|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 3, Episode 14|
|Air date||February 9, 1999|
|Written by||Douglas Petrie|
|Directed by||Michael Lange|
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Harry Groener||Mayor Wilkins|
|K. Todd Freeman||Mr. Trick|
|Jack Plotnick||Deputy Mayor|
|Eliza Dushku|| Faith |
|Wendy Clifford||Mrs. Taggart|
|Ron Roggé|| Cop |
The next day at school, the gang are discussing college and their future plans. Willow has received early acceptence from colleges and academies all the over the world... while Xander, on the other hand, isn't expecting any acceptances, early or otherwise. Buffy leaves to report to Giles in the library, and Willow tells Buffy that Giles was wanting to see her anyway. Inside, Giles is in the company of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Buffy and Faith's new Watcher and it's obvious that the man is stuffy, pompous and full of himself. Buffy reminds him that the last Watcher who turned up was evil, but Wesley assures her that, unlike Mrs. Post his credentials have been checked by Giles, although Buffy is still extremely unimpressed by him. She tells the two about the vampire that was bearing swords, and Wesley recognizes as being him from a cult that worshiped a demon named Balthazar, who led a cult of swordsman vampires before he was killed. Now Wesley believes the vampires are looking for Balthazar's amulet which was reported to give him strength, and he orders Buffy to get the amulet from the crypt from which it was buried. Buffy doesn't enjoy being given orders. Faith walks in and upon learning who Wesley is, walks back out. Buffy tries to get her to come back. When Faith expresses to Buffy her belief that as the Slayers, they can do what they want, and enjoy it, Buffy is skeptical. But Faith believes Buffy gets off on slaying as much as she does.
That night, Buffy finds the amulet but a group of Balthazar's vamps enter before she can take it. Faith arrives and the two slay some of the vamps before retrieving the amulet. In the course of that battle one of the vamps tries to drown Buffy, which marks a turning point (akin to a baptism) for her. After handing over the amulet to Wesley, Buffy leaves to take a necessary chemistry test, but she can't stop talking about the previous night and how much she ended up enjoying it. Faith shows up at the window and she and Buffy leave to destroy a vampire nest. The two go dancing afterwards at the Bronze, where Buffy meets up with Angel. She's acting very strange and he tries to ignore it and tells her that Balthazar isn't dead and he's looking for his amulet. When Wesley comes looking for Buffy, she takes the amulet from him and gives it to Angel.
Buffy and Faith go out and find Balthazar, an obese and ugly demon that must live in a large pool of water and constantly be kept wet, since only his amulet would give him the strength to stand up again. At a loss for weapons against a large group of vampires, they break into Meyer Sports and Tackle. Faith continues to expound on her philosophy of being a Slayer to Buffy. "Life as a Slayer is very simple. Want, take, have." The police arrive and arrest them, but in the car, the two Slayers kick down the metal grate separating them from the cops, causing the car to crash and the cops to be (mildly) injured. The following morning, Buffy checks the local newspaper for any news regarding the accident, but finds nothing. The Mayor is attacked by one of Balthazar's vampires, who is captured by Mr. Trick.
Balthazar demands his minions bring him the Watchers and kill the Slayers. No matter the cost, he must have his amulet. The enemy who crippled him is about to gain ultimate power and he refuses to let this come to pass. Willow presents Buffy with a protection spell and is ready to go slaying that night, but Buffy tells her that it's too dangerous and that she's going with Faith instead. This leaves Willow feeling hurt. The two run into several vampires and stake them. Then Allan Finch, the deputy mayor walks out and Faith accidentally stakes him, too. He dies before anything can be done and both Slayers flee the scene of the crime in separate directions. Buffy runs into Angel and he tells her about Balthazar taking Giles while Faith returns to the scene where Allan is. Only at the end do we learn what she does then.
With the two Watchers in his possession, Balthazar searches for answers as to who has his amulet. Wesley is willing to give up anything in exchange for his life, exposing his cowardly nature in the face of actual danger. Angel shows up with Buffy, frees Giles and everyone fights. When Balthazar captures Angel, Buffy electrocutes him. With his dying breath, Balthazar warns them of his enemy. "When he rises, you'll wish I'd killed you all."
In his office that night, the Mayor performs the Dedication then has Mr. Trick release the vampire. Mr. Trick is confused, but does what he is ordered. The vampire emerges and cuts straight through the Mayor's head... only for it to instantly heal. Mr. Trick stakes the vampire and the Mayor declares that the hundred days before the ascension has begun, and until that time he is totally invincible. In celebration, he suggests going out for a root beer.
Buffy confronts Faith about Allan's death but Faith doesn't want to talk about it. In the ensuing argument, Faith nonchalantly declares that she does not care that she killed a human being, much to Buffy's horror. We now learn she has taken the body, weighted it and dumped it.
- This episode is the major turning point of season three. Faith has been a loose cannon with issues of trust, and she enjoys slaying a little too much, but she has been fighting for the right cause. She won't be for much longer. The Mayor's plan becomes clearer, and Wesley has arrived and will bug the Scoobies until the end of this season.
- When stealing from the sports supply store, Buffy ponders if they are insured. She later uses this reasoning in Season 8 when she robs banks to fund their operation.
- When Buffy tells Faith "I hate it when they drown me," it's an allusion to the season one finale in which the Master drowns Buffy (she was revived by CPR).
- Willow gives Buffy the protection spell she has been working on since "Gingerbread" in a lavender-scented pouch.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. While he's more of an annoyance than a help through season 3 of Buffy, he comes to accept Giles' leadership more and more and has a bit of a turning point during "Graduation Day, Part Two" when even after Buffy quits the Council he stays to help instead of doing what he's been told by his bosses. He is fired from the Council and returns in Angel as first a "rogue demon hunter" (which he's bad at) and later a member and briefly leader of Angel Investigations and Team Angel. During the show he matures into a much better person and dies in the show's final episode.
- When Faith is "violently" dancing at the Bronze, she demonstrate a sexual promiscuity with three guys who seem friends, suggesting an eventual foursome. She will reproduce the same effect in a night-club in L.A. before meeting Lilah Morgan in Five by Five.
- Wesley has to be saved from a vampire by Giles during the fight with Balthazar's minions. This is a somewhat recurring theme as Wesley at this point is so incompetent that before his kidnapping he'd only faced two vampires in "controlled circumstances" which he is assured he won't get in Sunnydale. Notable in his first appearance in Angel in "Parting Gifts" he once again gets into trouble and Cordelia has to save him and he is knocked out during the Graduation Day Battle.
- Four El Eliminati vampires, dusted by Buffy
- Three El Eliminati vampires, dusted by Faith
- A vampire nest, dusted by Faith and Buffy
- Allan Finch, accidentally staked by Faith
- One El Eliminati vampire, killed by Giles
- Balthazar, electrocuted when Buffy tossed a live wire into his tub of water
- Vincent, dusted by Mr. Trick
Behind the Scenes
- At the end of the episode, when Buffy goes to talk to Faith, she was supposed to have discovered Faith dead, having hanged herself, this was planned until they decided to further Faith's character on the show.
- An early draft of this episode gave Willow's middle name as Danielle.
- Buffy says a little more to Faith in the last scene:
- Buffy: "I know you think you can handle this. And you've gotten used to being on your own. You've got your tough loner act down pretty well."
Pop Culture References
- Oz wore a T-shirt for the early English punk band Eater.
- Balthazar has a resemblence with the highly obese vampire from the first Blade film.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors.
- When the slayers are on their way to Balthazar, right before Faith kills Allan, Buffy stakes a vamp and you can see Faith and Buffy move slightly as the vamp dusts.
- After Faith stakes Finch, when she pulls the stake away before he slides down the dumpster, there is no wound but you can clearly hear the stabbing sound.
- French: El Eliminati (El Eliminati)
- German: Der neue Wächter (The new Watcher)
- Curve - "Chinese Burn" (Plays as Buffy and Faith dance wildly in The Bronze.)
- Christophe Beck - original score
- The song playing during Faith and Buffy's dance at the Bronze is also the song playing during the opening sequence of the Season 3 DVDs.
- Alyson Hannigan first met future-husband Alexis Denisof on the set of this episode. While Alyson was immediately attracted to Alexis and asked him out, he declined saying that he didn't date coworkers. The two remained friends for over a year before they started dating. They married in September 2003.
- This episode is Faith-centric.
- This episode is included in The Slayer Collection: Faith DVD.
|Xander - "I won't waste the perfect comeback on you, but don't think I don't have it. Oh, yes, its time will come."|
|Faith - "Nicely diverted, B!"|
|Buffy - "Diverted? That was me fighting for my life, Miss Attention Span."|
|Faith - "This isn't a Tupperware Party. It's a little hard to plan."|
|Buffy - "The count of three isn't a plan. It's Sesame Street."|
|Buffy - "Faith, wait. Look, I know this new guy's a dork, but ... Well, I have nothing to follow that. He's pretty much just a dork."|
|Wesley - "Oh, no, not at all. Nonetheless, we may as well keep it from them. Buffy, you will go to the Gleaves family crypt tonight and fetch the amulet."|
|Buffy - "I will?"|
|Wesley - "Are you not used to being given orders?"|
|Buffy - "Whenever Giles sends me on a mission, he always says 'please'. And afterwards I get a cookie."|
|Wesley - "I don't feel we're getting off on quite the right foot. Ah. This is perhaps Faith."|
|Faith - "New Watcher?"|
|Buffy and Giles - "New Watcher."|
|Faith - "Screw that."|
|Buffy - "Now, why didn't I just say that?"|
|Giles - "Uh, Buffy, would you..."|
|Buffy - "I'll see if I can get her back. Don't say anything terribly interesting while I'm gone."|
|Wesley - "Oh, yes. Here's your first entry: [reading from Giles's diaries] 'Slayer is willful and insolent.' That would be our girl, wouldn't it? 'Her abuse of the English is such that I understand only every other sentence.' Oh, this is going to make fascinating reading."|
|Balthazar - "You know what I want."|
|Giles - "If it's for me the scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I'd like to request you kill me now."|
|Wesley - "Are you out of your mind?! This is hardly the time for games!"|
|Giles - "Why not? They're going to torture us to death anyway."|
|Balthazar - [snickers] "You're not wrong about that."|
|Wesley - "Now hold on. We can deal with this rationally. We have something you want. You have something we want."|
|Balthazar - "Hmm...A trade. Intriguing...No. Wait. Boring. Pull off his kneecaps!"|
|Wesley - "Nooo! No, no, no! The Slayer gave it to someone. A tall man. A friend--a friend of hers. I can tell you everything."|
|Giles - "Quiet, you twerp! They'll kill us both!"|
|Wesley - "But I like to have my kneecaps(!)"|