a character situation is established with inadequate build-up in previous episodes. While I can buy into the idea of Buffy wanting to embrace more of Faith’s lifestyle and the timely arrival of Wesley being the catalyst to sparking this off, we haven’t had any sufficient foreshadowing in the previous episodes to warrant this. Had there been a couple of secenes or even one or two lines of dialogue in the previous few episodes that showed Buffy’s increasing frustrations with the rigid doctrines she’s supposed to be adhering to (maybe something along the lines of what we saw in the excellent Band Candy), this episode would have been a fantastic culmination of those simmering issues brought to the surface. However, instead it feels rushed and something more plot-driven than a natural character progression.

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  31. [Note: Selene posted this comment on July 8, 2009.]

    This far from the best episode but it’s also far from the worst. There are definite flaws, but taken with Consequences as 2 parts of a whole, it’s actually quite good.

    As some have pointed out, no, the Scoobies never really did give Wesley a chance, but to be fair, Wesley never gave the Scoobies much of a chance either. He never took the time to find out what the situation with the Slayerettes was like; he just came in with this “I’m the Watcher, I know everything better than you and you will do as I say” attitude. Not exactly a way to endear yourself to the group.

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  32. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on October 4, 2009.]

    W/r/to Buffy acting out of character in this episode, I thought so at first, but I think her father’s – and Giles’ – recent betrayals in Helpless are actually quite convincing reasons why she would suddenly reject the lessons that authority figures have taught her in the past.

    As children, we are good because it pleases our parents and gets us rewards; only later do we start being good for its/our own sake. Buffy’s still young here, and although she has a strong sense of right and wrong already, I can’t think of a more devastating shake-up of a teenager’s worldview than to be let down so comprehensively and in quick succession by her father and her father figure, especially when those aren’t just subjectively unkind, but in Giles’ case are pretty much completely immoral.

    I don’t think it’s inconceivable that even an unusually strong and noble teenager would lash out and deliberately break rules after being betrayed and confused as Buffy was. Even less so since Faith and Wesley were there to act as catalysts, the former actively teasing Buffy for her conformity and egging her on, and the latter doing a classic bit of reverse-psychology in making her utterly averse to obeying authority. We all have our moments of madness and I find it convincing enough that a whole lot of circumstances combined to make this one of Buffy’s.

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  33. [Note: Victoria posted this comment on November 8, 2009.]

    Uh, Buffy is definitely interested in going The Way of Faith in this episode. It’s totally understandable. For the last three season’s she’s been this mythic figure amongst her friends. They put her on a pedestal, expect her to behave, and put her Slayer life first. She’s always had to divide Slaying versus being a Real Girl. Not only that, but she’s always had to stay confined to these tight rules to make sure that it all doesn’t go to her head. So far she’s been okay with all of this. It’s a pain, but she gets that it’s for her own good. In walks Faith, with her “Want. Take. Have” mentality. She’s a free agent, no one’s confined her to rules and she’s survived so far (granted, she’s riddled with insecurities yet also boldly, almost blindly confident). Faith understand where Buffy is at, or at least I think Buffy wants to believe this. I don’t think Faith was actually ever on the same page, or even in the same book as Buffy. While Buffy at least goes along with Wesley and his new silly rules, Faith says “Screw that” and walks away with no consequences. In fact, it must be totally enticing to Buffy to see that Faith can act that way with no consequences.

    Buffy’s behavior up until the arrest is very reckless, and yet I think it’s actually kind of logical that Buffy would behave this way:

    1. Buffy skipping a test to slay with Faith. Why should she care about some silly test? She’s not exactly sold on a life beyond slaying. She knows, in the end, that she’ll never get away. I also think Willow and Xander’s lack of interest in her awesome story seems to throw her off.

    2. Buffy getting off on the slaying a little. I mean, Buffy has no dating life, she occasionally gets sweaty with Angel, but she can’t exactly do the deed with him. It makes sense that the ONLY rush in her life, Slaying, makes her a little… hot under the collar.

    4. Her sexy behavior around Angel. Is it really so smart to entice the Vampire with a tentative grip on his soul? Noooooo.

    3. Breaking into the weapons shop. She’s a little hesitant, but why shouldn’t she be able to break into a weapons shop? She’s the slayer, she has slaying to do and, by golly she’s doing these people a favor, they might as well fork over a weapon every now and then for her convenience.

    But when she gets caught, she realizes that there are consequences, and that even though she’s The Slayer, she has to answer to law enforcement, because she is still a person. It is at this point that Buffy is more or less coming out of her “phase” and it’s a totally believable phase. It happens often. Sometimes one thing spirals into other things really quickly. Once she realizes this, though, her view of Faith changes. She realizes that the rules that confine her REALLY are for her own good. I think after that, she takes a “damage control” approach.

    On a fun side note: Wesley!! And the Wesley meeting Angel for the first time! It’s fun to watch, knowing how these characters lives intertwine later on. 🙂

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  34. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on August 21, 2010.]

    The Good:

    Finch likes to read “Cathy”. He has to die.

    The Xander and Oz dynamic.

    Buffy’s first meeting with Wesley. “Afterwards I get a cook-ie!” So friggin hilarious.

    Wesley having no clue what is going on. It’s funny how much he changes in “Angel” season 3.

    “It’s called an uzi, ya chump. Woulda saved your ass right about now.” Stereotypical, perhaps.

    Become Invincible. That’s also on my ‘to do’ list.

    The Bad:

    Balthazar breaks the vampires neck. That won’t kill him.

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  35. [Note: John Roberts posted this comment on September 18, 2010.]

    I’ve been watching the show in order on Netflix, am early in Season 2. Stumbled across this live on Logo. (The gay channel? Say what?)

    If this is only a 70, I say bring on Season 3! Because it was quite good. Faith is Buffy’s dark half, Buffy was dabbling on the dark side — fun, instructive, and well executed. Buffy reluctantly leaving the police car, hoping that the cops were OK and knowing she should stay to check on them but unwilling to be uncool around Faith, then scouring over the morning paper to see if anything was written about injured cops, well that was really well done. Wesley as Giles’s (especially) dorky half I liked less, as Wesley unlike Faith is a pure cartoon character. I know that I’m supposed to think Wesley is a good character and all, and that he will be around, but he was overplayed and predictable and yuck. At least he was a decent foil for Giles, nice to see Giles get to be (relatively) cool.

    This episode made me realize how tired I am of “monster on the loose killing innocents” storylines. Way too many of them in the early shows. It was a relief to see the Slayers/Watchers vs. baddies, the innocents not really involved except for the Slayers causing trouble (!).

    Oh yes and I’m going to like this Mayor guy a lot! He’s hilarious and the actor portraying him does a splendid job with the character, yes he’s a cartoon but he’s a fun and unpredictable cartoon, unlike Wesley. Kinda made me think of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor, the actor taking a big gleeful bite on every line.

    I like the somewhat more grownup characters, it’s definitely a different feel than the schoolgirl sensibilities of S1.

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  36. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on January 12, 2012.]

    This episode and the follow up in Consequences are two of the strongest of a seasons evil arch, it foreshadows what is to come for Faith with that surprising comment she made to Buffy at the end, you’re completely spot on Mike with you’re comment regarding this.

    I like the mirror image and the mirror opposite-ness of Buffy and Faith, notably in the graveyard scene; the mirror image is that both have the same mental, physical and sexual inherent qualities as you pointed out Mike. Conversely though the two are both different, Faith obvious falls from grace in this episode, takes a huge turn but the in the scene i am describing, Faith is down and dirty when it comes to slaying whereas Buffy is the thinker. I love this fluency and interactivity between the two.

    I do enjoy this episode, the demon is a little lame and not very demony but the plot itself is something i got behind, who doesn’t want a special amulet necklace? nice and shiny! 😀 The introduction to Wesley is cool too, baby Giles! the scene with the glasses! Priceless. Ties in with the season being about identity but i’m not a fan of Buffy pushing her friends away; willow and previously Xander but i guess this is Joss preparing for season 4?

    I didn’t enjoy the drowning of Buffy, unless it was her initiative to pretend she was dead and then kick ass as she did! Then i can get behind it.

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  37. [Note: Pineappler posted this comment on March 11, 2012.]

    I just listened to the commentary of this episode and apparently the drowning was a symbol of baptism and rebirth into a darker Buffy. That annoyed me a little, especially since that symbolism was already done in a much more moving way in Prophecy Girl. I also don’t really understand why they would choose that moment for such dramatic symbolism since it just got swept up in the action. It was interesting to hear the thought process though.

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  38. [Note: Gemma posted this comment on April 1, 2012.]

    ok so looking retrospectively and having read a few of the comments above i have a somewhat cohesive viewpoint on the development of Buffy’s character in this episode. Although it was an arguably speedy transition in to darker slayer it is possible to suggest that Buffy simply subsumed to peer pressure, its like Willow said in Consequences she can’t kill things with her bare hands. Faith was a release for Buffy, finally she wasn’t the only one. Albeit she felt the same with Kendra, Kendra wasn’t around for as long and lets face she was what one would consider to be the conservative side of Buffy and Faith well she is the flip side, the side that doesn’t get to come out.

    I can see what was intended with this episode and i agree highlighting the abundance of divergent character traits between the two slayers was a big part of it.

    Has anyone else considered the foreshadowing of Season 4’s Who Are You episode? In season 3 there is the subtle Buffy trying out Faith’s lifestyle but in Season4 the role is reversed slightly….

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  39. [Note: sigmuphi posted this comment on September 3, 2012.]

    Great debate in all these comments. I’m definitely with Clem, Victoria, and XY — although Buffy’s actions may be out-of-character, it’s for readily apparent reasons that make sense in context.

    The recent betrayals (her father, Giles, the Watchers’ Council) have unmoored her — not so much from her sense of morality, but in terms of whom she can count on. As through the rest of the series, she wrestles with her isolation as Slayer. (Though I do agree her actions would have been set in better context had there been more reference to the events of “Helpless”, and more consequence for her relationship with Giles.)

    Right now, she feels that she has nothing else to count on except that Slayer identity. Certainly not school, hence the importance of the scene with Willow’s early acceptance letters. Not her Watcher, hence the importance of Faith’s straightforward “Screw that.” Not the “authorities”, never much use in the Buffyverse. So she’s feeling vulnerable, and pre-disposed to cast about for something else to attach herself to.

    I think this episode becomes her period of being “Faith curious”. She doesn’t have much choice in trying out Faith’s approach to slaying, and follows her into the sewers (the metaphor for the rest of the episode). She admires Faith’s approach to Wesley, but can’t quite bring herself to do it. In class, she’s babbling about the previous night’s slayage with all the excitement of a school-girl crush, and just then, the object of her affection shows up — so of course she runs off with her!

    It’s certainly not the only thing going on, but the sexual tension between the two Slayers is pretty obvious. In the opening, Xander is the pretext, but they could just as well be talking about each other. When Faith knocks on the classroom window, she uses her standard “Girlfriend” greeting, but it carries a little more weight here. Buffy changes her clothes to be a little more like Faith. The overpowering sexuality of their dancing together at the Bronze gets channeled into a more familiar, more comfortable mode for Buffy when Angel shows up, but we see that it’s powered by Buffy’s interactions with Faith, not Angel.

    Trying out “want, take, have”, as a surrogate for trying out a relationship with Faith, makes perfect sense, precisely because it *is* out of character. Who among us hasn’t warped themselves a bit, when caught up in a crush?

    The flare of this unconsummated affair is quickly extinguished by the realities of the crashed cop-car and then sealed shut by Finch’s death — quickly enough that I’m sure Buffy herself wouldn’t have even been consciously aware of it. I’m glad the show eventually included same-sex relationships, in a wonderfully positive way. But the “bad girls” flirtation here was probably the first hint in that direction.

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  40. [Note: Juan posted this comment on January 7, 2013.]

    The subliminal lesbian relationship between Faith and Buffy is specifically stated by Douglas Petrie in the DVD comments. The casual coversation about having sex with Xander (“All this sweating nighty action and you never put in for a little afer hours?”) is just a flirting move by Faith. There is the “sweating nighty action” but just Faith is available there!Then after meeting with Wesley they have a conversation and Faith calls BUffy her “Girlfriend” and says “You are a liar. I’ve seen you. Tell me staking a vamp doesn’t get you a bit juiced” Buffy just says that conversation is uncomfortable to her. But this two conversations before are just a mean to understand the following scenes:-Faith comes to a exam and paint a heart with an arrow in the window (or a vampire’s heart staked if you are literal minded) and Buffy runs to her.-Faith and Buffy go to a Vampire lair to stalk some vamps (an got juiced)-Faith and Buffy performs a sexy dance surrounded by men whom they do not pay ANY attention at all. (but they both just put in for a little afer hours)-Angel, her boyfriend, comes and gets upset with that behaviour but he is quickly dispatched by Buffy.- Buffy takes Faith out of the manly crowd and they leave the place alone.The lesbian subtext is quite blatant and that is even admited by Joss Whedonhttp://buffyfaith.tripod.com/joss.htm

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  41. [Note: telephoto1 posted this comment on December 13, 2013.]

    First off, I can’t believe anyone else here didn’t think Jabba the Hut when they saw Balthazar in this ep. He’s up there with robo-demon and the “loan shark” as comical bad guys. As to the whole supposed Buffy/Faith lesbian subtext, sorry but I think that’s been overblown and is mostly hindsight after the Willow/Tara relationship was introduced. That’s not where Joss was going with it; in the link quoted above he merely says “bring your own subtext”. This was more of a pseudo-morality tale about the consequences of giving in to one’s darker side. Buffy letting loose and trying to be like Faith leads to tragedy, and Faith, by repressing and failing to learn from her mistake, instead embraces the “dark side” if you will and becomes an ally of the Mayor. All in all a good episode and pivotal to the whole Mayor story arc.

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  42. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on January 8, 2014.]

    Two observations. At one point, Xander’s eye is twitching whenever Faith is mentioned, because he is feeling strange for having slept with her. But he puts his hand over his eye and says “Cut it out” – meaning that Buffy should stop teasing him – but it is the eye that he will lose in Season 7.

    Also, with respect to the villains – there are many complaints about how corny they are – but how many options are there, really?

    Like

  43. [Note: Spuffy4eva posted this comment on January 13, 2014.]

    Who saw the blooper of the door to Balthazar’s bath opening and the actor’s legs looking all thin, and wriggling, in comparison to the costume. So funny!

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  44. [Note: ericas623 posted this comment on February 27, 2014.]

    Yea, I don’t really understand why “shenanigans” are seemingly being called about the way Buffy acted in this episode. First, something we’ve seen before and will see again is that Buffy is an evolving character, or as she calls it “cookie dough”, who sometimes bends her beliefs as she tries to figure out her identity. After everything that went on, and now having the influence of Faith, a presence which is undeniably going to throw everything into question for Buffy, the little rebellious phase Buffy goes through in this episode is not far-fetcted by any means. Buffy has complained multiple times about how alone she feels on this journey, and now another Slayer has entered into her life, who is naturally the only other person who Buffy feels can truly underetand her position. In fact, due to Faith’s very reckless personality, Buffy’s morals are the only anchor she has when in a messy situation, like getting arrested and watching Faith stake a human, to steer her back to herself. I think it is entirely understandable that Buffy might make a few questionable calls when in Faith’s company and under the sway of her line of thinking (“want, take, have”). She’s trying on Faith’s life for size, and haven’t we all strayed from ourselves at some point while struggling to figure out where we fit?

    That said, the Balthazar part was silly and forgettable. Definitely not on my top villains on Buffy list.

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  45. [Note: Kyle posted this comment on February 27, 2014.]

    The problem for me is that Buffy’s behavior, while believable to an extent, was completely out of the blue, in effect, making it somewhat unbelievable. There was no build-up to Buffy’s actions in this episode, thus making her actions a little contrived. However the *consequences* of Buffy’s and Faith’s acts in the next episode (hence the name of it: “Consequences”) are believable making for an absolutely brilliant episode (one worthy of a P grade, in my not-so-humble opinion).

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  46. [Note: telephoto1 posted this comment on March 16, 2014.]

    Interesting tidbit… In the scene at the Bronze where Buffy is talking to Angel and Wesley…did anyone else notice that the gash on Buffy’s arm is in the exact same spot as Faith’s tattoo? The attention to little details like that is one of the things I like about this show. Just another subtle indication of how Buffy’s attempts to emulate Faith turn out badly.

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  47. [Note: FlyingPenguin posted this comment on May 13, 2014.]

    I’m with the critics here regarding Buffy’s behavior. I like the ideas behind this episode–the whole notion of Buffy trying on Faith’s approach to life and slaying–but I don’t think it was pulled off especially successfully. Yes, the show provided motivations and reasons–but it didn’t show Buffy struggling or feeling tempted, then finally giving in. It was just all at once and out of the blue. I, like others who have commented, have never been able to buy into her repeating Faith’s “Want, take, have” and stealing the weapon. Actually, even skipping out on the test is a real stretch for me to believe, given the importance she seemed to be attaching to it earlier in the episode. I’m glad that they did this episode, but wish they would have done it better.

    On the other hand, I confess myself a bit baffled by the negative reactions to Balthazar. In fact, generally speaking, I seldom understand people’s complaints that various demons on Buffy (the Judge, for instance) are “hokey.” I mean, sure, there’s a “hokiness” to some of the monsters–Balthazar, the phallic snake in “Reptile Boy,” etc.–but I always took that to be intentional, and it never struck me as bad or distracting in any way. Buffy and her friends tend to react to supernatural evils with quippy disdain because the whole idea of it is so passé to their modern sensibilities–and the grosser, goofier, and more self-important the monsters, the more appropriate (and funnier) their attitude is. (Though that said, I find The Judge from Surprise/Innocence genuinely terrifying AS WELL as a bit entertainingly goofy…)

    As for Balthazar, he cracks me up and I always liked him.

    “Hmm…a trade. Interesting… No, wait. Boring” 🙂

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  48. [Note: Lydia posted this comment on May 28, 2014.]

    I definitely agree to Gemma, Sunburn and Victoria on their takes on why Buffy acted out like she did. There are PLENTY of reasons. Firstly, Faith’s reckless attitude is nothing if not a little contagious. The bad things in life are always the most addictive, smoking, junk food, drinking, sex…onion rings ;).
    So it makes complete sense that she got a little carried away. Also, the reasoning of succumbing to peer pressure and the ‘epiphany’ also make sense here. I am with those who are not a fan of the absurd, out-of-the-blue drowning scene. But if she really did almost drown, the after-effects and flashback to when she died for a minute back in Prophecy Girl could have hit her hard. It may be one of the reasons she decided to screw everything and go all in to Faith’s methods. I also think that this has to do with Buffy’s superiority complex. It truly was two against one! We all agree that Buffy kicks some serious ass, the overpowering high and the endorphin release due to the adrenaline rush could have gone to her head. It totally makes one hundred percent sense.

    I feel like sometimes we as viewers, just like the Scoobies, overestimate Buffy’s actions and put her up on a pedestal. That’s not to say that Buffy’s anything like Faith, because not even close. This episode goes a long way to portray the large gap between the two slayers. Even if I didn’t mention some of the points above, Buffy’s actions would have still made sense. Authority figures and Buffy do not go hand in hand. After Snyder kicked her out of school, her father decided not to take her out on her birthday and then worst of all, Giles betrayed her. I think it makes sense that she’d like to rebel a little and savor the crazy slayer life that Faith’s adapted to. Not to mention she’s still a teenager here, 18…Is it? She isn’t all that mature yet (though she is quite mature compared to most people) so it’s believable that she acts out of order and wants to have a taste of the other side. Faith makes it look easy, fun and necessary. Does that make Buffy’s behavior here right? Of course not. But I just had to point that out.
    Also, I think this episode was about Faith just as much as it was about Buffy. What Buffy does here is parallel Faith and counteract her. Buffy plays the role of Faith’s conscience throughout this episode, the one that Faith pretends doesn’t exist. Except for that scene in the weapon’s store, you can tell that Buffy is slightly doubtful and not as juiced up on everything as Faith is. Also, Buffy is definitely still growing into herself and finding her own identity, this was sort of an experiment for her–a one that ended badly, of course. But this is not the last we see of Buffy’s dark side.

    Regardless of whether or not the lesbian subtext was intended, I think Buffy always felt a connection to Faith, she repeatedly tried to bring Faith to come to terms with her actions, but alas she couldn’t and was forced to put Faith down. This connection isn’t necessarily homosexual; but it could be taken that way. I just think Buffy had come to care about Faith, and losing her did impact her in a large way. With Faith, Buffy learnt that being a slayer does not yield the liscence to kill, and not to let being a slayer get to her head and she also learnt not to be reckless and think before making an action. I love it when Buffy goes to visit Faith in the hospital after putting her into a coma and kissing her on the forehead. And the dreams she has with her afterwards, too. Done nicely. I think losing Faith always haunted her and it’s evident in the seasons to come why.

    Anyway, I love Wesley! I’m trying to absorb as much dorky Wesley as I can because I know how he’s going to end up. He hardly even smiles in aTs, especially in the last couple scenes. It’s sad, really. I love how funny Wesley is here, but I can understand why Buffy and the rest of the gang would be giving him the cold shoulder. They don’t have very good history when it comes to the Watcher’s Council or the Watchers (excluding Giles.)

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  49. [Note: Nebula Nox posted this comment on July 5, 2014.]

    Very good points, Lydia.

    Buffy has plenty of reason to be down on the rules. Just two episodes ago, the Watchers, who are supposed to be on her side, betrayed her and nearly got her and her mother killed. They even fired Giles, because he cared too much about her.

    School and the rest of society must seem both harsh and arbitrary. She saves people, repeatedly puts her life in danger – and what thanks does she get? Of course, a lot of the world does not realize what she is doing so it may be too much to expect it to be appreciative, but I can understand why a Slayer might feel entitled to a few things from a sportings goods shop.

    Besides, we have seen Buffy break lots of rules before…

    In many respects, Faith is the only one who can understand what Buffy is going through. No wonder her approach to life is so tempting.

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  50. [Note: Phibley posted this comment on December 16, 2014.]

    I never saw this as particularly out of character before, but this is an episode I would often watch on its own, or with consequences, so it did seem a little out of place in order. I felt it was the absence of a Faith and Buffy relationship in the episodes before that was missing – I think on this rewatch that what is missing is a consistency with Faith’s involvement in the main gang – if we had seen her regularly with the gang up to this point, this would follow through. But I do like the ditching the class scene – Buffy is clearly on Slayer high from the night before and not interested in the test before Faith shows up – so it makes sense for her to leave. Plus I think there’s an aspect of Buffy idolising/wanting to be cool in front of Faith, which I think makes sense 2 episodes after she’s admitted she doesn’t want to be normal, she wants her powers.

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  51. [Note: Cotten posted this comment on May 9, 2015.]

    Im not sure if this was actually answered earlier but here I go. Im responding to an earlier comment about the Scoobies more or less leaving Wealey out in the cold. Dont get me wrong I love the Wesley character both on BTVS and Angel but I can see why they did so. If you look at it from a miltary or even a team sport perspective you can see why. Buffy is already pissed off with the Watcher´s Council for what they put her through and then on top of that what they did to Giles. Remember it still took a while for her and Giles to get their rythem going. Now you have this prissy, know-it all “wannabe” showing up to tell them what to do. What has he done? Oh…he has fought a couple of vampires in “control conditions”. This is a group that is battle-hardened, a group that have literaly gone through hell. Why wouldnt they leave him ostracised…at least until he has proven himself. And if everybody remembers from season 5 even Tara felt kinda out of the circle and she was well liked by everybody (at least from what I remember).

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  52. [Note: zipz posted this comment on July 29, 2015.]

    My friends and I like to joke this is just like “When She Was Bad”; since the Hellmouth opened last episode Buffy is secretly traumatized just like the first time it was opened and goes on another of her bad girl sprees. 😀

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  53. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on September 18, 2015.]

    I think you raise some good points here. I feel really angry at the writers in late S3, because it’s clear after ‘Helpless’ they wanted a Watcher’s Council punchbag for everyone to insult and laugh at. Wesley isn’t my favourite character in S3 but is presented as a joke, when he’s little different to the Giles of a few seasons before. Back in S1 and early S2, Giles was pushing Buffy pretty hard, laying destiny on her shoulders and acting less relaxed than he is in S3.

    They had no intrinsic reason to reject Wesley’s help. I’m uncertain why at their mocking, Giles didn’t pointedly ask whether they similarly mocked him back in the day (though he was the butt of lots of jokes). I’m sure it’s something to do with how close/tight the group are, and any change makes them pull together more. They admit that none of them really know or speak to Tara back in S5. Willow has to really work to show her that they’re nice people and then they all band together anyway to help her out.

    With Wesley though, they just needed a vehicle for Buffy’s big rejection of the Council, who she already rejected in ‘Helpless’. So he bumbles around for the last third or so of the season, generally mistreated by Buffy and ignored by Giles, who are the two who hate the Council the most. What should’ve happened is a gradual firming up of Wesley and Giles’ relationship as the former realises the latter’s experience.

    Notice how Angel doesn’t really mistreat or talk down to Wesley? And how even Cordelia has positive words from him, which is more than Buffy and Giles ever manage? Just confirms to me the writers had bad intentions when introducing this character. I’m very glad that he moves over to Angel, a better show overall, and is allowed to experience some character development.

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  54. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on September 18, 2015.]

    Trick’s death was thematically and dramatically appropriate but he was criminally underused. Five episodes, two of which are the two-parter in which he dies? I hope this was because the actor wasn’t available rather than poor use of the character. I’d rather have had more Trick than ‘Gingerbread’, ‘The Zeppo’ or even ‘Amends’ (though the latter is necessary for pushing Angel more into line with his future ‘Dark Avenger’ heroism).

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  55. [Note: Krssven posted this comment on September 21, 2015.]

    That’s why I said ‘two of which are the two-parter in which he dies’ ie. Bad Girls/Consequences. Definitely seen Buffy enough times to know. I tend to think of these as a two-parter like I do with Surprise/Innocence and a few others. I’d expect most folks watch them together these days unlike the original broadcasts.

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  56. [Note: LouisLittForEmperor posted this comment on December 26, 2015.]

    As I just noticed and everybody else has mentioned Xander’s twitching eye is the one that he will lose. Ironically it happens in the episode that Faith returns in.

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  57. [Note: 4givemymoccasins posted this comment on October 26, 2016.]

    This is late, but the examples of how Buffy was showing her bad side in this episode always annoys me. It kind of feeds into Faith being the immoral version of Buffy from the start, before she went bad. I’m not talking about the stealing or staking Allan, or Faith’s actual turn to the dark side, but before this stuff happened. Faith and Buffy weren’t doing anything bad in the first part of this episode. Buffy skipped out on a test, okay. It’s not responsible but she’s a teen and she’s done it before. And then what else? They dance at the club with some guys? And she’s super flirty with her boyfriend? How is that a sign she’s on the wrong track? Like Passion of the Nerd said in his review of this episode, it’s like when Superman went bad and they showed it with him drinking some beer and straightening the leaning tower of Piza.

    It feels like Faith’s sexuality and clothing choices are kind of used as evidence of how she’s the dark version of Buffy. I understand that Faith has had it hard and her sexual escapades probably come from an unhealthy place, but casual sex (and cleavage) aren’t by themselves remotely bad as long as you aren’t hurting anyone or yourself. I feel like the show is telling us that Buffy’s more modest dress and her comparable chasteness means she’s the moral, good one. Like I said, I’m not talking about Faith’s actual crimes or Buffy’s stealing, etc. But the rest just feels a bit like slut-shaming and unfair puritanism to me, which is further evidenced by stuff like Beer Bad.

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