A day late, because my niece had her finale playoff softball game last night. We lost, but still. Priorities.
I cannot even pretend this was a difficult decision for me. It would be insulting to everyone who knows me. In fact, when I skimmed the meme before deciding to do it, I laughed when I saw this one.
What was difficult, however, was picking out the pictures I wanted to use for it. I mean, this is my woman. This is my character. How do you pick the best pictures to talk about her?
So, really, this is just a Faith/Eliza love fest in words and pictures. Prepare yourself. Because when I started wading through and sorting, I had 171 pictures. Luckily for you guys, most of them got weeded out, or put into the opening graphic.
Faith is by far my favorite character on any television show I've watched. It's such a ridiculously easy choice. She's leaps and bounds above any other female character. If I didn't have such a deep affection for the character, I honestly don't think I would love Eliza Dushku as much as I do, and considering how drop dead gorgeous the woman is, that's saying something.
I didn't bond with any BTVS character as quickly as I bonded with Faith. I wanted to be this person, and a part of me was her. I can't even define what that means in a way that someone not inside of my brain can understand. The strength masking the damage. From minute one, I was intrigued, then I developed a crush, and eventually it was, "What do you MEAN she's not going to be on the show anymore?!"
I looked forward to the Faith appearances like a man in hell looks forward to a drop of water. And unfortunately, I got them about as often. She was sassy and sexy, and she brought a much needed angry outsider energy to the group. She was the outsider, and she got to bring the uncomfortable energy and really shake them all up. Case in point: The Zeppo. Without Faith, Xander may never have gotten laid. And we wouldn't have had the Willow bathroom scene a couple of episodes later that made everyone "AWWWWW!" at the top of their lungs. Bad Girls was the episode that kicked my Faith/Eliza crush into overdrive. The entire episode is an homage to the hotness that is Buffy, with some SMG hotness thrown in as lagniappe. Pretty much all of it kicks ass, from the introduction of Wesley (and his subsequent verbal beatdown by Giles, which is really the whole point of Wesley's existence), the Buffy/Faith subtext, the death of the mayor's right-hand man. Angel's amazing entrance to fight the vampires, which had me squealing and cheering from awesomeness. And did I mention the dance scene? My ex once tried to have a conversation with me while a rerun of this episode was on television. Ask me how well that worked.
The Buffy/Faith subtext is so thick you can feel it coming through the screen. That's not really an exaggeration. Performing a flying somersault over the fanfiction angle of that, this worked so well to cement the intense Slayer vs Slayer angle with these two, the light and dark side of one supernatural creature. It's one of Joss's favorite parlor tricks, introducing the Shoulder Angel vs Shoulder Devil. He did it with Spike and Angel, Veruca and Oz, Willow and Tara,
When Faith "turned to the dark side", I was shocked and so intrigued. I already loved the character of The Mayor. He is most definitely my favorite villain. And what's crazy about her going to his side is, they turn out to have one of the greatest non-sexual relationships on this show. This could've gone so badly. The "sugar daddy" line says it all. But instead, Faith finally found a father figure. And we saw her blossom from this.
When Wilkins was in her hospital room, he was so controlled. Then when he walks up, and strokes the side of her face, it's just so heartbreaking. You wouldn't expect that from the villain of the piece, which is what made him so wonderful. When she came out of the coma and realized he was dead, you could see that pain, and you felt it. When he tried to kill Buffy, and then completely flipped his shit on Angel. It's something you would expect from Giles and Buffy. I think that's what makes their relationship so meaningful to me.
Speaking of the coma thing. How amazing was that battle scene? Another thing I love about Faith's character. This has more to do with the actors than anything else. Sarah's stunt double usually blended in fairly well. Sometimes seamlessly. But Eliza's was always rather obvious. Possibly a man. Yet when we got close-ups of Sarah fighting or training, it was seriously hard to believe that Buffy could take down a demon. Or, in fact, a 90 pound man on crutches.
But Faith actually looks like she could do some damage. I love well choreographed fight scenes, and every fight scene involving Faith was magical, no matter whether she was staking vamps, fighting Buffy, or going after Angel.
So they "killed" her off, and I was furious. But she came back and made my eyeballs pop out of their sockets. That short two-parter in Season 4 was the highlight of what turned out to be a rather crappy season. Not as bad as Season 6, of course, but still. In fact, Faith's reappearance are what keep both Season 4 and Season 7 from being the bottom of the barrel for me. She turned up on Angel, and that two-parter added to the best season of Angel (not that it was hard to top the subsequent ones). I love watching Faith dance. She just goes for it. And if you notice, in Season 7, she has a small dance scene that is much more subdued. In both of her other major dance scenes, apparently she was doing the dance of the Batshit Crazy. I think I prefer it.
But, as I already mentioned in the Best Scene Ever entry, she also had her breakdown scene, which was just effing incredible and made this episode a Top 10 of All Time Ever. Plus she tortured Wesley, which is always a good time.
Her return in Season 4 of Angel was fucking fantastic. I can't clean that up, it really was fucking incredible. Her entrance into the prison yard (making my friend Kate and I scream with happiness), her taking down of the other inmate. Then that one line that sent chills up my spine. "Step away from the glass." She continued to have the best lines in the other two episodes, and during her return in Season 7 of Buffy.
Other than mentioning the Spike flirtation in Dirty Girls, I'm really not up for discussing Season 7. They didn't do enough with her, focusing too much on the damn Slayerettes. But that's just my issue with Season 7 in general. I'm just glad she survived. If Eliza hadn't signed up for Tru Calling, we had a very strong possibility of a Faith spin-off. We didn't get it, and that's okay. Because she survived.
Couple more picture spams, because I can: