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DIRTY GIRLS (ep #7.18)

(a.k.a. Gotta Have Faith)

Written by: Drew Goddard
Directed by: Michael Gershman
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Guest Starring: Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (Special guest star)
Eliza Dushku as Faith (Special guest star)
Nathan Fillion as Caleb (Special guest star)
Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
Iyari Limon as Kennedy
Indigo as Rona
Clara Bryant as Molly
Sarah Hagan as Amanda
Kristy Wu as Chao-Ahn
DB Woodside as Principal Wood
Co-Starring: Mary Wilcher as Shannon
Dania Ramirez as Caridad
Rachel Bilson as Colleen
Carrie Southworth as Betty
Christie Abbott as Helpless Girl

Plot Summary

A new minion of the First Evil came to town to wreak havoc.

Plot Details

The episode opened similarly to the first two episodes of the seventh season. Mysterious guys in robes, who we now know are bringers, chased a young woman (Shannon). This time, she was able to flag down a beat-up pickup truck. At first, the driver, Caleb, seemed friendly. However, he started to accuse her of being involved with devil worshippers. Soon afterward, it became clear that he has serious issues with sexuality.

Eventually, Caleb became so creepy that Shannon tried to flee, but the door was jammed. Ordinarily, this might not have been a bad thing given the speed at which they were traveling. However, Caleb decided to brand Shannon, stab her in the gut, and toss her out of the car to send a message to Buffy. Fortunately, the car behind them contained Willow and Faith, back from their L.A. adventure.

Xander's apartment was filled with sleeping potential slayers. He was in bed talking with one potential, Caridad, who was unsure if she were ready for "action." Caridad confessed that she had never been with a man. Another potential, Colleen, also confessed that she had never been with a man as well. The two potentials then said thaty they have never been with each other in front of a man either. The two of them leaned over Xander, ready to ramp up the Romance score for the episode as the camera moved toward a pillow fight in the living room. To nobody's surprise, this was a dream. Rona burst in to say that the toilet was backed up. Xander claimed that he had a leg cramp.

At the hospital, Faith and Willow talked about the potential slayers being killed and about Faith not being told about it. Faith decided to go looking for Buffy while Willow watched over Shannon.

In a local cemetery, a woman fled from a figure dressed in black. He caught up to her and knocked her unconscious. Just as he was about to finish her off, Faith came and threw Spike against a gravestone. He recognized her and tried to explain the misunderstanding. This led to further misunderstanding as Faith assumed that he assumed that she was still evil.

Buffy ended the conversation with a right to Faith's jaw. This confused Faith even further until Buffy explained that Spike had a soul and was on their side. Faith wondered why he was chasing a young woman when said young woman attacked her, this time in vamp face. Faith soon staked it.

Giles and Dawn were not happy to see Faith, although Spike suggested that there was lingering tension from "Lies My Parents Told Me." Meanwhile, at an abandoned winery, Caleb spoke with the First Evil, giving the audience a little about his background and something to think about while drinking white wine.

Sunnydale's resident storyteller gave the potential slayers a little background on Faith, including a battle with a Vulcan from Star Trek. Amanda suggested that it was really against a vulcanologist (c.f. "Graduation Day Part 1"), although Andrew did not understand why Faith would fight someone who merely studied Vulcans. Meanwhile, Chao-Ahn noticed that Faith was doing gymnastics outside.

At Sunnydale High, Buffy forgave Principal Wood for his actions in "Lies My Parents Told Me," but she made it clear that he was not to restart his vendetta against Spike. He sort of forgave her before firing her. She was not happy, but he realized that she had more important things to deal with.

Faith had enough of giggling potential slayers, so she ducked into the basement for a smoke. She found a topless Spike. She reminded him of their encounter in "Who Are You?" Apparently, he later found out that it was not Buffy who said those things, but Buffy neglected to say who did. Faith also described her time behind bars, where she had to watch movies like Glitter but, apparently, not the sixth season of Buffy.

Shannon woke from her coma. She told Buffy and Willow about Caleb. She also told Buffy Caleb's mysterious message, that he had something of hers. Buffy gathered everyone together to deliver another speech, albeit one less tiresome than usual.

At the winery, the First Evil helped Caleb re-enact some of his previous kills. Both seemed to enjoy the exercise.

The main characters gathered to discuss Buffy's plan. Giles was vehemently opposed to any attack, and Xander realized that it was a trap. However, Buffy believed that she needed to give the potentials some battle training.

First, Buffy and Faith went on a reconnaissance patrol to find Caleb's lair. Fortunately, conspicuous bringers led the slayers straight to the winery. Meanwhile, Xander delivered a pre-battle speech on how to kill the unknown, on how much Buffy cares for them, and on how the lizard that Matthew Broderick killed was not the real Godzilla. Andrew teared up when Xander was talking about Buffy, and Dawn was close to tears. Faith and Buffy heard the part on how much Buffy cared about the potentials, which greatly impressed Faith.

Buffy, Faith, Spike, and Xander led several potentials to the winery. Buffy, Spike, and five potentials entered while Xander, Faith, and two more potentials waited outside as backup. Soon, several bringers attacked. The potentials generally did well for themselves, but one bringer was about to kill Kennedy. Unfortunately, Molly saved her.

Caleb interrupted the tussle before anyone got too hurt. He and Buffy exchanged words before he smacked her across the room. Spike got angry and attacked, only to find himself flying headfirst into a large barrel of red wine.

For some reason, Kennedy decided that she could do better than Buffy and Spike. She was easily thrown aside. Rona decided to come to Kennedy's rescue, but Caleb simply broke her right arm for the trouble. Caleb gestured to a bringer to finish Rona off, but, unfortunately, a well-aimed shot from Xander stopped the bringer.

Faith attacked Caleb, but she was no more successful than Buffy, Spike, Kennedy, or Rona. After tossing Faith aside, Caleb snapped the neck of a nearby potential. Molly was shocked, so Caleb stabbed her in the gut. Unfortunately, Buffy decided to retreat before he killed any more potentials. Xander went to help Kennedy, only to have Caleb grab him. Caleb remembered the conversation between Xander and Dawn at the end of "Potential" (about Xander being the one who sees things), so Caleb decided to poke Xander's left eye out. Spike rescued Xander before Caleb could do any more damage.

In the aftermath, Buffy saw Rona, Xander, and, perhaps, a couple more potentials at the hospital. She then checked in on Kennedy being treated at the Summers home. Buffy then wandered empty streets. All this time, Caleb talked about what was to come, including a promise that he will kill all the potentials.

The Good

I loved Andrew's flashback exposition on Faith.

Buffy's speech was less tiresome than average, and Xander's and Caleb's speeches were good.

The battle was one of the best action scenes in the seventh season.

Two potential slayers have been killed.

The Bad

Rather than kill all the potential slayers, Caleb killed only two, letting about five flee the scene alive.

Overall Rank: 56

Action: 8

Faith staked a vampire in a cemetery.

Andrew's flashback description on Faith included many action scenes, including her epic battle with a Vulcan.

Buffy, Spike, Faith, Xander, and about seven potential slayers took on Caleb and some bringers.

Comedy: 4

Andrew tried to explain Faith's past to the other potential slayers, culminating in her battle with a Vulcan.

Drama: 6

Faith had to deal with a less than enthusiastic welcome while the others dealt with her presence.

It looks like there will be a severe morale problem in the next episode.

Romance: 1

Xander had a very interesting dream.

Character Development: 8

Caleb is apparently the First Evil's top minion on earth. He was responsible for, among other things, blowing up the Watchers Council and organizing bringers in their killing of potential slayers before said potentials had the opportunity to come to Sunnydale and annoy us. At one time he was a preacher, but he has abandoned Christianity for the First Evil. Even before meeting the First Evil, however, he already started killing young women. He apparently can easily handle Buffy, Spike, or Faith in a fight.

Faith is a little upset that nobody has kept her informed about the potential slayers being killed. She is willing to work for Buffy, although she is a little uncomfortable with the lack of welcome.

Xander, after seeing what Willow has been doing, is now fantasizing about a little underage action. Fortunately, unlike Willow, he does not seem to go beyond fantasizing. He understood that Caleb was setting a trap, but his faith in Buffy led him into the battle anyway. He is now missing his left eye.

Giles is not comfortable with the idea of having Faith around. He has grown a wide yellow streak down his back and was afraid of battle.

Dawn apparently received bad memories of Faith from the monks who turned her into a human.

Spike is not happy about Giles trying to have him killed.

Buffy no longer works at Sunnydale High.

Principal Wood appears ready to move past his vendetta against Spike.

Andrew has not completely given up his storytelling. He views Xander as a fellow nerd.

Kennedy was closer to the gung-ho potential she was in "Showtime" rather than the cowardly one that she was in "Bring on the Night" or the unconscientious one she was in "The Killer in Me." Her fighting skills, however, did not match up to her bravado. Rona and Xander's injuries came directly from their need to rescue Kennedy.

Importance: 8

There is a new villain in town.

Fortunately, there is also a new slayer in town.

After a battle, two potential slayers were killed and a few people were wounded, including Xander. This is likely to lead to a problem in morale.

Most Valuable Player: Caleb

Caleb gets the MVP for successfully leading Buffy into a trap in which two potential slayers were killed. The only knock against him was that he failed to kill five more potential slayers. Xander gets credit for saving Rona (unfortunately), and Spike gets credit for rescuing Xander (fortunately).

Sherlock Holmes Award: Giles

There were three candidates. Caleb came up with the plan to lure several potential slayers to the winery where they could be killed. Giles realized that an attack against Caleb would be a mistake, and Xander knew that it was a trap. Caleb got the MVP, so Giles gets this award.

Goat of the Week: Kennedy

Nobody did well against Caleb until Spike and Buffy managed to land a good blow each in the end. However, Kennedy should have known that she was outmatched when she saw what Caleb did to Buffy and Spike. Rona and Xander both had to rescue her from Caleb, leading to a broken arm for Rona and a missing eye for Xander. Furthermore, Kennedy performed the worst against the bringers, needing Molly to save her. Buffy gets a bit of consideration for leading her troops into an ambush, but she had no reason to know what Caleb was capable of doing. As a result, Nobody has clinched the title of receiving the most Goats across all seven seasons of the show.

Random Commentary

I assume that the oxygen deprivation from being inside a coffin leads to permanent brain damage in vampires. However, the vampire in the cemetery must have been one of the dumbest in the entire show. After Faith rescued it from Spike, it returned to take on Spike and two slayers. I cannot think of a single anonymous vampire who was so outmatched. At least it met the same dusty end that most other vampires meet.

DVD Extras

Commentary by Writer Drew Goddard & Nicholas Brendon ("Xander") had only two people, which made it better than many of the commentaries of the season. It probably would have been better with just Goddard as Brendon had little to say, even though he was clearly having fun. There are general spoilers through the final episode of the show. Insights include:

Memorable Dialogue

"We're on the same side." Spike
"Please, do you think I'm stupid?" Faith
"Well, yeah." Spike

"You're protecting vampires? Are you the bad slayer now? Am I the good slayer now?" Faith

"Angel's dull as a table lamp, and we have very different coloring." Spike

"Hey, got a spare bed for a wanted fugitive." Faith
[Coldly] "Hello, Faith." Giles
"Huh, I guess 'wanted' wasn't really accurate." Faith
"Does she have to stay here, because there's some nice hotels that welcome try-to-kill-your-sister types." Dawn

"Not all that tension was about you. Giles was part of a plan to kill me, for Buffy's own good." Spike
"Well, that makes me feel better about me, worse about Giles, kinda shaky about you." Faith

"I recall as a boy, though, I couldn't help but think, 'What would happen if you were at the Last Supper and you ordered the white [wine],' a nice oaky chardonnay or white zin? I mean, would he make that out of his lymph or some all?" Caleb

"Faith, her name alone invokes awe. Faith, a set of principles or beliefs upon which you're willing to devote your life. The Dark Slayer, a lethal combination of beauty, power, and death. For years and years, or, to be more accurate, months, Faith fought on the side of good, terrorizing the evil community, but, like so many tragic heroes, Faith was seduced by the lure of the dark side. She wrapped evil around her like a large, evil Mexican sarape. She became a cold-blooded killer. Nobody was immune to her trail of destruction, not friends, not family, not even the most pacifist and logical of races..." Andrew
"The hell are you talking about? I thought Faith killed a vulcanologist." Amanda
"Silly, silly, Amanda, why would Faith kill a person who studies Vulcans?" Andrew

"Should have known it wasn't Blondie behind the wheel. She'd never throw down like that." Faith
"Oh, you have been away." Spike

"We've got a new player in town. Dresses like a preacher; calls himself Caleb. Looks like he's working for the First. He's taunting us, calling us out, says he's got something of mine. Could be another girl; could be something else. Don't know. Don't care. I'm tired of talking. I'm tired of training. He's got something of mine? Fine, I'm getting it back, and you guys, coming with me." Buffy

"Remember, we're looking for killing blows only, people; so chest and throat if it's a vampire; stomach, chest, and face if it's a Bringer." Xander
"What if it's something else?" Rona
"Could happen, something otherworldly. Here's a handy rule: Don't go for the flash tentacles just because they're waving them about, trying to get attention. Go for the center: brain, heart, eyes. Everything's got eyes." Xander
"Except the bringers." Dawn
"Except the bringers." Xander

"I don't care if it's Godzilla. I wanna get in this thing." Kennedy
"Godzilla is mostly Tokyo-based, so he's probably a no-show." Andrew
"Besides, Matthew Broderick can kill Godzilla. How tough is he?" Amanda
[Desperate] "Xander?" Andrew
"Matthew Broderick did not kill Godzilla. He killed a big, dumb lizard that was not the real Godzilla." Xander

"I've been through more battles with Buffy than you all can ever imagine. She's stopped everything that's ever come up against her. She's laid down her life, literally, to protect the people around her. This girl has died two times, and she's still standing. You're scared? That's smart. You got questions? You should, but you doubt her motives, you think Buffy is all about the kill, then you take the little bus to battle. I've seen her heart, and, this time, not literally, and I'm telling you right now, she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She's earned it." Xander
"Damn, I never knew you were that cool." Faith

"Now, it's a simple story. Stop me if you've heard it. I have found, and truly believe, that there's nothing so bad, it cannot be made better with a story, and this one's got a happy ending. There once was a woman, and she was foul, like all women, for Adam's rib was dirty, just like Adam himself, for what was he, but human, but this woman, she was filled with darkness, despair, and why? Because she did not know; she could not see. She didn't know the good news, the glory that was coming? That'd be you, for the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. You show up; they'll get in line, because they followed her, and all they have to do is take one more step, and I'll kill them all. See, I told you it had a happy ending." Caleb

Characters in Peril


Faith and Buffy do not get any additional credit for kills during Andrew's flashback, not even for the Vulcan. Caleb does not get credit for "killing" the First Evil posing as a previous victim, although he will get retroactive credit for blowing up the Watchers Council.

Evil Escaped

Departed Characters Remembered

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 January 12, 2013