Saturday, 28 May 2011
Buffy: 3.17 ‘Enemies’
Writer: Doug Petrie
Director: David Grossman
What's the sitch?
A demon approaches Buffy and Faith offering to sell them the Books of Ascension which will tell the gang everything they need to know about the Mayor’s plans. Secretly working for the Mayor, Faith goes back, kills the demon and takes the books. Faith is also making nice to Angel pretending she needs his help to deal with what she’s done. Really she is conspiring with the Mayor to turn Angel back to Angelus so as to be her perfect partner in evil. Her plan to seduce Angel and give him a happy in order to take his soul doesn’t work so the Mayor contacts a powerful sorcerer who, in front of Faith, appears to remove Angel’s soul thus bringing back Angelus. After a brief tussle the bad pair makes a truce and head off to see the Mayor, who, much to Angelus’s delight, instructs them to find, torture and kill Buffy. Faith and Angelus lure Buffy to the mansion where Faith then reveals her true evil colours to her sister slayer. Buffy, horrified at Faith and the return of Angelus, is knocked out. She awakens chained up, with Faith about to begin torturing her with lots of very sharp implements, Angelus looking on gleefully.
What's the sitch beneath the sitch?
The nurture vs. nature aspect of Buffy and Faith comes to a head here as Faith reveals her true colours to everyone. She is an immature child who is so full of rage because of the dreadful life she’s had. And that rage is only made the worse when seeing all that Buffy has – family, friends, love, a sense of normality and stability (though Buff would probably disagree with those last two). This just seems to rub Faith’s nose in her own short comings and makes her focus all of that inner rage of hers entirely on Buffy. Of course this is utterly unfair to our girl. Faith’s problems go back way further than Sunnydale and slaying. She’s lacked the unconditional love and support and role model of a strong parental figure her entire life. And that’s something she still very much needs and craves, which is why she latches on so hard to the Mayor, an apparently loving and supportive father figure. Plus when Faith first arrived in Sunnydale Buffy was rather threatened by her and seemed to want to keep Faith out of her circle of friends. This reaction only stored up even more enmity in the dark slayer towards Buffy. So while Buffy isn’t responsible for Faith’s behaviour and actions she didn’t exactly contribute to improving Faith’s chances for a better life.
Who's giving us the wiggins this week?
Faith, Angelus, The Mayor, and a freaky glowy eyed sorcerer.
Why it rocks
The script. ‘Enemies’ is a well constructed script by ace Faith writer Doug Petrie. It simultaneously delves deeper in to Faith’s character and her deep-seated troubles, explores the continually fracturing relationship between Buffy and Angel, and pushes the season’s main arc plot in to the beginning of its epic final act.
Eliza Dushku. As always Eliza is great as Faith. Here she gets to let rip and be the full-on nasty psycho Faith we know she truly is. Her vitriolic outburst to Buffy about why she hates her so much is wonderfully delivered. You can almost feel the waves of hate radiating. Her jealousy of Buffy and Angel is also very well played, as is her dangerous seduction technique with Angelus. And speaking of…
Angelus. Always good to see Boreanaz getting to have a ball as Angelus. The actor knows nothing of subtlety in this role…but then neither does Angelus, a monster that is gleeful in causing pain and suffering, so it works out fine.
Buffy and Angel exiting the movie theatre at the start, confused and shocked by the sexually explicit art house film they’ve just seen.
The sorcerer. He is one weird and creepy dude with his blue face and glowy eyes all wrapped up in black robes.
Giles the supernatural matchmaker. lol
Why it sucks
Buffy’s overreaction to what Angel did at her request regarding Faith feels a tad too much. Get over it Buff.
Why didn’t Giles and Buffy fill everyone else in on their plan especially poor Xander?
Well, Faith is officially playing for the bad guys now. Not suckage, just a bit of heart sinkage for the dark slayer cuz you know it ain’t gonna end well for her. :(
The moment when trickery is revealed:
Faith (to chained up Buffy): “What can I say, I'm the world's best actor.”
Angel (to Faith): “Second best.”
Dialogue to die for
Giles: “Demons after money. Whatever happened to the still-beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards anymore.”
Buffy (on Faith's apparent intimacy with Angel): "You're right. Faith would never do that."
Willow: "Faith would totally do that. Faith was built to do that. She's the 'do that' girl!"
Xander: “And on the day the words flimsy excuse were redefined, we stood in awe and watched.”
Xander: “Yes. I feel so much better knowing that he broke my face in a good way. It's a good bruise.”
And another thing
The sexually explicit art house movie Angel and Buffy see is called "Le Banquet d Amelia." Don’t go looking for it. It’s not a real movie.
Oz's ever-changing hair colour is back to being blond again.
How many stakes?
The truth hurts. 4 (out of 5)