Season 4, Episode 15 - This Year’s Girl
Original airdate: Feb. 22, 2000
Project 310 re-watch date: March 1, 2009
Oh, God bless you, Faith. You’ve returned to save Season 4!
For those of you who need refreshing on the Faith story -- she’s in a coma because Buffy stabbed her at the end of Season 3 in an effort to save Angel. There are a few creepy dream sequences before she wakes, up, and then she does some general Faith-like violence then ends up switching bodies with Buffy thanks to a device given to her posthumously by The Mayor.
This episode doesn’t really fit in the Season 4 continuity -- it takes a break from Adam (save for one really gross scene where they see that he’s split a body completely open and strung it up to some trees). This is a very good thing.
Faith is way better than Adam as a villain, and everyone’s reaction to her re-emergence is great. I particularly like, surprisingly in this case, Riley. After Buffy and Willow and Xander and Giles have all had this long conversation about Faith, Riley chimes him, “Who’s Faith?”
There are two particular scenes that stand out for me in this episode. The first is the one where Faith is walking through Sunnydale, seeing that really nothing’s changed. It’s the real confirmation that The Mayor’s plan failed and that she’s still stuck as the bad guy in the world. It’s very reminiscent of vampire Willow’s walk through Sunnydale when she’s transported from her universe and it underscores the fact that Faith really is in a different universe.
The second is the scene with Faith and Joyce, just before the big Buffy/Faith fight. As crazy as Faith is, she’s actually entirely right. She gets right to Joyce’s emotional fears about Buffy’s abandonment (think back -- when’s the last time we actually saw Joyce in this season?). Faith may have issues, but she also has an uncanny ability to identify other people’s issues too.
Two last little notes about this episode, which to this point is the best of the season:
- -in Faith’s first dream, she mentions to Buffy that she has to get ready for little sister. Of course, at this point, Buffy doesn’t have a little sister, but she will. Faith’s a slayer, so, just like Buffy, she has prophecy dreams too.
- -When Buffy and Faith start to fight at UC-Sunnydale, there are some kids in the background who are just watching, and you can hear voices say things like “hey, check it out.” Basically, they think it’s a hot chick fight (which, in some ways it is). It’s kind of funny, actually.
Favorite Quote:Willow: “Don't worry, we're sure to spot Faith first. She's like this cleavagey slutbomb walking around going, ‘Ooh, check me out. I'm wicked cool. I'm five-by-five.’”