Buffy strides to the weapons cage, giving brisk orders to Xander. Xander isn't sure Buffy is ready for this confrontation. Xander: "I just don't want to lose you." Buffy, stocking up on the goods, absentmindedly replies that she won't get hurt. Xander: "That's not what I meant." Buffy contemplates the knife in her hands.
Faith punches a bag, working out some of her aggression. Buffy washes her face. Angel sweats and dies a little more. Willow comes up with an address.
Faith's pad. Aggressive chick music plays. Faith lolls on the bed reading. Still stuck on the books that are mostly pictures, Faith? She chews on some red licorice, and suddenly the room is silent. Faith turns around to find a red-leather-clad Buffy by her stereo. "Is he dead yet?" Faith brightly asks. Buffy informs her that there's a cure. Faith: "Damn. What is it?" "Your blood," says Buffy. The music kicks in ominously, which is Faith's cue that she should start feeling scared right about now. Faith threatens that she's not going to be taken alive, and Buffy is grim when she says that's not going to pose any sort of problem. Buffy approaches Faith and says, "You told me I was just like you. That I was holding it in." Faith asks if she's ready to let it all hang out. Buffy punches Faith hard across the jaw and Faith returns the favor. And they're off. The fight is simply masterful. Can I tell they're stunt doubles? Yes. Do I care? No. It's no more unbelievable than vampires and demons roaming the earth to feed upon the living, and the show requires me to suspend that particular belief every friggin' episode. The fight takes Buffy and Faith from the living room over a railing to a raised alcove with a half-moon window. Buffy pulls Faith through the window, landing half a flight down on a balcony. While Faith is dazed, Buffy quickly handcuffs Faith's wrist to her own. I honestly can't recall how I felt when this episode aired about Buffy's transformation from "I can't kill Faith," to "why, yes, thank you. I'd be more than happy to kill Faith." But I do know that it really saddens and bothers me now. Sep and I discussed it, and Sep's attitude is best summed up as, "[Shrug]," because Faith had it coming, but I don't know. I just want Buffy to be above this kind of behavior. Kill Faith in self-defense during a fight Faith started? Sure. Run over to Faith's apartment and stick her in the gut? Not so much. It's interesting to think back to all the criticism on the boards after "The Gift" that Buffy only seemed to care about those close to her being hurt by Glory/Ben if she let Ben go. It would seem that attitude was nothing new for her, because she basically only grouses about Faith after Faith murders the professor and doesn't seem that concerned about his death. Mess with her boyfriend, though, and suddenly she's all psycho-killer out for revenge.