beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
season three > Graduation Day, Part 1
Grad day. Perhaps one of the more over-hyped episodes of the show, ostensibly due to the whole school being blown up controversy, when in reality that was nothing more than a clever ruse to gloss over the actual issue -- the lesbian experimenting with her sexuality and sleeping with a man. Way to skirt controversy there, Joss, by blowing up an entire school to draw ire away from the real issue at hand. Nobody's going to protest lesbians using sensitive bass players for their own nefarious, selfish purposes when they can harp on schools being blown to kingdom come, now are they?
The festivities kick off with the excitement of graduation in the air as the seniors endure games of hangman because their teachers just don't care anymore, Faith murders a professor without finding out why and Anya hits on Xander with the always successful line "hey baby, ever seen an Ascension? 'cuz I have." when her first attempt "look, I have boobs. You like boobs." somehow fails. Sadly, none of this takes enough time and we are left plenty of time for the typical late-season three Buffy/Angel fest de angst. She goes to investigate the abode of a professor recently gutted by that perky, psychotic bundle of fun, Faith, when Angel shows up to see if she needs help carrying out a cardboard box of stuff Buffy's stealing. (It's for research, so no moral judgments, please.) Bickering ensues because Buffy can't stop being a whiny bitch if he keeps popping up, Angel doesn't understand why she's being such a whiny bitch when he's just trying to kick it like a mature adult and, really, if you watched any episode this season since Angel put his shirt back on and rediscovered speech, you've got this scene memorized.
The bickering spills into the street and is stopped by Faith shooting Angel with a poisoned arrow. Thank fucking god. The only thing that harshes my buzz at this moment is knowing that he doesn't die. The whole getting his own series thing? Really killed the suspense there.
Angel gets all delusional and sickly and the Watcher's Council refuses to help, because Angel's a vampire and therefore naughty. Buffy responds by firing the council and telling Wesley to grow a pair. Much research later the gang discovers that the only cure for this magical-pulled-out-of-the-mayor's-ass-poison is the blood of a slayer. Buffy, rather than assuming that a little bit will do ya, jumps to the rather rash conclusion that Angel will need to suck Faith dry to get better, and instructs the gang to find Faith so she can do some therapeutic murdering. The gang, being the cool cats that they are, find Faith, and Buffy's off and running in a trampy little outfit that should signify her downward spiral into Faithness, but the effect is lost on me because all I can focus on is the impracticality of that outfit in a knockdown ass whupping. Come on, tight leather? Not really going to give when you really need to plant your foot in some psycho's face. I'm, you know. assuming. Just assuming. yep.
In addition to the asinine clothing, she also adopts Faith's erratic attack techniques by totally announcing her arrival at Faith's fantastic bachelorette pad with a rather long-winded speech. One would think entering quietly and pouncing or maybe going so far as to shoot one's intended victim with a tranq dart in the ass as they lay unsuspecting on their bed, reading comics and eating licorice would be a better method to capture someone so your dying dead boyfriend could suck her dry, no?
There's some taunting and more than a bit of posturing on both sides and then they're off, in what is most assuredly one of the most kick ass fight scenes on TV. It's completely unnecessary, mind you. But it totally kicks ass. It's ruined slightly by the intrusiveness of the stunt doubles, but we've discovered that if you turn any fight scene into a drinking game you will not only be spending the night on someone else's couch, you will find the fact that the actor's stunt doubles look like giants next to the actors themselves less bothersome.
The slayers toss each other hither and yon and break most of Faith's furniture before falling gracelessly through a window to the roof. Buffy cuffs Faith and millions of slashers worldwide rejoice. They tussle a bit on the poorly concealed stunt pad, Faith breaks free, Buffy pulls out her knife, Faith gets all possessive about her toys and Buffy returns it. She returns it by shoving it into Faith's gut, perhaps not what Faith meant when she asked for it back, but Buffy returns it nevertheless. Faith opines that B really should have joined her on her exciting trip through the seedy underworld of the most polite villain ever, then jumps backwards off of the roof onto a conveniently passing truck loaded with cushy pallet boards. Buffy just sort of stands there and does her best impression of a codfish rather than, say, getting her ass off the ground and jumping down onto the truck bed, collecting Faith's beaten down ass and dragging her to the delusional and grossly sweaty Angel to suck on like a lollipop.
Other things did happen this ep, like Giles taking Buffy's side for once
(in firing the council) and Oz panicking to please Willow, which leads
to Oz fornicating with Willow while poor Amy the rat runs helplessly on
her wheel trying to escape and, well. I just can't. I know Giles is going
to become an inexplicable asshole in later seasons, and Willow's going
to break Oz's heart, and apparently Amy knows this too. How else to explain
her behavior in the seventh season? Animals. They're so darn smart.