Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Enemies   Rewatch 
July 8, 2015 9:13 PM - Season 3, Episode 17 - Subscribe

As Buffy and the gang start uncovering the Mayor's plans for ascension, he plots with Faith to once again remove Angel's soul.
posted by yellowbinder (10 comments total)
On first watch, Mr. creepygirl threatened to stop watching the show if it turned out that Angel had actually lost his soul again. Thank goodness for the fake-out.

It's a little frustrating to me that we get to hear how Xander felt about being punched by Angel, but never get to hear about how he felt about being nearly killed by Faith. (I'm kvetching about the lack of Faith-fallout, not the presence of Angel-fallout.)

Some great lines in this one:

"I too know the love of a taciturn man."

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

"I've got two words that are going to make all the pain go away: Miniature golf. "
posted by creepygirl at 9:43 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is randomly probably the episode I have the strongest memories of. I was at the height of my Buffy obsession and I had a few friends over for my 17th birthday. I made them watch, they didn't care but I can viscerally recall how hard my heart was beating during the opening credits. I was so keyed up that I totally bought the Angelus act, and with Faith coming out as full bad here it was super, super intense.

It's a high drama episode, even if it mostly just serves to bump the plot a few points further. Information trickles in about the Mayor, ascension, invulnerability, immortality ("Hey, whoa" "Big hey whoa"), and Graduation Day.

Faith's turn is big news here, she seems way too evil but she's so tragic and over the top that I'll by in. I love the kiss before she takes off. Buffy and Angel really dropped the charade fast. They got one new piece of information and figured it was everything. Sheesh. Knowing how bad they both felt during the act, I guess I can understand their eagerness though. That's headcanon because otherwise I can see through the drama to the mechanical function the episode fills in the season.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:56 PM on July 8, 2015

And ohhhh yes I really hope the Mayor took Faith minigolfing. That is a scene I'd kill to see.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:57 PM on July 8, 2015

I love the beardy demon selling the books: excellent condition! Ok, there's some wear on the side and slight foxing... Poor guy, he seemed quite sensible apart from not living in a crypt or feasting on virgins.

I don't know, I'm actually surprised Buffy and Angel kept the act going as long as they did. Faith seemed pretty ready to start in on Buffy with her - what were they, kitchen tongs? I guess they are the good guys so they couldn't chain Faith up and torture her for what she knows, but still. That was a plan with a lot of potential to backfire.

I also liked the blue guy in the turban, and the additional hint at Giles's interesting past. The Mayor telling Faith not to brood. Xander wondering if Giles's secret book stash has any naughty engravings. Cordelia's lame pick-up. Willow giving Buffy permission to go and knowing the love of a taciturn man. Even Faith gets a couple of good lines, skipping the part where her mother never loved her and later on saying she always wanted a puppy. Wesley is still being a petulant moron though.

Solid episode overall. Though yes, creepygirl, Xander sure knows how to carry a grudge when it comes to Angel.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:46 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Man, if I had known fanfic was a thing when I saw this... I have always been a Buffy/Faith shipper, but this, with the fucked-up power dynamics, was just about the pinnacle.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2015

This is a good episode, but on rewatch I think the decision to have this twist really undersells a lot of important character and plot moments. Up until this point, everyone thinks Faith is good, but they discover Faith's betrayal offstage. Buffy's behaviour, after all, is an act just for Faith! The timing of this is pretty screwy as well (presumably they find out via Giles' contact, which is actually quite late on in the proceedings), and involves actively lying to everyone else, which is a dangerous concoction.

The problem with this is that the moment Buffy and Giles realise what Faith has done should be huge, but because it's essentially a fait accompli we don't get the enormity of it here, which makes it feel a bit comic book like (now I'm evil!). Oh well, Angelus, even fake Angelus, is plenty of fun, and we get a good Xander punch in the face, which frankly he heavily deserves at this point.

-This is probably the first wimpy informant demon we meet, but they'll become more common
-"More than one way to skin a cat and I happen to know that's factually true."
-"She's later than godot." Buffy is one for the references.
-"Stop with the crazy, go talk to Angel." Good advice from Willow, as someone know watching Season 4, she probably should have followed that herself... Still it's night to have a romantic plot where at least one character advocates communication
-Seriously who pays for electricity at Angels? I thought this was an abandoned house?
-Evil old white men on Buffy love mini golf.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:41 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh this episode is so delicious and I have to say Xander annoys me so much that one of the highlights is the punch in the face.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:48 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

The scene with the Mayor telling Faith to pull her hair back to show her beautiful face, stop worrying, drink milk, think positive thoughts and oh by the way he'd HATE to have to replace her the way he did with Trick is so perfectly unsettling.

Foreshadowing: Willow is already going behind Giles' back and reading the books of magic he doesn't think she's ready for.

It's funny that Wesley is so skittish about asking Cordelia to dance at the prom after her incredibly unsubtle way of asking him out here. I'm guessing that date doesn't happen, but it's in my "deleted scene DVD extra" wish list, as well as an entire miniseries about Giles' mysterious past.

"And when Faith's not around, all the other characters should be asking, 'Where's Faith?'"

I didn't think about the whole "betrayal discovered offstage" thing, but you're right that it does rob us of some important moments for the sake of a plot twist. On the other hand, we already had the "Faith is a liar and betrayed me" moment when Faith tells Giles that Buffy committed the murder, so maybe it would have been too similar.

If the Mayor needs the Books of Ascension, and the demon is selling them so he can get out of town before the Mayor ascends, why doesn't he just…not reveal he has them and so the Mayor can't ascend in the first place? (Maybe it could happen anyway, or he thinks he'll be found one way or the other…it's a little unclear). I guess these are more "books to stop the Ascension."

Xander's bribe of Willy the Snitch leads to this exchange, which I'm pretty sure is a joke but I wouldn't put it past the council to reimburse bribes with proper documentation:
Xander: Twenty-eight bucks. Does the Council reimburse for that kind of stuff?
Giles: Did you get a receipt?
Xander: Damn.

Also Giles, re: working with Wesley: "I wasn't about to burst into glorious song about it myself." It's clear that Giles knows Something Is Wrong when Buffy walks in, as Wesley blathers as usual.

Cannon Fodder, I totally agree that it's very refreshing that Willow just orders Buffy to talk to Angel instead of having five episodes of "But Faith kissed you on the cheek, what does it meeeeean?" I would really like to know the actual series of events - how did they come up with this plan, when did Giles contact the blue guy, how did the Mayor also know to contact that guy or did Giles/Buffy send him, why didn't they let the other people (okay, maybe not Wesley, but Willow and Xander in on it (sure, maybe it was to protect them or to prevent bad surprised acting, but as fun as it is to see Xander get punched in the face casually and drop to the sidewalk, if you think about it, it's pretty brutal). I like this episode, but there are way too many holes in it in service of that twist.
posted by ilana at 11:04 AM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

"That guy just bugs me"
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 11:27 AM on July 29, 2016

> "She's later than godot." Buffy is one for the references.

The line is "That girl makes Godot look punctual," and first time around I heard it as, "That girl makes Gödel look punctual," which was a significant improvement on an already great line. LOL.
posted by MiraK at 7:47 PM on April 15

« Older Podcast: WTF with Marc Maron: ...   |  Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ears... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments