Guest Starring: 
 Kristine Sutherland: 
 (Joyce Summers) 
 Alexis Denisof: 
 (Wesley Wyndham-Price) 
 Emma Calfield: 
 Eliza Dushku: 
 Harry Groener: 
 (Mayor Richard Wilkins) 
 Mercedes McNabb: 
 Ethan Erickson: 
 Armin Shimerman: 
 (Principal Snyder) 
  21. Graduation Day, Part 1.  
  As the mayor prepares to ascend, Faith plans to poison Angel so that he dies slowly and painfully. Buffy sets out to finish the deal with Faith, to the death!  
  Great quotes:  
  • Xander: "Come on guys, the suspense is killing Angel!"
  • Percy's finally a scholar: "Now I can forget all this crap..."
  • Teacher playing hangman: "Ha ha; they always go for the 'E'."
  • Anya: "Men like sports, I'm sure of it." Xander: "Yes... men watch the action movie they eat of the beef and enjoy to look at the bosoms."
  • Joyce to Buffy: "Maybe I should have sent you to a different school..." well 'durr'!
  • Oz: "Our lives are different than other people's" Yep, you're in a sci-fi TV series mate.
  • Faith sees Buffy wielding her knife: "That's mine!" Buffy: "Well you're about to get it back..."
  • The Mayor after eating the spiders from the box of Gavrok: "These babies are high in fibre, and why become a demon if you're not regular? Am I right?"
  Fantastic moments:  
The big showdown.
  • Buffy v Faith, surely the best fight scene in the entire series. Not just for its aesthetic qualities, but for the choreography, cutting, direction and the fact that it has been building over the course of the entire season; Buffy versus her own alter ego, Faith versus the girl she hates for having all she never did, Faith versus the person who takes credit for the work they both do, Buffy versus the girl who tried to destroy her relationship with Angel. Not to mention Buffy's red leather trousers and black jacket contrasting Faith's 'rock chick' look; easy tiger!
  • All the moments between Faith and the Mayor are strangely touching and like they're a family. I'm a great fan of giving 'heart' to your evil characters, a dangerous and rather innovative thing to do.
  • Willow's ramblings after her and Oz have been together are suitably touching and very much in character "Was it nice? Should this be a quiet moment?".
  Duff Bits:  
  • Is the professor's knowledge really worth killing him over? There is no way that the Scoobies would have found him otherwise.
  • Buffy seems to be going heavy on the mascara again.
  • How on Earth did Willow use a school chemistry kit to identify a mystical poison.
  • Xander worries that Buffy could become Faith if she tries to kill her. A good point, totally copped out on in part 2.
  • A couple of points on the Buffy versus Faith fight; why does Buffy change her outfit to confront her nemesis (not that I'm complaining), and why don't the rest of the Scoobies go with her, it make no sense for Buffy to face Faith alone.
  Dean's comments:  
The final 5 minutes are great, what about the rest of it? Everything works very neatly and still fits together after so many plot twists and turns through the year. It seems to me that most of the real drama is got out of the way in this first part, Buffy and Angel confronting their break up, Willow and Oz finally getting together, Buffy 'graduating' from the council (behold the metaphor!) and obviously Buffy challenging Faith. Of course along with the climax of these relationships comes a lot of talking, and a result is that not a huge amount else happens here. I love the finale to act 1, the direction is great as the Mayor challenges the Scoobies before leaving them in the library; the camera pans up to give us a great view of the 'inner sanctum' (which will soon be destroyed of course). The episode ends with a genius cliff-hanger, how will Angel be cured? Are they going to kill him off (let's ignore the fact we knew there was going to be an 'Angel' spin-off)?
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