"Dirty Girls"
Written by Drew Goddard; directed by Michael Gershman

A teenaged girl runs through the woods at night, being chased by Bringers. She flags down an old pick-up truck driven by a priest (Nathan Fillion) and gets in. As they drive off, the priest, Caleb, tells her that she shouldn’t be out in the woods at night. The girl, Shannon, tells him that she’s heading for Sunnydale, the same place he’s heading. He asks her if they Bringers might have been chasing her because she’s a whore. He calls her dirty, “born without a soul.” She tries to get out of the truck but the door won’t open. She realizes that he is allied with the Bringers. Caleb pulls out the car’s cigarette lighter, heats up a ring on his finger, and presses it to Shannon’s neck. He tells her that there’s a car behind them heading towards Sunnydale and asks her to relay a message to “the one and only.” He stabs her with a knife and whispers something in her ear, then kicks the door open and shoves her out of the truck. The car behind them quickly stops and Willow gets out. She announces to her companion that they need to get her to a hospital. “Yep,” replies Faith (last seen on Buffy in “Who are You”). “Guess I’m back in Sunnydale.”

Xander is in his apartment, talking to an unnamed potential. He tries to reassure her and convince her that she can trust Buffy. She tells him that there’s so much she hasn’t done, such as date a guy. “I’ve never been with a man,” she says. “I could die tomorrow, and I’ve never been with a man.” Another potential sits down next to the first one and says, “I’ve never been with a man before, either.” They’ve also never been with each other in front of a man. They crawl towards Xander, trying to seduce him. The bedroom door opens, revealing the other potentials, who are having a pillow fight. Suddenly Rona’s voice wakes Xander up from his dream. Thank you, Rona.

At the hospital, Willow and Faith discuss Shannon, who was badly injured. Willow tells Faith that they didn’t let her know what the First was planning because they figured she was safe in prison. (Watch a bunch of Angel episodes for the whole story.) Willow decides to stay at the hospital while Faith goes out looking for Buffy, who’s patrolling. A little later, a young blond woman is chased through a cemetery. Her pursuer knocks her down, and as he leans over to grab her, someone else throws him into a headstone. Faith, the rescuer, asks Spike, the pursuer, what he thought he was doing. He realizes that she’s Faith and she realizes that he’s Spike. They both call themselves reformed and start fighting, though Spike keeps arguing that they’re on the same side. Buffy suddenly arrives and punches Faith, then innocently says, “I didn’t realize that was you.” Faith is confused by the situation until Buffy explains that Spike has a soul and works for the good guys. (Spike doesn’t take the comparisons to Angel very well.) Faith asks why Spike was chasing a defenseless woman when she realizes that the woman is actually a vampire. They let Faith do the staking honors.

Faith heads home with Buffy and Spike, but doesn’t receive the warm welcome she would have liked - Giles is polite to her, but Dawn gives her a chilly reception. In a cellar somewhere, Caleb drinks wine and speaks to the First, who appears in the guise of Buffy. Caleb calls her “just another dirty girl” but recognizes her strength, as well as her loneliness, and realize that she’s Buffy. He mentions that he organized the Bringers and bombed the Watcher’s Council Headquarters in “Never Leave Me.” First!Buffy asks why Caleb is so sure that Buffy will be coming to him, and he says that she’ll be curious.

Andrew narrates a number of scenes involving Faith - sitting in her hotel room, standing in the Mayor’s office, dancing at the Bronze, fighting Angel, killing Allan Finch, and holding Willow hostage. (See “Revelations,” “Consequences,” “Bad Girls,” “Enemies,” “Choices”…actually, just see all of Season 3.) The last scene is of her fighting a Vulcan from Star Trek, which confuses the potentials he’s talking to. Amanda corrects that Faith killed a volcanologist (see “Graduation Day, Part 1”), which makes less sense to Andrew but more sense to those of us who actually saw that episode. Andrew warns the potentials that Faith has a dark history and that they should be on their guards around her. ‘Cause, you know, he’s met her and all.

At the high school, Buffy tells Wood that she still needs him to help out with the battle. He thanks her, assures her they’re fine, and fires her. He tells her that most of the students aren’t coming to school anymore anyway - and half the people in Sunnydale are getting the heck out of Dodge - and that she should focus on the upcoming battle. She tells him that she doesn’t want to have to lead the potentials into battle, especially since most of them haven’t yet been tested. He replies that they’ll have to be tested, then. He reminds her that the mission is what matters. In the basement of the Summers’ house, Faith escapes the potentials and has a chat with Spike. She talks a little about her time in jail and assures him that she’s back on the good side. She mentions that she met him before (see “Who are You”) and he tells her that he wasn’t aware it was her. Buffy interrupts their conversation, then is informed by Dawn that Shannon is awake.

At the hospital, Shannon tells Buffy and Willow about Caleb. Willow takes a picture of the burn on her neck and Shannon delivers Caleb’s message: “I have something of yours.” Back at home Buffy tells the Scoobies and potentials about Caleb and his taunts. She continues, “I'm tired of talking. I'm tired of training. He's got something of mine? Fine. I'm getting it back, and you guys are coming with me.” Back in the wine cellar, Caleb speaks with a girl who says she heard him preaching. He calls humans weak and tells her that’s why they seek power. The girl falls to the ground, injured, and morphs into Buffy. First!Buffy says that Caleb tricked all of the girls who have followed him, but he says that he only told them the truth.

Buffy gathers the Scoobies to prepare for the attack on Caleb. Giles is unsure that they should go, but Buffy wants to get back whatever he has. She says that she’ll take the potentials who have been there the longest, but Spike and Willow think that Caleb will kill the girls she leaves behind. Buffy tells them to stay behind to protect the girls. Xander worries that they’re heading into a trap, but Buffy doesn’t think that Caleb will be expecting them to attack. Giles tries to speak up again but Buffy tells him he has no say and isn’t going. “Help the girls who still need a teacher,” she says. Later that night, Buffy and Faith follow a Bringer through the woods. Faith thinks that they’re heading for a trap but Buffy is fed up with waiting and wants to make a preemptive strike. She asks Faith why she came back and Faith replies that she knew Buffy needed help. Buffy thanks her and Faith tells her that Angel says “hi.” They find Caleb’s vineyard and head back to the house to gather the troops.

Xander gives Rona a last-minute rundown on battle tactics, advising her to “go for the center - brains, heart, eyes.” Rona, who is not thrilled about the attack, calls Buffy crazy for taking them straight to Caleb. Xander defends Buffy and her decisions, speaking so emotionally that Buffy herself tears up. Buffy, Xander, Faith, Spike, Kennedy, Rona, Molly, Amanda, Chao-Ahn, and another unnamed potential head out to the vineyard and take positions. Buffy heads in first with Spike, Kennedy, Rona, Molly, and Chao-Ahn while the others stay outside as back-up. They are attacked by Bringers, which they fight until the Bringers suddenly stop and Caleb appears. “I heard you have something of mine,” Buffy says. “Well, I do now,” he replies. Buffy realizes that she has in fact walked into a trap. He punches her, sending her flying across the room, and asks, “So, what else you got?”

Spike tries to fight Caleb, but Caleb overpowers him as well. Kennedy encourages the other potentials to fight and the Bringers get back into the skirmish. Caleb breaks Rona’s arm, then throws a knife to a Bringer so that he can stab her. The Bringer is stopped by Xander, who has just entered with the rest of the group. Faith starts to fight Caleb as Xander goes to check on Buffy. Caleb calls Faith the Cain to Buffy’s Abel (which is not the most appropriate analogy, but he’s evil, so who cares). He overpowers her, then kills the unnamed potential. He heads towards Molly as Buffy tells Xander to get everyone out of there. Buffy tries to save Molly but is stopped by a Bringer. Caleb stabs Molly, angering Buffy and making her charge him. She is able to fight him off, and Spike tells her that they’re leaving. Xander goes to help Kennedy as the others all retreat. Caleb approaches Xander and says, “You’re the one who sees everything, aren’t you?” (See “Potential.”) He adds, “Well, let’s see what we can’t do about that” and gouges out Xander’s left eye.

Spike tackles Caleb, then helps Buffy get Xander outside. Caleb stays back and smiles as everyone leaves. He tells his version of the story of Eve (no, not the dead potential, the one from the Bible) over scenes of the potentials being tended to in the hospital. Buffy goes back home, then walks alone through the streets of Sunnydale. Caleb, speaking to First!Buffy, says that Eve was “filled with darkness and despair” because she couldn’t see. He tells First!Buffy, “You show up, they'll get in line. 'Cause they followed her. And all they have to do is take one more step, and I'll kill them all. See? I told you it had a happy ending.”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Stay away from evil vineyards.

R.I.P.: Molly

GRADE: B- Everything is happening all at once, since the seires is drawing to a close. Plus, the eye thing? Ew.


MEMORABLE QUOTES - “Are you protecting vampires? Are you the bad Slayer now? Am I the good Slayer now?” - Faith to Buffy

“Angel's dull as a table lamp. And we have very different coloring.” - an unhappy Spike

Faith: “Whoa. Memory Lane. Same old house.”
Buffy: “Yeah, well, every piece of furniture's been destroyed and replaced since you left, so, actually, new house.”

“Faith. Her name alone invokes awe. Faith. A set of principles or beliefs on which you are willing to devote your life. The dark Slayer. A lethal combination of beauty, power, and death. For years and years - or, to be more accurate, months - Faith fought on the side of good, terrorizing the evil community. But like so many tragic heroes, Faith was seduced by the lure of the dark side. She wrapped evil around her like a large, evil Mexican serape. She became a cold-blooded killer. Nobody was immune to her trail of destruction. Not friends, not family…. Not even the most pacifist and logical of races.” - Andrew to potentials

Faith: “Three squares, nice weight room, movie every third Sunday. Could've been worse.”
Spike: “What movie?”
Faith: “Last one was Glitter. I guess it couldn't have been worse.”

Kennedy: “I don't care if it's Godzilla. (raises a huge sword) I want to get in this thing.”
Andrew: “Godzilla's mostly Tokyo-based, so he's probably a no-show.”
Amanda: “Besides, if Matthew Broderick can kill Godzilla, how tough is he?”
Andrew: (whining) “Xander….”
Xander: “Matthew Broderick did not kill Godzilla. He killed a big, dumb lizard. That was not the real Godzilla.”

“I've been through more battles with Buffy than you all can ever imagine. She's stopped everything that's ever come up against her. (Buffy and Faith enter) She's laid down her life - literally - to protect the people around her. This girl has died two times, and she's still standing. You're scared? That's smart. You got questions? You should. But you doubt her motives, you think Buffy's all about the kill, then you take the little bus to battle. I've seen her heart, and this time - not literally. And I'm telling you, right now, she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She's earned it.” - Xander to potentials

Buffy: “If this place is a trap, we give the signal, you guys come in, guns a-blazing.”
Xander: “What’s the signal?”
Buffy: “I’m thinking lots and lots of yelling.”

Buffy: “Looks like a vineyard.”
Kennedy: “An evil vineyard, huh?”
Spike: “Like Falcon Crest.”

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