Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Girls

Episode 48.
airdate: 9 Feb 1999.

I've been avoiding this episode because it is so emotional. This is the turning point for Faith. It is the time in her life wherein she is finally pushed off the deep end of that cliff she's been teetering's heartwrenching. I don't like to even watch it, but it's an important episode...

We start with a fight between Buffy, Faith, and two vampires. Vampires versus Slayers. Mayor is talking about his Ascension (different scene).

--I can't decide how to approach these blogs, still. Do I describe the action as if you can't see it for yourself or do I assume y'all have seen the episode or would be watching it along with me while reading the shownotes? I don't know if I feel like describing today, so I'm not going to try. Perhaps I'll just theorize and you can watch along with me if you have the DVDs or the entire series is available on Hulu AND Netflix streaming. So, nothing's stopping you.--

Enter Wesley...there's no way he could have found the musty old book he wanted while he's still unpacking.

(enter Faith into the library...sizes up Wesley)
Faith: New Watcher?
Buffy and Giles: New Watcher.
Faith: Screw that!
(Faith exits library)

Buffy goes after her and Faith does her whole "We're Slayers, we're better than everyone" thing.

"Slayin's what we were built for...if you're not enjoying it, you're doin' somethin' wrong." The theme here is Slayer vs. Slayer, how two very different girls handle the same job. Buffy tries to be pious and denies the corruption the job inevitably dispenses in great abundance, while Faith embraces it and takes it to its opposite extreme. Buffy and Faith both need to be a bit more like one another, but in this episode Buffy gets a little too into Faith's point of view. I am getting ahead of myself. Right now Faith is telling Buffy she doesn't have a plan and she's going anyway to fight 6 vamps all by herself and Buffy has to save her from her recklessness, so she goes too...

One of the vamps attempts to drown Buffy, and of course when she comes up from the water she's more hardcore than ever. This is the first time we really see her being heartless, a ghost of the Cold Buffy to come. She's growing up, you guys! It's sad, really. A hero's life would really suck. The next morning, her newfound darkness is prevalent in her wearing of a black leather jacket in contrast to her pastel of earlier in the episode.

Faith sneaks Buffy out of class to infiltrate a vampire nest and then they go out dancing at a club in the middle of the day...riiiiight. Oh, wait, it must be night 'cause there's Angel. Ew, Buffy's doing baby talk to Angel. Gross. The Bronze is so cool. Why isn't there a Bronze in real life? '90s music, Lush couches, Cibo Matto as regulars. Now there's breaking and entering. "Want. Take. Have." I suppose this is Wave of Corruption Phase 2. 1 was recklessness and the delusion of invincibility. Two is theft. The cops caught them as well so they're running from the police...after they wreck the squad car and break out. Morning two and Buffy is now wearing all black, and Faith is wearing a white shirt. I wonder if that's a nod to Buffy rubbing off on her just a little.

And then it happens. Buffy and Faith are fighting vampires in an alley and Faith accidentally kills a human. She's initially remorseful, which exhibits her propensity for good. This act of killing a human in the Buffyverse is a big no-no. There will be huge moral repercussions for both Buffy and Faith.

At the end of the ep Buffy goes to visit Faith as she's obsessively scrubbing blood from her shirt of the night before in the sink. She's still wearing the same amount of white as before while Buffy is now wearing pale blue again, though she looks like someone's mom here...Faith denies responsibility and her real feelings about everything. It ends with Buffy saying, "You don't get it. You killed. a. man." Faith, "No, YOU don't get it. I don't care." End credits.

Commentary (by Doug Petrie) notes added 5.19.13: Doug talking about Buffy's almost-drowning being a sort of baptism. Duh. Petrie isn't completely boring, but I may skip forward anyway...I'll give it a few more minutes. I never realized the heart that Faith draws on the window to lure Buffy out of class was a heart with a stake in it. I assumed she didn't finish a heart with an arrow through it. Doug keeps mentioning "lesbian subtext" but I don't really get that from this. When women are bonding in a new friendship, they're a little flirtatious. Big deal. That's the way of things. It would have been nice to see B and F building a good friendship over more than just this episode. I wish it could have been a longer run. If they had been allies longer, they could have BOTH felt less alone in the world.