Faith convinces Buffy to live on the wild side, with fatal consequences.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)


The gifted students enjoy early college admissions, while Xander and Buffy rather worry about present high-school exams. The mayor and his cronies look forward to his demonic ascension, after 100 days of invulnerability. Buffy's council-appointed new, young Watcher Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is received coldly, forbids Giles even to be kept informed but proves his research-excellence by identifying instantly swords as belonging to the 15th century duelist vampires sect El Eliminati, the survivors of which still look for demon Balthazar's buried amulet; Buffy and Faith successfully search for it at the cemetery and clean out a vampire layer. Angel takes the amulet: it's not safe enough with greenhorn Wesley. The order reports to Balthazar's blob-shaped representative about his amulet. Impetuous Faith drags Buffy along, they get arrested and kill the innocent deputy mayor Allan Finch. Both watchers get captured by the sect, Angel brings the slayers... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 February 1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alyson Hannigan first met future-husband Alexis Denisof on the set of this episode. While Alyson was immediately attracted to Alexis and asked him out, he declined saying that he didn't date coworkers. The two remained friends for over a year before they started dating. They married in September 2003. See more »


When Buffy and Faith kick in the blinded window, you see a vampire on the floor with his legs in the sunlight. However, his arm, which is in the shade, catches fire. See more »


Balthazar: You know what I want.
Rupert Giles: If it's for me to scrub those hard-to-reach areas, I'd like to request you kill me now.
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References Sesame Street (1969) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

A pivotal episode in the season's story arc
3 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The highlight of this episode is the introduction of Wesley. This isn't the real Wes, though. The real Wesley, who emerges over on "Angel," is just about the hardest person in the entire Buffyverse. He's the one who makes the tough calls, who fights the wrong battles for the right reasons and who, occasionally, even scares Angel with his ruthlessness. Wesley rocks. The Wesley we meet in "Bad Girls" is the Wesley who's never had a place to belong. Insecure and anxious to please his Uber-Watcher creep of a father, this Wes is still trying to figure out who he is. He's never lived in the "real" world before and he's used to being not-quite-good enough. The more the Scoobies try to exclude him, the stuffier and more determined to assert his authority he becomes. It's only after Wes creates a "family" with Angel and Cordy on "Angel" that he starts to find himself. For all intents and purposes, he becomes Angel's Watcher. So, seeing Wesley introduced in "Bad Girls," and knowing where he'll end up on "Angel" it's interesting to see how far he comes.

The episode itself revolves around Buffy's growing closeness with Faith. The two of them are bonding and slaying and breaking rules and having fun. Being super powered has it's benefits and Buffy is enjoying her walk on the wild side. At the same time, Wesley arrives to serve as Faith and Buffy's new watcher. Faith pretty much ignores him and Buffy's loyalty is still with Giles, so there's a lot of conflict. When a demon named Balthazar and his minions start rising in Sunnydale, Buffy and Faith set out to stop them. Unfortunately, things start going wrong. First they're arrested and have to escape from a police car. Then Giles and Wesley are captured by Balthazar. And, most horrifying of all, Faith accidentally kills the Deputy Mayor, Alan.

The death of the Deputy Mayor is one of the most important events of the season. It changes Faith's character and sets her switch to the Darkside into motion. While slaying, Faith accidentally stakes Alan, thinking that he's a vampire. Slayer's aren't suppose to kill humans and Buffy and Faith certainly didn't want to hurt anyone. Buffy panics. Faith stares at the body in shock. And neither one of them know what to do. After this Buffy will try to reclaim her own life and reconnect to the Scoobies. But Faith, taking Alan's death as further proof of her "badness," begins to spiral out of control. The Mayor's plan is also kicking into high gear as he completes the first step of his ritual and becomes invincible. "Who's up for a root-beer?"

There are plenty of good parts to this episode. I love Wesley and his scenes with Giles are just hilarious. Wesley might be Buffy's Watcher, but Giles is still in charge. Buffy's loyalty to Giles annoys Wes, but it's perfectly understandable and even kind of sweet. And Giles' smugness over Buffy's obvious preference for him is super cute. He's become her father and there's no way Wesley could come between them. Also, you have to laugh when Faith makes a U-Turn as soon as she spots Wes, "New Watcher? Screw that." Plus, it's fun to see Wes in scenes with Angel before they really know each other. By next season on "Angel," Angel wouldn't be taking that medallion thing FROM Wesley to protect it. He'd be giving it TO Wes for safe keeping. It's interesting.

On the downside, I think that the Scoobies made a mistake by deliberately excluding Wes. He could've been a heck of an asset to the team if they'd given him a chance. Also, Buffy brushing off Willow's help is pretty harsh. Will's fought evil plenty of times. She just helped to stop the end of the world in "The Zeppo" and suddenly Balthazar is too big a threat for her to face? No way.

My favorite part of the episode: The Mayor's To Do list, "Meet with PTA, Become Invincible, Get a Haircut..."

27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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