Okay, first off, I have no idea how far I'm behind on my Friends' pages Buffy polls - I know there were at least 2. I also have no idea how far out of date I am. I mean I have trouble keeping track of the days as it is, now I have to go a week sometimes and then make a mad, dashing journal post in which I try to remember where everything that I glanced at before is so I can post a comment about it? HAH! Not even close. Stupid brain.
But, if I remember correctly (and I make no guarantees whatsoever), I think that I have to post my opinions on the "My Buffyholism is Showing" polls for Graduation Day and then there is general season 3 poll. So... onto the onto....
Graduation Day, Parts I and II -
Faith begins the episode by killing a vulcanologist. How does this compare to killing the Deputy Mayor?
It is so much worse... worlds worse. The deputy mayor was a horrible and tragic error, but it was in the heat of the moment following a pitched battle. It's hard to fault Faith too much for his death (her failings were in how she chose to deal with what happened, rather than event itself). But the Professor's death was a deliberate and premeditated act of murder. Not only is it worse in every way for that alone, but the way Faith plays with him - telling him she's going to kill him, urging him to scream - is nothing but an expression of evil. This is the act that made me write off Faith being 'saved' (of course Joss then does so, anyway).
The Council refuses to help Angel once he's been poisoned as it's not Council policy to cure vampires. Regardless of whether you agree with their ultimate decision, do you think they have a point?
No. The Council is too inflexible and it causes them to become less and less able to respond as the threats get bigger. It was a petty decision not to help Angel on principal or over 'the rules' when they were facing an apocalypse (well, one for Sunnydale, anyway at least, anyway).
Once Buffy learns that the Council won't help save Angel, she quits the Council. Smart move?
It's an understandable move, but would I say it is a smart one? Probably not. By cutting off the Council she's also cut herself off from their future assistance and their extensive library of knowledge. I get why she reacts the way she does, and I probably would have given Wes and big 'that is it, screw off' to give to them, too. It isn't exactly 'smart' though.
Once the Scoobies learn that Slayer blood is needed to cure Angel, Buffy sets off to kill Faith and feed her to Angel. Was she in the moral right?
No. Buffy can't claim a moral right in going after Faith for her blood, because this makes Faith an object. She has become a means to an end to save Angel. I still agree with her decision, even as I worry about her for the reason Xander articulated, but the decision is not a moral right. Thinking it's cosmic justice for Faith to fix what she did by dying feeding Angel doesn't make her, or I, morally correct about it.
Widening the scope a bit and looking at this from a series-wide context, do you think Buffy's choice and attempt to kill Faith here influences her later refusal to kill Ben in The Gift?
That's an interesting thought. There's nothing in the text that I can remember that ties Buffy's past with Faith to Ben/Glory, but I like the idea that Buffy having almost gone there once, and having left Faith nearly dead, couldn't bring herself to go there again. I wonder though, if her decision to spare Ben here has more to do with the deaths that she had already caused to the Knights. They hadn't left her a lot of choice, and she killed them in self-defense or in the defense of others, but Buffy has always balked at the idea that she has any 'right' to kill people. I think those knights that she left gaping axe wounds in might have weighed on her more than Faith right now, at least consciously.
I'm also positive it was due to Ben being helpless. I wonder if Faith did cross her mind at that moment? Not what she tried to do to Faith, but what Faith had done to Professor Worth. Might she not have equated killing Ben in that moment to be too close to murder... too close to what Faith had allowed herself to 'fall to'?
Hmmm... this question leads to fascinating thoughts about what may have been going on in Buffy's thoughts.
Xander questions Buffy's decision to kill Faith, telling her that he doesn't want to lose her. The implication this season is that if Buffy kills Faith, she becomes Faith. If Buffy had been successful in killing Faith, would she be able to come back from it or would it eventually turn her dark?
I think we'd have to clarify 'turn her dark'. When I read that phrase, I think "would Buffy had turned more like Faith" or "hard like her 'The Wish-verse' counterpart. If we're asking whether Buffy would turn out like Faith's dark turn, I'd answer no. Faith was turning her resentment and fear and self-loathing outward. Buffy is more apt to turn it inward. I could see her trying to deal with the aftermath of what she deliberately did to Faith for Angel driving her into a spiralling despair. I could also see her cutting herself off from everyone around her as a form of punishment against herself, leading her to try to feel nothing at all -- a spin on her Wish-verse self.
So, Buffy evilly dark? No. Buffy self-destructively dark? Yes.
Cordelia makes the derogatory comment that Buffy is "always thinking of herself". An argument could be made that in getting diverted by Faith's distraction, she is being selfish as she loses focus on the upcoming Ascension in favor of saving Angel. Thoughts?
I have to agree with the choice (to paraphrase) that this wasn't especially selfish, since Angel did deserve to be helped and saved. It wasn't very strategic to lose sight of the big picture in order to waste time trying to heal him, but writing off the people she loves in order to focus on the bad guy would only lead her back to that Wish-verse alter-ego, again. I have no problems with her going after Faith, both to save Angel, and to remove a Slayer-gone-bad from the Mayor's arsenal.
Let's do some scale-stuff. Some people debate how lucid Angel is during the blood-drinking scene. How responsible do you think Angel is for draining Buffy? 1 = Not at all; 10 = Completely
He resisted as best he could under the circumstances, considering how weak and 'spinning the drain' that he was. I don't hold Angel responsible for what happened to Buffy: 1
Right, that assesses his mental state. Let's get down with the morality of what he did. What say you?
I'd have to take a pass on this one. I don't think he was in a coherent enough mental state due to his injuries for him to make a moral choice in that moment.
The big blood-drinking scene is shot as if it were a sex scene between Buffy and Angel. On the scale below, give a rating on the sensuality of the scene for you. 1 = Not at all sexy; 10 = Through the roof sexy....
This is a hot scene... 8. And, yes, I'm disturbed by my own reaction to it.
There's a trippy dream sequence with both Buffy and Faith in it. What's happening there?
I think both Slayers are sharing a dreamscape. Buffy is also receiving prophetic information, but I'm not sure if Faith is aware of the prophecies she's relating, or if she's 'confused'. But, I believe that she is there, she is trying to help Buffy (I think this is Faith's better Slayer self, divorced from her human failings that led her astray and will again), and she does know that the Mayor has to be stopped.
But, I also believe that Faith is too injured to remember any of this except in vaguest terms later when she awakens from her coma. And, that allows all of those human failings that led her to the Mayor's service in the first place to again cause her to act out.
Some people think the series took a decline in quality after this season. What say you?
I guess I'd agree that I find S4 to be a decline as the creative team tried to make the adjustment out of the "high school metaphors" basis of the entire show. But, I feel like S5 really found its footing again. I can also see the far more adult themes they were trying to address in S6 - though I find the writing lacking, myself. But S7? Yeah, decline... I think because they lost interest in Buffy as a character and allowed too much time to be taken up with The Potentials, Willow and Spike.
Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give Part One a star rating....
I love Graduation Day, Part I - especially the lead up to Buffy fighting Faith and their brawl. Over 4 stars
Pretend you're a movie reviewer and give Part Two a star rating.
I really like individual scenes - Willow telling Oz that Angel thought she was Buffy and having him reply, "You too, huh?" is hilarious, because of Seth's casual, quiet delivery. I love the scene where Angel feeds on Buffy and they fall to the floor in slo-mo. I love Buffy talking to Faith in her dreamscape. I love the Mayor's very real hurt over Faith's comatose condition and I love the graduating class pulling of their robes to reveal that they're all going to join Buffy and fight authority to save themselves.
But, still, overall, I just don't find myself in as rapt attention as that first part... Maybe 4 stars, even? Maybe a bit less.
AND, the Seasony-Season 3 Poll of Season in Review:
Which episode was the best of the season?
Eiiieee... uh... There was "The Wish" and "Dopplegangland" and "Graduation Day, Part I" all in the running. I think, ultimately, I went with 'Dopplegangland' because it was just so much fun written into 42 minutes (or whatever the run time is).
Which episode was your favorite of the season?
I had to go with Graduation Day, Part I ... the whole of the season since Faith turned on Buffy was leading to their kicking each others' ass and I love the scene to death.
Select the episodes that you feel represent the best of the season (Yes, multiple selections are allowed and encouraged).
Band Candy, Lovers Walk, The Wish, Consequences, Doppelgangland, Graduation Day Pt. 1, and Part II.
Which episode was the worst of the season?
Beauty and the Beasts bores me to tears.
Select the episodes that you feel represent the worst of the season (Again, multiple selections are allowed and encouraged).
Beauty and the Beasts, Gingerbread, The Zeppo and Choices.
Which character did you like most this season? (Not any other season; just this season)
Which character did you like least this season? (Not any other season; just this season)
Wesley - he was just too caricature-ish
Which pairing did you like the most this season? (Again, only this season)
Willow and Oz
Let's get a bit scaly. Rate the Big Bad (The Mayor) on a 1-10 scale. 1 being "He sucks"; 10 being "Best Big Bad EVER".
I love the Mayor's folksiness and his friendly tone and open warmness, while he's plotting the destruction of the entire town. I sayeth: 9
What about the season, as a whole? How would you rate that?
This was a pretty strong season overall. Even though I like S2 better for the big Angelus thing, I believe that S3 is far more consistently written well: 8