Faith, Hope and Trick

Perri's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

Wahoo! Now this is what I waited all summer to see. Interpersonal stuff is great, fine, wonderful, highly necessary, but this is 'Buffy', screams of frustration and all!

Senior year, and Willow is thrilled and terrified to be able to leave campus. Under duress from Oz and Xander, she actually manages to leave with the others to meet Buffy -- who has way too much time on hands so is supplying gourmet picnic lunches. Buffy tells them she has a meeting with Snyder the next morning; at the same time, a classmate named Scott Hall, who has a thing for Buffy, does a walkby and Buffy proclaims once again how much she wants life to go back to what passes for normal.

That night, the latest threat to normal cy arrives in town -- a slick black guy named Mr. Trick, with a black limo and a taste for fast food... workers. He also has an interesting passenger who's out for Slayer blood. Meanwhile, Buffy dances at the Bronze in Angel's arms, as her friends look on. As she takes his hands, her claddagh rings slips of and falls to the ground. Angel picks it up, and blood flows from his hand. Again, the sword plunges into Angel's heart at he looks at her accusingly. "I loved you," he says, as blood begins to seep from his chest. Buffy tries to help him, but he flinches back. "Go to hell!" he yells, as his face turns demonic and decayed. "I did."

Buffy wakes.

The meeting with Snyder isn't much better -- he's being forced to let Buffy back into school, but he's setting up hoops to be jumped through. Joyce and Buffy still take the opportunity to gloat, and Buffy heads straight for the library. Willow is thrilled, but Giles is too distracted to be happy -- he tells Buffy he's trying to set up a ritual to enforce the binding on Acathla. Buffy continues to hedge on the details of her fight with Angel -- holding out on the worst parts -- but Willow volunteers to help. Giles warns her about her deepening involvement in witchcraft, but she is cheerfully oblivious.

The Bronze is hopping that night; Buffy interrupts a Willow/Oz makeout session, then Scott -- forewarned by Willow -- shows up and tries to get Buffy to dance with him. She turns him down, but he's persistant and goes off to wait. Willow and Oz encourage her to take Scott up on his offer, but before Buffy has to say anything, she sees a couple dancing on the other side of the room. They take off and Buffy follows, certain the boy is a vampire. Pushing past a hopeful Scott, she emerges into the street; Xander flips her a stake and she prepares to rescue the girl -- to find the girl doing a fine job of rescuing herself after she snags the stake from Buffy.

Her name is Faith, the Slayer called when Kendra was killed. Faith -- hip to nth and slinging more slanguage than Buffy on her worst day -- informs them she came to Sunnydale while her Watcher was on a retreat in England because she wanted to meet Buffy. The nest day, Giles is obviously not happy about not being invited to the retreat, but Faith charms him as quickly as everyone else and he gets down to business. Two people have disappeared and Buffy and Faith agree to check it out together -- after dinner with Buffy's mom. Buffy takes makeup tests, and Giles presses again for details for his spell, while Faith hangs with the gang and, somewhat unintentionally, charms Buffy's would-be guy, Scott.

Mr. Trick and his cloven-hooved buddy are hanging in yet another Sunnydale warehouse; while Mr. Trick is happily enjoying the relocation to Sunnyhell, Hoof-Guy is still jonesing for Slayer blood -- but it becomes obvious the Slayer he wants is Faith. The only thing creepier is how well Joyce and Faith are getting along at dinner. Faith's hyper-confidence in Slaying gets on Buffy's nerves almost as much as how well she fits in with Buffy's friends. But when Buffy complains to her mother, all Joyce can think of is that there's someone else to take on the job of Slaying. She tries to get Buffy to turn the job over to Faith and Buffy points out the hard fact fact about death being the only out. Which informs Joyce that Buffy has died at least once, throwing the danger of Slaying back in her face. Joyce continues to try to adjust, although terrified for her daughter.

Faith and Buffy head out on patrol, but the routine job turns into a fight when Faith tries to get Buffy to loosen up and unintentional hits Buffy in her sore spot -- Angel. What's about to turn into another round of Slayer versus Slayer is rudely interrupted by a vampire attack. Buffy takes on her crew, but Faith gets distracted by beating the hell out a vampire instead of staking him; an outnumbered Buffy is almost killed because Faith is oblivious. Buffy escapes and forces the issue, staking Faith's vamp. Faith refuses to admit anything was wrong, and Giles doesn't initially share Buffy's concern. Buffy talks him into calling Faith's Watcher at the retreat, then tells him about the vamps who attacked her -- that they said they lived for "Kakistos". Giles immediately identifies him as a vampire so ancient his hands and feet are cloven; Buffy amkes a connection of her own, that he showed up at the same time Faith did.

Buffy heads off to talk to Faith -- and is intercepted by Scott, giving it one last try. Buffy weakens and agrees to go out with Scott, but the mood is broken when he tries to give her a gift of friendship -- a claddagh ring. Buffy wigs and Scott retreats quickly; Giles' concern is also brushed off, until he tells her that Faith's Watcher is dead. Buffy goes immediately to Faith's hotel room and confronts her with the information about Kakistos and Faith's Watcher. Faith falls apart at the knowledge that Kakistos has followed her and tries to run. Buffy gives her the same speech she's been getting about running away, and Faith finally gives in -- too late, since a knock on the door announces the arrival of Kakistos with a horde of vamps.

The two Slayers escape out the bathroom window and run, with vampires in hot pursuit, finding shelter in an empty warehouse. Faith, falling apart, tells Buffy Kakistos tortured her Watcher to death infront of her -- she ran when she was unable to stop him. Buffy tries to reassure her, but then Faith realizes that the warehouse is Kakistos, and they'd been herded there. Vamps attack,a nd Faith is immediately cornered by Kakistos. Terrified and helpless, she's no match for him until Buffy takes a hand. Mr. Trick, seeing that his Master is over-matched -- takes a powder with absolutely no regrets (and much funnier dialogue in the captions than onscreen). Buffy manages to stake Kakistos, but to no effect. Faith tries a bigger stake -- a heavy beam of wood that efficiently dusts Kakistos. The two Slayers leave together.

Giles tellsthem the next morning that the Watcher Council has agreed to leave Faith in his charge until a new Watcher is appointed. And, in the itnersts of helping Giles's spell, Buffy finally tells Giles and Willow what happened the night she killed Angel -- that he was cured, that she told him she loved him, then killed him. The telling leaves her relieved, and Giles and Willow grim with the realization of what really happened. When Willow still volunteers to help Giles with his spell, he tells her sadly that there was never a spell.

Buffy waits for Scott outside his classroom and apologizes for her wigout. Scott, after three seconds thought, tells her the date is still open. They agree to go out, after Buffy does one last thing. She goes to the mansion where she fought Angel and puts her claddagh on the ground where she killed him, saying a sad but determined goodbye. She leaves -- and a spot of light appears on the ring. The ground shakes...

.. And with a flash of light, Angel falls to the ground. Alive.

There' s a new bad guy in town, a vampire named Mr. Trick -- cool and suave and with a taste for delivery boys.

There's also a new Slayer in town -- Faith, who was Called when Kendra was killed. Faith's Watcher died (messily) at the hands of an ancient vampire named Kakistos; Faith escaped to Sunnydale and killed Kakistos with Buffy's help. She is a high school dropout, staying in Sunnydale on a temporary basis with Giles acting as her Watcher. Her mother is dead; no other information available.

Angel is back!! And naked, but we're not going there....

There's apparently some kind of Watcher Council (I believe this is the first explicit mention of such a thing, although we've been assuming it for a while), which assigns Watchers to potential Slayers and holds retreats involving kayaking. < g >.

Oh, dear. Just as Buffy is finally starting to deal with Angel's death and move on (in the form of the quite cute and somewhat overly sincere Scott), Angel comes back. This is going to be way ugly. To an extreme.

As I said, lovely timing. Buffy finally tells Willow and Giles what really happened, finally shows some signs of accepting what she thinks she had to do and trying to move past it -- and she's going to get sucker-punched next week. Poor kid. She also gets hit with another new Slayer, one who is getting along magnificently with the people Buffy is only just becoming able to be with again. No wonder she's single white femaled. But she adjusts again, and seems to be ready to take on the task of taking care of Faith.

Who has the distinction of being one of the few people on Earth who has recently had as bad a time as Buffy. My assumptions are that Faith is an orphan, almost certainly a street kid before she was Chosen and taken in by her Watcher (unless she was taken in before she ws chosen?) Either way, the death of her Watcher would have been bad enough without the pretty horrible circumstances. But give Faith some credit -- scared and alone, she has the sense to go looking for help immediately, even if she can't bring herself to tell the whole story. We'll see what facing Kakistos again did for that obnoxiously self-confident facade of hers. We'll also see how much longer she and Buffy keep playing Slayer dominance games, which seem to be pretty much inevitable. I am vaguely amused that Buffy spent most of her time with Kendra trying to get her to loosen up, but this time, the roles have been reversed.

I suspected Giles was up to something with that binding spell routine, but who really knew he could be that downright sneaky. Damned effective though...He's much better at reading Buffy that he used to be; I don't think Buffy would be all that pleased to realize just how well he can read her. And we also get the question of just what kind of relationship Giles does have with the Watcher council -- he's not invited to teh retreats and is obviously not happy about that, yet he was assigned to the current Slayer. What's up with that?

Willow is getting way too into this witchcraft thing. Even when Giles flat-out tells her there are some things she shouldn't be messing with -- and when faced with the results of that messing, in the form of the trauma she unwittingly inflicted on Buffy and Angel -- she still determined to help Giles with his 'spell'. Willow, catch a clue, please.

Joyce is still coping, but getting better at it all the time. She doesn't blink at having another Slayer show up on her front door, even if her first (eminently logical) thought is whether Faith can 'take over' for Buffy (which, as I recall, was almost the first thing Buffy thought of when she met Kendra). And she's not slow -- she figured out immediately that buffymust have 'died' at some point, and I bet she's going to be dragging those details out as soon as she gets the chance. Trust me, Joyce, you don't really want to know.

Am I the only one Scott mildly annoys? Okay, yes, he's cute and very sincere -- but he's so young. Or am I just getting old? Still, he wins major points for persistance and humor, and his approach to trying to get Buffy to dance with him was very well done. So I'll give him a chance.

Xander! Hormones under control, please? Just for a switch!

What can I say about Mr. Trick except that he rocks. A computer geek vampire a sense of humor as well-developed as Spike's and attitude to spare. The fact that he's none too hard on the eyes sure doesn't hurt! Can't wait to see more from this dude and soon!

Best Moments:
Oz and Xander conspiring against Willow. Without even a look, they ganged up on Willow to force her into motion -- utterly priceless! And an interesting sign of how close the four Slayerettes have gotten lately. And the following 'uncoupling' was very nicely done -- cookies to the Slayerettes.

Oz's "I like it when you do that" while Willow babbles. < sigh > I really adore Oz, have I mentioned this?

Trick's rif fon Sunnydale in the limo -- ROTFL! And his quick snare of the drive-through guy, just when you thought he was safe... < shudder > This guy is serious evil. Cool!

Joyce and Buffy teaming up against Snyder. We love you, Joyce!

Cordelia's "Find a new theme" to Xander. < snerk > You go, girl.

Oz so very nervously checking Faith's stand on werewolves. < giggle > He's so cute. And way to work that important little bit of information in so everyone'll be prepared for the Wolfman to make his appearance.

Willow and Xander giving Faith the tour of Sunnydale High. < g > You forget sometimes just how much damage that school has seen.

Joyce reacting to Faith and to Buffy's little death revelation. She's trying, she's really trying.

Mr. Trick calmly, coolly walking away from Kakistos. Love it!

Giles telling Willow there was no spell. Just beautiful.

Questions and Comments:
Like I was saying, so why wasn't Giles invited to this retreat? He seemed willing to buy that Faith's Watcher could go, so it's apparently not an 'active Slayer' thing. Is he that far on the outs with the Watcher Council? And if he is, why did he get assigned to Buffy after 'Merrick' died? Taking over for the existing Slayer has got to be a fairly huge honor.

Why did Buffy wait all afternoon and until after dark to go confront Faith at her hotel room?

On the same subject, why was Kakistos able to break into Faith's hotel room? Does it not count as a dwelling, or did just opening the door count as an invitation since it was only a hotel?

Is this going to be a trend, by the way -- meet new Slayer, fight new Slayer? 'Cause that was shaping up into another nice cheeek fight, there.

Looks like Mr. Trick doesn't have Spike's problem with finding a restaurant that delivers. < snerk > Gotta love that particular running gag.

We got much better dialogue when Trick abandoned Kakistos in the closed captions (check the quote list) than made it to the screen -- what was up with that?

The Watcher Council thing is giving me serious 'Highlander' flashbacks. Any second now, I'm expecting them to try to execute Giles for interfering...

Oh, I loved the naked and hurting appearance when it was Michael Biehn in 'Terminator' and I loved it when it's Angel. Of course, the naked part alone where both of these guys is concerned is just... Wow. < breathe > Wow.

And, one final gloat -- I knew those rings were going to be important, I knew they wre going to be involved in getting Angel back! Said it from Suprise on and I love being proven right! < gloat > Okay, I'm finished. My theory on the ring, by the way -- Angel has been trying to get back to Buffy (maybe not even conciously anymore, depending on how long he's subjectively been there). The presence of the ring, which ties him to Buffy and to her world, was enough to finally give him an anchor to pull himself back. < g > Or something completely different.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5, not a five only because I'm fairly sure next week's is going to be even more intense. Once again, David G. delivers an awesome script, with wonderful new characters, necessary exposition inserted fairly smoothly, and an outstanding new villain!


"Like Trick. Oooooo, boy. Yup, gonna hate him by the end of the season, he's a Bad Guy, but he's already fulfilled the RDA (Recommended Daily Amusement) requirement for a BtVS vamp. Just for following up on Spike's "did we finally find a place that delivers" line with the Happy Burger boy and the Domino's guy. Heee!" -- Chris

"Giles gets a major sneakiness award for making Buffy talk about what she had to in such an underhanded, devious, absolutely necessary way. And I still like the suspenders. And I think I'm getting used to the glasses. (Yeah, I know, huge surprise...)"
"That scene was beautiful. Major snaps to Aly and ASH for being incredibly eloquent with virtually no lines...I am trying to remember where I read the line "Her face was like an unfolding map of a tragic country," but that's what Willow's face looked like. And Giles...ooohh man." -- Chris and Gina

"I don't know, maybe it was just me, but between Faith's over-the-top characterization (till she changed at the end), Mr. Trick showing us his "Mumble Champion of 1998" award-winning performance, and Kissing Toast's "I'm the Big Bad Guy" way of speaking--heck, even Willow was speaking in a non-Willow-like manner at the beginning of the was all too distracting. Not distracting enough to keep me from noticing that Giles' new glasses can also do the Magical Disappearing Glasses trick." -- Betsy

"Didn't like Faith. Thought she was totally full of herself, and her calling Buffy "B" just grated on me. On the other hand, Buffy's mom *really* redeemed herself with me in this episode, first with the "I think what my daughter meant to say was...nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" (go Joyce!) and then with the kitchen discussion. She wigged and she *handled* it honestly rather than yelling and shutting Buffy off, with "I've tried to march in the Slayer Pride Parade" (great line!) "But...I don't want you to die." (Appropriately misty-eyed.) That emotion, of course, is what motivated all of her earlier, less-productive actions and statements, but *those words* were what Buffy needed to hear." -- Gina

"I'm sure I wasn't the only one who noticed that Buffy switched from the cross to the heart locket after the big fight with Taquitos, right? (Yes, I know that's not his real name. I just like it better.)" -- Gina

"I, um.... I *cough* I *looks at toes* Ilikedscott. There. I said it. Don't know what the plan is for him (though, the "Hope" in the title along with Faith and Trick implies more appearances...)...even had some "he's evil" thoughts after the "he's gonna die" thoughts proved to be not coming true. But I've said if Joss creates another guy for her and does it well, I'd buy it. As long as he acknowledges the love of Angel somehow. *sigh* Oh I see so many owies coming..... I don't know if I can handle it." -- Mary Beth

"Faith: I like her.... and I don't. She's refreshing in an irritating way. She's got attitude.... which could keep Buffy on her toes and be what she needs.... but she has too much and needs to learn a lot. My first reaction: "'B'??? Buffy is *not* an aunt." But... she grew on me, especially once she became more dynamic and 3-dimensional. I'm getting over the "another Slayer" problem... I'll wait and see." -- Mary Beth

"I sit here shaking my head thinking -- it's the third season this is supposed to start sucking now. But here we are. Not sucking. Not sucking anything. Very unsuckable. Anti-suck in fact." -- Sasha

"Another note on the title:
Faith = faith in your friends and in yourself
Hope = hope for the future
Trick = what life pulls on you when you finally find faith and hope. Anyone else wanna take a stab at it?" -- Mary Beth

"And while it never occurred to me that it was a Stunt Butt, one *does* have to admire David's --- uhhh, professionalism? In giving his all for the show. Yup." -- Chris

"Scott. He's cute. He's funny. He likes Buster Keaton. What more do you want? = I'd take him in a hot minute. He isn't paralyzed by the fact that he is an ancient undead vampire who suddenly caught his soul after an extended period and is having a rough and angsty century. I'd say he's a keeper."
"Don't know about keeper --- I have fears that he'll go the way of Ford eventually, and turn bad on us. And how soon is he going to be inducted into the Slayerettes? Especially since Buffy won't be hitting him any time soon. :> ALthough... this is a guy willing to date the school Bad Girl, someone who has two rumored murders under her I'm willing to suspend disbelief that this is happening. For now." -- Sasha and Chris

"Plus, as I was remembering last night, Buffy has been almost *exactly* where Faith is--- three months or so into the job, and her Watcher's dead. Someone wants her dead in a BIG way. Scared out of her mind. " -- Chris

"Angel. Naked. Why do I think hearts stopped across the country as that boy fell to earth (rather a fallen angel in fact) But.... Much as I know that some people love him and think he's quite yummy..... I already like Scott better than I ever liked him ... and I just I know where Joss is going with this (nothing specific of course) but it will involve angst. Deep Angst and I want Buffy to be able to have cuddles with Scott. " -- Sasha

"Faith. Like her. Way better than Kendra. I know so many people who are like that with the tattoos and the attitude and this amazing hurt they carry within themselves. I found it very nice a refreshing and honest character. Think of Buffy first season ... she was headed down that road (though better dressed). I felt Faith's line about "If I had had friends like you in High School I would probably still have dropped out. But I would have felt worse about it." was very telling." -- Sasha "Is anyone else getting the impression that we're going be seeing a *lot* more of the Ripper this year? We've seen the Ripper visit Herr Snyder, and a very un-Giles-like sneakiness and untruthfulness. Granted, the sneakiness was in a good cause, but before this, I wouldn't have believed that Giles would be able to lie like that without fumfuh-ing and blushing. When he said there wasn't a spell, my jaw hit the floor - I *totally* bought the lie. And I loved Faith bringing up the idea that he's a good-looking guy! Yeah, she was brown-nosing a bit, but still, it's nice to have that fact brought up once in a while." -- Maureen

"And yes, I like her well enough that I won't stake the maitre d' because MB's and my order of red herring was burnt to a crisp. I'm still not happy that the one-Slayer norm didn't reset itself when Kendra died; but if they had to make this choice, this is the way to go about it." -- Valerie

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