Bad Girls (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"Bad Girls"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Buffy 3x14.jpg
Faith examines the man she accidentally killed
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 14
Directed by Michael Lange
Written by Doug Petrie
Production code 3ABB14
Original air date February 9, 1999
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Zeppo"
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"Consequences"
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Bad Girls" is episode 14 of season 3 of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is written by Doug Petrie and directed by Michael Lange, it was originally broadcast on February 9, 1999 on the WB network. In "Bad Girls", Buffy gets a new Watcher, and Faith lures Buffy into reckless abandon.

Plot[edit]

While patrolling, Faith asks Buffy if she's ever had sex with Xander -- with whom Faith herself had sex in the preceding episode—and Buffy says they're just friends. They slay a vampire wielding a short blade and long blade. However when they go to pick them up they find them gone. The blades have in fact been taken to the Mayor by Mr. Trick. They discuss their enjoyment of the cartoon strips Marmaduke and The Family Circus but are perturbed when Deputy Mayor Allan Finch reveals he likes to read Cathy. The next day at school, the gang is looking into colleges and they discuss future plans. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Buffy's stuffy new Watcher, annoys Giles in the library while both Slayers attempt to ignore him. Buffy is instructed to go retrieve an amulet that once belonged to a demon named Balthazar, who led a cult of swordsman vampires before he was killed. Faith expresses to Buffy her belief that as the Slayers, they can do what they want, and enjoy it. Buffy is skeptical, but Faith firmly believes Buffy gets off on slaying as much as she does.

That night, Buffy finds the amulet but a group of Balthazar's vampires enter before she can take it. Faith arrives and the two slay some of the vampires before retrieving the amulet. After handing over the amulet to Wesley, Buffy leaves to take a necessary chemistry test, but she can't stop talking through the whole test about the previous night and how much she ended up enjoying it. Faith shows up at the window and she and Buffy leave to destroy a vampire nest. The two go dancing afterwards at the Bronze where Buffy meets up with Angel. She's acting very strangely and he tries to ignore it and tells her that Balthazar isn't dead and he's looking for his amulet. When Wesley comes looking for Buffy, she takes the amulet from him and gives it to Angel.

Buffy and Faith go out and find Balthazar, an obese and ugly demon that must live in a large pool of water and constantly be kept wet. At a loss for weapons against a large group of vampires, they break into a sporting goods store and steal some. Faith continues to expound on her philosophy of being a Slayer to Buffy. "Life as a Slayer is very simple. Want. Take. Have." The police arrive and arrest them, but in the car, the two Slayers kick down the metal gate separating them from the cop, causing the car to crash and the cop to be injured. The following morning, Buffy checks the local newspaper for any news regarding the accident, but finds nothing. At his office, the Mayor is attacked by one of Balthazar's vampires, who is foiled by Mr. Trick and imprisoned.

Meanwhile, Balthazar demands his minions bring him the Watchers and kill the Slayers. No matter the cost, he must have his amulet. The enemy who crippled him is about to gain ultimate power and he refuses to let this come to pass.

Willow presents Buffy with a protection spell talisman and is ready to go slaying that night, but Buffy tells her that it's too dangerous and that she's going with Faith instead. This leaves Willow feeling hurt, with her amulet essentially rejected.

That evening, Buffy and Faith run into several vampires in a back alley and stake them. Allan, the deputy Mayor, suddenly walks out from the darkness and Faith, still in battle mode and presuming him to be another vampire, immediately stakes him as well before realizing her mistake. He dies before he can say anything, and both Slayers flee the scene of the crime in separate directions. Buffy runs into Angel and he tells her about Balthazar taking Giles while Faith returns to the scene where Allan is and just stares at the body.

With the two Watchers in his possession, Balthazar searches for answers as to who has his amulet. Wesley is cowardly willing to give up anything in exchange for his life, whereas Giles keeps his, admittedly cynical, calm. Angel shows up with Buffy, frees Giles and everyone fights. When Balthazar captures Angel, Buffy tosses a live wire into his tub of water, electrocuting him. With his dying breath, Balthazar warns them of his enemy. "When he rises, you'll wish I'd killed you all."

In his office that night, the Mayor performs a ritual in front of Mr. Trick and the captured vampire. Once it is finished, the Mayor orders that the vampire has his weapon returned to him and be released. Mr. Trick is confused, but does as he's told and releases the vampire. The vampire immediately attacks the Mayor by slicing his head in half... however the head promptly repairs itself with no ill effect on the Mayor and Mr. Trick stakes the surprised vampire. The Mayor tells his right-hand man that the hundred days before the Ascension has begun and that during that period he is completely invincible.

The next morning, Buffy confronts Faith in her motel room about Allan's death but Faith doesn't want to talk about it. In the ensuing argument, Faith nonchalantly declares that she does not care that she killed a human being, much to Buffy's horror.

Production[edit]

  • Alexis Denisof met Alyson Hannigan as a result of being cast as Wesley, and the two married on October 11, 2003. Denisof's role on Buffy would also lead him to become a regular cast member on the spin-off, Angel.

Writing[edit]

After Faith accidentally kills Allan, Buffy finds her in her hotel room obsessively scrubbing his blood from her shirt. As Richardson and Rabb note, this scene is reminiscent of Lady Macbeth’s "equally futile attempt to wash away guilt by washing away its physical signs." When Buffy reminds Faith that "you can shut off all the emotions that you want... but eventually, they’re gonna find a body," she is referring to the authorities’ finding Allan’s body; however the ambiguous grammar suggests that it is Faith's emotions of guilt and shame that will eventually find a body as well.[1]

Continuity[edit]

  • Faith follows Angel as a character who fights on Buffy's side but later turns into a villain. While Angel's turn was sudden and caused by his curse, Faith's transformation is more gradual; the seeds were planted in her first appearance.
  • When Buffy is attacked by the vampire while in the graveyard, Faith stakes it from behind. She will do this again in Season 4's episode "Who Are You," but Buffy was in Faith's body at the time.
  • Faith steals a long green compound bow, idly commenting that "this could be my new thing". Although her attempts to use it in this episode are inept, she does indeed become an ace, and ultimately uses the bow to infect Angel in "Graduation Day (Part 1)."
  • Buffy's instantly antagonistic relationship with Wesley recalls her first meeting with Giles, highlighting how far they have come.

Arc significance[edit]

  • This episode is the major turning point of season three. Faith has been a loose cannon with issues of trust and she enjoys slaying a little too much, but she has been fighting for the right cause. The emotional blow to her of killing a human is a major step in her turning to the other side.
  • Willow gives Buffy the protection spell she has been working on since "Gingerbread" in a lavender-scented pouch.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce who goes on to become a prominent member of Angel Investigations in L.A.

Cultural references[edit]

  • When the two Watchers are in front of Balthazar, Giles says, speaking about Wesley : "Look, tell you what, let Captain Courageous here go, and I'll tell you what you need to know.". This is a reference to 1897 novel Captains Courageous, by Kipling.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richardson, J. Michael; Rabb, J. Douglas (2007), "Buffy, Faith and Bad Faith: Choosing to be the Chosen One", Slayage 23, retrieved 2007-07-26 

External links[edit]