Episode Title: Consequences
Original Air Date: February 16, 1999
“But, see, it’s that exact thing that-that’s just ticking me off! It’s this whole ‘Slayers only’ attitude. I mean, since when wouldn’t I understand? You, you talk to me about everything. I-it’s like all of a sudden I-I’m not cool enough for you because I can’t kill things with my bare hands.” – Willow
So regular readers of this column might have noticed that there was no review last Thursday and seeing how ho- hum this week’s episode is I wouldn’t have blamed you for thinking I’d tossed in the towel and headed to the woods to live with the squirrels. Still it’s time to bite the bullet and get this one out of the way.
Picking up after the events of the previous episode with Buffy still wrecked with guilt over her part in the accidently slaying of the mayor’s aide while Faith continues to show little remorse for her actions. Meanwhile the police start to investigate his murder after Faith’s plans to dispose of his body fall though.
After the excitement of the previous episode and the writers having decided to go against the original plan of having Faith hang herself from the guilt of her actions we are now faced with having to as per the title the consequences of Buffy and Faith’s actions. Surprisingly the Watchers council actually have a system in place for dealing with a Slayer killing a mortal as Wesley makes plans to ship Faith back to England to put her on trial which made me wonder just how often this has happened previously for the Watchers Council to be so on top of things. Faith meanwhile has alternative plans and after trying to blame Buffy for the murder finally turns into the rogue slayer she’s been building towards becoming for the best part of the season.
Infact Faith’s journey to the dark side is really the main crutch of the episode as she attempts to escape blame for the murder while Buffy and the Scoobies attempt to keep tabs on her movements. A plan which soon see’s Xander almost being strangled to death by Faith after she assumes that the only reason he has come to see her is in the hope that they will have sex again. Luckily for Xander Angel randomly shows up to rescue him and is soon setting about his own attempts to reason with her.
One of the few pluses of the episode is that we finally get an insight into the psyche of Faith who it seems has certainly been let down by anyone she was either close to or trusted prior to becoming a Slayer and now it’s an instinct that seemingly has gone into overdrive as she sees herself as being alone and that everyone is now against her. Having discovered with Buffy though what the Mayor is in league with Mr. Trick she is clearly working for herself by the end of the episode as she forms an alliance with the Mayor.
Largely an episode spent trying to deal with fallout and filling in the gaping holes in Faith’s personality it does however mean that it’s something of a plodding episode with only one vampire battle which is only noteworthy for Mr. Trick being dusted and paving the way for Faith to take his place at the Mayor’s side. Now at this point in the series we are heading more towards the final showdown with the Mayor becoming more of a presence though it does feel that its taken longer than it should have to get to this point. At the same time while its good to finally have the breaking point for Faith, its just a shame the rest of the episode feels so meh!
Next Episode: Dopplegangland