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02 November 2015 @ 10:33 pm
Graduation Day Part One. At Last.  
And here we are, at the two-part season finale. Everything is about to change: the world might end or the Scoobies might leave school. Who knows which is scarier?

The process of High School graduation is alien to me, as a Brit; we may have a final assembly, quite likely a Leavers’ Ball (sometimes called a Prom these days) but in general we slink away after the last exam, return for Results Day in August, then party or not with our friends. We don’t get diplomas as such, for finishing school, just for the A Level results we’ve achieved, which usually arrive months later and are picked up from school by parents, as the students are likely to be already away at university. If I get things wrong, therefore, I apologise in advance.

Graduation Day Part 1

So, rich red gowns. Heaps of them, waiting for collection. OK, red and gold are the school colours, but en masse they do rather make one blink a little. Cordelia is unimpressed, but Xander feels he will at least look respectable in it.

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Willow is already missing everything, even Harmony. Buffy’s not feeling it so much.

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It turns out the Mayor will be doing the big speech at graduation. Buffy is unimpressed by that.

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Faith visits a professor and kills him. The boss wanted him dead and she didn’t bother to ask why. That’s our girl.

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The Mayor is tidying Faith’s room for her while she puts on a pink dress. He loves it, she feels stupid. (I tend to agree with Faith.) He tells her it’s her day to blossom and he’s proud of her.

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Willow cycles through the school campus, sort of a shout-out to Xander’s skateboard in a way. She’s in a (different) fluffy pink top. Will she ever learn? Percy has passed history, so her work was not wasted.

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While Percy looks forward to forgetting ‘all this crap’, Oz is comforted by the thought that he might not have the chance to do so. Willow doesn’t want Percy or the whole class eaten, though. She’s kindly like that.

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Xander’s teacher believes in making his class work to the last moment, in much the way most teachers do at
the end of the year.

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Anya is thinking a little further ahead. It turns out that Anya has some useful information, too. She’s seen an Ascension.

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Gratuitous fencing pic, because.

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The Mayor feels Sunnydale owes Snyder a debt, which will be repaid. No wonder the creepy little man looks worried.

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Scoobies are worrying about what will happen. The Mayor joins them. “That’s one sprightly little girl you’ve raised. I’m gonna eat her.” He gives them no useful information apart from a little bluster – perhaps he actually has read the Evil Overlord List? - #11 and #29 at least, though possibly not #34.

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Anya is on the way out. She’s not staying around to risk this.

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Buffy packs for Joyce – she wants her mother to run away. Joyce is not prepared to leave her, however.

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Willow has spells to communicate with shrimp. Not the most useful.

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Oz is still ironic. It might help more if he panicked. He does so in a rather special way. The night before an Apocalypse is often full of such action.

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Angel visits Buffy, who has been researching the vulcanologist. She’s mad at Angel. It’s her last office romance, she asserts.

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Just as the squabble gets going, an arrow pierces Angel. It misses the heart. Faith meant to. Local people notice but walk on.

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It turns out the last demon to ascend died in a volcano. Does this mean the Mayor can be killed once he has ascended?

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Angel is ill. Even Wesley offers to help.

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Oz and Willow are so cute. Just saying.

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The Mayor has to eat spiders. Even Faith thinks that’s gross. Couldn’t he send her to kill somebody or something?

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Willow is working on Angel meds.

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Anya wants Xander to run with her. He’s touched, but no, he has scruples. I wonder why they did this scene twice.

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It turns out feverish vampires sweat. Buffy is nursing hers.

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Wesley says the Council won’t help. They have orders. Buffy is not going to take any more; she won’t work for them again. Not mutiny, more graduation.

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Willow knows what the toxin is. Oz knows what will cure it. The only way is to drain the blood of a Slayer.

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Buffy takes a certain knife from the weapons store.

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Buffy visits Faith. Fisticuffs ensue.

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Lots of fisticuffs. Things get broken.

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The Mayor eats spiders. He feels good about it.

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Faith loses the fight.

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However, she finds a way to stop Buffy taking her blood.

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What will Buffy do now?

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*****


OK, we all want to rush on to Part 2. But what about this part? What’s your favourite bit? Willow and Oz? Buffy and Angel? Wesley and Giles fencing while Giles reads the paper? Faith and the Mayor?

Why does the Slayer’s blood have to be drained? Why not a pint or two? Just how much can a vampire drink before his victim dies anyway? Why doesn’t Buffy try to track the truck? (See what I did there?)

Plot holes or gripping narrative? As an episode itself, how well does it work? And how excited are you for the ending?

Say goodbye to the library, though. We won’t be seeing very much more of it.

Comments, as always, are craved. Screencaps credit goes to Bloodqueen.com
 
 
 
Sandysandy_s on November 3rd, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
But it wouldn't be very dramatic if all he had to do was take a couple of sips, right? :o)

Nice recap! I think it's hard to recap the episode before the finale because it's all these little steps leading up to the big end. My fave parts are Willow and Oz and Faith and the Mayor...and then, of course, the Buffy/Faith fight!
velvetwhip: Willow/Angel/Ozvelvetwhip on November 3rd, 2015 12:29 am (UTC)
Let's face it, with BTVS there are always plot holes, but we love the show madly anyway. (It's like family that way.)

Willow and Oz have the sweetest, cutest, and most adorable sex in history here. And that's enough reason for this episode to exist, even if you (meaning me) are phobic about spiders and would rather have never watched someone eat them.


Gabrielle
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on November 3rd, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Damn! Faith murdered someone AGAIN! I haven't really watched season three for a long time and I forgot about this. It's an innocent elderly professor, and she is sadistic about it, letting him know in advance he's going to die. I'm sorry but she is evil. And not in a good way. I will not be rooting for her redemption.

Yay for Buffy! She put on her red leather pants to fight with Faith. I wonder how she could afford them. But no matter. She is dead set on killing Faith, but when she actually stabs her, there is a moment of recognition of what she's done.

Willow and Oz = darling
Giles and Wesley sword fighting = very comical

How much blood can a vampire drink before his victim dies? In season seven, Spike claimed to have that down to a science. Or at least how much a vampire could drink and still allow the victim to cry.
red_satin_doll: Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRMred_satin_doll on November 3rd, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC)
Depends on the size, weight and body mass of the victim I suppose? And how healthy or unhealthy (i.e. malnourished, dehydrated) the victims were when they were attacked.

I think I just grossed myself out (that and the cap of the Mayor eating the spiders....UGH. Faith may be evil but she's not entirely lost her senses.)

Oh look Willow and Oz cute sexy times!
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on November 4th, 2015 01:48 am (UTC)
Depends on the size weight and body mass...

Sure, if you want to get scientific about it. Probably for the vamps, it's a sixth sense.

I'm sorry, I have no love in my heart for Faith. That professor probably had family and friends and a good book he was reading and plans for the rest of his life. She killed him with a grin on her face. If that idiot Angel wants to help her, that's fine for him. I want nothing more to do with her.
red_satin_doll: Faith/Willow Bad Girls SRQ/RSDred_satin_doll on November 4th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, I have no love in my heart for Faith. That professor probably had family and friends and a good book he was reading and plans for the rest of his life. She killed him with a grin on her face. If that idiot Angel wants to help her, that's fine for him. I want nothing more to do with her.

No apologies needed, at least not to me! I mean, I've written her into post-series fic and I wished there were more of her in S7 because of what she represents to Buffy moreso than herself....but I'm not exactly a fan, either, if that makes sense? I actually found her sort of interesting - and then she tried to frame Buffy for murder, killed two more people, sounded like she really wanted to torture Buffy (for the crime of - what exactly? What did Buffy do to Faith besides try to talk to her?)

I can see parallels between Fuffy and Spuffy dynamics and Who Are You is one of my favorite episodes, but because of Sarah's perf. And I admit I actually found her sort of interesting when I watched S3 the first time - until she started killing, trying to frame Buffy for murder, raping Xander, and a whole host of badness. Her trauma and "horrible upbringing" only go so far in my book. (it's probably no coincidence that my buffy love was firmly cemented by the beginning os S4.)

And I am always amused by Fuffy shippers who try to claim that the pairing is healthier than Spuffy or Bangel. Oh honey, NO. No, no, no.

If that idiot Angel wants to help her, that's fine for him. I want nothing more to do with her.

It actually pissed me off that Angel sheltered her and then treated Buffy like an irrational harpy (blame Joss for the writing) in Sanctuary/ 5x5. HELLO?? Faith stole Buffy's body, raped Riley (and by extension violated Buffy), was ready to let Buffy go to the Watcher's prison or be killed; and he's surprised that Buffy's pissed? But then I remember Wesley also being pissed off that he's comforting her minutes after she tortured Wesley and ENJOYED it.

But I don't understand what goes on inside Angel's brainpan anyway.

I do think she's Joss stereotype for "the girl from the wrong side of the tracks". Note that when she's introduced in FH&T she's wearing an almost identical outfit to Shelia in School Hard. Joss has some pretty messed up notions of the lower and working classes, female sexuality, etc.

Edited at 2015-11-04 02:38 am (UTC)
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on November 4th, 2015 03:28 am (UTC)
Right. All the horrible things you've just brought it up. It's too much.

She wasn't a very good slayer either. But I suppose there's no guarantee every slayer will have a hero's heart. What if she was the only slayer? The world would be in trouble!
red_satin_dollred_satin_doll on November 4th, 2015 07:32 am (UTC)
But I suppose there's no guarantee every slayer will have a hero's heart. What if she was the only slayer? The world would be in trouble!

As awful as it sounds, the WoC has clearly built in "fail safes": the Crucia-whatchamacallit for one thing; and they've shown themselves to be willing to hunt down, capture and even kill "rogue" Slayers. And if a Slayer isn't very good at her job (or well trained by her watcher) the chances of surviving for long are nil. (Given Faith's impulsiveness in S3, I have no problem believing that she wouldn't have been killed if Buffy wasn't watching her back.)

At any rate, the entire setup illustrates why "one girl in all the world" is clearly a very bad idea.
Trepkostrepkos on November 3rd, 2015 11:31 pm (UTC)
I agree - I don't have any sympathy with Faith, I'm in the "well, boo hoo!" camp. And that's not JUST because I despise Eliza Dushka.
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on November 4th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
Like I said, I haven't watched season three in a while. I forgot how truly vicious and unrepenting she was.
Mazthismaz on November 3rd, 2015 08:52 am (UTC)
I had never seen the Evil Overlord List; that's brilliant. Thanks.
Good recap.
Trepkostrepkos on November 3rd, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
I think I love all of this episode. But I had the feeling Buffy hit Angel while he was draining her, and that was what made him stop, but I see I was mistaken.
Rebcake: btvs_any_watchingrebcake on November 4th, 2015 03:54 am (UTC)
While I am entirely bored of anything having to do with the Buffy/Angel relationship at this point, I do enjoy this episode. The Buffy/Faith fight is my favorite fight in all of BtVS, although I do think Buffy is making a huge mistake in having it. I am not one of the Faith-haters — I see her as damaged and spiraling out of control — and I don't think that turning Buffy into the murderer of a murderer in order to feed her murdering boyfriend is any kind of winning solution. And while it's never touched on, really, I think Buffy is shocked at herself, and it may be why she's so forgiving of Faith up until the next rampage.

The fencing scene is almost as heartwarming as the Willow/Oz panic sex. Awwww.