Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 15

This Year's Girl (1)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 22, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
558 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


After eight months in a coma after her fight with Buffy, Faith awakens to seek revenge. After Faith is thwarted by both Buffy and the cops, Mayor Wilkins gives her a mysterious gift from beyond the grave. Armed with her secret weapon, Faith confronts Buffy in a climatic slayer-on-slayer battle.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • This is a decent episode which has a cool dream sequence, a few character insights, Faith awakening from her coma, and a lot of waiting around.

    The biggest problem is that the pace is really slow. It feels like everyone is waiting forever for Faith to do something surprising, and that doesn't happen until the very end. A lot of the scenes feel like padding to fill time, which is rare on BtVS and hasn't been much of a problem since S2. There's still a lot to be entertained by though. The episode begins with a dream very similar to the one in "Graduation Day Pt. 2". As I did in that review, I'll analyze the dream very thoroughly and throw out some guesses as to what it all means. Please take note that I'm aware how much I could be stretching with some of these connections.

    Buffy says, "They smell good, don't they? ... Clean sheets. Like Since I assume they're getting Dawn's bed ready for her arrival, the talk about "clean sheets" could represent Dawn's innocence and how, through her, Buffy can see life again with a fresh new look and share warmth with her. Faith replies, "I wouldn't This makes sense, because Faith is definitely not the paradigm of innocence, nor has she likely ever been. Buffy then says, "Right. I I think this is showing how Buffy's always held her hand out to Faith; she's consistently tried to be kind to her and Faith always spits in Buffy's face for it. But Buffy is still the optimist, as we see later in the episode when discovering Faith's awake. Buffy says, "She could be terrified. Maybe she doesn't even remember. Or maybe she does and she's sorry and she's alone hiding A bit later in the dream Faith says, "Little sis' coming," which is obvious in meaning. Buffy then says, "So much to do before she gets This means that Buffy still has her big fight with Adam and an encounter with the first Slayer ahead, before Dawn arrives. At this point the focus switches to Faith taking control of the dream. The knife Buffy used to stab her appears in her stomach, and she begins to villify Buffy.

    In the next part of Faith's dream, we see her having a picnic with the Mayor on a bright, sunny day. It quickly becomes obvious, when Buffy slowly walks up to the Mayor and slits his throat, that Faith is portraying Buffy as the murderer who ruined her home and happiness. As the dream continues we see Faith trying to escape a cold and calculating Buffy who is following her. Eventually she falls into a grave, is alone, and is scared. Buffy jumps in with her, but Faith emerges victorious, rising from the grave with a new focus. This is the moment when Faith awakens from her coma. Soon after finding out what date it is, she finds Buffy and spies on her. While looking into Giles' home she discovers that Buffy isn't staying at home, that Buffy's found a new lover, and that the Scoobies are still together.

    While walking outside around the university campus, Buffy and Willow run into Faith. With her newfound knowledge, Faith immediately starts throwing jabs at Buffy, including the fact that Buffy's not with Angel anymore. While this 'discussion' is happening, Willow slowly walks behind Faith to prepare a distraction, but Buffy subtley gestures her not to. This leads to a cool little fight in front of a lot of people which Willow helps break up for the time being. Faith then wanders off and finds a message meant for her from the Mayor. This video recording is great. For one, it's just nice to hear the Mayor again and it reminds us how absolutely lame the villains have been this season in comparison. But more importantly, the Mayor says some key things: "See, the hard pill to swallow is that once I'm gone, your days are just plain numbered. Now, I know, you're a smart and capable young woman in charge of her own life, but the problem, Faith, is that there won't be a place in the world for you anymore. By now I bet you're feeling very much The Mayor not only nails what Faith is feeling, but he also gives her a gadget that allows her to switch bodies with someone.

    Picking up on the fact that it doesn't look like Buffy's been home much lately, Faith goes to the Summers' residence and attacks Joyce. I love this entire scene: Joyce's confidence in Buffy. Faith trying to make a connection with Joyce. Faith using all the letters from Buffy as evidence. Buffy crashing through the window. The quick Buffy/Joyce greeting. The awesome fight between Buffy and Faith. The fight the two of them have in the house is really well done. I was particularly impressed by the glass from the door breaking on Buffy and the re-use of the "Graduation Day Pt. 1" Buffy/Faith fight music. Of course, at the very end of the fight Faith uses her gadget to switch bodies with Buffy. This plot mechnanism has been used a lot on a variety of different shows. By itself, it isn't anything all that exciting. It's how Whedon uses situation, in "Who Are You?", that makes it so powerful and unique.

    While Faith was the focus of the episode, Buffy and Riley got a bit of attention as well. Early on, before Riley returns, Buffy is extremely harsh, snappy, and even a bit irritable to the Scoobies. Why is this you might ask? Well, she's got no boyfriend around, she's gotten very little sleep, and there's big danger running loose outside. Any of this sound familiar? Buffy in S7 sound right? It's no wonder why she's so harsh during that season. In this episode Riley shows up and Buffy can get some sleep. That doesn't happen during S7, which helps explains why she remains harsh for so long. Anyway, later on Buffy gets to chatting with Riley about how he's going to cope post-Initiative. She uses her experience with the Watcher's Council as an example of how Riley can survive on his own. Riley responds to her with complete honesty when he says, "Now, see, that's where you and I are different. I just suck at the whole gray area As we find out early in S5, he really does suck at the "whole gray area He tries, but miserably fails at being bad -- it's just not who he is. It's not surprising, then, that he ends up working for the military again, taking orders for a living.

    One more thing worth mentioning is when Riley tells Buffy he wants to help. She responds by throwing a ball at him, which he catches and cringes in pain. This is an interesting correlation to when, in "Who Are You?", Faith runs into Riley at a church. He says, "I'm coming with" and Faith responds, "I can't use I'll further discuss that connection in my review of the next episode. Anyway, this is a solid setup to the great episode that follows it. It has an unfortunately slow pace and a lot of Faith's wandering seem like padding, which obviously hurts the episode a bit. Overall, though, there's enough great action and moments of characterization that allow it to succeed.moreless
  • Hooray for Faith

    The Good;

    Faith's dream sequences are all excellent, wonderful to see Harry Groener again, love the reveal of Faith at UCSD and great scenes with Joyce/Faith, the fight that follows one of the best in the show's history

    The Bad;

    Are you kidding, Faith is back, how could anything be bad?

    Best line;

    Faith; How do I look?

    Joyce; Psychotic?

    Character death;

    Thankfully not

    Knocked out;

    Buffy-as-Faith in the final scene plus the poor girl at the hospital

    Women good/men bad;

    Nope, female villain this time around


    Psycho-Buffy in Faith's dreams is scary indeed, great performance from SMG, love her vacant stare, steady walk and that little tilt of the head, give her a hockey mask and she's the villain in the slasher film. Check out Buffy's expression as she twists the knife in Faith's side. Plus Faith hits Joyce! Oh, that girl deserves SUCH a spanking! Plus Adam's Silence of the Lambs homage.

    Kinky dinky;

    As Petrie comments, 'Cleavage, demons and intrigue'. Faith also tells Buffy she has dreams about 'cigars and tunnels', Bill Clinton and Monica anyone? (a reference that would have been a lot more topical at the time). Willow refers to Faith as a 'cleavagey slutbomb'.

    Calling Captain Subtext;

    The grass snake intruding in the picnic needs no interpretation. It represents the Mayor's evil desires intruding on his and Faith's happiness. Doug Petrie comments on Jaith and I think he's right, actually Joyce and Faith love each other much the same as Buffy/Faith do. I remember reading a great fanfic called 'Forbidden' where Joyce is lying in bed feeling guilty about having sex with the naked Slayer lying beside her who calls her 'mommy'. Of course in the very last word of the story you realise that it's actually Faith rather than Buffy and it all makes perfect sense from both a narrative and character point of view.

    Buffy and Faith in dreams are still making the bed, Faith pleads for Buffy to take the knife out of her, does this signify a yearning for forgiveness?

    Scoobies to the ER;

    Buffy-as-Faith get's a hammering (one could argue that this is actually Faith self-harming?)

    Where's Dawn?

    Taken hostage by Faith alongside Joyce? It would certainly explain Dawn's antipathy towards her in season 7. Faith refers to 'Little sis coming'. Of course Dawn could just as easily have been Faith's sister if things had worked out differently.

    Missing scenes;

    The bit where Tara and Willow search for Faith is quite obviously an add in but is funny, especially Tara's idea of fighting.

    Apocalypses; 5,

    Questions and observations;

    Wonderful to have Faith back. You can't help but feel sorry for her when she's wandering the streets of Sunnydale having lost everything, ecspecially when she sees the happy daughter leading her father by the hand. One question, looking at the Mayor's video he seems to think that there will be a museum dedicated to him in Sunnydale and that he and Faith will bring 'order' to the town? By being a big snake?

    I always wondered what would happen if a Slayer was brainsucked by Glory? Read a fanfic once where that actually happens to Faith but then DarkWillow brainsucks Warren before killing him and uses his mental energy to cure her. Watching this I realise that if Slayer healing can restore Faith from her coma then Glory would be no big deal for her or Buffy. Tara asks what 'Five by five' means, about time someone did. Who calls the police for Faith at UCSD?

    Marks out of 10; 9/10

  • is Year's Girl (1)

    is Year's Girl (1) was a perfectly fun episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In this episode there was a lot going on with everyone! Buffy and Riley are still trying to find their footing after the unexpected death of Dr. Maggie Walsh. Now Adam is on the loose, and with Faith waking up there is surely trouble to follow. This episode did a great job of tying all these stories together, and this episode ended with Faith using a surprise gift from the Mayor. There was lots of action, intrigue, and character development. I like how in Faiths dream world that they used a lot of symbology. The little garden snake crawling across their picnic! This episode left me on the edge of my seat and I can't wait to find out how things play out!!!!!moreless
  • Season 4, Episode 18.

    Faith awakens after spending eight months in a coma from Buffy stabbing her. She is seeking revenge on Buffy, and she receives a present from Mayor Wilkins from beyond the grave. After Faith holds Joyce hostage, she and Buffy have a slayer-on-slayer battle that results in the two switching bodies.

    I LOVE this episode. I love Eliza Dushku, and the character of Faith, so I was pretty excited with this episode. I liked the fight that she had with Buffy on the college campus, and then when they had the fight in the Summers home at the end. Great episode and YAY for the return of Faith. :)moreless
  • Got Faith?

    I love this episode. Faith wakes up from her coma to cause some havok. She beats up a woman to take her clothes and heads straight for the scoobs. This episode has great action, great dream sequences, and great humor. Xander being paranoid about Faith coming after him due to their "history" comes to mind.

    Forrest is still getting on my nerves. I'm glad he gets what's coming to him later on in the season. It's also nice to see The Mayor back, if only just for an episode. He is one of those villains that I find likable, even if he is evil. A great character all around.moreless
Chet Grissom

Chet Grissom


Guest Star

Alastair Duncan

Alastair Duncan


Guest Star

Jeff Ricketts

Jeff Ricketts


Guest Star

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Amber Benson

Amber Benson


Recurring Role

Leonard Roberts

Leonard Roberts

Forrest Gates

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • Goof: When Riley is talking with Forrest and the other guy, his shirt goes back and forth from being lined up straight in the close-ups, to being sloppily apart in the medium shots.

    • In the opening dream scene, Faith tells Buffy that they're preparing because of "little sis coming." This foreshadows the arrival of Dawn in the first episode of the fifth season.

    • Nitpick: When Buffy and Faith are fighting near the front door, it looks like there's a partition of the wall missing where the front door should go.

    • Goof: When Buffy is chasing Faith into the living room, Faith opens the door so that Buffy would smash through it. As she does that you can clearly see an elbow from one of the crew holding the boom mic to the left of your screen.

    • Goof: After Buffy runs up to look over the wall Faith has just leaped over, Buffy's shirt pulls out from her pants. Look closely and you can see Sarah Michelle Gellar's real life tattoo on her left hip.

    • Goof: When Faith puts her jacket on in Joyce's room, you can clearly see she has no tattoo on her arm.

    • Goof: Willow's legs go from up on the couch, to down on the floor, to her putting them down in the floor in Xander's basement.

    • Goof: When Buffy is chasing Faith just after they first meet, Faith jumps over a brick wall, and the whole wall, as well as the bushes besides it wobbles quite visibly.

    • Goof: During the scene in which Buffy, Xander, and Willow find the strung-up demon, Buffy unwittingly goes right by it. After she then passes by the tree and before the camera pans back to show it behind her, if you look in the background, you can clearly see a man holding a boom mike just standing out in the open.

    • Nitpick: Faith walks through the streets of Sunnydale after she escapes from the hospital. A woman in a blue coat walks past her in the background. Then they have a close up of Faith and the same woman in the blue coat walks past her in the same direction. Then another close up and the same woman walks her path a third time. Finally, as they pull back for a crowd shot of the entire street, you can see the woman a fourth time, only her partner is now rather suddenly on her other arm.

    • Goof: When Buffy and Faith are rolling down the stairs, to the left you can see a camera following them.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Faith: Payback's a bitch.
      Willow: Look who's talking.

    • Joyce: You're sure you're okay?
      Buffy: Five by five.

    • Faith: (Willow behind Faith ready to attack her with her school bag) Try it, Red, and you'll lose an arm. (Willow backs away frightened)

    • Spike: What do you need?
      Xander: Her. Dark hair, yea tall, name of Faith, criminally insane.
      Giles: Have you seen her?
      Spike: Is this bird after you?
      Xander: In a bad way, yeah.
      Spike: Tell you what I'll do, then. I'll head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, and then watch as she kills you. (sees the surprised looks on Giles and Xanders faces and sighs) Can any one of your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that I HATE you all? Just because I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way. And here I thought the evening would be dull.
      Xander: Go ahead! You wouldn't even recognize her!
      Spike: Dark hair, this tall, name of Faith. Criminally insane. I like this girl already.
      Xander: (to Giles) We're dumb.

    • Faith: Thought I'd got to the clean marine, didn't you? He's a cutie. Looks like he could use a good roll in the sack.
      Buffy: You're not his type. He's not big on sleaze.
      Faith: He's probably just never tried it.

    • Joyce: (to Faith) Were you planning to slit my throat any time soon?

    • Faith: You're thinking, "You'll never get away with this!" Warm?
      Joyce: Actually, I was thinking my daughter is going to kill you soon.
      Faith: That a fact?
      Joyce: More like a bet.
      Faith: Whoa. You got a pair on you, Joyce. I like seeing that in a woman your age.

    • Faith: "Ruby Sunset"... "Burgandy Skyline"... "Harlot." Mmmmmmm, way to go Joyce. Now, normally I wouldn't be going for something this dark. But I read in some magazine that eight months in a coma will damage a girl's natural skin tone. Good thing pale is in this year. Or was it last year? Anyway, for real now, I'm gonna ask you something, and you gotta promise you'll be honest and not spare my feelings just 'cause I could kill you. You promise?
      Joyce: I promise.
      Faith: Okay. How do I look?
      Joyce: Psychotic.
      Faith: Hmmm, I was shooting for sultry, but hey.

    • Buffy: She's a very dangerous woman.
      Riley: Okay, I get it, Faith bad. Do I look like I'm arguing?
      Buffy: Not yet. But you always make that innocent face right before you start.
      Riley: Figured that out, huh? Damn. Took Mom twelve years to catch that one.

    • Willow: Thanks for coming with. Hunting for a psychopathic super-bitch is definitely in the above-and-beyond category.
      Tara: It's okay, really. So, what do we do if we find her?
      Willow: Run. Flee. Maybe skedaddle. We're not here to engage. This is strictly recon. (Tara stares) What?
      Tara: You said "recon". You're like "Cool Monster Fighter"!
      Willow: Well, technically, Faith isn't a monster. And as far as fighting, I'd be lucky to bruise her fist with my face.
      Tara: Oh.
      Willow: What?
      Tara: Face punching. I'm not so good with the whole... (gives the air a few punches)
      Willow: Swimming?
      Tara: Violence.

    • Buffy: I've been looking for you.
      Faith: I've been standing still for eight months, B. How hard you look?

    • Buffy: (about Faith) We don't know what she's thinking, what she's feeling...
      Xander: Who she's doing.

    • Buffy: It's Faith. She's awake. She beat someone up, took her clothing and disappeared out of the hospital. No-one knows where she is.
      Xander: I'd say this qualifies for a worst-timing-ever award.

    • Buffy: You seem a little... somewhere else. Is there anything I can do?
      Riley: Give me an order. That's what I do isn't it? Follow orders.
      Buffy: You don't have to.
      Riley: Don't I? All my life that's what I've been groomed to do. They say jump, I ask "How high?", I get the job done. Just don't know if it's the right job anymore.
      Buffy: I know how you feel. Giles used to be part of this Council. And for years all they ever did was give me orders.
      Riley: Ever obey them?
      Buffy: Sure. The ones I was going to do anyway. The point is, I quit the Council. And I was scared. But it's okay now.
      Riley: Now, see, that's where you and I are different. I just suck at the whole gray area thing.
      Buffy: It's a choice. Go back in there and make some changes from the inside. Or you can quit the team, fight demons in your own way.
      Riley: You make it sound so simple. I don't even know what my way is.
      Buffy: Well, it's time to find out.
      Riley: I'm a soldier. Take that away, what's left?
      Buffy: A good man.

    • Buffy: He's studying biology - human, demon, whatever he can get his hands on and tear apart.
      Willow: Learning what makes things work.
      Xander: I really don't want to be around for the final exam.

    • Buffy: (about Adam) There's a demonoid killing machine out there, Giles. It doesn't only work the night shift.

    • Willow: Don't worry, we're sure to spot Faith first. She's like this cleavagey slutbomb walking around going, "Ooh, check me out. I'm wicked cool. I'm five-by-five."
      Tara: Five what by five what?
      Willow: See thats the thing, no one knows. Buffy can handle Faith and you're plenty safe with me.
      Tara: So, um... we recon till nightfall?
      Willow: Then the ritual hiding begins.

    • Giles: Perhaps there's some form of rehabilitation we just haven't thought about.
      Willow: And if not, ass-kicking makes a solid Plan B.

    • Buffy: Faith, these are innocent people.
      Faith: No such animal.

    • Xander: Second. It's called a blaster, Will, a word that tends to discourage experimentation. Now, if it were called the Orgasminator, I'd be the first to try your basic button press approach.

    • Buffy: There's no way around it. Faith is back, and whether I like it or not, she's my responsibility.
      Willow: Yeah, too bad. That was the funnest coma ever.

    • Xander: I'd hate to see the pursuit of a homicidal lunatic get in the way of pursuing a homicidal lunatic.

  • NOTES (8)


    • Faith: So that's my dream. That and some stuff about cigars and a tunnel.
      Faith makes a Freudian kind of joke. Freud believed that things in our dreams where symbolic. Cigars and tunnels would be symbolic of sex.

    • Buffy: Well, you haven't seen this Adam thing. He's the Terminator without the bashful charm.
      The title character from the movie The Terminator was far from being bashful or charming. Buffy uses the hyperbole to express just how dangerous Adam is.