Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Revelations

Buffy: "Interesting lady. Can I kill her?"

The conflict has been poised in front of the fan since Angel fell out of nowhere, and this week it finally hit. This was easily the most serious episode we've had since the season opener; even the clinches were full of angst.

Giles had the most reason to feel betrayed, and indeed he did; in fact, I wondered if perhaps Giles was angry and betrayed enough to impulsively dump Buffy on the new, nasty, and extremely annoying Watcher, Gwendolyn Post. Fortunately he either didn't consider it, or she turned out to be evil too soon (which took me by surprise). Dan said that he saw that coming, but I have to admit that I didn't.

Perhaps Buffy would have been less ready to forgive Angel if Angelus had tortured Willow and, say, killed Joyce. But I also sort of don't understand why the clear dividing line between Angel and Angelus isn't considered by the Slayerettes. At least Willow was ready to concede that Angel was back, and "himself" again.

Angel was great in this one; quiet and brooding and sexy and just about irresistible, at least to me. It didn't surprise me that Buffy finally couldn't help herself. At least she avoided "boinking the undead," or as it was so eloquently put by Xander, "getting pelvic." It really puts a crimp on things, knowing that the only time you had sex with your honey he turned into a monster and started stalking your friends.

I started liking Faith more during this episode, too, as well as feeling some pity for her. She is so alienated and alone; she doesn't have even a particle of the love and support that Buffy does (witness her "Spartan" home life). At some perhaps unacknowledged level, she must seriously envy Buffy. It wasn't surprising that Faith was so ready to go kill Angel.

Bits and pieces:

-- Loved the intervention. "Demons Anonymous."

-- Sunnydale has twelve cemeteries? Must be that unusually high death rate.

-- I loved the part about Giles missing the memo on Gwendolyn.

-- This was the first time I actually noticed bruises and contusions on Buffy, and they were also on Faith. Maybe it was because they fought each other.

Quotes:

Buffy: "Synchronized slaying."
Faith: "New Olympic category?"

Faith: "Yeah, but you gotta have stories. I mean, I've had my share of losers, but you... you boinked the undead. What was that like?"

Angel: "Glove of Myhnegon."
Buffy: "The world's ugliest fashion accessory."

Gwendolyn: "Faith, do you know who the Spartans were?"
Faith: "Wild stab. A bunch of guys from Spart?"

Buffy: "Let me guess. Gwendolyn Post. Not a Watcher."
Giles: "Yes, she was. She was kicked out by the council a couple of years ago for misuses of dark power. They swear there was a memo."

Three out of four stakes for this one. Next week -- Spike returns!!! Yay!

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

16 comments:

Mark Greig said...

This episode would've been a whole lot better if they'd found someone else to play Faith's new/fake Watcher. Serena Scott Thomas's acting was just annoying.

And while the stunt doubles might have been easy to spot but the Buffy/Faith fights were always some of the series' best.

Miguel said...

This was a jam-packed episode! Lots of twists and turn.

I didn't remember Faith's women watcher, so I assumed she was going to die this episode, but I did not remember that she was the villain. Good twist.

I'm glad the scoobies were able to make up again at the end after bickering during the episode. The only revelation that has yet to be revealed is the truth about Willow and Xander. Thought it was going to come out this episode, but not yet...

Billie Doux said...

BUFFY RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Post them here.

Annie said...

I really like this episode, there's a lot going on and, in particular, a lot of interesting development of the character of Faith.
She is really messed around in this episode, at the start we see her and Buffy getting along really well, we later see them talking and see that Faith's been opening up to Buffy, but when Faith tries to get Buffy to open up about Angel, she clams up and keeps her at a distance. This is exacerbated by the arrival of Gwendoline Post and events with Angel that the scoobies exclude Faith from. It then culminates when Faith is betrayed and verbally humiliated by Gwendoline Post and to a lesser extent by Buffy.

I don't think there's much that Faith does wrong aside for being too quick to go after Angel, she thought she was doing the right thing, but she's being slowly let down by all those around her. They are not giving her the support that she needs and at the end of the show we can clearly see that, even though she's hurting, she's built a wall and is not interested in opening up to Buffy anymore - you can't trust people, I should of known that by now' ... 'I'm on my side and that's enough'. I really feel for Faith in this episode, it seems she's had a very hard time and needed more than what they could offer her.


Another highpoint in this episode is when Buffy is confronted by the scoobies about Angel. Willow is just adorable, trying to chair the meeting reminding everyone to use non confrontational language, then when its all falling apart 'Giles, noone's doing the 'I' statements. It is clear that while Buffy knows it was wrong, she doesn't really get how upsetting it is for everyone, it takes Giles to finally get that point across to her, and that is probably my favourite scene of the episode.

As ever Angel's charms are lost on me, and the tai chi just made me cringe.

ChrisB said...

"Be quiet. I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But, sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me or the job I perform."

Since the series began, there have been many wonderful scenes between Giles and Buffy. This is the best. His quiet fury; her shame are both played beautifully and it moves me every time I watch it.

It is at this point that the writing of this show seemed to take a huge step forward. This will not be the last time I quote a long speech that perfectly encapsulates what is happening in this world.

Jane said...

I really like this episode - even my least favorite characters had moments that I really liked. Xander and Faith did grate at times. But Xander did show some maturity as they found Giles and I really couldn't fault his plan to go after Angel with Faith either.

Annie - your point about Faith is well made. It seems pretty clear she has had a tough time in life, though I don't think the gang not including her in Buffy's intervention is terribly surprising. She hasn't been around that long and she is mostly outside their interactions by not being in school as they all are. For me, I think I still struggle with Faith because the writing seems to be pushing me along to care about her quickly - the streetwise but vulnerable tough kid can be a very appealing type so maybe she'll grow on me.

ChrisB - I'm in love with that speech from Giles to Buffy also. And beautifully played by both of them.

Nancy Ewart said...

The rewatch has made me appreciate how good the dialogue and the acting (mostly) is (are?). Anthony Stewart Head has always been the understated gem in the mix and never more than now. David Boreanaz was never more beautiful and I doubt if I could have resisted. Unfortunately he never asked (alas).

sunbunny said...

I don't really have anything to say about this one, except that it really makes me excited to a certain forthcoming character. Sadly, I have to wait until "Bad Girls."

Nancy Ewart said...

There was a sporadic Buffy rerun on the Sci Fi channel; luckily they played Graduation Day, pts 1 and 2 back to back (rare event that). No spoilers but those 2 episodes still grab my heart. More when you post about them.

a.m. said...

This episode was really good, yet I find I don't have much to say about it. Giles was superb. I actually began to feel a little sorry for Willow, though not Xander for some reason. Faith has now lost two watchers, and really needs a friend. I understand why she wasn't included in the intervention but it made me pity her more...

Angel and Buffy's reasons for not getting together have finally moved from her faux relationship with Scott to the real reason--getting pelvic will bring back Angelus. I'm glad they aren't lying to each other, but I wish we could have seen the conversation that led them here.

Spike's coming back! Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Big Scoobie arguments are almost always well-done. Everyone has valid points to make, even if they're not always expressed in the nicest way. I can sympathize with multiple characters' points of view, because these characters are so well-developed and well-written, and each have their own voice and set of motivations. Bravo.

-d

rebecca_s921 said...

Gwendolyn Post was a well written villain. In retrospect, she must've researched the artifact and the group thoroughly before coming to Sunnydale. She immediately put Giles on the defensive by criticizing the slayers' fighting technique and his library, then accused him of being "too American." I cant help but to feel Giles interpreted that comment as his allowing Buffy much more time to socialize and not controlling her like an orthodox watcher would.

Poor Giles, getting hit by Ms. Post and Buffy's betrayal on both side. You'd think he'd be extra harsh on Buffy. His speech to Buffy as quoted by ChrisB was heartbreaking and entirely appropriate, commenting on Buffy's failure both to her duty and to her watcher. It saddened me and made me sigh because it was so wonderfully written and acted. Definitely the highlight of the episode.

Of all the scoobies, Willow seemed to forgive Buffy the quickest, most likely due to her guilty secret affair with Xander. It's good that Buffy has a loyal confidant, but I was disappointed that Willow chose not to share her secret with Buffy. During the Lagos fight I was captivated by Willow's various expressions. She made quite the cheerleader for the slayer.

During the intervention scene, Xander remarked "You'd stop him, like you did last time with Ms. Calendar." Oh Xander, that was a low blow! You could see that on Buffy's face. Then later when Xander told Faith about Angel, and offered to go slay Angel together, I wondered how could Buffy forgive Xander. Even though they made up at the time, I cant help but feel this was swept under the carpet and not dealt with completely.

Suzanne said...

Every time I see this episode I am delighted to remember how good it is. For some reason the name of it doesn't stick in my mind the way some of the other classic episodes do, but this one is really great. I liked Ms. Post as both a foil to Giles who plants seeds of doubt in his and Faith's minds and as a villain. I also liked the interaction between Faith and Buffy in the beginning of the episode and again at the end. Both seemed realistic, but I think the change was a bit rushed. It might have been better if this series of events had played out over a few episodes instead of just one. That being said, this episode is an excellent example of how compelling episodic television can be at its best. This episode really is a gem.

Of course, the confrontation with Buffy is my favorite part of the episode. The show is masterful at pulling its viewers through a string of different emotions, all of which compete with each other yet make sense. I found myself defensive for Buffy at first and then feeling the huge betrayal of her friends that she had committed by putting them in danger. I felt annoyed with Xander for always being willing to pull out the low blow when arguing, but I also thought it was very realistic. He is the type of person who is like that in that he can be the sweetest, goofiest boy at times and at others, he becomes aggressive and hurtful. In a lot of ways the Scoobies are like a family of sisters and a brother with Giles as the father. Xander acts like a brother to Buffy at times in the way he fights with her.

Giles speech to Buffy is one of the highlights of the series. Anthony Stewart Head is amazing; I can't imagine this show without him. SMG really held her own here, too.

Josie Kafka said...

I always dread this episode, because of the discomfort I feel when Buffy gets confronted by her friends in the library. I feel so bad for her.

But then I watch it, and –hooray!—Buffy/Faith fight, Faith’s crazy pronunciation of “Spartan,” Willow almost telling the truth and then chickening out. Plus, although Gwendolyn Post is annoying, she’s a great hint of what is to come. (That’s not spoilery, is it?)

pucklady said...

Newbie report:

Unlike apparently everyone here, I'm liking the Willow/Xander story line. Not that I don't adore Oz, I do, but it has always been pretty one-sided there. Oz is smitten with Willow, but she's only with him because he's the first boy who liked her. And Xander deserves better than Cordelia. Yes, it's very awkward since both of them are in relationships, but really, aren't Willow and Xander a perfect match?

I'm really liking Faith a lot because of her layers. Yes, Buffy has pain, but until she became a slayer, her life was pretty blessed. Cheerleader. Popular. The only stress in her life was fighting parents, but who doesn't have that? Faith, on the other hand, has nothing. No family. No friends. No money. No watcher. She thought for a moment that she was going to have a friend in Buffy, but when she learned that Buffy's circle of friends who gathered for the intervention didn't include her, the pain was real. I think that was the real reason she was so eager to slay Angel. Not because he was a vampire, but because it would be the best way to get back at Buffy. Xander was on board with that, too, and partly for the same reason.

When Buffy and Faith were fighting, Buffy was fighting to keep Faith from killing Angel, but Faith was fighting Buffy because she was angry at Buffy. They weren't battling slayers, they were just girls fighting each other, and I think that's why they both ended up bruised.

Lamounier said...

How much do I hate Xander? Let me count the ways.

- Seeing Buffy and Angel together and running to tell Giles without talking to Buffy first.

- Being a huge hypocrite about Buffy kissing Angel when he’s cheating on his girlfriend with his best friend, who happens to be the girlfriend of one of his best friends.

- Bringing Jenny’s death again to the discussion and this time throwing it at Buffy’s face as an example of her incompetence as a slayer, even though she did kill Angel after all.

- Telling Faith, who did not know Angel’s story well enough, what was going on and joining her to kill Angel. This really, really bothered me. I mean, Xander was going to commit murder (Angel has a soul) and perpetrate the ultimate betrayal at Buffy. This is far, far worse than telling Buffy to kick Angel’s ass, and yet there’s no follow up to it. Why? This really needed to be addressed.

- Telling Buffy “[Faith’s] a big girl. Came to her own conclusions.” Urgh! Thank God Willow told him to shut up.

I didn’t like that Buffy was the one checking if everything was ok by the end of the episode. Xander seriously needed to apologize. I did like, though, that he stayed with Giles till the emergency came. At least his priorities were correct. And he did try to stop Faith before she went after Angel. Hum, maybe I don’t hate him that much.

All in all, this was a terrific episode. The big intervention scene was really good, and Giles’ monolog to Buffy was simply amazing. Great acting by Anthony Head. Actually, the acting was really good through the entire episode, in particular, Head, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Alyson Hannigan.

Faith is quickly becoming a great character. She’s so lost and confused, so easily fooled (ok, to be fair, everyone was fooled by Gwendolyn). I really wish she had accepted Buffy’s offer to trust her.