While things are heating up between Buffy and Angel, that's nothing compared to the Mayor's countdown to the mysterious 'Ascension'. In Sunnydale, when scary things get scared....not good. Indeed, a meek demon approaches Buffy and Faith offering them 'The Books of Ascension' in exchange for five grand to be spent on a plane ticket out of the Hellmouth. Faith takes this information to the Mayor and he orders her to go back to the demon sans Buffy, kill him and nab the books. She obeys.
The other prong to this plan is to get Angel back on Team Bad Guy...and this means taking his soul via boning. Faith goes to his mansion with her big 'I killed a dude' doe eyes and tries to put the whammy on Angel, but he doesn't bite -- and he's a vampire. Still, Faith plants a less than chaste kiss on Angel's cheek as she leaves, and Buffy witnesses. Willow tries to convince her bestie that Angel only has eyes for her, but Buffy can't deny what she saw.
One little set-back like a flaccid Angel won't get the Mayor down and he quickly puts Faith up to Plan B, which is taking Angel's soul via the black arts. She goes back to the mansion and douses him with blood, bringing forth a shrouded-in-darkness demon. He chants some mumbo jumbo and Angel cries out in pain but afterward goes all soulless vamp-face and kisses Faith. The two rumble and make out, but when Faith is on top of Angel, she
After Buffy finds the meek demon dead, she meets back with the Scooby Gang who try in vain to find a plan to fight the Mayor, who always seems to be one step ahead of them. They split up, with most of the Scoobies going to look at the town records and find out the skinny on Richard Wilkins III. Oz discovers a hundred-year-old pic of the ORIGINAL Richard Wilkins...and it's the exact same dude. Xander poops the party even more when he shows up after just having gotten decked by Angel, and catches the gang up to speed on the induction of two new members to Team Bad Guy.
Faith and Angel meet up with Buffy and lure her back to the mansion. Upon arrival, they promptly knock her out and chain her up. When she comes to, Faith makes out with Angel a bunch and bitches Buffy out for owning a town that was supposed to be hers, and accuses Buffy of thinking she's better than her. When Buffy does confirm that she is in fact better than Faith, this sets the brunette Slayer off. She clocks Buffy in the face and loudly proclaims that come Graduation Day, all the Scoobies will die while Faith'll watch by the Mayor's side. That's when the truth comes out -- Buffy and Angel played Faith for the fool. Angel does in fact still possess his soul, courtesy of the mysterious demon owing Giles a favour, and now Team Good Guy possesses more knowledge about the Ascnesion. Buffy and Faith rumble and the two pull knives on each other. Faith runs off, leaving Buffy emotionally worse for wear. The next day she tells Angel that she needs a break. And just when these two were getting hot and heavy. PSYCH!
* What a doozy of an episode. I don't think the show has ever pulled the ole bait and switch plot device on us, and I LOVED it. As heartbreaking as it was to watch Buffy endure her man 'losing his soul' again, I was positively titillated by the possibility of Faith and Angel as Sunnydale's new power couple. We really get a big splash to the face of just how jealous Faith is of Buffy, and that's what makes Angel so attractive to Faith...that he's Buffy's and therefore Faith wants him HERS. There is zero love for Angel, but lust is another story. That rumble-and-wriggle scene could have gone on for another twenty minutes and I would have been happy as an aroused clam. By the way, great commitment to the cause, Buffy and Angel, who are apparently now officially back together. All that pretending must have been hella tough, especially for Buffy who didn't have the privilege of a hottie brunette Slayer riding her like a pony. I practically stood up and cheered when Buffy finally nutted up and admitted the thing she's been thinking since Faith came to town, that she really IS better than Faith. And look on the bright side, bondage really DOES look good on you, B.
* This ep is so good it totes has a place on my favourites list BUT I do find it just a smidge too convenient that the only demon capable of taking Angel's soul just HAPPENED to owe Giles a favour. I'm willing to forgive this blunder but it's still noteworthy.
* Okay, I thought that Angel's 'one true moment of happiness' was achieving orgasm with his soulmate, aka Buffy. But the Mayor and Faith made it seem like achieving orgasm with ANY human would do, as Faith really gave it the old college try. If Angel and Faith actually did get jiggy with it, would Angel really and truly lose his soul? Kind of cheapens his forbidden love deal with Buffy, don't you think?
* I felt so bad for that meek, horned little demon. All the poor 'guy' wanted was to skip town. I'm really a fan when they add a 'not on Team Bad Guy' demon to the mix. But they always seem so lonely. He and Whistler should form a bowling league.
* I thought it was a really cute moment between Willow and Oz when she's all proud that the Scoobies liked his plan to check out the town records. In all this Mayor hoopla, I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten about these two and how cute they are, but now that I've been reminded, I want more!
* Yay for Xander for taking the initative to go out and get Nice Guy Demon's address. But BOO to Xander for being all snippy and mocking Cordelia for her attraction to Wesley. You had your chance Xander, and you messed it up royally. Also, towards the end of their relationship it seemed like Xander's attraction to Cordelia was at an all-time low. So you don't necessarily want Cordy for yourself, but you don't want anyone else to have her either, huh Xander? Methinks Xander actually did deserve that non-bruising deck to the face Angel delivered him.
* When Giles and Wesley work together, they actually make a pretty adorable team. Giles was hilarious this episode, lamenting about the lack of contemporary demon standards, that their living conditions should be a pit of filth or a swanky crypt, and that instead of cash they should covet the still-beating heart of a virgin.
* If that were the case, Cordy would be in trouble. She really needs to climb Wesley like a tree.
* As sweet as this developing father-daughter relationship is between Faith and the Mayor, miniature golf solves nothing. Faith, here are the REAL two words that make all the pain go away: Red. Wine.
* Willow was on like Donkey Kong this ep. I just adored the scene where Buffy is worrying about Angel and Faith, and Willow temporarily forgets her friend's pain while getting carried away with hating on the brunette Slayer. I really hope our resident nerd caught the bloodlust bug after punching out Anya last week. Faith really deserves the old one-two, dork style.
* Welcome to the 90s, where saying PSYCH is a legitimate badass one-liner.
* It's time for our Fashion Slayer award and this week it goes to Willow for her sexy, baggy-as-hell overalls. PSYCH! (Hey that IS fun!) Willow actually wins for her adorable hippy coat she wore to poke through the town records. Unlike last episode's fuzzy, pink barf number, this coat is cute and Willowy but actually stylish, and dare I say it, sexy. Our little witch really is growing up!
That's all for me this week, my lovely readers. What did you think of the episode? Faith and Angel = hot, hot hot? Faith and the Mayor = adorable? Can someone clear up the 'moment of true happiness' thing for me? Post a comment and let me know. Check in every Tuesday for my latest Buffy blog.