Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S04E15 – This Year’s Girl

In the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE ABOUT THIS? Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

“Oh, well this is clearly an episode that has to deal with the fallout from Riley’s breakdown. Adam’s on the loose, so the Scoobies are going to have to find a way to band together in order to find and either capture or destroy Adam. Man, I bet they’ll get a lot of resistance from The Initiative and I also bet there’s going to be a three-way war of some sort. Yeah, I totally got this shit figured out!”

Hahaha, fuck you to my brain. See, there was an impossibility here that I did not even recognize: it was impossible for me to have guessed where “This Year’s Girl” would end up because I made a crucial mistake.

I forgot about Faith.

I think it’s understandable. (It’s not forgivable. oh god i have made a mistake) When did I last mention her? Last season? Have any of the characters even said her name once in season four? Perhaps, but I missed absolutely all of them. I also missed Faith so terribly. Oh my god, everyone, I missed Faith so much. What a fantastic, fascinating character, and LOOK HOW THIS SHOW BROUGHT HER BACK. The dream sequence happens again. I can’t. Like, I started shrieking at my monitor. I mean, Xander is right; Faith really should get an award for having the most abysmal timing in the history of the Buffy world, but ultimately, I’m not complaining because more Faith please. Also, I understood about one tenth of that dream sequence? Who’s little sis? Oh god, is this a hint towards another Big Bad in this season? Have I been utterly wrong about where season four is heading? I’m even more confused when I start thinking about what the other dreams are in this episode, since all of those focus more on Mayor Wilkins (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) encouraging Faith to go after Buffy.

Well, I’m already getting ahead of myself. I can’t help it. I can’t handle the billion plot twists this episode gave me. Like, I was tricked!!! This was about Adam! Adam strung up a demon in a tree like some weird homage to The Silence of the Lambs! Riley and Buffy and Willow and Xander and Giles were working out a plan to infiltrate the Initiative! Anya was nowhere in sight? It’s really weird how she just disappears for an episode and then is right next to Xander for a whole episode. Also, what’s Spike doing? I mean, clearly he’s being awesome and witty and sassy, but is he looking for garbage? I know he’s staying in the crypt but what the fuck was he doing in that alley?

See, even though Faith was being interjected in scenes at this point, I still didn’t think her plot would completely upstage absolutely everything. I’m perfectly fine with her taking center stage, by the way. I mean, I can’t believe how excited I got once I saw that Mayor Wilkins was having a picnic with her. Seriously, those two have the most fascinating dynamic imaginable, and this episode just reminded me of the flawless nature of season three’s mytharc. And look, it’s not that I’ve disliked season four at all! There have been a few strange moments here and there, but I’m really satisfied with the storytelling so far. But now you’re adding Faith back into the story? Oh, this season just got amazing. I mean, how horrifying is that scene where Faith finds out that not only has she been in a coma for eight months, but Sunnydale High was destroyed along with Mayor Wilkins? Eliza Dushku plays it so faithfully to her character, too. Faith’s not one to be overly emotional, but you can see the way she closes up and internalizes her pain immediately.

Oh my god that nurse called someone and who is it oh my god

I may have made a disgusting sound when Faith turned around to confront Buffy on campus. At this point, she’d already spied on Buffy to see that not only is she not with Angel, but she’s just carrying on with her life in Sunnydale. Buffy stabbed Faith because she was trying to save Angel, and now Angel isn’t even around anymore. I’m not the least bit surprised that Faith would be so furious at this. Her life has been taken from her! I think she has taken her emotions to an extreme (did she really have to kill that demon messenger???), but I’m happy that the writers give her a chance to have a story attached to her actions.

I really think nothing represents all of this better than Mayor Wilkin’s posthumous video to Faith. I found myself tearing up rather quickly while it was playing. Look, he was evil, and he encouraged Faith to kill those who got in his way. I don’t want to gloss over that. But I also don’t want to ignore that Mayor Wilkins made Faith feel whole and needed. He encouraged her without explicitly making her change who she was. He cared for her. And unfortunately, he’s right: her whole world has changed, and she suddenly has no part in it. What a depressing thought.

Before I get into the biggest mind explosion ever, I need to talk about my growing and unhealthy obsession with Tara and Willow. Like, they are so awkward and gay that it hurts. I would like to also provide a screencap which is evidence that they basically touched again, and I re-watched this split second four times in a row and I don’t know what’s happening to me and I refuse to apologize for it.

There it is. I spent time doing this. This is my life, and these are my choices.

Truthfully, though, the last ten minutes of “This Year’s Girl” is so full of plot twists and revelations that I stared in quiet shock at my monitor until that final reveal. Who are the men in the helicopter? Why did the nurse call them? OH SHIT WHY IS FAITH AT JOYCE’S HOUSE? Oh no, oh no, if you hurt Joyce I will jump through the screen and murder you. I don’t care that this is not possible or that this happened twelve years ago in real time. I’ll find a way. Oh my god, I missed Joyce so much. Oh my god, Buffy just crashed through the window and I don’t think I have ever noticed this, but there is a lot of broken glass on this show. This fight in particular includes many moments with people going through windows, doors, and armoires that are primarily made of glass. Do Slayer powers allow you not to get cut with glass? I don’t think that’s the point.

Wait, is the point the fact that THE COUNCIL CLEARLY CAME TO VISIT GILES? It might be because WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN. Does it mean that –

wiat that

that thing

what is that thing

what is it doing

wha

why did it flash

did she take buffy’s powers?

this can’t be good

perhaps its

five by five

FIVE BY FIVE

FIVE BY FIVE

I DID NOT EVEN KNOW THIS WAS A THING THAT COULD EVEN HAPPEN!!!!!!!!

Fuck you, “To be continued…” FUCK YOU. oh my god.

Mark Links Stuff

– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at MarkDoesStuff.comHarry PotterTwilight, and Firefly books are priced from $2.99 to $3.99 a piece, and are available in ePub (iBook, iPod, iPad, Nook), Kindle, and PDF files.
– I now have a Lulu storefront, where you can purchase physical copies of all of my previously released books, including a full Mark Reads Twilight book that includes all four sets of Twilight reviews.
– I am going on tour in the following cities this month (click the name for the Facebook RSVP page): San FranciscoLos AngelesSan DiegoLas VegasPhoenixTucsonEl PasoAlbuquerqueDenverSalt Lake CityBoiseSpokanePortlandSeattleVancouver B.C. I still need venues/spaces in San Diego, Salt Lake City, Spokane, and Portland. Even if it’s your house, I don’t care. I’ll show up! Please let me know if you have any ideas. I can also be reached at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
– I am presenting for three days at Ascendio 2012! Come hang out and have the best weekend ever in July!
– Mark Watches The Two Towers will happen most likely on Sunday at 1pm PDT, which is the same as this past weekend. Y’all better break the comment record again.
– I finish Mark Reads The Princess Bride on April 13th, and then Mark Reads Sandman begins on Monday, April 16th. I will split up reviews by issue, and I will be reading the extra books/volumes. IT SHALL BE GRAND.
– I’m on Twitter (@MarkDoesStuff) and I have a Facebook page y’all can Like and flail about on. Join me!
– This is my fifth consecutive year riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle! I’m aiming to raise $10,000 this year. For every $1,000 I raise, I will make a video live reading of a community-chosen fanfic. I am not bluffing. I will read as much of it as possible, and it will be beautiful. Help me out if you can!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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4 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S04E15 – This Year’s Girl

  1. ladililn says:

    “Jub vf yvggyr fvf?”

    Bu, Znex. Fb jbrshyyl hacercnerq. *pnpxyrf*

  2. Kat says:

    This episode has my favorite phrase ever: “cleavage-y slutbomb”! Is slutbomb one word or hyphenated? Hmm. My fiancé and I have taken to singing this phrase to the tune of the Dollhouse themesong. It frequently happens spontaneously whenever we see Eliza Dushku. Try it, it is addicting. “cleavage-y slutbomb, cleavage-y slutbomb, cleavage-y sluu-uut-bomb!” Now that is going to be stuck in my head all day.

    • DLXian says:

      If you ever have questions about how something is spelled, watch it with the subtitles on.

  3. Jeldaly says:

    !!!!!!!! Is it bad that I was kind of a little bit maybe just a tad rooting for Faith against Buffy and Spike against Giles? They’re both just such awesome characters!
    And I teared up with the dream sequence and the message. And when Joyce broke Faith’s last link to the mayor oh my god HOW COULD YOU you awful person.

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