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Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Faith
cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, and James Marsters
creator: Josh Whedon
180 minutes (15) 1998-2000
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
20th Century Fox DVD Region 2 + 4 retail
reviewed by Ian Shutter
As the real badass among TV fantasy bad girls, Eliza Dushku played replacement vampire
slayer Faith as heroine Buffy's dark side. Everything about her, from hair colour to black
leather clothes, to personality and expressive choice of words, was designed to signify
that she was Buffy gone wrong. Introduced in the third season episode Faith, Hope And
Trick, Faith was a breath of fresh air in the goody-two-shoes world of this superhero
TV show. She was wickedly funny, uncontrollable, and dangerous to know. In Revelations,
Faith was confronted with new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post (Serena Scott Thomas), and although
she works alongside Buffy, their teamwork was to be short-lived.
The first episode in this Faith-themed collection is Bad Girls,
which sees yet another Watcher arriving in Sunnydale, the pompous young Englishman, Wesley
Wynham-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) - who later features in spinoff series
introduction to Faith, in the school library, perfectly illustrates her amusingly uncompromising
attitude to authority.
[sees Wesley; inquires]: New Watcher?
BUFFY and GILES
[in chorus, affirmative]: New Watcher.
[turns to leave]: Screw that.
But the story that follows this typical encounter is marked by awful tragedy when the
overconfident and extremely aggressive Faith inadvertently kills an innocent human, the
town's deputy mayor, when she mistakes him for a vampire enemy. In the follow-up episode,
Consequences, Faith blames Buffy for the murder and clearly demonstrates that she
is not dealing with her guilt very well at all. Before the end of the crisis, she abandons
her 'calling' as a vampire slayer and eventually opts to work for demonic local politician
Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener). A later episode, season three's 'cliffhanger' ending
Graduation Day - Part One, sees the evil Mayor's supernatural ascension to giant-sized
monster-hood during Buffy's high school graduation ceremony, in which Faith plays an integral
part. After the body-swap of This Year's Girl (not included on this disc), where
Faith awakens from her months-long coma to magically assume Buffy's identity, while Buffy
is obviously mistaken for Faith, the actresses have great fun impersonating each other's
characters in Who Are You. Though, their role-playing ends when Buffy reverses the
spell in order to regain her own body, and the good and bad slayers fight it out on a rooftop...
The four episodes here are generally representative of the Faith character's development
from potential stand-in for Buffy, with questionable loyalties, to rogue slayer and later
defection to villainy, but they fail to explore many of the subtler facets of the maverick
teen character. As the most plausibly conflicted personality, and therefore most human, within
the Buffyverse, Faith
remains, perhaps, the most intriguing character in whole show.
DVD picture format is enhanced for 16:9 TV, and has Dolby 2.0 surround
audio with five-language subtitles including English. Disc extras: character profile featurette
(15 minutes) with Dushku interview clips, plus trailers for Buffy and Angel series