Buffy sticks her tongue out in the mirror

About:

Title: Buffy S4.E15 “This Year’s Girl” + S4.E16 “Who Am I?”
Released: 2000

Drinks Taken: 15
Vamps Dusted: 5

 

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Welcome, pandemic pals! Is that a thing yet? Whatever, let’s make it a thing. So, in last week’s rewatch, we met the walking yawn that is Adam and found out that Professor Walsh wanted Buffy dead, only to watch the professor get killed by her own creation. Did Maggie not read Frankenstein AT ALL? Riley ended up going through withdrawal because Maggie had been secretly pumping him full of some kind of super-soldier drugs, and then he got injured and taken to a military hospital, where Buffy can’t get to him. Apparently, this is a bad thing?

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Four Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

A vamp is dusted

A scene takes place in a cemetery

You see the “University of California Sunnydale” sign

You actually see a class in session

Oz is ridiculously low-key cool

Spike has mad swagger

Willow and/or Tara get witchy with it

The Initiative makes you go, “Bored now”

Riley’s a drag

Things get funcomfortable between Anya and Xander


Drink twice every time:

Giles drinks tea

There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference

A vampire is invited into a house

There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans

Harmony says something dumb

Someone uses a payphone

Woohoo! It’s two-part reunion time!

Faith confronts Buffy on the University campus

4.15 “This Year’s Girl”

We open on Buffy and Faith having one of their slayer dream/mind-meld conversations about clean sheets and so much to do “with little sis coming”. (Foreshadowing! Bonus drink!) When Faith drips blood on the clean sheets, we see Buffy still sticking the knife in her gut like she did on “Graduation Day”. We cut to Faith still comatose in the hospital.

The Scoobies are still holed up in Xander’s basement and trying to figure out what to do with the Initiative blaster they have. Willow wants to experiment with it, but Giles and Xander both veto that idea. Buffy just wants it repaired, so she can use it against Adam. She’s also worried about Riley and how he’s doing and what the Initiative might be doing to him. But Riley is feeling well enough to get out of his hospital bed and get into an argument with Forrest about not going to see Buffy since now is the time for them to band together and keep their dirty laundry in the family. Riley tells him to step aside.

In the hospital, Faith dreams of having a sunny wholesome picnic with the Mayor. Then Buffy shows up in her dream and stabs the Mayor and Faith runs. The scene switches to night time, and Buffy stalks Faith through a cemetery. She falls into a freshly dug grave and Buffy jumps in after her. But we see Faith crawl out all muddy and stand in the rain, letting it wash her clean, in a little Shawshank Redemption homage. In the hospital, she blinks awake. Faith rips out all her tubes and wanders into the hallway in her gown. When a hospital visitor asks her for directions, Faith says she needs to get to the school for graduation. Which is when she finds out, she’s a bit late, since it’s February 25th, and the high school blew up eight months ago, with the mayor in it. Faith takes the girl’s clothes and hits the road.

Buffy, Xander, and Willow out on patrol, find a demon strung up and dissected in one of Adam’s creepy biology experiments. It’s enough to convince Buffy that Riley shouldn’t be left at the mercy of the Initiative. She’s giving Willow and Xander their orders for a high-tech break-in when Riley shows up behind her and asks “am I really worth all that?” Shut up, Riley. That’s our line. Later, in Buffy’s dorm room, Riley seems to be a little paranoid and going through an existential crisis. If he were to quit the Initiative, he’s not sure who he is anymore.

At the hospital, a cop doesn’t understand why there wasn’t any security on this wing that housed a suspected murderer, but the doctor claims there was no way Faith was ever going to wake up from that coma. Then an orderly comes to let them know that another woman has been found badly beaten, unconscious, and stripped of her clothes. God, Faith. Did you even try just asking nicely? As soon as the others leave, a nurse makes a call saying only “It’s happened. Send a team.” Faith goes to see for herself the bombed-out husk of Sunnydale High. It makes zero sense that the city wouldn’t bulldoze the place to keep it from being a death trap, but sure. Then she wanders the one street in town, seeing how life continued as normal, without her. She sneaks into the courtyard outside Giles’ apartment to listen to the gang plot their Adam offensive and sees that Buffy has a new man. Then Buffy gets the call that Faith is awake and missing and Faith sneaks off. The gang discuss their options for dealing with her, whether they should try the council again, or a containment cell like the Initiative has. Giles wonders if she even can be rehabilitated and Buffy optimistically wonders if Faith even remembers what she did or whether she did and she’s sorry and scared. Riley just wonders who Faith is.

The next day, on campus, Buffy tells Willow that she mostly told Riley the truth about Faith, maybe just leaving out some of the Angel parts, when they run smack dab into Faith. Buffy asks Faith how she is, but isn’t too surprised that Faith didn’t use her downtime to “reflect and grow” but is hellbent on revenge. As soon as they hear the sirens, they start swinging, but the fight is short-lived. Faith kicks a couple of cops in the face and makes a run for it. Later, Tara helps Willow do recon, with the provision that they should not try to engage the psycho bitch if they find her. Giles and Xander attempt their own recon, with Xander still under the sad impression that his history with Faith made any impact whatsoever on her. But they run into Spike instead. He asks what they need, but when they explain they’re after a criminally insane rogue slayer, he promises to help find her and then tell her where each of them are.

While skulking in an alley, trying to avoid the cops, Faith is greeted by a demon who says he’s been looking for her and has a gift from a friend. She immediately breaks his neck, because she never heard that one about not killing the messenger I guess. It turns out to be a goofy tape recording the Mayor for her in case he died while she was comatose. He worried what would happen to her once she was alone and didn’t have him to watch over her. Along with the tape came a box that contains a metal gizmo of surely magical origins.

Back at the hospital, the nurse who made the mysterious phone call greets the helicopter arrival of three men in black. They’re waiting for Giles in his apartment when he gets home and greet him by name.

Riley wants to help Buffy track down Faith, but she doesn’t think he can handle it, especially since he hasn’t recovered from being stabbed yet. He thinks there’s something more to the Faith story that Buffy hasn’t told him, but she plays it off like she just doesn’t have the time to get into it all. She tells him “I know Faith. She’ll come after me, and she’ll come after the people that I love.” As Faith arrives at Joyce’s front door and knocks her out, we see that Buffy was correct. As Faith goes through Joyce’s makeup to find a lipstick in just her shade, (like Joyce would actually own a shade called “Harlot”) Faith taunts her with the fact that it’ll be hard for Buffy to rescue her mother, when she obviously hasn’t been home in a while. Buffy finally does arrive, busting through the window and an epic tussle ensues down the stairs, busting up furniture along the way. Faith correctly guesses that Buffy assumed she’d go for the soldier boyfriend first. When they hear the cops arriving, Faith grabs her gadget from the Mayor and grabs Buffy’s hand. Something magical happens and Faith appears stunned so Buffy quickly knocks her out. Joyce comes in and asks what’s in Buffy’s hand. She tells her it must be a weapon of some sort, but it didn’t work, and she crushes it under her boot. Joyce asks if she’s sure she’s alright and Buffy looks down at Faith’s unconscious body with crazy eyes and assures her that she’s “5 by 5.” Uh oh.

How many times do I have to take a drink?

10

Vamps Dusted

0

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

Willow: “What did you tell him?”
Buffy: “The truth. That she’s my wacky identical cousin from England, and whenever she visits, hijinks ensue.”
Willow: “It’s good that you two have such an honest relationship.”

Faith: “I wake up to find out that this blonde chick isn’t even dating the guy she was so nuts about before. I mean, she’s moved on to the first college beef stick she meets.”

Willow: “Don’t worry, we’re sure to spot Faith first. She’s like this cleavagy slut-bomb walking around “Ooh, check me out, I’m wicked-cool, I’m five-by-five.”
Tara: “Five-by-five? Five what by five what?”
Willow: “See, that’s the thing! No one knows.”

No Alt Text Provided
GIF via scoobygangs

Spike: Can’t any one of your damned little Scooby Club at least try to remember that I hate you all?

Stylish Yet Affordable Boots

Where does Faith even find leather pants so fast? I blame the year 2000.

Spike speaks to Faith (as Buffy) at the Bronze

4.16 “Who Am I?”

We continue right where the previous episode left off, now with a swarm of police cars, an ambulance, and a lot of nosy neighbors outside the Summers house, probably wondering what those two women could possibly be into that gets their house trashed so often. The police detective tells Joyce and Fuffy (You know, since Faith is in Buffy’s body. I mean, how else are we going to keep them straight?) that Faith will be going to jail, as a semi-conscious Baith is wheeled out on a gurney. When they’re alone, Joyce wonders what could have made Faith that way. Fuffy says that Faith is just a nut job, but Joyce thinks that there’s more to it and Faith is deeply unhappy. Fuffy doesn’t want to spend too much time getting introspective about it and makes an off-color joke about Faith getting a new girlfriend in prison. When Joyce is displeased, Fuffy distracts her with a heroic Buffy impersonation and then announces she’s going to take a bath. She spends a good deal of time inspecting her new skinsuit, making faces in the mirror, and doing hilarious impersonations of Buffy in the mirror. Meanwhile, poor Baith is freaking out at the hospital, knowing that Joyce is with a fake Buffy, and has to be restrained and sedated.

In Tara’s room, she and Willow are wondering when Faith will turn up, but it’s obvious that Tara is bothered by the fact that she knows all about Buffy and the gang, but they don’t know anything about her. Willow babbles on, but the gist is that she likes having something that’s just hers, which Tara assures her that she is. It’s really sweet.

Baith – in the most Faith outfit and makeup ever – finds Buffy’s passport and makes quick work of buying a plane ticket over the phone with Joyce’s credit card. Then Joyce comes in to let her know that Giles wants Buffy to meet him and the gang at his place. She decides she’s got the time to kill and asks if she can steal some lipstick on the way out. Joyce points out that the “Harlot” is the same shade that Faith picked and Fuffy tells her to burn it.

Baith wakes up in the back of a police car, right before an armored truck crashes into with the men in black that turn out to be from the Watchers Council. When she wakes up again, she’s chained up in the truck and the guys charged with taking her back to the mother country don’t believe her story about Faith switching their bodies, and really wouldn’t care either way. One of them even spits on her. She’s able to make enough noise that one of the guys comes to check on her and she gets her chain around his neck, but that threat isn’t enough to get her released.

When Fuffy arrives at Giles’ place, nobody seems bothered that she’s now dressed like a cleavagey slut bomb and sporting a Canadian accent. Giles informs her that the Watchers Council have taken Faith into custody, which Fuffy thinks is a riot and Willow thinks is well-deserved. Fuffy zeroes in on Willow’s dislike and imagines stabbing her in a pretty disturbing way. The gang disperses, with Xander and Anya being gross about it (drink!) and Fuffy promises to go patrolling for Adam, but ends up dancing it up at the Bronze, where she runs into Spike. There’s enough helpful exposition for her to gather who he is and that he now has a chip in his head that keeps him from being dangerous. She does another hilarious uptight Buffy impression before making a fairly erotic threat that will end up coming back to bite Buffy in the ass next season.

Willow brings Tara to the Bronze, calling it the coolest place in Sunnydale, which even she admits is pretty sad. She spots Fuffy and introduces Tara to her fairly disinterested best friend. When Willow goes off to get them drinks, Fuffy notices Tara’s crush on Willow and makes a rude joke about Willow not “driving stick” anymore and how it’s surprising, considering how crazy Willow was about Oz. Then she makes fun of Tara’s stammer, which is just unforgivable. Willow runs back over to let her know she spotted a vampire and it takes Fuffy a moment to remember she should do something about it. The intended victim is super grateful, and it seems to affect her for a moment, but then she’s back to being awful when Willow says she’s going to walk Tara home. Then Willow asks if Buffy will be going to Riley’s and Fuffy’s eyes light up.

When they get back to Tara’s room, she tells Willow that Buffy isn’t herself. Tara could sense that Buffy’s energy was all fragmented, plus she was mean. They decide to do a spell (drink!) for Willow to look in the nether worlds for Buffy. The spell includes lots of candles, heavy breathing, and perspiration. Surely for magical purposes only.

Fuffy goes to Riley’s ready to seduce him and play kinky games, but is kind of undone by him wanting to be all romantic and vanilla Riley and tells her he loves her. (She really should have tried her luck with Spike.) She seems to notice an effect from the magic spell and gets freaked out while in bed with Riley. She stays the night but sneaks out the next morning to make her flight, and gets into it with Forrest on the way out because he can’t mind his own business about what Riley does on his own time. Sadly, Fuffy doesn’t punch him.

Adam finds some rando vampires in the sewers, gives them a super boring monologue that turns them into devoted acolytes, which really just leads to them taking a bunch of people hostage in a church the next morning.

Baith busts out of her chains and manages to escape in the Council’s armored truck. She goes straight to Giles’ place and through a series of zany questions is finally able to convince him that Faith switched their bodies and they have to hurry and go after her. Willow and Tara arrive, already up to date, thanks to their spell. And they were able to conjure a homemade Katra that she can use to switch back. Xander calls to alert them to turn on the news, which is reporting on the church hostage situation. At the airport, Fuffy is actually dressed like Buffy for a change and about to hop a flight when she sees the same new report.

The vampires must have spent too much time with Adam, because the head one has turned into a boring monologuer, too. Outside the church, Riley in a suit has gotten the local cops to defer command to him, while they wait for his reinforcements. He runs into Baith on the way in. Turns out he’s just there because he was late for church, but she won’t let him come in with her since he’s still injured. She seems to have gotten really bought into this whole “because it’s wrong” Buffy energy. Giles and the gang arrive in the armored truck and he creates a distraction for the cops while Baith sneaks towards the church. She runs into Riley and hugs him, forgetting that he won’t recognize her. She gets into the church just in time to save Fuffy from the last vampire. Fuffy starts beating her up and yelling about how she’s disgusting and nothing (Yikes. Project much?) before Baith is able to use the Katra and switch them back into their rightful bodies, and Faith runs off.

Back at Riley’s place, Buffy hears from Giles that there’s no sign of Faith or the Council, while Riley just tries to wrap his head around the idea that magic like this even exists. When he’s beating himself up for not knowing that it hadn’t been her, Buffy realizes that he slept with Faith. He wishes he could get his hands on Faith now – but not in a sexual way. But Buffy doesn’t think she’ll be coming back anytime soon.

How many times do I have to take a drink?

9

Vamps Dusted

5

Giles For Life

Wacky Identical Cousin Hijinks

SMG clearly got to have the most fun here.


If you want to find out what happens next for Faith, you’ll need to bust out your season one Angel DVDs (or, you know, your Hulu membership) for “Five By Five” and “Sanctuary”. I’m already on record as being a fan of the Faith arc, even though it takes three more seasons across two shows to finish it out. What about you? Do you think Faith is a redeemable character? On rewatch, it’s crazy to see how early the Dawn hints were dropped. Do you wonder what the purpose was there? It’s not like anyone was going to guess that twist. If I’m not mistaken, this marked the first time someone spells out what’s going on with Willow and Tara. Did you pick up on it earlier when you watched for the first time?

Join me in the comments where I’m always ready to talk Spuffy and stevedores! And don’t forget to join us next week, when Meredith will be covering the delightful “Superstar” and the way less delightful, “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.