Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 19

Choices (4 May 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,142 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

The Mayor takes Willow prisoner after Buffy and her friends steal away a box containing demonic energy needed for Ascension Day.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Keith Brunsmann ...
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Security Guard #1


Nearly all the gang is admitted to colleges, Willow even Oxford; only Xander plans to tour instead. The mayor gives Faith a precious weapon as reward, and the mission to intercept at the airport the box of Gavrok, a container of mystical energy he needs for his demonic ascension. Mother Joyce hopes Buffy goes to Northwestern University, near an aunt in Illinois, but the watchers doubt if her slayer-duties allow any long absence from the Hellmouth; maybe if she first prevents the ascension, therefore Giles agrees to seize the initiative once they know more, quickly done ignoring Wesley's caution by the Council's book. Angel helps Buffy steal the box from the town hall, but Faith takes Willow hostage, only Wes would refuse to exchange her. First Willow kills a vampire guard and consults the Books of Ascension; at the meeting of both sides, the box is dropped, spilling some of its spider-scary content... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

4 May 1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first time that Buffy and the Mayor meet face-to-face, despite the fact that they were in the same room together at the city hall press conference in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Gingerbread (1999) and they almost met in the sewers beneath Sunnydale in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Band Candy (1998). See more »


If Willow's telekinetic powers are sufficient to stake and kill a vampire with a pencil, why not at least try and use them to disable Faith and break her captivity. But Faith is a Slayer: much more powerful than the common vampire. And surely Willow was far from being the (almost) omnipotent witch that she'll be in the future. So she wisely chose caution. See more »


Willow: [explaining why she wants to stay in Sunnydale when she has other choices available] The other night, y'know being captured and all, facing off with Faith... Things just - kinda got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years and I've helped some. And now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I-I think it's worth doing. And I don't think you do it because you have to. It's a ...
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References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


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

Buffy does heist movie
1 July 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Good; Buffy does a heist movie. Some clever foreshadowing of events to come and some good strategising on the part of the gang, taking the offensive for once. The Faith and Willow showdown and Oz shows his love in a suitably taciturn manner. Love the diagram Willow makes of Oz and Xander, distinguishable by stick-figure Oz having a guitar.

The Bad; The creatures in the box look a bit ropey, Buffy takes 'inspiration' from Aliens not for the first time and not for the last.

Best line; Willow; "Sounds like your mom's in a state of denial" Buffy; "More like a continent"

Character death; Faith kills another human/demon? SDH loses another staff member, this time one of the security guards.

Shot; No but Faith kills the courier with her bow from Bad Girls.

Tied up; Buffy get's tangled in the wires, Willow gets captured but not tied up.

Women good/men bad; Cordy seems unnecessarily snarky about Willows acceptance from the universities but we'll understand more about that later.

Jeez!; Poor old security guard, what a way to go! Was I the only one who took a few seconds to comprehend what Faith meant by her 'cut through bone ' remark?

Calling Captain Subtext; The Faith/Willow showdown has a lot of the elements of two jealous lovers fighting over their shared object of desire. The Buffy and Willow rolling around on the ground at the end telling one another they love them is a slashficcer's dream.

Guantanamo Bay; Buffy beats up and interrogates the Mayor's limo driver before 'introducing him to Mr Pointy'. A tough call with the trade for Willow, if they had not gone through with it, Larry, Snyder, the Professor Faith kills, Harmony etc might never have died.

What the fanficcers thought?

Instead of fighting Buffy seduces The Mayor into giving up evil; 'Buffy the Mayor's Plaything'

Where's Dawn? How does she feel about Buffy going away to university? Happy to have more time to herself in the bathroom or will she miss not having her big sis around the place?

Questions and observations; Good ep, carrying the central storyline forwards whilst also accepting that life goes on outside the Hellmouth. The first time that most of the Scooby gang actually meet the Mayor. Cordy working in the shop is a shocker and no mistake. Joyce calls Buffy's Aunt Arlene, is she Joyce's sister or Hanks? Is she the mother of cousin Celia from 'Killed by Death'? The Mayor's comments on Buffy and Angel are true and Joyce will say pretty much the same in the next episode. First appearance of Faith's knife which looks like something the Klingons would use on Star Trek.

Marks out of 10; 6/10

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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