"Bad Girls"
Written by Doug Petrie; directed by Michael Lange

Buffy and Faith do some synchronized slaying in a cemetery while discussing the fact that Buffy has never had sex with Xander. (That makes one of them - see “The Zeppo.”) She says that she loves Xander, just not romantically, and that they don’t want to ruin their friendship. After dusting the vamps they’re fighting, Buffy senses that another is nearby and tries to get Faith to prepare for an attack. Instead, Faith ignores Buffy’s count of three and attacks on her own, which annoys Buffy. Faith doesn’t see the problem, but Buffy, calling her “Miss Attention Span,” is more in favor of organized fighting than random attacks. Faith criticizes her use of plans but Buffy points out, “The count of three isn’t a plan. It’s Sesame Street.” The two Slayers decide to grab the swords the demon left behind, but the swords are no longer there. Trick arrives at the Mayor’s office with said swords but has to wait until the Mayor’s done reading The Family Circus to receive his praise. After a brief discussion of comic strips (Trick likes Marmaduke, Finch likes Cathy), the Mayor tells Finch to be on the lookout for more demons, since they don’t want their “dedication” to be ruined. Finch suggests postponing this dedication, but the Mayor protests, pointing out that it’s one of the final phases leading to his Ascension. As he cleans his hands with a moist towelette, the Mayor tells Trick to pass on any new information about the demons to Buffy and Faith in hopes that they’ll all kill each other and save him the trouble.

At school the next day, the Scoobies look through Willow’s early admission packets from various colleges, which include Harvard, Yale, Wesleyan, and “some German polytechnical institute” which Xander can’t pronounce the name of. Willow is excited that so many schools want her and are “pitching woo.” Cordelia walks by and takes the opportunity to mock as many people as possible before heading off. Willow offers to study chemistry with Buffy that night, saying that it’s “a lot like witchcraft, only less newt.” She tells Buffy that Giles was looking for her and didn’t seem very happy. In the library, Giles is at the mercy of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof), his new replacement from the Watchers Council. Wesley talks about how things are different from the way they were in Giles’ day and boasts that he’s faced two vampires “under controlled circumstances, of course.” Giles assures him that he won’t find any in Sunnydale. “Vampires?” Wesley asks. “Controlled circumstances,” Giles replies. Buffy enters and meets Wesley, then immediately asks if he’s evil. (See “Revelations.”) Wesley asks about the previous night’s patrol and Buffy offers the minimum amount of information possible. She mentions the swords, which Wesley recognizes as belonging to members of a cult called the Eliminati. The members of the cult worshipped a demon named Balthazar, who brought them to Sunnydale. Balthazar is dead, but apparently received his strength from an amulet, which the Eliminati are most likely looking for. He tells Buffy to go to a crypt that night to try to find the amulet. Buffy isn’t thrilled to be given orders. Faith enters and, upon learning that Wesley is their new Watcher, walks right back out. As Buffy heads off after her, Giles is disheartened to see that Wesley shares his penchant for cleaning his glasses.

Buffy catches up to Faith, who tells her that they shouldn’t have to take orders from a Watcher. “We’re Slayers, girlfriend, the Chosen Two,” she says. She challenges that Buffy, despite her denial, has some fun slaying and sometimes wishes she could encounter a vampire so she would have something to fight. “If you’re not enjoying it,” Faith tells her, “you’re doing something wrong.” That night, Buffy heads to the cemetery by herself to search for the amulet. Just after she finds it, a member of the Eliminati named Vincent arrives and she has to hide out in a coffin until he and his friends, who soon join him, leave with the amulet. On her way out of the crypt, Buffy is surprised to encounter Faith, who wants to go after the Eliminati, thinking that two against six isn’t bad. Before Buffy can stop her, Faith heads underground on the trail of the Eliminati. Back in the library, Wesley looks through Giles’ diaries, reading sentences about his early impressions of Buffy, such as, “Her abuse of the English language is such that I understand only every other sentence.” Giles worries that Buffy hasn’t returned from the cemetery yet, but Wesley says that he has everything planned out to the minute and that he shouldn’t worry. Buffy and Faith face off with the Eliminati but soon find themselves at a disadvantage. Vincent decides to go after Buffy himself and tries to drown her in some nearby water. She plays dead, then attacks him, muttering, “I hate it when they drown me.” (See “Prophecy Girl.”) Buffy gets the amulet back and runs off with Faith, who gets her to admit that the encounter “didn’t suck.”

Back at the library, Wesley examines the amulet but isn’t sure that it’s authentic. Buffy pointedly thanks Giles for asking if she’s all right after her battle with the Eliminati, since Wesley couldn’t be bothered to do the same. Buffy heads off to take a chemistry test, telling Giles that she needs to talk to him later. Wesley reminds her that he, not Giles, is her Watcher and that she should discuss everything Slayer-related with him. Buffy ignores him and repeats that she’ll talk to Giles later. Wesley criticizes Giles for being unhelpful, but he doesn’t care. In chem class, Buffy tells Willow and Xander about her adventures with Faith, but neither is thrilled to listen. Their test begins, but Buffy is still caught up in describing what happened the night before. She notices that Xander’s eye twitches whenever she says Faith’s name, but he denies that it means anything. Buffy is about to finally start her test with Faith shows up outside the classroom. She draws a heart with a stake through it on the window, enticing Buffy to come with her to do more slaying. Buffy heads off with her, much to Willow and Xander’s dismay. Outside, Buffy reminds Faith that the sun is out, which means the vampires aren’t. Faith says that she found a nest and suggests that they pay the vamps a surprise visit. They do so, victoriously dusting the nesters. That night, Buffy and Faith unwind at the Bronze, dancing with a group of guys. Angel arrives and Buffy literally jumps on him, assuring him that she doesn’t like any of the guys she was with. He informs her that Balthazar isn’t dead after all and may be camping out in a warehouse while his minions look for his amulet. Wesley arrives and tells Buffy that she should leave a note the next time she goes out slaying, in case he needs to reach her. He’s surprised to learn that Angel knows about the amulet, more surprised when Buffy is able to tell that Wesley is carrying it with him, and even more surprised when she takes it from him and gives it to Angel for safe-keeping. Angel heads off to hide the amulet and Buffy and Faith head off to look for Balthazar, leaving a confused Wesley behind in the Bronze.

In a warehouse nearby, the grotesquely huge Balthazar has water ladled over him by a minion while he blasts the others for not bringing him his amulet. A vampire tries to explain that they had the amulet but couldn’t outsmart Buffy and Faith. Balthazar quickly grows bored and squeezes the vamp’s neck as punishment. Buffy and Faith arrive at the warehouse, and though Faith is ready to charge in and take on all of the Eliminati, Buffy is in favor of getting some more weapons first. Faith spots a sport shop across the street and leads Buffy over. Faith breaks in and grabs a crossbow while Buffy nervously watches. Faith informs her that, as Slayers, they can have anything they want: “want…take…have.” Buffy decides to adopt this philosophy and takes a hunting knife. However, before the two can get away with their crime, they’re busted by the police. Buffy worriedly follows the cops’ directions, but Faith is more nonchalant and tries to joke around with them. The girls are cuffed and loaded into a police car, and on the way to the station, one of the officers asks if they’re in a gang. “Yeah. We’re the Slayers,” Faith replies. She quietly gets Buffy to agree to help her get out of the car by kicked through the grate separating them from the cops. They uncuff themselves and take off without checking on the cops. The next morning, Buffy scans the newspaper for news about what happened the previous night, but doesn’t find anything. Joyce asks what she and Faith did the night before, and Buffy tells her, “Nothing really important.”

At City Hall, the Mayor takes a picture with some Boy Scouts, then closes his blinds so that Trick can join him. When the Mayor opens his liquor cabinet, Vincent attacks him with a sword. Trick quickly knocks him out and criticizes him for using a sword rather than an Uzi. He warns the Mayor that Vincent will try to kill him again, but the Mayor requests that he be locked up anyway. At the warehouse, Balthazar praises Vincent’s effort as “noble,” but laments that he didn’t gain anything from it. He orders the Eliminati to bring Giles and Wesley to him and kill Buffy and Faith. Willow and Buffy hang out in Buffy’s bedroom, where Willow has brought a protection spell for Buffy. She thinks that she’s going on patrol with Buffy and is hurt to hear that Buffy’s going with Faith instead. Faith arrives and Buffy leaves with her, much to Willow’s dismay. Buffy and Faith head back to the warehouse and are greeted less than warmly by a member of the Eliminati. At the library, Wesley criticizes Giles for having a personal relationship with Buffy, but their argument is interrupted by the Eliminati. Buffy and Faith fight their attacker in the alley and are quickly joined by another. On their way towards the warehouse, the two Slayers encounter more Eliminati and kill them all. Suddenly, Buffy is grabbed and Faith quickly starts to stake him. Buffy realizes that it’s Finch, but it’s too late - Faith has already stabbed him. Faith panics as Buffy announces that they need to call for help. She tries to help Finch, but soon recognizes that it doesn’t matter - he’s dead.

Faith pulls Buffy out of the alley and they split up. Buffy runs into Angel, who notices that she has blood on her hands from trying to help Finch. He tells her that he was at the warehouse and that the Eliminati have captured Giles. Faith goes back to the scene of her accidental crime and is horrified to look at Finch’s body again. At the warehouse, Giles and Wesley are almost as horrified to have to watch Balthazar during bath-time. Giles remains calm while Wesley freaks out about the not-so-dead Balthazar. Wesley tries to offer a trade, but Balthazar isn’t in the mood and just grows more annoyed. Fearing for his life, Wesley announces that Buffy gave the amulet to a friend of hers and that he’ll tell Balthazar everything he wants to know. Unfortunately, he never caught Angel’s name, so he’s not very helpful. Just as Balthazar is about to completely lose it, Angel arrives and begins fighting the Eliminati. He’s followed by Buffy, who frees Giles as Balthazar yells that the turn of events is “UNACCEPTABLE!” In the middle of the battle, Balthazar brings Angel to himself and prepares to kill him the way he killed one of his vampire minions. Buffy thinks quickly and grabs a cable, which she uses to electrocute Balthazar and save Angel. Just when she thinks he’s dead, Balthazar opens his eyes and tells Buffy, “You think you’ve won. When he rises…you’ll wish I’d killed you all.”

At City Hall, the Mayor performs a spell inside a pentagram and causes a small earthquake. He wonders where Finch is, then tells Trick to open the cage where Vincent is being held so that they can find out if his spell worked. Trick allows Vincent to attack the Mayor with a sword again, and this time the sword slices the Mayor’s head in half. To Trick’s surprise, the Mayor’s head quickly reverts to its normal form and he looks as if nothing happened. Vincent is also shocked and doesn’t notice when Trick stakes him. The Mayor pulls out his to-do list and checks off “become invincible,” announcing that he can’t be harmed until the Ascension. Faith is washing out her clothes in her hotel bathroom when Buffy pays her a visit. She announces that they need to figure out what they’re going to do, but Faith doesn’t think they need to discuss anything. “I was doing my job,” she reasons. Buffy tells her that being a Slayer doesn’t mean they can kill anyone they want. She says that Faith can close off her emotions, but the police will find Finch’s body and start to investigate what happened. Faith informs her that she got rid of the body, so the crime can’t be traced back to her. Buffy argues that making the evidence disappear doesn’t make the situation disappear. She’s shocked to hear that Faith doesn’t care that she killed a human being.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t run around with pointy things.

R.I.P.: Allan Finch

GRADE: B Mostly redeemed by Balthazar.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - Xander: “Is anyone else intimidated? ‘Cause I’m just expecting thin slips of paper with the words ‘No Way’ written in crayon.”
Oz: “They’re typing those now.”

“I’m not gonna waste the perfect comeback on you now. But don’t think I don’t have it. Oh, yes! Its time will come!” - Xander, after being mocked by Cordelia

Buffy: (to Giles) “Is he evil?”
Wesley: “Evil?”
Buffy: “The last one was evil.”
Wesley: “Oh, yes. Gwendolyn Post. We all heard. No. Mr. Giles has checked my credentials rather thoroughly and phoned the Council, but I’m glad to see you're on the ball as well. A good Slayer is a cautious Slayer.”
Buffy: (to Giles) “Is he evil?”
Giles: “Not in the strictest sense.”

Wesley: “I didn’t get this job because of my looks.”
Buffy: “I really, really believe that.”

Wesley: “Are you not used to being given orders?”
Buffy: “Whenever Giles sends me on a mission, he always says ‘please.’ And afterwards I get a cookie.”

Faith: “New Watcher?”
Buffy and Giles: “New Watcher.”
Faith: “Screw that.” (she leaves)
Buffy: “Now, why didn’t I just say that?”

“Look, I know this new guy’s a dork, but…. Well, I have nothing to follow that. He’s pretty much just a dork.” - Buffy to Faith

Wesley: “Remember the three key words for any Slayer: preparation…preparation…preparation.”
Buffy: “That’s one word three times.”

Wesley: “You’re not helping.”
Giles: “No. I feel just sick about it.”

Giles: “It doesn’t seem too promising, does it?”
Wesley: “Stay calm, Mr. Giles. We have to stay calm.”
Giles: “Well, thank God you’re here. I was planning to panic.”

Balthazar: “You know what I want.”
Giles: “If it’s for me to scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I’d like to request you kill me now.”

“Hmm…a trade. Intriguing. No. Wait. Boring. Pull off his kneecaps!” - Balthazar, re: Wesley

Buffy: “Faith, you don’t get it. You killed a man.
Faith: “No, you don’t get it. I don’t care!”

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