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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
This Year's Girl
February 22, 2000
4ABB15

 
Credits

Writer:
Douglas Petrie


Director:
Michael Gershman


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Eliza Dushku as Faith
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
Amber Benson as Tara
Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Chet Grissom as Detective
Alastair Duncan as Collins
Cast:
Jeff Ricketts as Weatherby
Kevin Owers as Smith
Mark Gantt as Demon
Kimberly McRae as Visitor
Sara Van Horn as Older Nurse
Brian Hawley as Orderly
Jack Esformes as Doctor

 
Synopsis

When Faith awakens from her eight month, Buffy-induced coma, she seeks revenge. After spying on Buffy and the gang, she confronts Buffy on campus at UC Sunnydale. The two have a brief battle, and Faith knocks out two cops so she can escape. While three mysterious men arrive in Sunnydale, Faith goes to Buffy's house and attacks Buffy's mom. Just as Faith insists to Joyce that Buffy doesn't care about either of them, Buffy leaps through the window and attacks Faith. Faith, however, is ready for Buffy, and switches bodies with the good Slayer using a gift left to her by the mayor. When Buffy's mom comes downstairs, she sees "Buffy" and asks her if she's okay. "Buffy," smiling evilly, replies that she's "five by five." — Short synopsis by Anthony C. Blade.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Monstervision Just some bits and pieces in this one. The splayed-open demon that Adam left hanging in the trees is quite reminiscent of the splayed-open guard that Hannibal Lecter left hanging in his cell in Silence of the Lambs. We're also told that the scene of Faith (in her dream) climbing out of the grave and standing in the rain is a near-exact replication of the prison-escape scene in The Shawshank Redemption, but we haven't seen it. In the same scene, the whole thing with Faith running from Buffy but not being able to gain any real distance, despite the fact that Buffy's only walking, is a horror film staple. And, of course, the body switching is yet another old concept (in everything from Freaky Friday to X-Files) that Joss is giving his own twist to — which is not necessarily a bad thing. (There was also some body-switching in "The Witch," when Catherine Madison switched bodies with her daughter Amy in order to relive her cheerleading days.)


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Body Count

Demon
Presumably gutted by Adam in a woodsy area of Sunnydale.
Demon
Neck broken by Faith in an alley.
Total: Two
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Dialogue to Die For

Xander (regarding Adam and Faith): "I'd hate to see the pursuit of a homicidal lunatic get in the way of pursuing a homicidal lunatic."

Willow (about Riley): "What did you tell him?"
Buffy: "The truth. That she's my wacky identical cousin from England, and whenever she visits, hijinks ensue."
Willow: "It's good that you two have such an honest relationship."

Willow: "She's like this cleavagey slutbomb walking around going 'Ooh. Check me out, I'm wicked cool. I'm five by five.'"
Tara: "Five by five? Five what by five what?"
Willow: "See, that's the thing. No one knows."

More quotes from this episode...

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References

  • Xander (on whether he can fix the blaster): "Sure. As soon as I get my master's degree in advanced starship technology."
  • This is a possible reference to the original Star Trek TV series, which coined and made famous the term "starship" for their space traveling vessels.

  • Xander: "Now, if it were called the Orgasmator, I'd be the first to try your basic button-press approach."
  • This could be a reference to Trey Parker's 1997 movie Orgazmo. The Orgazmorator is a ray gun that gives people the most intense orgasm they've ever had. Nicholas may have misspoken his line, the slight incorrectness could have been intentional, or it may be a coincidence. It's also a possible reference to Woody Allen's 1973 movie Sleeper, which featured an Orgasmatron.

  • Buffy: "Will, you haven't seen this Adam thing. He's the Terminator without the bashful charm."
  • Terminator The Terminator was a 1984 James Cameron movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, a "cyborg" sent back in time to change the future by killing Sarah Connor. The character was reprised in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

  • Willow: "I mean, Riley is their Top Gun guy."
  • Top Gun was a 1986 movie starring Tom Cruise, about the macho students of an elite US flying school for advanced fighter pilots who compete to be the best in the class.

  • Willow (about Riley): "What did you tell him?"
    Buffy: "The truth. That she's my wacky identical cousin from England, and whenever she visits, hijinks ensue."
  • This is a reference to The Patty Duke Show (1963-66), in which Patty Duke played Patty Lane and her identical English cousin Cathy, who came from Europe to live with Patty's family.

  • Buffy: "I tell you, if I were her, I'd get out of Dodge post hasty."
  • The phrase "get out of Dodge," meaning to get out of town, comes from the old TV western Gunsmoke (1955-75), which took place in Dodge City.

  • Faith: "So that's my dream. That and some stuff about cigars and a tunnel."
  • This is likely a Freudian-based joke about Faith's sexual preoccupations (cigars and tunnels being symbols of the male and female sexual organs).

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Continuity

  • Season Three

    To fill yourself up with information on Faith and her relationships with Buffy and the Mayor, do some browsing through the season three episode guides, from her arrival in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" to Buffy putting her in a coma in "Graduation Day." In particular, you may wish to focus on the episodes that Faith appears in, which you can see in her Cast page or the Complete Actor List (where you can also see which episodes the Mayor has appeared in).

  • The I in Team

    The blaster that Xander tries to fix (and Riley does fix) is the faulty one that Walsh gave Buffy in her attempt to murder her.

  • Graduation Day, Part Two

    The snake that the Mayor picks up is clearly a sly reference to the fact that he himself turned into a giant snake demon in "Grad. Day 2." Also, the girl Faith talks to in the hospital describes the tragedy that occurred at the graduation ceremony.

  • Goodbye Iowa

    Riley's wound (as well as his being in the hospital and the references to his behavior last week) and the talk of Adam refer way back to last week's episode.

  • Graduation Day, Part One

    Buffy tells Riley about how she used to (sometimes) take orders from the council, until she quit in "Grad. Day 1."

  • Consequences

    Xander mentions that the council failed in their attempts to handle Faith, presumably referring to their lack of control in general, as well as the specific incident in which Wesley tried to take Faith to face the council in Britain, but let her escape.

  • The Zeppo

    Xander makes references to his "history" with Faith, referring to their having had sex in "The Zeppo."

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • When Forrest confronts Riley as he's trying to leave the infirmary, Riley's shirt is further open in some shots than in others.
          Spotted by Lindy.

  • Right before Buffy finds the demon hanging from the trees, you can see someone in the bushes to her right. It appears to be a boom mic operator, as you can see what certainly looks like a boom (basically, it's a long stick, on the end of which is a microphone).

  • Unless Willow and Xander are blind, they really should have noticed Riley coming down the stairs behind Buffy. One could also argue that we should have been able to see him coming down the stairs, but that one isn't quite as drastic.

  • Faith rips off her monitor, and nothing happens. No flat-line, no alarms, nothing. No one even notices until the nurse does her regular rounds. That's rather silly as she is wanted by the police for questioning.

  • In Faith's dream, she climbs out of the grave and takes two very small steps forward. The camera immediately cuts to a shot looking down on Faith, and she's suddenly a few feet away. Of course, maybe in Faith's dreams, she can move magically.
          Spotted by Ross.

  • When Buffy asks Riley (in her room) if there's anything she can do for him, she takes his hand in both of hers. The camera cuts back, and she's only holding his hand in her right hand (the left one is behind her). A moment later, still holding his hand with her right hand, she takes it with her left again, as well.
          Spotted by Mathew.

  • When Faith is watching the gang through Giles' window, Buffy has her arm around Riley. Between cuts, her arm goes back and forth from being draped across him to being behind him, playing with his hair.
          Spotted by Joshua.

  • When Buffy and Willow are discussing what Buffy told Riley about Faith, an extra in a striped sweater walks by on Buffy's left. A moment later, as the camera cuts to a different angle, he walks by again.
          Spotted by maktoL516.

  • In the same scene, Buffy's hair makes several unnatural movements from behind her shoulders to in front.
          Spotted by Lindy.

  • When Buffy unknowingly approaches Faith, she stops maybe a foot shy of her. After the commercial, she's quite a few feet back and walking toward Faith again.
          Spotted by Ross.

  • As Faith climbs the wall to jump it, it actually moves a little. Also, when Buffy looks over the wall, there are students sitting - without blankets - on the grass, which does appear to be dry — even though on the other side of the wall, it had very clearly just rained.
          Spotted by Allison (the wall) and Mathew (the grass).

  • As Tara and Willow come down the stairs at school and discuss Faith, the pendant on Tara's necklace (which is too tight to move by itself) continually moves from side to side between cuts.
          Spotted by Danielle.

  • When Faith is rummaging through Joyce's makeup, it's quite clear that she doesn't have her tattoo on her arm.

  • At one point, Joyce (in the bedroom with Faith) has her hands under her legs, but a quick cut shows them back up on her knees.

  • Buffy throws Faith across the dining table as they fight, knocking everything off the table. A few moments later, the tablecloth and some pieces of fruit are back on the table.
          Spotted by Anthony.

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Notes

  • The first day of the episode takes place on Friday, February 25, 2000.

  • The nurse only dials four numbers when she calls to tell someone that Faith has escaped. Either her contact is in the hospital as well, or this is a goof. We'll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was calling someone in the hospital.

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Comments

Jeremy:
I probably won't have much to say here, since I didn't really like the episode. I didn't really want to take a break in the going story arcs in order to bring up a new one. That's not to say, however, that I didn't like the presence of the smashing Eliza Dushku on my telly. "Cleavagey Slutbomb" is not a insult in my mind. This episode did serve its purpose, though. I am thoroughly enticed to watch the next episode in order to see just how prolific Sarah's acting skills are (of course, we all already know what a wonderful actress she is). A couple of more things about the episode itself. Tara actually doing her hair and putting on some jewelry really did wonders, but she needs to have Willow pick her out some better clothes. James Marsters' one and only scene was fantastic — too bad there wasn't more of him. Hopefully we will finally get some more clues as to what the Watchers Council's ulterior motive is, since we haven't heard about anything that they have been up to since Buffy quit the council. In closing, this episode was a bit too predictable for me. I didn't read any spoilers or anything, but even just seeing the preview of it and knowing the title of next week's episode, I pretty much knew what I was going to see. (6/10)
Jamie Marie:
Well, it's the ever-somewhat-less-than-spectacular-first-part-of-a-two-parter. I think it's hard to avoid, really, as it has to contain a good deal of setup for the next part. It's understandable. This one really isn't bad, but it's hard to be objective when I can't shake the feeling that next week is going to be a lot better. It was great to see Faith back and badder than ever, and I for one am greatly looking forward to seeing the two in each other's bodies — especially Faith in Buffy's. This will be a great opportunity for SMG to really shine. It was also nice to see Joyce back (and with a better haircut, no less), and to see Faith observe that Buffy's not around too much. She was right on with that point — not that Buffy doesn't love Joyce, of course, but it really is rather ridiculous how rarely Joyce is seen or even mentioned. Apparently Joss and co. are aware of that; perhaps even planning on taking it somewhere. On a more shallow level, there were some truly horrible clothes in this episode. Xander's vest outfit and Willow's in the same scene were not pleasing at all. But Tara gets the award for worst outfit ever, with that giant horizontal stripe across her stomach. What were they thinking when they put that on her? Isn't the costumer's job usually to accentuate the actors' good features, not dress them in painfully unflattering clothing? I feel sorry for Amber Benson (who, by the way, still bugs me, even if she was a tad funnier here). Overall, I liked it well enough, but I'm counting on next week to bring the average up for this pair of episodes. (7.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
February 22, 2000 3.8 88 of 132 (tie)
July 11, 2000 2.0 100 of 138 (tie)

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