How's about a Buffy-Episode poll?
This would be locate HERE, at 'My Buffyholism is Showing' and we're up to Bad Girls now.
Oh, and FYI: I love you, Faith.
The Mayor appears to be careful about revealing too much information around Allan.
How much does Allan know about what the Mayor's Ascension entails?
Oh, Allan. Poor, simple, foolish Allan. I think he knows the Mayor is involved in demon-y stuff, but he ended up getting concerned a little late in the game. But, he would have been alright if he hadn't decided to sneak up on the Slayers, post-Slayage, in a dark alley. And, now he's dead.
There's a lesson in that.
But I'm gonna say that Allan had no idea the depths of the evil his boss was planning, though clearly he clued in that it was probably not going to lead to puppies and giggles.
Wesley appears to be ill-equipped to play Watcher to two Slayers in this episode.
Did the Council send him with the intention that he would mess things up for some reason?
I couldn't pick "Yep", "No, the Council's incompetent", or "No, Wesley was a good choice."
That left the fourth choice (Thanks for including a fourth choice!), "I have another answer" ... which is... "Poor comedy relief writing". I have always found it a little difficult to reconcile the Council's continual poor decision making with the world not having ended. Now maybe Buffy and Sunnydale are an unusual case, but for as many times as an apocalypse has raised its ugly head, it seems that other Slayers must have also had to contend with an overbearing and ineffectual authority while also trying to save the world, no?
Everything we see tells me we should all be dead, already. Also, though I understand the idea was to make Giles the cool Watcher, Wes is a little overdone in the bumbling clown role this early on... and who exactly (Probably Quentin, but he seems to have inordinate amounts of power for this being a 'Council') thought that one relatively new Watcher could watch over both Buffy, who has already proven herself to be stubborn and not one for orders and Faith, who has already proven herself to be a wild child? Honestly. Even if Wes were a great Watcher, he'd have had his hands full with two resentful Slayers - both headstrong.
Simple preference question: Which of this season's current evil trio do you like the best?
No question: Mayor.
While Allan was dirty, I have trouble seeing him as quite 'evil' material. Trick was definitely evil, being a vampire, but he just wasn't given enough juicy and fun material once the Mayor cowled him. In fact, I'm surprised he didn't just blow town when he got an idea of how loony the Mayor seemed. The Mayor, though? Evil and yet so down-home friendly... a funny combination that helped any episode he was in sparkle a little brighter.
Battle of the Watchers now: Which one do you prefer?
Oh, how could you? How could you even ask ... Giles! GILES, GILES, GILES!
Okay, what about Buffy's side of things? Think there's any attraction for Faith going on there?
Well, I can't say that Buffy is turned on by Faith, but I'll definitely agree that she's intrigued by her. This fascination with her might not be entirely as platonic as Buffy thinks. Given the right circumstances, I could some sort of flirty, drunken making out. I have a bit of trouble seeing Buffy actually going any further than that this far back in her development, though.
Let's do a couple of scales in honor of the title of the episode. Rate the level of badness of each of Buffy and Faith's acts.
First off, Buffy ditching class in the middle of a test. 1 = Not bad at all; 10 = Uber-bad
Buffy's ditching of the class test was bad. But on the scale of things... well, considering what we know of Faith/Anya/Willow/Spike/Angel ... you know, it's just small potatoes. Although, I'm pretty sure Joyce would still be one pissed off mother. I'll go with a 3 ... you're grounded, Buffy!
Next up, breaking into a weapons store.
Oh, Buffy! You're grounded, and are paying restitution, and if you think you're talking to your friends on the phone --- well, just get over that thought! 5.
And Faith? Don't think this all rests on Buffy... what the hell is your dis-function?! You can help Buffy pay for the damages, or we'll call the police right now, young lady!
Then we're at damaging the cop car, causing an accident, then running off.
Oh, for gosh sakes! I don't know if I can take any more of this acting out. I don't even know what to do with you at this point! Either of you! If it wasn't for the mayor's possibly evil plot and the general demon-slaying that needs to occur, I'd march you off to jail myself! I'm calling Giles. He can deal with this mess!
And, finally, killing Allan Finch.
Aiiiyyyeeeee... this one I have problems rating. Of course it was a bad thing, but it wasn't deliberately bad. It was a tragic, horrible accident because he snuck up on them in a dark alley right after they'd been in a battle. Accidents happen in Slaying (we'll learn from Giles) and while this was horrible and both Buffy and Faith should feel guilty about it, it also wasn't completely their fault it happened.
I guess I should make clear here, that I was taking the "rate the level of badness" to be moral badness... not just general, "Wasn't this awful?" badness.
Moral badness in this situation is difficult to judge. Was Faith quick on the jabbing? Yes. But is that really not understandable considering the circumstances? I think it totally was. Her real moral problems here are her fleeing and deciding not to tell anyone (and then, of course, it all just goes downhill from here). I really don't know how to judge this.
Especially since we're lumping Faith and Buffy into this act, and Buffy didn't do anything. She's completely innocent of any bad act, until after the fact when she also hides what happened, not to mention just leaving Allan lying there like that.
You know, I just don't think I can answer this. If it was just "How bad was this accidental killing", then it would be simple - It's awful: 10. But Faith and Buffy's badness in the accidental death of Allan?
Buffy: 1 (She's not at all bad until after the deed is already done)
Faith: 5? (It was a bad act. Faith should have checked her target, but it could've happened to anyone hopped up on adrenaline and having him come out of the dark that way.)
I guess that makes a combined score of 3, so that's what I'll answer.
Some people have issues with Buffy's characterization in this episode. What say you?
Oh, that's interesting. What are the specific issues? I don't find any problems with her characterization, per se. I'm disappointed in her, definitely. But, I also think that Buffy has been doing a LOT of repression of her Slayer instincts. It was probably a relief that finally someone that understood was telling her that she didn't have to be ashamed of not worrying about all of the 'normal rules' she's been trying so hard to live by. I don't have a problem from a characterization (by which I think you're referring to the writing) POV.
Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give this episode a star rating.
I think I gotta give this one a 4-star, but it's mostly because of that single, shocking twist with Allan's death.