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|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Faith returns to Sunnydale to help Buffy in the fight against The First Evil and Caleb
|Directed by||Michael Gershman|
|Written by||Drew Goddard|
|Original air date||April 15, 2003|
"Dirty Girls" is the 18th episode of the seventh and final season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
A young Potential, Shannon, is chased through the woods by Bringers. She accepts the assistance of a stranger wearing a priest's collar and driving a truck and is horrified to discover that she has fallen into a trap. The man, who introduces himself as Caleb, terrifies her and burns his mark into her neck. He gives her a message for the Slayer (which the viewer does not hear at this time), stabs her in the stomach, and forces her out of the car. Minutes later, Faith and Willow find the girl on their way back to Sunnydale after re-ensouling Angel in Los Angeles and take her to the hospital.
At his apartment, Xander's erotic dream about the teenage Potentials is cut short when the girls wake him up to fix the toilet.
At the hospital, Faith asks Willow why the Scooby Gang failed to warn her about the threat of the Bringers. Faith subsequently encounters Spike chasing a young woman and mistakenly believes Spike is evil again. The young woman, now in her vampire form, attacks Faith, who (borrowing a stake from Buffy) quickly slays her.
Back at the house, Faith encounters a cold reception from both Dawn and Giles, and Spike explains that the tension is not all because of her. Meanwhile, the First Evil reveals Buffy's form to Caleb who is residing in the basement of a winery.
The next day, Andrew tries to bring the interested Potentials up to speed on Faith's history. While they are quick to point out that Faith had killed a volcanologist, not a Vulcan, they watch Faith exercise in the back yard with fascination over this other Slayer.
At Sunnydale High School, Robin calls Buffy into his office where he fires her from her school job, emphasizing the need for her to focus on the mission.
In the Summers' home, Faith sneaks down into the basement to smoke a cigarette and have a moment away from the "wanna-bes" who, in her opinion, have way too much energy and are needy for more stories from her about her life. Spike sees her and also asks for a cigarette. She and Spike talk, and bond over their respective periods of being dangerous. Faith reveals they met once before years ago when Faith was in Buffy's body, and Spike reveals that he and Buffy had been more than just friends at one point. Buffy, having been fired by Principal Wood so she can focus more on the mission at hand, comes down and seems a bit unnerved at seeing the two of them so cozy. Dawn calls down that Willow has reported from the hospital: Shannon is awake. Buffy goes to the hospital, where Shannon tells Buffy of Caleb's message: he has something of Buffy's.
Later at the house, Buffy tries to motivate the terrified Potentials to accompany her when she attacks Caleb (who, meanwhile, is re-enacting scenes of his past murders with the First Evil). Buffy alone is confident in her plan; Giles, Spike, her friends, and the Potentials all question her decision. Buffy and Faith, on a recon mission, follow a Bringer through the woods. They discuss Faith's intentions and her recent experiences with Angel before locating Caleb's stronghold in an old winery.
At the Summers' home, Xander directs the Potentials on the methods of attacking in battle. When Rona criticizes Buffy's intentions, Xander strongly defends his friend. Leaving Willow and Giles to stay behind to protect the more inexperienced girls, Buffy leads Spike, Faith, Xander, and the more experienced Potentials (including Kennedy, Molly, Rona, Chao-Ahn, Amanda, Diane, and several others) to the vineyard; they divide into two groups: an assault team and a back-up team. After an initial clash with the Bringers, Caleb appears. He has super-strength: he quickly knocks aside Buffy and Spike, and breaks Rona's arm. Xander and Faith arrive with the back-up team, but Faith is soon knocked unconscious. Caleb kills Diane and Molly, and Buffy orders a retreat after managing to knock Caleb down. Xander starts to yell that everyone needs to get out, but is then attacked himself by Caleb. Caleb says "So, you're the one who sees everything? Let's see what we can do about that." He stabs his thumb into Xander's eye as Xander screams. Spike tackles Caleb, giving them enough time to get Xander and leave the vineyard.
Alone and distraught, Buffy leaves the injured girls and walks through the empty streets as Caleb tells the First, in Buffy's form, that their victory is imminent.
Nathan Fillion played Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon's short-lived space western Firefly. He is also not the only hero of Firefly to play a villain in the Buffyverse. Gina Torres, who played Zoe Washburne on Firefly, also portrayed the villain Jasmine on Angel; also on Angel, Adam Baldwin, who played Jayne Cobb, would portray Marcus Hamilton in the fifth season of that show.
- Misunderstanding the word vulcanologist, Andrew believes that Faith murdered a Vulcan.
- In the montage when Andrew narrates the deeds of Faith, there is a scene with her fighting a Vulcan resembling Mr. Spock, who at one point tries to incapacitate her with a Vulcan nerve pinch. In the DVD commentary, it is said that when Buffy's producers asked Star Trek's people permission to do it, they gladly accepted, telling them to "do what they want".
- Xander's comment about Matthew Broderick killing a "big dumb lizard that was not the real Godzilla" refers to the American made film Godzilla, and how the title creature looks different from the classic Godzilla.
- Caleb refers to The Bringers as "The Ray Charles Brigade"
- Faith mentions that the last film she saw while in jail was Glitter, a film starring Mariah Carey.
- When they first refer to the vineyard as "an evil vineyard", Spike immediately responds "Yeah, like Falcon Crest", which was a 1980s soap opera based around a family living at the fictional Falcon Crest vineyard. This is a reference to Spike's love of soap operas, as primarily depicted in Seasons Four and Five.
- In the DVD commentary, Nicholas Brendon says that he should always wear an eye patch, even if it's clear that Willow could mend Xander's eye, in case another TV series/movie would be made.
- Also in the commentary, it is revealed that one possible outcome in this episode would have been the death of Xander (at Caleb's hands) only to return as a voice for the First.
- According to the DVD commentary for this episode, the scene between Faith and Spike was meant to lay groundwork for a possible spin-off featuring Faith and Spike. The scenes were written by Marti Noxon with the idea of "showing these two people off," according to Drew Goddard.
- While Buffy, Spike and Faith are fighting in the graveyard, Faith asks "May I?', before taking a stake from Buffy, a nod to the first time Buffy and Faith met in the season three episode "Faith, Hope and Trick", when Faith asks the same thing before taking Buffy's stake to dust the vampire she is fighting.
- Crossover with Angel: Willow took Faith with her from Los Angeles in "Orpheus".
- Caleb, the main agent of the First, arrives in Sunnydale. Also, it is revealed that he is the one that blew up the Watcher's Council in London.
- Faith returns to Sunnydale, this time on the side of good.
- This episode really sparks the seriousness of what the Potentials have to face in the upcoming and unavoidable battle against the First Evil. This episode also drastically begins the mistrust of Buffy as a leader by the Potentials and even the Scoobies as a result of the outcome of the battle against Caleb at the vineyard.
- This episode reunites Faith and Spike, who had met once previously (while Faith was in Buffy's body).
- The Potential Molly is killed in this episode, making Kennedy the only remaining Potential from the original three that Giles brought.
- Caleb will prove to be telling the truth about having something of Buffy's in two episodes when the Scythe is revealed.
- Xander loses his left eye.
- This is the first episode where Faith and Dawn actually meet, as Faith had not appeared in the series since season 4's episode "Who Are You?" and Dawn was introduced in season 5. The characters, however, behave as though they know one another, with Faith commenting that Dawn is "all woman-sized" now. This reinforces the power of the monastic Order of Dagon's ability to reshape reality; even persons outside Sunnydale who were not even peripherally involved in the events of Season 5 have had their memories and awareness shifted to include Dawn as if she had always existed, rather than strictly those in Sunnydale or in contact with the Slayer at the time.
- Spike demonstrates his aversion to being compared to Angel, setting up his crossover to Angel after Buffy ends.
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