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The Slayer Collection:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Faith
cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, and James Marsters

creator: Josh Whedon
180 minutes (15) 1998-2000
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
20th Century Fox DVD Region 2 + 4 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
As the real badass among TV fantasy bad girls, Eliza Dushku played replacement vampire slayer Faith as heroine Buffy's dark side. Everything about her, from hair colour to black leather clothes, to personality and expressive choice of words, was designed to signify that she was Buffy gone wrong. Introduced in the third season episode Faith, Hope And Trick, Faith was a breath of fresh air in the goody-two-shoes world of this superhero TV show. She was wickedly funny, uncontrollable, and dangerous to know. In Revelations, Faith was confronted with new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post (Serena Scott Thomas), and although she works alongside Buffy, their teamwork was to be short-lived.
   The first episode in this Faith-themed collection is Bad Girls, which sees yet another Watcher arriving in Sunnydale, the pompous young Englishman, Wesley Wynham-Pryce (Alexis Denisof) - who later features in spinoff series Angel. Wesley's introduction to Faith, in the school library, perfectly illustrates her amusingly uncompromising attitude to authority.

   FAITH [sees Wesley; inquires]: New Watcher?
   BUFFY and GILES [in chorus, affirmative]: New Watcher.
   FAITH [turns to leave]: Screw that.

But the story that follows this typical encounter is marked by awful tragedy when the overconfident and extremely aggressive Faith inadvertently kills an innocent human, the town's deputy mayor, when she mistakes him for a vampire enemy. In the follow-up episode, Consequences, Faith blames Buffy for the murder and clearly demonstrates that she is not dealing with her guilt very well at all. Before the end of the crisis, she abandons her 'calling' as a vampire slayer and eventually opts to work for demonic local politician Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener). A later episode, season three's 'cliffhanger' ending Graduation Day - Part One, sees the evil Mayor's supernatural ascension to giant-sized monster-hood during Buffy's high school graduation ceremony, in which Faith plays an integral part. After the body-swap of This Year's Girl (not included on this disc), where Faith awakens from her months-long coma to magically assume Buffy's identity, while Buffy is obviously mistaken for Faith, the actresses have great fun impersonating each other's characters in Who Are You. Though, their role-playing ends when Buffy reverses the spell in order to regain her own body, and the good and bad slayers fight it out on a rooftop...
    The four episodes here are generally representative of the Faith character's development from potential stand-in for Buffy, with questionable loyalties, to rogue slayer and later defection to villainy, but they fail to explore many of the subtler facets of the maverick teen character. As the most plausibly conflicted personality, and therefore most human, within the Buffyverse, Faith remains, perhaps, the most intriguing character in whole show.
   DVD picture format is enhanced for 16:9 TV, and has Dolby 2.0 surround audio with five-language subtitles including English. Disc extras: character profile featurette (15 minutes) with Dushku interview clips, plus trailers for Buffy and Angel series on DVD.
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