Monday, April 20, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 3, episodes 14 and 15

Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...


Episode 14: Bad Girls

Synopsis: When Buffy's new Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, arrives, Buffy takes off with Faith on a rebellious rampage that ends with the staking of the Deputy Mayor. (written by Douglas Petrie, airdate 2/9/99)

Talk about awkward exchange between Faith and Buffy at the start of this one. Faith is talking about sex with Xander (without revealing she has done it) - again, nice continuity nod. The introduction of the new Watcher for Buffy and Giles' contempt for it makes for a lot of fun this time around. Here they are so alike is so many ways, yet at the same time so different. I love Faith's response to it - "screw that!". Nice. Buffy takes a trip down the dark side as Faith shows her a way of doing the job and not caring - and it gets them both in a heap of trouble with the police as well as a weird cult. And, what up with Jabba-the-lard?!? Talk about one freaky demon! Too funny. Every time they were pouring water on him I kept thinking of someone basting a turkey, an ugly turkey! In the end, Faith kills an innocent which will have ramifications to be sure. And the Mayor now is invicible! Oh, that can't be good, not good at all. All just an item on his daily checklist though. That's one cool villain.

Episode 15: Consequences

Synopsis: As detectives investigate the death of Deputy Mayor Finch, Faith's continued denial of any wrongdoing convinces Angel he must help her see the error of her ways. (written by Marti Noxon, airdate 2/16/99)

Buffy's dream of Finch's death and Faith's cavalier approach weighs heavy on her mind. I like the drowning symbolism that ties back to Buffy's first "death" in season 1. The introduction of Wesley to Cordelia was a lot of fun, especially when Giles walks by and says "she's a student". So subtle, so funny. Faith is not above putting Buffy's head on the chopping block with hers, just showing how she thinks of her own survival first and foremost. The investigation of Finch by the Slayers reveals a lot to them, given how the Mayor is in cohoots with Mr. Trick. It also helps to illustrate clearly the difference between Buffy and Faith morally. Luckily Buffy can turn to Willow for confidence and guidance, but when she goes to Giles - damn if Faith hasn't sold her out to dry. Man, if you weren't hating Faith before that, you were now. I was! Then, bam, Giles tells Buffy that "Faith has many talents but lying is not one of them". No one can fake out Giles - no one! He's the man. Xander offers to talk to Faith, only for everyone to awkwardly figure out why he thinks he can. Poor Willow - my heart was breaking for her as she sat in her knowing silence and trying to show no emotion about it. And then, poor Xander, as Buffy points out Faith's use-them-and-lose-them stance about men. Then Xander's heart sunk to the floor. Ouch. Xander still tries to help, despite how he is feeling, and what happens? Damn if Faith doesn't go all psycho on him and nearly kills him. Luckily someone else is there to help, the last person Xander would want help from - Angel. Our resident vampire tries to help her by talking to her about things he can relate to, only to get caught off-guard by Wesley and his goons. But the new Watcher again shows his naive nature when Faith gets the drop on him to escape. In the end, Faith helps Buffy when she is about to be killed, but her actions afterwards - when she offers her services to the Mayor - just continues to show how conflicted she is.


Michael O'Connell said...

BAD GIRLS - And things just got real. Major turning point happening here. This is what our Faith appearance has been leading up to.

Ah, but first, another important Buffyverse moment - the first appearance of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce! Love this guy - hilarious in his prissiness and manufactured confidence...and just generally a dork. And there's something just funnier about British dorks. "Is he evil?" - love the Buffy reaction. "Screw that." - love the Faith reaction even more. Giles is officially replaced. At least he still has a job as a librarian...even if no one ever comes in the library. The whole thing with Faith's bad influence on Buffy is awesome - the great power without the responsibility, the freedom, all things that are tempting. Yes, it did get them into plenty of trouble - with a fat demon, for one (yes, going to have to call that the #1 most yuck demon in the Buffverse right there). My favorite part of that whole encounter was the Giles/Wesley stuff, and Wesley showing that all his bravado doesn't work out in the field. Weasel! Ha. Oh...forgot a moment from earlier. The comic strip conversation. Family Circus vs. Marmaduke. Awesome. And the Deputy Mayor chiming in with Cathy. Looks like he had to pay for THAT mistake...inadvertently thanks to Faith. Oops! Murder most pointy. You're right...something like that just isn't going to go away. I sense the fun with Faith has just ended. Bad spot Buffy's in... And yeah...invincible mayor! Sweet! Makes you wonder how big this "ascension" of his is going to be if becoming invincible is just the first step. One worries...

CONSEQUENCES - Okay, the big "boo" of this episode? Good-bye Mr. Trick!!! Noooooo!! I loved that guy! Hated to see him go out so quick. I was always hoping he, with his big plans, would be maneuvering things to his advantage and set himself up as the new big power in Sunnydale. Guess NOT! Stake!! Too bad. I miss him all over again. Yeah, we find out for sure, if we didn't know it last episode, that Faith has gone totally Anakin Skywalker on us. The thing with the murder gave her two choices, and she chose the dark side, and it shows in every decision she made this ep. A bad slayer. THAT can't be good... Great character moments abound here, like Buffy confiding in Willow after Willow's cold shoulder routine...bringing them back together as best friends. And, yes, the poor Willow reaction to the Xander/Faith throwdown. The Giles/Buffy moment you mentioned, wherein Giles AIN'T that stupid. And yes, the Wesley/Cordy moment. Perfect timing on the "She's a student" - brilliant. But things got dark quickly with the Xander/Faith meeting, where we found out just how far gone she really is now that she's gotten a taste for murder. Great Angel appearance, and great use of his character to try to turn her back. If not for that damned council again, it might have worked. At least they were nice enough not to stake him in the process... So, yes, our permanent break between Faith and the gang has gone down. And in yet another destructive choice, she turns to the mayor. I sense badness coming...

Martin Maenza said...

I loved that comic strip exchange. Totally random but totally pop-culture-y. Kids might not have gotten it all, but us old farts sure do!