Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 4 Episode 16

Who Are You? (2)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 29, 2000 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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  • Who Are You?

    This is a fantastic episode that inspires a lot of conversation. At its core, it is completely and utterly about Faith. In fact, I think this is the most screen time Faith's ever gotten and the least, aside from "Bargaining Pt. 1" (6x01), that Buffy's gotten. This episode gets a perfect score because, after reviewing it, I simply couldn't deny the affect it had on me. No, there isn't a significant lasting effect on the series or season, but the changes and issues explored through Faith are so powerful and expertly handled, I find myself in complete awe. Time to jump right in, but take notice that I'm going to tackle this review in chronological order rather than the usual character-by-character approach.

    Right from the beginning we can see SMG nailing Faith's mannerisms with facial expressions, shrugs, and body movement. After Buffy, in Faith's body, is hauled away by the police, Faith is disgusted when Joyce hugs her. She's not at all used to that kind of affection and is very uncomfortable with it. While upstairs in the bathtub Faith tests out the range of her new body by stretching and touching herself. After the bath she looks at herself in the mirror and manipulates her face into various expressions to get used to it, and begins to say stuff like "You can't do that! It's While repeating lines like this we get refreshed on exactly what Faith thinks of Buffy: a stuck-up girl who thinks she's better than everyone else because of her moral code and restrained behavior. While there may be a little bit of truth to that, Faith imagines it all to the extreme.

    Tara finally gets some development besides more "bonding with She insinuates that she really wants to meet Willow's other friends and says, "Well, you should be safe. Nobody knows you're here. I mean, they don't even know I exist, right? I know all about them, This is an important step for Tara, because through the confidence she gets from Willow, she's able to speak her mind without feeling like she'll be judged. In the same conversation, Tara basically also admits her love to Willow: "I am, you know ... Willow's reasoning for not wanting to introduce Tara to the Scoobies is that "I-I just kinda like having something that's just, you know, As Willow will soon find out, she can still have her private time with Tara even if the gang knows about it.

    Back at the Bronze, Willow decides to use this of all times to introduce Tara to Buffy. Willow runs off to get some drinks and leaves Tara to talk with Faith, who does everything in her power to ridicule and hurt Tara's feelings. This is what tips Tara off to the fact that she isn't actually talking to Buffy. When Willow returns she points out a vampire to Faith, who is pretty much indifferent to the fact that a girl is being led to her death. After seeing that Willow expects her to get up and take action, Faith finally gets up and goes in the back room to assist the girl. She saves the girl, who then expresses genuine (if heavy-handed) gratitude to Faith, who is a bit surprised to have someone actually thanking her for doing what is supposed to be her job. She could care less about the girl and was simply going through the motions of being Buffy, but that's enough in beginning to spark a change in the way Faith sees Buffy and herself.

    Immediately after the scene at the Bronze, Faith decides to give Riley a spin. The one area Faith's confidence appears to soar is sex. She slithers her way onto Riley and hits on the notion, again, that Buffy is "joyless and proper" and that she should give into her "animal instincts" like Faith, herself, does. She asks Riley, "What do you wanna do with this body? What nasty little desire have you been itching to try out? Am I a bad girl? Do you wanna hurt me?" Faith is running on the assumption, likely based on her own experiences, that every guy has some dirty sexual fantasy underneath the surface, and that if she scratches hard enough she'll be able to reduce them to nothing more than a sexual beast.

    Faith tries to use this assumption to uncover Riley's dirty little fantasy. But Riley's not being enticed in the slightest by Faith's aggressive behavior. He says, "What are we playing at here?" Faith responds, "Well, if you don't wanna Riley says, "Right. I don't wanna play," and then gently kisses her. That's the truth of the matter. To Riley (and Buffy) sex isn't about play, it's about love. This is a concept that Faith unfortunately hasn't been in contact with in her life. While she's had a rough time, it still came down to her own decisions to persue 'play' instead of letting someone really in. This is likely the first time she's ever experienced this kind of love, and it has a profound effect on her.

    While Faith and Riley are 'busy', Willow and Tara are having their own sensual experience through magic. The two of them are doing a spell to ascertain whether or not Buffy is really Buffy. The spell is particularly intense and is obviously a metaphor for sex. The way the scene is shot is scrumptuous and displays variation rarely seen on television. It also feels very personal and magical. The music here, and throughout the episode, very much deserves applause as well -- it's beautiful and cinematic. The spell leads back to Faith and Riley in the middle of sex. I notice that Faith isn't on top of Riley -- she's taken an interesting risk in allowing Riley to take the initiative in showing her love. He even tells her, "I love you," which directly connects with the "thank you" from the girl she saved earlier at the Bronze. Riley's declaration of love overwhelms her as she says, "Ugh. Get off. No. No. No! Get-get off! No! Off me! Get off!"

    Faith is trying to reject these feelings that she's dismissed all her life. She goes on to say, "Who are you? What do you want from h-her?" She is simply in shock that she's let herself open to love like this and still doesn't want to believe it's real. The questions signify that she thinks Riley has to want something from Buffy other than just love. Faith desparately wants to think, and she says unconvincingly, that "this [sex] is She then continues to try to convince herself that she felt "nothing," and repeats said word. Even though she's trying to avoid facing the fact that she really did feel Riley's love, she's knows it's true -- she now knows Buffy and Riley do share genuine love.

    This is why Faith takes off the following morning, trying one last time to escape all her newfound feelings and knowledge. Forrest catches her in the hallway and calls her a She responds, very defensively, "I am not a killer! I am the Slayer! And you don't know the first thing about Forrest points out, "You really care what I think?" She responds, "No. I don't care. God, I don't Notice the use of God in her response, which is ironic considering she's about to selflessly help people in trouble at a church. But before that, Faith tries to flee Buffy's life. This is the life she was so envious of before; the life she thought was handed to Buffy by circumstances and luck. Faith has now fully realized that Buffy's life is the way it is because of the person Buffy is. This revelation makes Buffy's life not something Faith wants anymore. The moment she sees a news report about vampires threatening people in a church, though, she decides to accept Buffy's love of others and goes to save those people, even though she is off the hook of any obligation. At the same time this is happening, Buffy has escaped the custody of the Council and is on her way to find Faith.

    At this point, everything is set into motion. Buffy arrives at Giles' home to convince him that she's actually Buffy. Eliza Dushku does a fantastic job in this scene of capturing Buffy's mannerisms and speech pattern. Willow also arrives, coming through for Buffy again, but this time with Tara's help. They all head to the church where Faith is in full Buffy emulation mode. She runs into Riley before heading in and tells him, "I can't use you," which is basically what Buffy told him in "This Year's Girl" (4x15), because she cares about him and doesn't want him to get hurt. I believe that Faith has also come to the realization that she can't treat Riley like she's treated men up until now, trivially, and that she too doesn't want to see Riley get hurt.

    When Faith goes into the church and tells the vampires, "You're not gonna kill these people ... Because it's wrong," she now genuinely means it. This is amazing character evolution! Buffy then comes in and begins fighting with Faith. Now, forced to look at herself, the truth comes pouring out: "You're nothing! Disgusting! Murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting!" After experiencing Buffy's life and love, Faith has fully realized exactly what she is and hates herself for it. I'm sure she did before, deep down, but it's now risen to the surface. The state Faith is in is carried over to "Five by Five" (AtS 1x18), where she lets loose all the rage and anger at herself in one last outburst, and then finally just wants it all to end: "I'm bad! Please! (sobbing) Angel, please, just do it! Angel, just do it! Please, just do it! Kill me. Just kill

    This is a powerful piece of television and a masterful character study on Faith that managed to blow me away. I always knew this episode had a ton of depth underneath, but before now I hadn't taken the time to really gather my thoughts. Upon review, it's better than I ever thought before. Instead of simply being a gimmick, Whedon once again uses a unique opportunity to its fullest extent. It's got monumentally great writing, beautifully constructed scenes, wonderful music, powerful themes, great humor, and stunning character development for a secondary character. It really doesn't get much better than this.
  • This is a fantastic episode that inspires a lot of conversation.

    At its core, it is completely and utterly about Faith. In fact, I think this is the most screen time Faith's ever gotten and the least, aside from "Bargaining Pt. 1", that Buffy's gotten. This episode gets a perfect score because, after reviewing it, I simply couldn't deny the affect it had on me. No, there isn't a significant lasting effect on the series or season, but the changes and issues explored through Faith are so powerful and expertly handled, I find myself in complete awe.

    This is a powerful piece of television and a masterful character study on Faith that managed to blow me away. I always knew this episode had a ton of depth underneath, but before now I hadn't taken the time to really gather my thoughts. Upon review, it's better than I ever thought before. Instead of simply being a gimmick, Whedon once again uses a unique opportunity to its fullest extent. It's got monumentally great writing, beautifully constructed scenes, wonderful music, powerful themes, great humor, and stunning character development for a secondary character. It really doesn't get much better than this.
  • Faith and Buffy, sitting in a tree...

    The Good;

    One of SMG's great performances as Faith-as-Buffy, what a shame we don't get to see more of Buffy-as-Faith. Terrific in every way

    The Bad;

    Even Adam can't spoil this one but then thankfully he's not in it for too long.

    Best line;

    "Tiny, tiny babies" ASH overacts to great effect

    Character death; 1 parishioner killed at the church, Buffy, Riley kill one vamp each and Faith kills two.


    No, despite the Watcher's Council blazing away during Buffy-as-Faith's escape. Buffy-as-Faith actually uses a gun in her escape.

    Tied up;

    Buffy-as-Faith in chainsx2. She later tells Giles that this isn't the time for 'bondage fun'. Implying she's open to it at other times?

    Knocked out;

    Buffy-as-Faith doped to the eyeballs

    Women good/men bad;

    Buffy-as-Faith effortlessly outsmarts the Watcher Council's goons.


    Your heart freezes when you think Faith-as-Buffy has stabbed Will, thankfully it's only a daydream

    Kinky dinky;

    Ah, Faith, how the kinky dinky column has missed you! Faith-as-Buffy wears the sluttiest outfit we'll ever see on SMG and then seduces Riley asking 'What nasty little desire have you been itching to try out. Am I a bad girl? Do you want to hurt me?' and 'Well if you don't want to play...'. Riley doesn't like the idea of a 'bunch of marines' watching him during sex but FaB might dig it? Buffy/Joyce wear a brand of lipstick subtly named 'Harlot'. What next, slut? Skank? Ho? I must confess that my favourite ever adult fanfic ('Thanks for lending me your body, B')is based on this story where Faith takes the opportunity to not only have sex with Riley but the rest of the Scoobies, Spike and just about everyone else as well, even Adam (but oddly not Giles?). Of course in the follow up story ('Thanks for taking care of my body, Faith') not only do Buffy and Faith kiss and make up (and a whole lot more!) but we find out that Buffy had her own sexy fun in Faith's body. Check them out at adultfanfiction.net IF you're over 18 and EXTREMELY open-minded.

    Xander refers to the 'Orgasmantor'. Xander and Anya are going to have sex near some candles. FaB says that'll last about 7 minutes (based on Xander's prior performance?) According to BaF Joyce thinks Giles is like a stevedore (docker) during sex which adds another colourful chapter to momma Summers sexual history. Plus Faith-as-Buffy teasing Spike at the Bronze.

    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Faith-as-Buffy meets Tara and deducts that Willow is 'no longer driving stick' (what a wonderful euphenism!). Once again the villains show their insight. Faith also seems to take the opportunity to, ahem, 'explore' Buffy's body in the bath (finally able to get her hands on it?). Of course when Faith-as-Buffy is hitting Buffy-as-Faith in the end it's perfectly clear that this is actually Faith expressing her own self-loathing at her image, just as she tells Joyce to burn the lipstick because it was Faith's choice. The Watcher's team use the word 'ponce' as an insult. Faith-as-Buffy thinks there's some 'big old Bertha' waiting to shower Buffy-as-Faith with affection in prison. Plus more erotic spellcasting from Willow and Tara and Tara breaking a million hearts and ending a lot of argument by telling Willow that she's 'Yours'. Faith can't help her Slayer instincts, saving the girl at the Bronze. She wants Riley to punish her and Joyce to burn the lipstick because she hates herself. Check out the little look of triumph on FaB when BaF is being carried to the ambulance, holding Joyce's hand as if to say 'She's mine now'. When Joyce hugs her she obviously wants it but is uncomfortable with it (same expression when she saves the girl at the Bronze)

    Where's Dawn?

    Does she have any inkling that Buffy is not as she appears to be?

    Missing scenes;

    Apocalypses; 5,

    What the fanficcers thought;

    A nice one called 'In your best friends shoes' where instead of Faith and Buffy switching bodies it's Xander and Willow. Willow enjoys not having to queue for the toilets at concerts, Xander pretty much stays in bed playing with Willow's breasts and poor Tara is VERY confused.

    Questions and observations;

    Such a tour-de-force, brilliant at every level. The one gag I wonder they never did was for Faith-as-Buffy tries to reach for something but can't because Buffy's body is shorter than Faith's. But maybe SMG is sensitive about her height? Although they do joke about it in season 7. This marks Anya's indisputable entry into the Scoobies, she's at the briefing at Giles' house without any back story. This makes the Scoobies;






    Shouldn't someone have shown Anya and Riley what Faith looks like? Nice that Riley actually goes to church. I always thought the line for Faith when the lead vamp is mouthing off about where god is should have been 'He couldn't make it but he sent me'. Note how hurt FaB is when Riley says he loves her asking 'What do you want from her?' Adams speech is pretty convincing, he again underlines why humans rule and demons don't. The Bronze loses another pool cue. The guy Spike pushes at the Bronze looks like Asian Joe. Collins says 'Gas', as a Brit he'd probably say 'Petrol'.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10, competes with Hush and Restless for the best ep of the season.

  • Because it's wrong...

    A continuation of the last episode gives us Faith in Buffy's body. This makes for some very interesting and very good scenes. Buffy/Faith with Willow, Buffy/Faith with Spike, and Buffy/Faith with Riley. I believe this is the episode where we start to get the feeling that Faith doesn't really like her life. I draw this conclusion mostly from the final confrontation between the two, but little hints are dropped the entire episode. She does wish she was more like Buffy. She wishes she had friends and family that truly cared about her. She doesn't like the person shes become. It's also confirmed because of what happens when Faith crosses over into the Angelverse a little later on.

    I really loved this episode. I loved that they humanized Faith the way they did. I've always preferred Faith as a good person vs. a bad person.
  • An outstanding episode; one of the show's best.

    Who Are You? is an outstanding episode in all respects- the writing is fantastic, the fights are amazing, the storyline is gripping and the acting is absolutely incredible. Definitely a series classic, this embodies most of the reasons I love Buffy.

    First of all I'm starting by saying that Sarah and Eliza were phenemonal in this episode, nothing short of perfect. Both played each other's characters so fantastically- Sarah played Faith's emotional and complex journey perfectly and Eliza was brilliant portraying Buffy on the run. Eliza was a bit better as Buffy but when you add to the fact that Sarah is playing Faith acting as Buffy, they're even. The starting scenes in the bathroom were hilarious with Faith playing around with Buffy's body, getting comfortable. The bit in front of the mirror were especially brilliant with Faith screaming "You can't do that. It's wrong!" at the mirror and playing a better-than-thou Buffy, which is what she perceives Buffy to be.

    The Faith scenes were the real highlight of the episode and it was a joy to see Sarah playing her, even just for the novelty value. The speech she gives Spike at The Bronze is unforgettable and really showcases the amazing chemistry between Sarah and James- as enemies they're brilliant but they're even better as lovers. They work together so well and it's one of the starting points with Spike's infatuation with Buffy.

    The showdown at the church was very memorable- I wish it had been a little longer but it was still awesome. Seeing Faith break down, screaming and punching Buffy, yelling at her own body "You're a disgusting, murderous b!tch, you're nothing!" was a really shocking and emotional moment, where we see that Faith isn't self confident as she makes out but really hates herself. It is played magnificently and watching her say to the vampires at the church "Because it's wrong" is a massive step forward for her. However, the Willow/Tara scenes aren't to be overlooked. First of all, Tara is awesome for recognizing Buffy isn't Buffy immediately and you like her way more just for that alone. However the spell scene was a big step up for their relationship- it's obviously a metaphor for sex but seeing as the network probably wouldn't have allowed it at the time, magic is the next best thing. It is a very sensual scene and marks the real turn for Willow and Tara into something more than friends.

    The Buffy/Riley scenes again don't interest me. I can see why Buffy may feel all betrayed that Riley slept with Faith-in-Buffy but come on, he can't be blamed! Their drama really does nothing for me, so I tend to not pay attention to them.

    The end scene with Faith on the back of a lorry or something to L.A. was a perfect ending. It rounds off her arc on Buffy while also setting it up for the Angel episodes "Five by Five" and "Sanctuary".

    Who Are You? is nothing short of spectacular; action packed, moving, shocking, magnificently acted and just plain fun most of the time. It isn't an episode that should be missed.
  • Who Are You? (2)

    Who Are You? (2) was a great conclusion to the 2 episode story. This episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was really entertaining to watch. There was lots of action and suspense. With Faith in Buffy's body anything could happen! Meanwhile Buffy in Faith's body is being hauled away to England by the council. There was a lot of character development in this episode as well. It was cool to see more of Willow and Tara, and them doing magic. I thought it was very interesting that Faith felt like she needed to help the people in the church. I look forward to seeing what happens next!!!!!
  • Season 4, Episode 16.

    Buffy and Faith have switched bodies, and nobody knows except each other. Buffy must convince people that she is in Faith's body as she is being sent to England, and Faith has complete access to Buffy's life, friends, family, and boyfriend. This episode was very entertaining. I love Faith, and I loved seeing her and Buffy in each other's bodies. However, Faith did a bad thing by sleeping with Riley, but I can't blame her. He's sexy. I liked the church scene, sort of. I didn't like that they used a church in that example. Aren't vampires supposed to burn in churches? Anyway, it was a good episode, regardless, with Faith becoming a runaway. Great writing and acting. I love Eliza Dushku (and Sarah Michelle Gellar)! :)
  • a stunning episode that exceeds all expectations!!

    the body swap formula has been used throughout all genre shows but never has it been as powerful or as entertaining as this.
    Who Are You? is a perfect episode of the show (and there are a lot),but what makes this stand out above others is the fact that it simply takes everything further and pushes boundaries.
    it carries along the seasons main arc while remaining entirely seperate from it.
    and Sarah & Eliza are simply stunning throughout...seriously they should have won many awards...and so should Joss for writing his 2nd masterpiece of the season.
    this episode is far more than a filler...it is a powerhouse of a film.
    This Years Girl dealt with the grizzly set up and Who Are You? takes everything further and is just a spectacle.
    a definitive episode from this amazing show...and another reason why this show is above anything else on tv.
    Xena Warrior Princess has also done the body swap regime very well...but Buffy has made it a unique formula...by the way,it deserves way more than just the 10 viewings :).
    10/10 perfection!!
  • Identity Crisis

    Who Are You?-After Faith activates the device left for her by the Mayor, it becomes apparent that she and Buffy have switched bodies. Now Buffy, in Faith's body, must escape from the Watcher's Council and convince someone of what has happened. Meanwhile, Faith, as Buffy, has full access to Buffy's life, her friends, and her boyfriend.

    When comes to body switching episodes, they usually involve hookey, uninspired performances with actors and actresses trying to act like the character their co stars' play. If the 2 actors aren't good, the whole concept just falls apart. Luckily, Jossy the Great penned this episode and he turns the overused sci-fi storyline into tremendous hour of television full of self-discovery. Both Sarha Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku give great performances playing the opposite slayer, especially Gellar. You can tell she was having fun playing the bad slayer for an episode and she truly convinced throughout as Faith. I loved Faith playing mind games with everyone like Spike, not to mention when Willow finally introduces Tara, it's a sad scene as Faith makes fun Willow and Tara as she can obviously telling their involved. Both Buffy and Faith go through some intense character development as well as self-discovery when in each others' bodies. Faith starts out parodying Buffy in her own body thinking in her own words, "she's a stuck up, tight a$$ with no sense of fun." But then Faith starts to get a feel for what it like to be Buffy and it terrifys her from saving a woman life then getting thanked for it to experiencing love when she sleeps with Riley. Sarah plays such great range of emotions throughout and Eliza was just as good. While not experiencing as much Faith, Buffy is pushed to extreme lengths throughout the hour when captured by the Watcher's Council. Buffy realizes is hard for Faith and that she has a bit of a dark side her own when she threatens to kill one of the watchers for her freedom. My favorite scene though would have to be when Buffy tries to explain herself Giles that she's Buffy and lines like this:

    Buffy (in Faith's body): "Ask me a question, ask me anything?"
    Giles: "Who's President?"
    Buffy: "We're checking for Buffy, not aconcussion."

    While the Adam sub-plot was random with him inspiring a group of vampires to take a church hostage, it does make for a great climax, not to mention cool fight sequence with Faith laying the smack down on some vampires just as Buffy arrives, creating a brief yet another brilliant fight between both slayers. I loved how Faith was literally beating up herself as well as mentally. It's a tragic development as Faith reveals she hates the person she is deep down and wants so badly to no be herself. Other great scenes is Willow and Tara doing a powerful spell to save Buffy which is a stunning yet sexual scene. It's nice the writers are not shying away from the fact that these 2 women are in love and it made for an intense, excellent scene. "Who Are You?" is an incredible character study of Faith as she goes through variety experiences that begin to change her character, leading her toward her own redemption. The wonderful performances by Sarah and Eliza, not to mention another flawless script under Joss Whedon's belt make this a stunning highlight from this season.
  • buffy and faith switches body...

    this episode is amazing. it says a lot about faith and after she switches body with buffy and lived a day in her body, she found out she cant bear hurting people or seeing people getting hurt. but at the beginning she was kind of a jerk to the scoobies and i wonder how they never suspect anything, but insted tara was the one that knew. later she became good and went to save the people in the church. this episode showed that one day in another persons shoe can make a big differece. faith was evil but after a day in buffy's shoe (literally) she learned to regret her actions and decided to make amends.
  • Faith wreaks havoc.

    Faith wreaks some serious havoc, walking around in Buffy's skin. I always sort of disliked Faith, especially with some of the stuff she has pulled and done over the years but this episode in particular really makes me dislike her. Her disreguard for Buffy, even though all the girl ever did was try to help her, is so infuriating that I can not even explain it. She makes an utter mess of her life, really insulting some of Buffy's friends to boot and practicly destorying her newly formed relationship with Riley. Not only that but she has such utter disrespect for herself as well. I mean I thought she acted shamefully before she landed in a coma but this behavior and to realize how much being a slayer actually means. The girl needs some serious help.
  • faith and buffy switching lives continues.

    well faith is having a blast with buffy's life she has riley she the slayer a strong slayer. but buffy as faith has some problems. she is a crimanal. she killed people. and willow tara and giles belive that faith is buffy. well in the church a vampire is in there with two other and there is people in there and faith who is in buffy's body goes in there to save the day she kills one vamp but the other ran but riley killed him. then buffy came in faith's body. then buffy the real one killed the last vamp.then buffy and faith started to fight once again.then buffy the real one. use the device and they switch back to their selfs. then at the end faith turned her slf to the police. well a good episode.
  • \"…cos I could do anything I want and yet I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness\". - Faith as Buffy

    At the end of This Year’s Girl, I could half-imagine what would come subsequently. Sarah Michelle Gellar would be pouting and pouncing her way through the next episode. I was kind of right, but also very wrong about this stupendous slice of slayerness. I actually started to believe that SMG was channelling Eliza Dushku and vice-versa. It’s also one of the very few episodes not to have Buffy as the central character around whom the story revolves. So, the Mayor wanted Faith to have a fresh start, to escape, but she finally gets her wish to become Buffy – the evil twin has taken over. As Buffy, she advises Joyce to burn the lipstick Faith liked – her old life is over. SMG’s acting Buffy being Faith being Buffy (“You can’t do that – it’s wrong,”) is hilarious, as we are reminded of Faith’s black and white view of the world. Faith gets to hear some bad things about herself and also to find out what Buffy’s life is really like. Eliza Dushku’s acting is also stunning, as we see her adopt SMG’s/Buffy’s intonations and little stutters and Slayer resolve: “You have to find Faith. You’ve got to contact Giles.” Fortunately, the cor blimey SAS Watchers are as ineffective at holding Buffy-as-Faith as weedy Wesley was. Baith’s scene with Giles, after she has A-teamed herself out of the warehouse, is funny and lovely as she has to use the will-never-talk-about-it sex between Ripper and Joyce in an effort to persuade Giles that she is Buffy, seeing as he can’t just look into her eyes and know as she did in A New Man. “Stop inching,” she tells him, and “I don’t have time for bondage fun”.

    Meanwhile, Tara is challenging Willow on the fact that: “Nobody knows I exist, right?” and Willow has to rise to this. Willow is not ashamed of her feelings for Tara, but she is not being true to herself. Last ep, she used Faith as an excuse to hang out with Tara. Does she think Tara as being less than herself? In a time when Buffy and Xander are pursuing their own lives, Willow seems to want to isolate Tara so that she has someone to rely on, who needs her – something Tara confirms when she tells Willow “I am you know – yours”, whilst gazing up at her Wicca with a look that makes us, just as Joss did with Oz in the van in Innocence, fall in love with her. Willow sees herself as a teacher – explaining patronisingly about the Bronze where they go to hang out and meet the gang. Unfortunately the first person to whom Willow introduces Tara is Faith-as-Buffy - Fuffy immediately going for the jugular, spotting not only Tara and Willow’s incipient lesbianism, but Tara’s stammer and shyness. However, Tara turns out to be useful as she spots that Fuffy isn’t Buffy. Like Faith seeing the Sapphic thang going down, it takes an outsider to spot the obvious. Willow redeems herself by trusting Tara’s opinion immediately and we have the hand-holding, heavy-breathing, prettily-sweating, blissed out-blessed out, magic smoky circle spell which leads to a fun time for Willow, a confirmation that Tara is Willow’s anchor (in life and in magic), and a glowing green charm to change Buffy and Faith back into their real selves

    In the meantime, Fuffy finally gets to shag Buffy’s boyf. She asks what games he wants to play and we see that this her view of the body switch – it’s all just one big game with no meaning. Being in Buffy’s body and seducing her boyf is just a role playing game. Faith doesn’t know who she is. She wanted to take over Buffy’s world with its maternal affection, its friendships and its true love, but she can’t deal with the hugs, or gratitude, the emotions or the tender-love making. Her reaction to Riley telling her that he loves her (a horrible irony as Riley says it the first time to Fuffy, rather than his beloved) is telling. “This is meaningless,” she says, meaning the sex with Riley, her taking of Buffy’s body and her life itself. Her exchange with Spike is far more satisfying to her: she knows that he’s a bad guy and so she can treat him mercilessly. Spike’s threat that he would tell Faith where to find the Scoobs in the last episode was empty, and here we see Spike humiliated by Fuffy’s prickteasing - and the first glimmer of Spike’s obsession with Buffy

    The dull interlude with Adam in which he sets himself up as a new Hitler – unifying the ayran demon and vamp masses against the humans - is a mere plot device to get Fuffy back from the airport and into church. Her crise de conscience is perhaps influenced by her experience with Riley, her conversation with Forrest when she insists that she’s not “a killer”, and most crucially, it could be that walking (and fighting) in Buffy\'s shoes have shown her the path of righteousness. “You are not going to kill these people – because it’s wrong,” she tells the henchvamp without a trace of irony. “I’m Buffy, I have to do this”, she says to Riley, and she actually believes it. Part of this is her desire to be the True Slayer, the one girl in all the world, and she is content to fight all the vamps as long as she can say she is “the one and only”. Her fight with Baith when she strikes herself in the face over and over crying: “You’re nothing – disgusting murderous b!tch, you’re nothing,” shows her true colours – she only ever wanted to be Buffy.
  • Perfect all the time!!!

    This is one of the best episodes in BTVS. I saw Eliza and Sarah's magnificent acting abilities. I had fun while watching this episode. Sarah was so hot when she acted Faith in Buffy body. I loved the scenes in fron of the mirror, it was soooo funny. Spike got the first sexual impression from Buffy (actually Faith but whatever) If i think that they'll be my fav. couple soon it was really hot! I love Tara as a person but as Willow's girlfriend, I dunno... I didn't want this anytime. Tara is a great girl but i don't wanna see her with Willow.
    When Buffy and Faith fight i saw the hatred in Faith in Buffy's eyes. She hated the woman she became and that's why she was so angry.
  • Wicked fun!

    Buffy finds herself trapped in Faith's body, while Faith takes a tour of Buffy's life.

    A fan-frickin-tastic episode that is full of fun, while at the same time having a genuine emotional core. Buffy-in-Faith finds herself battling for her freedom and possibly her life against the Council's black ops team and trying to convince Giles that's she's really his Slayer. In the meantime, Faith is looking to start over in Buffy's body but finds herself being changed by the experience. Both Sarah and Eliza do phenomenal work (again Emmy worthy if that statuette was worth the metal it's made out of) pretending to be each other by vocal inflection and mannerisms.

    And again, Joss and team, makes us feel for the bad guy. It's genuinely sad when Faith is confused by nice-guy Riley, realizing that he's not just looking to score with Buffy, but actually has strong feelings for her. And the ending with Faith beating on her own body and screaming that "she's" a disgusting, murdering, *itch before Buffy pulls a re-switch is painful to watch.

    These two episodes easily embrace all of the best qualities of this series. Humor, drama, emotional resonance and characters that make you care.
  • 'I could squeeze you until you popped like warm champagne, and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more. And you know why I don't? Because it's wrong.'

    ‘Who Are You?’ is the second part of ‘This Year’s Girl’ and is almost equally as good.

    The episode begins with Faith being dragged away but on their way a car hits the police and three guys from the council abduct Buffy who is in Faith’s body.
    The three council guys are most definitely the most irritating part of the episode, they are annoying an dragged the episode a bit down.

    The best thing about this episode was Faith in Buffy’s body and slowly watching Buffy’s life and realising that it doesn’t suck and that she actually wished she was Buffy. The best scene was in the bathroom where she looks at the mirror and tries to act like Buffy and says the ‘Because it’s wrong’ a couple of times without meaning it.

    Faith then goes to the Scooby club and when Willow talks about Faith she imagines killing her with a knife but she’s not Faith anymore.
    She goes to the bronze where she has a confrontation with Spike, once again she says it’s wrong to do the things she said to him. Then she meets Tara and is very mean to her and gives the first clues that Tara might have a sexual relationship with Willow. Then Faith saves a girl from a vampire who says thanks and Faith had trouble reacting because she had never had someone to say that to her.

    Meanwhile Buffy escapes from the retarded council and Adam finds some vampires to work for him and take over a church.

    One of the most powerful scenes was Faith seducing Riley and getting him into bed, they sleep together but when she realised it was love she gets all freaked-out because she had never felt that before. At the same time Willow and Tara do a spell to find Buffy’s essence because Tara doesn’t think it was Buffy and the spell is like a metaphor for sex.

    When both Faith and Buffy see on the news about the church they both go to it, Faith who is starting to think she is becoming Buffy tells the vampires that they can’t kill the humans because it’s wrong only this time she meant it. But then Buffy walks in and Faith hits her and calls her disgusting meaning that she really hates herself. They then change bodies and Faith runs out of church.

    This episode was so well written and makes Faith such an interesting character. Faith leaves town but she didn’t have fun, she felt how it is to be love for the first time and it confused her. It also revealed that Tara and Willow might have something going around because of what Faith said, the spell and because Tara said she was Willow’s.
  • Wickedly Out of Character!

    This episode is amazing! This episode is the saying grace of the season. Eliza Dushku is one of the best things that happen to BtvS.

    We ended the last episode with Buffy and Faith switching bodies.

    Eliza did a great job being Buffy in this episode. Little nuances (not in the writing) made it believable.

    While Sarah had a harder time, she had to be Faith being Buffy, she still did a good job.

    Though, once the stunt actresses came in, it was a different story. Faith and Buffy have different styles of fighting, and while fighting, the "Buffy" double still fought like Buffy, as opposed to Faith (and vice verse). But I was happy that didn't last too long.
  • This is one hell of a ride!

    I love this episode, which showcases the hightlights between Buffy and Faith. For years, they have been at it, and through it all, Faith had always wanted to be Buffy. Now it's time for them to walk in each other's shoes and for Buffy to see how tough Faith's life really is. The performances are amazing and believable. Highlights from this episode are:

    Faith's "I'm Buffy" in the mirror.
    Faith harassing Tara in the Bronze.
    Willow and Tara's wonderful spell.
    The spectacular fight between Buffy and Faith.

    ...and a lot more. Buffy finally knows what's going on inside the dark Slayer, and I dont think that they will ever see each other in the same light again. A brilliant episode!
  • One of the best episodes of this season, no doubt.

    Faith returned in the previous episode, but in this, with more on-screen time (in the skin of Sarah Michelle - who is incredible, by the way), she shows why she is here: revenge. But as the episode progresses, she is thrown at Buffy\'s life, and it changes her. She becomes more human than ever. In the last year, she\'d never help someone. But now, doing only one good thing, saving someone, she sees how it can be rewarding, in a way evil never was.
    The only problem in the episode is the absence of Eliza Dushku. She appears just a little, and we can\'t see if she would be a really good Buffy, like Sarah was as Faith. That scene with Giles was hilarious, she was good. But I sure missed her in the rest of the scenes.
    Faith is the most strong supporting character of the show. She was so strong that made Dushku famous. And seeing another actress playing the character, you can only say Eliza was the best to the role.
  • Litterally. Faith in Buffy's body.

    This is one of my absoulute favourite episodes. Body-switch episodes are always funny, but this one has more layers and feelings than humour. We got to follow Faith in Buffy's body, as she causes mayhem and lives Buffy's life in her own way. The main reason that Faith later on becomes a "balanced", or at least good, person is that she had a glimpse at Buffy's life and reality and saw how different it was from hers. Buffy had friends and people who cared about her. Faith wanted that, and I think that's why she turned herself in to the police in Angel.

    Usually when I watch body-switch episodes I have to tell my self once in a while that they have changed bodys, because the actors act as they usually do. That's not the case in this episode. Both Sarah and Eliza are great actresses and they were very convincing as each others characters. They made me believe that they really had changed bodys.
    I also liked that Faith examined Buffy's tounge when they first had switched. That's a thing I would have done if it had happened to me.

    All in all the episode was great. Good acting, great story and writing.
  • Not My favorite Episode

    So, okay, a very thrilling episode by faith/buffy storyline standards...still not my favorite. This episode firmly solidifies the whole Tara/Willow thing. A character outline and story arc I truly never liked. Although saddened when Tara was killed and goosebumped when willow turned wicked, i was never happy with willow being gay. I think mostly because the whole xander/willow best friends-secret lovers-torn apart thing happened to me, during a time when he went by xander (cuz we thought we were trying to be soo cool). I was on a path the same as willow and really didn't wanna turn out to be gay.Though now that i know my life doesn't revolve around tv nor mimmick it, oh and hey, not gay, i still didn't like this as much as others during the season.
  • Overall, this episode provides a strong conclusion to the first half of the story, exploring several different aspects of self-identity in a well-executed script.

    The previous episode focused primarily on the fact that Faith had come out of her coma with a fractured sense of self and a set of unjustified grievances the size of Montana. It ended with Faith literally taking everything from Buffy and forcing Buffy to walk in her shoes for the rest of her life. As revenge fantasies go, Faith manages to live out one of the more satisfying ones. The theme of the season, however, is self-identity, and how one learns to define one’s purpose, so Faith doesn’t have it as easy as she might like.

    At this point of the season, things finally begin to gel in terms of the season arc. Buffy’s personal issues and the fracturing of the gang into personal growth experiences has left the door wide open for someone to come along and organize the demonic world. One gets the sense that the Mayor’s defeat at the end of the third season left most demons searching for their own direction and purpose, and the Initiative’s work sent them into even more of a panic. Adam steps in and finds his place in the world as the one to gather the troops and make a move to dominate; instead of being the perfect demon-killing machine, Adam becomes the perfect weapon to eliminate humans.

    Given how much time was spent in the previous episode on determining Adam’s next move, it’s interesting to note how Faith disrupts that effort in a major way. Certainly Faith has no intention of risking herself to stop some killing machine that she hopes to never encounter. Her thought process never went beyond getting on a plane and pretending at having a new life. But even before that happens, the nurturing aspect of Buffy’s world begins to have a disturbing effect on her. The unconditional love of a mother is not something Faith is used to experiencing.

    The bit with the mirror is a lot of fun, and it gives Sarah a chance to demonstrate her ability to mimic Eliza’s particular depiction of Faith. The constant, mocking repetition of “because it’s wrong” provides a baseline for Faith’s mental stability. Faith sees Buffy and her moral compass as hopelessly naïve and self-limiting in the beginning, when she has some hope of remaining unscathed by the trauma of her own decisions.

    This being a Joss episode, everything promised regarding Willow and Tara in “Hush” comes to fruition. Unlike some of the other aspects of the season, their relationship has grown on a fairly logical pace. The effort to make Tara look unconventionally attractive continues, however, and in some scenes, the effect is actually closer to disturbing. Willow would definitely go for a goth Wicca; she wouldn’t go for someone who looks like a stoner. Sure, Tara may be trying to look a certain way to place the rest of the world at arms’ length, but it makes one wonder about Willow’s taste.

    For all that, Joss is remarkably honest about the circumstances of the relationship between Willow and Tara. A lot of fans eventually took issue with the way that the relationship ended and its supposed connotation for “the nature of lesbians”. What is often overlooked is the fact that Willow might have easily gone into a relationship with a male Wiccan, with the same end result. The entire relationship begins out of a shared passion for magic, and from the beginning, Willow is attracted to the allure of sharing and expanding her abilities. The seeds for Willow’s descent are already well established. In turn, Tara’s personality is established in such a way that she is effectively centering her universe around Willow.

    One could draw parallels of dominance/submission within that relationship, but that would ignore the fact that Tara is a person who has been taught to demean herself, regardless of the relationship. In a way, her reaction to Willow is the kind of reaction she would have had to anyone who treats her as valuable. The point is that these are character flaws that are entirely independent of the fact that this is a lesbian relationship, and the eventual consequences derive solely from those previously established character flaws.

    Something very interesting happens when Faith vamps up Buffy. One immediately realizes that a lot of the inherent sexiness of Buffy’s character disappeared after the third season. Part of that is certainly character-driven; Buffy had more than enough reason to reject the side of her that resembled Faith and everything Faith loved about being a Slayer. But part of it is the fact that Sarah became a bit too skinny over time, to the point that they couldn’t even find a stunt woman who could match her body frame. Not to be crude, but Buffy used to have cleavage, and those leather pants used to fit a lot better. (Why wouldn’t Faith choose a push-up bra, when in her usual body, she’s displaying the bosom without hesitation?) Sarah still looks damn good in this episode, and she knows how to be seductive and dangerous, but it exposes how much that side of her character has been missing.

    On another note, the Watcher hitmen finally catch up with Faith’s body, and Buffy is probably not happy to discover that the Watchers have a cleaner squad. For that matter, it’s a little surprising to think that the Watchers would have people ready and waiting to conduct extreme prejudice on Slayers who cross the line. Joss is clearly trying to give the Watchers a dangerous edge, but it doesn’t quite fit with the impressions of the organization thus far. It also makes one wonder why, if the Watchers were willing to eliminate Faith, they were more than happy to let Buffy run around as a rogue agent. (Then again, as previously mentioned, it works to their advantage, since Buffy gets to risk their neck while they get time to train the Potentials more thoroughly.)

    Faith seems to enjoy toying with the Scoobies, but it bothers her somewhat to know that Willow hates her. This is the other side of the equation that Faith can’t seem to deal with. She’s not comfortable with the kind of world that Buffy has creating for herself, filled with genuine nurturing, and she doesn’t like dealing with the reality of how strongly people hate her for her actions. To live as Buffy, Faith has to start thinking and reacting like Buffy, and it brings up alternative emotional responses that she would normally be able to dismiss.

    She quickly decides to use Adam as an excuse to go have some wicked fun at the Bronze, and she runs into Spike. At this point, Spike is still engaged in his hate/hate relationship with Buffy, but Joss turns that around in a hurry. This is where Sarah really makes Faith’s raw sexual energy shine through, even if she doesn’t have the assets for it. Faith’s little description of what she could do speaks volumes, and it certainly gave Spike (and most male fans!) something to think about. If Spike wasn’t secretly lusting after Buffy before, he certainly was after that!

    But it also reveals something that Faith’s character has always hinted at: the raw and primal instincts of the Chosen. All that power and physical ability is clearly a rush, and tapping into the wellspring at the heart of the Chosen line is like a direct connection to the pure and predatory animal. Faith let the pain and suffering of a (likely) sexually abusive childhood translate into a desire to use those primal urges to control her relationships with men. She plays Spike like a fiddle.

    At the same time, what does that say about Buffy? She has to feel a lot of the same desires, but her sense of morality keeps a lot of that in check. Indeed, she seems to hold back just a little too much at times. When she loses that sense of purpose and direction, and she wants to punish herself in the sixth season, how does she respond? By abusing herself and Spike in exactly the way that Faith depicts in this episode. It’s hard not to believe that this was intentional on Joss’ part, because while Buffy’s self-control is often better than the alternative, her self-denial can be dangerous when something drives her to give in.

    Willow and Tara run into Faith at the Bronze, and for a moment, it feels like a scene designed to set Tara at odds with Buffy, forcing Willow to choose. Faith really rips into Tara, and she takes a lot of pleasure in undermining Tara’s confidence. But when it comes to stepping into the Slayer role again, this time as Buffy, Faith is faced with the simplicity of human compassion. It confuses the hell out of her, and so when Willow gives her the idea to visit Riley, it gives her another way to escape the uncomfortable feelings.

    Buffy, meanwhile, gets a really good look at how far the Watchers are willing to go to get their way. One supposes that Buffy’s defection wasn’t a big deal, because they always felt like Faith (and her successor) was their true responsibility. But what does it say that there would be people working for the Watchers who consider themselves expendable? Fighting demons is one thing, but this is a squad designed for something else entirely. There are shades of the Talamasca from the Anne Rice novels, but since this side of the Watchers is largely absent in future seasons, it’s a concept that isn’t realized.

    Tara shows a depth to her character when she very carefully tells Willow what she “felt” about the Faith-in-Buffy situation. It would have been easy for Tara to dismiss those feelings and assume that Buffy was simply a lot worse a person than Willow believed. Instead, Tara understood what kind of person Willow would gravitate towards, and saw the inconsistencies. It speaks volumes about how important Willow is to Tara.

    Much like the scene with Spike, Sarah does a damn good job of seducing Riley, while keeping true to Faith’s character. Once again, a less emaciated Sarah would have been more interesting to watch, but they play it up beautifully. The shot of Sarah crawling across the bed is particularly memorable! But this is Faith, of course, and so she prefers to play power games, rather than explore what love entails. Riley, on the other hand, has no intention of letting that happen.

    Joss takes both relationships to a similar place, but with vastly opposite results. The use of magic as a metaphor for Willow and Tara’s first sexual experience together is very well done. Allyson actually makes her ecstasy look genuine and triumphant, as opposed to the look of terror on Faith’s face when she realizes that she’s in completely new territory. Willow and Tara open up to one another without reservation; Faith does the same, but it only throws her into confusion. It’s a great example of classic Joss interplay.

    Amidst Willow and Tara finding out who they are together, Riley figuring out that he loves Buffy, and Faith realizing that pretending to be Buffy means dropping her defenses far more than she expected, Adam also comes into his own. He becomes the inspirational leader of a gang of vampires, but that’s only the beginning. Adam intends far more, and as the season draws to a close, eliminating the opposition is his primary goal.

    Forrest, like nearly every other appearance since “The I in Team”, doesn’t give Buffy an inch, and thanks to that, Faith snaps right back into her usual persona. It’s easy, since Forrest doesn’t even try to see any other point of view than his own, and he actually gets more and more annoying as the season progresses.

    Meanwhile, Buffy gets the drop on the cleaners (something else that doesn’t give them much credibility), and as expected, it’s not long before she’s running to get help from Giles. This is easily the best scene with Eliza as Buffy; she gets Sarah’s mannerisms and speech patterns down perfectly. It’s a little disappointing to Buffy (and the audience) that Giles doesn’t look into her eyes and recognize her, but Buffy’s spiel regarding Giles and his sex life was priceless. (Ever notice how only Joss bothered to mention Olivia?)

    Things come to a head when Adam’s latest minions take over a church, threatening to kill everyone, high on overcoming their fears. Faith hears about the incident in the airport, and instead of boarding her plane, she decides that she’s Buffy, and so she has to do the right thing. Her sense of identity is completely shattered. Now, when she says “because it’s wrong”, she actually means it. Instead of taking over Buffy’s life and stealing her world, she’s allowed Buffy’s world to take over her.

    Thanks to some courageous silliness on Giles’ part, it doesn’t take long for Buffy and Faith to come to blows, once Adam’s minions are taken out. Seeing her own body again sends Faith right over the edge. Everything she hates about herself, now that she’s had a means of expressing what she might really have wanted in life, comes into focus, and it’s not pretty. The fight is remarkably short, but in retrospect, it makes sense that Faith would run away once back in her own body. Faith is defeated in every sense of the world, and whatever strands of sanity remained are long gone. As would soon be clear on “Angel”, that self-loathing would translate into a deathwish; she has, finally, hit rock bottom.

    Of course, the damage was already done. Buffy had to fight to take back her life, but Faith made a mess of it in less than a day. Worst of all is the fact that Riley slept with Faith, unaware that it wasn’t Buffy. Giles’ lack of recognition hurt in one respect, but it’s Riley that she really would have expected to come through. Then again, she needs to give him some slack, given what he’s been through lately.

    Unfortunately, the experience reinforces some of the personality changes that Buffy had undergone since the third season. Buffy is one step further down a path of self-awareness, but for all that, she’s afraid to let her sexuality to the surface in any way that would resemble Faith’s aggressiveness. She’s still sexual, of course (thinking of “Where the Wild Things Are”), but she also begins to lose some of the joy in life.

    Buffy’s search for a sense of purpose and identity would not be resolved in the fourth season. Instead, the end of the fourth season would transform her journey, placing the focus on what it means to be a Slayer and one of the Chosen. But in order to make sense of how that journey changes Buffy, especially in terms of Dawn’s arrival, Buffy needs to get a grip on who she is now that she’s becoming an adult. Having everything in her life taken away without warning, only to get it back, helps to give her that sense of who she wants to be when all is said and done.