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season three
> Enemies

Enemies starts out with a big ‘ole Buffy/Angel sapfest. First, they’re dumbasses because they went to see a movie without checking first to see that it was an erotic buffet of penthouse goodness. Second, it’s been a long time since Angel’s been to movies and they’ve changed? How long has it been? Since when he was human, when movies were… er, mostly performed by puppets behind a curtain? And at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre? Or is this the first sign of Angel’s “new” history when he hung out with the rat pack and gambled in Vegas? And movies are now “talkies” with “color”? But since this is Angel “who cares what his actually history is because we change it when it fits the plot” the vampire, who cares, really. He’s leaving for his own show soon anyway.

I'm sorry. I just don't like getting you worked up like that. We can't actually do any of those things. You'd lose your soul and besides, I don't even own a kimono.

Anyway, the point is they’re both all hot and bothered but they can’t do anything about it because Angel would lose his soul and kill her and all her friends and all. Also, Buffy doesn’t have a kimono. You’d think that would put a damper on their ardor, but not so much. Instead they’re all, yearn yearn and I’m all blech blech. Good times. Also, I’m wondering how a kimono might be useful for me later…

Faith pops in to steal Buffy away for some private time. I mean “patrolling”. She promised to keep Buffy “warm”, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. You might recall (or you might not, considering it’s been, like, 7 months since the last recap) that in the previous episode, Faith decided hanging with the Mayor was way more fun than hanging with Buffy “that would be wrong” Summers, only Buffy is completely oblivious since she assumes that of course Faith killed Trick to save her, not so that Faith could take over Trick’s job or anything. Oh Buffy. You’re so dumb. (word, yo - ST)

Faith encourages Buffy to go for it with Angel, and urging a vampire slayer to make a vicious vampire go all evil again is a dead-on sign that she just might be evil herself, but again, Buffy is dumb so she just thinks Faith is being super-supportive.

They run into a demon who offers to sell them the Books of Ascension. Of course, we have never heard of these books before, but apparently they’re full of dark and evil magic and they have something to do with the Mayor. Now, why the mayor doesn’t already have them or know this dude has them is a question for the duex ex machina fairy or her uglier, drunker cousin. I just recap the stuff.

Of course, these are the days before demons are people too, and Buffy would rather stake first and ask questions later. Oh revisionist history, how we have missed you. Since that first scene with Angel all mopey on how movies have changed, I mean. We’ve missed you since then.

Faith gets all twitchy about the less-fun Slayer and her friends finding out about the mayor’s plans so she runs to tell him about it. Yay! It’s the mayor! Sorry, I just miss such cool villains after being stuck with Adam and the freakin non-corporeal First. He thinks she should wear her hair back and drink more milk. How can you be a hater of such a caring, sensitive guy? He tells her to kill the demon and get him the books or you know, he’ll have to fire her. Well, the mayor just makes good logical sense. You can’t fault him for it. Now why the writers didn’t explain how it was that the demon had the books and the mayor didn’t when he’s the one ascending and all, I have no idea. I can fault ‘em for that. And often do. You may have noticed.

Buffy heads back to library central to alert the troops. Predictably, neither Giles nor Wesley have ever heard of an “ascension”. And would they have really? Just because they have the resources of a million years of watchers and this ascension thing is a big bad powerful demon deal doesn’t mean they should know about it. They have to keep track of tea times and crumpets and the rules of cricket. Also to remember to call soccer “football”. It’s a lot of work. You have to understand if some of the little stuff slips through.

Anyway, Willow does remember reading about it since she’s brainy for about another year or so and tells Giles where to find the book. They decide that maybe they should grab these ascension books right as Cordy walks in and asks Wesley out on a date, I mean to help her with English class. See ‘cause he’s English and all. Get it? Yeah, me either. She likes him when he’s a geeky dork and not when he’s all hot and full of angst on Angel? Angel the show, I mean.

As no one actually has the five thousand dollars the demon wants handy, and since the Watcher’s Council is good for exactly nothing and certainly not petty cash for demon books that might stop the end of the world, they decide they should persuade the demon to loan them the books. Bravo plan gang!

Demons after money. Whatever happened to the still-beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards anymore.

Unfortunately, Faith beats them to it. Also she beats the demon and stabs him to death, but hey, he wasn’t into loaning. As Faith likes to say “share, share, it’s fair. And if you don’t, I’m going to stab your ass and steal your books, motherfucker.” We love Faith. We always love Faith, even when she’s pretending to be all skeeved out at her own murdering ass and the blood on her hands. Aw, Faith.

Then, in a scene that makes no damn sense no matter how many times you watch it, Faith runs over to Angel’s mansion, tells him that she feels all guilty and that she’s scaring herself and she needs help, and then makes a move on him. Angel is all loyal and true and “I’m with Buffy! You must not touch these lips!” and then kisses her on the cheek as she leaves. Buffy, of course, arrives just in time for the cheek kiss and misses the heroic speech. But why would Angel let Faith run off when she just showed him the blood on her hands and said she needed help? Why would Faith think that just showing Angel a little bit ‘o blood would get him all hot and bothered so he couldn’t resist her? And why would Buffy be so quick to think a kiss on the cheek was some big romantic liason? Although since it deals with Angel, soon to be of his own show, who cares. Buffy’ll forget about him three episodes into the fourth season anyway.

We soon find out that Faith was looking to relieve Angel of his soul, although even if her little plan would have worked it actually would have failed since we know now that only sex with Buffy sets him off. I mean, come on. He’s one tough guy to make really, really happy. He was able to impregnate Darla and everything, soul intact. And have a child, even though he never thought he could have one, seeing as he shoots blanks and all. And he managed to get it on with a perfectly nice wolf girl. All without losing his soul. So maybe Buffy knows a few tricks Faith doesn’t, rather than the other way ‘round. But, again, whatever. Moving on.

The mayor, for it is indeed the mayor behind this elaborate and completely nonsensical “get Angel back into the leather pants” plot, isn’t daunted because he’s sure Faith gave it the old college try, and decides they should rid Angel of his soul in the most “painful way possible”. Don’t get too excited. It doesn’t look all that painful actually. It looks more like a mild case of heartburn.

Meanwhile, Giles and Wesley aren’t having much luck finding out about this ascension thing. And they don’t want to call the Watcher’s Council since they don’t know that Giles’ firing didn’t technically go as planned. Because yeah, it’s better for the council not to be mad at you than to get valuable information that might stop an apocalypse.

Right then.

They go back to having Buffy ask the demon if they can borrow the books plan. But they want her to wait for Faith. Buffy, still raw from seeing Angel and Faith in that passionate embrace of cheek-kissing, says she’ll go by herself. Wesley thinks that’s all dangerous even though for eons of time, the slayer has gone by herself and hasn’t had a ripple-in-the-universe second slayer to back her up. Fortunately, Xander saves the day (again) by coming in with the demon’s address. Which he apparently got from Willy. By bribing him. With $28.00. Twenty-eight non-reimbursable dollars, thankyouverymuch. That, my friends, is a champion.

Buffy heads over to ask the demon nicely if she can borrow his books and Faith shows up just in time to tag along. You know, so she can go “What? The demon is dead?! Who could have done such a thing? I’m shocked!” Buffy notices that Faith knows right where the light switch is. Because it’s not normally next to the door or anything. And Faith hung out so long last time when she was killing the demon that she got a feel for the layout of the electrical wiring.

They decide whoever killed the demon must have also taken the books, so they don’t even look around. Because demons never get killed except for their extensive literary collection.

The mayor, meanwhile, has hooked up with some creepy hooded guy, who I assume factors into his plan to remove Angel’s soul in the most painful way possible. (Really, don’t get too excited. You’ll just be disappointed later. Seriously.)

But let’s just take a moment to miss the mayor and his low-calorie mints. You didn’t see the First offering anybody mints did you? No, because it couldn’t touch anything. How are you supposed to fear something that can’t even offer altoids?

Buffy’s whining to Willow about how Angel was all smoochy cheek with Faith and of course Buffy didn’t ask him about it or anything. I was going to go off on her for being so immature, but then I realized she’s a teenager and that’s just how teenage girls are. At least, that’s how I was. Actually I was way worse, but we’re not talking about me here. We’re criticizing Buffy! Stop mocking me for sending my own boyfriend notes in 10th grade to see if he actually liked me. Hey, at least I asked. Buffy’s just making up Angel’s answers to her questions. “Angel, do you like me or Faith?” “Why, Faith of course. She’s evil and spicy! You’re all whiny and good and who needs that?”

So, Willow, who’s only had the one boyfriend and who’s actually gay anyway, turns out is way smarter than Buffy about boys and orders her off to talk to him. I would like to point out here that Buffy seems to truly be concerned that Angel’s thinking of doing the sideways shuffle with Faith and would have no reason to make up her angst for Willow. Just note that for later.

Apparently, at the same time Buffy is being whiny, Faith heads back over to Angel’s. This is the part that’s supposed to be all painful for Angel as the scary hooded guy helps relieve him of his soul. He sort of frowns a little. Oh yeah, that was pain. Angel and Faith get all smoochy and he threatens to kill her: it’s all very romantic. Then she offers to hook him up with the mayor. Now, I’m a big Faith fan and definitely am not on the side of seeing her dead or anything, but would evil Angel really have let her live long enough for her to even mention the mayor? She’s a slayer! He’s Angel! I think he would have drained her dry right after that first kiss. But hey, plot before character motivation, that’s what I always say.

The whole library gang – sans Angel and Faith as they’re off doing evil – is, well, in the library obviously, pondering their next move. Let’s see… they need to stop the end of the world, they can’t get help from the powerful group who might actually have information that could help them, because then they’d have to give it up that they’d been bad, and they’re in this mess because they couldn’t scrounge up $5,000. Yep, $5,000 to save the world and they were all, er, that’s our tea and scone money, why can’t he ask for something reasonable, like the still beating heart of a virgin? Forget it! He’s getting nothing from us!

Buffy gets all angsty about Angel and Faith both being gone and Willow assures her it means nothing. Nothing! And if this is all one dramatic act for the big payoff later, exactly who are they acting for? The audience? Yeah, probably. Moving on.

Giles thinks Buffy should go look for the books in the Mayor’s office but that she should avoid the Mayor. Yo, Giles. Buffy isn’t invisible right at this moment. I realize it’s easy to get confused since ME did recycle that storyline, but at this particular moment, she’s actually entirely visible. She says she’ll “slip into something a little more break-and-enterish”, and by that she can only mean a micro-mini. At least judging from every other outfit she’s ever worn for the stealthy stuff. (Actually, in a complete break of character development, she goes for something sparkly. And flat shoes. And pants. I’m just. I’m not sure what to do here.)

Oz suggests they go to the Hall of Records, which apparently is some big hall with records in it. Records that Willow can’t get through her handy computer. Records that will tell them how to stop the end of the world without spending any money!

There’s this whole Cordy/Wesley subtext, I mean text, thing going on here, but we’re just going to skip it since first, it’s lame; second, Wesley is the farthest thing from hot at this point so why Cordy would be all into him now and not later when he’s sexy and borderline evil is unexplainable; third, they kiss later and it’s one of the most painful things to watch ever; and fourth, but certainly right up there, Cordy is in high school and Wesley is, well, not even still in college, so the whole thing is creepy. Not quite as creepy as Angel being 240 years older than Buffy, and well, dead and cold, but close. So, we’re skipping.

Speaking of Angel, he’s at the Mayor’s office where Faith has taken him for show and tell, reciting poetry to the Mayor. “Had a soul, now I'm free.” I don’t know. It’s not even haiku. And then we see that the Mayor is “impervious”. Impervious! Like a rain coat! Or car wax! Ahem.

Angel and Faith run off to kill Buffy, although the Mayor points out the obvious problem of having a new slayer show up once she’s dead. And why the vampires of the world didn’t figure this out years ago and just start keeping the slayer in a basement somewhere instead of killing her, I have no idea.

Angel and Faith see Xander and Angel punches him. This is to show us how evil Angel is now. Evil! I suppose neither are concerned about keeping up the ruse for Buffy anymore since they’re going to kill her now. Even though the Mayor said not to kill her too soon and Faith could have killed her episodes ago. But now, the plan – kill Buffy! Let the world know they’re evil! Fine, they’re evil. Scary.

Angel and Faith head to Buffy’s and tell her they’ve got the books at the mansion. Buffy has indeed changed into nice, black, sleuthy and, well sparkly, breaking and entering clothes. Nothing like sparkles to keep you hidden.

Once they get there, Angel reveals his true evilness by calling her “Buff.” She instantly knows. You know, here’s the thing, he’s wearing velvet. Which, okay, wasn’t SP’s original point when she quit that sentence halfway through, but she left it, so now it’s my point, and my point is this: What the fuck is up with all the velvet? Faith is wearing velvet pants when she disembowels the demon of the week - and come on, that’s just not good sense, you’re never going to get the blood out of velvet. “Evil” Angel dons a purple. Fucking. Velvet. Shirt. Since when is velvet the new leather? The fuck? And why, pray tell, does Joyce shows up in a green velvet shirt? And Faith thinks brown velvet is an appropriate match for maroon leather in what alternate reality? Did Cynthia own stock in velvet? Bitch.

SP’s point, however, was something entirely different. And if the above sentence doesn’t teach not to leave a sentence hanging out there unprotected, I don’t know what will. No, SP was more preparing to go off on the whole nickname = evil thing, and I believe she has this whole thing about how it wasn’t evil on his own show or at anytime before, but here it’s totally ominous when Angel calls Buff “Buff”. And, well, I don’t know. It’s her issue, not mine. My issue? Is the velvet. I’m really disturbed by the velvet.

Okay, so, like, I don’t even know where we are in this episode anymore. We’ll just pick up with Angel and Faith picking on Buffy and calling her bad names. Like “Buff”. Angel then knocks her out. Because it’s fun.

She comes to with Angel chaining her up and basking in the sun and somehow not bursting in flame, then Faith blah blahs about her bad childhood and the mayor’s evil plans and about how she’s the best lil’ actor ever because she could hide her rage so well, when Angel says “second best.” Faith, completely insulted, and hey, who wouldn’t be if David Boreanaz, circa season three, said that he was a better actor than you, flips her glossy, glossy hair in slow motion towards Angel in horror. Ominous music plays, because the slow motion hair flipping of horror wasn’t clue enough that something wacky was afoot.

Buffy and Angel smarmily recap what Faith told them before Buff goes “psych” and holds her non-chained hands up. Those kooky kids. They were playing all along! Faith, not happy about this, tosses Angel aside, sort of beats half-heartedly on Buffy while the Scoobs sort of ineffectually run into the room and stand around. Buffy then lets Faith go, because she’s Buffy. The Scoobs meet in the library to recap the wacky events of the day, Xander is glad his bruised and broken face was not for naught and Buffy mopes.

Buffy then mopes her way on over to Angel’s pad, where he apologizes for doing exactly what she asked him to. She accepts his apology, then dumps him because he did exactly what she asked him to do. But don’t worry, B/Aers. She’s still his girl. For always, unfortunately. At least until someone else hot comes along.

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