"Consequences" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and is the forty-ninth episode in the series. Written by Marti Noxon and directed by Michael Gershman, it originally broadcast on February 16, 1999 on The WB network.
KEEP THE FAITH — Buffy is haunted by the consequences of her and Faith's reckless behavior as she battles with Faith's apparent lack of remorse to keep her from continuing on her destructive path. Meanwhile, the new watcher Wesley overrides Giles' objections and instructs Buffy and Faith to get to the bottom of the recent murder, while the Mayor and Trick are thrilled by the possibility of imprisoning a slayer for the murder.
Buffy has a nightmare in which she tries to escape murky waters while the murdered Finch pulls her down. Finally reaching the surface, Buffy sees Faith, who immediately pushes her fellow Slayer back underwater. After waking up, Buffy wanders down to the family room, where her mother is watching a news report about the discovery of Finch's body.
At the library, Wesley orders Buffy and Faith to investigate Finch's murder, much to Buffy's chagrin, though Faith acts indifferent. During their discussion, Cordelia enters the library to check out some books for an assignment. She takes an immediate interest in Wesley, who doesn't realize how young she is until Giles and the others fill him in.
After heading out, Buffy tries to convince Faith to come clean and confess her crime to Giles. Faith reminds Buffy that they were both involved, so if she goes down, she's taking Buffy with her. Buffy then spots Willow and tries to talk to her. However, Willow is still stung by Buffy's recent behavior in which she has been hanging out with Faith more and spending less time with Willow.
Meanwhile, Mayor Wilkins shreds all of Finch's files that contain anything related to their dirty work. Mr. Trick listens as Mayor Wilkins wonders if Finch was conspiring against him somehow and ends up feeling miserable that now he'll never know and won't have the chance to "scold" him. Mr. Trick cheers the mayor up by telling him that Finch's autopsy report showed that there were wooden splinters in his stab wound. This, combined with the fact the scene of the murder was also the location for vampire activity, makes Mayor Wilkins realize that Buffy or Faith were responsible and cheers up at the thought that at least one of them may be sent down for murder.
Later that night, Buffy and Faith sneak into Finch's office at Sunnydale City Hall to see if they can find any info that might explain why he was in the alley that night. They notice that almost all of his files are gone, which leads Buffy to believe that a cover-up may be in the works. Just as they're heading out, Mayor Wilkins and Mr. Trick enter the building on the opposite end of the hallway.
Seeing them together and realizing that Wilkins is working against them, Buffy and Faith duck back into Finch's office, waiting for the Mayor and Mr. Trick to pass by before running for the exit. Outside, Buffy expresses her concern over Faith's apparently guilt-free conscience. She doesn't believe that Faith is perfectly okay with murdering a man, but Faith says otherwise. Faith believes that their nightly deeds as Slayers should put them above the law — they have been Chosen and are better than others and don't have to obey the same rules.
When Buffy returns home, she is greeted by her mother Joyce and Detective Stein, who has come to ask her a few questions about the night of the murder. Buffy lies and pleads ignorance to everything related to the Deputy Mayor. Detective Stein leaves and visits Faith at her motel room, where he gets a similar story. Meanwhile, Buffy goes to Willow's house, where she starts to tell Willow what happened, but Willow is upset about Buffy recently ignoring her and speaks harshly about how Buffy is deserting her for Faith. This causes Buffy to burst into tears and tell Willow she's in trouble. She confesses all to Willow, who advises Buffy to go to Giles. When Buffy arrives at the library, she finds out that Faith has gotten there first and pinned the murder on Buffy. Buffy tries to convince Giles otherwise but he is implacable.
After Faith leaves, Giles assures Buffy that he recognized immediately that Faith was lying, but feigned belief in order to prevent Faith from bolting or completely breaking. Giles tells Buffy that this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened; civilians are sometimes caught in the crossfire from battle, so normally the Watchers Council would investigate and deal out punishment if they feel it's necessary. However, Giles has no intention of informing the Council given Faith's current mental state, so he and Buffy agree to only share what's happened with the others in the group. What they don't realize is that Wesley has overheard the whole conversation from outside the office. Immediately afterward, he calls the Council to alert them of the crime.
The next morning, Buffy talks with Xander, Willow, and Giles about what they should do with Faith. Feeling he has a special connection with Faith, Xander offers to talk to her. The others think that of all of them, Xander knows her the least, so he reveals they'd slept together. Buffy tells him that Faith doesn't think well of the men she's slept with; Giles looks uncomfortable; and Willow looks a bit in shock, then later goes to the bathroom and cries. Despite this, Xander heads towards Faith's motel room. There, Xander tries to help her see that what she did was wrong. Faith instead shoves Xander onto the bed, wraps her hands around Xander's neck, and asphyxiates him. Before she can kill him, Faith is distracted by a sound at her doorway. She turns her head just in time to see Angel swing a bat into her face.
Faith regains consciousness chained up in the Crawford Street mansion. She tries to come on to Angel, but he leaves her there alone momentarily, going to talk with Buffy in the garden. Angel tells her he believes that Faith is more dangerous than ever, now that she's experienced murder by her own hands. At City Hall, the Mayor is very angry to find out via surveillance tape that, not only did Buffy and Faith successfully break in, but they also saw him with Mr. Trick. Now that the Slayers know that Wilkins is a bad guy and its clear neither of them will be going to jail for Finch's murder due to lack of evidence, the Mayor demands that Mr. Trick take care of them soon or else.
Angel attempts to get Faith to come to reason and tells her how he can relate to her sinful desires. Although Faith initially remains insolent, it seems as if Angel is slowly persuading her. Just as he tells her that she does not have to "go into the darkness," Wesley and several other men crash into the mansion. The men subdue Angel while Wesley unlocks Faith's chains. The Watcher then restrains Faith with his own cuffs, informing her that she will be brought to face the Council. In the truck, Faith tricks one of the men into getting closer. She then captures and threatens to snap his neck unless Wesley frees her from the restraints. Wesley follows her orders. As soon as she's freed, Faith knocks him to the floor and jumps out of the back of the truck.
Buffy returns to the mansion to find Faith gone and Angel immobilized on the floor. Shortly afterwards, Giles, Xander, and Willow arrive at the mansion, where Angel informs them of Wesley taking Faith. When they try to formulate a plan to save Faith, Willow interrupts with her own objection to the idea of saving a guilty murderess who has just tried to kill Xander. A bruised Wesley then arrives and tells them that Faith has escaped; his interference only increases the Scoobies' hostility towards him.
Buffy goes to the docks and finds Faith on one of the boats, ready to flee the country. Buffy tries one last time to turn Faith around and get help. They argue again, but this debate is cut short by a surprise ambush. Mr. Trick and several of his vampire cohorts knock Buffy to the ground with a large crate, and she is pinned down by it. With Buffy down, Faith attempts to fight the vampires by herself. Mr. Trick tries to kill Buffy but, after dusting the last of his henchmen, Faith sees Mr. Trick about to bite into Buffy's neck and stakes him in the back, much to the vampire's surprise.
At the library, Buffy talks to Giles about Faith's heroic act. They believe that there may still be hope for Faith. Meanwhile, Mayor Wilkins gets a visit from Faith at his office. With Mr. Trick out of the picture, Faith says he must have a job available. Intrigued, Mayor Wilkins lets her into the office, shutting the door behind her.
- Buffy has a nightmare of Faith drowning her. Years later, Faith almost drowns Buffy out of frustration, in No Future for You, Part Three.
- Cordelia and Wesley meet each other in this episode. The two will become each other's superficial love interests until "Graduation Day, Part Two". Later, on Angel, the two become very close friends and coworkers.
- Investigating Finch's death, a detective asks a witness what time she heard the scream, likely heard when Buffy said "Faith, no!" ("Bad Girls").
- Buffy seeing Mayor Wilkins and Mr. Trick together provides the Scoobies with their first concrete evidence that the Mayor is not what he seems and will become a problem.
- Faith says to Buffy: "We are the law." Buffy later declares herself as the law in supernatural matters ("Selfless").
- Finch's death is the third murder investigation in which Buffy has been involved in less than two years. She was previously suspected in the deaths of the robot Ted ("Ted") and fellow Slayer Kendra ("Becoming, Part Two"). Additionally, both of the previous cases were investigated by the same detective, Paul Stein. Buffy will be investigated again for the death of vampires in human form in Freefall, Part Two.
- Willow tells Buffy she and Michael are still trying to de-rat Amy, who transformed herself in episode "Gingerbread".
- At Willow's idea of talking to Faith together, Buffy recalls the intervention the Scoobies had on her in episode "Revelations".
- Xander reveals to the Scoobies about his sexual encounter with Faith, in "The Zeppo".
- Angel seems to be able to get through to Faith, a theme that will be picked up much later when the two meet in LA in episode "Five by Five".
- The events of this episode are one of the primary reasons Wesley is eventually dismissed from the Watchers Council, as revealed in the episode "Parting Gifts".
- Cordelia Chase
- Michael Czajak (Only mentioned)
- Allan Finch (Only in visions)
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Faith Lehane
- Amy Madison (Only mentioned)
- Daniel Osbourne (Only in photograph)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Paul Stein
- Buffy Summers
- Joyce Summers
- Quentin Travers (Only mentioned)
- Mr. Trick
- Richard Wilkins
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
- Unidentified reporter
- Unidentified witness
Organizations and titles
- England (Only mentioned)
Weapons and objects
- Two vampires, dusted by Faith.
- Mr. Trick, dusted by Faith.
Behind the scenes
- Although credited, Seth Green does not appear in this episode. The actor was away filming his scenes as Scott Evil in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. This is the only time during season 3 that a main character is absent.
- The telephone number that Wesley dials when contacting the Watchers Council appears to be a correct one, which is unusual for television and film. The international calling code from the US to the UK is 011-44-telephone number. On screen, Wesley is clearly seem dialing 11-44.
- This exchange was cut for length:
- Angel: "You and me, Faith, we're a lot alike."
- Faith: "Well, you're kind of dead..."
- Angel: "Like I said. A lot alike."
- Faith: "Sorry, buddy. I'm alive and kicking. In fact, I've got a bodily function that needs attending to pretty quick here."
- Angel: "You're not alive. You're just running. Afraid to feel. Afraid to be touched..."
- Faith: "Save it for Hallmark. I have to pee."
Pop culture references
- Cordelia asks Giles for books on psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
- Faith compares Allan Finch's goodness with pacifist Mahatma Gandhi.
- Faith says she hopes "evil takes Mastercard," referencing the credit card company.
- Buffy describes Faith's state as "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", a song from the film Song of the South (1946).
- Armenian: "Հետևանքներ" (Consequences)
- Czech: "Následky" (Consequences)
- Finnish: "Jatkokertomusleikki"
- French: "Au-dessus des lois" (Above the Laws)
- German: "Konsequenzen" (Consequences)
- Hungarian: "Következmények" (Consequences)
- Italian: "Fatta per uccidere" (Made to Kill)
- Japanese: "ことの結果" (The Consequence of That)
- Polish: "Konsekwencja" (Consequence)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "Consequências" (Consequences)
- Romanian: "Consecințe" (Consequences)
- Russian: "Последствия" (Consequences)
- Spanish (Latin America and Spain): "Consecuencias" (Consequences)
- The book The Faith Trials includes a novelization of this episode.
- The script for this episode is featured in The Script Book: Season Three, Volume 3.
- This episode is included in The Slayer Collection: Faith DVD.
- Wesley is embarrassed to be attracted to a student, Cordelia, which Faith calls jailbait. Though, if the date of her birthday in "Birthday" is the same as its airdate, then Cordelia would already be aged 18 by the time she met Wesley.
|Wesley - "Does everyone know about you?"|
|Buffy - "She's a friend."|
|Cordelia - "Let's not exaggerate."|
|Wesley - "My, she's cheeky, isn't she?"|
|Faith - "Uh, first word: jail; second word: bait."|
|Xander - "She was fighting those apocalypse demon things and I helped out... gave her a ride home."|
|Buffy - "And you guys talked?"|
|Xander - "Not extensively, no."|
|Buffy - "Then why would you ... oh!"|
|Giles - "Oh!"|
|Willow - "I don't need to say "oh", I got it before. They slept together."|
|Faith - "You sent your boy to kill me."|
|Mayor Wilkins - "That's right, I did."|
|Faith - "He's dust."|
|Mayor Wilkins - "I thought he might be, what with you standing here and all."|
|Faith - "I guess that means you have a job opening."|
|Buffy - "Hey."|
|Willow - "Hey."|
|Buffy - "I need to talk to you."|
|Willow - "Good. 'Cause I've been letting things fester. And I don't like it. I wanna be fester-free."|
|Buffy - "Yeah. Me, too."|
|Willow - "I mean, don't get me wrong. I completely understand why you and Faith have been doing the bonding thing. You guys work together. You... you should get along."|
|Buffy - "It's more complicated than that."|
|Willow - "But, see, it's that exact thing that's just ticking me off! It's this whole 'Slayers only' attitude. I mean, since when wouldn't I understand? You, you talk to me about everything. It's like all of a sudden I'm not cool enough for you because I can't kill things with my bare hands. Oh! Oh, Buffy! Don't cry. I'm sorry. I was too hard on you. Sometimes I unleash. I don't know my own strength. It's bad. I'm bad. I'm a bad, bad, bad person."|
|Buffy - "Will, I'm in trouble."|