Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 3 E 14 Bad Girls

Buffy: Wait. Stop. Think!
Faith: No, no, no!

Faith becomes a bad influence to Buffy and accidentally kills Sunnydale's deputy mayor. Wilkins casts an invincibility spell on himself. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce becomes the new Watcher, but no-one is impressed.

  • Accidental Murder / Self Offense: Deputy Mayor Finch suddenly appears while Buffy and Faith are fighting El Eliminati vampires. Buffy only realises he's human a second before Faith stakes him.
  • Adventure Duo: Buffy and Faith, the Chosen Two.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Xander has clearly lost what self-confidence he gained by the end of "The Zeppo"; indeed his image as a loser is something he'll struggle with throughout the series.
    • Buffy at the Bronze interacts with Angel in a highly-sexual manner. Fortunately Angel is more focused.
    • Averted with Giles who, not wanting a repeat of the Gwendolyn Post affair, thoroughly checks Wesley's credentials and rings the Council in England to confirm he's supposed to be taking over as Buffy and Faith's Watcher.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age
    Trick: Why do they always gotta be using swords? (picks it up, tosses it to Finch) It's called an Uzi, ya chump! Could have saved your ass right about now.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The compound longbow Faith stole from the shop; untrained in its use, she has to resort to staking the vampire with the arrow (she gets better in later episodes). Also the swords used by El Eliminati.
  • Badass Bookworm: Giles taunts his captor, defies the threat of torture and engages in some serious sword-wielding. One wonders why Wesley doesn't just give up and go home.
  • Bad Boss / Blofeld Ploy: When one of his mooks interrupts his ranting with excuses on why his amulet has been taken by the Slayers, Balthazar floats him over with his telekinetic powers and breaks his neck. He then menacingly calls Vincent (who actually lost the amulet) over to him, but gives him the task of killing the Mayor instead.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Buffy tries to convince Faith to play along with their new Watcher.
    "Look, I know this new guy's a dork, but... Well I have nothing to follow that. He's pretty much just a dork."
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Wesley criticizes Giles over his 'emotional' attachment to the Slayer, which he says is 'something of an embarrassment' to the Watcher's Council. Giles starts to explain that his personal connection has its advantages, but ends up snapping at Wesley to knock off his snide comments.
  • Behind the Black: Giles calls Wesley's attention to the Eliminati glaring through the window at them, but Wesley was facing towards that window a second before.
  • Blatant Lies
    Wesley: You're not helping.
    Giles: I know. I feel just sick about it.
    • Buffy turns down Willow's offer to help take down Balthazar, claiming she doesn't want to put her at risk, but it's obvious she'd rather be Slaying alongside Faith.
  • Buffy Speak: Lampshaded when Wesley is reading from Giles' first diary entry on Buffy. "Her abuse of the English language is such that I understand only every other sentence."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Mayor Wilkins' daily planner.
    Greet Scouts
    Plumber Union Reschedule
    Call Temp Agency
    Become Invincible
    Meeting With PTA
  • Bros Before Hoes: A gender-swapped version, when Willow gets depressed because Buffy would rather spend time with Faith.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes"
    Giles: If you want to criticize my methods, fine. But you can keep your snide remarks to yourself. And while you're at it, don't criticize my methods!
  • Call Back: "I hate it when they drown me." That incident also lead to Buffy acting out in an irresponsible fashion in "When She Was Bad". It also serves as foreshadowing to Buffy's dream in the next episode.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : While raiding a shop for weapons, Faith lectures Buffy on the simplicity of life as a Slayer: Want, Take, Have. A few smashed display cases later, the police shows up. Whoops.
  • Captain Obvious: Buffy and Faith are fighting off a horde of vampires.
    Buffy: We're surrounded!
    Faith: You noticed that too?
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: In the Action Prologue Faith is grilling Buffy on why she never slept with Xander.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Wesley orders the Slayers to search for the amulet, but Faith isn't interested. "Tell you what: you do the homework, an' I'll copy yours." She turns up anyway to watch Buffy's back.
  • Chekhov's Gun / Foreshadowing: While looting the sporting goods store Faith takes an interest in a compound longbow while Buffy likes a wall display of knives. In "Graduation Day, Part One" Faith will use the longbow to shoot Angel while Buffy uses a knife on Faith.
  • Cat Scare: Buffy hides in a sarcophagus from the Eliminati. As she climbs out, she's startled by Faith grabbing her shoulder.
  • Comeback Tomorrow
    Cordelia: Well, Xander, I could dress more like you, but my father has a job.
    Xander: I'm not gonna waste the perfect comeback on you now. But don't think I don't have it. Oh, yes! Its time will come!
  • Counting to Three: Faith charges in on "one". When she claims that it's impossible to plan these things, Buffy gripes that counting to three isn't a plan, it's Sesame Street.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wesley's presence brings Giles' talent up to full strength.
    Wesley: Stay calm, Mr. Giles! We have to stay calm!
    Giles: Well, thank God you're here. I was planning to panic.
  • Defiant to the End: A bound Wesley and Giles are brought before Balthazar.
    Balthazar: You know what I want.
    Giles: If it's for me to scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I'd like to request you kill me now. (mook hits him) Ow!
    Wesley: (beginning to panic) Are you out of your mind? This is hardly the time for games!
    Giles: Why not? They're going to torture us to death anyway.
  • Description Cut: Wesley checks his watch and says that according to his "mission scenario" his Slayer will be back in one minute. Cut to Buffy and Faith surrounded by sword-wielding vampires.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Best friends drawn apart because one of them meets someone new and more exciting.
  • Dirty Coward / Miles Gloriosus: He's faced two vampires (under controlled conditions), but Wesley quickly spills his guts when threatened with Knee Capping. In the subsequent fight he's completely ineffectual and Giles has to save his ass.
  • Dual Wielding: The members of El Eliminati use longswords, with shortswords in the off hand.
  • Empathic Environment: The Bronze rocks to the music of Curve, matching Buffy's mood.
  • Ensign Newbie: Wesley boasts of being up on all the latest techniques, but he's obviously in over his head in the field, and even Giles makes only a token effort of accepting his authority.
  • Evil Laugh: More like an evil chuckle by the Mayor.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Averted with Willow's lavender-scented protection ward.
  • Eye of Newt: Willow says chemistry is like witchcraft, but with less newts.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom / Electrified Bathtub / Benevolent Architecture: Buffy pulls a light fixture down on Balthazar's head.
  • Family Values Villain: The Mayor poses with a troop of Boy Scouts. "Back-bone of America, those little guys."
  • Fat Bastard: Balthazar is in desperate need of a Stairmaster.
  • Flower in Her Hair / Pink Means Feminine: Buffy when she's still dressing as Good Girl, as opposed to bad girl Faith in her see-through shirt and levi jacket. Buffy soon ditches it for a black Badass Longcoat when embracing her inner Slayer.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Angel unambiguously takes on the badass hero role of his spin-off series.
    • The Mayor re: Boy Scouts: "Seeing the hope and courage on their bright little faces, I swear I could just eat 'em up."
    • Balthazar has a grudge against the Mayor, yet Wesley notes that he and his vampire cult were driven out of Sunnydale a hundred years ago.
    • Willow has been accepted to several colleges, and Buffy says there's nothing holding her back. Oz points out that they still have to get past that whole Graduation business.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: During the Bronze scene, Buffy is shown to have a still-bloody cut on her upper arm which she doesn't even try to hide. It's in the same position as the tattoo on Faith's arm.
  • Glasses Pull: Wesley and Giles start cleaning their glasses simultaneously — Giles stops in irritation when he notices this.
  • The Glomp: Buffy, revved up after staking vampires and dancing with Faith, leaps into Angel's arms and wraps her legs around him.
  • Handshake Refusal: Buffy refuses to shake Wesley's hand and pointedly sits down next to Giles, making it clear who her Watcher is.
  • Handy Cuffs: Averted; Buffy and Faith are cuffed with their hands behind their backs.
  • Heart Symbol: In a scene laden with Les Yay subtext, Faith entices Buffy out of a chemistry test for some vampire slaying by breathing on the window, then drawing a love heart with a stake through it.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Faith changes into the Leather Pants of Evil before going on the mission where she accidentally kills Finch.
  • Hidden Depths: Wesley shows he's not a complete fool when he instantly works out who the Eliminati are from Buffy's vague description.
  • Hollywood Torches: Used by the Eliminati when searching crypts for the amulet. Fortunately for Buffy, Balthazar prefers electric lighting.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Loads of Les Yay between Buffy and Faith.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Wesley suggests this after he and Giles are captured.
    Wesley: Now, hold on. We-we-we can deal with this rationally. We have something you want. You have something we want.
    Balthazar: Hmm... A trade. Intriguing. (considers) No. Wait. Boring. Pull off his kneecaps!
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue
    • The Mayor asks if there's any information on those Eliminati guys. Cue Vincent charging out of the closet, brandishing a sword.
    • Angel turns up looking for the amulet.
    Angel: I spoke to Giles, but he said you gave it to someone.
    Wesley: (appearing) Ah. There you are.
    • Wesley tells Giles that it's time for someone else to take the field as Watcher. Giles says that "Now's a good time to start", given there's a bunch of Eliminati vampires glaring at them through the window.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Mum Logic, which says that waffles have less calories if you bake them for someone else.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The uggh! sound Faith makes to describe sex and later staking a vampire.
    Buffy: Again with the grunting.
    • Faith can't understand how Buffy can fight alongside Xander, yet has never been interested in him sexually. Later Buffy gets revved up after slaying vamps and so vamps her vampire boyfriend.
  • Ironic Echo
    Buffy: I love Xander. I just don't... love Xander. (looks at the ground) Besides, I think it ruins friendship to do that stuff.
    (She takes a closer look at the boot prints on the muddy ground.)
    Faith: You think too much. (starts to leave)
    Buffy: (grabs Faith's arm, looking down) Hey. There's one more.
    Faith: How do you know?
    Buffy: I think too much.
  • Just Friends
    Buffy: I love Xander, I just don' Xander.
  • Kill 'em All: After Vincent's assassination fails, Balthazar starts ranting at his mooks to forget honor, just bring him the amulet and kill everyone who gets in their way.
  • Kleptomaniac Heroine: Buffy and Faith enjoy looting the sporting goods store until the police arrive.
  • Language of Magic: The Mayor does an incantation in the usual Latin.
  • Large Ham: Balthazar.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Faith's M.O.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen:
    • Vincent waves his sword at Buffy and suggests they settle this honorably. After getting the drop on Buffy he says, "Well, then, let's just settle it" and dunks her head in water.
    • Balthazar notes that Vincent tried to kill the Mayor with courage and honor, one-on-one as befits a true warrior. AND HE HAS JACK TO SHOW FOR IT!
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Mayor hopes the Slayers and El Eliminati will kill each other, and tells Trick to feed them the required information. Finch may have been trying the same, using El Eliminati to kill the Mayor and when that failed, approaching the Slayers.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again
    Faith: Okay, this is the last time we're gonna have this conversation, and we're not even having it now, you understand me? There is no body. I took it, weighted it, and dumped it. The body doesn't exist.
  • Mating Dance: Buffy and Faith dance wildly at the Bronze surrounded by three hunky guys. Tellingly the two girls face each other the whole time.
  • May-December Romance: Angel isn't happy about the men Buffy was dancing with. She dismisses them casually as "just boys. I like you."
  • MacGuffin: The amulet that will restore Balthazar to his full strength.
  • Mind over Matter: As he's rather immobile, Balthazar floats people over to him so he can crush their heads.
  • The Mole: Implied with Finch; what was he doing with the Eliminati in the first place? And who got Vincent past the Mayor's security? The following episode suggests however that he may have been trying to contact the Slayers as a whistleblower.
  • Mook Chivalry
    Buffy: We're never gonna make it to the warehouse.
    Faith: If they keep coming one at a time, we got a shot.
    • Also combined with Once Is Not Enough: Vincent starts to drown Buffy and walks away with a satisfied look on his face when she stops moving. Sure she canít be faking it, can she?
    • Also combined with Why Don't You Just Stab Him?: Vincent assaults the Mayor, points a sword to his neck and... starts talking to give time to get kicked away.
  • Murder by Mistake: Poor Deputy Mayor Finch.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: When Faith stabs Finch.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    • Faith stabs a human during a melee with vampires, beginning her Start of Darkness. It's later suggested that Finch, worried he was in over his head, may have been trying to contact the Slayers. At this point the Scoobies don't even know who the Big Bad in Sunnydale is, let alone his intentions, so Finch could have saved them some quite risky missions in future episodes.
    • The open contempt for Wesley shown by Faith, Buffy and Giles leads to his ill-considered actions in the following episode, in an attempt to reassert his authority.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Mayor gets this power. Big trouble ahead.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Verging on Memetic Molester material at times.
    • Wesley leans in toward Buffy to make a gratuitous point. Buffy and Giles lean away in unison.
    • Buffy sits closer to Giles than she normally would to emphasize who her surrogate daddy...err, real Watcher is. In the Bronze she snuggles up to Angel, who pointedly distances himself. Then Wesley comes in and leans close so he can whisper to Buffy over the blaring music. Buffy grimaces and moves away again.
    • Faith finds excuses to touch Buffy quite a bit.
  • Not Quite Dead: Wesley isn't alarmed by El Eliminati at first, because his all-knowing textbooks say their leader Balthazar was killed a hundred years ago. After he's electrocuted, Balthazar gives everyone an Oh Crap! moment when he opens his eyes, but he's just an Almost Dead Guy.
    "Slayer! You think you've won. (chuckles and wheezes) When he rises... you'll wish I'd killed you all!" (dies)
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Buffy is scanning the newspaper for any mention of their delinquent acts, when Joyce walks in and says, "Admit it." Buffy looks startled until Joyce continues, "Some days don't you wanna just wake up and say to Hell with the diet?"
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Faith is vigorously and obsessively scrubbing her hands and clothes after killing Finch.
  • Police Are Useless: The recklessness the officers showed during the arrest sort of implied that they can easily be suppressed by Faith.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: El Eliminati
  • Punctuated Pounding: "I have never...done it...with Xander!"
  • Punny Name: The Eliminati as a pun on The Illuminati.
  • Really Gets Around: When Buffy hauls Faith away from the three guys she was dancing with, Faith points at all three and tells them to call her.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Balthazar
  • Sarcastic Confession: After catching Buffy and Faith looting an arsenal of weapons, the police want to know if they're with "one of them girl gangs". Faith responds sarcastically, "Yeah. We're the Slayers."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Faith's philosophy.
  • Smash Cut: Buffy and Faith burst into a vampire nest, deliver a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner, draw their stakes and—cut to them dancing at the Bronze.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Xander vs. Cordelia. Cordelia wins.
  • Stealth Insult
    Wesley: I didn't get this job because of my looks.
    Buffy: I really, really believe that.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Balthazar, ALL THE TIME!
  • Super Window Jump: Buffy and Faith use this as a weapon by crashing into a vampire nest in broad daylight, setting one vampire on fire and causing the rest to flee in panic.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Some of the lyrics for "Chinese Burn" by Curve, the song playing for the Buffy/Faith dance.
    She'll break a promise as a matter of course / Because she thinks it's fun to have no remorse / She gets what she wants and then walks away / And she doesn't give a fuck what you might say
    Because the rage it burns like Chinese torture / She's just someone's favourite daughter / Spoilt and ugly as she willingly slaughters / Friends and enemies they're all the same
  • Swiss Cheese Security:
    • The Mayor's office, though it's hinted that Finch let in Vincent to kill the Mayor before he could become invulnerable.
    • Wesley says he has the amulet in a secure location. Buffy removes it from his coat pocket.
  • Take Me Instead/Walk In Chime In
    Giles: Look, um, tell you what, let Captain Courageous here go, and I'll tell you what you need to know. How's that deal?
    Angel: His name is Angel.
  • Terse Talker: Wesley asks for an After Action Report on last night's mission. Buffy replies, "Vampires. Killed 'em."
  • That's an Order: Wesley discovers that teenage California girls with superpowers don't get the whole obeying orders thing.
    Wesley: Are you not used to being given orders?
    Buffy: Whenever Giles sends me on a mission, he always says 'please'. And afterwards I get a cookie! (Giles tries not to laugh)
  • This Cannot Be!: Balthazar shouts "Unacceptable! Unacceptable!" as the heroes dust his remaining mooks. No-one pays him any attention.
  • Twitchy Eye: Xander's eye twitches whenever Faith's name is mentioned, after having sex with her the previous episode.
  • Two-Part Episode
  • Use Your Head: Giles has his hands tied behind his back, so he headbutts the mook holding him prisoner. Buffy then cuts him free with a sword.
  • Villain Ball: El Eliminati were a notorious vampire duelist cult that dwindled after an increase in anti-vampire activity "and a lot of pointless dueling".
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Mayor, Mr. Trick, and Finch discuss their favorite newspaper comics.
    Mayor: Do you like Family Circus?
    Mr. Trick: I like Marmaduke.
    Mayor: Agh! Uuugh! He's always on the furniture! Unsanitary.
    Mr. Trick: Nobody can tell Marmaduke what to do. That's my kind of dog.
    Allan: I like to read Cathy!
    The Mayor and Mr. Trick just stare.
  • Two-Part Episode
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After the Mayor has just completed a dark ritual to give himself Complete Immortality.
    Mayor: This officially commences the Hundred Days. Nothing can harm me until the Ascension.
    [beat. Breaks into a fit of gleeful giggles]
    Gosh, I'm feeling chipper! Who's for a root beer?!
    • After Faith persuades Buffy to abandon all pretense of strategy and just rush blindly to attack half-a-dozen sword-wielding vampires...
    Faith: Tell me you don't get off on this.
    Buffy: Didn't suck.
  • Wham Line: The very last line of the episode.
    Buffy: Faith, you don't get it. You killed a man.
    Faith: No, you don't get it. I don't care.
  • What Could Have Been: Faith was originally going to kill herself by the end of this episode, but it was decided to further her character.
  • Why Didnt I Think Of That: Faith enters the library and eyes up Wesley.
    Faith: New Watcher?
    Buffy and Giles: New Watcher.
    Faith: Screw that. (walks out)
    Buffy: Now, why didn't I just say that?