Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996–2003)
7 user 2 critic

Graduation Day: Part 1 

In an effort to distract Buffy from the Ascension, the mayor instructs Faith to poison Angel.


Joss Whedon


Joss Whedon (created by), Joss Whedon | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon ... Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan ... Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter ... Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz ... Angel
Seth Green ... Daniel Osbourne
Anthony Head ... Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Kristine Sutherland ... Joyce Summers
Harry Groener ... Mayor Richard Wilkins
Alexis Denisof ... Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Mercedes McNab ... Harmony Kendall
Ethan Erickson ... Percy West
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Anya (as Emma Caulfield)
Eliza Dushku ... Faith
Armin Shimerman ... Principal Snyder


The mayor praises Faith as a great evil after killing geology professor Lester Worth as part of preparation for his ascension. Amidst the preparations for graduation, with a speech from the mayor, who wants to eat children once he's a demon, in a melancholic mood only Buffy misses, Anya, the former demon Anyanka, tells Xander and then the gang what the previous demonic ascension was like, Lohesh's 800 years ago in an Ural village, and how much worse the pure demon it produces is then 'eartly bastard-human' demons, but the mayor's preparations are very different, including eating spiders from the box. Anya invites Xander to join her running, in vain. While ingrate Buffy has a go at Xander who escorts her at Giles' request to retrieve the professor's notes, about a Hawaian vulcanologic expedition which found an 'unknown dinosaur' -probably actually an ascended demon's corps, so the mayor probably also becomes vulnerable again after his ascension- Faith shoots Angel with a poisonous ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the original airing of this episode, the first trailer for Angel (1999) was shown. It lasted only four seconds with David Boreanaz turning towards the camera and the words "Angel. This Fall" appearing. See more »


After the Mayor is informed of trouble at Faith's apartment, the scene cuts to a wide shot of the fight on the rooftop, and for just an instant a crew member is visible off-set at the right-hand edge of the picture, along with a glimpse of what likely is the lens hood of the "B" camera silhouetted against the white of the crew member's T-shirt. See more »


Giles: Faith has you at a disadvantage, Buffy.
Buffy: 'Cause I'm not crazy, or 'cause I don't kill people?
Giles: Both, actually.
See more »


Referenced in Angel: Five by Five (2000) See more »


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
See more »

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User Reviews

Preparing for the mayor's ascension
20 May 2018 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

It is almost time for Sunnydale's Class of '99 to graduate; while most students prepare to celebrate Buffy and her friends are more concerned about the mayor's ascension. One particular concern is the question of why Faith killed a visiting geology professor. As Buffy and Angel return from retrieving documents from the professor's apartment Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow giving Buffy something else to worry about.

This, the first of a two-part season finale, was really great. There is some great action; most notably the brilliant face-off between slayers Buffy and Faith the finishes the episode. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku were on great form in this episode; particularly in their fight scene. I liked how we learnt quite a bit more about the ascension; some of this information comes from Anya, who witnessed a previous ascension and plans to be nowhere near this one, and the geologist's papers. Given the action and major plot development it was a pleasant surprise to see some great character development too with Anya and Xander getting a bit closer and Willow and Oz's relationship progressing. The ending was an effective cliff-hanger that should leave viewers keen to watch the series finale. Overall I'd say this was a top notch episode that delivered in every way.

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