This Week's Barks

This Year's Girl

"...the votes are in, and it's time for my concession speech." -- So said Xander himself.

This past week, we saw This Year's Girl, and a bunch of dingo action players (whose votes were NOT lost). Thanks for playing, you nifty people! (er, good dingoes?)..Now, here's what y'all said:

cemetery The Mayor is cool because:

   He has a knack for gift-giving.
   Of his gosh-darned good sense of humor.
   He could give The Crocodile Hunter a run for his money.
   One word: Cheesecake.

The Winner: Of his gosh-darned good sense of humor.

Yeah, yeah..but...cheesecake!

The hospital scenes:

   Seemed pretty dark.
   Made me wonder who was footing Faith's hospital bills.
   Were disturbing.
   Made me think of Killed By Death.

The Winner: Made me wonder who was footing Faith's hospital bills.

Yeah...and they like, barely pay for the lighting!

Faith's coma-dream sequences:

   Made me think of The Shawshank Redemption.
   Had some subtext.
   Made me think of pie.
   Could have used more cameos of Angel.

The Winner: Had some subtext.

Add it up, it all spells "duh."

I kind of don't get:

   Why the Scooby Gang doesn't off Spike now.
   What Willow and Tara talk about besides spells and recon missions.
   Why Buffy doesn't pick up her mail from home more often..
   Why Joyce doesn't send Buffy's mail to her.

The Winner: Why Joyce doesn't send Buffy's mail to her.

All that postage for barely five miles? I wouldn't send it, either.

It's interesting that:

   The jetset guys could turn on Giles's lamp.
   The girl Faith questioned wore the same size clothing as Faith.
   Riley's in pain, but let Buffy sit on his lap.
   Joyce has so many lipstick shades.

The Winner: Joyce has so many lipstick shades.

Lipstick is a form of art? (Okay, I'd have gone with the Faith/clothing coincidence. But hey. Maybe Joyce gets a good deal on Maybelline.)

NEW EPISODE BONUS -- the title just breaks it up a little.

Sunnydale High School:

   Lost two great principals.
   Is an eyesore.
   Could be rebuilt with proceeds from the athletic clubs' bake sale.
   Is but a fond memory for all.

The Winner: Is but a fond memory for all.


   Should just go to the library to study.
   Should watch old Star Trek episodes to deal with his plight.
   Probably watched The Blair Witch Project.
   Should have been named Abel.
   Should marry Faith and produce superhumandemonoid offspring.

The Winner: Should marry Faith and produce superhumandemonoid offspring.


   Is probably thinking about relocating to Italy by now.
   Should really ask who it is before opening the door.
   Is still bogarting the cheesy chips.
   Probably misses making waffles.

The Winner: Should really ask who it is before opening the door.

What Did You Think of This Episode?

Then finally, your non-dingo-guided opinion about the episode. A decent split; some folks were glad to see Faith, others could have done without her royal badness. Some of you were glad to see Joyce. I know I was. Heh. (Come on, you know she's had some great lines about parenting, and well..I like her.) But hey. This isn't about me. It's about, let's just get on with your comments, 'kay?

So...let's see what we've got this week, byte-wise.

But first -- Standard disclaimer: Can't post 'em all, but this week I'm posting a big massively huge amount. Hope the authors don't mind being put up here, and some may be abridged. And again, no name, no bark byte recognition (even though I still like reading what you thought; make it easy on me and put a name on there, please! Thanks!)

Devinistan said:

Ya know, this ep here is the perfect reason as to why Spike should move in with Joyce!! She's got an empty room, and Spike could have faced off with Faith.

'Sides, I don't think Joyce will want Buffy dropping by much anymore. She finally did, and look how trashed the house was.

Overall, pretty good ep. (Wait, don't I say that all the time? Eh, whenever I'm posted, it's edited out, so whatever) [Hey. You just said that so I'd keep it in this time, right? Heh.] I still don't trust Tara (sabotaging, little bit) but I'm glad Riley's back in the fight. I liked the scene where the gang was talking about Faith. The camera work was great, focusing on the four, until, right at the end, you realize, "Hey, where's Riley?" and the camera switches over to him.

From MadHatter:

Bleh...My best girlfriend was having a major crisis and only allowed me to watch the first 45 minutes of the ep in closed caption...Hmm, Riley is drippy even when I can't hear him. :)

You know what? The Scooby gang wrote off Faith without a second thought, and so did I. I don't care about Faith. I didn't want to see her resurrected. I CARE NOT. I feel that we moved on from last season, and have even overcome the "freshman awkwardness" episodes, and I'm not looking back. Faith was an unwelcome guest to me, and I audibly groan at the thought of her being in next week's ep, as she most certainly will be.

From Paul:

Aside from the tremendous agony of Psychotic Unreformed Faith, I loved it. Eliza was great. And this ep showed the thing that the 4th season has lacked to date - a good, interesting villain. S1 had the Master, S2 had Spike, Dru, and Angel, S3 had Faith and the Mayor, and S4 has a really big cyborg.

I only hope that 1) Faith eventually comes back to the Light and 2) Joss and Co. find some focus for the season before it ends.

....Spike is thoroughly and gleefully evil....Tara is boring (and her one scene tonight was pointless and stupid). Joyce has guts.

GypAng said:

Ahh...Faith is so refreshing! Get Riley out of the picture and it was a near-perfect episode. Spike is great!! Let's them know he doesn't like them, but still plays with their heads.

belle said:

One of the best this season (which is saying a lot), if not ever, but now I'm starting to go into Riley-like shaking and sweatiness waiting for next week.

I always thought Spike and Faith would hit it off--besides their mutual hate of Buffy & co., they both have absolutely no impulse control like head-bangy, aggro music, and pleasingly complementary wardrobes.

I liked Joyce's little mouthing-off remarks to Faith ("How do I look?" "Psychotic.") I'm finally beginning to see the family resemblance...

Fnord said:

....A video tape made by the Mayor turns out to be a better villain than Adam. Which doesn't say much for Adam.

Why was Xander trying to fix the blaster? Willow is the high tech expert of the group (she kept some Ted parts).

Ophelia the Fruitfly Slayer said:

I'd really have enjoyed this episode more if my brother hadn't told me the ending which he apparently found out from a spoilers site. [Aughh! Spoilers! No! Wear earplugs around your brother..?] And if that girl from Rice U hadn't called right in the middle of the ep (right during the Spike part no less!). [Okay, I thought folks in college were dare she! Sigh. Again I say, earplugs.] I enjoyed the dream sequences. It's significant that Buffy killed Faith in the first 2 and she kept sleeping, but in the last dream Faith was triumphant and woke up.

Satan's Bunny said:

I didn't realize how much I missed Faith. During the dream sequences, I felt really sorry for her, then she woke up and became "psycho hose beast" and I stopped.

Couldn't help but agree with Xander on the "We are dumb" thing. Spike is not Ann Landers, do not tell him your problems! [Hm. That's an interesting idea. "Dear Spike, I think my son is involved with a gang on PCP. What should I do? Signed, Clueless. -- Dear Clueless, How about you invite me over so I can fantasize about killing you? Now sod off. Spike."]

From Grub:

....Joyce REALLY needs a peephole in her front door...

skatie said:

Faith's back!! Yippee!! Now things can get messier, Faith is sooo good at mind games. I know Adam is supposed to be this evil super-demon kinda guy, but he doesn't have attitude. This show needs attitude!

Also, I'm hoping the helicopter guys are from the Council. They can't all be like Giles and Wesley. [Wesley I can understand..but Giles? Aw..they can be like Giles. (Insert smiley here.)]

From Holly:

....I wonder where the mayor got that device to transfer souls. [ebay?] This is going to be interesting to see how buffy will get back into her own body after Faith/Buffy smashed it to smithereens.

From Ula:

Less Initiative=Better episode. But why didn't Faith assume Angel was dead? How did she know where Giles' house was? Why is Riley exactly like Angel??? One was enough.

jupiter lust said:

I was so happy that Faith came out of her coma. The show definitely needed some bitch action. Professor Walsh was a stupid science geek compared to Faith.

Now that she is in Buffy's body, I hope she will put a stake through the loathsome Riley. He has been on the show for one too many episodes.

From Deb:

Good to see Faith back -- and that she *didn't* spend the time in a coma reflecting and changing!...what was up with Willow's hat??

Rachel R. said:

The question is not why Joyce has so many lipsticks... it's why she'd buy a lipstick called "Harlot" in the first place. Perhaps it's from da episode where she and Ripper *ahem'd* on the car... TWICE!! Heh heh. [Heh indeed!]

MelonCollie said:

I loved the way they handled Faith's return. But, I was kinda surprised that she didn't go by the mansion and see if Tall, Dark and Handsome was there.

I thought it was odd that the mayor made a "farewell" tape. It seemed he was pretty confident of his "soon-to-be" victory over Buffy and the Scooby Gang.

Faith as Buffy? Vice Versa? *Now* we're finally getting somewhere! No more "Riley's so cute..." or "Initiative this, Initiative that.." Woo! Can't wait for next week!

AJ said:

Why are the police after Faith? I can't think of anything that she did that they could actually connect her to. The vice-mayor's death? [I'm thinking yeah.]

What a great attitude Joyce has!

Angry Rabbits said:

Very interesting...what else can I say. The first part of a 2 parter always seems to drag a bit.

Nexus said:

They finally brought back Faith! About time!!!

Queen C said:

Did somebody really ask for Faith to come back? Tell me who it was so I can bite them a really whole lot please. [ wasn't just Nexus, I swear! Again I say, no biting. Heh.] Once again with the biting. I'm an animal...grrrrrrr. And can anyone else see Spike liking Faith? She's his type...brunette, criminally insane. Makes sense to me anyway. But hey now we can see Buffy act like a really big skank ho so super duper.

slothgirl said:

Anyone notice how Willow is becoming all excited and ditsy whenever she talks about spells? It kind of wants to make you gag. She needs to, like, have something go horribly wrong or something so she'll be less peppy.

I thought the episode kinda sucked. Never liked Faith and wish that she would become infested with the fleas of a thousand camels. [Yow.]

From northern wolfie:

....eeew...Faith is so mean! And how did she figure out Riley was a marine, just by looking at him sitting in Giles's living room?

kailen said:

Kudos to Faith for keeping her reflexes and muscle tone while in a coma! Must be a slayer thing.

I liked the coma dream scenes with Faith and the mayor. Lots of conflicting feelings - you want to hate her because she's evil, but her fear and longing for affection are so...normal.

What was the deal with her hospital room? I thought she was in someone's basement hooked up to Monty Python's machine that goes "ping." My boyfriend thought that she was in some storage room in the Initiative. This is a hospital??? [May I just say, LOL.]

ash said:

I loved it! Mostly cuz I've been going through Faith withdrawal. I was actually starting to agree w/ her, though I still couldn't jump on the kill Buffy bandwagon.

I still wanna know where teenagers go to high school in Sunnydale now? I mean there were lowerclassmen(women) right? [Maybe they were bussed to a school that was competing in the crosstown [dead] body competition or whatever...]

Allie said:

....Willow's fashion sense has completely been flushed down the toilet.

Fangirl said:

Two words: Soul transference! Woo-hoo! (Hmm, actually that was four words, wasn't it? Feh.)

Tacy said:

Gosh, I just hate Faith. I was so disappointed to see her back. I very much enjoyed the part where Xander and Giles stupidly spill the beans to a concerned and caring (heh) Spike. The ending was a disappointment to me. The whole body switching theme is such a good idea, but I can just visualize a different episode, where the entire Scooby Gang, Spike, and Riley and his pals all switch bodies with each other. That could be a very funny set-up. Imagine Giles in Anya's body, or Spike in Xander's...Instead we have crazy Faith... blah, blah, blah.

Hitomi Terwilliger said:

Man, did I miss Wilkins. He turned into a giant snake-demon and died way too soon. He and Faithhave a bond, one that really shouldn't end now that he's crispy chunks. And Faith. She needs to stay. Sure, she's violently psychotic, but it's not her fault reality gave her the shaft. I'm sure that, with a little hard work, she can whip the residents of Sunnydale into shape and live a long, happy, fun life. Preferrably with caring, doting, back-from-politician-hell, pseudo-father Richard Wilkins.

StephanieJane said:

Joyce must have shoplifted that Harlot lipstick while she was out and about with Ripper in Band Candy. I'm so glad that there're guys who prefer us dark-haired criminally insane gals. Yea Spike!

Scout said:

Groovy ep. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Faith -- she's a really great foil for Buffy.

Violet said:

Why is that we love to hate Faith? I think it's because she has had such a sorry life, you can't help but feel bad. The best line of the show:

"Payback's a bitch." -Faith
"Look who's talking." -Willow

Go Willow, getting in a hit in with her backpack!

Cathren said:

I'm starting to get sick with the "confused person walking in the middle of the road" thing. Aren't there any cars in Sunnydale? [Yes, but they're probably all like Giles's old Citroen or whatever...probably quicker to walk!]

baronessp said:

Okay, is it just me, but is Tara really strange? (I mean other than the "we think she's probably evil or potentially skanky in some way thing.") Maybe it's just that she delivers all her lines in a way that makes Ross on "Friends" look like a speed talker? Other than that, my other petty worry was how Faith (the skanky ho!) could still wear midriff type tops after having her guts ripped out in June. Is it a Slayer healing thing? Oh, and did the body change device thingy remind anyone else of one of those little joy buzzer things you used to get in the magic trick section? Just wondering...

BA Bitca said:

So...more Faith. Yay. So did the mayor tell Faith on the tape what that thingy was for or did he have a note in the box or what? How the Hell did she figure it out without inststructions? How did she even know it was supposed to go on her hand? Or maybe I just missed something, either way. [You didn't miss anything. Or, we both did?]

So anyway, Buffy's gonna act like Faith. Hey guess all the men on the show are gonna get laid huh? And I really wanna know what's gonna happen when Riley finds out the whole Angel saga. Maybe he'll be crushed and move back to Iowa. I'll miss his arms, they are nice, but I'm sure Joss can find more.

WildHorses said:

It was great, in an 'Invasion-of-the-Bodysnatchers-Killed-by-Death-Graduation-Day-Pt-II kind of way. I liked the dream sequences, and the Mayor's appearance. And I'm *so* relieved that no one knows what "5 by 5" means. I thought that I was the only one.

QYV said:

Face/Off much???

FurryRabbits said:

I wanted to crawl into that TV screen and smack Faith upside the head my very self. Also, I think it's very evident that Tara is a demon (but not an evil evil thing... maybe - I admit it: I am hooked on Angel.) Actually, I really did think that Joyce was going to get the Drusilla-action from Faith (poor Kendra!). (poor Joyce!)

Dizzy B said:

I thought Faith's dreams definitely gave insight into her character and her perception of Buffy. I am not suprised that this self-centered, self-pitying psychopath would invert the circumstances leading up to her coma to cast herself as the victim and Buffy as the aggressor. Again and again Faith's selfish and cowardly choices make her worthy of the contempt she inspires in Buffy, despite the Slayer's best efforts to give her the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, although my comments above may indicate that I don't like the character, I very much enjoyed seeing her come back! And Yea! for Joyce -- so glad to see her back! I've missed her this season!

LRiel said:

Faith just had to wake up and mess up Buffy's life once again. She's so delusional that she doesn't realize that a lot of this is her fault, but that's what happens with delusional people. However she did have a point that, if Buffy was going to kill her for Angel, Buffy should still be with him.

Mabel said:

I still can't stand Faith. Why oh why didn't she just die!?

jua the vampire slayer said:


Lots of people hate Faith but I love her as both a) a sad and hurting character and b) as a psycho loony . Of course the best part about the show is that she can be both in the same scene (i.e. "She forgot about US, Joyce."

Another reason I loved this episode is because whenever Faith and Buffy fight they sound like nothing so much as a pair of squabbling siblings. It reinforces their love/hate relationship and their ability to understand exactly what the other is feeling and have no clue how the other one operates at the exact same time. It's also a lot of fun for someone who's always fghting with her little sister.

BTVSFreak1 said:

Ya know what? Faith is probably sorry for what she did before and wants to be part of the Scooby gang again. She just doesn't wanna show it. Hopefully this body-switch-thingamabob wil knock some freakin' sense ibto her head.

mlejane said:

At first, I was just like, Oh, no, more Buffy-Riley mush, more Riley talking, more Riley in general--bleah. But then Faith woke up, and I never really thought I liked her that much, but I realized that compared to this season's new characters, she's a savior. The Initiative was such a cool idea to introduce, and it's just turned into a boring headache with annoying characters--did I mention Riley yet? So it was kind of nice to have Faith back, and a snappy fight scene between Buffy and Faith, and then the ending just totally redeemed the whole episode and made me feel impatient for more Buffy for the first time in months.

....Also, that part when Faith is all like "Buffy doesn't care about you Joyce, she never visits" I kind of had to agree. I figured Buffy would come crashing through the (upstairs?) window, but it didn't really exonerate her that she showed up this one time. I felt like it wasn't just Joyce she's let down, it's Willow and Xander and all of us too, and I know the show-writers probably aren't thinking about it this much or intending to change anything, but wouldn't it be nice if Faith was sent in as like an Angel-of-Death judgement type character to get everyone to clean up their acts and start being entertaining again? I'm glad she didn't get caught. There's still a chance she'll kill Riley.

CandRach2 said:

Without a doubt, this is the second best episode of the season( number one being Hush of course)! It had every single thing I have been wanting to see in an ep again: dream sequences( which we had but I wanted good ones!), season 2 recon conversations (Surprise ring a bell? "Angel and I do recon, figure out [how] far they've gotten assembling the Judge."); the Mayor (he was just so darn funny, I love him!) and FAITH!!!!!! I have missed her sooooo much...!!!

Really though, This Year's Girl had it all, not to mention those wicked fight scenes with Buffy, (the Buffy/Faith fight theme playing loudly in the bacground!) Thank you Joss and Co. for making legions of fans actually happy. (And after three mediocre eps, I'd say we were! In my humble opinion.)

Winnie the witch said:

This is perhaps the best Faith-centered episode in the history of BTVS!....two things about this episode that really stood out for me was Faith's closeness to the mayor and her speech to Buffy about Buffy being self-righteous and how Buffy's attack on Faith to save her boyfriend was not 100% morally clean. I think Faith had it coming and that Faith is a psychopath who must be put down but at the same time I think she had a point! Buffy can be a little overly moralizing and judgmental at times, Buffy mismanaged Faith's darkside tendencies from the beginning, and Buffy was only willing to take action against Faith after her fellow slayer poisoned the vampire lover Buffy should not be with in the first place.

Buffy has a very disturbingly amoral viewpoint where Angel is concerned, people, face it! Look how often she's broken the rules and lied to everyone "even Giles!" to protect him! It was one of the best arguments for Angel leaving for L.A so to put a stop to their inherently self-destructive relationship. And I can't be the only one who has found Buffy and the other members of the Scooby Doo team to be pretty darn smug and self-righteous from time to time. They seem to forget you should judge not lest you be judged.

Rachel (Cicely) said:

Yippee! The one person who dares to tell Buffy what a little hypocritical, whiny, selfish brat she is is back!! ::does a little dance::

Was it just me or was the Faith/Mayor tape much more touching than the Buffy/Riley "moments"? Cause the latter just seemed so...fake. Plus, the dream sequences rocked.

Oh, and finally, finally, finally someone punched Joyce! Oh, I so wish Faith had killed her, just a little. She is, I must say the dumbest mother on the face of the earth, not to mention the most annoying... This makes up for last week's suckiness.

Kyla said:

I hate Faith. I truly do. The girl just bugs me. I thought it was oh-so-tidy when she was in a coma, and now she has to go and come out of it. Gah. I'd really like to see the scene where Buffy tells Riley (anything) about Angel...

And what's with the Mayor's f[I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat. A "u."]cking-with-the-mind video? "There's no place in the world for you"? I think he's trying to push her completely over the edge so he wins in some way even if he lost...

Jaime said:

....Xander- no one seemed to care that he nearly electrocuted himself, lol...

Kristin said:

Joyce hopefully upped her insurance policy when she found out Buffy was the slayer, huh?

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