Episode Reviews (23)
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This is the best episode of the season so far! My only complaints, which I'll get out of the way right away, are that the pace is a tad too slow until the end and that, even though she puts a lot of effort into gaining everyone's trust, Gwen Post's true motives still don't come as much of a surprise. Giles should have contacted the Watcher's Council for confirmation. Aside from these relatively small complaints, though, this is top-notch entertainment. We get a ton of character development, interesting dialog, and great special effects.
Putting aside Giles' lack of insight in calling the Watcher's Council, I like Gwen Post's character and her influence on everyone, especially Giles and Faith. Giles feels a bit threatened by her, mainly because she's implying he's gotten too close to his Slayer. This is something that will come up again in "Helpless" (3x12).
Faith says you can't trust guys, which echos her feelings in "Beauty and the Beasts" (3x04). In large part due to Gwen's betrayal of her later in the episode, Faith decides that now she can't trust anyone. This turns out to be incredibly important to her development. Gwen is the first piece that begins to put Faith on the dark path. She doesn't trust anyone fully anymore saying "I'm on my side, and that's enough." Buffy correctly responds, "not always," but Faith doesn't give in.
The other big event happening here involves Xander and his reaction to seeing Angel back and kissing Buffy again. This is obviously very surprising to him and his reaction is suitably worried. This leads to the fantastic 'intervention' scene with Buffy and the gang which is very well acted. I was excited to see Buffy bringing up Xander's jealousy problem as a motivating factor for his behavior. Xander is harsh, but not completely wrong, when he reminds Buffy that she didn't stop Angel from murdering Jenny Calendar in time.
The 'intervention' scene directly spills into the powerful scene where Giles explains to Buffy that she has no respect for the job he performs because she didn't come to him about Angel immediately. Giles is completely correct here, and Buffy genuinely learns from her mistake. In the future we see Buffy telling Giles her secrets a whole lot sooner and trusting that he will help her through her difficulties instead of judging her.
Gwen Post spends a ton of time in getting not only the Scoobies, but especially Faith, to trust her. This leads to Faith jumping to conclusions when Xander spills the beans on Angel's return. Faith wants to kill Angel and it makes complete sense that Xander wants in on the opportunity. This is even more evidence that Xander lied to Buffy in "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22) because he didn't want Angel resouled. To Xander's credit, though, he knew Angel didn't hurt Giles and 'attempted' to talk Faith out of rushing out blindly based on wrong assumptions to kill Angel.
I really appreciated the dialog between Buffy and Willow on secrets. Buffy admits that keeping her secret was extremely uncomfortable and didn't make what her and Angel were doing any sexier. She also reveals that she feels much better now that it's out in the open.
The special effects for the glove were fantastic. I don't love this show because of the action and effects, but when I see something that was really well done, I feel the need to point it out. The ending fight and Gwen's death scene were also incredibly exciting to watch. So all in all, this is a near perfect episode which manages to put the characters' motivations for the rest of the season in motion.moreless
A great performance from Serena Scott Thomas (when you know she's Kristin's sister the resemblance is starling). Some excellent action scenes and love the idea of the glove.
The Bad;Not much, strong ep
Post; (of Giles) There's talk in the council that you've become too American
Character death; Buffy kills Gwendoline, her first human. Faith comments that she has a problem with her authority figures who keep ending up dead. She's right, her mum, first Watcher, Post, The Mayor, Wes, Lilah and Lindsay all end up dead. If I was Giles I'd watch out (as we see in the comics...SOB!)
Knocked out; Angel, Willow, Giles and Xander which must be something of a record
Women good/men bad; Faith comments that you can't trust guys when relating her past boyfriends to Buffy.
Kinky dinky; Cordy remarks that Xander is trying to give her a lapdance. Faith's motto is 'Get some, get gone'. She refers to Buffy 'boinking the undead' which I suppose is technically necrophilla.
Calling Captain Subtext; Buffy hinting that she and Faith are 'going out' together. Doug Petrie always keen to play the lesbian angle. The scene where Faith disparages her past boyfriends to Buffy could easily be interpreted as her chatting her up whilst her antipathy to Angel could be seen as jealousy
Questions and observations;Exactly what possible use would the Labryinth maps of Malta be in Sunnydale? Does Giles know about Willow and Xander? His expression suggests he does. Note Oz doesn't say a word during the confrontation scene in the library. Personally I find little good to say about the Spartans who on the whole were a horrible bunch. Post tries to train Faith in the traditional Slayer way (like Kendra) but it's Buffy's links to humanity that actually keeps her alive. The beginning of Faith's eventual alienation. Buffy rather dresses like Jackie-O in the final scene. Really what is the point of having a glove that you can't take off even if it gives you the ability to throw lightning bolts? What's she going to do, shroud it in bandages and pretend it's a cast?
8/10 strong ep although not brilliant
If only they had more time to develop some of the ideas here more.
This episode and its successor can be argued as the end of the beginning phase of the season. With that, it could've been easy to have this change addressed in a two-parter much like "What's My Line" last season. However, the second episode's main story deserved its own episode rather than subjected as a subplot in two. Even with the good pay off moments, this episode ends up messy and a little rushed in some places.
Following Faith's first Watcher's grisly murder by Kakistos, it seemed like the council was content with having Giles perform double duty training the slayers. This episode at first appeared to answer what the process is for getting a new Watcher to a slayer, but that wasn't the case with the twist. They would deal with that, but later in the season.
There is a critical story flaw: wouldn't Giles' have known Gwendolyn was no longer a part of the Watcher's Council if she was fired a few years ago? It is pre Google, Facebook and Wikipedia, but why didn't he contact the Council (or vice versa) to make sure everything was proper? It should've been more appropriate to have her still be a Council member, but hiding a secret agenda in obtaining the glove.
Faith's estrangement from the group becomes more tangible in this episode. As it's been hinted, she didn't have support before she became a slayer, so making friends with Buffy made up for that. However, Gwendolyn plants doubt about her position in the gang. Not including her in the intervention, while it might've been appropriate since she wasn't around, sends a message that could be read that the gang doesn't accept her as one of them. The problem is that this trust between Gwendolyn and Faith isn't earned enough to make this move as profound as it needs to be. Gwendolyn doesn't have time to take Faith under her wing, nor does she have a similar personality which would win Faith over.
The biggest sign of Faith's lack of empathy occurs en route to killing Angel with Xander. While Xander is motivated by his jealousy (and maybe a little interested in Faith), he backs up when he finds Giles seriously hurt and holds back to get him an ambulance. However Faith doesn't think twice about leaving him to die, using slayer duties as an excuse. Buffy wouldn't make the choice to sacrifice someone like that for the sake of the kill, another representation of Faith as the Slayer Buffy wouldn't allow herself to be. Faith isn't completely lost though, as she seemed to reach out to Buffy, albeit very briefly in the end, but clearly there are dark times ahead for her until she can reach out to others.
Besides her relationship with Faith, Gwendolyn's motivations about getting the glove (besides wanting to blow stuff up with lightning) are never fully explained. Unfortunately the Lagos demon is wasted as well, barely a blip before Buffy dispatches him. Another episode could've fleshed this out more.
Short term, Gwendolyn does very well in challenging the Giles and Buffy relationship. Obviously they have grown close like a father and daughter, but Giles' job is to train her to kill demons and vampires. While there have been some minor tensions since Buffy came back, he doesn't start to question her judgment until this episode. Once Angel's return comes out in the least comfortable manner possible, Gwendolyn's criticism gains considerable weight.
The intervention is how the catharsis in "Dead Man's Party" should've played out. Each of the characters' reactions reflect who they are, instead of them acting inconsiderately to create a scene with awkward fighting. Giles is betrayed that she would place above him the man who murdered his love and then tortured him for kicks. People will assume Xander's motivations will always been driven by his jealousy rather than what's right. Having the characters bring that out in the open made for great drama. It's also good to show that they haven't forgotten what Jenny's death did to the group and Giles in particular. It's surprising no one considered maybe Buffy lied about sending Angel to hell since they don't know how he returned. Of course, Willow's going to be sympathetic towards Buffy's predicament as she's in a similar jam. With Buffy in the dog house, she's not likely to come clean about it anytime soon. It's a shame it gets resolved by the end of the episode.
There are some problems that hinder the episode's climax. The Faith and Buffy fight had too many shots where it was clear the stunt people were on camera rather than the actresses. Obviously the stunt people do the more dangerous moves, but they've done better at hiding that. This fight is a key moment: the first between Buffy & Faith, but the impact is diminished because of poor editing.
Then there's the end, where Buffy slices off Gwendolyn's arm, causing the heavens to vaporize her. It's more the method than the amputation itself that's awkward. Is it possible for even a sharp shard of glass to slice off someone's arm that way? Cutting through the flesh would work, but I think that it'd have to be faster than anything Buffy could throw would cut bone clean off. If only Lagos' axe was still handy.
This may be one of the few instances where Buffy shows bruising after a fight. Considering the routine beatings, it's shocking that that didn't happen more often, but with the story, perhaps keeping it was meant to be metaphorical for the pain Faith is in being unable to trust anyone.
Overall this episode needed some expansion to make some of the moments too rushed to be really effective. Unfortunately they had a bigger idea for what device they would use for the other key turning points at this point in the season. Regardless, what follows this episode and where the characters go in the rest of the season make up for the faults in the road getting there.moreless
Revelations was an outstanding episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This story sets future events into motion especially with Faith. I think this episode is where she really stopped trying and stopped caring about people who only betray or disappoint her. There was a little gang intervention for Buffy after Zander witnessed her and Angel kissing. There were truely a lot of revelations in this episode. It was a very unique story and has key moments essential to the Buffy Experience. I really look forward to seeing what happens in the next episodes to follow. The characters pull you in to their world and make you feel as though you have a stake. Intended.moreless
Season 3, Episode 7.
Faith is put under the care of a new watcher, Gwendolyn Post, a proper Englishwoman. Xander discovers Buffy and Angel kissing and informs everyone, which causes them to express their concerns for her.
First off, I hated one fact of this episode. The fact that everyone disliked Buffy for not telling them about Angel when it wasn't their business and they shouldn't have ambushed Buffy like that. She knows what she's doing and her love life isn't their business. Eliza Dushku looked so different in the '90s as compared to when she did in Tru Calling or at the end of Buffy. Cool episode.moreless
Xander learns a secret.
I love the intervention that is done in this episode between the gang, all of their reactions are hilarious and I love how Xander just jumps to all the worst conclusions. I think Giles's anger is really well placed because Buffy really does think that she can do whatever she wants when it concerns Angel. Willow's "I" statement speech is great as well and shows her playing the middle ground. Faith's new watcher also brings problems as she isn't as good as she pretends to be and all of her efforts to show up Giles end up with her being evil. Faith going to kill Angel also plays out very well and sets up their tumultuous relationship.moreless
a new watcher comes to town and the scoobies found out about angel. how much more drama can u get?
this episode is great when the gang found out about angel coming back and faith feeling left out.this episode was a bit shocking. here we can see how much xander hate angel. also a new (evil) watcher came to town and is actually smarter than giles. makes me wonder just how dum giles is compare to the other council members as the new watcher cant be very smart to meddle in dark magics. even though xander hated angel, he didn't wanted angel to die. he told where faith went ahen buffy asked. he could have not tell and angel most probably would have die. its funny how all the gang trusted the new wacher so much. just show how gullible we all are.moreless
Don't Mention This Intervention
Revelations-Xander finds out about Angel's return to Sunnydale and promptly informs the gang who confront Buffy with the fear that he may turn evil again. Meanwhile Faith finds herself under the wing of a new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post, a prim and proper Englishwoman who seems to be intent on showing up Giles at every turn.
An episode that excels by bringing tense to the core gang once again as the revelation of Angel's return becomes known to them. The whole cast does an exceptional job as each has a vaired reaction to the news that Angels back as well as Buffy lieing to them. Xander becomes a **** once again by acting Buffy about how she be so careless after what happened with Angel before. Actually, Xander's undying hatred toward Angel is at it's most extreme as he becomes quite cold during this hour even gettiing Faith involved as they both team up to kill Angel. Willow is divided on the matter wanting to understand both sides. Giles is angry, confused and ultimately dissappointed in Buffy for keeping such a secret from him after what Angelus put him through. But the error amoung everyone's logic is that Angel and Angelus are 2 different people. Angel was not responsible for his actions when he had no soul, especially as he had no choice in the matter.
The center plot is watchable and the appearence of Gwendolyn Post was entertaining. Her scenes with Giles were quite funny yet it was obvious her intentions would end of being evil mid-way through the episode. The best past of the storyline is how Faith gets more screentime and some ncie little development as the new slayer on block feels she is the outsider among her new allies in Sunnydale. There were also some great fight scenes like the one with Buffy and Lagos in the cemetary as well as Buffy and Faith's fight at the mansion. I mean, we've seen slayers fight each before, but never for this long and intense. The fight choregraphy was excellent throughout that sequence. The special effects were stunning as Gwendoylne Post uses the Glove of Mynagon to summon lightning and shoots it at any target she aims at. All and All, a great episode with intense scenes, top notch fights and special effects that are pure eye-candy.moreless
I don't like Faith's new watcher. She's horrid.
I think Willow and Xander need to discuss this whole “thing” that’s between them before something terrible happens. In the beginning it’s funny, but will only go downhill from there. Buffy’s timing and Faith’s timing into the Scooby’s conversation was so good. Synchronized slaying, that’s a new one. I don’t like Miss Post and clearly I was right. I feel bad for Faith. The Fates Above really have it in for her when it comes to watchers. I really think the Scoobies should have let Buffy have her say. There was too much jumping-to-conclusions especially when Giles was found in his office. At least they stopped Post from killing them all.moreless
An episode which only really warrants a "meh..." reply if asked about it, Revelations is essentially a masterclass in character assassination, irritating stereotypes and lazy dialogue, with only a couple of scenes that could be considered great.
Gwendolyn Post is a stereotypical British bad guy, and Serena Scott Thomas' OTT performance is something pretty Charmed-worthy. Her dialogue also plain sucked, from the overuse of phrases like "knackered", her obsession with tea, and the way she put the letter 'l' into everything (creating words like "Amelican" etc.). She was obviously put in the episode to be hated (since her ridiculing of Giles is hardly going to create fans for her), but there's a difference between "love to hate" and "plain hate", and Gwendolyn is always stuck in the latter, being mostly irritating.
Despite that, I did like the Glove of Myhnegon. The special effects were awesome, and I loved how it locked onto Gwendolyn's wrist. The way Buffy sliced it off (arm and all) with the shard of glass was also pretty inventive, making a decent change from the usual "behead-it, stab-it, stake-it" hooey.
On the non-demonic front, I doubt anybody will leave the episode without some sense of hatred toward Xander. His reaction to Angel's return (to run and tell everybody) was completely unnecessary, whilst his mean-spirited baiting of Buffy wasn't fun to watch. Like Buffy said, his reaction fully stemmed from his jealousy of their relationship, and, like whenever Angel is involved, he turned into a complete jerk, eventually getting Faith to do his dirty work. Faith can hardly be blamed for what she's done though. Just like Buffy when she first became a slayer, she only knows the black and white of monsters (read: monsters are bad and must be killed), whilst Buffy has already discovered the gray area, which Angel obviously fits into. But Xander, on the other hand, should know better...
Whilst the episode moved most storylines along (as well as making Faith even more untrustworthy than she already is), Revelations was pretty much disappointing, especially after the awesome two episodes preceding it.
Director: James A Contner
Writer: Douglas Petrie