This episode is a good example of why, ultimately, Buffy is not a feminist show. Buffy as a character is never shown to be cultivating female friendships, except with Willow. Willow is largely a "yes" friend that doesn't challenge Buffy's choices or provide any kind of "competition" for her. Any woman that presents as an equal to Buffy is rejected. Further, any woman that isn't seen as an equal (that isn't Willow) is largely ignored by Buffy (Tara, Anya, Cordelia, etc) and often met with bald disdain from her. Faith was never let into the Scooby Gang fully, ultimately because Buffy first didn't accept her. She saw her as a rival and never let her in. She won't even have a real conversation with Faith, ever. She will ONLY talk business, and always reluctantly. In retrospect, perhaps Dawn was the show's answer to this inherent sexism built into Buffy's character. Dawn was placed into the show's arc to be a "rival" to Buffy that she can't reject. She is forced to deal with her sexism to learn to love and protect her sister. It would have been really great to see Faith and Buffy truly rekindling a friendship when she returned in season 7, but we don't get that. We get like two conversations between the two of them wherein Faith keeps her distance and they show a reluctant respect for one another. Buffy is a character that largely interacts with men...white men. It's my favorite show, too. It makes me sad.
Sometimes the morality of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a little too sexist and on-the-nose. Anytime Buffy has any fun whatsoever, she's punished. Ok, it's a LOT sexist and binary. I have words. Hereith lies my 100th episode of "What's This Bitch Talking About?" podcast.