beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah







season three   >  faith, hope, and trick


I'd just like to start this off by saying that Oz/Xander/Willow are the cutest couple ever [I think they may actually call that a threesome. -SP]. When Oz and Xander carry a struggling Willow off campus? It's a thing of insane cuteness. Insane, I say, insane! Why they never got those three together, I'll never understand. Anyway, they're carrying the struggling Willow because she's a big geek who lives and dies by her permanent record and who's afraid to leave campus to have lunch with the still-expelled Buffy because darn if it might not go on that permanent record. Civil disobedience and all. [She seems to have forgotten about that, just a bit, when she tried to destroy the world. Can't see the permanent record folks looking too kindly on that.] Buffy, tired of staying home and practicing cute new updos for her hair, has stuck a big ass butterfly clip in her hair and packed a picnic lunch and the gang very nicely roughs it on the lawn across from the school. Scott Hope comes by, Willow expositions that he's liked Buffy for awhile, Buffy attempts to do a non-naughty thing with her mouth that Scott enjoys (oh why couldn't they have stuck to this in Season Six?) and Xander gets hit on the shoulder by the slayer for being saucy in a moment that makes me giggle. I, too, like to hit boys. It's fun. You should give it a try. [She also likes to pinch them. Hard. I've seen it (and the following bruises) oh so many times.]


Anyway, Buffy's not ready and blah blah blah, she wants her life back even though she's the one that ran away and all, and then it's night time and we're cruising through town with Kissing Toast (because it's a way cooler moniker than Kakistos) and Mr. Trick. Mr. Trick was supposed to be our bad guy of the season, a vampire in tune with technology and all that jazz, but apparently someone *cough*Joss*cough* didn't like his performance, which I don't understand because I simply love him in this episode and who else could pull off that suit, but hey--mas Mayorage para nosotros. Which is fine. I like the Mayor bunches and bunches. They still could have used Trick some more, I mean, the guy could've been seriously sassy. He's no Holden, but really, who is?



I mean, admittedly, it's not a haven for the brothers. You know, strictly the caucasian persuasion here in the 'Dale. But, you know, you just gotta' stand up and salute their death rate.


Where was I?


Trick's a vampire, the really old and cloven-handed Kissing Toast's a vampire, the slutty girl on the Bronze dance floor with Disco Dave later is not a vampire, and Disco Dave is. A vampire. The slutty non-vampire is Slayer numba 3, Faith. For the non-faithful viewers, and for those not privy to Cordelia donning the Captain Exposition cap in this episode, Faith was activated by whatever activates slayers when ME got bored with Kendra and killed her in that spectacularly boring fashion in Becoming. Faith kills Disco Dave outside the Bronze while the gang watches, and can we just take a moment to appreciate Xander's outfit? It's well put together, the hair's even slicked back, it's all just good. It's way better than Scott Hope's outfit, so it's a good thing Buffy dissed his ass on her way past the dance floor. Where he was waiting for her patiently, as all good stalkers do. Stalking is all about patience, people. Any psychotic NSYNC fan can tell you that. And I know we're supposed to like Scott and all, at least I think we're supposed to, with his sincerity and his "lying is bad for my complexion" schtick and his polite stalking of Buffy, and perhaps my memories of him are tainted knowing what's coming, and lord knows I could never date mopey Buffy either so I can't even blame him and, well, maybe I should have let SP do this recap. See, I've had some sugar. There was this apple crisp thing, just sort of laying around and so I had to eat it and then there was some tea so I had to have that and now I'm just finding focusing a little difficult, you know?


Dammit, where am I now?


Okay, back in the Bronze, Faith wows everyone in the group but Buffy with her tales of nekkid gator wrasslin' and Eliza just does a boffo job here with her whole face falling for just a tic as she recalls Kissing Toast and his pet gators, but since everyone's either focused on her being nude (Xander, Willow, possibly Oz) or her stealing away of the spotlight (Buffy, Queen C), no one really catches it. Poor Faith never really had a chance. At the moment she does, but not for long. Soon Xander and Willow's crazed love of the new girl will change to jealousy and then hate and then it all goes to the bad place. But for one brief shining episode, they were actually on her side. *sniff* Now I'm getting all teary.


Buffy is taking make up tests [being finally allowed back in school], by the way, in an attempt to re-matriculate into the wonderful world of public education after that whole murder-misunderstanding snafu. I can see why someone destined to die fairly young, and multiple times, would be so interested in going to school rather than kicking it and hooking up with her peeps after 6th period. But whatever. She's taking tests and getting glowing recommendation letters from any members of the faculty who are not currently British or librarians. While she takes those tests, and sulks that her friends ignore her in her time of intellectual need, Willow and Xander show Faith around the school, showing her the highlights and recounting the many times they've almost died. Faith, when not hitting on Giles, has a good time. Because she's Faith, and she's learned to hide the pain with her bravado and her vinyl pants. Such a brave little toaster. Such a brave little toaster indeed.


Faith makes eyes at Scott Hope, and she would totally never do that unless she'd just busted out of prison, which she hasn't yet, and this is almost the last straw for only-child-for-now Buff. (Coincidentally, what was her excuse for being such a sullen twit after the memories of Dawn were inserted? Rather than being annoyed because she was an only child who didn't like to share her toys, was she annoyed because Faith had cooler pants? This has nothing to actually do with this episode, it's just a little point to illustrate why I hate the whole "changing memories" thing, because really, it should've changed reality. But just ignore me.) The gang peer pressure her into inviting Faith over to dinner where Faith steals Buffy's fries when she thinks Buffy's not looking and Joyce finds out that Buffy died. I notice Buffy did not say that Xander saved her life. Bad Buff, bad. I also notice that, even though they have a spare bedroom not yet occupied by that figment of ME's imagination, Dawn, that Faith is not invited to stay with the Summers. Perhaps the room knew Dawn was one day going to be inserted into its memory, so why bother with Faith as this would just create an extra step for the monks, having to move everybody's memories from Faith sleeping in the sewing room to Faith sleeping on the couch? Whatever. This has always bothered me, even before Dawn was shoved unceremoniously into the mix. I just thought you should know.


Faith and Buffy patrol and Faith has already figured out that Buffy's a tight ass. They argue. It's dumb. Because Buffy? Should totally be digging on this. She should be nice to the new girl who's just been assigned to share her burden because she so thoughtlessly died and then even more thoughtlessly made one of the classic blunders by going up against Angel when death was on the line and subsequently getting Kendra killed, thereby forcing Faith to leave her comfy, white trash existence in Boston to battle the undead. Ergo it's totally Buffy's fault that Faith is even THERE. So suck it up already.


Look, I'm not saying Faith doesn't have issues. Obviously. There are issues. One only has to watch her pummel the vamps face in the fight scene that interrupts the Buffy/Faith snip-a-thon to know this. Also, her battle scream and insult yelling is that of an insane person. So we have a new, possibly mentally unstable girl who was out of the blue endowed with super powers who shows up alone in the Dale. And no one thinks "huh. Maybe we should watch her or something." Buffy, in point of fact, tells Giles the next morning that Faith only has a three and is completely missing the rest of the deck. And what do our intrepid heroes do? They freakin' ignore her pain. Oh, sure, Buffy professes to care and says she's proud after Faith sticks Khaki Trousers with a monstrous 2x4 (and shouldn't they have tried that with the Ubies?) and is all "she had issues, and she dealt with them", but did she really mean it? Did she invite Faith, her newest bestest little sister, over to her house so they could work through their issues and share their burden together? Yeah, right.




Giles goes to call Faith's watcher. Oh, I forgot that. Faith said she was in the Dale because her watcher, who is neither as young nor as cute as Sir Giles, was invited to a watcher's retreat. Giles has never been invited to said retreat. This makes him sad. Buffy goes to talk to Faith about Kissing Toast because he got there the same time as her and before she can get very far Mr. Stalker himself hops out of a hallway and gives Buffy a ring. It's very odd. What high school boy gives a girl who looks at him as if he's going to try to steal her underwear the second she turns her back a ring? Not a sane one, I'll tell you that. Buffy freaks out because the wonder doof decided to give her a claddagh ring and why the hell he thinks that represents friendship is beyond me, and Giles trots up at just that precise moment so Buffy can turn her sad little doe eyes at him and pretend she's okay. But none of this matters, because Faith's watcher is not tripping the light fantastic and canoeing with the rest of the shadowy watchers due to the fact that she is seriously dead.


Buffy walks, presumably, to the bad side of town, probably located behind the Bronze and to the left of the one starbucks in this tiny, tiny, two college, two high school, dock having, international airport sporting town to confront Faith, at night all of a sudden (it probably took her awhile to walk there. Slayers don't power walk. No demon takes you seriously if you power walk to kill it.). Faith is all "you don't know me, you don't know what I've been through" which is funny, considering she was flipping Buffy so much shit earlier about not dealing and moving on with the whole Angel thing. Buffy bitches a bit about Faith dumping her problems on her and then Faith stupidly opens the door to find Taquitos and Mr. Trick and some random evil vampire undead Americans outside her hotel door. Buffy slams the door, they dive out a window, run run run, dive through another window and wait for the fight music to begin. While killing time waiting for said music, Buffy questions Faith and Eliza gives another stellar performance with her freaked out little girl act when she reveals that Kissing Toast did something to her watcher that, I imagine, involved being torn apart and generally tortured while Faith watched and tried to save her. See? Do you see these issues this young girl has? Why is no one signing her up for therapy and giving her a regular paycheck so she doesn't have to live in a dive motel? Or making Buffy put her up in that spare bedroom, monks future needs be damned! I just cannot believe these people.


And then the moment is ruined because it turns out that the big bad guy with the cloven hooves and the scar that Faith gave him and the sidekick named Mr. Trick actually drove them to their lair. The bad guys finally arrive and quickly assume their choreographed positions. The stunt doubles for Buffy and Faith also quickly take their places and SMG and ED go out for a non-fat yogurt. I assume this is how it happened, anyway, as those two are barely around in the fight, even when there's no need for a stunt double. And since this review has already gone to hell, let me just go into my rant on the stunt doubles on this show. My god, it's appalling. They're not even close. And they got so damn lazy that by the third season they stopped even trying to hide Sophia's face. Eliza's stunt double looks like an amazon compared to Eliza, and that wig isn't fooling anyone. This is a show that regularly employs people to fight. Couldn't they put a little more effort into it?



Luckily, I don't have the energy to continue. I just don't. Would you believe it's taken me all day to do this? It's getting a little ridiculous here. Super recapper time!


Buffy and Faith beat the bad guys, with Faith sticking the aforementioned 2x4 through Kissing Toast. Mr. Trick and the rest of his lackeys deserted Kissing Toast to the slayers, mostly because he just couldn't see the big picture. Buffy and Faith go out to eat afterwards, because they are both hungry [also, Faith is horny, but as this is a family show, well, ostensibly until season six anyway, we don't see what else they go out and do. If only the show had been on censor-free UPN in season three, who knows how this episode might have ended. Sorry boys.] Buffy tells Giles and Willow about how Faith did it, she really, really did it and then tells Giles, who kept haranguing her earlier for specifics in the defeating of Angel and Acathala, ostensibly for a spell, that Angel had been cured but it was too late, so she kissed him and told him she loved him and killed him. It's all very poignant.


Giles, look, I've got make-up tests to pass, missing people in Sunset Ridge, and a zesty new Slayer to feed. Next time I kill Angel, I'll video it.


Giles looks appropriately sad for and vaguely proud of his young charge, Buffy exits, Willow pisses me off by callously jumping right on Giles' about helping with the spell (right. I know. Should've seen the little crackwhore story line coming. Shut up.) and Giles warms the cockles of my heart by looking really annoyed with Willow and then warms the cockles of SP's heart, I'm sure, by quietly announcing that there never was a spell.


Oh, Giles, there you are. *sigh*



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