"There's my girl." So, the One After Faith Killed A Man. It starts with Buffy's nightmare. She's scared - scared that Faith willl betray her. She was drowned once and it's a big fear of hers. And the person she's frightened will push her down into the water is Faith. Because of what happened with Angel, she's scared of being betrayed and left by her second great love.

Buffy doesn't even consider telling Giles without Faith's consent. It's just not an option, because she wouldn't do that to her girl. BTW, Faith may be a bad liar, but B's not the greatest either, as we can see from her behaviour with Giles and Wesley at the beginning. Then there's the scene in the classroom. The implications in the comment about Angel are blindingly obvious. Buffy: "I can't pretend that I don't know." Faith: "Oh, I see. But you can pretend that Angel's still dead when you need to protect him." Angel is the first thing that comes into her mind, because she's jealous of him, and she doesn't like the possible fact that Buffy might care more about him than she does about her. In fact, it's a classic jealous-of-my-girlfriend's-ex comment. And just to make it perfectly clear, Buffy doesn't say "That's different" or "But you're not my boyfriend." She simply tells her she *is* trying to protect her, trying to reassure her that the Slayer is just as important to her as the vampire. She doesn't want to see Faith get hurt.

Buffy tries her hardest to get at Faith's feelings after they've broken into the Mayor's office. Of course, Faith shuts her out, and Buffy's not happy about it. She desperately wants to help Faith in whatever way she can. Tough girl that she is, Faith hates admitting she's wrong or accepting that she has emotions of any kind. Although Buffy's Little-Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes act is a bit OTT. She's killed plenty of demons, vampires etc who could have been human, I'm sure. The one I can think of most right now is Gwendolyn Post. Buffy pretty much killed her, and she didn't show any remorse whatsoever. Maybe she was evil, but still, that doesn't make it acceptable. Anyway. She's sad that Faith can't see her way of thinking, or rather, won't.

Buffy's totally horrified when she realises that Faith's told Giles it was her who murdered Allan. She hates that Faith has betrayed her to save herself when she would never have done the same. Then she defends Faith to Giles. "Or maybe I'm too close." I'd think she is. Buffy doesn't look best pleased when she works out that Xander and Faith had sex. She really wants to convince Xander that he is of no importance to her, because she doesn't want anybody else to feel they have a connection with Faith, and she doesn't want to think it herself. While all the other members of the gang are talking about what to do about the Mayor and Mr Trick, she is concerned only with Faith. Buffy's absolutely mad when she discovers what Wesley has done. She knows this could be their last chance, and now he's fucked it up.

Their conversation at the end could have subtext beyond killing, being also a conversation about sex. "Don't you dare bring him into this." Faith is obsessed with Angel because he's a rival for Buffy's affections. She wants to make B's relationship with him seem dirty and wrong to the blonde Slayer, something that Faith herself would do rather than Buffy. And Buffyis, indeed, Faith's "girl." "Feels good, doesn't it? Blood rising?" Finally, Faith saves Buffy from death. However mixed up she's feeling, she automatically does it because she simply can't let Buffy be killed. They share a very strange, uncertain look after she kills Trick. I can't describe it exactly, but I know it's what they're feeling, a mix of love and worry and angst and pain and fear and - okay, that's enough. And Buffy says, "I'm not going to give up on her."

The whole episode is filled with Buffy trying to help Faith. Saving her, from the police, from the Watchers' Council, and from herself. In the end though, it's all in vain. Faith just can't face up to the remorse and guilt that she has to feel if she's going to stay a Good Slayer. So she turns to the dark side. (Why does the Mayor let her? She could so easily be a double agent. Why did no-one think to do that before?)


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