Rewatching Buffy – Episodes 55 & 56

buffy-titleWelcome to Rewatching Buffy, the part of the blog where I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love this show 20 years ago.

Yes, I’m doing two episodes this week. It’s a two-parter and the finale of the third season. So it’s kind of a big deal. Trust me, it’s good stuff.

Graduation Day, Part 1

  • Xander & Cordelia are picking up their caps and gowns. They’re on much better terms after the prom.
  • Xander has this feeling he’s not gonna survive graduation. He feels like he’s been lucky one too many times.
  • Willow is signing yearbooks. Including Harmony’s… They hated each other…
  • Graduation goggles.
  • Buffy doesn’t have the graduation goggles on. She may not even go to graduation.
  • But Xander drops the bomb that the mayor is the commencement speaker.
  • Faith goes to visit a college professor. The mayor is interested in his research.
  • Which must be some kind of threat to him, because Faith kills him.
  • And as the camera pans away, we catch a glimpse of a drawing of a volcano. That’s probably important.
  • Back at Faith’s apartment, the mayor has provided her with a cute dress to wear on Ascension Day. She doesn’t seem too comfortable in pink.
  • There’s a very father/daughter feel to this relationship.
  • Seems to be the running theme this season, considering that’s why Giles was fired from his position with the Watchers.
  • Anya tries to ask Xander out. He’s not going for it. Too distracted by the coming Ascension.
  • Mentioning the Ascension changes Anya’s attitude very suddenly.
  • Buffy and the Watchers discover the death of the professor in the paper. Time to figure out why the mayor wanted him dead.
  • Xander and Anya enter the library. Turns out, Anya’s the only living person to have witnessed one.
  • Anya explains that the demons that Buffy faces are tainted… they’re hybrids. Ascension means that someone becomes pure demon. They’re more dangerous. And a lot bigger.
  • The mayor and Principal Snyder are going over details for the ceremony.
  • Mayor Wilkins says Sunnydale owes Snyder a debt of gratitude for his work at the high school.
  • And then the mayor heads to the library. Another fantastic interaction with Buffy and the gang.
  • He says the wrong thing and pisses Giles off. So Giles runs him through with a sword that just happened to be lying on the table.
  • Of course, it does nothing to him.
  • Anya is skipping town. She tells Xander it can’t be stopped. The only thing any sane person would do is run.
  • Back at the old Summers homestead, Buffy is packing a bag for Joyce. Joyce is reluctant, but she agrees to leave town.
  • Willow and Oz are looking for some kind of spell to stop the Ascension. Coming up with nothing.
  • Willow begins to panic. Oz moves in for a kiss to calm her down. One thing leads to another…
  • Buffy explores the professor’s home. Angel shows up to act as back up. Just in case Faith shows up.
  • Turns out the professor is a volcanologist. Does that mean a volcano could stop the mayor?
  • Where do you get a volcano in Sunnydale?
  • Buffy and Angel argue in the street. More fallout from their breakup.
  • Out of nowhere, Angel is shot in the back with an arrow.
  • A henchvamp remarks that Faith missed the heart. “Meant to.”
  • Buffy gets Angel back to the library where they remove the arrow. Things seem okay.
  • The professor’s research shows that he discovered something resembling a dinosaur carcass buried under a volcanic eruption. This means, in demon form, the mayor can be killed.
  • Angel tries to stand… then he passes out.
  • The arrow was poisoned. Wesley says he’ll contact the Council to find out exactly what kind of toxin they’re dealing with.
  • Willow sends Xander to the magic shop for supplies. He runs into Anya who’s trying to get him to run away with her. He turns her down.
  • Wesley arrives at Angel’s mansion with the news that the Council refuses to help because Angel is a vampire. No matter the circumstances.
  • At this point, Buffy decides that she won’t be taking orders from the Watchers’ Council anymore. Giles backs her up.
  • “Tell them, until the next Slayer comes along, they can close up shop.”
  • Wesley: “This is mutiny.” Buffy: “I like to think of it as graduation.”
  • Willow has discovered that the poison is specifically used on vampires. It’s called “Killer of the Dead.” The cure: drain the blood of the Slayer.
  • Angel needs a Slayer? Buffy’s gonna get him one.
  • Remember Faith’s knife? The one the mayor gave her a few episodes back? Buffy’s gonna take that when she faces Faith.
  • Buffy shows up at Faith’s apartment. She announces her presence by turning off Faith’s music.
  • When Buffy reveals that the cure is Faith’s blood, the look on her face says that her stomach just dropped to her feet.
  • A pretty well-choreographed fight ensues. It even gets moved out to the roof when they break through a window.
  • While Faith is slightly disoriented, Buffy cuffs herself to Faith.
  • Back in the library, Giles discovers what kind of demon the mayor is going to turn into. It’s a lot bigger than they anticipated.
  • The fight continues. Faith manages to break the cuffs, then Buffy flashes the knife.
  • Faith: “That’s mine.” Buffy: “You’re about to get it back.”
  • Buffy stabs Faith in the stomach. But then Faith throws herself off the roof and into a passing truck, just so Buffy can’t save Angel.
  • To be continued…
  • Body count: Humans – 1

Graduation Day, Part 2

  • …right now.
  • The mayor is a bit distraught at the state of Faith’s place… and the fact that she’s nowhere to be found.
  • Willow is watching over a delirious Angel. He thinks she’s Buffy… tells her he needs her.
  • Buffy gets back to Angel’s. She asks Willow and Oz to leave her with him.
  • She offers herself to Angel to save his life. He tries to refuse. But she forces him to drink.
  • He almost takes too much. But he’s able to stop just in time.
  • Angel takes Buffy to the hospital. She’s gonna need a transfusion, stat.
  • Down the hall, a doctor is explaining Faith’s prognosis to the mayor. She’s in a coma. She may never regain consciousness.
  • The mayor overhears a nurse talking about a girl with severe blood loss. He’s looking for some vengeance.
  • He tries to suffocate Buffy, but Angel pulls her off before he can kill her.
  • The rest of the gang gets to the hospital. They all kind of hate Angel for feeding off Buffy to save himself.
  • I don’t think that’s fair.
  • In a dream, Buffy and Faith hang out at Buffy’s place. Buffy wonders who will take care of the cat.
  • Faith provides Buffy with a little riddle: Miles to go. Little Miss Muffet counting down from 7-3-0. That means something.
  • Faith also reveals that human weakness never goes away. Not even his.
  • So what’s the mayor’s weakness?
  • Buffy wakes up and visits the comatose Faith. Gives her a gentle kiss on the forehead.
  • She finds the gang out in the hallway. She tells them to gather everyone. She’s ready for war.
  • She explains the plan to everyone in the library. “Am I crazy?”
  • Cordelia: “I, personally, don’t think it’s possible to come up with a crazier plan.” Oz: “We attack the mayor with hummus.”
  • Giles points out that the plan is dependent on Buffy’s ability to control the mayor. Angel points out that, at the hospital, the mayor was wracked with grief over Faith. She’s his weak point.
  • There will be an eclipse to signal the Ascension. Which will keep all the vampires in play. For the mayor, they need to keep the kids from running. For the good guys, it means Angel is back in the fight.
  • Angel lets Buffy know that, if they get through this, he’s just gonna go. No drawn out goodbyes.
  • As the ceremony begins, Snyder remarks, “You all proved, more or less, adequate.”
  • I’m sure he really means it.
  • As the mayor takes the podium, Buffy says, “My God. He’s gonna do the entire speech.”
  • It’s actually not a horrible speech.
  • And then the eclipse kicks in. It happens a lot faster than real eclipses.
  • The mayor begins to change. Seems painful. “It has begun. My destiny.”
  • And then he transforms into a ginormous snake monster. Not sure how that’s an improvement on the impervious human form he had before.
  • The graduates stand their ground. They’re all ready with weapons in hand: flamethrowers, crossbows.
  • The mayor manages to eat a student. A couple get scared and run off, then some flaming arrows take out three of the vampires.
  • Angel’s posse shows up to go hand to hand with the vamps.
  • The mayor kills another student. Then he eats Snyder. Debt paid in full.
  • Buffy calls for everyone to fall back, so all the students turn and go after the vampires.
  • One of the vamps feeds on Harmony.
  • Cordelia stakes her very first vampire. After all this time, good for her.
  • This leaves Buffy alone with the mayor. So she pulls out Faith’s knife, taunting him.
  • “I took it from Faith. Stuck it in her gut. Just slid in her like she was butter. You want to get it back from me… Dick?”
  • So the snake mayor chases Buffy through the school and into the library.
  • Buffy escapes through the back. But the library is wired to explode.
  • School’s out. Forever.
  • And the mayor is roasted rattlesnake.
  • All of our major characters survived. Including Wesley, who’s loaded into an ambulance.
  • Buffy glimpses Angel one last time before he turns to walk away. No drawn out goodbyes.
  • Oz points out that they survived. Not the battle, but high school. It’s a nice moment.
  • Body count: Humans – 4; Vampires – 4; Ginormous Snake Demons – 1
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One thought on “Rewatching Buffy – Episodes 55 & 56

  1. Pingback: Rewatching Buffy – After High School | The Confusing Middle

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