45 min. each, 1999
Written by Various
Directed by Various
My rating: Various
Season 3 episode 13, originally broadcast January 6 1999
Written by Dan Vebber
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
This is one of those strange episodes that don’t actually focus on the “main” character and they decide to follow around a “secondary” character. In this one it happens to be Xander. You see the rest of the group all have some form of “power”. Buffy is a slayer, Giles has his training and Willow is a witch (in training), but poor Xander is always in trouble and is extremely vulnerable. Something big is going on and everyone is telling Xander to stay away because they don’t want him to get in the way or him to get hurt. So Xander decides to find his “thing” that can help the group. He ends up borrowing a car and getting mixed up with some undead guys led by a guy named Jack O’Toole. In the end while Buffy and co. are saving the day no one realizes that Xander actually saved all of their lives.
Big surprise that this is one of my more favorite episodes so far this season, hell the whole series so far. It’s always nice to see that there are other things going on behind the scenes and that sometimes it’s not just Buffy who ends up saving the day. But what I think I love the most about this episode is that we always get to hear from Buffy about how she is saving the day and it seems that everyone should just bow down before her, but in this episode Xander saves the day and no one knows. Even when he had the chance to boast and show how useful he is, he actually takes the high road and doesn’t even bother. That is a true hero to me. Comes in and does what they need to and then fads into the shadows.
Season 3 episode 14, originally broadcast February 9 1999
Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by Michael Lange
Faith is having fun with slaying and is trying to convince Buffy that she can have just as much fun, but Buffy keeps saying that she really doesn’t get a thrill from it. After ditching a class and doing some extra slaying and partying Buffy does start to realize that slaying can actually be exciting instead of just work. At one point they break into a store to get some weapons and Faith explains that Slayers take what they want which Buffy starts to believe. At one point they are going after a demon called Balthazar and while heading to his lair Faith accidently stakes a human, Deputy Mayor Allan Finch, and kills him. This really affects Buffy but Faith pretty much blows it off as just someone caught in the crossfire. Also there is a new watcher in town named Wesley Wyndam-Pryce because Giles lost his job as Watcher.
This episode is pretty good, with Buffy’s ego getting even more inflated, thanks to Faith. Then when she is at the top of her ego mountain she gets a strong slap of reality when Faith accidentally kills a human. It’s very nicely done and it’s nice to see Buffy just speechless. The new Watcher that has come along is actually very well done. It really gives a bit shout back to how Giles used to be, very by the book, and as the episodes move along you really start to appreciate exactly how Giles has left a lot of that behind him.
Season 3 episode 15, originally broadcast February 16 1999
Written by Marti Noxon
Directed by Michael Gershman
Following the death in the last episode Buffy is still having problems accepting what happened and Faith still doesn’t seem to care. Strangely, new Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce demands that Buffy and Faith go and investigate the death. While looking around they find out exactly who Allan Finch was and that The Mayor is in league with Mr. Trick. Faith seems to slipping more and no seems to be able to get to her. When Xander tries to talk to her, she almost kills him, but Angel shows up and knocks her out. It seems that Angel is the only one that seems to be getting through to Faith, but it turns out that Wesley called the Watcher Council and they show up to capture Faith. She escapes and tries to leave town, but Buffy shows up and tries to talk her out of it.
This is probably one of the most frustrating of this batch of episodes or even this season. So Buffy and Faith have to go and investigate the death of Allan Finch. This is problem number one, mainly because it just seems very convenient that they have to go and check out a normal death. Nothing was said about the death being strange, so it felt very forced that Buffy and Faith have to face their demons. Then we get an episode of Buffy riding her high horse about how it’s so wrong to kill a human. Even when it turns out that he is working for a demon Buffy still says how wrong it is. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with that but it seems that Buffy has no problem killing humans, it’s just when others do it that they are now the most evil. Just look back a few episodes to Homecoming where she had absolutely no problem killing two humans. That never weighed on her mind, so why does this?
Season 3 episode 16, originally broadcast February 23 1999
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Willow is sick of being the reliable one and decides that she needs a change, but nothing is really coming to her. So Anya is back is trying to go back and get her destroyed necklace. He tricks Willow into performing a ritual that would allow her to retrieve something “lost”. During the ritual Willow sees the alternate timeline back in the episode The Wish and it causes her to shake and instead of getting the necklace, it brings vampire Willow into their reality, but they don’t realize that it “worked” and Anya wanted to try again, but Willow is too freaked out by what she saw. Vampire Willow is confused by how different everything is and people keep thinking that she is actually Willow who has just changed her appearance. They find out what is going on and have to figure out how to send her back, because no one can kill Willow.
This was a really fun episode. Alyson Hannigan has always played the geeky type really well, but having her play that and a nasty vampire in one episode really shows that she can handle more than she is given. One of my favorite scenes is where vampire Willow is just depressed because nothing is the same and even when things start going her way she still misses her real home. Instead of vampire Willow just being a badass it shows that even demons and monsters can still get homesick. This one is just a lot of fun.
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