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THIS YEAR'S GIRL (ep #4.15)

(a.k.a. Wakey-Wakey, Faithy)

Written by: Doug Petrie
Directed by: Michael Gershman
Starring: 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 Starring: Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
Bailey Chase as Graham Miller
Chet Grissom as Detective Clark
Alastair Duncan as Collins
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
Eliza Dushku as Faith
Co-Starring: Jeff Richetts 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

Plot Summary

Faith woke from her coma and plotted revenge against Buffy.

Plot Details

The episode started with Buffy and Faith making a bed once again. Faith talked about "little sis" coming, but Buffy had to go. Faith suggested that she just go, then Faith started bleeding on the bed. She then asked Buffy if Buffy will ever pull the knife out. We then see Faith in the hospital with thunder and lightning overhead.

Xander was trying to figure out how to use the defective taser gun when Willow suggested experimentation. Both Giles and Xander were against it. While the gun was electrocuting Xander, Buffy talked about how she had been patrolling around the clock for the past three days and was worried about Riley.

Meanwhile, Riley struggled to get up and out of his room. Forrest was proud that Riley was able to get up but did not like the idea that Riley would go to Buffy.

Faith dreamed about being on a picnic with Mayor Wilkins. He said that he was not worried about rain and noticed a little snake on the blanket. As he set the snake aside, Buffy arrived with Faith's knife and killed Wilkins. Faith simply crawled away.

Buffy, Willow, and Xander went patrolling. They saw evidence that Adam had seen The Silence of the Lambs via a flayed demon that was put on display. Back in Xander's basement, Buffy came up with a plan to break into the initiative to find Riley, but Riley interrupted.

Faith had another dream. In this one, she was fleeing through a cemetery as Buffy marched slowly toward her carrying the knife. Faith fell into a newly dug grave. Buffy jumped in after. After a brief off-screen struggle, Faith climbed out and did a Shawshank Redemption homage.

Faith then woke up. She wandered out into the hall and ran into another patient. Faith wanted to get to graduation but was told that it was far too late. In the next shot, we saw Faith walking out of the hospital wearing the other patient's clothes.

A nurse explained to a doctor and a detective that she arrived and found that Faith's bed was empty. An orderly reported that another patient was found beaten and stripped. As the doctor and detective left, the nurse called in a team.

Faith looked in the window at Giles's apartment as Buffy, Riley, Willow, Xander, and Giles met. While there, someone called for Buffy to say that Faith had escaped. As much as they hated the distraction, everyone agreed that finding Faith was a top priority, except from Riley who did not know who Faith was. There was also a discussion on what to do with Faith. The police, the Watchers Council, and the Initiative were all rejected.

Willow and Buffy discussed what Buffy told Riley about Faith when they ran into the person they were talking about, and I do not mean Riley. Faith was ready for payback from being stabbed. She and Buffy had a fight until the police interrupted.

Willow and Tara went on Faith hunt during the day. At night, Xander and Giles went out. Xander was fantasizing about how important his having sex with Faith was to her. They came across Spike, who was very interested in learning all he could about Faith. In fact, he promised to find her and sic her on them.

The nurse waited outside the hospital as a helicopter arrived. Three men came out and marched toward her. Meanwhile, a demon approached Faith with a message. She promptly killed him and took the envelope that he was carrying.

In a pawn shop, she played the videotape inside. It was from Mayor Wilkins. He was pessimistic about the likelihood of succeeding in his ascension. Despite what the doctors said, he knew that she would wake up and was worried about what would happen to her. He provided her with what looked like a small mechanical device that would help her.

Faith decided to pay Joyce a visit. Faith promptly knocked her unconscious. Faith taunted Joyce with the fact that Buffy had not visited home very often that year until Buffy burst through the window and attacked Faith.

The two of them proceeded to wreak Buffy's house while trading insults. As the police were arriving, Faith put on the mechanical device that the Mayor gave her. She gripped hands with Buffy and set off a sound effect. Someone who looked like Faith suddenly got confused as someone who looked like Buffy punched her out. The person who looked like Buffy smashed the device and said that she was "Five by five."

The Good

It is good to see old faces like Eliza Dushku, Harry Groener, and Kristine Sutherland again.

There was more energy in this episode than there had been in the last two episodes, despite the fact that they were more central to the season arc.

The Bad

Faith's dreams started to get redundant, as if they were there to fill time.

Overall Rank: 49

Action: 6

Buffy and Faith had a brief fight at UC Sunnydale.

They had another fight in Buffy's home.

Comedy: 1

Spike offered to sic Faith on Xander and Giles.

Drama: 6

Faith had to face a world very different from what she expected (but very similar to the one she left behind.)

Faith was able to taunt Joyce with the fact that Joyce had barely seen Buffy over the past year.

Romance: 2

Buffy and Riley had one or two tender scenes.

Character Development: 7

Faith seems to view Buffy as a figure of menace and herself as an innocent victim. She now appears to be in Buffy's body.

Mayor Wilkins was not that confident that he would prevail in his ascension. He set up a plan to protect Faith in that event.

Riley appears to be willing to serve as a double agent between Buffy and the Initiative.

Willow does not think too highly of Faith.

Tara seems impressed by Willow's involvement in slaying.

Buffy had seen very little of her mother in the past few months. She also appears to be in Faith's body.

Importance: 5

Most of the importance from this episode is in setting up the next episode.

Most Valuable Player: Faith

Faith succeeded at finding a place for herself, even if it was in a different body.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Mayor Wilkins

Buffy figured out Riley's innocent face and, eventually, that Faith would try to go after Joyce. Faith figured out that Buffy had not seen much of her mother that year. Mayor Wilkins gets a posthumous award for coming up with a plan to provide a place in the world for Faith even after Wilkins was gone.

Goat of the Week: Nobody

Buffy is the only possible contender. She probably should have done more to protect her mother. However, there was no reason for her to know that Faith would try to switch bodies with her.


Many wonder why Faith was not restrained and did not have a police guard. In "Graduation Day, Part 2," the doctor said that there was no way that Faith would ever wake up because he did not know that she was a slayer or what it meant to be a slayer. There is no point in cuffing a woman who will never be conscious.

DVD Extras

Commentary by Writer Doug Petrie spent a bit too much time explaining what we could figure out based on watching this episode and previous episodes. There are spoilers through the middle of the fifth season. Insights include:

Memorable Dialogue

"It's called a blaster, Will, a word that tends to discourage experimentation. Now, if it were called the orgasminator, I'd be the first to try you basic button-press approach." Xander

"A giant skewer through the rib cage hurt me. That was just a reminder." Riley

"That's great, Riley, and there's no polite way to ask you this, but did they put a chip in your brain?" Xander

"Tell you what, you two crazy kids take down an unstoppable killer cyber-demon hybrid thingy, and we'll call it even." Willow

"I'd hate to see the pursuit of a homicidal lunatic get in the way of pursuing a homicidal lunatic." Xander

"I have an idea, beat the crap out of her." Willow

"Ass kicking makes a solid plan B." Willow

"Who's Faith?" Riley

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

"Payback's a bitch." Faith
"Look who's talking." Willow

"You said 'recon.' You're like cool monster fighter." Tara

"Tell you what I'll do then. Head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, and then watch as she kills you. Can't any one of your damned little Scooby club at least try to remember that I hate you all? Just because I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way. And here I thought the evening would be dull." Spike

"Were you planning to slit my throat any time soon?" Joyce

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Unusual Pairings

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 23, 2012