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Old January 26 2012, 10:45 AM   #125
saturn5
Fleet Captain
 
Re: Once More, With Feeling: my big Buffy/Angel canon rewatch/reread/r

I always took it that Faith's name represented our having Faith in her. Now of course if you believe in the Normal Again theory then 'Faith' is a symbol of Buffy's will to get better, that she is no longer the only Slayer (and consider we later get a character called 'Dawn'?) giving her (Scott?)hope that she can lead an ordinary life, which are Faith's final words to her in the show, just before it ends/she wakes up sane again in the asylum. However Buffy never knows about Giles' trick which is a point against it
I love the Joyce/Faith scenes, I think if Buffy had been killed Faith would be the Slayer, Dawn would be her sister and Joyce would be their adopted mother. I also like the idea of Jaith. Interesting that Buffy refers to Faith as 'little' sister establishing her as the younger girl. One wonders if Dawn's initial antipathy to Faith when she returns to Sunnydale is based on jealousy that Buffy has this cool new female friend to hang out with and is a rival for her affections?
Note we also have our first evidence of a female Watcher.

Faith, Hope and Trick

The Good;
Faith. Need I really say any more? Faith dancing and fighting is great but also the scenes where we get to see her terrified, more vulnerable side. Love the scenes where Buffy is being single-white-femaled by Faith which she takes with suprising good humour. And Angel's back, yay! Love Joyce sticking it to Snyder and the uncoupling scene at Buffy's picnic.

The Bad;
The idea of Mr Trick being able to order children online as food is just too horrible for words

Best line; Mr Trick "Admittedly not a haven for the bruthas, strictly of the Caucasion persuasion here in the Dale" just beating Xander's wonderful "People say kids don't learn anything at High School. well I learnt, I learnt to be afraid!"

Tied up; no but presumably Faith was handcuffed when she was arrested

Kinky dinky; Now that Faith is on the scene I expect to have a great deal more to write in this column. She starts off with naked slaying and alligator wrestling and saying Slaying makes you 'hungry and horny' (of course in Get It Done we discover why Slayers have these sort of feelings). And of course, the writers find an excuse for nude Angel too. According to Willow Buffy has a thing she does with her mouth that 'boys like'. Hmmmmm? Xander calls Buffy a slut. Buffy's fondling of the letter opener is reminiscent of her stroking the crystal in 'Helpless'. Cordy refers to Faith as 'Slut-o-rama' but also suggests that she dress up as a Slayer and put a stake to Xander's throat, a sex game he seems keen on.

Calling Captain Subtext; Faith obviously hungers for both a mother and father figure, commenting on Giles' 'youth and beauty' and obviously enamoured of Joyce, saying she's really cool (something I suspect Buffy and Dawn would also think but never say). Joyce says she likes Faith and Buffy describes Joyce as the 'best mom ever'. Faith's line about her 'Dead mother hitting harder than that' is loaded with not so hidden meaning. Faith has not only never knew her dad but lost her mother and also her female Watcher making her pretty desperate for some maternal/paternal love. So I pronounce this Jaith and Gaith. She also starts putting the moves on Scott Hope, the beginning of a long tradition of stealing Buffy's boyfriends (Buffy is still touchy when Faith mentions Angel). BUT even Buffy describes Faith as 'personable' the beginning of the biggest subtext in the series. Joyce actually refers to marching in the 'Slayer pride parade' again likening being the Slayer to being gay.

Questions and observations;
The introduction of Mr Trick and Faith, the series just never looking back from this point. Kakistos seems to not be killable with a regular stake. Like The Master he seems to be so old that he's devolving into a Turok-Han. Martha Stewart is mentioned as she is later revealed by Anya to be a witch. Giles' subtle efforts to get Buffy to reveal the truth about what happened to Angel (another point against Normal Again, Buffy never knows about this). There are no leprechauns in the Buffyverse but judging by DB's attempts at an Irish accent and Charmed's efforts in that direction we should be grateful. Faith's dead Watcher was female, the first we've heard about. I know some people think that she was killed during Faith's Cruciamentum which we'll later see in Helpless but that happens when a Slayer turns 18 and Faith is younger than Buffy who is 17 (Buffy refers to Faith as her little sister, at least until Dawn comes along). Giles loves to kayak. Couldn't the Watcher's Council pay for Faith to have a better apartment? Or couldn't she live with Giles or Buffy and Joyce (Dawn's room isn't being used yet). Mr Trick is right, not many visible ethnic minorities in Sunnydale but I've been to Santa Barbara which it's apparently based on and it's a pretty accurate representation. Giles warns Willow for the first time about abuse of magic. You can make fire from ice and it doesn't take magic. Presumably Khakisto's scar doesn't heal because Faith inflicted it with some form of enchanted weapon, like Spike's with the Chinise Slayer. Joyce comments on Buffy being an only child and learns for the first time that Buffy died. You wonder what Dawn makes of Faith? She resents her when they first meet in season 7 but what's her attitude on season 3?

Why no commentaries on all these brilliant episodes? Crap like Reptile Boy gets them but not classics like this? Please Joss, if you need a few million dollars to finance your next project just sit down with the cast and do some commentaries for Buffy; Special Edition DVDs, we'd all buy them.

10/10
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