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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: This Year's Girl

Buffy: "Faith is back and, whether I like it or not, she's my responsibility."
Willow: "Yeah, too bad. That was funnest coma ever."

Buffy's "wacky identical cousin from England" has awakened from her coma, and the rest obviously didn't do her any good.

Those dream sequences were just terrific (BtVS dream sequences are nearly always terrific): the blood on the sheets, the snakes at the picnic with the Mayor, Buffy and the Knife chasing Faith into her grave, wow. I liked the confrontation scene, with Faith and Buffy duking it out and Willow hitting Faith with her backpack.

Riley is still a question mark for me. I don't think he's just Buffy's new beefstick; he was part of Maggie's plan for Adam, right? The situation with the Initiative and with Riley's friend Forrest interested me more than what was going on with Adam. It's interesting, too, that Buffy still hasn't told Riley about Angel. A Riley/Angel scene would be much, much fun, wouldn't it?

It occurred to me during this episode that Faith is brunette, supernatural, and criminally insane – she is exactly Spike's type. Are they setting up something there? It would be cool if Buffy in Faith's body was able to fool Spike into helping her.

The Council is back and they even have a black helicopter. It's about time. The Council would be an interesting foe, wouldn't it? (I guess I really don't like Adam as a villain.)

(Note from 2006: I really should expand this review; this was a cool episode and I didn't write much about it. Hey, I was still new at this reviewing business.)


Willow: "Well, why don't we experiment? Press some buttons, see what happens."
Giles: "I'd like to veto that."
Xander: "Second. It's called a blaster, Will. A word that tends to discourage experimentation. Now if it were called 'the orgasminator' I'd be the first to try your basic button-press approach."

Buffy: "Will, you haven't seen this Adam thing. He's the Terminator without the bashful charm."

Willow: "What did you tell him?"
Buffy: "The truth. That she's my wacky identical cousin from England who whenever she visits, hijinks ensue."

Buffy: "It's a long story."
Riley: "I'm from Iowa. We drive four hours for a high school football game. Try me."

Three out of four stakes – I think. I tend to rate high because I love this show so much. Maybe I should just give up trying to assign a number?

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


  1. This episode and the next one are two of my favourite episode of season four. It's nice to take a break from all that Initiative malarkey and catch up with my favourite slayer (sorry, Buffy, but I have a weakness for bad girls).

    And it is always great to see the Mayor again. I just love his unique brand of corny evil.

  2. Faith is back!

    I agree with Marc that it's nice to take a break from the Initiative plot line. I didn't realize till the episode was done how much more I enjoyed it then the past couple of episodes. I said I was only going to watch one episode tonight but I can already tell I'm going to have to watch part 2. This episode felt like old times. I don't think it's a coincidence that season 4 is taking me twice the amount of time to rewatch than seasons 2 and 3 combined.

    It was good to see Joyce again. And I agree Billie that all the dream stuff was fantastic. I also loved Willow giving Tara the low-down on Faith. "Five by five what?" "That's the thing, nobody even knows!" (By the way, I looked it up and five by five was originally used back in the old radio days to signify that a signal was both strong and clear - which were each rated on a scale of 1 to 5. So 5 by 5 was the best possible signal. My fun fact for the day.)

  3. It's interesting how the stories get tumbled up in my brain. I had forgotten that this one occurs in season four, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the "Previously On" section. Although I am not a huge Faith fan, this episode is wonderful.

    My favorite part is the long scene where the Scoobies are talking about the fact that Faith is awake and roaming Sunnydale. This goes on for a while, until we hear Riley ask "Who's Faith?" Although it always makes me smile, it is a great reminder that he is the rookie on the team.

  4. Some nice movement of the story here in ways that I care about. Faith heading to Joyce to look for Buffy was perfect. I've missed mom, plus it instantly upped the stakes for Buffy. Reminded me of all of the times I've worried about Joyce when Spike or Angel was around.

    I was finally interested in the Buffy/Riley relationship when we found out that she hadn't told him anything about Angel. For me, her interest in Riley makes more sense as part of her longing to have an average life. He seems like a perfectly nice, if overwhelmingly average, guy. The question of whether she will really stay happy with that and whether he is really going to be comfortable long-term with her being definitely not average with a not average ex - I'm more interested in seeing that play out.

  5. I could never get warm with Adam. Even for Buffy I thought him too comic book in appearance. Still this season is one of my favorites. There were so many good episodes.

    This is one of them. One of the good things about Faith was that she came in small doses so she always was a highlight. This two-parter ran like a clockwork.

  6. I liked this one too...

    It was good to see some more classic Willow Wear on display this week.. that hat, and the top that looked like it had a slumber party stitched to the front were definitive Willow...

    It looked like the costume department had left Tara's till last again - she seemed to be wearing the worst dress to ever make an appearance on television.

    After sporting the hospital escapee look it was good to see Faith back in black in time for the big campus confrontation scene.

    Buffy clearly wasn't ready for the campus confrontation - she normally dresses up when she has to deal with Faith...

    Really glad they decided to wake up Faith at this point in the season... Were the monitors by her bed measuring dodgy plot arcs and poor buffy/boyfriend chemistry?

  7. Yeah, back on track with the rewatch, at least for Buffy. I'm starting to think I'm really weird because I don't like this story. I hate the whole switcheroo thing and evil Faith makes me sad. It just reminds me of how much hurt there is in so many people and how it comes out in evil. I do love the one-liners though. Even in episodes I don't like, they are always great.

  8. This two parter is one of my faves, but then again, I've always loved Faith. It's interesting how everything I like of this season is what doesn't actually concern the main arc. Huh.

    Anyway, I really what they do here with Faith. The way I see it, she was constructed to be the complete opposite of Buffy, the archetype of what the "evil slayer" is supposed to be. And it made sense, too, for the show to explore the possibilities of someone with Buffy's power and none of her restraint. Here, though, once they bring Faith back after Buffy "killed her" (and therefore, murdered that possible evil inside herself) she becomes much more her own character, as opposed to simply functioning as a mirror for Buffy. I LOVE what's coming forwards for Faith's character, even if I do agree that she works better in smaller doses.

    As I implied before, I just never felt anything good towards the Adam plot. I get what they were trying to do, but it feels gimicky. I always thought Prof. Walsh would have made a much better baddie as the brains of the operation.

    Still, loving it as always.

  9. Fun to see Faith again. And a guest appearance by the Mayor. It occurs that he's very much in the mould of Donald Trump. Apart from the Mayor having a sense of humour and self awareness, of an odd sort.

    Seing them again brought home what a shoddy villain they served in Adam. Though really the real Big of the season is The Initiative, and Professor Walsh would have been a far better personification of that. Sooner its done with and we get back to proper monsters the better. And Riley's no kind of boyfriend for Buffy. Or rather, he is just a Boyfriend, and that's not what Buffy needs.

  10. I prefer buffy to stay with angel, and I never cared much for faith she too evil and a back stabber I also wished Buffy was stronger emotionally I don't care if she had a bad life many people have bad lives and don't turned out like faith

  11. Good episode. I’m surprised you initially didn’t question Faiths line in the dream about getting ready for little sis. Did it only stand out to me because I know what is coming?


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