Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 15


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 16, 1999 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
551 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When Faith refuses to face up to the consequences of her actions, Buffy tries to get help from Giles and Angel. When Xander goes to confront Faith alone, however, he may be biting off more than he can chew.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Consequences

    This is a really strong episode which digs into the Buffy and Faith issues a whole lot more thoroughly and successfully than in "Bad Girls" (3x14). I don't understand why the episode is called consequences though, because there aren't really any of those to be seen here; they are yet to come. Although on first thought not much happens, it's quite the opposite. A lot of big stuff happens in this episode, most notably Faith hooking up with the Mayor. The fact that the writers were able to make this revelation believable is something really astonishing and really says a lot about how well thought out and developed this season's themes are.

    The dream sequence in the beginning of the episode has a bit of significance. I take it as meaning that Buffy is 'drowning' in fear over what she was a part of. This interpretation is backed up when Buffy tells Faith later on that she feels "Dirty. Like something sick creeped inside you and you can't get it out. And you keep hoping that it was just some nightmare, but it wasn't." Buffy is being very open about her feelings with Faith, but for whatever reason (wouldn't it be interesting to see Faith's story of becoming a Slayer?) Faith is closed off and will not accept responsibility for what she did and allow herself to feel remorse. She's repressing her emotions which is rarely good, especially for as long as Faith appears to have been doing it.

    I'm very pleased that Buffy and Faith found out that the Mayor's involved in some dirty business at this point in the season. I'm also pleased to see Faith giving Buffy a nugget of remorse over what happened while digging around the Deputy Mayor's office. What's even more interesting than all of that, though, is the speech between the two girls about showing one's real face. Faith says, "It doesn't matter what kind of vibe you get off a person. 'Cause nine times out of ten, the face they're showing you is not the real one." Buffy wisely throws that right back in her face when she replies, "I guess you know a lot about that ... It's just, look at you, Faith. Less than twenty-four hours ago, you killed a man. A-and now it's all zip-a-dee-doo-dah? It's not your real face, and I know it." Buffy really nails Faith's problem right here and now, only Faith's not even remotely in the mental state to admit it.

    Faith goes through a natural progression of spiraling out of control. Early on she can see that Buffy desparately wants to tell Giles what happened. This scares Faith (even though she never shows it) because she doesn't want to have to deal with the consequences of her actions. This is why she continually tells Buffy to keep her mouth shut and that it will blow over. Faith is actually being pretty devious here, because while she's telling Buffy to be quiet she's also planning to back-stab her by telling Giles Buffy killed the man. This is a horrible act of betrayal, yet Buffy still doesn't give up on her. The problem is that Faith is pushing herself further and further into a corner by each poor decision. Nearly choking Xander to death continues this trend.

    Angel then captures her and does his best to relate his own experiences to what Faith is going through. He even makes progress with her until Wesley ruins everything. Faith escapes the Council's team and with no one to run to decides to skip town via boat. Buffy finds her on all-offensive mode, attacking Buffy and her methods. A fight ensues and Faith appears to have saved Buffy from dying. The question remains whether she did it to help Buffy or to guarantee herself a job at the Mayor's side. I'm not sure what the answer to that is and I think both answers could be concurrently correct.

    An important topic Faith brings up twice is the belief that her and Buffy are 'better' than everyone else and because of that they can do whatever they want. Faith knows that Buffy has many of the same mental, physical, and sexual urges as herself. While she may have a point, she shouldn't go overboard and let those urges dominate herself. She believes that they don't have to follow any rules and that Slayers are the law. Later in the series Buffy comes to the realization that she is the law only when it comes to the supernatural. Slayers must abide by human laws just like everyone else. Unfortunately Buffy doesn't have the experience to relay that message to Faith at this time. At this point in her development she is still unclear on what her role is and what her boundaries are.

    What Faith is offering is obviously very tempting to Buffy. Faith plays on this when she says, "You know exactly what I'm about 'cause you have it in you, too ... I've seen it, B. You've got the lust. And I'm not just talking about screwing vampires ... It was good, wasn't it? The sex? The danger? Bet a part of you even dug him when he went psycho ... See, you need me to toe the line because you're afraid you'll go over it, aren't you, B? You can't handle watching me living my own way, having a blast, because it tempts you! You know it could be you!" Throughout all this, Buffy doesn't convincingly deny anything Faith is saying about her. Buffy does have a lot of that dark stuff within her that she hasn't fully figured out yet. We really see the darker sexual side to Buffy in S6 through her 'relationship' with Spike. She does some depraved things but still never manages to lower herself to the level Faith is at here. Faith represses her concience and that is something Buffy never does no matter what she's going through.

    All of this is a fantastic contrast to Buffy's character at the end of S6 and into S7. Buffy genuinely and naturally learns, evolves, and grows as a person from now to then. I'm amazed by how well thought out her character is over the course of the series. In this episode Buffy doesn't have a lot of answers because she's still young and figuring out things for herself. It's wonderful to see all these experiences accumulate to form the backbone of her strong convictions of the later seasons. Her speech to Xander and Dawn in "Villains" (6x20) and her speech to Xander and Willow in "Selfless" (7x05) both come to mind.

    Even though most of the episode focuses on Buffy and Faith, there's some small but significant moments for Willow and Giles as well. Willow is feeling resentful over the seemingly tight relationship between Buffy and Faith. She avoids talking with Buffy at school and feels really left out. The fact that Buffy didn't go to Willow immediately after the stabbing illustrates how the Scoobies are not remotely as close as they were the first couple seasons. Buffy and Willow aren't the only ones either. Xander and Willow are even less close than Buffy and Willow are. Xander doesn't tell Willow when he had sex with Faith. This is something huge in Xander's life and he didn't feel comfortable anymore to share that with Willow. That is why she cries in the bathroom afterwards.

    This is the first episode where we see that the relationship between Buffy and Giles has evolved. Buffy has learned from the mistake she made in "Revelations" (3x07) and goes to Giles about what happened as soon as she can. Giles is also very understanding when Buffy confirms that Faith was trying to keep her quiet. I also love the way he puts her mind to ease on the whole accidental murder issue by explaining that these things have happened before.

    This episode has a ridiculous amount of complex issues running around it. It is so well constructed, though, that when watching it you hardly notice that fact. This is fantastic material that gives volumes of insight into who Buffy currently is as a person, Faith's emotional state, the status of the gangs' relationships, and it manages to significantly progress the season's arc with a surprising final scene. The season won't be the same from here on out and neither will the characters. The only reason why I couldn't bring myself to give this a perfect score is simply because it doesn't punch me in the gut and leave me breathless.moreless
  • Powerful but not much fun to watch


    The Good;

    Hugely powerful ep, the dream sequence, Angel reaching out to Faith, the fight at the docks, the shock ending, as powerful as Buffy has ever been.

    The Bad;

    It's truly heartrending to watch Faith's fall from grace. One question though, where does Wes get his thugs from? They'd have been rather useful in the past.

    Best line;

    Buffy; "Cordelia is a friend"

    Cordy; "Let's not exaggerate"

    Character death;

    Bye-bye Mr Trick, who didn't follow his own advice about getting an Uzi.

    Tied up;

    Angel in chains and Faith chained up twice. Buffy entangled at the dockside

    Knocked out;

    Faith, Angel, Wes and possibly Xander

    Women good/men bad;

    Not this time


    Horrible to watch both Buffy and Xander almost strangled

    Kinky dinky;

    Faith and Xander forget the safety word (a BDSM term). Faith tries eroto-asphyxia and refers to Xander as her boy toy (just a minor point but how gorgeous does she look at this point, like she's off to the ball or something?). Buffy in her dream sequence indulges in some wet T-shirt action. First meeting of Wes and Cordy (historic although neither realise it). Faith refers to Cordy as jail-bait suggesting she is under 18.

    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Willow sobbing in the toilets (how many of us did that in high school?) that Xander has lost his virginity to Faith rather than her. Buffy states that the guys Faith sleeps with are a 'big joke to her', implying that she's not that into guys? Buffy starts to make the effort to be more friendly to Will, you could say she's choosing her femme girlfriend over her butch?

    Guantanamo Bay;

    The Watcher's council once again show their ruthless side. Although the Mayor controls the police his influence seems to be not total.

    Scoobies to the ER;

    Xander must have some fingermarks on his neck with Buffy and Angel also bearing some bumps as does Wes

    Where's Dawn?

    Must be used to cops at the Summer's house by now? Joyce seems to wait up for Buffy to come home

    Questions and observations;

    Good ep but hard to watch, it's all so sad. We do however now start the run of the final eps of season 3 which set the standard for TV generally. Faith seems to feel genuine regret for what she's done but can't come to terms with it. She doesn't go evil right away, she saves Buffy, she could have just snapped Xander's neck but she doesn't. She's happy that the Mayor and deputy Mayor were dirty, alleviates her guilt. Apparently Slayers have killed before and the council takes them back for rehabilitation. But really they don't have much alternative, up until now there's only one Slayer. Does the Mayor want rid of the Slayers or not? Who's going to control the supernatural threat for him otherwise? To judge by the way the SDPD go straight to the Slayers and talk about wooden weapons the Slayers are an open secret in SD.

    Terrible commentary, directors commentaries always seem to want to talk about camera speeds and lenses. More writers and actors please!

    Marks out of 10, 6/10 powerful but not that much fun to watch

  • Consequences

    Consequences, a pivotal episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's third season was phenomenal! This episode had lots of action, dramatic plot twists, and of course consequences. Picking up where the last episode left off, Buffy is left with a giant feeling of remorse and like she needs to do something about what happened. Faith however takes the other road and doesn't seem to care too much about it and is just as happy to move on. This episode centers around trying save Faith from herself, and this episode is where she makes the conscous decision to turn to the dark side. This episode was captivating, and character driven. The end shocking conslusion that will surprise!!!moreless
  • Season 3, Episode 15.

    Faith refuses to live up to what she did and tells Giles that Buffy is the person who killed the deputy mayor. Police end up questioning Buffy and Faith about what happened that night.

    I really liked this episode. I don't think there were really any kills in this episode. The episode isn't over yet. I liked the scene with Xander and Faith though. Faith is pretty hot. I liked that sexy Angel saved Xander and tied up Faith. Not a bad episode at all. I really liked that it focused on Buffy and Faith's personal lives. Buffy has also been looking good lately. I liked when Buffy and Faith were spying in City Hall. VERY interesting episode.moreless
  • I can admit I was a fan from the start. I got lost somewhere in the middle but I watched the rest. I like so many others really liked Buffy and her Slayer buddies. This was a really great show that should of been on maybe afew more seasons. Drama indeed.moreless

    This episode and the following ones paint a picture of Faith not careing about anything but herself or the key word is power. She acts all high and mighty. She acts like she is on top of the food chain. Only to be fooled at the very end. When I first saw this episode and the one before I couldnt believe the drama. I liked how the tables were turned on her when everyone else saw through the lies. Faith always had issues with control and power. Its amazing how Tv magic lets her get away with just about anything. I believe after this show was at its end there should of been a spin off. I would of watched it. With all these talks of tv movies hitting the big screen maybe we can all look into a Buffy movie someday.)moreless
Amy Powell

Amy Powell

TV news reporter

Guest Star

Patricia Place

Patricia Place

Woman in alley

Guest Star

Jack Plotnick

Jack Plotnick

Allan Finch

Guest Star

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Harry Groener

Harry Groener

Mayor Richard Wilkins III

Recurring Role

K. Todd Freeman

K. Todd Freeman

Mr. Trick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: The detective who is questioning the witness at the scene of the crime says, "You heard the man scream at about what time last night?" But Allan didn't scream once between when Faith stabbed him and when he died.

    • Nitpick: When Buffy is going through the top drawer of the file cabinet and sees that there are no papers in the files, she alludes to Faith that there's something odd with the files. Faith, who is standing several feet away, almost directly in front of the file cabinet says "so his papers are gone". But from the angle she was at, she would have been lucky to be able to see the tabs on the files, and couldn't possibly have seen that there was nothing in them. While it's a strong possibility, it's hardly the only conclusion she could have made.

    • Nitpick: Angel chains up Faith to the same fixture that Buffy tied Angel to at the beginning of the season. It must have been fixed and reinforced in the time since, considering Angel tore it down and escaped in the episode "Beauty and the Beasts".

    • Goof: When boxes falls on Buffy at the harbor scene she becomes stuck and tries to free herself at this point she is lying down on her back and Faith is being attacked by a group of vampires. In the next shot however you see Buffy sitting up in the background watching Faith fight. The next shot shows Buffy lying on the ground trying to free herself again.

    • Goof: When Wesley takes Angel's manacles off Faith and puts his own handcuffs on her, watch closely and you can see that one of the cuffs falls off her wrist and Eliza quickly covers it with her hand.

    • Goof: The day after Finch's murder in "Bad Girls", Buffy went to Faith's (in bright daylight and a clean outfit). This episode begins with Buffy in her pajamas, waking up from a nightmare; then she goes to school. Presumably this means that it is at least the second day since the murder. But the detective questioning the witness at the scene of the crime says, "You heard the man scream at about what time last night?" Later that night, Buffy says to Faith, "Less than 24 hours ago, you killed a man."

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Faith: I missed the mark last night and I'm sorry about the guy. I really am! But it happens! Anyway, how many people do you think we've saved by now, thousands? And didn't you stop the world from ending? Because in my book, that puts you and me in the plus column.
      Buffy: We help people! It doesn't mean we can do whatever we want.
      Faith: Why not? The guy I offed was no Gandhi. I mean, we just saw he was mixed up in dirty dealings.
      Buffy: Maybe, but what if he was coming to us for help?
      Faith: What if he was? You're still not seeing the big picture here, B. Something made us different. We're warriors. We're built to kill.
      Buffy: To kill demons! But it does not mean that we get to pass judgment on people like we're better than everybody else!
      Faith: We are better! That's right, better. People need us to survive. In the balance, nobody's gonna cry over some random bystander who got caught in the crossfire.
      Buffy: I am.
      Faith: Well, that's your loss.

    • Angel: Faith, you have a choice. You've tasted something few ever do. I mean, to kill without remorse is to feel like a god.
      Faith: Right now, all I feel is a cramp in my wrist, so let me go!
      Angel: But you're not a god. You're not much more than a child. Going down this path will ruin you. You can't imagine the price for true evil.
      Faith: Yeah? I hope evil takes MasterCard.

    • Angel: Hmm. But I know what it's like to take a life. To feel a future, a world of possibilities, snuffed out by your own hand. I know the power in it. The exhilaration. It was like a drug for me.
      Faith: Yeah? Sounds like you need some help. A professional maybe.

    • Willow: But, see, it's that exact thing that's just ticking me off! It's this whole "Slayers only" attitude. I mean, since when wouldn't I understand? You used to talk to me about everything. It's like all of a sudden I'm not cool enough for you because I can't kill things with my bare hands. (Buffy bursts into tears) Oh, Buffy. Don't cry. I'm sorry. I was too hard on you. Sometimes I unleash. I don't know my own strength. It's bad. I'm bad. I'm a bad, bad, bad person.

    • Faith: Finally decided to tie me up, huh? I always knew you weren't really a one-Slayer guy.
      Angel: Sorry about the chains. It's not that I don't trust you, it's... Actually, it is that I don't trust you.

    • Stein: Somebody stabbed this guy through the heart. Strange thing is, the weapon, it was made out of wood. Any of this mean anything to you?
      Faith: Yeah. That whoever did it wasn't hip to the Bronze Age.

    • Wesley: My. She's... cheeky, isn't she?
      Faith: First word, "jail," second word, "bait."

    • Cordelia: Check out Giles, the next generation. What's your deal?
      Wesley: Uh, I, uh, well... I'm, uh...
      Faith: New Watcher.
      Cordelia: Oh.
      Wesley: Does everybody know about you?
      Buffy: She's a friend.
      Cordelia: Let's not exaggerate.

    • Faith: You sent your boy to kill me.
      Mayor: That's right, I did.
      Faith: He's dust.
      Mayor: I thought he might be, what with you standing here and all.
      Faith: I guess that means you have a job opening.

    • Angel: You and me, Faith, we're a lot alike. Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying. If you can trust us, Faith, this can all change. You don't have to disappear into the darkness.

    • Buffy: (about Faith) So you guys talked?
      Xander: Not extensively.
      Buffy: Then how would you... Oh.
      Giles: Oh!
      (They look at Willow)
      Willow: I don't need to say oh, I got it before. They slept together.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Angel: You wanna go the long way around, hey, I can do that. I'm not getting any older.
      It's a play on the cliche "Hurry up! I'm not getting any younger." Angel is, of course, not getting any older.

    • Buffy: Less than twenty-four hours ago, you killed a man. And now it's all Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah?
      "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" is a song from Disney's famous Songs of the South movie. Traditionally, it is a song attributed to being happy and care-free.

    • Faith: Safety words are for wusses.
      Safety words are used in sexual play, like dominance and submission, where a person wants to be able to object "in character" to the action but still have a way out. Normally if the safety word is spoken the role playing stops.

    • Faith: The guy I offed was no Gandhi.
      A rather convoluted reference. Faith invokes the name of Gandhi, a noted pacifist but she's probably meaning good guy. While the deputy mayor may have been involved in some unsavory business there's really no evidence that he was violent.

    • Faith: So the Mayor of Sunnydale is a Black Hat.
      Faith identifies the Mayor as a bad guy using the terminology from old movie westerns. For some reason it become standard practice to have the bad guys wear black hats and the good guys white hats.

    • Faith: Uh, first word: jail; second word: bait.
      Faith teases Wesley about his attraction to Cordelia by referring to her as jail bait. The term is used to refer to an attractive girl under the age of 18. In most states if a man over the age of 21 has sex with a girl under the age of 18 he can be jailed for statutory rape.

    • Cordelia: Check out Giles: The Next Generation.
      Probably a play on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wesley first appears to Cordelia as merely a younger version of Giles.