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 appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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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.


While out slaying, Faith asks Buffy if she's ever had sex with Xander and Buffy says they're just friends. They're attacked by a vampire with weapons--a short blade and long blade--and then kill it. The next day at school, the gang is looking into college and they discuss future plans. Wesley, Buffy's stuffy new Watcher annoys Giles in the library while both Slayers do their best to ignore him as much as possible. Buffy is instructed to go retrieve an amulet that once belonged 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 believes Buffy gets off on slaying as much as she does.

That night, Buffy finds the amulet but a group of Balthazar's vamps enter before she can take it. Faith arrives and the two slay some of the vamps before taking the amulet back. After handing over the amulet to Wesley, Buffy leaves to take a necessary chem test, but she can't stop talking through the whole test about the night previous 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 strange 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, a very heavy 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 hardware shop 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 cops, causing the car to crash and the cops to be injured. The following morning, Buffy checks the local newspaper for any news regarding the accident, but finds nothing. The Mayor is attacked by one of Balthazar's vampires, who is foiled by Mr. Trick.

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 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. The two run into several vampires and stake them, then Allan, the Mayor's secretary walks out and Faith accidentally stakes him, too. He dies before anything can be done 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, coward that he is, is willing to give up anything in exchange for his life. Angel shows up with Buffy, frees Giles and everyone fights. When Balthazar captures Angel, Buffy tosses live wires 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 that makes him invincible. He is now unable to be killed. Buffy confronts Faith about the killing but Faith doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't care.


  • 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.


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]


  • After nearly being drowned by the vampires in the nest, Buffy remarks 'I hate it when they drown me'. This is in reference to the Season 1 finale "Prophecy Girl", where the Master leaves Buffy to drown in a shallow pool, after drinking her blood.
  • 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.
  • When Buffy realizes that Xander's eye twitches when she brings up Faith's name in front of him, he covers his eye. This foreshadows Xander losing his eye later in the series.
  • Faith steals a long green lever 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.
  • Faith stakes Allan in this episode. This reacts to Buffy in "Dead Things" from Season 6.

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.


  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]