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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 7


Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 17, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
585 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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.moreless

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  • Revelations

    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
  • Evil Watcher


    The Good;

    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

    Best line;

    Post; (of Giles) There's talk in the council that you've become too American

    Buffy; HIM?

    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

    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
Serena Scott Thomas

Serena Scott Thomas

Gwendolyn Post

Guest Star

Kate Rodger

Kate Rodger


Guest Star

Eliza Dushku

Eliza Dushku


Recurring Role

Jason Hall

Jason Hall


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • There are 12 cemeteries within the city limits of Sunnydale.

    • Goof: When Buffy and Willow are sitting outside the crypt talking about secrets, we see a full moon over Willow's shoulder. However, no one is at all concerned about locking Oz up during this episode.

    • Faith's past boyfriends have included guys named Ronnie, Steve, and Kenny (who was a drummer).

    • Goof: Look carefully as the glove attaches itself to Gwendolyn's arm. At the spot where the last claw penetrates her arm a puncture wound appears before the claw enters her skin.

    • Goof: When Giles is telling Gwendolyn Post that he found a way to destroy the glove the camera switches to a close up of Gwendolyn. During that close up you can see that she has her gray sweater on but she did not have that sweater on before or after her close up.

    • Goof: When Buffy and Faith are fighting, Buffy smashes them through the window. When they land on the hard ground, you see all the glass residue that lands with them, and that there's a standing-out piece of white wood that's shaped like a "Y" that also lands in-between them. Yet, when the camera switches to a top view and the two roll away from each other to stand up, all of that is gone, including the very noticeable large wood piece.

    • Goof: When Faith sweep kicks Buffy while they are fighting you can see Faith start the kick from pretty much a sitting up position, but in the next camera angle, she is pretty much parallel to the floor. And the shot changed too fast for her to have had time to move.

    • Nitpick: After Angel gets the glove, you see him walk back to the mansion. Xander follows him and he looks in the window and sees Buffy and Angel kissing. How would Angel have enough time to get in, put the glove down, and start kissing Buffy? And why wouldn't he show her the glove first?

    • Goof: When Buffy says "Faith we can work this out", a boom mic is visible above her.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Gwendolyn: You telegraph punches, leave blind sides open and, uh, for a school-night slaying, take entirely too much time. Which one of you is Faith?
      Faith: Depends. Who the hell are you?
      Gwendolyn: Gwendolyn Post, Mrs. Your new Watcher.

    • Buffy: How are you?
      Faith: Five by five.
      Buffy: I'll interpret that as good.

    • Gwendolyn: The fact is, there is talk in the Council that you have become a bit too... American.
      Giles: Me?
      Buffy: Him?

    • Giles: She was kicked out by the council a couple of years ago for "misuses of dark power." They swear there was a memo.

    • Xander: (by himself in graveyard) Hey Giles! Here a nifty idea. Why don't I alleviate my guilt by going out and getting myself really, really killed?

    • Giles: That was bracing.
      Buffy: Interesting lady. Can we kill her?
      Giles: I think the council might frown upon that.

    • Faith: I have this thing with authority figures. They end up kind of dead.

    • Gwendolyn: Faith, a word of advice. You're an idiot.

    • Buffy: It's just... old habit. Bad, bad habit - to be broken.
      Angel: It's hard.
      Buffy: It's not hard. Cold turkey. That's the key to quitting.

    • Gwenlodyn: The pictures are fun to look at, Mr. Giles, but one really ought to read the nice words as well.

    • Willow: A boyfriend? Why wouldn't she tell us?
      Cordelia: Excuse me? When your last steady killed half the class, and then your rebound guy sends you a dump-o-gram? It makes a girl shy.
      Xander: But we're the best of Buffy's bestest buds. She'd tell us.
      Buffy: Tell you what?
      Willow: About your new boyfriend, who we made up... unless we didn't?
      Buffy: This was a topic of discussion?
      Oz: Well, raised, but never discussed.
      Cordelia: So, are you dating somebody or not?
      Buffy: I wouldn't use the word "dating", but I am going out with somebody. Tonight, as a matter of fact.
      Willow: Really? Who?
      Faith: Yo, what's up? Hey, time to motorvate.
      Buffy: Really, we're just good friends.

    • Buffy: Synchronized slaying.
      Faith: New Olympic category?

    • Willow: Oz! Hey! Have a seat... except, we don't have any seats.
      Oz: It's okay, I'll just scrunch in.
      Willow: And that's very beautiful. I think it's great when two people like two people and want to be close to them instead of anyone else.
      Xander: Hear, hear!

    • Cordelia: What gives you the right to suck face with your demon lover again?
      Buffy: It was an accident!
      Xander: What, you just tripped and fell on his lips?

    • Buffy: I just wanted to wait...
      Xander: For what? For Angel to go psycho again the next time you give him a happy?

    • Giles: I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer.
      But, sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... For hours... For pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me or the job I perform.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Xander: I leaned toward the postal.
      Another play on the idea of disgruntled postal workers and their over-reactions.

    • Willow: I opened my S.A.T. booklet 5 minutes early.
      Another reference to the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Willow's comment relies on the fact that S.A.T. tests are timed and the test takers are not supposed to open their booklets before being signaled by the proctor.

    • Buffy: What's with the tragedy masks?
      Buffy likens the sad faces of her friends to the tragedy mask of classic Greek drama. The smiling comedy mask and frowning tragedy mask have become symbols of theater in general.

    • Buffy: You think they make a patch for this?
      Other bad habits (namely cigarette smoking) have a medicinal patch that can be worn to help break the habit.

    • Faith: Excuse me Mary Poppins, you don't seem to be listening. Faith compares her new watcher's British accent to that of the character Mary Poppins from the 1964 Disney film of the same name.

    • Buffy: Synchronized slaying.
      Which Faith suggests could be a new Olympics category. Together these lines are a play on synchronized swimming which is in fact a new Olympic event. Synchronized swimming is a team event of dance like moves in the water. There was in fact a certain grace and beauty to Buffy and Faith's team slaying.