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Who Are You? (ep #4.16)

(a.k.a. Being Buffy Summers)

Written by: Joss Whedon
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Faith
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
George Hertzberg as Adam
Chet Grissom as Detective Clark
Alastair Duncan as Collins
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Eliza Dushku as Buffy Summers
Co-Starring: Rick Stear as Boone
Jeff Ricketts as Weatherby
Kevin Owers as Smith
Amy Powell as Reporter
Rick Scarry as Sergeant
Jennifer S. Albright as Date

Plot Summary

Faith tried to impersonate Buffy long enough to leave town.

Plot Details

[Note: all references to Faith and Buffy refer to the characters themselves rather than the characters normally played by the actors. This may seem obvious, but it gets complicated. Just remember that the other characters think that Buffy is Faith and Faith is Buffy.]

The paramedics wheeled Buffy out of her house and told Joyce that Buffy would go to jail and be tried for Faith's crimes. Faith objected to being called a "kid" but managed to cover for herself saying that she was simply strong.

After the police and paramedics left, Joyce wondered what caused Faith to be that way. Faith simply suggested that she just liked being bad. Faith even fantasized about a fellow inmate molesting Buffy, but Joyce was upset at that notion.

Faith went upstairs and decided to take a bath in order to tease the males in the audience. Unfortunately, this was one of the bubble baths that seem to occur only on television and PG rated films, so we just got a couple shots of her legs. Afterward, she did a loose homage to the "You talkin' to me" scene in Taxi Driver.

At the hospital, a very upset Buffy struggled against doctors saying that she needed to get home to her mother. The doctors had to sedate her. Meanwhile, Willow was hiding with Tara wishing that Faith would just do something. Willow felt safe there because nobody else knew that Tara existed, which hurt Tara a little. Willow recovered by saying that she liked having someone apart from the others.

Faith tried on some of Buffy's clothes and found a set that she considered to be acceptable. She was very excited to find that Buffy had a passport and used a credit card to buy a plane ticket out of the country. Meanwhile, the police were transporting Buffy when an armored truck cut off the police car. In the ensuing accident, the police officers were knocked out so they could not stop the three men from the armored truck from kidnapping Buffy.

Giles told the others that the council sent a wetworks team to retrieve Faith, which greatly amused her. Faith pretended to be relieved that they were out of danger, until Giles brought up a threat unfamiliar to Faith, namely Adam. Faith promised to do Buffy's job.

To Faith, doing Buffy's job meant going to the Bronze and dancing with as many men as possible. While there, she ran into another unfamiliar face, Spike. Faith eventually realized that he was a vampire and took the opportunity to mess with him a bit.

Four vampires arrived at their nest only to find Adam. The leader sent a minion to kill Adam, but Adam easily removed the minion's head. The leader was happy to let Adam have the place, but Adam wanted to talk with them instead.

Willow brought Tara to the Bronze and was very surprised to see someone who looked like Buffy there rather than patrolling. Willow took the opportunity to introduce Tara to her. Willow went off to fetch water, which gave Faith the opportunity to be very mean to a vulnerable target, not realizing what that target was capable of.

Willow returned to point out a vampire that was leading a woman out of the Bronze. At first, Faith just watched until she realized that Willow expected her to slay him. She went outside and easily staked him. The victim was very thankful.

Buffy was chained inside the armored vehicle, which was hidden in a warehouse. She managed to grab Smith, one of the three on the wetworks team, and threatened to kill him if they did not let her go. Collins, the leader of the team, was content with letting Buffy do so. Buffy simply threw Smith out rather than kill him.

For some reason, Tara wanted to leave the Bronze. In her room, she told Willow that the person they saw was not Buffy. Instead, it looked like Buffy was possessed or something. Tara pulled out a spell that would allow Willow to find the real Buffy and see what was happening.

Before leaving the Bronze, Willow slipped a mention of Riley to Faith, which gave Faith an idea. When Faith went to visit Riley, he was interested in sex but was not really comfortable with any of Faith's kinks. Instead, he wanted to have sex as if it were with the person he actually thought he was about to have sex with.

Tara and Willow cast their spell. It involved some chanting, a circle of special effect lights coming from their hands, and some panting—all to romantic music. Eventually, the circle of light rose. Willow reclined backwards, arched her back, and moaned.

Adam was busy preaching to the vampires. He concluded that, unlike any human or demon, he knew his purpose in life: to kill. He wanted the vampires to be his first disciples and to let the world know that he was coming.

Faith was uncomfortable with the fact that Riley made love to her rather than #^(&ed her. The next morning, she noticed that her plane out of the country was to leave in about 95 minutes, so she left, with only a slight delay to trade words with Forrest.

The Watchers Council could not get clearance to take a prisoner out of the country, so Collins was ordered to kill Buffy, despite Smith's protest. However, Collins was dumb enough to put the gun where Buffy could get at it and use it to escape.

Buffy burst into Giles's apartment to try to explain what happened. He was not inclined to believe that someone who looked just like Faith was really Buffy until Buffy started to bring up what happened twice on the hood of a police car in "Band Candy." Giles was not sure what to believe when Willow and Tara burst in to say that Faith and Buffy switched bodies. Tara had created a katra that would switch them back if Buffy managed to find Faith.

Xander called to say that there was a news report about vampires taking over church services. At the airport, Faith watched the same report. Riley, who was conveniently late for church, took command. When Faith showed up, he was not inclined to let her in without backup, but she was not inclined to listen.

Faith started to fight the vampires when Giles, Buffy, Willow, and Tara showed up. Giles managed to distract the police to allow Buffy the chance to get to the church. Inside, Faith started to take on the vampires. She staked one and another fled outside. Even though Riley was still wounded from his injury in "Goodbye, Iowa," he was still able to take its blanket away and toss the vampire into sunlight.

Inside, the parishioners were able to flee, leaving just Faith and the lead vampire. It had Faith pinned until it turned to dust, revealing Buffy with a stake. Buffy was wearing the face that Faith now hated the most, so they started to fight. Buffy used Faith's strategy from the previous episode and let Faith beat up on her. She then pulled out the katra that Tara made and switched back.

Buffy tried to explain what happened to Riley. Both were quite upset when they realized that Riley slept with Faith. There was no trace of Faith, who was taking a freight train out of town. The wetworks team had also disappeared.

The Good

In a couple of episodes, I summed up what was good as "Alyson Hannigan." In this episode, I can sum it up with "Sarah Michelle Gellar." Except for Alyson Hannigan in "Doppelgangland," this may be the best performance of the entire show.

There was a time when, for some reason, I wondered whether Amber Benson and Eliza Dushku ever shared any scenes on Buffy. I immediately thought of the scene in which Faith ripped into Tara and talked about how Willow was not driving stick anymore. It was much later when I realized that Faith and Tara shared that scene, but Amber Benson was with Sarah Michelle Gellar, not Eliza Dushku. It was even later when I remembered that that Amber Benson did share a scene with Eliza Dushku in Giles's apartment. By then, I had completely forgotten why I wondered that in the first place.

My point is that I so completely bought the idea that the skinny blonde woman that we saw for most of the episode was Faith, even though Faith is a bit more curvy and a brunette. It is one thing to play a character that the actor helped create. The actor can add some of her or his own style. It is much harder to play a precreated character that has some other actor's style. Even though she played no role in the creation of Faith, Sarah Michelle Gellar was able to play her flawlessly.

It is also a comment on how well Eliza Dushku played Buffy. She did not have the screen time that Sarah Michelle Gellar did, so she did not have Gellar's opportunity to show her stuff. However, Eliza Dushku's performance in this episode is one of the best supporting performances on the show.

The Bad

The season arc had to be put on hold in order to do this two-part episode. It probably would have been better to put it earlier in the season.

Overall Rank: 36

Action: 4

Faith easily staked a vampire outside the Bronze.

With a little more effort Faith, Buffy, and Riley defeated the vampires in the church.

Comedy: 5

Faith had a bit of fun trying on her new body in the mirror.

She had more fun harassing Spike and Tara in the Bronze.

Giles distracted the police officer enough to get Buffy into the church.

Drama: 6

The episode focused on Faith coming to terms with the fact that Buffy had been a better person than Faith was.

Romance: 8

The interactions between Willow and Tara barely have any "sub" in the text, particularly when Tara declared herself to be Willow's and when the two of them "cast a spell" that left Willow breathless and moaning.

Furthermore, Faith noted that Willow was no longer "driving stick" and knew that mentioning Oz would hurt Tara.

Xander and Anya had a romantic evening planned.

Faith seduced Riley.

Character Development: 9

Faith went through a major transformation in this episode. She started the episode thinking that Buffy was far too preachy about morality. Faith's only concern was to have a bit of fun and get out of the country. However, she grew to like being Buffy and, in turn, hate herself. She learned that there are men who truly love women and are interested in more than sex games. She learned that a good deed is its own reward. She also has Spike's ability to see things in people that others do not.

Willow had wanted to keep Tara to herself and not involve her with Willow's other friends. She completely trusts Tara, even in risky spells. According to Faith, Willow is no longer "driving stick."

Tara is a little hurt at being kept from the other characters, but she does consider herself to be Willow's.

Giles apparently resembles a stevedore in at least one activity.

Importance: 5

Faith is at large and more morally ambiguous than she has been since "Consequences."

Adam started recruiting followers.

Buffy and Riley have to deal with Faith sleeping with Riley through deception.

Most Valuable Player: Tara

In addition to everything that she did to earn the Sherlock Holmes Award, Tara also helped guide Willow during the spell and created the homemade katra for Buffy. Faith gets credit for rescuing the people in the church and Buffy gets credit for rescuing Faith and for successfully getting her body back.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Tara

Tara figured out that the person in Buffy's body was not Buffy and knew the spell that she and Willow used. Willow gets credit for figuring out the specifics.

Goat of the Week: Collins

Collins gets the Goat for capturing the wrong slayer and for letting her get away.

Random Commentary

I assume that Willow and Tara's spell caused Willow to seek the real Buffy out. It would have been interesting if she found Buffy's body in the mean time, considering what Faith was doing with it.


For those, like Buffy, who do not know, a stevedore is a dock worker. Buffy's statement does raise the question of exactly how does Joyce know what a stevedore is like during sex?

DVD Extras

Original Script is the usual for those who wish to read Buffy rather than watch it.

Memorable Dialogue

"A little stint in the pokey, show her the error of her ways. I'm sure there's some big old Bertha just waiting to shower her ripe little self with affection." Faith

"Why yes, I would be Buffy. May I help you? Buf-fy. You can't do that. It's wrong. You can't do that because it's naughty. Because it's wrong. Because it's wrong. You can't do that. It's wrong. I'll kick your ass. I'm gonna kill you." Faith

"Tara, it's not like I don't want my friends to know you. It's just, well, Buffy's like my best friend. She's really special, and there's this whole bunch of us, and we sort of have this group thing that revolves around the slaying, and I really want you to meet them, but I just kind of like having something that's just, you know, mine." Willow

"I am, you know." Tara
"What?" Willow
"Yours." Tara

"We kind of have a romantic evening planned." Xander
"We were gonna light a bunch of candles and have sex near them." Anya
"Well, we certainly don't want to cut into that seven minutes." Faith

"You know why I really hate you, Summers?" Spike
"'Cause I'm a stuck-up tight-ass with no sense of fun?" Faith
"Well, yeah, that covers a lot of it." Spike
"'Cause I could do anything I want, and instead, I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean, I could be rich. I could be famous. I could have anything, anyone, even you, Spike. I could ride you at a gallop until your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up. I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of. I could squeeze you until you popped like warm champagne, and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more, and you know why I don't? Because it's wrong." Faith

"So Willow's not driving stick anymore. Who would have thought? I guess you never really know someone until you've been inside their skin. And Oz is out of the picture? Oh, never seen two people so much in love. She just couldn't get enough of old Oz." Faith

"We'll get together with Buffy another time, sometime soon. I think you'll really like her." Willow
"She's not your friend." Tara
"I may have overestimated the you liking her factor." Willow

"A person's energy has a flow, a unity. Buffy's was fragmented. It grated, like something forced in where it doesn't belong. Plus she was... She was kind of mean." Tara

"You didn't sense a hyena energy at all, did you? Because hyena energy is just unpleasant." Willow

"You wouldn't have liked Faith. She's not proper and joyless like a girl should be. She has a tendency to give in to her animal instincts." Faith

"I have a gift no man has no demon has ever had. I know why I'm here. I was created to kill, to extinguish life wherever I find it, and I have accepted that responsibility." Adam

"Ask me a question. Ask me anything." Buffy
"Who's president?" Giles
"We're checking for Buffy, not a concussion." Buffy
"Oh, yes, right..." Giles
"Oh this is... Giles, you turned into a demon, and I knew it was you. I mean, can't you just look in my eyes and be all intuitive?" Buffy
"How did I turn into a demon?" Giles
"Oh, 'cause Ethan Rayne, and you have a girlfriend named Olivia, and you haven't had a job since we blew up the school, which is valid, lifestyle-wise. I mean, it's not like you're the slacker type, but... Oh, oh, when I had psychic power, I heard my mom think that you were like a stevedore during sex. Do you want me to continue?" Buffy
"Actually, I beg you to stop." Giles

"Damn it, man we have to get inside. Our families are in there. Our mothers and tiny, tiny babies." Giles

"Man, would I like to get my hands on her, not in a sex way." Riley

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