There’s a new slayer in town, and she brings her own baggage. This episode is great, I was a bit harsher on it than A, but 22 is still a pretty respectable score. Part of the problem for me is that the ‘Big Bad’ Kakistos isn’t that scary, or even in the episode very much. Mr Trick- his Vampy Assistant is way cooler, and had he been the villain I would have scored him higher. Alas, it’s Kakistos we’re saddled with. The episode is really good, but it’s not perfect and it just loses out on top marks across the board which means it misses out on an ‘epic ep’ accolade.
Let’s talk about Faith.
She’s the antithesis of Buffy. Compared to Faith, Buffy is like Miss- Stable Mable, which is something everyone needs to be reminded of this season. And yet, wild-child Faith is immediately the centre of attention. The new shiny toy that everyone wants to fawn over, because let’s face it everyone likes to feel close to danger without actually ever being in danger. It’s just unfortunate that Buffy is still suffering after killing Angel, and still doesn’t feel like she fits in her own life, and here comes Faith trying to usurp her. I don’t think Faith does it intentionally. She’s terrified. On the run from the ancient Vampire who killed her Watcher, she just wants to slip into Buffy’s life and pretend it’s all going to be okay.
Faith’s terror manifests itself in mania. Everything she does is at a thousand miles an hour, she has to feel alive every second of every day, like she’s too terrified of her own life to have a single second of down time. It seems like she’s moments away from breakdown all the time, standing on a precipice. Buffy could have unintentionally pushed her off, but when it comes down to it Buffy can’t help fighting the bad guy and she gets Faith in gear giving her the power to kill Kakistos. Even Buffy realises in the end that Faith needs some stability and loyalty in her life, and if that means putting up with her, then that’s what she’ll have to do.
Another thing, Willow is so preachy in this Season. Two minutes with Faith and she’s quoting her, and passing her ‘advice’ onto Buffy as gospel. Willow still hasn’t really made an attempt to figure out what’s up with Buffy, they had their nice one on one moment where Willow spilled her guts out, but where is the empathy for Buffy? I love Willow, she’s definitely an amazing best friend, but she is not the forgiving type.
I love the fact that Cordelia is actually on Buffy’s side in the ‘we hate Faith’ club in this episode. They so rarely see eye to eye!
In classic ‘Buffy’ style, just as Buffy starts to let go of her pain over Angel, at the end of the episode Angel is spat back out of Hell. That girl cannot catch a break!
“As long as you don’t go scratching on me or humping my leg, we’re five by five, y’know?”- Faith