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13 November 2015 @ 06:06 pm
Graduation Day Part 2 (or School's Out Forever)  
Here, finally, is the last season 3 post in our rewatch. Sorry about the long delay. After this post there will be a hiatus (a planned one this time), while your friendly neighbourhood mods try to work out a posting schedule for season 4.

So, anyway, part 2 begins where part 1 ended.


Buffy tried to kill Faith in order to save Angel's life, but failed.

Just as well really. One Slayer whose a murderer is quite enough, thank you very much.


Meanwhile, Faith's enabler, the Mayor, is quite distraught at her disappearance. Aww, I knew he really cared.

Also meanwhile, back at the school library, everyone is researching the Ascension,


even Cordy, who had only gone there to have another go at everyone for being mean to Wesley.

Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile, unbenownst to her friends and Giles (and they would not like it if it were known) Buffy has found another solution to the whole 'Angel needs to drain a Slayer to survive' problem.


"Drink me."


"Are you nuts? Or possibly stuck in an Alice in Wonderland AU?"

'Course Angel doesn't actually say that, but he doesn't think it's a good idea either.


"Help, help! Buffy's gone crazy! Lemme out of here."

In the end, though, sheer persistence (and the smell of Slayer blood) bring him around.


And once he's started drinking,


he can't stop.



Buffy ends up in hospital, courtesy of a very guilty Angel.

Faith is in a coma in the very next room to Buffy,


which is convenient for the Mayor when he tries to suffocate Buffy.



Angel stops him, but the Mayor is quick to throw Angel's Slayer-draining exploits in his face,


and Buffy's friends and Giles do the same when they arrive. You can't really blame them. Then again, it's not all Angel's fault.


Then again again, it probably feels to Angel that it is.

Meanwhile, in one of the best scenes of the episode, Buffy has a shared Slayer dream with Faith,


in which Faith talks in apparent riddles, that actually foretell the coming of Dawn in season 5, and hints to Buffy about how to beat the Mayor.


Seems despite Faith's fall, Slayers are still sisters somewhere deep under the skin.


Buffy wakes up knowing how to beat the Mayor.


She says goodbye to Faith and goes to tell her friends.

So, what else happens, apart from Buffy, her friends and classmates (and Wesley) facing off against a giant snake that used to be the Mayor on Graduation Day?



Well, Willow and Oz continue to be utterly cute.


Cordy and Wesley discover they are not meant to be.


Various Sunnydale students step up to the plate and get killed for their pains:


including Larry,


and Harmony.

Others survive:




and Jonathan. Cordy stakes a vampire, but sadly there's no screencap of that moment.

Principal Snyder gets eaten,


the peculiar fate of Sunnydale High School principals. He just couldn't escape it in the end.

Also, Buffy and Giles blow up the school, with the Giant Snake-Mayor inside it.


School could really not be more out, could it?


RIP Mayor Richard Wilkins III. You were a great Big Bad.

In the aftermath of the fight, Buffy has her final (for now) glimpse of Angel.







Buffy looks sad, but she'll deal. She did all her crying in The Prom.


It's the end of an era. And not just because Angel is gone.


No more high school library for Giles to work in. No more high school.


These five friends (or sort of) will never be all together again.


Oh well, life (and the show) must go on.

Best lines:

Xander: "Here is your cup of coffee. Brewed from the finest Colombian lighter fluid."
Giles: "Thank you." Takes a sip. "Horrible." Takes another sip.
Xander: "Aren't you supposed to be drinking tea anyway?"
Giles: "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense."

So, that's the end of season 3. What did you think? Are you a 'the show was never any good after season 3' type of fan, or a 'it's great the way Joss let everyone grow up and move on' type of fan? I know which side I come down on, but given how many polls of (non-rabid) fans elect season 3 as best season of the show, both views are equally valid, I guess.
manoahmanoah on November 13th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC)
I have enjoyed these so much!

Thank you all for ALL the work! It's been great and I'm looking forward to the next season!
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:08 pm (UTC)
No problem. Glad you've enjoyed the posts.
velvetwhip: Hand Kissvelvetwhip on November 13th, 2015 08:31 pm (UTC)
I have to say that one of the most deliciously Freudian occurrences in the history of everything is the fact that this episode features a giant snake demon named Dick. You simply cannot top that.


Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC)
So true. I'm sure it was deliberate.
Rebcake: btvs_oz_whoarebcake on November 13th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
Huh. I think Part 1 is more interesting for me, which is odd. Maybe because coma!Faith isn't much of a threat, and I am never, ever worried that the Mayor will prevail. But I do like the bit about rounding up the troops! Those kids really step up. All the funny stuff with Wes works for me, too. He really does do slapstick well, our Alexis.

You know where I come down on the early vs. later seasons! Right in the middle! On the plus side, Season 3 had excellent individual episodes, much improved cinematography, and the introduction of some fabulous characters. On the minus side, the Buffy/Angel relationship, so full of fabulous angst previously, became a huge snore. I'm with Xander in The Zeppo on this one and absolutely HATE Amends, the worst episode of BtVS, IMO. And, well, it's no Season 2, which I adore, even if it does have a higher proportion of not-so-great episodes.

So, I'm eager to proceed!
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:11 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. The Buffy/Angel stuff is way too dragged out. It has some great moments - for me the best are in Lover's Walk and The Prom - but mostly it's a drag, and it drags down the season arc with it. The season standalones, though, are almost uniformly excellent. As you say, it's kind of the reverse of season 2.
Butterflysnogged on November 13th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC)
This was a really excellent recap. I admit that Season 3 is one of my favorite seasons, but there is a lot to enjoy about the later seasons as well.

I look forward to Season 4. :)
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:13 pm (UTC)
That's good to know. Not sure when we'll be starting it. Hopefully fairly soon.

Glad you enjoyed the recap. I can't say season 3 is one of my favourites, but it is one with the best standalones. Any season featuring Anne, Band Candy and Lover's Walk, not to mention all the other excellent non-arc eps, deserves a huge pat on the back.
Kiki May: The hardest thing in the worldkikimay on November 13th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'm the kind of Buffy fan who loves more post-high school seasons!

This is really a cool episode, full of memorable scenes. The Bangel bite is literally a sex scene or, well, metaphorically. But I kinda laugh all the times when Angel walks and falls around everything live a proper diva. Aww. It also disturbs me the "drink me" part but I guess that Buffy can't let him die this time.

And then, boom, prophetic dream, badass plan, fight, explosion, YAY! The final sccene between Angel and Buffy, that silent goodbye, is so poetic and it breaks my heart. Amazing.

Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC)
I'm the kind of Buffy fan who loves more post-high school seasons!

I am too, though I do think the season 2 arc is brilliant, and the season 3 standalones some of the best. But yes, I find it easier to relate to the characters post-high school.

The Bangel bite is definitely a sex scene. No doubt about it.

The final sccene between Angel and Buffy, that silent goodbye, is so poetic and it breaks my heart.

Yes, it's beautifully done.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on November 13th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think it was the end of an era, but one I was ready to see go. I wanted to see the characters grow and change and meet new people and have new adventures. Of course, my opinion isn't hurt by Spike's becoming a regular in season 4....
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
I do find it easier to relate to the characters post-high school. First time watching, I didn't really like Buffy herself that much until season 5.

On my most recent rewatch, my sympathies were with Buffy right from the start.
Hobbit ukhobbituk on November 13th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC)

Lol - as far as I am concerned bring on season 4 and Spike....

Season 3 was just too Faith and Angel heavy for me (and missing too much Spike).  I have seen more (or at least part of them) episodes than I realised but it still doesn't make me want to see more.

Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
Aww, that's a shame. I do miss Spike being around, but I really enjoy season 3 anyway.
gillo: I wish to be tensegillo on November 14th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)
Good recap. I love the double episode finale, though individually the episodes need each other to stand up. The feeding-as-sex subtext becomes very much text here, and there's lots of exciting action. I really like the Slayer dream - so much there for those who Know. I do rather wonder how Faith got from the flatbed of a lorry heading out of town to the hospital so quickly, but no doubt there's a proper explanation. Just as well the Mayor is there to pay her bills, too.

And I'm not sad to see Angel go. He's much more interesting on his own show, and Wesley will develop in far better ways. I do love the last we see of him on this show, though, slightly injured and playing the martyr. He has so much to learn.

And the line about tea is one I use far too regularly!
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
It is a good finale, I agree, though Becoming is better. Also agree that post-season 2 Angel is better in his own show, and his departure from BtVS is excruciatingly dragged out over the course of the season. Really, all that needed to be said about it had already been said by the end of Lover's Walk.
Danna: Fool for Lovechasingdemons on November 14th, 2015 12:31 am (UTC)
So incredibly difficult to comment as I'm watching the news tonight. So I will just make one observation. Angel said he was going to go without saying goodbye. But he did stick around just long enough so that Buffy could watch him walk away.

Thank you for this post!! Looking forward to season 4.
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading.

I actually had no idea what had happened in Paris until S and I came back from a walk. Our newspaper went to press too early.

It seems really trivial to be talking about this now, but anyway, yes, Angel did stick around despite saying he wouldn't do that. However, I do like his final exit.
readerjane on November 14th, 2015 02:53 am (UTC)
I find a lot to like in S4-7, but I do think the Mayor was the best Big Bad, even including Angelus.

For me, Wilkins has that perfect combination of horrifying, thinking (not just posturing) sometimes funny, sometimes genuine, veering right back to horrifyng again. A villain should be a person, not just a caricature.
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC)
I agree the Mayor is a great villain, but for me Angelus works better simply because of the emotional impact he has on Buffy.

The Mayor is terrific, though. He comes in at no 2 on my Big Bad points board.
Sandy: spuffy tell me a story by mesandy_s on November 14th, 2015 03:12 am (UTC)
Love the recap... one of my fave quotes though is "Fire bad, tree pretty." I still feel that way sometimes after a tough day.

I forgot about the Faith/Buffy dream...I need to re-watch that scene! :o) Were there other hints other than about Dawn?
Shapinglight: buffy faithshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
You know, I'd forgotten that 'fire bad, tree pretty' was a quote from this episode. It is a good one.

Apart from the very cryptic Dawn reference (which may just have been serendipitous, who knows?) there's a cat that Buffy worries about (who will look after it now?, Faith says that they look after themselves), but I don't know what, if anything, it represents. Then Faith gives her dream belongings to Buffy and tells her that to beat the Mayor she has to remember he still has human weaknesses. I've always taken that as evidence that deep down, Faith is still a Slayer, which turns out to be true in the second part of the season 4 two parter.
Trepkostrepkos on November 14th, 2015 11:49 am (UTC)
Wonderful episode; I love the way the Mayor totally loses it over Faith even though I don't like her at all. Season three was where I originally jumped in, and got hooked, so it must have had something going for it, but I think five is my favourite.
Shapinglight: Graduation Dayshapinglight on November 14th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC)
Five is my favourite too. It is interesting to see that the Mayor's feelings for Faith are deep and genuine, despite him more or less threatening to kill her a few episodes back if she failed him.

Odd bloke.
Trepkostrepkos on November 14th, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
I think he was having a little joke when he said that.