Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E21 – Graduation Day, Part I

In the twenty-first episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Ascension inches ever closer, which means everything has to be super fucked up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

OH, YOU ARE FUCKING KIDDING ME. THIS IS A PRACTICAL JOKE, RIGHT? I CAN RECOGNIZE WHEN I AM BEING TROLLED AND THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THIS? I FEEL LIKE THE ENTIRETY OF SEASON THREE SHOULD COME WITH A COMPLIMENTARY HANDBOOK ENTITLED, “HOW TO DEAL WITH ALL YOUR FEELS.” IT SORT OF RHYMES. I SHOULD GET ON THIS. DO NOT STEAL MY IDEA.

OKAY, FIRST OF ALL, I KNOW IT IS A GIANT CLICHE, BUT IT’S ONE FOR A REASON: THE END OF HIGH SCHOOL IS ONE GIANT EXPERIENCE OF FAKE SENTIMENTALITY. YOU DO NOT WISH WE WERE CLOSER AS FRIENDS. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KEEP IN TOUCH OVER THE SUMMER. WE ARE GOING TO DRIFT APART BECAUSE I HATE YOU AND YOU ARE MEAN AND I WILL BE SO HAPPY TO NEVER HAVE TO SEE YOUR SMUG FACE EVER AGAIN. SO THE BEGINNING OF THIS EPISODE ESSENTIALLY VALIDATED ALL OF MY FEELINGS FOREVER, AND YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME. FOR THE RECORD, I DO SEEK VALIDATION FROM THE TELEVISION SHOWS THAT I WATCH. STOP JUDGING ME.

OH MY GOD, PLEASE DO NOT LET XANDER BE FORESHADOWING HIS OWN DEATH. I DO NOT LIKE THAT. HE’S NOT EVEN MY FAVORITE CHARACTER, BUT THAT WOULD STILL REALLY MESS ME UP.

WHAT. WHAT. THE MAYOR IS GIVING THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH? NOTHING ABOUT THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS ALL A DISASTER. NOTHING IS GOING TO GO OUR WAY. THIS COULD NOT BE A WORSE SET UP, I SWEAR.

WHAT THE FUCK FAITH JUST KILLED A PROFESSOR. THAT DUDE HAD A BOW TIE. THIS IS LIKE A CAPITAL OFFENSE OR SOMETHING BOW TIES ARE OFF LIMITS TO MURDER. I WOULD MAKE THIS A LAW AS WELL IF I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE. WELL, I WOULD DO A LOT OF OTHER THINGS, LIKE HAVE OFFICIAL NAP HOURS DURING WORK DAYS AND STUFF, AND TO PREVENT RICK SANTORUM FROM EVER SPEAKING ABOUT ANYTHING EVER. YES, THAT IS RIGHT, I WOULD STRIP HIM OF HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS JUST TO SPITE HIM. CLEARLY, I AM QUALIFIED TO RUN FOR OFFICE, AND YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY VOTE FOR ME.

Can I also just say how nice it is to have Anya be around? I’m really fascinated by her character, so much so that I don’t need to all-caps yell anything at you. She’s a demon trapped temporarily in the body of a high school senior, and through this, she experiences so many of the things she never once did. I don’t think the show is really invalidating what she used to do, but it’s interesting to me that she gets to experience life as a human. I never expected her to play any sort of part in the season aside from “The Wish,” either, and I’m glad the writers utilize her in the way that they do.

OH, RIGHT, SHE WITNESSED AN ASCENSION ONCE. EVEN AFTER SHE TELLS US WHAT ONE IS LIKE, IT STILL DOESN’T PREPARE US FOR WHAT IT WILL BE. I AM SO NERVOUS TO SEE HOW THIS WILL BE DEALT WITH. WILL BUFFY OR THE SCOOBIES FIND A WAY TO STOP IT OR IS THERE GOING TO BE AN ASCENSION ON SCREEN? I HAVE A FEELING IT IS THE LATTER. HOW IS SUNNYDALE HIGH GOING TO IGNORE THE MAYOR TURNING INTO A GIANT DEMON? I MEAN, IT IS TRUE THAT THE STUDENTS ARE GENERALLY AWARE OF THE SUPERNATURAL THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR SCHOOL, BUT COULD YOU IMAGINE BEING A PERIPHERAL CHARACTER WHO HAS TO EXPERIENCE THESE SORT OF THINGS? LIKE ONE DAY YOU COME TO SCHOOL AND THERE ARE ZOMBIES, AND THEN ON ANOTHER, A DEMON THAT LOOKS LIKE THE GRINCH HAS ITS NECK SNAPPED IN FRONT OF YOU. WHAT A WEIRD FUCKING SCHOOL.

I NEED YOU ALL TO KNOW I WAS ON GREYHOUND ON MY WAY TO CLEVELAND, OHIO WHEN THE MAYOR WALKED INTO THE LIBRARY. HAVE YOU EVER STEPPED ON A DOG’S TAIL? YOU KNOW THAT QUICK, HIGH-PITCHED “YIP!” THAT THEY MAKE? I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE A FULL GREYHOUND BUS WITH NOTHING BUT PEOPLE WHO ARE EXHAUSTED AND TIRED BECAUSE IT’S EIGHT AM ON A SUNDAY AND THEN SOME FREAK MAKES THAT SOUND AND LOOKS AROUND AT EVERYONE TO SEE IF THEY HEARD AND THEN HE REALIZES EVERYONE HEARD AND IS STARING AT HIM. YES, THAT WAS ME. IT WAS HONESTLY FUCKING EMBARRASSING. BUT FUCK IT, THAT SHIT WAS SCARY!!!!!!! OH MY GOD, THE MAYOR HAS SO LITTLE FEAR THAT HE JUST WALKS INTO HIS ENEMIES’ LAIR. WHAT A FUCKING BADASS. HE IS SO PERFECT AS A VILLAIN AND THIS TERRIFIES ME. JUST LIKE IN “CHOICES,” HE DOES THINGS BECAUSE HE CAN. HE HAD NO REAL PURPOSE IN SHOWING UP IN GILES’ LIBRARY EXCEPT TO TEASE THE SCOOBIES. HE JUST WANTED THEM TO KNOW HE WAS GOING TO BEAT THEM, AND THAT THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO. JUST SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK? THIS MAN HAS SET THE BAR SO HIGH FOR VILLAINRY THAT I FEAR ALL OTHER VILLAINS I COME ACROSS WILL JUST PALE IN COMPARISON. I’M KIND OF OKAY WITH THAT, FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH.

I do like that there are two parallel attempts to get folks to leave town. Anya does her best to convince Xander that it’s not worth it to stay, and she uses the same bit of reasoning we’d heard before from Cordelia: Xander can’t contribute, and he’s just going to get in the way. But I think the events of “The Zeppo” helped boost Xander’s sense of self-worth; he doesn’t believe that he’s a helpless member of the Scoobies anymore, so her attempt doesn’t work on him. Plus, these are his best friends. He’s not just going to leave them, is he?

In a way, Joyce uses the same logic. She is not just going to skip town and let her daughter face some horrific demon. But the dynamic here is different. Joyce knows she can’t truly help her daughter in the same way that Xander might be able to. I was really touched by Buffy’s explanation: she cares so much for her mother that her presence would distract her. It’s fascinating to me that she frames this in a way to admit that she may not have turned out like her mother wanted, that her abnormal life has gotten in the way a lot of the time. Have I mentioned lately how wonderful it is that Joyce knows that Buffy is the Slayer? I should: I LOVE IT.

OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GO BACK TO FREAKING OUT AGAIN. THE SCENE WITH OZ AND WILLOW IN HER BEDROOM IS JUST PERFECTION. IT IS EVERYTHING I HAVE WANTED FROM THIS COUPLE, AND WHEN OZ TELLS WILLOW THAT THIS IS HIS WAY OF PANICKING, I JUST WANTED TO SQUEEZE HIS FACE AND TELL HIM THAT HE’S SO ADORABLE. I AM ALSO INCREDIBLY WORRIED BECAUSE THIS PAIRING IS CANON AND CUTE AND PLEASING TO WATCH, AND EVERY SECOND OF THIS EPISODE MADE ME FEEL AS IF A MAIN CHARACTER WOULD DIE, AND NOW IT’S JUST A GUESSING GAME AS TO WHO THAT IS GOING TO BE. I DON’T LIKE IT AT ALL.

WHAT THE FUCK, WHY ARE ANGEL AND BUFFY FIGHTING. SHUT UP, ANGEL, BUFFY GETS TO BE A “BRAT” AFTER YOU DUMPED. THAT IS AN IRREVOCABLE RIGHT AND I WOULD ALSO MAKE THAT LAW AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE. UGH, I HATE HOW UNCOMFORTABLE THIS IS BECAUSE IT’S NOT ONLY REALISTIC, BUT IT’S FRUSTRATING. THEY MADE SUCH A GOOD COUPLE!!!! WHY IS EVERYTHING FALLING APART?

HOLY FUCK ANGEL JUST GOT SHOT WITH AN ARROW!?!?!?!?!? OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS EPISODE DOING TO ME. OH MY GOD WHY DID FAITH MISS ON PURPOSE? WHO IS THAT VAMPIRE HANGING OUT WITH HER? HOW AM I TO DEAL WITH THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT. THIS IS SO FUCKED UP.

OH, BY ANGEL’S TERRIBLE FACIAL HAIR, THE PROFESSOR FOUND THE CORPSE OF A DEMON IN A LAVA BED. SHIT CONTINUES TO GET REAL. NOW THEY KNOW THE MAYOR WON’T BE INVINCIBLE AS A DEMON. BUT HOW THE HELL CAN YOU KILL A DEMON THAT LARGE? WHAT THE HELL, THE ARROW WAS POISONED? FAITH, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? THANKFULLY, WESLEY OFFERS TO GO TALK TO THE COUNCIL, AND IT’S VERY NICE OF YOU. I REALLY LIKE WESLEY A LOT, EVEN WHEN HE’S FIRM WITH BUFFY LATER. LIKE, THE GUY IS JUST DOING HIS JOB, AND I DON’T BLAME HIM FOR DOING SO. UGH, COULD HE NOT DIE? I WANT TO EXPLORE HIS CHARACTER SO MUCH MORE. PLEASE GIVE ME ONE GOOD THING, JOSS WHEDON. WELL, ASIDE FROM THE LINE ABOUT HOW BUFFY CONSIDERS THIS HER “GRADUATION” FROM THE WATCHER’S COUNCIL, WHICH IS SO CLEVER MY BRAIN HURT.

FOR REAL, I JUST LOVE THAT QUIET SCENE BETWEEN FAITH AND THE MAYOR, DESPITE THE CREEPY FATHERLY UNDERTONES. FAITH, YOU ARE SUCH AN INTERESTING CHARACTER, AND I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO COME FROM A SHITTY CHILDHOOD, AND I JUST FEEL YOU, YOU KNOW? I WILL NEVER HATE YOU, DESPITE THAT YOU DO TERRIBLE THINGS. I GENUINELY BELIEVE YOU CARE ABOUT THE MAYOR IN SOME WEIRD WAY, TOO.

OH GROSS. WHY IS THE MAYOR EATING THOSE THINGS. GROSS.

HOLY FUCK THE CURE TO ANGEL’S POISON IS THE BLOOD OF A SLAYER AND BUFFY HAS TO KILL FAITH AND WHAT HAS THIS SHOW BECOME. HER HAND IS FORCED. SHE HAS TO DO IT. HELP ME.Ā 

I LEGIT THINK THE BEST FIGHT THIS SHOW HAS EVER GIVEN US IS FAITH AND BUFFY TEARING EACH OTHER APART IN FAITH’S APARTMENT. ONCE BUFFY HANDCUFFS HERSELF TO FAITH, I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT, “THIS IS SO BRILLIANT THAT I DON’T EVER WANT TO WRITE A FIGHT SCENE MYSELF BECAUSE IT WILL SUCK.” AND I GENUINELY THINK THIS IS TRUE. PLUS, THIS IS INTERCUT WITH A SCENE WHERE GILES AND XANDER DETERMINE WHAT DEMON MAYOR WILKINS WILL BE AND THE DRAWING OF IT TAKES UP FOR PAGES.Ā 

OH THIS IS GONNA BE SO GOOD.

I THOUGHT THAT THE WRITERS MIGHT FIND AWAY AROUND IT, BUT WHO AM I KIDDING? BUFFY WAS ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE TO KILL FAITH. STILL, THE MOMENT WHEN BUFFY STABS FAITH WAS JUST SO DISTURBING AND HEART WRENCHING TO ME. YOU CAN SEE IT ON BUFFY’S FACE. SHE KNOWS SHE’S DONE SOMETHING SHE NEVER WANTED TO DO IN HER WHOLE LIFE, AND IT’S JUST SO PAINFUL TO WATCH.

OH MY GOD FAITH GOT AWAY. SHE FELL INTO THAT TRUCK. OH FUCK, FUCK THIS. FUCK YOU, JOSS WHEDON. WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?! HOW IS THIS GOING TO BE RESOLVED

H E L P M EĀ 

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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366 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E21 – Graduation Day, Part I

  1. Kickpuncher says:

    First off, I really like Xander and Cordelia in this episode. They're still teasing each other a bit, but there's not really any sense of hard feelings. They seem genuinely friendly with each other, and I'm happy for those wacky kids.

    But not as happy as I am that Anya's still around. Anya, stay on my Tv forever, thanks in advance.

    The happiest thing is HAHA WESLEY AND GILES ARE FENCING. Two most awesome Watchers in the world, which may not be a particularly high bar, but fuck it.

    Golly gee, I sure do love The Mayor.

    Anya noooooooo stop leaving my TV.

    It's always so weird when Buffy refers to Angel as her ~lover~. I suppose he is, but that term just seems goofy and antiquated.

    "Give us a kiss." Faith is just as amazing as ever. Buffy why do you want to kill her? Not counting her possibly murdering Angel and all that other evil stuff.

    Finally, we're all worried about Angel, and I think it's about time that Mark knows what he's in for. Angel dies. Angel dies and Angel the TV show's premise is that Angel dies and is sent back as an angel to help people and atone for his sins. Also, for some reason Angel is a dog. The working title was briefly The 100 Good Deeds of Angel McDogg.

    • robin_comments says:

      The term "lover" always makes me lol. I just can't take it seriously.

      • Karen says:

        Ugh, that word bums me out, unless it's between the words "meat" and "pizza".
        – some wise words from Liz Lemon.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Neither can I.

      • pica_scribit says:

        I always had a hard time with "boyfriend" because it sounds inherently immature and temporary, and of course that's not how Buffy thinks of Angel.

        • robin_comments says:

          WE NEED A NEW WORD. I'm in my freakin' 30's, I don't want to call the woman I'm dating my girlfriend, but then I'm definitely not calling her my "lover". And when it's only been like a month, it feels way too early for "partner". D:

          • Hanna_the_Glam says:

            One of my colleagues has been referring to his long-term girlfriend as his lady, as in: 'Let me check with my lady to see if she's free tonight'. I find that rather charming.

            • notemily says:

              I like that too, it's very Tamora Pierce. She does it with both genders I think. I know some people say "my lady-friend," but I don't know what the term is for men. Gentleman caller? Hee. Suitor?

              I've also heard "my significant other" but that takes a while to say.

      • NB2000 says:

        Spoilers for future Mark Watches project:

        Gurl hfr vg nyy gur gvzr ba gur HX Orvat Uhzna naq vg nyjnlf sryg bhg bs cynpr gb zr.

      • 1979semifinalist says:

        I don't really like lover as a word either, but I do think it's the right word for this scene. Boyfriend sounds too high school and inconsequential…lover sounds appropriately grave and serious, y'know?

      • FuTeffla says:

        Me neither. IMHO, since the invention of the word 'lover', there has only ever been one acceptable use: Jeff Buckley's 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over'. Any other time, it just makes me giggle.

    • tanbarkie says:

      "Angel dies and Angel the TV show's premise is that Angel dies and is sent back as an angel to help people and atone for his sins."

      The best part of each episode is when Angel reveals that he's an angel and is suddenly lit from above by a really obvious spotlight to show how holy and wonderful he is, and then he gives a condescending speech about redemption and atonement and lectures the Poor Sap of the Week back to godliness.

    • arctic_hare says:

      "Finally, we're all worried about Angel, and I think it's about time that Mark knows what he's in for. Angel dies. Angel dies and Angel the TV show's premise is that Angel dies and is sent back as an angel to help people and atone for his sins. Also, for some reason Angel is a dog. The working title was briefly The 100 Good Deeds of Angel McDogg. "

      <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/260afs3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • James says:

      The working title was briefly The 100 Good Deeds of Angel McDogg.

      ….if I said I would totally watch that show, would you judge me?

    • Naq vs Natry ZpQbtt pbzcyrgrf 100 tbbq qrrqf, ur jvyy orpbzr uhzna, nppbeqvat gb gur Funafuh Cebcurpl!

    • DonSample says:

      The best thing about the fencing, is that Giles is keeping Wes at bay, while reading the newspaper at the same time.

      • Hanna_the_Glam says:

        That's one of my favorite scenes. Giles can combine swordplay with reading better than anyone else! And Wesley makes up for his inferior fencing skills by being incredibly dapper. Lavender shirt and braces, y'all.

    • Livi x x says:

      The line "Give us a kiss" is a reference to episode 17 – "Enemies". When Faith and Buffy fight and reach a stalemate, Faith – just before leaving – kisses Buffy on the forehead. Mocking the fact that Buffy wasn't ready to kill her.

      Does anyone else think that the sexual tension between Faith and Buffy is one of the hottest thing in this show?

    • notemily says:

      "Lover" always weirded me out too. She couldn't say "the man I love"?

      lololol THE 100 GOOD DEEDS OF ANGEL MCDOGG

    • sirintegra42 says:

      I could watch that Giles and Wesley fencing scene forever. It's the combination of Giles looking all casual whilst being sarcastic plus sword fighting <3. I think it's one of his best scenes ever for sheer BAMF-ness.

  2. enigmaticagentscully says:

    THOUGHTS. TOO MANY OF THEM. BULLET POINT TIME.

    – I love Xander’s conviction that he’s gonna die. It’s like he’s making his own season three finale predictions! This show is so meta and I love it to pieces.

    – OMG playing hangman in class! I remember doing that after my exams were over and we still had lessons! Oh no, sudden nostalgia rush! YOU HATED SCHOOL REMEMBER? YOU HATED IT. Oh lord, I feel just like the kids in the graduating year in this episode. Suddenly it’s all over and you forget how much it sucked while it was going on.

    – Actually, graduation is kind of a weird concept to me – with the robes and the hats and all? At my school we just did our exams and then sort of…left? There was no ceremony or anything. We popped back in the summer to get our exam results when they came out and then never saw the school again. It’s kind of sweet how much of a big deal is made of it here. Yearbooks and everything!

    – Anya totally has a thing for Xander! Why do I find this so cute?? I do hope she sticks around as a character because her whole demon/human thing is awesome and I kinda really like her? I guess she’s skipping town though. šŸ™

    – Giles stabbing the Mayor with the sword was PRETTY FUCKING EPIC. GILES STAN FOR LIFE.

    – URG SHUT UP WESLEY. His character really confuses me, y’know, because I’m not sure if we’re supposed to like him or not? I mean, sometimes he has a point and he seems like a decent person, if a little too eager to follow the rules to the letter. But then sometimes he acts like a total douche and…I just don’t know how to feel about him.

    – The Mayor is so sweet to Faith! Seriously, could I BE more conflicted about this?? They have such a cute father/daughter relationship! I keep expecting him to turn out to be totally using her but he genuinely seems to be fond of her. The whole dress thing was a little creepy, but I actually quite liked it? It wasn’t that he was forcing her to be someone different, more that he was challenging her to try new things; saying that maybe she doesn’t have to fit the image that other people have made for her.

    – Angel is totally gonna have to end up drinking Buffy’s blood, isn’t he? I mean, even when Buffy was going on about bringing him Faith, there really wasn’t any other way this could end up going.

    – Faith died! MAYBE. Frankly, I don’t buy it.

    – Willow and Oz! Just…Willow and Oz! AMY RAT WATCHES YOU HAVE SEX.

    • robin_comments says:

      AMY RAT WATCHES YOU HAVE SEX.
      … this is a sudden and disquieting thought. o.O

    • darkwater says:

      Rat voyeur!

      Hehe.. just wait until part 2!

    • Maya says:

      Ahhh yes, graduation robes. The only good thing about them is that I was able to re-use them later for my Harry Potter costume for Halloween. Otherwise, they're hot and gross and ugly and you have to sit through a ridiculously long ceremony in them.

      • knut_knut says:

        That’s exactly what I did with mine! So useful!

      • notemily says:

        Our robes were always rented so we had to give them back after graduation, but my dad is a professor and he has official professorly robes he wears at graduations and such, so I always use that for my Harry Potter costumes. It works pretty well!

    • tehrevel says:

      I think Wesley is written to be annoying to people who are the same age as the main characters but once you're a bit older and have been in his situation (a non supernatural version of his situation) you realise that he's just a dude who came in woefully unprepared by his shitty bosses and he's being called an asshole for stuff that isn't really his fault (sometimes, he can say things in an ill considered way).

    • Jaxin88 says:

      HA! Oh my god, I forgot about Amy! Now I REALLY want a fanfic of the last few years written entirely from Amy-rat's perspective.

    • tanbarkie says:

      "I love Xander’s conviction that he’s gonna die. It’s like he’s making his own season three finale predictions!"

      That scene always makes me think of "Galaxy Quest."

      "I'm not even supposed to be here. I'm just 'Crewman Number Six.' I'm expendable. I'm the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is. I gotta get outta here!"

    • Kickpuncher says:

      – OMG playing hangman in class! I remember doing that after my exams were over and we still had lessons! Oh no, sudden nostalgia rush! YOU HATED SCHOOL REMEMBER? YOU HATED IT. Oh lord, I feel just like the kids in the graduating year in this episode. Suddenly it’s all over and you forget how much it sucked while it was going on.

      This reminds me of something I forgot to mention in my own comment. I love that teacher. I love the guy who plays that teacher. I love his evil satisfaction when he mutters, "They always go for the 'E.'" I want him to join the cast next season.

      I looked him up on IMDB out of idle curiosity, and apparently he was also in "Anne," "Innocence," and "I Only Have Eyes For You." Unfortunately, he does not join the cast next season. Total missed opportunity.

      • Hanna_the_Glam says:

        Yes, I love him too. He's snarky, yet relaxed. I have a feeling that I'd be trading smartass remarks with him all the time if I had his class.

      • Andrew says:

        Oh my god rot13 that! For all we know he becomes next season's Big Bad, a word puzzle themed supervillain called the Hangman. šŸ˜›

    • knut_knut says:

      I agree, graduation is really weird. It’s always RIDICULOUSLY hot and uncomfortable, everyone is hung over (or at least we were in college) and those goddamn caps never stay on! I think graduation is really more for the parents than for the students, seeing as how we had graduation day starting in elementary school (sans cap and gown). “Graduating” first grade isn’t really all that exciting. But, despite all that, I did really enjoy my college graduation and I’m glad I attended (even though it was mandatory- if we didn’t attend the ceremony my school withheld our diploma for a year)

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        It's just utterly bizarre to me. Even leaving school forever, we never had a ceremony like that. You didn't 'graduate' you just sorta left.
        To me graduation with robes and hats is something that happens at the end of university when you get an actual DEGREE.

        But maybe I'm just a bitter ol' Uni drop-out. šŸ˜›

        • knut_knut says:

          I agree. I think it makes sense from high school on because after that you get degrees, like you said, but no one needs to attend an elementary school graduation. It might be cute the first time, but it’s the same ceremony year after year in hot room filled with little kids. No one needs that.

          • jademg says:

            I got a "degree" from my high school. It's in a thing just like my college degree, just a little smaller.

        • Well, if I'm not mistaken, you don't get an actual degree when you finish high school in Britain, right? In America, we don't have exams like A-levels (which are a completely baffling concept to me, I've never quite figured out how that works) and you get a high school diploma which certifies that you have survived basic education. So it is an actual piece of paper saying you accomplished something, albeit one that isn't worth much nowadays.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            This is endlessly amusing to me because I never understood your way of doing things either. So you get like a general overall education thing?

            Because over here with A-Levels we pick four or five subjects to specialise in for the last two years of school and then study those, then do exams for them. For example, I have A-Levels in English Lit, History, Classical Civilisations and Art, because those are the subjects I chose.

            I don't understand the high school diploma thing. Is it not subject specific? How do potential employers know what you're interested in/good at?

            • Iamwinterborn says:

              That's what college is for.

              No seriously, high school diploma = worth nothing. Not having a high school diploma (or more accurately, people finding out that you don't since you have no reason to tell them otherwise) is a black mark unless you have job experience or higher education. (But then again… it's practically a black mark if you don't have either of those things… Job market sucks in America right now).

            • notemily says:

              Yeah, high school is supposed to give you the "general education" and then you go to college to specialize. How well this system works is up for debate.

              Potential employers, if they want someone with a specific interest or skill, are usually going to go for college graduates I think. People with just a high school degree tend to get unskilled or low-skilled jobs over here. It sucks. And these days you almost need a Master's degree if you want to really specialize in something; I feel like the college degree is becoming less and less useful for getting a good job.

              • @liliaeth says:

                I think it doesn't help that your schooldays seem to be so short.

                I don't know, wether or not your highschool degree means something, or not, depends on the direction you picked. For example, mine's only useful if you move on to college. Whereas a cousin of mine graduated as a hairdresser. Other options are automechanics, electricians and other job directions like that.

                But even in the general education options there's differences. Like a focus on maths, sciences, languages and so on…

                I've often felt that American kids who graduate highschool are at about the same level that our kids are at at age fifteen to sixteen. Of course, highschool kids have four days of about six to seven hours of classes and a fifth day of four hours each week. I could be misremembering this, but it seems to me that American school days are generally shorter than that.

                • "I've often felt that American kids who graduate highschool are at about the same level that our kids are at at age fifteen to sixteen. Of course, highschool kids have four days of about six to seven hours of classes and a fifth day of four hours each week. I could be misremembering this, but it seems to me that American school days are generally shorter than that."

                  Well, I was 17 when I graduated high school, so comparing me to a 16 year old from Britain isn't that far-fetched … And my school went from 8 – 2:30, five days a week, so no shorter than yours. Also, the way everyone is saying it makes it sound like we don't specialize in anything in high school. Just because we don't have A-levels, doesn't mean we don't choose our strengths. Some high schools have majors that you can choose. For me, I knew I was going to college to major in a science-related field. So after everyone took Biology and Chemistry, I also took Anatomy, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology which included Genetics.

                • notemily says:

                  I don't think so? I just looked up where my sister went to high school, and it's 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM, which seems about right for an American high school day. That's seven hours, and even if one of them is lunch, that's still six hours of class five days a week.

                • robin_comments says:

                  5 days a week, 8am – 3pm every day is typical in my experience, though some districts make it 7-2 or 7:30-2:30.

                  I wouldn't take the depiction of American high schools in movies or tv for granted — they're not any more realistic than what you see on UK Skins.

                  The "lessons" tend to be silly and dumbed down because the people writing the scripts aren't high school teachers or experts in that field. The school elements are just setting and plot devices to support the story the writers want to tell.

                  and students who have Buffy and Xander's portrayed attendance issues, material incomprehension, and that volume of skipped coursework… in the real world, they wouldn't graduate.

              • Danny_SAP says:

                I think it depends on what you consider good. A Bachelors of Science in Nursing can get you a good paying job… which I why I dragged my Bachelor of the Arts ass back to school for one. In this field a Masters degree either gets you so you can get a management position or work as a Nurse Practitioner. Though federal standards are starting to take shape that'll require NPs to get doctorates (and be Dr. Nurses).

                As an aside, there are also states who are requiring nurses with doctorates to have to clarify that they are not medical doctors if they introduce themselves to patients as a doctor.

                • notemily says:

                  Ugh, I hate that the schooling requirements are inching upwards like that. Especially as someone who dropped out of grad school because I am REALLY not good at school, but that doesn't translate to me not being good at whatever job I would have gotten with that grad degree. Plus, school is expensive.

              • I always get confused when Americans start talking about college to be honest, just 'cus here in the UK college is a place you can go to get A-levels or NVQs. University is where you go for a degree. A-levels can be broken down into AS levels. The first year of A-Levels, you do exams and get your AS levels, then you pick 2 of your 4 subjects to continue with in the 2nd year to get the full A-level. It's kinda weird like that.

                NVQs are courses you can take to get qualified to do things like childcare, hairdressing or pretty much any practical skill.

                We actually start getting more specialised in GCSE though. Those are our last 2 years of secondary school (I went to a comprehensive school, which I'm led to believe is slightly different from a high school?). When I was doing them, we needed to take maths, English (although we got a choice of lit or media) double science, a second language (our school was classed as a "language college"), IT, a Design Technology class (graphic design, metal shop, home economics) and religious studies. Then we got to choose two additional subjects to take. I went with art & history but we could have done anything from geography to psychology. It was quite a long list, as far as I remember.

                At the end of those 2 years, you get your GCSE in all the subjects you passed. At the time, we were told that GCSEs were incredibly important things to have and that they would determine our entire futures. It might have been nice to have had a proper graduation ceremony after passing those if only as a way of saying well done but alas, all that happened was mark collection and then disappearing for the summer until a-levels/college/employment time.

                • robin_comments says:

                  NVQs are courses you can take to get qualified to do things like childcare, hairdressing or pretty much any practical skill.
                  In America I think we have basically the equivalent of this idea. After you get your high school degree at 17 or 18, if you don't intend to go to a university then you might decide to get an "AA degree" at a "community college" or attend some kind of trade school that works similarly. And this is where a person can take courses in order to be qualified and certified in a very specific skill (unlike the more broad university degrees).

                  Getting an "AA" degree generally takes 2 years… I think you may still have a bit of basic 'general education' required courses but mainly you pick 1 thing to specialize in and get your AA degree in that. Then the person can use that degree to get a job or they can transfer to a university to get a university degree. [note: this is not the only use of community colleges –you can also complete some university course work there that will be accepted at most universities, to decrease your education costs]

                  So we do have a middle-ground place between high school and the 4 year university, though some people never go to either and some people skip over it and go straight to university.

            • @wickedzen says:

              It depends greatly on where you live, and, occasionally, what you can afford.

              Each state has its own standards, and there are different types of schools, as well. Some students may choose to go to a "vocational school" to learn a trade (mechanics, agriculture, etc) in lieu of one or two years of high school. There are also "magnet schools" which sometimes specialize in certain subjects, such as performing arts.

              Many states and municipalities offer vouchers to pay for tuition at these or private schools. It varies widely from one area to the next.

            • robin_comments says:

              It's one size fits all: you graduate, or you don't. Not subject specific at all. You just pass your required classes, you past the exit exam test (this exam isn't meant to be super hard, it's intended to just make sure people aren't getting a diploma somehow when they're lacking basic reading, writing, math, social science type knowledge) .

              Taking more advanced classes and performing well in them does matter if you're planning to attend college, though. And you can take a more advanced college preparatory program, which allows you to sit for special "AP" exams that will allow you to wave some intro level college courses at most American universities.

              Potential employers in America who are hiring young people without a college degree often check that you have a diploma, may or may not look at your GPA (aka the average of the grades you got for ALL your courses in high school), and they look at any volunteer and work experience you have. The resume and interview process is supposed to glean what you're interested in/good at. For the kinds of jobs one might get without a college degree or any post-high school certification program (like paralegal, pharmacist tech, medical assistant, Microsoft certified, etc) … the focus is generally going to be on work experience, communication skills, problem solving abilities. Not really about any specific course work you did in high school.

        • PheasantPlucker says:

          This! I don't get it America, I really don't. Uni graduation? Sure (although the height of boring and UGH), but whether you're getting a high school diploma (which, lets face it, isn't really a real diploma at all, is it. Its more like 'here, lets make this sound fancy' certificate) or A levels or what not, its only high school. We (New Zealand), get study leave from the beginning of exams and that's it for school, thanks very much. Run for the hills.

          • jademg says:

            It's a lot of hard work culminating in something. I liked the ceremony of it. I find it would have been lacking closure if we didn't have that big "hoorah" about graduating: uni OR high school.

        • SelphieFairy says:

          This is sooo strange to me, because I've never really considered how people who don't have high school graduations might think about them. but I guess it would seem pretty baffling, since let's face it, no one actually thinks graduating from high school is an accomlishment.

        • robin_comments says:

          I've felt like that at times — I wanted to blow off my high school graduation but my parents wouldn't let me. šŸ˜‰

          But then, I dunno, I think about the kids who will never go to college. Yes, some by choice. But then there are plenty who just didn't have the same opportunities that I did. And kids who worked really hard to pass high school, who angsted and struggled with it, and the kids who will only graduate from middle school. Many of them lacking my social, racial, and economic privilege. So I'm glad these kids get a moment with their friends and families to feel proud of the scholastic achievement that they did accomplish. It didn't kill me to sit in the hot sun for a couple hours and it was easy for me to feel like it meant nothing when I was pretty secure in the idea that I'd attend a 4 year university and complete a degree, but not everybody is that lucky. So why not? šŸ™‚

          • notemily says:

            yeah, I myself went to private school, but I know people that went to public high school with a lot of underprivileged kids and their graduations were full of people literally dancing across the stage because they were so happy to get that degree.

            • Danny_SAP says:

              Oh hey that was my school. Very very few students went on to 4 year colleges… some went on to trade schools or community college. Many dropped out before graduating at all. It was a rural K-12 school and the graduating senior class was roughly half the size of the entering Kindergarten class. You can say that a high school diploma doesn't mean anything, but try getting a job without one (or some other degree that makes up for the lack of it). I'm pretty annoyed by the people talking about how nobody thinks graduating from high school is an accomplishment.

              • notemily says:

                Sadly it's one of those things that a lot of people don't consider an accomplishment, just kind of a default? So if you have a high school diploma you're normal and if you don't have one there's something wrong with you. Sigh.

      • SelphieFairy says:

        THOSE CAPS. Some girls tried really hard to get them to stay on by pinning them on instead of actually WEARING them cause they didn't want it to cover their hair they probably worked on for an 2 hours or something. AND SOMEONE STOLE MY CAP right after the ceremony. i had to run after them to get them to give it back before getting my diploma (the real one, not the fake on they hand you :P). -.-

        • knut_knut says:

          My cap and my bangs did not get along. I could either get my bangs to look good under my cap OR have them look when I took my cap off. Not both. And my cap didn't want to stay on my head. Disaster.

    • Inseriousity. says:

      I think you're from UK. me too lol and didn't have the graduation but didn't you even have the 'SIGN MY T-SHIRT' thing? I thought this was the british equivalent of year books but obviously not šŸ˜›

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yep! We didn't do the whole 'sign my t-shirt' thing, but there was a tradition of ritually burning and/or shredding our school shirts (which were hideous blue and white striped deckchair-looking things)

        It really pissed off the parents of girls who had younger sisters, because then they had to buy new uniforms for them.

        • amyalices says:

          LOL yes.

          We had the most hideous apple-green monstrosities, and really resented all the boys for their plain white ones.

        • We had yearbooks, but nobody signed them. We signed shirts instead. I think our school was trying to borrow a few traditions from America. I don't think a lot of people could be bothered to buy the year books though. I hated school but I'm kinda glad I bought the book. Some of the teachers tried writing funny poems about their tutor groups and there's some silly comics that were put together like a comparison of what the school uniform was supposed to be and what everyone actually wore. I think it was nicer then the shirt signing anyway. I didn't know half the people that were signing mine, and I spent the whole day paranoid about whether or not someone was writing "kick me" on my back like they did at the end of primary school…

          Although, saying that, the last day of school only lasted 2 hours or so. 1 and a half maybe? We got kicked out after that because we were being too rowdy, apparently. No body wanted to leave though 'cus there was a group of boys lined up outside the school gates with lots of egg cartons. Luckily, I managed to avoid being egged but a lot of people didn't. Good times.

      • NB2000 says:

        Yeah we didn't have a full graduation either. We only did the "Sign My Shirt" once when a boy had to leave because his family was moving abroad. I also vaguely remember signing a trainer at one point for someone else, I forget whether they were just changing schools or moving away.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      AMY RAT WATCHES YOU HAVE SEX.

      I feel this needs reposting so it can get it's own upvotes.

    • alz says:

      AMY RAT WATCHES YOU HAVE SEX.

      Is this like Ceiling Cat?

  3. Karen says:

    It’s graduation! I have to lol a bit when Cordelia says she lobbied for teal. UGH. I HAD TO WEAR TEAL AT MY GRADUATION. I WANTED TO WEAR PURPLE. BOOOOOOO. Anyway, a lot of the beginning of this episode deals with the nostalgia that a lot of people experience as they get ready to leave high school. I laugh pretty hard at lot at the scene where Harmony and Willow sign each other’s year books. It’s SO true. By the end of senior year at my school, everyone was like holding hand and singing campfire songs. IDEK. It was weird. And playing hangman in class? YEP. MY SCHOOL DID THAT TOO. Well actually, we played Trivial Pursuit. That was on senior ditch day. I went to school on senior ditch day because my class chose the same day as the end of the year awards and I WANTED MY AWARDS, GODDAMNIT. And I couldn’t get them unless I went to class that day. But like there were only 4 other people in my government class, so we just played Trivial Pursuit with our teacher. It was good times. There’s something kind of magical about those last days of high school. Everyone has finished with APs. Everyone has figured out which college they are going to if they’re going to college. The weather is warm. Everyone is feeling nostalgic. Things are winding down. And idk. It was a good time for me and I think this episode does a good job of capturing that feeling.

    The Faith and Mayor father-daughter thing they’ve got going on continues to be really fascinating. The Mayor bought Faith a dress! It’s not very Faith-like, and it’s so strange to see her like that. But idk. He seems to genuinely care about her. And she loves that someone is take a real, personal interest in her for once.

    Speaking of parent-child relationships… D’awwww that Buffy and Joyce scene! Buffy says,“I know that sometimes you wish I were different.” But Joyce talks over her saying, “Oh Buffy, no”. Buffy and Joyce just love each other so much. Like idek. I love their relationship. Neither of them are perfect in it and each of them screw up at one point or another, but they also both always have the other’s best interests at heart. Joyce doesn’t want to leave, but Buffy can’t be worried about her mom while trying to stop the end of the world.

    But the central plot of this episode revolves around Angel. Angel and Buffy were picking up some stuff, and they get into a fight on the street. Like ugh. This is an ugly fight. I just cannot with Angel when he says that Buffy is “acting like a brat”. HOW CONDESCENDING. Like idk. Their relationship could feel a bit paternalistic at times and… no me gusta. Anyway, as Buffy and Angel are fighting, Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow.

    I do love that Wesley went to bat against the council for Angel, but the Watcher’s Council was unmoving and refused to help. SO BUFFY IS QUITTING THE COUNCIL. OH SNAP. Wesley’s response is, “This is mutiny!” And Buffy then has this excellent line,“I like to think of it as graduation.” I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, SHOW. I SEE IT. Buffy is graduating from high school, but she’s also graduating from the Watcher’s Council. She’s not going to be their tool any more. Yvxr, gur prageny vqrn bs gur ragver fubj vf Ohssl tebjvat vagb ure bja nf n ureb. Naq guvf vf n ivgny fgrc.

    The Scoobies do some research of their own and discover that the cure is to drain the blood of a Slayer. So Buffy is going to get Faith and kill her to save Angel. WOW. That is… wow. That’s a huge thing. And Xander remarks on it. As she’s getting her weapons together he says, “I just don’t want to lose you.” Buffy replies, “I won’t get hurt.” But Xander says, “That’s not what I mean.” Can Buffy really kill another human? One she used to consider a friend? That seems to be crossing a line. But it’s a line that Buffy seems to be willing to cross in order to save Angel.

    Anyway, Buffy and Faith fight! Buffy stabs Faith, and there’s a look of horror in Buffy eyes. I think that she was shocked that she could actually do it, and idk. I think she… not regrets it exactly… but I think she’s a bit horrified that she was able to do it. AND THEN FAITH LETS HSERLF FALL INTO THE BED OF A TRUCK, SO SHE MAKES AN ESCAPE (dying though she might be). NOW HER BLOOD CAN’T BE USED TO SAVE ANGEL.

    Dun dun duuuun. To be continued!

    P.S. Giles and Wesley fencing? THIS IS EVERYTHING I NEVER KNEW I WANTED.

    • Jenny_M says:

      We had to wear white at our graduation. The boys got to wear blue, but the girls had to wear white. To symbolize our purity. I am not even joking.

      • Um.

        Did you go to a religious school?

        • Jenny_M says:

          Oh yes. Yes, indeed. My lovely religious school. Where girls were told that having sex meant you had a 90% chance of dying of cervical cancer and also if you wear a skirt more than three inches above the knee you are tempting virtuous young men into sin.

          There are many reasons I am an atheist and I would have to say 99% of them come from things that were done in that school.

          • MochaMooo says:

            Wow. I went to Catholic school until high school and we were merely told that contraception was EEEEVIL and the equivalent of killing babies, so we shouldn't have sex until we were married and ready to have kids. Because sex without kids as the end result was also EEEEVIL. (We were also never told what the actual act of sex was, so I didn't even exactly know what it was until I was like 15.)

            Your school sounds SCARY, and kind of like this religious college that's near mine, where the students are required to go to church at least 3 times a week (they swipe their ID cards to make sure they go–if they don't they actually have to pay up to $250) and R-rated movies and social dancing are both banned from the campus. Also, we looked up their course catalog out of curiosity, and found that for female students they offer "household-oriented programs such as home economics and personal accounting". WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

          • notemily says:

            YES, MOST PEOPLE IN HISTORY WHO HAVE HAD SEX ARE NOW DEAD OF CERVICAL CANCER. What

      • Karen says:

        My school voted on what colors we wanted to wear. The boys voted for what they wanted and the girls voted for what they wanted. The boys chose black (as they did every year), but the girls chose teal. I WANTED PURPLE. BOOOOOOOOO. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THE SAME TASTE IN COLORS AS ME.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Every story about your school is more ridiculous than the last. Y'all should have tried to work inside the system: "But the Virgin Mary wears blue. Is she impure?" Might have been barred from graduating, but it'd be worth it.

        My high school colors were black and gold, and every year there was a vote about whether we'd wear black or yellow, and every year they chose black because yellow is hideous.

        • Jenny_M says:

          VIRGIN MARY? WHAT ARE YOU, A CATHOLIC? WE DON'T TALK ABOUT VIRGINS OR CULTS IN THIS SCHOOL, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW.

          (No, but seriously, I was raised Catholic and got side-eyed for it at that place. Like I was a demon. I really should write a book.)

          • monkeybutter says:

            haha, or treat us to more horror stories in the comments at the very least! Your school makes me want to rewatch Saved.

            • Jenny_M says:

              Okay you know the part in Saved where the pastor comes out and like is all talking cool about Jesus with the kids? And Mandy Moore is singing and closing her eyes and swaying and it's all SO CHEESY? And you just kind of cringe in secondhand embarrassment and Jena Malone is obviously so over it? THAT HAPPENED WEEKLY. EVERY WEEK. It was called Chapel and they'd have different speakers come in and we'd have altar calls and people would cry on the floor of the gym and come to Jesus. Some people would come to Jesus four, five, six times in a semester.

              People I know saw Saved and were like "surely it wasn't as bad as that?" and I was like "SAVED DID NOT GO FAR ENOUGH!!!!"

        • t09yavosaur says:

          I want a yellow graduation gown. I have been bleedin' blue and gold since I was born practically and want an obnoxiously colored gown to show for is gosh-darnit!

      • knut_knut says:

        WOOOOOOOOOOW your school makes for some fantastic stories!!

        That’s actually the same set up we had at my school, except there was no particular reason why the girls had to wear white. OR SO WE THOUGHT *DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUN* I went to a public school, though, so I hope that wasn’t their secret reasoning o_O

        • Jenny_M says:

          We were explicitly told it was meant to represent our virtue, which, lol – they should have put me in blue. When I told that to my parents they laughed and laughed. The reason i was there is because I was zoned for a really terrible public school, and my fundie school had a really good academic record, and I wanted to get into a good college but we couldn't afford the SUPER fancy private school. But my parents are super hippie liberals who were in the Peace Corps when they met.

          I was so confused about what to think when I was little, but I think it's helped me become a good critical thinker, and it's helped me realize the opinions I have are really MY OWN opinions and not ones that I'm just parroting back because someone told me something was true.

          • Jaxin88 says:

            Yeah, going to a crazy fundamentalist school can really help critical thinking skills. My high school was crazy Calvinist conservative, and there were- I kid you not- rifles on the walls. As decorations. The headmaster also had a confederate flag in his office, in a suburban high school in Illinois.

      • hpfish13 says:

        We had to wear white too, but it was just because our school's colors were green and white. (The boys wore green). It was really hard to find a dress to wear under the robes that wouldn't show through.

        • wickedketchup says:

          The girls also had to wear white robes at my HS graduation (our school colors were blue and white.) I spent three days shopping for an outfit that wouldn't show. Then, the night of graduation there was extreme weather including a tornado warning and everyone got drenched walking to the building from the parking lot.

    • nanceoir says:

      Hey, at least you did something in your government class that has something to do with knowledge. In my government class, we ended up watching a lot of movies towards the end of the year; we watched Braveheart because my teacher wanted to see it. NO OTHER REASON!

      Actually, my school had block scheduling (periods 1, 3 and 5 on Monday, periods 2, 4, and 6 on Tuesday, etc., and then flipped for the next week), and senior year I had calculus, yearbook, and government on even days, which were the best days for most of the fourth quarter; I could turn my brain off by 9 in the morning. And then watch a movie (or nap, if I'm being honest) after lunch. šŸ˜€

      • Karen says:

        The way my school did government/econ was that the first semester was gov and the second semester was econ. But our teacher had found a new job for the next year by the time we got to econ, and he just completely stopped caring. We watched a lot of documentaries about Walmart, Teddy Roosevelt, Wendy's etc etc. We also watched Supersize Me for some reason. OH and we watched the first season of The Apprentice! lol. He'd give us worksheets to do once a week and let us work on them in groups. Except my friends and I would talk about TV instead. If worksheet day was on a Thursday, my friend Michelle and I would discuss Lost while Christina and Kristina worked on the worksheet. If worksheet day was the day after Gilmore Girls, then my friend Christina and I would discuss Gilmore Girls while Kristina and Michelle did the worksheet.

        As you can see, I managed to work things so I never did any work and poor Kristina who didn't really follow any TV shows ended up always doing the work. Oh and our final was open book.

        SO YEAH, I LEARNED NOTHING ABOUT ECONOMICS. But I still got an A in the class. LOL.

        But I did have a lot of fun and learn about the history of Walmart and their shady business practices.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yup, we watched movies, too! In Euro, it was Breaker Morant and Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Monty Python is totally relevant. Also, if you were taking more than 4 AP or IB exams, you didn't have to come to school from the day of your first exam until the day of your last (I think they played Risk in history while I was gone. I was kinda jealous.) I was pretty much done with high school in April and it was marvelous.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        In my AP physics class, we had Rock Paper Scissors tournaments. I'm proud to say I was one of the champions. We also played the movie chain game where you name an actor and then a movie he was in and then another movie he was in and then another actor in that movie, etc. There was very little physics-ing. And in my AP government class, we watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and then answered some open ended questions in limerick form.

  4. "The beast will walk upon the earth and darkness will follow. The several races of man will be as one in their terror and destruction." Aw, that's kind of sweet. Different races coming together.
    The Mayor is bringing about the post-racial apocalypse! Hurrah!

  5. arctic_hare says:

    Yesssss, this scene between Xander and Cordelia at the beginning. <3 This is a wonderful followup to that moment at the prom. They can talk like friends now, and even when Cordelia disses his clothes, there's nothing mean-spirited about it, it's just a good-natured jibe. I love it. Sure, there's doom and gloom in the *content* of their conversation, but the fact that they can have one like this with no venom at all is so refreshing and relieving to me.

    Willow: Oh, I'm gonna miss her.
    Buffy: Don't you hate her?
    Willow: Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.

    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/16lfzx3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Really, Willow? Really? You were doing so well, and then you had to add in that last word. You're perfectly entitled to hate her for picking on you for ten years, that is an incredibly valid reason to despise someone. But there's no reason at all to call her a name like that.

    Wow, Xander is telling Willow to cut the silly jokes? HAVE I WANDERED INTO BIZARRO WORLD? This is strangely hilarious to me just for the reversal of roles. Well, the conversational topic is not, because whoa, Wilkins, you fucking bastard, but you know. I'll take my laughs where I can get them.

    Oh no. No. ;_; That poor old man. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™

    I am oddly moved by the Mayor and Faith's father-daughter bond, though.

    LOL Percy.

    Yay, more Anya!

    Man, Giles isn't even bothering with *any* tweed anymore. I kinda miss it, but he looks really good this way too.

    Ooh, and yet more Anya, yay!

    AND HERE'S WHERE I GET ALL GRAMMAR-NERDY AND RAGE ABOUT IMPROPER USE OF THE WORD "DECIMATED". ANYA, HONEY. YOU MEAN "DESTROYED" OR "ANNIHILATED". DECIMATED WOULD MEAN HE WRECKED ONLY TEN PERCENT OF THE PLACE, AND UNLESS IT WAS A REALLY SMALL TOWN, THREE PEOPLE GETTING OUT IS WAY LESS THAN TEN PERCENT.

    This scene is so chilling to me. The Mayor is in their "sanctum", as he calls it, being all creepily affable and affably creepy. AND THE LINE ABOUT EATING HER, UUUUGH. Fucking awesome villain.

    More Cordy and Xander interacting as friends, still liking it. I'm glad they'll be graduating on good terms.

    I love when Joyce says "And you're taking my clothes". There is so much "WTF?" in that delivery and it cracks me up.

    Oh joy, the Shut Up Kiss. I hate this trope so very fucking much. So NOT romantic.

    LMAO, Angel failing at stealth and then his "Not my best entrance" line and explaining it by people mopping the halls. I love it when Angel gets to be ridiculous like this. <3

    Although I don't love his "acting like a brat" line. Uuuugh, fuck off, Angel.

    So vampires can somehow be poisoned. And the "mystical" line is supposed to cover my wtf at this new addition to the list of reasons why these vampires make no sense sometimes.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/ehfxhe.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  6. arctic_hare says:

    Yesssss, this scene between Xander and Cordelia at the beginning. <3 This is a wonderful followup to that moment at the prom. They can talk like friends now, and even when Cordelia disses his clothes, there's nothing mean-spirited about it, it's just a good-natured jibe. I love it. Sure, there's doom and gloom in the *content* of their conversation, but the fact that they can have one like this with no venom at all is so refreshing and relieving to me.

    Willow: Oh, I'm gonna miss her.
    Buffy: Don't you hate her?
    Willow: Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.

    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/16lfzx3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Really, Willow? Really? You were doing so well, and then you had to add in that last word. You're perfectly entitled to hate her for picking on you for ten years, that is an incredibly valid reason to despise someone. But there's no reason at all to call her a name like that.

    Wow, Xander is telling Willow to cut the silly jokes? HAVE I WANDERED INTO BIZARRO WORLD? This is strangely hilarious to me just for the reversal of roles. Well, the conversational topic is not, because whoa, Wilkins, you fucking bastard, but you know. I'll take my laughs where I can get them.

    Oh no. No. ;_; That poor old man. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™

    I am oddly moved by the Mayor and Faith's father-daughter bond, though.

    LOL Percy.

    Yay, more Anya!

    Man, Giles isn't even bothering with *any* tweed anymore. I kinda miss it, but he looks really good this way too.

    Ooh, and yet more Anya, yay!

    AND HERE'S WHERE I GET ALL GRAMMAR-NERDY AND RAGE ABOUT IMPROPER USE OF THE WORD "DECIMATED". ANYA, HONEY. YOU MEAN "DESTROYED" OR "ANNIHILATED". DECIMATED WOULD MEAN HE WRECKED ONLY TEN PERCENT OF THE PLACE, AND UNLESS IT WAS A REALLY SMALL TOWN, THREE PEOPLE GETTING OUT IS WAY LESS THAN TEN PERCENT.

    This scene is so chilling to me. The Mayor is in their "sanctum", as he calls it, being all creepily affable and affably creepy. AND THE LINE ABOUT EATING HER, UUUUGH. Fucking awesome villain.

    More Cordy and Xander interacting as friends, still liking it. I'm glad they'll be graduating on good terms.

    I love when Joyce says "And you're taking my clothes". There is so much "WTF?" in that delivery and it cracks me up.

    Oh joy, the Shut Up Kiss. I hate this trope so very fucking much. So NOT romantic.

    LMAO, Angel failing at stealth and then his "Not my best entrance" line and explaining it by people mopping the halls. I love it when Angel gets to be ridiculous like this. <3

    Although I don't love his "acting like a brat" line. Uuuugh, fuck off, Angel.

    So vampires can somehow be poisoned. And the "mystical" line is supposed to cover my wtf at this new addition to the list of reasons why these vampires make no sense sometimes.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/ehfxhe.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  7. arctic_hare says:

    Yesssss, this scene between Xander and Cordelia at the beginning. <3 This is a wonderful followup to that moment at the prom. They can talk like friends now, and even when Cordelia disses his clothes, there's nothing mean-spirited about it, it's just a good-natured jibe. I love it. Sure, there's doom and gloom in the *content* of their conversation, but the fact that they can have one like this with no venom at all is so refreshing and relieving to me.

    Willow: Oh, I'm gonna miss her.
    Buffy: Don't you hate her?
    Willow: Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.

    <img src="http://i44.tinypic.com/16lfzx3.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Really, Willow? Really? You were doing so well, and then you had to add in that last word. You're perfectly entitled to hate her for picking on you for ten years, that is an incredibly valid reason to despise someone. But there's no reason at all to call her a name like that.

    Wow, Xander is telling Willow to cut the silly jokes? HAVE I WANDERED INTO BIZARRO WORLD? This is strangely hilarious to me just for the reversal of roles. Well, the conversational topic is not, because whoa, Wilkins, you fucking bastard, but you know. I'll take my laughs where I can get them.

    Oh no. No. ;_; That poor old man. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™

    I am oddly moved by the Mayor and Faith's father-daughter bond, though.

    LOL Percy.

    Yay, more Anya!

    Man, Giles isn't even bothering with *any* tweed anymore. I kinda miss it, but he looks really good this way too.

    Ooh, and yet more Anya, yay!

    AND HERE'S WHERE I GET ALL GRAMMAR-NERDY AND RAGE ABOUT IMPROPER USE OF THE WORD "DECIMATED". ANYA, HONEY. YOU MEAN "DESTROYED" OR "ANNIHILATED". DECIMATED WOULD MEAN HE WRECKED ONLY TEN PERCENT OF THE PLACE, AND UNLESS IT WAS A REALLY SMALL TOWN, THREE PEOPLE GETTING OUT IS WAY LESS THAN TEN PERCENT.

    This scene is so chilling to me. The Mayor is in their "sanctum", as he calls it, being all creepily affable and affably creepy. AND THE LINE ABOUT EATING HER, UUUUGH. Fucking awesome villain.

    More Cordy and Xander interacting as friends, still liking it. I'm glad they'll be graduating on good terms.

    I love when Joyce says "And you're taking my clothes". There is so much "WTF?" in that delivery and it cracks me up.

    Oh joy, the Shut Up Kiss. I hate this trope so very fucking much. So NOT romantic.

    LMAO, Angel failing at stealth and then his "Not my best entrance" line and explaining it by people mopping the halls. I love it when Angel gets to be ridiculous like this. <3

    Although I don't love his "acting like a brat" line. Uuuugh, fuck off, Angel.

    So vampires can somehow be poisoned. And the "mystical" line is supposed to cover my wtf at this new addition to the list of reasons why these vampires make no sense sometimes.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/ehfxhe.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • arctic_hare says:

      This scene with the Mayor and Faith is touching in that same odd way as the earlier one, but I'm distracted by that picture on the wall. Sunnydale… County? Oh, so we're now pretending that Santa Barbara County is named Sunnydale instead.

      Now, I had a problem with Xander's behavior in Earshot because I felt that it contradicted the growth we saw in The Zeppo, but in this scene with Anya, it feels like some of the lessons he learned there DID stick. So I'm going to write off what he did in Earshot (using the investigation as a way to hit on girls, getting distracted by Jello when there was supposed to be a mass murder any minute) as one of those "OOC for the sake of comedy" things. And I love Anya's "Aren't we going to kiss?" line at the end. Hee.

      I love love love Buffy turning her back on the Council. Love it. I'm really not invested in this "Angel has been ~mystically~ poisoned" plot thread for any other reason save 1) what will happen to Faith because of it and 2) this scene.

      I admit I giggled at Xander's "The suspense is killing Angel" because COME ON.

      <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/e8ms1g.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

      Oh, how I wish they would kiss. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™ I don't want this, I don't want it. All I wanted was my ship to sail and Faith and Buffy to be together and awesome. But, as usual, Whedon hates happiness. My ship has SUNK. All the tears.

      Nice Jaws reference.

      AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH OMG THE SPIDER-EATING WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY I DIDN'T NEED TO SEE THAT FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

      Faaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith. šŸ™

      • Maya says:

        Faith needs grammar lessons from The Master.

        Flawless use of Pushing Daisies and Clue gifs is flawless. Clue is one of the most hilarious and underappreciated comedy movies ever.

        • arctic_hare says:

          CLUE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TRUTH. <3 And oh, my dearly departed Pushing Daisies. ;____; Best show ever, though so sadly short-lived.

      • misterbernie says:

        I love love love Buffy turning her back on the Council.
        One of the best scenes, tbqh.

        Also hey, since when does "she killed them/sent them to hell" sink a ship on this show? THERE ARE STILL POSSIBILITIES

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      AND HERE'S WHERE I GET ALL GRAMMAR-NERDY AND RAGE ABOUT IMPROPER USE OF THE WORD "DECIMATED". ANYA, HONEY. YOU MEAN "DESTROYED" OR "ANNIHILATED". DECIMATED WOULD MEAN HE WRECKED ONLY TEN PERCENT OF THE PLACE, AND UNLESS IT WAS A REALLY SMALL TOWN, THREE PEOPLE GETTING OUT IS WAY LESS THAN TEN PERCENT.

      Oh dear, I thought that too. It's one of those things where you're watching something and you get this sort of twitch of PURE ANNOYANCE and you have to tell yourself that it's NOT WORTH IT and so NOT IMPORTANT in the grand scheme of things, and yet…THERE WERE SO MANY OTHER PERFECTLY LEGIT AND NON-SPECIFIC WORDS YOU COULD HAVE USED INSTEAD.

      At least she didn't say 'literally decimated' because that would have made me really choke on my Cheerios.

      • Shay_Guy says:

        "That sounds good, nice word… decimate."

      • arctic_hare says:

        I think I would've just had a grammar-nerd meltdown of epic proportions at that one. *shudders*

      • misterbernie says:

        Actually, you're both falling prey to the etymological fallacy right now. 'decimate' has long shifted to mean something along the lines of massacre, annihilate, destroy, reduce severely.
        /I'mnotatrainedlinguistbutIplayoneontheinternet

        • notemily says:

          I know language changes naturally and all, but I still have an inner prescriptivist who twitches in pain every time something like this happens.

          • misterbernie says:

            I actually have an inner prescriptivist, too – I just rarely let him out to play šŸ˜› . And 'decimate' definitely doesn't trigger him, probably because pretty much every language I'm aware of that borrowed the term doesn't use it in its original sense (it probably falls under the 'too specific to survive' category).

        • hazelwillow says:

          To me it makes a lot of sense that it did shift. Or rather, that the emphasis is on "Oh god everything is ruined," not "it was only every one out of ten!" I mean, even though the word means "to kill every one in ten", I don't think decimation was the kind of experience that you finish by going "phew, it was only decimation!" No, you just stood there while every tenth member of your legion, men you fought and lived and survived with, was taken out and killed before your eyes by those who are above you. Might be "only" one tenth, but it's the ultimate punishment, really.

      • notemily says:

        One of my favorite Psych quotes:

        Juliet: Detective Lassiter is literally on fire today.
        Shawn: "Literally on fire" as in Michael Jackson in the Pepsi commercial, or as in a misuse of the word "literally?"

    • NB2000 says:

      You win all of the things for the Pushing Daisies gif (which I am now stealing)

    • DonSample says:

      I'm afraid that the ship sailed on "decimated" meaning 1/10 over a century ago. Look it up in any decent dictionary, and you will find that sense of the word taged as "historical."

      Next you'll be complaining that "moot" means things too important for casual consideration.

      • ladililn says:

        Yep, my thoughts exactly. Language changes, language evolves, words do not always have the exact same meaning as their origin. Sometimes words do a complete 180 in their definition! "Decimated" as it's used here is completely correct.

    • God, I love the sassy mortician. Best character or BEST CHARACTER?

    • LadyViridis says:

      I approve of this gif. Overall I enjoy the show but the wibbly-wobbly explanation for what vampires can and can't do continually bothers me.

      Nyfb, V'z fbeel, fgnaqvat va n funqbj va na bgurejvfr-fhayvg ebbz qbrf abg pbhag nf 'abg orvat va gur fha.' Nygubhtu gung cnegvphyne vffhr vf nohfrq zber serdhragyl va Natry guna Ohssl. Rira fb. Fghcvq.

    • Gorimek says:

      Just to be MATH-NERDY:

      If you remove 10% of the population and 3 people are left, you must have started out with 3ā…“ people. Which is not possible, even if it's a really small town.

      • Hanna_the_Glam says:

        Perhaps one of them was a halfling? *is bad at math*
        Er, a partially-grown one?

        Maybe the population was decimated iteratively until only 3 people were left (ETA: if you start with a population of about 100,000, this would require approx. 109 iterations. Yes, I'm bored at work; why do you ask?)

    • Erin_Teacup says:

      "So vampires can somehow be poisoned. And the "mystical" line is supposed to cover my wtf at this new addition to the list of reasons why these vampires make no sense sometimes."

      My pet theory is that the substance is actually anathema to demons. It literally burns the demon essence out of the vampire, leaving behind the human corpse it was inhabiting. I know that in Angel's case a human soul would still be in there, but I doubt having a soul is enough to move around a 200-year-old carcass. So either he moves on to some afterlife or we have a series And I Must Scream situation.
      Guvf nyfb rkcynvaf jul Fynlre oybbq vf gur pher, va yvtug bs jung jr yrnea yngre nobhg gur fbhepr bs gur Fynlre'f cbjre.

    • notemily says:

      Haha, "decimated" didn't bother me but I practically shouted in joy when Buffy said "leads to the question" instead of "begs the question." We all have our THINGS.

      I don't hate this particular "shut up kiss" moment, I think because Oz seems more like "I'm overcome with love for you" than "I want you to stop talking now." It's already been established that Oz LIKES when Willow babbles on about stuff, so it didn't bother me too much.

      A+ Coroner gif šŸ˜‰

      • Danny_SAP says:

        I WAS BOTH BOTHERED BY DECIMATED AND PLEASED BY LEADS TO THE QUESTION.

      • Pseudonymph says:

        Oh my god "begs the question" is NEVER used properly outside of a philosophy paper. At least not that I've seen. I never appreciated that Buffy says "leads to the question" so thank you for pointing that out.

    • canyonoflight says:

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online:

      b. rhetorically or loosely. To destroy or remove a large proportion of; to subject to severe loss, slaughter, or mortality.

      She used it correctly, just not literally.

    • DonSample says:

      > So vampires can somehow be poisoned. And the "mystical" line is supposed to cover my wtf
      > at this new addition to the list of reasons why these vampires make no sense sometimes.

      What's new about it? We've seen Spike give himself ethanol poisoning (get drunk) and the tranq gun knocked out Vamp Willow quite handily.

      Naq jr'er tbvat gb frr Natry trg nssrpgrq ol n pbhcyr bs bgure cbvfbaf, va gur hcpbzvat frnfbaf bs uvf fubj.

      Buffy even killed the vampire Kralik with a fast acting mystical vamp poison. (holy water)

      • Bill says:

        Url gur ehyrf pbhyq or jbefr. N inzcver pbhyq trg certanag! Abj gung jbhyqa'g znxr nal frafr! Tynq gung qvqa'g unccra! Bu, jnvg…

  8. arctic_hare says:

    This scene with the Mayor and Faith is touching in that same odd way as the earlier one, but I'm distracted by that picture on the wall. Sunnydale… County? Oh, so we're now pretending that Santa Barbara County is named Sunnydale instead.

    Now, I had a problem with Xander's behavior in Earshot because I felt that it contradicted the growth we saw in The Zeppo, but in this scene with Anya, it feels like some of the lessons he learned there DID stick. So I'm going to write off what he did in Earshot (using the investigation as a way to hit on girls, getting distracted by Jello when there was supposed to be a mass murder any minute) as one of those "OOC for the sake of comedy" things. And I love Anya's "Aren't we going to kiss?" line at the end. Hee.

    I love love love Buffy turning her back on the Council. Love it. I'm really not invested in this "Angel has been ~mystically~ poisoned" plot thread for any other reason save 1) what will happen to Faith because of it and 2) this scene.

    I admit I giggled at Xander's "The suspense is killing Angel" because COME ON.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/e8ms1g.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Oh, how I wish they would kiss. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™ I don't want this, I don't want it. All I wanted was my ship to sail and Faith and Buffy to be together and awesome. But, as usual, Whedon hates happiness. My ship has SUNK. All the tears.

    Nice Jaws reference.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH OMG THE SPIDER-EATING WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY I DIDN'T NEED TO SEE THAT FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    Faaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith. šŸ™

  9. arctic_hare says:

    This scene with the Mayor and Faith is touching in that same odd way as the earlier one, but I'm distracted by that picture on the wall. Sunnydale… County? Oh, so we're now pretending that Santa Barbara County is named Sunnydale instead.

    Now, I had a problem with Xander's behavior in Earshot because I felt that it contradicted the growth we saw in The Zeppo, but in this scene with Anya, it feels like some of the lessons he learned there DID stick. So I'm going to write off what he did in Earshot (using the investigation as a way to hit on girls, getting distracted by Jello when there was supposed to be a mass murder any minute) as one of those "OOC for the sake of comedy" things. And I love Anya's "Aren't we going to kiss?" line at the end. Hee.

    I love love love Buffy turning her back on the Council. Love it. I'm really not invested in this "Angel has been ~mystically~ poisoned" plot thread for any other reason save 1) what will happen to Faith because of it and 2) this scene.

    I admit I giggled at Xander's "The suspense is killing Angel" because COME ON.

    <img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/e8ms1g.gif&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    Oh, how I wish they would kiss. šŸ™ šŸ™ šŸ™ I don't want this, I don't want it. All I wanted was my ship to sail and Faith and Buffy to be together and awesome. But, as usual, Whedon hates happiness. My ship has SUNK. All the tears.

    Nice Jaws reference.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH OMG THE SPIDER-EATING WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY I DIDN'T NEED TO SEE THAT FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    Faaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith. šŸ™

  10. ajaxbreaker says:

    This is such a great episode. Very well structured, with the suspense ramping up constantly, funny jokes, and plenty of great character moments sprinkled throughout. Not a wasted moment in the whole episode. My favorite things:

    -Perfect depiction of those strange last few days before high school graduation: Willow & Harmony signing each other's yearbooks and wanting to keep in touch despite hating each other (ah nostalgia, you paint everything rose), Xander's conviction that he won't ever survive graduation (not because of the Mayor, but because he has no post-HS prospects), the teacher gleefully playing Hangman with his students.

    -Three chilling moments: Faith murdering the professor in cold blood, the Mayor walking into the library, cool as you please, and Buffy deciding to kill Faith. The first of these is the worst. Young and misguided Faith may be, but surely she understands that killing a defenseless man is a great sin. And yet she does it anyway, without even blinking. It is so sad and horrifying to see how far she's fallen. The Mayor walking into the library is one of Groener's finest moments. He's jovial but soooo scary at the same time. More on Buffy & Faith below.

    -Great sight gags: The vampire henchman's disgusted look as the Mayor chows down on spiders, and the picture of the Ascension demon requiring a 3 page fold out

    -Wesley: I love Denisof's body language in the fencing scene. The man is such a wonderful actor. Just watching his gestures in that scene makes me laugh and laugh. The confrontation between him and Buffy is great. I love that Wesley is visibly upset at having to give Buffy the bad news, and that he even offered to contact the Council in the first place. But I also love that he's smart enough to know they shouldn't be focusing on Angel at the expense of the Ascension. Wesley's characterization is beautifully subtle and Denisof does a great job of letting us see the man that lies underneath the buffoon. And I love that Buffy finally fires the damn Council. She should have done that back in Helpless, for heaven's sake

    -Angel: Love the Angel & Buffy fight because it is such a real people fight, totally unrelated to all their magic/soul/vampire drama. They broke up but are forced to be in proximity, and can't deal. This is something that a lot of people can relate to. Nyfb Ohssl fnlvat guvf vf ure ynfg bssvpr ebznapr, UNUNUNUUNUNUUN. For all that Angel's being kind of a jerk in that scene, you can also see that he's 200+ years older than Buffy and therefore more mature: He wants to put their issues behind them so they can focus on the Mayor while Buffy is completely unable to do that and starts a fight instead.

    -Costuming: Loooove Buffy's leather red pants and jacket combo. Practical yet hot finale outfit, unlike the dowdy brown pants & sweater combo from the S2 finale or the prom dress from S1 (which looks nice but not really practical). Naq JNNNNNL orggre guna gur orvtr wnpxrg naq uvtu urryf fur jrnef va Pubfra. Gung pbfghzvat pubvpr nyjnlf cvffrq zr bss: "Bu, vg'f gur raq bs gur jbeyq, lbh fnl? Yrg zr guebj ba zl orfg ohfvarff pnfhny." JGU. Don't get the Mayor buying Faith a pink dress, at all. First, it looks terrible, and second, it's not something she'd ever wear. I guess he's trying to remake her in his image of a dutiful ladylike daughter, which, blech. But also, is he really planning for her to survive the Ascension? Or is he just playing her so she'll keep doing what he wants?

    -Oz: I love Oz's "panicking". Their post-coital conversation is one of the sweetest Willow/Oz moments ever. And I like that Willow's first time is nicer and more meaningful than Buffy's and Xander's.

    -Qnja sberfunqbjvat: "Ybbx ng lbh, nyy qerffrq hc va ovt fvfgre'f pybgurf". V ybir gung gur Qnja sberfunqbjvat va gurfr rcvfbqrf pbzrf sebz Snvgu, jub jbhyq unir unq n fvfgre eryngvbafuvc jvgu Ohssl'f vs guvatf unq orra qvssrerag.

    -Xander: I love that he and Cordelia have established a cordial relationship. His interactions with Anya will never not be hilarious. My favorite moment of his in this episode, however, is when he shows apprehension in the weapons cabinet about Buffy killing Faith and what that might do to Buffy. I like Xander best when he is concerned and insightful.

    cont.

    • notemily says:

      Cerggl fher Ohssl pna'g ernyyl unir nalguvat OHG na bssvpr ebznapr! Un. V zrna, bgurejvfr vg'f yvxr ure F1/F2 eryngvbafuvc jvgu ure zbz bayl jbefr. Fur'yy or bss fnivat gur jbeyq nyy gur gvzr naq gur fvtavsvpnag bgure jvyy whfg or pbafgnagyl jbaqrevat jung'f tbvat ba naq/be jbeelvat nobhg ure.

      V arire haqrefgbbq jul gurl xrcg qerffvat Ohssl va ohfvarff pnfhny rvgure. Yrg Ohssl or onqnff! Tvir ure fbzr yrngure, be ng yrnfg fbzr fghqqrq qravz be fbzrguvat!

  11. ajaxbreaker says:

    cont.

    -Buffy & Faith: Her deciding to kill Faith to save Angel is a chilling moment. She's never killed a human before and we saw how thinking that she'd killed Ted destroyed her in S2. I love that Xander is actually thinking about this. V jbaqre ubj fur jbhyq unir sryg nsgrejneqf vs fur'q npghnyyl znantrq gb xvyy Snvgu. The confrontation between Buffy and Faith is just electric. There is so much bitterness, most of it justified, on both sides. Buffy and Faith is one of my favorite relationships ever in the Buffyverse. The two are so similar and sharing the Slayer bond should have given them such a strong sense of kinship. Gurl nyfb ybir rnpu bgure svrepryl, nf Ohssl'f sberurnq xvff va gur arkg rcvfbqr naq Snvgu'f "V'z tbaan zvff guvf" fubj.. And yet, Faith was just too fucked up, even before she ever became the Slayer, for them to get closer. Her abandonment and self-esteem issues just got worse and worse, and the Scoobies' treatment of her exacerbated the situation. I still find it highly unbelievable that Giles would let her stay in that squalid motel. OK, she's not his Slayer, but Giles is a good man and I can't believe he didn't offer her a room in his house or at least rent a cheap apartment for her with Council funds or even his own. Come to think of it, I'm surprised Joyce didn't offer Faith a room either. I know Buffy would have protested having Faith live in the Summers house but still. This abandonment of Faith is practically my sole point of contention with this otherwise perfect season. It's too contrived. If they wanted Faith to feel abandoned and lash out, they should have found another way. The fight between the two girls is extremely well choreographed. The stunt doubles did an amazing job.

  12. settledforhistory says:

    Oh, we’re at the finale of season three already, I’m going to miss this wonderful season.
    Still one more episode to go and in this one there are so many great moments.

    -I love how Wilow willll miss everything even people she disliked and inanimate objects.
    I never felt this way whenever I had to leave school, it was actually the complete opposite.
    Everything I passed, class rooms, teachers, the gym, it was such a relive as if I just got rid of a heavy weight on my shoulders.

    -“Don't you hate her?”
    With a fiery vengeance.”
    Now that I can understand. There was that one girl, who had bullied me for ten years and on the last day I had to spent in a room with her, I told her what I thought about her and how much I loather her, one of the best days in my life.

    -I remember my last school day and the useless last lessons.
    We just did completely ridicules stuffy like hangman, played monopoly, or cards.
    I still don’t get why schools can’t just let you leave after the five minutes it takes to hand out the certificates.

    -The fencing scene is so hilarious, Wesley is trying so hard and Giles isn’t even looking.
    There will be gifs of that, right?

    -“You've never seen a demon. PURE demon. They're different.” This is actually really different. Until now we only know that vampires are part human, but the other demons we’ve seen so far are watered down, too.
    Znxrf zr jbaqre vs gur svefg Fynlre unq gb snpr cher qrzbaf be jrer gurl zvkrq jvgu uhznaf nyernql. Nyfb, vf gur jnl Natry punatrq va Clyrn pybfre gb gur cher inzcver? Vg jbhyq or ernyyl perrcl vs Ohssl nyjnlf unq gb snpr gurfr naq gur fubj jbhyq or n ybg yrff ebznagvp. ; )

    -“Vg jvyy or ercnvq.” V unir n srryvat Falqre zvtug abg yvxr gur cnlzrag.

    -V ybir gur punatrf Naln tbrf guebhtu sebz guvf svanyr gb gur bar va frnfba frira.
    Urer fur ehaf njnl orpnhfr bs bar fpnel qrzba, ohg va gur frevrf svanyr fur vf evtug gurer gb svtug gur ubeebef gung pbzr bhg bs gur Uryyzbhgu.

    -Fuevzc ntnva, gurer zragvbarq nyzbfg nf bsgra nf ohaavrf. Fbzr bs gur jevgref zhfg ybir gurz obgu be ernyyl ungr gurz.

    -Was that a blooper they simply left in or was it part of the script that Angel stumbles through the door?

    – “Guvf vf zl ynfg bssvpr ebznapr.” Ab vg’f abg, va snpg Ohssl bayl unf bssvpr ebznaprf, ncneg sbez Cnexre, gur wrex.

    -Oz and Willow are the first couple on the show who wake up from sex and just lie in each other’s arms, without anything bad happening afterwards. Of course then they get called to the research party, but still it’s a nice change.

    -“When I think that something might
    happen to you, it feels bad. Inside.
    Like I might vomit.”
    I love how Anya describes emotions like an innocent child, because she hasn’t really experienced them for a thousand years.

    -Buffy quits the Council, finally! Surprising that she has accepted their bullshit for so long.
    “This is mutiny” All I can they is: Long live the new captain!

    -And then Angel gets poisoned and of course the only cure is Slayer blood and Buffy is prepared to kill Faith and Buffy actually stabs Faith and Faith jumps from the balcony and then…

    You’ve got to be kidding me; this is the end of the episode? I’ve never watched the final two separately and now I have to stop and this is just ridicules. What a cruel cliffhanger!

    • Anninyn says:

      Imagine having to wait a week between episodes? A long, tense, Buffy-less week?

      • DonSample says:

        Or in the case of the first run on the WB, two months between GD-1 and GD-2.

        BZT! Ivbyrapr ng n fpubby tenqhngvba! Jr pna'g fubj gung! Jung vs gurer'f fbzr ivbyrapr ng n fpubby tenqhngvba! Gurl zvtug oynzr hf! Fb gurl jnvgrq hagvy nyy gur uvtu fpubby tenqhngvbaf jrer bire orsber gurl fubjrq vg.

        • LisaChimes says:

          Oh yes! Watching the finale in its original run felt like torture with the end of part one being such a cliff hanger and the long wait that followed.

          V zhfg fnl gubhtu, gur jnvg znqr cneg gjb nyy gur zber rawblnoyr jura vg qvq nve. Yngre ba V sbhaq trggvat gb frr Rnefubg yrff rawblnoyr nf n erfhyg V guvax, orpnhfr vg whfg pbhyqa'g pbzcner gb gur tengvsvpngvba bs Tenqhngvba Qnl Cneg 2.

  13. echinodermata says:

    Faith fights Buffy and it's basically an affirmation of who she is now – she's the Slayer's opposition. And she holds her own against Buffy, for the most part. And that's what she's reaching for, since the dream of being Buffy or being accepted by Buffy has passed. I honestly believe Faith was having fun fighting Buffy.

    When Buffy stabs Faith, Faith seems pretty resigned to dying. Maybe she'll live – episode fades to black, after all, and we're a genre-savvy bunch – but in terms of the fight, she lost to Buffy. I figure that's as good as being dead for her, since that means Faith can't even succeed at being Buffy's opponent. But what does Faith do after that? She almost congratulates Buffy for taking her down, and doesn't even look shocked or broken or anything – just resigned to defeat – but then still does her best to deny Buffy a victory. She knows Buffy wanted her blood, so she stops Buffy from getting her body. Faith, fighting to the end because that's all her life is about now. And that's perhaps the most dangerous villain for the Scoobies. She's there to hurt them and get in their way – those are her goals, not a by-product of other goals. She doesn't have nefarious plans like The Mayor does, she isn't laying groundwork for world domination or an apocalypse or anything – she has a personal vendetta against them. So she shoots Angel and keeps him alive just to make him suffer, and she denies Buffy a victory even though Buffy won the fight.

    Faith's not really an evil figure to be taken down, she's basically a scorned former-friend. So it's harder for Buffy to take Faith out – you can see her shock and uncertainty after she stabs Faith – and Faith moreover will make it as hard as possible for them and go to great lengths to deny them what they want.

    Faith's a villain, but she's also a tragic figure who was pushed too hard and was scared and alone and went dark as a means to fight for her freedom. She's a vulnerable figure and easy to manipulate emotionally because she is so emotional (even though she generally tries to hide and deny that), but that emotion is also what motivates her to fight. She's driven by her feelings for the Mayor and Buffy and the rest. I just love how well-characterized I think she comes across on this show, and it's why she's my favorite character. She's fun and entertaining and unabashed and a fighter, but she's also vulnerable and instinctive and scared and all of that translates to her basically wearing her heart on her sleeve, as much as she doesn't want that to be true. In a lot of ways, she's a lot like Buffy, and I find Faith to be an incredible mirror for Buffy. Her character just works for me on all levels.

    • ladililn says:

      *applause*

      Well said!

      Faith is the number one reason season three is one of my favorite seasons. Her character is just fantastically well-written.

  14. settledforhistory says:

    Oh, we’re at the finale of season three already, I’m going to miss this wonderful season.
    Still one more episode to go and in this one there are so many great moments.

    -I love how Wilow willll miss everything even people she disliked and inanimate objects.
    I never felt this way whenever I had to leave school, it was actually the complete opposite.
    Everything I passed, class rooms, teachers, the gym, it was such a relive as if I just got rid of a heavy weight on my shoulders.

    -“Don't you hate her?”
    With a fiery vengeance.”
    Now that I can understand. There was that one girl, who had bullied me for ten years and on the last day I had to spent in a room with her, I told her what I thought about her and how much I loather her, one of the best days in my life.

    -I remember my last school day and the useless last lessons.
    We just did completely ridicules stuffy like hangman, played monopoly, or cards.
    I still don’t get why schools can’t just let you leave after the five minutes it takes to hand out the certificates.

    -The fencing scene is so hilarious, Wesley is trying so hard and Giles isn’t even looking.
    There will be gifs of that, right?

    -“You've never seen a demon. PURE demon. They're different.” This is actually really interessting. Until now we've only known that vampires are part human, but the other demons we’ve seen so far are watered down, too.
    Znxrf zr jbaqre vs gur svefg Fynlre unq gb snpr cher qrzbaf be jrer gurl zvkrq jvgu uhznaf nyernql. Nyfb, vf gur jnl Natry punatrq va Clyrn pybfre gb gur cher inzcver? Vg jbhyq or ernyyl perrcl vs Ohssl nyjnlf unq gb snpr gurfr naq gur fubj jbhyq or n ybg yrff ebznagvp. ; )

    -“Vg jvyy or ercnvq.” V unir n srryvat Falqre zvtug abg yvxr gur cnlzrag.

    -V ybir gur punatrf Naln tbrf guebhtu sebz guvf svanyr gb gur bar va frnfba frira.
    Urer fur ehaf njnl orpnhfr bs bar fpnel qrzba, ohg va gur frevrf svanyr fur vf evtug gurer gb svtug gur ubeebef gung pbzr bhg bs gur Uryyzbhgu.

    -Fuevzc ntnva, gurer zragvbarq nyzbfg nf bsgra nf ohaavrf. Fbzr bs gur jevgref zhfg ybir gurz obgu be ernyyl ungr gurz.

    -Was that a blooper they simply left in or was it part of the script that Angel stumbles through the door?

    – “Guvf vf zl ynfg bssvpr ebznapr.” Ab vg’f abg, va snpg Ohssl bayl unf bssvpr ebznaprf, ncneg sbez Cnexre, gur wrex.

    -Oz and Willow are the first couple on the show who wake up from sex and just lie in each other’s arms, without anything bad happening afterwards. Of course then they get called to the research party, but still it’s a nice change.

    -“When I think that something might
    happen to you, it feels bad. Inside.
    Like I might vomit.”
    I love how Anya describes emotions like an innocent child, because she hasn’t really experienced them for a thousand years.

    -Buffy quits the Council, finally! Surprising that she has accepted their bullshit for so long.
    “This is mutiny” All I can they is: Long live the new captain!

    -And then Angel gets poisoned and of course the only cure is Slayer blood and Buffy is prepared to kill Faith and Buffy actually stabs Faith and Faith jumps from the balcony and then…

    You’ve got to be kidding me; this is the end of the episode? I’ve never watched the final two separately and now I have to stop and this is just ridicules. What a cruel cliffhanger!

    • ZeynepD says:

      -“When I think that something might happen to you, it feels bad. Inside. Like I might vomit.”
      I love how Anya describes emotions like an innocent child, because she hasn’t really experienced them for a thousand years.

      Precisely. That is one of the reasons why I love Anya's character so much; she brings a very fresh look into what it is to be human, sometimes, and isn't that one of the major functions of fiction?

      • settledforhistory says:

        V guvax fur unf fhpu n ener gnyrag sbe qrfpevovat guvatf lbh jbhyq arire xabj ubj gb fnl. Gur jnl fur gnyxf nobhg ure srryvat va gur Obql, ubj fur whfg qbrfa'g haqrefngaq jul crbcyr unir gb qvr naq jul vg unf gb uheg fb zhpu gb ybfr fbzrbar, V fvzcyl jnag gb uht ure sberire orpnhfr fur vf fb jbaqreshy.

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        Urer fur ehaf njnl orpnhfr bs bar fpnel qrzba, ohg va gur frevrf svanyr fur vf evtug gurer gb svtug gur ubeebef gung pbzr bhg bs gur Uryyzbhgu.

        V jvfu fur unq eha njnl gura nf jryy. šŸ™

    • Plactus says:

      Angel's graceful entry at the Professor's apartment was indeed scripted.

  15. Jenny_M says:

    It has been so long since I've seen this episode that I forgot Angel got shot, so my reaction at home last night was to gasp in shock and holler "ARROWED!" at the television.

    My dog gave me a funny look, but luckily I live alone.

  16. Maya says:

    It's funny- one always think Joss has messed with one's head so much he can never mess with it as badly again.

    FOREVER. WRONG.

  17. MARK, CAN I JUST SAY THAT I TOTALLY FEEL YOUR CAPSLOCK FLAILING?

  18. NB2000 says:

    – Unezbal: "V ubcr jr qba'g ybfr gbhpu." Uryyb gurer Unefu Yvtug bs Qnl!
    – lol at Willow's chirpy insulting of Harmony.
    – "I miss P.E." Wow do I not share that sentiment, the class I was happiest to leave behind.
    – "Siegfried?" "No." "Roy?" "No." "One of the tigers?" I love how she insists on finishing even though it's obvious what the answer is.
    – Poor Professor Worth (jub qbrf ABG fghql Ihypnaf *abqf*). It's terrifying but I kind of enjoy Faith's business-like attittude to telling him she's about to kill him.
    – The Mayor tidying up while Faith changes is such a nice touch, it fits his cleanliness obsession and his parental relationship to Faith (or maybe it's just my family who insist on doing that).
    – Have to agree with both of them, the dress does look pretty but it really isn't her.
    – "No father could be prouder." Awwwww <3
    – "I can forget all this crap." That was pretty much my attitude too Percy. Seriously, a week after my Pschyology A Level I could barely remember any of it.
    – Aaaah end of year hangman, now that I do miss.
    – That's a suprisingly loud conversation Xander and Anya have, no real attempt to lower their voices (I don't know why I felt the need to pick this out, but I do).
    – lol some more at Giles and Wesley's casual fencing practice.
    – "I've seen some horrible things. I've been the cause of most of them actually but this…" in other words: When vengence demons get scared, it's time to panic.
    – "Gurl'er ovttre." Ab xvqqvat!
    – Gur Znlbe vafvfgvat ba znxvat fher nyy bs gur tenqhngvat fghqragf nggraq gnxrf ba n qnexre srry jura lbh erzrzore ur'f cynaavat gb rng ng yrnfg fbzr bs gurz. Lbh jnag nf znal fanpxf ba unaq nf cbffvoyr evtug Znlbe? Naq gura ur cebzvfrf gb ercnl Falqre, lnl zber rngvat?
    – Bless Harry Groener forever for the Mayor's visit to the library. It's so utterly creepy but he's still being affable. Of course he reacts to being stabbed with a "WOAH!".
    – Yeah Anya's "Run for the hills" attitude is probably how I'd react too.
    – Fb V'z tbvat gb gnxr n thrff naq fnl gung Qnja jnf frag njnl jvgu Wblpr, cbffvoyl jvgu fbzr fbeg bs "V qba'g unir gb fvg guebhtu fbzr obevat prerzbal? Lnl!" erfcbafr.
    – Panic on Oz is…interesting. And sweet.
    – "Guvf vf zl ynfg bssvpr ebznapr." OJNUNUNUNUNUN bu Ohssl
    – Nice shooting Faith!
    – "I can settle for maimed!" Ack, but the rest of the scene is really sweet, him leaning forward on the box to listen to her with that loving expression. Vg gura orpbzrf ernyyl fnq jura lbh ernyvfr guvf vf gur ynfg gvzr gung gurl'yy rire fcrnx gb rnpu bgure, nsgre guvf vg'f nyy qernzf, ivqrb zrffntrf naq gur Svefg.
    – Go Buffy quitting the council!
    – Go Oz finding the cure, as awful as it is.
    – Awww at he and Willow finding the address together.
    – Chekhov's knife!
    – That's an interestingly placed "LOST" sticker on the mirror there.
    – Aaah the red leather pants and black shirt that were used in god knows how many promo pictures.
    – The Buffy/Faith fight is really well done. The shift from inside to outside is kind of similar to the Buffy/Angelus duel moving to the mansion garden, the stunt doubling is much better this time around though. The callback to Enemies when Buffy handcuffs her, "Stick around", is a nice touch.
    – The foldout drawing of Olvikan will never stop being funny to me.
    – It's a tiny thing but I love that you can see the Sun Cinema sign from the roof outside Faith's apartment, gives us an idea of whereabouts in Sunnydale the apartment is. Very convenient for her to get home after shooting Angel earlier!

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      – Cbbe Cebsrffbe Jbegu (jub qbrf ABG fghql Ihypnaf *abqf*).

      Ihypnabybtvfgf — gung zbfg ybtvpny bs enprf.

      V unir n fbsg fcbg sbe ihypnabybtl naq eryngrq trb-qvfpvcyvarf. V'z n ulqebybtvfg, naq V jnagrq gb or n fcryrbybtvfg (fbzrbar jub fghqvrf pnirf) jura V jnf gra. V bayl zragvba guvf orpnhfr V'z gelvat gb svther bhg n jnl bs znxvat na Naqerj -> fgbelgryyre -> fcvry-rbybtl wbxr. Yrg'f cergraq V qvq, BX?

  19. knut_knut says:

    OMG WHAT IS GOING ON?! The Mayor wants to become a giant demon so he can…be evil? Kill lots of people? I don’t really get why he wants to become Olvikan, but he’s willing to eat a billion giant spiders for it so I probably shouldn’t even try to understand. Also, he was absolutely TERRIFYING in the library when he threatened to eat Buffy. AND WHAT IS THIS DEAL HE HAS WITH SNYDER OMG WHAT IS IT.

    I was enjoying the episode but not super- on-the-edge-of-my-seat into it (can’t we just leave Angel to die? Or at least worry about it until later because the Ascension sounds waaay more important) until the fight between Buffy and Faith. THE LOOK ON HER FACE. OH MY GOD IT WAS HEARTBREAKING. By the end of this episode I felt so frustrated, but not in a bad way. I still don’t understand the Ascension and Buffy seems to preoccupied with saving Angel. I feel like not all that much has been accomplished and the Scoobies aren’t much closer to figuring things out. WE’RE DOOMED

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      "can’t we just leave Angel to die?"

      DID YOU EVER KNOW THAT YOU'RE MY HEROOOOOO?
      AND EVERYTHING I WOULD LIKE TO BEEEEEEEEEEEEE??

      Sorry.
      But yes.

      • ghostofdurruti says:

        OHSSL: "Lbh'er n cvt, Fcvxr."
        FCVXR: "Lrnu, jryy V'z abg gur bar jub jnagrq 'Jvaq Orarngu Zl Jvatf' sbe gur svefg qnapr!"
        [rirelbar fgnerf]
        OHSSL: "…Gung jnf gur fcryy."

    • darkwater says:

      Yes, doomed. In that Whedon way.

  20. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Also 'It's gonna be one…heck of a speech' might be one of my absolute favourite Buffy lines so far.

    This show is so wonderful at subverting my expectations, and that just made me crack up.

    • majere616 says:

      I love how absurdly wholesome the Mayor is. Rira jura snprq jvgu uvf bja vzcraqvat ur fgvyy znvagnvaf uvf zbengbevhz ba cebsnavgl. "Jryy, tbfu" jvyy sberire or gur orfg ynfg jbeqf rire fcbxra.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      Njj V jvfu V pbhyq dhbgr rknpgyl… V xabj vg jvyy or nyy bire gur cynpr gbzbeebj ohg…

      Ur'f tbaan qb gur jubyr fcrrpu?? Whfg nfpraq nyernql!! Rivy.

  21. robin_comments says:

    Ha, when Buffy was patching up Angel’s wound I was like url gung’f Pbeql’f wbo! PBZR GB ZR NATRY F1. ZL OBQL VF ERNQL.

    “Orders. I don’t think I’m going to be taking any more orders. Not from you. Not from them.”
    This is where I now deeply, deeply regret that I have no joyous dancing gifs to insert.

    “This is mutiny.”
    “I like to think of it as graduation.”

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

    Whether or not Wesley has some points here, the bigger significance for me is that this was a huge, necessary step for Buffy to take as an adult woman and as a Slayer. (Plus, no matter how right Wesley is about Faith's strategy to distract her, the Council is also complete bullshit for refusing to cooperate with her and give her the resources she’s requesting. The dynamic where they demand obedience and give almost nothing back –and despite Faith’s cold-blooded murdering, I haven’t forgotten how they weren’t financially supporting her at the level she deserved while at the same time clearly paying Wesley and Giles pretty well – is outrageous.)

    I know we still have one episode to go and everything… but this scene has me thinking, so I’ll just say it here: for me, when I watch the second half of season 3 it feels less like closure, less like the winding down of an epic journey, and more like something that’s just opening up. I often feel like the first 3 seasons are more like an extended prologue, preparing Buffy for here, where she begins to take the steps into owning her role as Slayer and finding how what kind of person she’s going to be. I feel like BtVS ultimately is about growing up, but that it understands that growing up isn’t just about what happens to you at 17. And "Graduation Day" is a good example of that.

  22. Vg'f shaal gung Znex vf fb fb jbeevrq nobhg jub'f tbvat gb qvr va gur svanyr, jura gur bar jub qvrf vf…Falqre. FB HACERCNERQ.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Gb or snve, Yneel. šŸ™

      • Jaxin88 says:

        V'q sbetbggra nobhg Yneel'f qrngu, naq abj V'z naablrq ng Wbff nyy bire ntnva. Pna jr cyrnfr yrg fbzr unccl, jryy-nqwhfgrq crbcyr yvir? Cyrnfr?
        (Wbff ernqf guvf naq ynhtuf.)

    • settledforhistory says:

      Vg'f nyfb shaal ubj bsgra ur zragvbaf Jrfyrl'f qrngu. Vg jvyy or ernyyl uneq bapr jr fgneg jvgu gur fcva-bss, jura jr'yy ernq "Cyrnfr pna Jrfyrl abg qvr?" nobhg rirel bgure rcvfbqr. Zhfg.Abg.Fcbvy.Gur.Svanyr.

      • hamnoo says:

        True. I keep thinking this every single time, but I'm also strangely happy about it?

        Nobhg gur fcrphyngvba naq gung ur'f fb sbaq bs gur punenpgre naq frafvat gur cbffvovyvgvrf gurer. V qba'g ernyyl *yvxr* Jrfyrl, ohg V'ir nyjnlf nqberq uvf punenpgrevmngvba.

    • robin_comments says:

      URL NAQ YNEEL. naq zl oo Unezbal jub vf bs terng wbl gb zr yngre ba Natry.

      • Un, V xarj gurer unq gb or zber pbyyngreny qnzntr, ohg V sbetbg. Vg'f whfg shaal gb zr gung ur'f fbbbbb jbeevrq nobhg gur znva pnfg, jura gurl ner gbgnyyl fnsr. Vg'f gur fvqr punenpgref ur fubhyq or jbeevrq nobhg!

    • hamnoo says:

      Lrf. Jurqba npghnyyl eneryl (creznaragyl) xvyyf vzcbegnag crbcyr va gur Ohssl svanyrf.

  23. arctic_hare says:

    "WHAT THE FUCK FAITH JUST KILLED A PROFESSOR. THAT DUDE HAD A BOW TIE. THIS IS LIKE A CAPITAL OFFENSE OR SOMETHING BOW TIES ARE OFF LIMITS TO MURDER. I WOULD MAKE THIS A LAW AS WELL IF I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE. WELL, I WOULD DO A LOT OF OTHER THINGS, LIKE HAVE OFFICIAL NAP HOURS DURING WORK DAYS AND STUFF, AND TO PREVENT RICK SANTORUM FROM EVER SPEAKING ABOUT ANYTHING EVER. YES, THAT IS RIGHT, I WOULD STRIP HIM OF HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS JUST TO SPITE HIM. CLEARLY, I AM QUALIFIED TO RUN FOR OFFICE, AND YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY VOTE FOR ME."

    I would give you all the votes forever and ever, Mark.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      When I watched this with my sister she spotted the 'Professor Found Murdered' headline of the newspaper Buffy holds up on the menu screen, so she was just waiting for poor old Lester to be offed.

      The guys with the bow-ties and cardigans are always the first to go. *sigh*

  24. Inseriousity. says:

    We're nearing graduation and no-one got a "Have a nice life" in their yearbook which is a good plus. Anya continues to be hilarious. Men like sports apparently which means I've been doing it all wrong for the past nineteen years. SPORTS ARE BORING.

    LOL at teacher playing hangman. "They always go for the E." I like the E, don't discriminate against the E.

    Buffy/Faith fight scene is incredible. When they first met, Buffy says she'd win but Faith gets the last laugh and tumbles onto a truck. They both lose…

  25. majere616 says:

    Not gonna lie, I made the Joker look sedate when Buffy stuck Faith with that knife. Then I screamed with rage when she got away because goddammit Whedon you can't just let me have one moment of satisfaction can you?
    …I am probably not a great person.

  26. Jaxin88 says:

    Hee! Oh, Mark, you are SO not prepared, and reading this in all-caps (imagining someone angrily shouting very thoughtful things) just made me giggle endlessly.
    In other news, I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT TONIGHT! Welcome to Chi-town, Mark!

  27. SosaLola says:

    Willow: Does it talk about the cure?
    Oz: Damn.
    Buffy: Nothing?
    Oz: No, it's in here, but…
    Willow: (reading over his shoulder) Wait, completely reversed the effects. Oh.
    Buffy: What?
    Xander: Come on guys, the suspense is killing Angel.

    Awww, Xander cares about Angel's wellbeing.

  28. Ryan Lohner says:

    And what do you know, we don't have to wait a weekend for the finale.

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      I was thinking that too! I think it must be the first time in Mark Watches history that a two-part finale is not split up over a weekend šŸ˜€

    • DonSample says:

      Just be really happy he wasn't watching it on the WB back in 1999. If that were the case, we'd be waiting two months for the next installment.

  29. pica_scribit says:

    Okay, everyone who thought Mark was prepared for this, pay up! *looks around* Hello? Anyone?

    Guess I'm still broke. *sigh*

  30. FIRST OFF ALL, I LOVE YOU MARK AND YOUR CAPITALS!!!!!

    I think love everything in this 1st part of the Finale but I'll just quote my favorite scene of the episode :

    GILES: Did you reach the council?

    WESLEY: Yes. They, they couldn't help.

    BUFFY: Couldn't?

    WESLEY: Wouldn't. It's not Council policy to cure vampires.

    GILES: Did you explain that these were special circumstances?

    WESLEY: Not under any circumstances, and yes, I did try to convince them.

    BUFFY: Try again.

    WESLEY: Buffy, they're very firm. We're talking about laws that have existed longer than civilization.

    BUFFY: I'm talking about watching my lover die. I don't have a clue what you're talking about and I don't care.

    GILES: Buffy, we'll find a cure.

    WESLEY: The Council's orders are to concentrate on …

    BUFFY: Orders? I don't think I'm gonna be taking any more orders. Not from you, not from them.

    WESLEY: You can't turn your back on the Council.

    BUFFY: They're in England. I don't think they can tell which way my back is facing.

    WESLEY: Giles, talk to her.

    GILES: I've nothing to say right now.

    BUFFY: Wesley, go back to your Council and tell them, until the next Slayer comes along, they can close up shop. I'm not working for them anymore.

    WESLEY: Don't you see what's happening? Faith poisoned Angel to distract you, to keep you out of the Mayor's way, and it's working. You need a strategy.

    BUFFY: I have a strategy. You're not in it.

    WESLEY: This is mutiny.

    BUFFY: I like to think of it as graduation.

    This is indeed a pivotal moment in Buffy's life, quitting the council.
    The next one is just after, when she decides without a doubt, to go and kill Faith in order to save Angel. And she did stab her.
    Buffy is a hero with a heart. Not just the Slayer who takes orders. Even if her decisions can be dangerous and flawed, she follows her heart first.
    And how much I love Giles here! Standing at her side and in a sense, fighting for Angel's life too.

    What a total opposite situation in comparison to Season 2 Finale! Love it!

    Cant wait for tomorrow!!!

    • Coghead says:

      It's funny… as a Buffy fan, I want to set off fireworks during that scene. But as a Wesley fan, I want to just grab her and shake her. There's a consistent thread of Buffy and the Scoobies seeing Wes only as the Council in human form, no matter what he does. It's not fair to take out her righteous anger on the council on him, when he just got finished putting himself on the line for all of them when they treat him so abominably. Vqx, V ybir Ohssl, ohg V ungr jura fur trgf vagb onggyr zbqr naq vf nyy "hf be gurz" ntnvafg crbcyr jub ner gelvat gb uryc. Erzvaqf zr bs gur jnl fur xrcg fuhggvat qbja ure sevraqf jura gurl gevrq gb gnyx gb ure nobhg gur jubyr Qnja if gur jbeyq guvat… V guvax ng bar cbvag fur guerngrarq gb xvyy gurz vs gurl gbhpurq ure? >.>

      Nyfb, guvf vf pyrneyl bar bs gur svefg vafgnaprf bs Jrf' qrqvpngvba gb qbvat gur evtug guvat, ertneqyrff bs jurgure ur'f ungrq be abg. Vg'f nqzvenoyr, rira gubhtu jung ur'f qbvat jba'g nyjnlf OR gur evtug guvat… juvpu vf na vagrerfgvat pbzcnevfba gb Ohssl, npghnyyl. Obgu ner urebrf jub sbyybj gurve urnegf, nf lbh fnvq, ohg gurve urnegf qba'g nyjnlf yrnq gurz gb tbbq be rira XVAQ pubvprf, naq gelvat gb gnyx gurz bhg bs vg trgf lbh abguvat ohg n svtug. Uryy, Natry qbrf gung n ybg gbb… gur gurzr vf gung, rira sbe urebrf, gur cbjre gb znxr gur evtug qrpvfvba pna yrnq gb ehva vs yrsg hapurpxrq.

      • That's why I love Whedon's characters. They are not just right or wrong. They make decisions and then, have to pay the price and deal with the consequences.

        In this scene, Buffy and Wesley are both right. They are just not right from the same side.

        I love Wesley and I feel for him because he tries to do everything right, in the only way he has known till now, meaning the Council way. ( Gung'f jul uvf ribyhgvba va Natry gur frevrf vf fb jbaqreshy orpnhfr ur'yy sbyybj fhpu n qvfgnag cngu sebz OGIF. )
        And Buffy follows her own way, saving Angel, because she already had to kill him in the past and can't live this situation a second time.

        Whedon's characters are heroes, strong, complex, but full of flaws and emotions. That's what makes them so interesting and so closed to us.

        • Coghead says:

          Oh, totally agreed. I think that's why this show could never be touched by all the terrible Buffy imitators that hopped on the bandwagon*… they never ever let you draw a clear line between black and white hats. Even the Mayor and Faith, who are deliciously evil, are so goshdarn rootable it hurts.

          *Excluding this, of course (holds up lighter):

          [youtube cou9QRqa87c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cou9QRqa87c youtube]

          ~NEVAR FORGET~

          • Delta1212 says:

            What a great show that was. Once they fixed the original awful werewolf design to the simplified version in that video, they even managed to one-up Buffy in the area of "werewolves that don't look like gorillas."

            I still get the theme song stuck in my head occasionally despite not having actually heard it in a full decade.

  31. LucyGoosey says:

    The last few days of high school are always so interesting. Its nice and sunny and warm. In my case, most of my mixed age computer science class did their final programs while the seniors watched My Neighbor Totoro. One of my friends showed up at lunch, and came to government with me (a class she was not in), and we decided on a whim we couldn't take our dippy English teacher any more and jumped ship after. I remember that day more fondly than actual graduation (when it was cold, cloudy, 9 am and I had a graduating class of nearly 1000).

    I really should have used Buffy's speech to get out of going "sit there and listen to a bunch of boring speeches until they hand you a piece of paper saying you graduated, which you already know, and maroon does absolutely nothing for my complexion"

    I always makes me giggle that it looks like Willow deliberately dropped her blouse on top of Amy's cage.

    "What's going on?"
    "The Mayor's going to try and kill us all during graduation"
    "Oh. Are you going to fifth period?"

  32. MzyraJ says:

    I think the weird mix of emotions at the end of high school (for me at least) is mostly summed up as:
    FREEDOM! *o/*
    But also:
    MY CHILDHOOD ;.;
    I have yet to finish mourning my childhood, btw, and possibly never will.

    I would still vote for you Mark šŸ˜‰ (and possibly even moreso on your Santorum platform, although I like to think that says more about him than about me *shifty*)
    Can’t speak for the actual peripheral Sunnydale students, but personally I would have taken up martial arts and stuff a long time ago….

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Pssshht, my childhood ended when the last Harry Potter book came out.

      The end of school was just a footnote.

  33. guest_age says:

    I, like Buffy, thought graduation was ridiculous and in fact didn't participate in either my high school or college ceremonies. (I did, however, attend my high school graduation as a spectator–I finished all my requirements in January, and my school allowed me to not attend the second semester of my senior year. Instead, I got a job and started taking college classes. Because I hadn't seen everyone in five months, I attended the ceremony just to hang out and say hi. But the entire point of graduation: lost on me.) However, I like that she finds a way to make the idea of graduation meaningful to her: graduation from high school feels meaningless as it did with me, but she can find real meaning in graduation from the Watchers' Council. Good for her.

    My favorite thing in this episode is Anya. "I HOPE YOU DIE! …aren't we going to kiss?" I relate to her so, so much and I just want to do seal claps whenever she is on screen.

    I love that Faith jumps off the building, like…you may have bested her, but you're sure as shit not going to get what you want, because she's going to be spiteful even if it literally kills her. Such a giant "fuck you" in classic Faith style.

    • Jaxin88 says:

      Yeah, Faith's raison d'etre (evtug abj, ng yrnfg) really does seem to be to shout "Fuck You" to the world, either vocally or not.

  34. auddie956 says:

    Mark, I thank the lucky stars that i found your markwatches (thank you whedonesque.com for linking his reviewing of Firefly).

    You've made me laugh, and you have made me cry. And i will stay on this ride of yours until the end

  35. DreamRose311 says:

    Ooooh and I do want to say, Oh how I love all the Jaws lines in this episode. C'est tout, merci.

    • DavidZAarons says:

      Wow, did I really just try to un-rot13 French on autopilot?

      I have been reading Mark's blogs too long.

  36. DonSample says:

    I wrote this back in 1999, just after watching Graduation Day, part I for the first time, so despite all the death predictions in it, I had very little idea of who was or wasn't really going to die, so there are no real spoilers in it:

    Weirdness abounds in Sunnydale

    – Harmony is nice to Willow. — Harmony's going to die!
    – Willow's bike. This girl really has no idea of 'cool' No one I knew rode a bike like that past grade 6.
    – Percy passed History with a B-. — He's going to die!
    – Mr Miller is playing Hangman in class. — He's going to die!
    – For a 1120 year old demon, Anya doesn't know much about people, but she seems to be trying. I think she really likes Xander.
    – Wesley fencing with Giles, while Giles reads the newspaper.
    – Wes gets a good line: "Everybody does seem to be going a bit mad lately. Faith has something of a head start."
    – Other than that he is in his usual form, about 3 steps behind everyone else. — Wesley is going to die!
    – Anya has seen an Ascension. It wasn't pretty, even by her standards. (Did anyone else want to hear what she did with the sheep?)
    – Buffy has never faced a true demon. All the ones she has met have been either tainted, or demon/human hybrids. Real demons are different. Among other things they are bigger.
    – The Mayor and Snyder – I was right about Snyder. He doesn't have a clue what the Mayor's real game is. He is just trying to maintain order. — He's going to die!
    – The Mayor pays a visit to the library. Mainly just to gloat it seems. Maybe he noticed the newspaper Buffy hid, which is how he knew to send Faith back to the Professor's.
    – Cordy seems to be totally out of the loop, but she's talking to Xander again.
    – Buffy sends her mom packing. I've got a nasty feeling Joyce won't stay out of town.
    – Oz panics. In a very Oz like way (ie, it doesn't *look* like panic.) Willow is going to have to look elsewhere for the saliva of a virgin now.
    – Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow.
    – Buffy asks Wesley to get all the info the Council has on vampire poisons, the Council refuses to help, it's against their policy to save vampires. Buffy tells Wes and the Council where to get off. (finally.) — the Council should die!
    – Angel's cure is the blood of a Slayer. Buffy volunteers Faith. — Faith is going to die!
    – Grossest scene in Buffy history: The Mayor eating his bugs of Gavrok.
    – Buffy takes Faith's knife to the fight.
    – Buffy and Faith — Big fight. Faith dies (maybe) but arranges to fall into a passing truck, removing her body from the scene.

    To Be Continued.

  37. DonSample says:

    Look on the bright side. If you'd been watching this on the WB back in 1999, you'd now have to wait 2 months before you got to see part II.

  38. theoopsgirl says:

    -First off, I love the Mayor. That's a given. That guy is the G-damn best. I would seriously watch seven seasons of a show about him adopting Faith and moving to the suburbs. No magical shenanigans necessary. Well, okay, maybe a little bit of evil monkeyshines, but mostly awkward yet endearing character interactions.
    -Also, I really appreciate the teacher at the beginning. "Heh heh. They always go for 'e'."
    -Oh, and MORE ANYA. Yay. I love her conversation with Xander so much. No, Anya, don't go! Stay here and be awesome!
    – Oh, and Cordy. Bless you. "Are you gonna go to fifth period?"

  39. Noybusiness says:

    "Faith's End"

    [youtube GqM9YchEWgk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqM9YchEWgk youtube]

  40. Twuwuv79 says:

    Favorite exchange of Season 3:

    Xander: One guess who's giving the commencement speech.
    Willow: Siegfried?
    Xander: No.
    Willow: Roy?
    Xander: No.
    Willow: One of the tigers?

    I laughed so hard I think I felt something shift in my body.

  41. Meltha says:

    I think we broke Mark.

    Also, for the record, I was picturing you SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS AND FLAILING WILDLY when you were in caps lock, then as soon as you were in normal type, turning to camera two while wearing a tweed suit and speaking with extreme calm, like the people who read the weather warnings when there's a tornado.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      That it a wonderful mental image, and one I am now determined to adopt whenever Mark does an ALL CAPS flail.

    • RaeBear says:

      ur'f tbg fb zhpu zber gb tb, ur unf ab vqrn! tbyyl. V ernyyl ungr gur nyy pncf. V ernyyl ungr gur "srryf". V ernyyl ungr ubj ur qbrfa'g nanylmr gur fgbel ohg eryngrf gb vg vafgrnq. Ohg V pna'g fgbc ernqvat! Orpnhfr ur unf ab vqrn naq ur'f fb hacercnerq.

  42. the_elisi says:

    Mark?

    Breathe.

    Or come Season 7 you'll be speaking in pt 1000, and there'll be a single letter on each line. Which will make your reviews difficult to read.

  43. stellaaaaakris says:

    WHAT THE FUCK????? I have so many thoughts, but after watching this episode, they're incoherent and I'm having a hard time making sense of them. Okay, I'm going to give it a shot.

    Willow/Oz <3

    Anya/Xander. I'm digging it. Who doesn't want barfy feelings? And I like girls who can put Xander in his place. Plus he got some shades of his Zeppo-ness back.

    Angel/Buffy. Still don't care about them as a couple, but I care about Buffy and she cares about him so I'm going to tell her a spoiler. "Buff Buff, hey, don't worry. He's going to be okay and then he'll get his own spinoff."

    Don't eat giant spiders, Mayor. That's really gross. Or, as Faith would say, wicked gross. I had a roommate who insisted on saying "wicked" all the time so nobody would forget she's from Massachusetts.

    Council, you fucking suck. What is wrong with you? You know what the quickest plan would be? Telling Buffy what the poison is and any other alternative cures so that she can help Angel and then concentrate on stopping the Ascension. Makes sense, right? But noooooo, Buffy, who slays vampires on a daily basis, cannot possibly be right in thinking there is something different about Angel. Because you're so knowledgeable on the other side of the world with your camping trips and your scones. BOOOOOO, COUNCIL, YOU SUCK.

    Did Faith seem almost…relieved, somehow when Buffy stabbed her? Like she was finally free? That's how it seemed to me.

    Predictions for Part 2, so I guess, theories abound?: Wes will crossover to the side of the Scoobies and there's no way Faith is dead. No chance. None. Zero. Zilch. I 100% refuse to believe it. But maybe she'll become a vampire. A Slayer turned vampire would be interesting to me. Also, Anya will be back and one of two things will happen: she dies or she finds her necklace, makes a wish (since she's sort of a woman scorned by Xander), and it saves everybody but she no longer exists. Basically, I don't see any happy endings for Anya.

    • DonSample says:

      <pedantic>
      They weren't spiders. Spiders have 8 legs. The bugs from the box of Gavrok only have 6.

      <buffyref src="Nightmares">
      Why doe's everyone make that mistake?
      </buffyref>
      </pedantic>

      • Plactus says:

        I'd only ever seen them referred to as spiders, so by time I saw "Choices" the idea that Gavrok bugs = spiders was welded in my mind. And they were sufficiently spiderlike that I never questioned it or bothered to count the legs. šŸ™‚

    • pica_scribit says:

      Despite the fact that we know there are female Watchers, the Council and the way it treats Buffy is like the epitome of the Patriarchy. "We are doing this for your own good, young woman! Do not question our judgement!"

  44. Plactus says:

    "Graduation Day, Part 1"

    • I looked it up, and sure enough, I saw this, with Part 2, as a two-hour "movie" event the week before season 4 launched.
    • V yvxrq gur Jvyybj naq Unezbal lrneobbx fprar gur svefg gvzr V fnj vg, ohg guvaxvat bs Unezbal'f yngre nccrnenaprf znxrf zr ynhtu hapbagebyynoyl jngpuvat vg.
    • I don't have much nostalgia for my final days of high school. Mostly because I was taking finals those days. We didn't hang around after; in fact, I seem to remember after my last final the teacher saying, "Okay, everyone's done? You can go, then."
    • "After graduation, he may not have the chance to forget it all." Trying to cheer someone up with the prospect of someone dying seems out of character for Oz. I don't know.
    • At the school I went to where seniors got to take finals early, the seniors then disappeared, for this very reason. Everyone else still had to learn and do their finals.
    • Jngpuvat Knaqre naq Naln va guvf rcvfbqr znxrf zr jbaqre jul V arire tbg vagb gurz nf n pbhcyr. Gurl'er terng gbtrgure.
    • "I just love it when you take charge, you man, you." It's easy to talk Buffy into doing something she's already made her mind up to do, isn't it, Wes?
    • The scene with the Mayor coming to the library is great. Especially his casual reaction to being stabbed in the heart.
    • I'm glad to see that Xander and Cordelia are on decent terms again.
    • Juvyr V'z ba gur gbcvp, jura qvq crbcyr xabj Pbeqryvn jnf tbvat jvgu Natry gb fcvabssynaq?
    • "I wish I could be a lot of things for you: a great student, a star athlete, remotely normal. I'm not. But there's something I do that I can do better than anyone else in the world." This is a great speech in itself, but I especially like it comparing it to Buffy's speech about being the Slayer from the previous season finale ("It doesn't stop!… I have to save the world. Again.").
    • "This is mutiny." "I like to think of it as graduation." Love the parallel here.
    • Snvgu snyyvat bss gur ebbs bagb gur gehpx = Tnaqnys whzcvat bss Begunap bagb Tjnvuve. Evtug? (Spoilers here for LotR.)

    Body Count:
    • Lester Worth, killed by Faith.
    • Gavrok spider, killed by the Mayor.
    • (Cliffhanger) Faith, possibly killed by Buffy/falling.

  45. cait0716 says:

    My favorite part of this episode is Angel's little stumble and Buffy's sarcastic "stealthy". He's always so suave and silent and shadow-melty and it's nice to see that sometimes, even he manages to trip over his own feet.

    There's also a great little exchange between Xander and Cordy:
    Xander: The Mayor is going to kill us all during graduation.
    Cordelia: Oh. Are you going to go to fifth period?
    Xander: I'm thinking I might skip it.
    Cordelia: Me too.

    This is mostly great because in my mind they went and found a closet for one of those "one last time" moments.

    And may I just take a moment to brag about my college commencement speaker, Bill Nye. The year before us got Mae Jemison. Hooray for sciencey schools

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      Ooh, I'm jealous! Bill Nye is one of my favorite people, ever.

    • @Jody_927 says:

      My commencement speakers for college were Kareem Abdul Jabbar for undergrad and the Surgeon General of the United States for the master of public health. Pretty cool.

    • fantasylover120 says:

      LUCKY. We just got some republican guy and believe me this liberal was not happy about him and pretty much snored through the whole speech.

  46. @ocvictor says:

    Mark, as a devoted reader and fan, please consider this an intervention: No more all-caps (or mostly all-caps) reviews. Please dear sweet God in heaven, no more. I have a headache just reading it.

  47. "OH, BY ANGEL’S TERRIBLE FACIAL HAIR, THE PROFESSOR FOUND THE CORPSE OF A DEMON IN A LAVA BED."

    I am totally going to have to say "Oh, by Angel's terrible facial hair,…" from now on. That is my new favourite saying.

    • Patrick721 says:

      I'm collecting all the various facial hair-related exclamations I read/hear.
      So far, I've got:
      -By the Beard of Odin/Odin's Beard!
      -By the Beard of Zeus/Zeus' Beard!
      -God's Beard!
      -By Angel's terrible facial hair!
      -By the Magnificently Manly Mustache of Freddie Mercury!

  48. Summeriris says:

    Throughtout this series one thing has bugged me. The mansion where Angel lives? Where had I seen it before. Well I just remembered. It's the Ennis House designed by Frank Llyod Wright in 1924. It's been in more movies than I can count. Well, that's a bug smoothed out.

  49. Ginsue says:

    EVERY TIME I MISS A FEW EPISODES OF BUFFY, SHIT GETS REAL!

    Ima gonna stop the caplock right there because there is no way I am going to compete with that beautiful block of capslock in the beginning of this page.

    Before, I was kidding about killing a slayer every finale! I hope the writer's didn't think of making this a habit. Then again, Faith leaped onto the back of a truck (from high up), and she is a slayer with near supernatural healing powers.

    So many feelings for Faith. I can't help but to love her and hate her incredibly bad choices. I never want to excuse her actions, as that would take away from the complexity of her character. Since the beginning, she had been the type of character to jump in to any situation and get herself in deep trouble. She cannot do anything just a little bit. She could not be just a little bit of a killer. If she is going to get a little dirt on herself, she is not going to care if she jumps waste deep in mud. Would anyone think less of me if I still thought, "She can't be dead," by the end of the episode?

    Mayor Wilkins: Proof that you can be a troll, be evil, and still be as gosh-dang pleasant."

    Giles: Continues to be awesome.

    Xander: Being morbidly meta about his own mortality on this show.

    This is a very tense two-parter! Again, I couldn't be patient, and I already watched the second part.

  50. BGF says:

    Actual shooting script time. WORDS OF JOSS:

    They begin drifting slowly toward each other, locked hypnotically in each other's eyes.

    BUFFY
    You told me I was just like you, Faith.
    That I was only holding it in.

    FAITH
    You ready to cut loose?

    BUFFY
    Try me.

    FAITH
    Okay then. Give us a kiss.

    Buffy punches Faith so fucking hard her head nearly snaps off. Faith responds in kind, twirling and backfisting Buffy. They face each other, the handshake over.

    And they begin.

  51. quenstalof says:

    -You know I hate the word decimated (actually I love it, but I just hate how no one uses it correctly. grr). Because doesn't it mean reduced by 10 percent? How could 3 people get out if the village was decimated? (I guess it was a village of 3.3 people?) Nearly obliterated or annihilated would make more sense to me. And I mean I get it. Ok so in common usage the definition has changed. But why would you want to change the definition of a word that is so lovely and specific? Why?
    – I'm predicting a last-minute betrayal of Faith by the mayor leading to her choosing the right side a moment or so too late. Just something about that interaction with the ingesting gavrocks made me think the mayor is not as affectionate for faith as he appears
    – What is it with Xander and the evil chicks? (What's the count on that anyway? Praying mantis, Mummy girl, Anya and arguably Cordelia)
    – I would probably feel vomitous if I was having feelings for Xander too, Anya.
    – Laws that have existed since before civilization? What? I just majorly do not get the whole mythos behind the Slayer and the Council and their relationship I guess. Yay you turn your back on the patriarchy Buffy! I think there'll probably be a new slayer sooon…
    – I'm thinking perhaps the council will be the big bad next season? (Um I mean assuming the scoobies avert ascension and the next four seasons are not Demon Real World or something *shifty eyes*)
    – OMG I bet it's gonna be Spike who was cured? Maybe? Plz? And they'll hvae to ask him how he did it?
    – Oh so ouch. Drain the blood of a Slayer?! um..I guess we have a disposable Slayer around
    – Holy shit she killed Fiaith! I didn't think she'd doti! ANd this is hwere they end the eopisdode? I can't even type words! Ahhhh! I thought for sure they'd end on the fighting, but holy shit. Adn Fiath died on her own terms? kind of, escaping into that truck.

  52. t09yavosaur says:

    -Ominous noise at the very beginning.
    -I do miss high school but I only asked people I liked to sign my yearbook.
    -A tiger commencement speaker would have make my whole life complete.
    -Well duh, there are always more surprises.
    -The mayor has Faith pretty tightly if she doesn't think to ask about her orders. She was such a rebel before and, for me, there are few, if any, people that I have unquestionable loyalty to.
    -I suppose the trope-y/stereotypical/psychological answer is that she was rebellious because she wanted someone else to take care of her and no one ever did until the Mayor.
    -The ominous dress of flowers and pink gives me a bad feeling. Also it doesn't look quite right on Faith but I think if she put her hair up or something it could.
    -ILU Percy šŸ™‚
    -Hahahaha that teacher is awesome. Making everyone play hangman.
    -Uh Oh, Anya is scared.
    -I am impressed by your sabre skills Giles
    -In my high school if finals were done you didn't need to come anymore. (And if you had an A in the class you didn't even need to take the final.) Anyway <3 Cordy and Xander!
    -Poor Joyce is being sent off to most likely never see Buffy again and she doesn't even know it.
    -AMY! HI AMY!
    -Anya's verbalization of various human feelings is the best thing ever.
    -I like the hushed war drums in the background when Buffy is defying the Council.
    -The Mayor must have done this on purpose. Whoever wins in this situation it gets rid of either Faith, Angel, or Buffy.
    -How is Faith going to come back from that?

  53. kte says:

    I really liked the first season of Tru Calling

    • I really did too. It was Jack Harper (Jason Priestly) that kinda killed the show for me. I loved Eliza Dushku and Zach Galifinakis though!

      • theDMG says:

        Weird – my opinion was that the show went from middling to kinda awesome with the introduction of his character. If the show would have been canceled before his introduction I wouldn't have cared much at all. To each his/her own, I guess.

  54. Delta1212 says:

    I think Faith murdering the professor is the act which loses her the most sympathy from me of anything she does. I know she does many horrible things to people we are supposed to (and do) care about more, but I guess I have sort of an Omar Little sensibility about these things.

    As far as the Buffyverse goes, the Scoobies are part of the Game. Whether they want to be or not, they're in the thick of it and that makes them fair game for being targeted by the baddies. The professor was so far from that world that it isn't even funny.

    Actually, I think it might be the same reason killing animals seems worse than killing people. Animals don't generally understand what is going on and can't protect themselves, whereas a human at least knows what's going on in a bad situation and can try and act even if it proves futile. In the same way, the professor has no way of knowing that he's stumbled into this world he didn't even know existed and his only possible response is confusion as he's murdered for reasons he'll never understand, could never understand.

    That's supremely sad to me, so Faith gets lots of frowny faces for doing it.

    • zephyras13 says:

      OMG, SOMEONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY WATCHED THE WIRE! WIN!

      • robin_comments says:

        Best show that's ever aired on television imo. I love Buffy and all, but when people tell me it's the best show ever I'm like NO WATCH THE WIRE RIGHT NOW OK?

        • Gorimek says:

          To me, The Wire is the *second* best TV show ever, after, of course, Buffy.

          Though they're brilliant in so very different and unique ways, that it's very hard to compare them. Nonetheless, I managed this difficult task, and the order is as mentioned above.

          There is no third place.

    • Skyweir says:

      I have always found the idea that killing animals is worse than killing humans repelent. A humans capasitiy for understanding pain and suffering, and their potential as a sentient lifeform is so great, that I find it sad that some people would elevate the death of an animal above that. Not that I condone wanton killing of animals, but I will always put sentient life above non-sentient if I am forced to choose. To love animals and pets so highly is in a way rather misanthropic and a little bit creepy.

  55. Jordan says:

    I fully support you and your platform of banning Rick Santorum's first ammendment rights.

  56. Hyaroo says:

    Hey, I just noticed something! Totally minor thing, but Joyce pronounces the word "either" as "ee-ther." Don't quote me on this, but I think she might be the only regular character to pronounce the word that way; I've definitely heard Buffy pronounce it "ie-ther," and I'm fairly sure Xander and Willow do as well.

  57. Andie says:

    I remember the day [S7 finale] aired. I took the day off school (I think I was 15 or 16), because the SyFy network was airing the Top 10 Buffy episodes before the series finale. And Graduation Day parts 1 and 2 were on that Top 10. They will forever be on MY top 10, too.

  58. Carrie Ann says:

    "JUST SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK? THIS MAN HAS SET THE BAR SO HIGH FOR VILLAINRY THAT I FEAR ALL OTHER VILLAINS I COME ACROSS WILL JUST PALE IN COMPARISON. I’M KIND OF OKAY WITH THAT, FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH."

    I fully agree with you. The Mayor is the best goddamned villain on any show I've ever watched. I love him endlessly.

    Speaking of gold-standards, the Buffy/Faith fight is probably my all-time favorite girl/girl fight scene. It's just so perfect and there is so much going on emotionally and their history and gah. The only one that compares for me is one from Alias which is spoilery for anyone who hasn't watched that series but wants to. (BTW, if you're that person, GET ON IT.)

  59. ladililn says:

    V npghnyyl ybir guvf rcvfbqr ZBER guna Cneg VV…vg'f yvxr guvf vf jurer Ohssl svtugf gur Qentba (Snvgu), naq arkg vf jura fur svtugf gur Obff (gur Znlbe), naq ubarfgyl bs gur gjb V svaq gur svtug jvgu Snvgu gb or zhpu zber snfpvangvat, orpnhfr bs nyy gurfr pbaarpgvbaf naq cnenyyryf naq jbaqreshy punenpgre fghss gur gjb bs gurz unir jvgu rnpu bgure. Gung svtug fprar vf whfg ryrpgevp.

  60. alwayssilverdoe says:

    I would like to co-sign the Santorum gag order and suggest one for Anne Coulter as well.

  61. klmnumbers says:

    BOW TIES ARE OFF LIMITS TO MURDER.

    I would help vote to pass this law, tbh.

  62. SteveP says:

    It's a long journey from "I'll go out on a limb and say that we've got a new slayer in town" … to the murder of the professor.

    Redemption for Faith won't be easy, even if she survives being gutted by Buffy.

  63. farwell3d says:

    I love how the season teased Faith vs. Buffy fights, but never really delivered all year, until we get here… And then they just tear each other apart in the best fight the series has produced so far. Brutal and violent, but beautiful and skillful at the same time. And then BUFFY STABS HER IN THE GUT WITH HER OWN KNIFE. THE ONE THE MAYOR GAVE HER! ZOMG~!

  64. NyssaOfTraken says:

    Bit of a tangent, this comment, but I'll post it anyway.

    Even without the demons and monsters and a nefarious Mayor up to shenanigans (lovely word, shenanigans), the whole graduation from high schoolthing seems like something from another world. We Brits don't do that (unless they do now – it's been a few years, I must admit). There are no classes after the final exams, either – an excercise that is truly academic! We just have revision classes (usually optional) in the few weeks leading up to the exams, turn up to sit the papers and whenever your last one happens to be, you finish. A couple of months later, it's results day, so you pop in to school anytime to fancy, pick up that piece of paper with your grades and that's it. No ceremony, no fuss, no occasion. High school just kind of peters out. In fact, my school had no prom or dance or even a year book, although I think most schools have them these days.

    If there are any Brit youngsters around, they might tell a different story, but graduating is still, as far as I know, something that happens only at University. Only went to that for the sake of my parents, although since they're both no longer with us, I have to admit I'm grateful for my graduation photo with them on the wall just above my PC.

    But as far as high school goes, but the lack of fuss certainly suited me.

    • farwell3d says:

      Huh. I graduated from Kindergarten, from Middle School, and from High School. We Americans like ceremony and celebration, I guess.

    • NB2000 says:

      A couple of months later, it's results day, so you pop in to school anytime to fancy, pick up that piece of paper with your grades and that's it.

      Or if you're like me during the A Levels, stay at home and wait for them to send your results in the post. I did go back to my school to get my GCSE results though, but that was also because I had decided to switch schools for my A Levels and had to tell them I wasn't coming back after all. There was a presentation evening a few months later where they gave you your certificates but I don't think it was compulsory (I know a few people didn't show up). We didn't have prom or year books either. I always thought those were Things Americans Do.

  65. buyn says:

    <img src=http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqj9hdgmpI1qhrr12o1_400.gif>

    In this moment, I think it sounds something like…
    BUM BUM BUM.

  66. Kari18212 says:

    What I really noticed this whole episode was how literally every single aspect of the episode set up the idea that This is the End. The end of high school, maybe the end of some people's lives, the end of Buffy working with the Council, the end of her moral line of never killing a human, and maybe the end of Sunnydale. IT IS DONE SO WELL I JUST LOVE IT. I have seen the series a whole bunch of times, and I was still ridiculously tense through the whole episode and basically freaked the fuck out when the Mayor walked into the library. I definitely jumped a foot the first time I saw the episode and hit that part. It just felt so totally wrong. A villain does not get to come in to the library!! That is sacred space and you need to get out!!

    But it was totally worth it, because watching the two father figures confront each other was amazing. And when Giles stabs him… WELL, HELLO THERE RIPPER I SEE YOU HAVEN'T TOTALLY DISAPPEARED. PLEASE APPEAR MORE OFTEN, YOU ARE FUN TO WATCH (and look at, just saying).

    I had also totally forgotten how amazing that fight is, and how great the look on Buffy's face is when she realizes she actually just stabbed someone with the full intention of it being fatal. After that, it is pretty much physically painful for me not to watch the next episode immediately, but I am determined not to get ahead!

    Also, 'by Angel's terrible facial hair' is one of the best phrases I have ever read, and I am stealing it immediately.

  67. jne says:

    I think every character in the story feels that "Help Me"…. Poor Buffy. And Faith!!!!! It's so sad that she's become a murderer as a reaction to killing someone by mistake. It's like she re-wrote her identity because she felt that no one would ever forgive her. And now Buffy is trying to commit murder…. And the mayor is coming… How can the mayor turning into a demon be the subplot? Because once Buffy is takes on Faith, that's the only story I can handle….

  68. Hyaroo says:

    Okay, I've been leaving enough comments here as of late that I went and got an account. (And knowing me, now I'll probably enter a long stratch where I can't think of anything to say and leave the account unused for ages… oh well.)

    Y'know, now that season three is nearing its end, and I'm looking back at the season as a whole, I'm just reminded of how much more… tightly-written it was than seasons one and two. Not that I didn't enjoy those seasons, or that this one didn't have its problems, but I do notice how much more effectively the episodes here are used in the overall story arc. Seems like in almost every episode there's at least one aspect, or plot thread, or bit of development that in some way affects the development of the story arc or at least is brought up and becomes important in the final few episodes of the season.

    Even The Wish, which seemed like it'd be a standalone "filler" episode, followed up not only with Doppelgangland but with the continued use of Anya as a recurring character (and in this episode she even plays a small, but important, role in the season arc, as the one to clue the Scoobies in on the true nature of the Ascencion).

    So yes, Season Three is more than just an emotional rollercoaster (though emotion rollercoaster it be), it's also just very well plotted from episode to episode. Love it. ^_^

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      Yeah, the pacing in this season is outstanding. Va snpg, cebonoyl gur orfg frnfba vs gung'f gur bayl pevgrevba lbh'er hfvat.

      • Hyaroo says:

        V guvax nyy gur frnfbaf unir gurve fgeratguf naq jrnxarffrf. Pna'g ernyyl qrpvqr juvpu bar'f zl snibevgr, abe juvpu vf zl yrnfg snibevgr.

        Frnfba Bar: Fubj fgvyy svaqvat vgf srrg, ohg vg frgf n cerggl fbyvq shaqngvba, naq gurer'f fbzr uvynevbhfyl pnzcl zbzragf, cyhf gur eriryngvba bs Natry naq Ohssl snpvat gur Znfgre ner gjb fgryyne zbzragf. Ba gur bgure unaq, gur ahzore bs pyhaxre rcvfbqrf vf cebonoyl gur uvturfg va gur uvfgbel bs gur fubj; ba er-jngpuvatf V graq gb fxvc nobhg unys gur frnfba. Gehr, gur frnfba vf bayl unys gur yratgu bs gur bguref, ohg fgvyy.

        Frnfba Gjb: Fgrc hc sebz Frnfba Bar; shaavre naq funecre, gur ivyynvaf (Fcvxr, Qhfvyyn naq Natryhf) ner terng naq oevat n crefbany gjvfg gb vg, ohg gur birenyy fgbelnep cnaqref n ovg naq gurer ner n srj gbb znal "svyyre" rcvfbqrf gung qba'g ernyyl tb naljurer.

        Frnfba Guerr: Terng cnpvat, terng cybg, ybgf bs gjvfgf naq gheaf va gur fgbel, gur Znlbe vf nyjnlf sha, naq Snvgu vf terng. Gur Jvyybj/Knaqre fhocybg vf pevatr-jbegul, gubhtu, naq abobql frrzf gb unir n pyhr jung gb qb jvgu Pbeqryvn — fur naq Natry ner fbzrjung pyhzfvyl jevggra bhg fb gurl pna tb bire gb gur fcva-bss.

        Frnfba Sbhe: Fbzr ernyyl fgryyne fvatyr rcvfbqrf urer, cyhf gur erghea bs Fcvxr, jub'f cebonoyl ng uvf zbfg vagrerfgvat (naq uvynevbhf) va guvf frnfba, naq Naln nf n znwbe punenpgre! Gur Vavgvngvir cybg vf ynpxvat, gubhtu, naq Nqnz vf n erny qvfnccbvagzrag nf n Ovt Onq.

        Frnfba Svir: Onpx gb n ivyynva gung'f npghnyyl vagrerfgvat, gur Qnja/Xrl cybg vf vagevthvat (V xabj abg rirelbar yvxrf Qnja, ohg V qb), gur Fpbbovrf trg fbzr qrirybczrag, naq fbzr bs gur zbfg urneg-jerapuvat naq cbjreshy zbzragf bs gur frevrf. Gur ybir vagrerfgf sner jbefr — abobql frrzf gb xabj jung gb qb jvgu Evyrl, naq Gnen vf bar bs gur zbfg fnqyl haqreqrirybcrq punenpgref ba gur fubj.

        Frnfba Fvk: Gur zhfvpny rcvfbqr!! Nyfb, guvf frnfba vf bar bs gur zbfg ernyvfgvp qrcvpgvbaf V'ir frra bs n znva punenpgre tbvat guebhtu frirer qrcerffvba… ohg guvf frnfba gnxrf vg gbb sne naq whfg cbhef ba gbb znal uneqfuvcf naq qrcerffvat guvatf; Tvyrf vf tbar, Jvyybj'f trggvat nqqvpgrq gb zntvp, Gnen qvrf, Knaqre naq Naln oernx hc; Vg'f gbb qrcerffvat naq vg'f gbb zhpu.

        Frnfba Frira: Fbzr ernyyl arng vqrnf, naq V ybir gur Cbgragvny Fynlref, nf jryy nf gur qrirybczrag sbe Qnja naq Naqerj (jub, qrfcvgr qbvat fbzr njshy guvatf, vf whfg fb naablvat ur'f bqqyl yvxrnoyr gb zr), ohg gur fgbel nep vf n ovg bs n zrff, gurer ner gbb znal punenpgref svtugvat sbe nggragvba, gur Svefg Rivy vfa'g irel qrirybcrq, naq gur ragver guvat xvaqn snygref.

        That's what I think, at least.

        • Hanna_the_Glam says:

          I mostly agree, although V guvax Gnen qbrf trg n ernfbanoyr nzbhag bs qrirybczrag va frnfba svir (jung jvgu ure snzvyl, naq pbaarpgvat jvgu Ohssl, naq gur oenva-fhpxvat guvat), naq Evyrl'f ab jbefr bss guna ur rire jnf va grezf bs punenpgrevmngvba, VZB. Gung cbbe obl jnf funsgrq sebz gur ortvaavat.

  69. TrampyMcBitca says:

    Was Faith's little talk with the Mayor about the quarry and jumping off the rock 40 feet up (nah, I could do it easy), foreshadowing her taking the dive into the truck?

    And just a thought, why didn't they pull a Judge on the Mayor and chop him up and keep the pieces separate? šŸ™‚

  70. kelseyofcake says:

    -I felt like this in my senior year. Even though I was a shy nobody with a tiny tiny circle of friends, suddenly I was nostalgic about EVERYTHING.
    -OshitFaith. This poor professor.
    -I still feel odd about Faith and Wilkins. In any other context, this relationship would be cute. He seems to actually care about her a lot, but he's evil.
    -“We eat of the beef and love to look at the bosoms” Uuhh.
    -Hurray, Anya helping out the scoobies! More Anya makes everything more fun.
    -Snyder, when the evil guy (vf vg n fcbvyre gb fnl Ovt Onq?) says he will repay you, that's a good time to run away.
    -See, having Anya describe a previous ascention is a much better way of making the audience feel afraid for these characters than just expecting us to feel any more worried than we would about a monster of the week. It stall falls more under “telling” than “showing” but it does work better than what they've done in the past, like The Three in season 2.
    -Joyce, you are the best mom. I love you.
    -Eeeeeeeeee [insert more obnoxious squealing and keysmashing here]. Oz is so wonderful. THIS SCENE IS WONDERFUL AND CUTE.
    -I would love to know more about these magical sicknesses for Vampires like this one and whatever it was Drusilla had. I want to know how that works in this mythology.
    -Aaaaawwwww. Willow, I love your babbling.
    -“Fine! I hope you die. Aren't we gonna kiss?”
    -Yes! Badass Buffy quitting the Council!
    -No, Buffy! Don't do it! I like Faith and I don;t want you to kill people šŸ™ .
    -THIS FIGHT SCENE. BITING MY NAILS EVEN THOUGH I'VE SEEN IT BEFORE SHUT UP.
    -OHMYGODBUFFYNO!
    -WORST CLIFFHANGER HOW CAN YOU DO THAT.

  71. WhiteEyedCat says:

    Angel spoilers:
    Nsgre Znex'f pbzzrag nobhg jnagvat gb frr zber qrirybczrag sebz Jrfyrl, naq uvf cerivbhf ybir bs Pbeqryvn qrirybczrag, V'z ernyyl vagrerfgrq gb frr jung fgrnygul zrnaf crbcyr jvyy tb gb, gb pbaivapr uvz gb jngpu Natry. "Trr Znex, va Natry gur punenpgref ner fb terng, naq fb snzvyvne, vg'f nyzbfg yvxr jr'ir frra gurz orsber nf n Jngpure sebz Ratynaq jub vfa'g Tvyrf naq jrnef fcrpgnpyrf. Naq vs lbh yvxr qrirybczrag gurer vf zhpu qrirybczrag sbe n tvey jvgu ybat oebja unve jub fcrnxf ure zvaq naq fgvyy unf n ybat jnl gb tb…naq fur qngrq Knaqre…naq vf abg n qrzba."

  72. Corey says:

    I can't believe you didn't mention Giles stabbing the Mayor with a sword. It's one of my top 5 favorite scenes of the entire series. Perhaps of all television.

    Also, the Buffy/Faith fight is my #1 favorite fight scene of the entire series.

  73. awildmiri says:

    Angel used to be a powerful vampire ally.

    Then he took an arrow to the shoulder.

    [/reference]

  74. LisaChimes says:

    SEASON THREE IS SO DAMN GOOD!

    Gur rzbgvbaf, bu zl. V unir nyjnlf gubhtug bs guerr nf zl snibevgr frnfba naq pbhyq arire cvacbvag rknpgyl jul. Rira gur ynpx bs Fcvxr, jub vf bar bs zl snibevgr punenpgref, qbrfa'g gnxr nalguvat njnl sebz guvf frnfba sbe zr juvpu V guvax fnlf n ybg nobhg gur dhnyvgl urer. Vg'f whfg cynva tbbq sebz fgneg gb svavfu. Qbrfa'g uheg gung Snvgu vf nyfb bar bs zl snibevgr punenpgref naq gur Znlbe fhpu n terng ivyynva.

    Bs pbhefr, nf guvf erjngpu pbagvahrf V nz yvnoyr gb or erzvaqrq bs ubj tbbq bgure frnfbaf ner naq ortva gb dhrfgvba zl snibevgr. Gung'f gur wbl bs Ohssl, vg'f uneq gb cvpx n snibevgr punenpgre/rcvfbqr/frnfba jura gurer vf fb zhpu njrfbzr gb pubbfr sebz.

  75. notemily says:

    For some reason I love Xander's little rant at the beginning. ("I've been lucky too many times. My number's coming up. And I was short! One more rotation and I'm shipping state-side, you know what I mean?") It makes sense, since he has those soldiery memories, although he could also just have seen too many war movies.

    Poor bow-tied professor. All he wanted to do was research!

    Faith's pink dress is so… un-Faith. I'm not sure how to feel about the Mayor imagining her as his beautiful little girl in a pink dress, because that seems to be clearly not who Faith is. But she obviously loves that he adores her and fawns over her, even if it does mean she has to wear pink.

    However, I totally do want an Icee.

    Panicking in a SEXY way is the best kind of panicking. I mean, if you were facing something as apocalyptic as the Ascension, wouldn't you? It could be their last chance for sexytiems! Also, I like that Oz is the one that initiates this for a change.

    C'mon Angel, you can't die. You have to get your own show!

    When Buffy comes after Faith, she's wearing the leather pants of evil! NOES, Buffy, don't go over to the dark side!

    *sings* My blood runs cold! The Mayor is the centerfold!

    "We don't KNOCK during dark rituals?"

    FAAAAAAAAAAITH

    • misterbernie says:

      Faith's pink dress is not only un-Faith, it's also… fugly as shit. IDK, but that scene is probably the Faith-Mayor scene that works the least for me, because it goes from fatherly concern into creepy paternalism for me.

      • notemily says:

        Well, what's interesting is they've used pastel colors to symbolize Buffy's "goodness" so far this season, and although I really hate that because I can't imagine Buffy would actually dress that way, it has an interesting parallel in this scene. Faith puts on the pastel dress for the Mayor, and he then tells her that she can be anything, and that even SHE doesn't know who she is. In other words, she could still be a good person, the kind of person who wears pink dresses, if she wanted. I don't think that's what the Mayor's trying to say, but it's interesting that she's wearing pink when he gives her that speech after how much clothing colors have meant this season.

    • DonSample says:

      No, no, no! Colour matters. It's the *black* leather pants of evil.
      This time, Buffy's wearing the red leather pants of righteousness.

      Va gur shgher jr'yy frr gur terra yrngure cnagf bs wrnybhfl, naq gur cvax yrngure cnagf bs raguenyzrag.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      "We don't KNOCK during dark rituals?"

      One of my ALL TIME favorite moments in the series.

      I wish I had more opportunities to use this in real life. Or any.

  76. @RadagastWiz says:

    Unrelated to this episode, but THE ORIGINAL KRISTY SWANSON MOVIE WAS ON THE TV AT WORK TODAY. Hooray for Luke Perry and Donald Sutherland cheesiness!

  77. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hf3E3MT1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    BUFFY Don't you hate her?
    WILLOW Yes, with a fiery vengeance. She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp.

    Judgmental bitca (Can I use bitca on this site?)
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05henrLrC1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    LESTER Put that away. I'll scream.
    FAITH Who wouldn't?

    Oh! ohhhh!
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hihz7bA1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    WILKENS Not you? Let me tell you something. Nobody knows what you are. Not even you, little Miss Seen-it-all. The Ascension isn't just my day. It's yours too. Your day to blossom, to show the world what a powerful girl you are. I think of what you've done, what I know you will do, no father could be prouder.

    IN THIS EPISODE FAITH DRESSES LIKE BUFFY AND BUFFY DRESSES LIKE FAITH AND WE LEARN THAT THEY ARE TWO YOUNG WOMEN IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY AND FATHER FIGURES.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hj3u14o1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    WESLEY Yes, well. You will go tonight. Look over his apartment. Anything of note, report back here.
    BUFFY I just love it when you take charge, you man, you.
    WESLEY Uh, we… was that a yes? I have trouble keeping track.

    Oh Wesley. You do try. I'll give you that.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hjf3rvD1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    WILKENS That's one spunky little girl you've raised. I'm gonna eat her.

    Whoa! I love this exchange. The two father figures interacting… we see how what Faith needs and what Buffy needs are different but the same: love and support.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hjswMQz1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    WILLOW What are you doing?
    OZ Panicking.

    Sex and death! Sex and death!
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hkbAy7Y1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    BUFFY Isn't it even a little hard for you?
    ANGEL How can you ask me that? Just because I'm not acting like a brat doesn't mean I don't feel…
    BUFFY It's nice to know what you thing of me!
    ANGEL What do you expect me to say when you just attack?
    BUFFY I just can't do this anymore. I can't have you in my life when I'm trying to move on.

    Angel, stop being such an asshole.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hkshsyx1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    FAITH So you'll still need me in there.
    WILKENS Always.

    The Mayor gives Faith purpose, drive. She's terrified that he's just using her for her killing powers. He's not using her for sex and she can't quite get past not being used.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hl1X3WT1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    ANYA When I think that something could happen to you, it feels bad inside, like I might vomit.
    XANDER Welcome to the world of romance.
    ANYA It's horrible. No wonder I used to get so much work.

    <img src="http://www.qwantz.com/shirt_feelings.png"&gt;
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hlxVP0V1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    WESLEY Buffy, they're very firm. We're talking about laws that have existed longer than civilization.
    BUFFY I'm talking about watching my lover die. I don't have a clue what you're talking about and I don't care.
    GILES Buffy, we'll find a cure.
    WESLEY The Council's orders are to concentrate on …
    BUFFY Orders? I don't think I'm gonna be taking any more orders. Not from you, not from them.

    Can I just say how huge Giles' love for Buffy is? He's willing to put aside the fact that Angel tortured him for hours (for pleasure) because she needs Angel. It's true that he's helpful in the fight against evil… but it's because his Slayer is hurting that he's on her side.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hmhbtho1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    FAITH Well, look at you. All dressed up in big sister's clothes.
    BUFFY You told me I was just like you. That I was holding it in.
    FAITH Ready to cut loose?
    BUFFY Try me.
    FAITH Okay then. Give us a kiss.

    WHAT A SCENE. The stunt doubles are kind of hilariously interspersed but it's still so epic!
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m05hmu8eHZ1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    XANDER We're going to need a bigger boat.

    I love the centerfold gag.

    YAY PART 2 TOMORROW.

  78. fantasylover120 says:

    I suspect all of tomorrows review will be in caps, yes? šŸ˜‰
    Daily Buffy Quotable:
    "Wow, you've really mastered the power of giving up."-Cordelia
    "Oh trusty soda machine. I push for root beer; you give me Coke."-Willow
    "If you're free, we could do…some entertaining thing."-Anya (have I mentioned I love Anya? No? I do)
    "Was that a yes? I was having trouble following."-Wesley
    "You never get tired of hearing yourself speak, do you?"-Buffy
    "What's her saga?"-Cordelia
    "Looking back on everything that's happened, maybe I should have sent you to a different school."-Joyce
    "Our lives are different then other peoples."-Oz
    "Well, I'm sorry I gave you barfy feelings."-Xander
    "That whole humanity thing is a work in progress isn't it?"-Xander

  79. DonSample says:

    I think that it was about this time in the first run that people started commenting on the significance of the colour of leather pants that people wear in this show.

    We've seen lots of examples of the Black Leather Pants of Evil. Angel, Spike, Vamp Willow and Faith have all worn them.

    With GD, we see Buffy wearing the Red Leather Pants of Righteousness.

    Va gur shgher jr jvyy frr gur Terra Yrngure Cnagf bs Wrnybhfl, naq gur Cvax Yrngure Cnagf bs Raguenyzrag.

  80. GamgeeFest says:

    Giles fencing Wes – classic!

    Playing Hangman in the classroom is perfection. How insignificant were those last days of class, y'all? Seriously. I wish my teachers had let us play Hangman.

    Cordy and Xander are being nice to each other – all the yays!

    ANYA! "Aren't we gonna kiss?" She is still very confused. Love her.

    Buffy and Faith fight is total awesomeness and one of the best fights of the show, third only to Unezbal naq Knaqre fynccvat ng rnpu bgure, naq Snvgu onggyvat n Ihypna.

    • GamgeeFest says:

      Oh, boy – I watched both eps last night and now can't remember if that Anya line if from this ep or part II. And I can't edit. Sorry if it's spoilery!

    • Coghead says:

      Yby, vf zl zrzbel tbvat? Jura qvq Snvgu svtug n Ihypna?! *farex*

      • holypotatoes says:

        Qhevat 'Fgbelgryyre' jura Naqerj vf rkcynvavat Snvguf uvfgbel gb gur cbgragvnyf va gur xvgpura naq ur qbrfa'g ernyvmr fur sbhtug n ihypnabybtvfg naq abg n ihypna.

    • stephanie says:

      "Unezbal naq Knaqre fynccvat ng rnpu bgure"

      YBIR YBIR YBIR guvf. V'z abg n uhtr sna bs frnfba 4 birenyy nep, ohg vg qbrf znxr jvgu gur shaal zbzragf vagrefcrefrq gueh n tbbq puhax bs gur rcvfbqrf

      "jub'f n yvggyr srne qrzba?"
      "P'zba, jub'f n yvg-gyr srne qrzba?"
      "qba'g gnhag gur srne qrzba"
      "jul, pna ur uheg zr?"
      "Ab, vg'f whfg… gnpxl"

      • GamgeeFest says:

        "Ovt biregher, yvggyr fubj!"

        Ybir gur Srne Qrzba.

        F4 qbrf trg xvaq bs ybfg, nep-jvfr, ohg unf fbzr bs gur orfg rcvfbqrf bs gur fubj, Uhfu va cnegvphyne.

        • stephanie says:

          pbzcyrgryl naq 100% nterr jvgu gung. vg'f whfg NQNZ fhpxf fb qnza onq. nf qbrf evyrl… zbfgyl. OHG! orgjrra fcvxr'f erghea, CNATF!!!!, (lbh znqr n orne! v qvqa'g zrna gb! HAQB VG! HAQB VG!) naln va n ohaal fhvg, uhfu, jub ner lbh, erfgyrff, naq jubyr ohapu bs bgure fghss v'z sbetrggvat gb zragvba… gurer vf n ybg gb ybir nobhg frnfba 4.
          ohg v jba'g erjngpu orre onq!! gung'f jurer v qenj gur yvar!! YBY

          • GamgeeFest says:

            V'z rntreyl nagvpvcngvat Orre Onq. Gung jnf n ybir vg be ungr vg rc. V crefbanyyl ybir vg (Pbzr ba! Fur uvgf Cnexre ba gur urnq jvgu n tvabezbhf pyho! Jung'f abg gb ybir nobhg gung?), ohg V pna haqrefgnaq jul znal qb abg.

            Fcvxr/Unezbal – jung jrer gurl qevaxvat jura gurl jebgr gung cnvevat? V qba'g pner, orpnhfr vg'f fbbbbbb shaal!

            Evyrl – V jnf jvgu uvz hagvy ur fgnegrq trggvat nyy vafrpher nobhg uvf znayvarff orpnhfr Ohssl vf fgebatre guna uvz. Qrny jvgu vg! BGBU, Ohssl ernyyl qvqa'g eryl ba uvz nf zhpu nf fur pbhyq unir, rfcrpvnyyl jura ure zbz jnf fvpx. Vs lbh pna'g pel va lbhe oblsevraq'f nezf, gura gurer'f fbzrguvat jebat jvgu guvf cvpgher.

  81. notemily says:

    …Did you have a track team?

  82. pica_scribit says:

    I didn't really want to attend my high school graduation (Pomp & Circumstance makes me burst into uncontrolled fits of giggling, and I disliked my high school experience enough that I didn't really feel like participating in non-required activities) but my parents had invited a bunch of relatives from out of town, so….

    We also did not have any choice about gown colour. Our school colours were green and white. Boys wore green and girls wore white. Period. Which was annoying and sexist (and, I now realise, cissexist) and I really hope they've changed that policy since I graduated in 1997, but I haven't checked.

  83. Scottish Eddie says:

    Yes, more please!

  84. Danielle says:

    This (with the second half) is one of my favorite episodes.

    * I love the Angel/Buffy argument because truly neither of them is completely in the right. Buffy should be concentrating on the acension, but likewise Angel should give Buffy some slack. Then ARROW and I remember at first I was like 'pfft, ha ha Faith you missed' but then I was like 'oh no, oh crap'.

    *This is the first time I really warmed to Wesley. Well, it may have started with how remarkable clueless he was the prom, but this is the moment I realized he actually does care about Buffy. He's trying to help the only way he knows how. Sadly, he's still stuck in the watchers' authority.

    *Which leads to the awesome moment when Buffy realizes she doesn't need the watchers. I think that she's listened to them for so long, that even though she might have questioned their "authority" before, this is the point she realizes she doesn't need them and it is awesome.

    *I can finally start to talk about why Xander is one of my favorite characters. He really does grow up. It's the reason I can put up with early season Xander–because it shows that men aren't naturally sexist jerks, rather its something their conditioned to be and its something they can unlearn. Xander's growing up is a beautiful thing and YOU CAN NEVER TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!!!!

    *While I love the idea of Willow and Oz and their moment, it always felt a bit forced to me. Like somewhere, the writers were going–"Oh crap! High schools almost over and Willow hasn't lost her virginity yet". I don't like the "Oh noes, we're going to die. Better do it so I don't die a virigin" that's kind of implied.

    *ANYA!!!!! (really can't say more that this,…..)

  85. the only thing that the hangman scene reminds me of was on Senior skip day when three of us were in my AP Calculus class and the two guys spent the whole period making a proof that sbegl-gjb was the answer to everything

    /cool story self

    • echinodermata says:

      Znex unfa'g ernq Uvgpuuvxre'f Thvqr ohg ur jvyy sbe Znex Ernqf ng fbzr cbvag. Ubarfgyl V jbhyq nffhzr ur'f urneq gur ersrerapr orsber, ohg jvgubhg xabjvat gung sbe fher, V jrag naq rqvgrq lbhe pbzzrag gb qvfthvfr gur ahzore.

  86. glyneth says:

    I loved Tru Calling and have all the eps on DVD.

  87. dsfs says:

    mark, why are the mayor's fatherly feelings towards Faith creepy??? i always found that to be genuinely touching. There's nothing sexual about it, he's just really proud of who she is and believes she can be so much more. And he's always so genuinely affectionate and supportive of her. Sure, he's evil, but he's giving her a safe space to be herself and use her talents the way she wants, and he's giving her structure. things she NEEDS.

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