Oh, yay! Back to a scene with two characters I actually like. The First Mayor is still working his psychological mojo on Faith. "Deep down you always wanted Buffy to accept you, to love you even. Why do you think that is?" he smiles. "You a shrink now?" snaps Faith. The Mayor tells her she won't find acceptance with the Scooby gang. "The truth is, nobody will ever love you. Not the way I love you," needles the Mayor. Faith tells The Mayor to scram. "They'll always see you as a killer," he continues, undaunted. "I'll always be with you, firecracker. In every-thing you do." He blips out. Ooh. His delivery on that last line was both comforting and creepy. Say what you will about the acting prowess of James Marsters, but the real Emmy crime is that Harry G. was never nominated. The Mayor in the hands of a lesser actor -- Clare Kramer, say -- would never have achieved the emotional resonance so crucial to the success of this character.
Faith is startled out of her wits by a hand placed on her shoulder. She spins around and snaps at Wood that he shouldn't sneak up on people. He apologizes, but insists that he knocked. On the open door? Because it's been open since Giles left. He wants to make sure that Faith is all right, because she looks skittish to him but Faith, as she does when she doesn't feel like she's in control, gets defensive. "You lookin' to be the guy who puts the 'pal' in 'principal' for me?" He tells her that he wanted to talk weapons with her, but decides another time might be more suitable. He heads towards the door, but closes it instead when Faith blurts out, "It was The First." Well, that's a strange come-on line. "You're really in the game now, Faith. The First doesn't show itself unless it thinks you matter," decrees Wood. Oh, is that what passes for an explanation as to why The First hasn't been so active? It doesn't bother showing itself to people who don't matter? It does really confirm that Xander and Anya don't matter, though, as we've suspected all along. Faith is shaken. Literally. Wood explains that The First is effective because it "finds [the victim's] Achilles heel." Faith is surprised: "Nah, it just talked to me. What, it does a heel thing too!?" Okay, I laughed at that, even though it made Faith look kinda bad. It just made me think of The First as a tiny dog, darting around yapping and biting at people's heels.