Season 3, Episode 14 - “Bad Girls”
Original airdate: Feb. 9, 1999
Project 310 re-watch date: Feb. 7, 2009
Every season from 2 through 7 had what I call a “game-changing” episode (Season 1 didn’t have one, because it was too short of a season). This was the one for Season 3.
“Bad Girls” changes the lives of both our heroes and villains in Season 3, so let’s look at both of those.
For much of Season 3, Mayor Richard Wilkins was a very benign villain. We knew that he was up to something, and we knew he wasn’t to be trusted, but we didn’t know what was up. Well, in this episode, we finally get a sense of what he’s up to, and it’s not good.
This is the episode where he finally becomes invincible, step one in his road to ascension. This episode also features the death of his deputy mayor, which is the more interesting game-changer.
Buffy and Faith are out slaying, embracing Faith’s more reckless style, including a run to a sporting goods store to rob the place. After they escape from the cops, they go on a slaying run, and Faith accidentally stabbed the deputy mayor in the heart with a stake.
From this point on, we finally get to see the “real” Faith. At the end of the episode, she tells Buffy that she dumped the body, and doesn’t want anyone to know what happened. She shows no remorse at all about what happened, whereas Buffy is guilt-ridden. Faith has always been on a slippery slope, lacking Buffy’s support system in this whole slaying gig, and this is the event that ends up pushing her over the edge.
I really love this whole episode (even if Balthazar, the main demon, is utterly useless). In addition to the two game-changing events above, it also introduces Wesley Wyndam-Pryce to the Buffyverse. It’s funny seeing him in these early episodes, especially after seeing what he becomes on “Angel”.
Buffy: Faith, you don’t get it. You killed a man.
Faith: No, you don’t get it. I don’t care.
(Kudos to the writer and director to just having Buffy react to this in stunned silence, and having silence through the Executive Producer title card)