Faith, Hope & Trick
|"Faith, Hope & Trick"|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Faith in her first appearance on the series, after staking a vampire
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||James A. Contner|
|Written by||David Greenwalt|
|Original air date||October 13, 1998|
"Faith, Hope & Trick" is the third episode of season 3 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The episode title is a pastiche of the Biblical verse 1 Corinthians 13:13 ("And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity") while using names of three characters introduced in the episode.
The episode begins with Willow excitedly talking to Oz about how they are seniors and now allowed to go off school campus for lunch. Still, it takes Xander, Cordelia, and Oz to get her to walk to the grassy area where Buffy has set up a picnic basket; unable to enter school grounds. The group tries to get Buffy to talk to fellow student Scott Hope, believing they should date.
That night, Kakistos and his colleague, Mr. Trick arrive in town, discussing how they will kill the slayer. Meanwhile, Buffy has yet another dream involving Angel, this time at the Bronze. As they dance in front of their friends, the ring Angel gave Buffy falls off her finger. Picking it up, Angel experiences a flashback of Buffy killing him, before his appearance turns to that of a zombie. Later that day, Buffy and Mrs. Summers attend a meeting with Principal Snyder, where Snyder reluctantly allows Buffy to return to the school, having been overruled by the school board.
Buffy and Willow go to the library, where Giles has asked them to meet him for help research a binding spell he wants to perform on Acathla to make sure that the demon cannot be resurrected again. Buffy gives little detail about her encounter with Angel before leaving, while Willow eagerly lends her help, having been practicing magic. That night at the Bronze, Scott attempts to talk to Buffy, however she becomes distracted by a suspected vampire leading a girl outside. Buffy enters an alley with the rest of the group, where they witness the girl slaying the vampire before she introduces herself as Faith, a new vampire slayer.
Inside, Cordelia realises that the death of Kendra must have summoned Faith. Faith tells stories of her slaying encounters of that summer in her hometown of Boston, and that her Watcher had travelled to England for a retreat. The group instantly take a liking to Faith, however Buffy remains more skeptical. The following day at school, Giles confirms there is a Watchers' retreat, however he wasn't invited. Buffy continues to become more isolated as her friends bond with Faith, and becomes jealous when she begins flirting with Scott. Meanwhile, Kakistos and Mr. Trick plot revenge on Faith for mutilating Kakistos face.
That night, Faith joins Buffy and Joyce for dinner, where Joyce too bonds with Faith. The slayers then go patrolling, where Buffy's skepticism and Faith's care free attitude leads to an argument. Soon after, they are attacked by a group of vampires. While Buffy struggles to slay a number of vampires, Faith instead focuses only on one, beating the vampire repeatedly instead of helping Buffy. The following morning, Buffy warns Giles of Faith's behaviour, but he takes little notice. Buffy also tells Giles the vampires were working for Kakistos, a vampire that is so old and powerful that his hands are cloven. Buffy begins to suspect that Faith and Kakistos are somehow connected. After leaving the library, Buffy runs in to Scott, who tries to ask her out on a date. Buffy accepts, but she runs away very disturbed when Scott hands her a ring exactly like the one Angel gave her. Giles comes up and tells Buffy that he made some phone calls to the Watchers Retreat and he found out that Faith's watcher is dead.
Buffy goes to see Faith at her motel room and tells her Kakistos is in town. Faith becomes panicked and begins to pack a bag, intending to leave town. Faith tells Buffy that Kakistos murdered her watcher some weeks earlier in Boston and he sweared revenge on her for mutilating him with an axe. As Faith tries to leave, Kakistos and a group of vampires break into the room. Buffy and Faith escape through a window, however are lured to Kakistos lair. Buffy fights and slays many of the vampires while Kakistos attacks Faith. Eventually, Buffy tries to slay Kakistos, however the stake does not kill him. Faith instead impales Kakistos with a large beam, finally killing him. Mr. Trick retreats with another vampire.
Back in the library, the Council approves Giles's recommendation that he remain Faith's Watcher until a replacement can be found. Inspired by Faith's actions and how she stood up to her fears and conquered them, Buffy finally tells Giles and Willow that Angel was cured when she was forced to kill him. Giles says that it will help with the spell, and Willow apologizes to Buffy for being so hard on her. When Buffy leaves, Willow once again approaches Giles to offer her help with the binding spell for Acathla, but Giles tells Willow that "there is no spell." He was merely trying to get Buffy to open up about what happened with Angel so that she could start to heal emotionally. Buffy finally talks to Scott, and they make plans to go out later on. The scene changes to show Buffy returning to the mansion where she killed Angel and stopped Acathla, finally able to say good-bye. She leaves her Claddagh ring on the ground and departs. Soon thereafter, Angel manifests, returned from hell.
This episode introduces the character of Faith Lehane, who plays a vital part in the remainder of this season, the seventh season, and the eventual spin-off series, Angel. The minor characters of Mr. Trick (Kakistos' right-hand vampire turned Mayor's assistant) and Scott Hope (Buffy's brief rebound romance after Angel) are also introduced.
The surprise ending – the return of Angel – leads to major conflicts for the Scooby Gang for the remainder of the season.
- Angel's resurrection is questioned many times. Despite The First Evil's claims that it was the one that brought him back in ("Amends"), the true cause of his return is never verified. In the Angel episode, "Hell Bound," it is revealed that Angel still questions why he returned, revealing that even he has doubts about whether it was truly The First that was responsible.
- While showing Faith around Sunnydale High, Xander and Willow refer to events of several past episodes:
- Willow: "Over here, we have the cafeteria, where we were mauled by snakes." ("I Only Have Eyes for You")
- Xander: "This is the spot where, uh, Angel tried to kill Willow." ("Innocence")
- Willow: "Over there in the lounge is where Spike and his gang nearly massacred us all on Parent-Teacher Night." ("School Hard")
- Willow: "And up those stairs, I was sucked into a muddy grave." ("I Only Have Eyes for You")
- Buffy mentions The Three as being among her more difficult adversaries, warrior vampires sent by The Master in the Season One episode ("Angel").
Several story arcs begin during this episode, among them:
- Buffy finally faces up to her ordeal of last season, and it becomes general knowledge among the Scoobies that Angel was re-ensouled prior to being killed.
- Angel returns from Hell, where he was stuck for about 100 years, as mentioned in "Deep Down".
- A new Slayer, Faith, arrives. Although she and Buffy are united as Slayers, they are polar opposites as young women.
- While fighting vampires, Faith taunts one by declaring "My dead mother hit harder than that!" This is the first reference to Faith's abusive childhood.
- Willow continues to dabble in magic after her attempt to restore Angel's soul. She is even more encouraged when she finds out that she had in fact succeeded in the Ritual of Restoration.
- Buffy begins a relationship with Scott. However, this relationship ends two episodes later, in "Homecoming", when Scott says Buffy isn't that exciting anymore. Scott isn't mentioned until Season 7, when Buffy has a fight with former high school classmate Holden Webster, who points out that Scott "came out last year".
- Buffy feels as if Faith is taking over her (Buffy's) life, a theme explored further in Season 7, particularly the episodes "Empty Places", and "Touched". It also foreshadows the Season 4 episodes "This Year's Girl" and "Who Are You", in which Faith literally switches lives (and bodies) with Buffy.
- Buffy asking Faith if she's hungry after the slaying of Kakistos is an indication that they share some similarities as Faith mentions that she always gets hungry and horny after slaying. Buffy has denied being horny, but admitted to being hungry. This is also confirmed in the season finale of the Season One episode ("Prophecy Girl"), when after Buffy defeats The Master, she mentions she is hungry. It is echoed in later seasons, when Dawn mentions that the first place Buffy goes after slaying is the refrigerator.
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