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Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Slayer Collection: Faith DVD Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Slayer Collection: Faith

June 4, 2002

Director: Michael Lange, Michael Gershman, Joss Whedon,
Starring: Eliza Dushku, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, James Marsters, Harry Groener, ,

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DVD Review

Buffy fans will appreciate these new DVDs that showcase selected episodes concentrating on our favourite characters.

Diehard fans will probably already own the full boxsets, but if you haven’t been able to afford a whole season, or are a new devotee to the show, then this is your chance for a piece of the action. 20th Century Fox are releasing a new selection of Buffy with four episodes per DVD. So if your favourite character on the show is, say, Willow, then you can buy the DVD with four of her best storylines. The same goes for Buffy, Angel, Spike and of course Faith, which we’ll look at here.

The Episodes:

Bad Girls

One of the seminal episodes from arguably the strongest season (three) has new slayer Faith having a bad influence on Buffy. They have fun going to clubs, stealing weapons – but then things take a turn for the worse when Faith accidentally kills a man during a fight. Killing vampires is one thing, but killing human beings is still a big no-no. Faith tries to cover up the murder, unwilling to accept the moral consequences of her actions, and in essence turning to the dark side. Buffy realises she’s been behaving irresponsibly and tries to get Faith to own up to Giles.

Consequences

The second part of the Bad Girls storyline continues with the body being discovered and the police launching an investigation at the behest of resident Big Bad, Mayor Wilkins. Buffy finally breaks and reveals to Giles what happened with Faith, who, after being interrogated by Angel, is snatched by the Watcher Council. She escapes and turns to the only person who seems to be able to offer her security – the Mayor.

These two episodes show us what might have happened to Buffy if she had used her powers for selfish reasons rather than to help people. It’s a morality lesson, but Faith is never dismissed as just being an evil person. The writers show that underneath it all she’s really just an insecure person crying out for help.

Graduation Day, Part One

The Mayor is preparing to transform into a giant snake at the graduation ceremony at Sunnydale High (don’t ask), and to keep Buffy distracted, he has Faith shoot Angel with a poisoned arrow. Things get even worse when the Scooby gang discover the only thing that can save him is the blood of a slayer. So Buffy confronts Faith in an attempt to use her blood to revive Angel.

This is the penultimate episode of season three and shows how deep Faith has turned to the other side, attacking people who were once her friends because it’s the only thing she knows how to do. If there are no rules, then she won’t get hurt again.

Who Are You?

One of the better episodes of a weak season four, in which Faith has awoken from her coma and switched bodies with Buffy. Buffy is taken away in Faith’s body to face punishment from the Watcher’s Council for killing a human, while Faith uses Buffy’s body to her own advantage. At first she has fun abusing Buffy’s persona, teasing Spike and the rest of the gang, but things get complicated when she gets a taste of what might have been if she hadn’t turned bad. Her conscience gets the better of her when a group of vampires hold people hostage in a church, and she goes to their aid only to be confronted by Buffy, who has escaped from her captors…

Dushku and Gellar have a whale of a time impersonating each other, right down to their individual little quirks such as Gellar pronouncing ‘About’ as ‘Aboot’ in Dushku’s faint Canadian twang. This is the best episode on this disc, somehow managing to be very dark and very funny in equal measure. “You can’t do that,” Faith tells herself in the mirror as Buffy, “Because it’s wrong. I’ll kick your ass!”

Special Features:

A short featurette gives some background about Faith’s character, with interviews from Eliza Dushku and the show’s writers. There is also a promo trailer for Buffy/Angel boxsets, but that’s your lot. If you want more in-depth stuff you should buy the full seasons on DVD.

 

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 85%

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