Principal Cast

In order of character appearances
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers [21/22]
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris [21/22]
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg [21/22]
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase [21/22]
David Boreanaz as Angel [21/22]
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles [21/22]
Seth Green as Oz [20/22]

Recurring Cast

In order of character appearances
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers [16/22]
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane [13/22]
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins [11/22]
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce [9/22]
Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder [8/22]
Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson [7/22]
Larry Bagby as Larry Blaisdell [5/22]
Jason Hall as Devon MacLeish [5/22]
K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Trick [5/22]
Emma Caulfield as Anya [5/22]
Jack Plotnick as Deputy Mayor Allan Finch [4/22]
Ethan Erickson as Percy West [4/22]
Fab Filippo as Scott Hope [3/22]
Mercedes McNab as Harmony Kendall [3/22]
Saverio Guerra as Willy the Snitch [2/22]
James Lurie as Mr. Miller [2/22]
Tom Bellin as Dr. Gold [2/22]
Julia Lee as Lily Houston (formerly Chanterelle) [1/22]
Robin Sachs as Ethan Rayne [1/22]
James Marsters as Spike [1/22]
Mark Metcalf as The Master [1/22]
Robia LaMorte as The First/Jenny Calendar [1/22]
Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison [1/22]
Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers [1/22]
Andy Umberger as D'Hoffryn [1/22]

Season Summary

Buffy returns to Sunnydale after trying to begin a new life in L.A. for a few months, leaving her friends to fend for themselves in the still dangerous town. Just when she begins to accept Angel's departure, he returns from a hell after being tortured for probably centuries. The unseen mayor of Sunnydale proves to be a bad guy; indeed, Mayor Richard Wilkins III emerges as the major villain in the third season (once discovered, seasonal villains are known affectionately as the "Big Bad.")

The story is complicated by the arrival of another Slayer, Faith, who was called after Kendra was killed at the end of Season Two. Faith is a unstable, leather-clad bad-girl who had an "unhappy childhood." She takes pleasure in violence and enjoys one-night stands afterwards. After accidentally killing a human being, something that is strictly forbidden for a Vampire Slayer, she turns rogue and joins the evil mayor, who had built the town of Sunnydale "for demons to feed on" over a century ago. He plans to Ascend into pure demon form on graduation day, becoming much larger and more destructive than the demons Buffy is used to facing.

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce appeared as a Watcher to replace Giles, who had failed a traditional test given to the Slayer and her Watcher on her 18th birthday. Though Wesley was generally inept and played mostly as a comic fop, he develops into a more heroic figure as a regular on the spin-off series Angel. Jonathan, who would become a major player later in the series, also reappeared while vengeance demon Anyanka, who would later become a series regular, loses her power and becomes a mortal in Sunnydale.

The season ends with Buffy having to stab Faith, putting her in a permanent coma. The Mayor Ascends, but the gang blows up the school with him in it. Knowing that he has no future with Buffy, Angel leaves Sunnydale for L.A. and his own spin-off. Though no mention was made of it at the time, regular character Cordelia Chase made the same move.

List of Episodes

1. Anne
2. Dead Man's Party
3. Faith, Hope & Trick
4. Beauty and the Beasts
5. Homecoming
6. Band Candy
7. Revelations
8. Lovers Walk
9. The Wish
10. Amends
11. Gingerbread
12. Helpless
13. The Zeppo
14. Bad Girls
15. Consequences
16. Doppelgängland
17. Enemies
18. Earshot
19. Choices
20. The Prom
21. Graduation Day, Part One
22. Graduation Day, Part Two

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