|'This Year's Girl'
Story Code '4ABB15'
by Douglas Petrie
Buffy has a dream about Faith, in which the two of them are making-up Buffy’s bed because ‘little sis’ will be arriving soon; blood drips onto the clean sheets, and Faith asks Buffy if she is ever going to pull the knife out of her, pointing to the blade sticking out of her body. Later, in his basement, Xander tries to fix the blaster that Professor Walsh gave Buffy, while the Slayer voices her concern for Riley. At the military hospital, Riley wakes up and attempts to leave, but is stopped by Forrest. Faith lies in her coma, peacefully dreaming about having a picnic with the Mayor; however, they are interrupted by the arrival of Buffy, who kills the Mayor. That evening, Buffy, Xander and Willow are on patrol, when they come across a red, horned demon strung up between two trees with its chest peeled open. Back at his basement, Xander and Willow are listening to Buffy’s plans for liberating Riley from the Initiative when Riley promptly walks in, and he and Buffy embrace. In Faith’s dream, Buffy chases her through a cemetery, until she falls into an open grave; Buffy jumps in after her, and after an unseen battle, Faith emerges, victorious. She wakes from her coma and rips out her IV drip; wandering the corridors she encounters a young woman, but when Faith asks her about Graduation Day, she is shocked to learn that the school exploded and the Mayor died. Later, Faith walks out of the hospital wearing the girl’s clothes. In Riley’s room, Buffy reassures him that he is more than a soldier. Meanwhile, at the hospital, doctors and FBI agents are frantically searching for Faith when they discover the girl, unconscious and badly beaten; the head nurse makes a phone call, telling someone to mobilise a team. Faith wanders through Sunnydale, and after visiting the remains of Sunnydale High she heads to Giles’ house; here she spies on Buffy, Xander, Riley, Giles and Willow as they receive a phone call telling them of her escape; Buffy plans to confront Faith before resuming her hunt for Adam. The next day, as Buffy and Willow walk through campus Buffy confides to Willow that she told Riley all about Faith, but left out the stuff about Angel. Faith suddenly turns round in front of them, assuring them that she is all rested and now ready for payback. Faith tells Buffy she had a dream in which Buffy was not even with the guy she almost killed her for. The two Slayers fight, but then the police arrive, and Faith jumps over a wall and disappears. Later, Willow fills Tara in about Faith while they search the campus for the rogue Slayer. That evening, Giles and Xander go out on patrol, armed with the Initiative blaster, which Riley has now mended; they find Spike in an alley, and ask him if he has seen Faith, but the vampire replies that if he finds her, he will stand back and watch as she kills them all. A helicopter lands at the hospital, and three men meet with the head nurse. In an alleyway Faith meets a demon that tells her he has a package for her from a mutual friend; she takes the parcel and kills the demon. The package contains a videotape; after finding a place to view it, Faith watches as the Mayor appears on the television screen and remarks that he must be dead if Faith is watching this; even though she is in a coma, he believes that one day she will wake up, but there will no longer be a place for her in this world. He tells her to open an accompanying package, inside which there is a strange silver trinket that was forged by an accomplice of his; the Mayor then informs Faith that she will go out with a bang. In her dorm room, Buffy warns Riley that Faith is more dangerous that he can imagine. Answering the door to the Summer’s house, Joyce is knocked out by Faith; when she comes to, she finds herself tied up on her bed, while Faith tries on her make-up; Faith infers that Buffy has not been home for a while due to the amount of mail waiting for her, and guesses that Buffy had not even warned her mother of her escape. Buffy crashes through the window and tackles Faith; the two Slayers break into a brawl which takes them throughout the Summer’s house, destroying doors, windows and tables in the process. Giles comes home to find the three men from the helicopter waiting for him. Back at the Summer’s house, Faith hears the sound of approaching police sirens, and, slipping the Mayor’s trinket onto her palm, grabs Buffy’s hand. Light pulses between them, and as they snap out of it, Buffy knocks Faith out. Joyce comes downstairs and asks Buffy if she is alright; she wonders what the silver thing is, but Buffy destroys it, explaining that it was a weapon that did not work. The police knock at the door, and Buffy states that Faith is their problem now. Joyce again inquires if Buffy is okay; looking at Faith’s prone form with a cold smile on her face, ‘Buffy’ responds: “Five by five”…
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Marc Blucas (Riley Finn), James Marsters (Spike), Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Eliza Dushku (Faith), Harry Groener (Mayor Richard Wilkins III), Amber Benson (Tara), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Chet Grissom (Detective), Alastair Duncan
Directed by Michael Gershman
TX (US): 22nd February 2000
TX (UK - Sky One): 14th April 2000
TX (UK - BBC): 1st February 2001
*Featuring Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Riley, Anya, Tara and Faith