Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite TV show
Heh heh. Heh. Oh, god.
Logo TV had a poll to pick viewers' 10 favorite Buffy episodes, and then they did a marathon of the top choices. Myself and my friend Joey were dying trying to choose the top 10. So the idea of choosing all time favorite is giving me a bit of a headache.
Do you choose a funny episode, like Tabula Rasa, Something Blue Or Who Are You? A tear jerker, like The Gift, Amends, or Becoming Pt 2? An epic episode, like Once More With Feeling, Conversations with Dead People, or The Wish? It's practically impossible to choose.
I can safely say Season 3 of BTVS was my favorite season. Almost all of my favorite characters are there (If we'd introduced Tara here, it would be absolutely perfect), and every episode had something. There wasn't a dull episode in the bunch. The season arc was amazing, the villain was one of the best if not *the* best. There's just so much good, the best episode has to come from it.
Now. Which to pick?
After fighting with this for a considerable time, I'm going to pick an episode that doesn't really fall into any of the big episode lists. When it comes down to the average top 10 lists, I think this one gets passed over fairly regularly, and that's a shame.
Enemies. Season 3, Episode 17.
This episode has everything a truly great BTVS episode needs. You've got the romantic element, including Joss's tried and true relationship-in-perile. The villain is prominent, and wonderfully evil. The heroine gets her Ass Kicking Moment, there's beautiful twist that I know I didn't see coming when the episode originally aired. SO much to love about this episode.
This episode is also book-ended with two incredible episodes, Doppelgangland and Earshot. At the time of its original airdate, Choices was the following episode, and (in my opinion) that's an even better follow-up than Earshot.
The audience knew Faith had gone evil, but the characters didn't. This was played off beautifully by the entire cast, especially my girl Eliza Dushku1. The episode opens with a beautifully done Buffy/Angel scene, setting us up (not too heavy handedly)for the events to come later. I remember vividly watching this episode my junior year of high school (does that make me really old or really young?), and thrilling when Faith said, "Check out the lust bunnies." Shout out to me!
Then we had an amazing scene with Faith and The Mayor. We got a little interaction between them in the previous episode, but he was much more stern with her then. Here, he's much more fatherly, which was really the most incredible parent/child relationship in the Whedonverse. Yes, Buffy and Joyce were incredible, but the affection The Mayor had for Faith, and vice versa, was so palpable, and heart felt. That was seen especially in the Season 3 finale, when he almost killed Buffy in the hospital.
All the scenes between Faith and Angel are perfection, but the first one, where she's scared and vulnerable. The audience is pretty much leaning forward, waiting to see what's going to happen. Does she mean it? Is she really scared? Then...oooh...naughty Faith. Angel...? Oh, god, Buffy's right there! It's a high tension moment, and the tension between Faith and Buffy in the next scene is pitch perfect.
Then...wow. Angelus. Wait, ANGELUS? Oh my GOD, Angelus is back?! And he's on Faith and The Mayor's side?! OH GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
I fell for this hook, line, and sinker.
Buffy: "Faith, we need to get out of here, now."
Faith: "Speak for yourself, B. Me, I like it here."
In.cred.ible. delivery on this line. Eliza Dushku says something very similar in her much less than stellar movie Soul Survivors. The line was featured in the trailer, and I pretty much squealed with geeker joy.
As Angelus, Boreanaz loves to chew the scenery. But he doesn't get to steal the scenes here. It's all about the Faith/Buffy interaction. There's so much beautiful dialogue during the final scene, if I were to sit and quote it all, we'd be here all night. This interaction is some of the best in the entire series. So powerful, so strong and painful.
Buffy: "You had to tie me up to beat me. There's a word for people like you, Faith. Loser."
And then in one line, Angel KNOCKS ME OFF MY ASS. And Buffy drops the chains, and the ruse is revealed, and it's so fucking intense it makes your heart race and your head spin. The final fight, knives at each other's throats, the kiss on the forehead. This means war, and they both know it.
The final scene between Buffy and Angel essentially sums up their entire relationship. Pain and hurt and distrust, but still:
Angel: "You still my girl?"
This is my favorite BTVS episode of all time. And I can watch it over and over and over again.
And for another episode that I really really did struggle with wanting to use, please see RyAn's entry. He's far more eloquent than I am, too.
1You did know I was going to pick a Faith-centric episode, right? I mean, I'm pretty transparent.^