With the series this close to ending, I was surprised that they would introduce yet another big bad. Especially one which would make much of an impact on the characters. How wrong I was!
Psychotic, sexist preacher Caleb crashes into Sunnydale with a bang. As soon as he comes on screen, he causes damage. Brutally maiming a new potential before throwing her out of his car into the roadside, Nathan Fillion, best known to Buffy viewers as the heroic Mal Reynolds on Firefly, is absolutely terrifying as the Southern psycho.
Although the "psycho preacher" storyline has been done to death in many movies and TV shows, Fillion just makes Caleb so grotesque in his insanity that you can't wait for him to get his comeuppance.
The episode continues with him killing two potentials (I know it's macabre, but I cheered when he butchered Molly, the potential you'd most like to rip out their vocal chords from), injuring many others and worse of all... ripping out Xander's eye! I was totally shocked when he did this. You've never seen such a main Scooby getting maimed like this before and my mouth was open in shock for ages!
If Caleb wasn't good enough, Dirty Girls also features the return of Faith, in my opinion, the greatest character in the history of Buffy. Now fighting for good after her rehabilitation on Angel, Eliza Dushku doesn't do much this episode but it's just so cool having her back. She was absolutely amazing whilst on Angel, where she helped battle Angelus, and continues to be so here.
Dirty Girls is really what the writers needed to do to make the audience really feel like the characters are all doomed. It's the best episode and ages and is probably the best out of the latter half of the season.