Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by James A. Contner
Dingoes Ate My Baby are playing at the Bronze, and the Scoobies are in the crowd. They finish their set, and Oz goes to join Willow. When he scrunches in, he makes Willow bonk into Xander, and he scoots hastily very close to Cordelia. They are acting extremely jumpy because they still haven’t told anyone about their accidental snog, and they also haven’t dealt with it with each other. Their spazziness causes a big scene, and they try to change the subject to Buffy, who has been distracted and reclusive lately. They think she may have a secret boyfriend. She teases that there is someone she’s going out with, but she just means Faith, with whom she then goes patrolling.
Buffy and Faith tagteam a pair of vampires rather awesomely while Giles watches, and then a snooty British lady shows up and criticizes them. Shut up, lady; that was fantastic. Everyone is rather nonplussed to meet her. She’s Gwendolyn Post, Mrs. (why did she say that part last, and with such defiance?), and she’s Faith’s new Watcher. Hooray.
The two Watchers and two Slayers go to the library, where Faith tries to explain that she doesn’t need a Watcher while Buffy gives her sympathetic looks, and then Mrs. Post makes any audience members who haven’t been paying attention so far completely despise her by insulting Giles’s library. She is the worst. Mrs. Post claims she’s not just there to train Faith, but to report on everything. She continues to be horrible to Giles, and she drops some exposition about a demon named Lagos and this power gauntlet he’s after.
We get a definite number on the cemeteries in Sunnydale: twelve! Holy crap. (HOW BIG IS THIS TOWN?!) Mrs. Post leaves with Faith, and Buffy asks if they can slay Mrs. Post. Alas, no.
On what looks like a Saturday afternoon, Buffy goes to the mansion and does Tai Chi with Angel, who is shirtless.
He very smoothly uses one of the movements to close the distance between them and cover her hands with his. They nearly kiss, when Buffy snaps out of it (dangit Buffy). She’s worried that someone will find out, and also that they’re terrible at ignoring the sexual tension. She tells him about Lagos and the MacGuffin of the week, then leaves. He seems interested in helping.
At the library, Giles is extremely frustrated by how he’s failing to prove his Watcher mettle to stupid Mrs. Post, and he takes it out on Xander a bit. Xander and an extremely exhausted, near-headache-y Willow go into the stacks to find more books, but instead they end up making out again. STOP THAT. Giles comes over and they break apart, feeling super guilty. Giles found what he needed, and Xander volunteers to go grab the glove from the crypt in the Restfield Cemetery.
Faith is telling Buffy about her crappy history with guys (who were mostly losers or jerks). Ever since none of that worked out, she’s pretty much just been interested in one-night stands. She asks Buffy how things have been going with her, and Buffy tries to say they haven’t, but Faith wants details on Angel. Which Buffy is not keen to share (especially because Faith’s phrasing is so crass). Buffy gets a little touchy about it, and Faith tries to act like it doesn’t bother her. They’ve searched six cemeteries with no Lagos, so Faith offers to swing by the next one on her own. They part with just a hint of frostiness. (And Buffy is wearing the gorgeous coat from S2! I love clothing continuity on TV. It’s so rare.)
Faith finds Lagos at cemetery #7, and he’s a bit more than she can handle. Fortunately, he’s too interested in looking for the MacGuffin to finish her off, and then he leaves.
At Restfield, a terrified Xander is approaching the crypt, when he hears noises inside. He sees Angel come out with a bundle of rags (which contain the MacGuffin). Great! The worst possible person to find out Angel’s back is the first one to find out. Xander follows Angel back to the mansion, where he sees him and Buffy passionately kissing.
We come back from commercial with them still kissing. It’s a really good kiss, and the camera revolves around them at least 180°. They break apart, and Buffy has a rather hilarious freakout. Angel leads her over to the bundle of rags and unwraps it to show her the MacGuffin. It has claws around the cuff, which is really creepy. Whoever puts it on can never take it off again.
At Giles’s apartment, Giles has found a lead on the MacGuffin in his books, and Mrs. Post insults him again. Also, he’s making her tea, but she sets his teabag aside and pulls out her own tea leaves from her bag. I HATE HER SO MUCH. Giles claims that he’s in complete control of the situation, just in time for Xander to burst in shouting that there’s a problem with Buffy.
The next day, when Buffy arrives at the library, the entire Scooby gang is waiting for her with very stern expressions. Xander gives her is chair. The secret about Angel is out, and everyone’s acting like Buffy needs an intervention. They all seem to think Buffy is a stupid little girl who is powerless against her own hormones and that Angel would be fine with losing his soul again. It’s extremely aggravating. Xander rubs Jenny’s death in her face again, which is seriously not cool. Buffy tries to vouch for Angel by saying he found the MacGuffin for her and is keeping it safe, but they aren’t comforted. Buffy accuses Xander of only having this attitude because of jealousy (to which Cordelia strenuously objects). Giles tells everyone to settle down, and the four kids leave him and Buffy alone. Buffy thinks Giles is on her side, but he’s actually not. He reminds her of everything Angelus did to him and tells her she has no respect for him. He guilt trips her about “harboring a known murderer.” I don’t like any of this.
Mrs. Post goes to Faith’s motel room. Faith brandishes a stake at her, even though it’s broad daylight. Mrs. Post compares Faith’s accommodations to the way the Spartans lived, and she gives her a tough love speech, which seems to earn Faith’s respect. She also mentions Giles and the Scoobies having secret meetings with Buffy, which makes Faith feel alienated. *narrows eyes*
Buffy goes to talk to Willow. Willow isn’t mad about Angel, and doesn’t blame Buffy for keeping secrets (but she’s actually talking about herself, and her secret affair with Xander). It’s probably the friendliest scene they’ve had all season.
At the Bronze that night, Xander is playing pool by himself, and when Faith shows up, still annoyed at being left out earlier, he tells her about Angel being alive. She wants to go slay him, and Xander wants to come. *punches Xander in the face*
Mrs. Post comes to see Giles in his office. She tells him about her afternoon of training with Faith. He tells her where the MacGuffin is, and he has a plan to destroy it with fire. When he starts telling her about this plan, she picks up a heavy statue thing and beats him over the head with it until he collapses. Oh good, so she actually is evil.
Buffy and Willow are at a cemetery together. Buffy feels a little better now that she’s not keeping a secret anymore. Willow thinks maybe she should unload her own burden by telling Buffy her secret. She asks if being with Angel in secret was sexier. Buffy says not really. Before Willow can fess up, Lagos shows up. Buffy slays him, and then tries to continue the conversation where they left off. Alas, Willow chickens out.
The girls go to tell Giles about dead Lagos. The ones who get to the library first are Xander and Faith, who gear up to slay Angel. Xander hears Giles groaning in his office on their way out. Faith thinks Angel must’ve done it, but Xander doesn’t think it’s his M.O. Xander calls 911 and Faith leaves to go slay Angel.
At the mansion, Angel is doing the ritual to destroy the MacGuffin.
Buffy and Willow find paramedics wheeling Giles out on a gurney. He’s mostly incoherent, but he tells Buffy about the ritual to destroy the MacGuffin. Xander tells her he thinks Angel did it. He also tells her that Faith is on her way to kill him, because Xander told her about him. Buffy can’t believe Xander would do that, but she can be mad at him later. Right now, she has to go save Angel. She tells Willow to work on the MacGuffin-destroying ritual.
Mrs. Post shows up at the mansion claiming to have been sent by Giles. Angel doesn’t trust her, at least at first, and as soon as he tells her where the MacGuffin is, she knocks him out with a shovel, which she then uses to break the lock on the trunk. Angel pops back up in vamp face and she breaks the shovel over her knee (yeah right). They fight, and he gets close to knocking her out when Faith arrives. She and Angel start fighting, and she’s about to stake him when Buffy stops her.
Willow and Xander have the ingredients ready, and they find out what the MacGuffin does when someone puts it on. They take the ingredients and set off for the mansion at a run.
Mrs. Post adds fuel to Faith’s belief that Buffy’s on the wrong side of this, and the two Slayers continue to duke it out. When Xander and Willow arrive, Mrs. Post sends Xander to help Faith, and Willow helps her get over to the MacGuffin. Then she punches Willow out and puts the MacGuffin on. The claws poke into her flesh. When Angel said the glove could never be removed, he meant that literally. Gross. Mrs. Post says an incantation in Gaelic, and thunder starts up outside. This puts an end to Buffy and Faith’s fight. Mrs. Post now has lightning powers. She aims them at the Slayers, but they dive out of the way. Next, she aims at Willow, but Angel knocks her to safety. Faith draws Mrs. Post’s fire while Buffy picks up a large piece of glass and throws it like a ninja star. It slices off Mrs. Post’s arm above the glove. She gets struck by lightning until nothing’s left.
All the good guys walk towards where Mrs. Post vanished. The glove releases her severed arm. Ewww.
The next day, Willow and Xander catch Cordy and Oz up on the previous night’s events. Willow is back on Team Angel because he saved her life, and everyone else seems mostly okay with him now. Buffy doesn’t consider him her boyfriend, but he’s definitely her something. Xander offers a very lame apology for how he reacted. Giles, who has a bandage on his head, tells them about how Gwendolyn Post did used to be a Watcher, but she was kicked out a few years earlier.
Buffy goes to see Faith, who is slightly more bruised up than her from their fight. Buffy tries to patch things up with her, but she’s not interested. For a second, it seems like Faith might accept the olive branch, but then she changes her mind.
I used to like this episode a lot because my bar for judging Buffy episodes was pretty much limited to: “Do Buffy and Angel kiss? If yes, I love it! If not, do Willow and Oz at least kiss?” But while I do still very much love the Buffy/Angel kiss, “Revelations” is, largely, a very frustrating episode. Buffy keeping Angel’s return a secret from everyone even though they know he got his soul back has been extremely contrived since day 1, and now the Scoobies’ reactions to discovering he’s back seem equally contrived. I just don’t buy that any of these people (except Xander) would treat Buffy this way. Maybe they’d be a little hurt that she didn’t trust them, but they wouldn’t act like she was prioritizing Angel’s life over theirs—because those were totally not the stakes here. The way this scene should have happened is that Xander would be freaking out because nobody ever told him Angel had his soul back before Buffy sent him to hell, and then his lie from “Becoming: Part II” would come out, and it would be a big confused argument in which the blame doesn’t all fall on Buffy. Instead of treating her like she’s putting everyone’s lives in jeopardy, they’d finally apologize for being so harsh with her. Instead, once again, Buffy is force-fed a family platter of crow even though that’s not what she ordered. Still, while the Scoobies are painful to watch in that intervention scene, most of the rest of the episode is okay. I hate Mrs. Post, but that’s what the writers obviously intended. If the focus had been less on the Scoobies and more on the disintegrating relationship between Buffy and Faith, this could have been one of the best episodes of the first half of S3. If Mrs. Post hadn’t shown up, Buffy and Faith probably would’ve continued to get along great and work together as a fantastic team. Their “synchronized slaying” in the opener was fantastic, and they were having so much fun working together. It’s very bittersweet to watch, knowing what I know about how it’s all about to fall apart.
It’s hard to do character analysis when I feel like everyone is so out-of-character for the sake of needless drama, but here goes. The sexual tension with Angel is getting harder and harder for Buffy to resist, which is perfectly understandable to anyone who isn’t Xander. She stands up for herself a little during the “intervention” scene, but is still ultimately the one who takes the blame. By the end of the episode, it seems like all is forgiven by everyone but Faith, but it’s annoying that everyone was acting like there was something so huge to forgive in the first place. For the first time, I’m glad to see an emotional arc wrap up unceremoniously, because I’ve been sick of this one ever since it was introduced.
I don’t think I ever noticed before that “Revelations” is the first time Willow and Xander kiss again after the scene in her bedroom in “Homecoming.” I think I just assumed they were always kissing offscreen or something. But it seems obvious on this rewatch that they’ve been unsuccessfully trying to pretend like nothing happened since then, and this is the first time they give in and kiss again. Their behavior with each other and their secrecy makes their reactions to Buffy’s secret even more infuriating. Willow, at least, recovers from her hypocrisy quickly and stops treating Buffy like she’s an unstable idiot, but she’s too cowardly to tell her secret to Buffy. Was Xander trying to use Buffy as a scapegoat for his own guilty feelings, or is he once again completely blind to his own faults and keen to punish Buffy for stepping down from the pedestal he keeps her on?
Where did all of Giles’s compassion go? Has he already forgotten that he recently reverted to his irresponsible teenage self? Has he forgotten that Buffy has been quietly suffering ever since she came back from L.A.? Has he forgotten that Angel got his soul back before Buffy sent him to hell? Why does he think Buffy’s actions mean she has no respect for him? I maybe would’ve understood a reaction like this if Buffy had strolled into the library at the end of “Becoming: Part 2” hand-in-hand with Angel, but it’s been at least five months since Buffy defeated Angelus. Why such a strong reaction now, after he’s had this long to get emotional distance and perspective? While I dislike most of Giles’s interactions with Buffy in this one, I am very much on his side in all the scenes with Mrs. Post. She’s a fairly effective foil, and even though she’s evil, she’s a hint that the Watchers’ Council isn’t about caring for Slayers; it’s about weaponizing them.
Oz has a very small role in this one. Not much characterization going on. I kind of feel like there should be more Oz in an arc that involves a subplot where Willow is cheating on him. The same goes for Cordelia, who, with the exception of “Homecoming,” has had very little to do all season.
While everyone else is assuming the worst about him, Angel is actually getting crap done. He finds the Glove of Myhnegon and if he’d had two more minutes to himself, he would’ve destroyed it before anyone else showed up. It looks like he won’t be lurking off to the side and leaving everything to Buffy anymore. He wants to be an active participant.
“Faith, do you know who the Spartans were?”
“Wild stab: a bunch of guys from Spart?”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.