"Dirty Girls" is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and is the one hundred fortieth episode in the series. Written by Drew Goddard and directed by Michael Gershman, it originally broadcast on April 15, 2003 on UPN.
SEE NO EVIL — Willow brings Faith back to Sunnydale, just in time for the arrival of Caleb, a misogynist preacher who has aligned himself with the First. Caleb sends a message to Buffy in the form of an almost dead potential slayer, claiming to have something of Buffy's, prompting her to prepare her army of girls for an attack against him to reclaim her possession.
A young Potential, Shannon, is chased through the woods by Harbingers of Death. She accepts the assistance of a stranger driving a truck and is horrified to discover that she has fallen into a trap. The man, Caleb, terrifies her and burns his mark into her neck. He gives her a message for the Slayer, stabs her in the stomach, and forces her out of the car. Faith and Willow find the girl on their way back to Sunnydale and take her to the hospital.
At his apartment, Xander's erotic dream about a pair of teenage Potentials, Colleen and Caridad, is cut short when Rona wakes him up to fix the toilet. At the hospital, Faith asks Willow why the Scooby Gang failed to warn her about the threat of the Bringers, informing Willow that she had been attacked in prison. Faith leaves the hospital in search of Buffy, despite Willow's protestations that Faith should not approach Buffy alone. Faith witnesses Spike chasing a girl through a cemetery. Mistakenly believing that Spike has reverted to his old habits, Faith ignores his attempts to explain and attacks him. Buffy arrives to clear up the confusion, and the girl that Spike had been chasing, now in her vampire form, attacks Faith, who (borrowing a stake from Buffy) quickly slays her. Back at the house, Faith encounters a cold reception from both Dawn and Giles, and Spike explains that the tension is not all because of her. Meanwhile, the First Evil reveals Buffy's form to Caleb.
Andrew tries to bring the Potentials up to speed on Faith's history. While they are quick to point out that Faith had killed a vulcanologist, not a Vulcan, they watch Faith exercising in the back yard with fascination and curiosity. At the school, Buffy and Robin Wood revisit their previous discussion about Spike, and they agree that their alliance against The First Evil is more important than personal agendas. Robin fires her from her school job, emphasizing the need for her to focus on the mission.
When told that Shannon has come to from her injuries, In the Summers' home, Faith sneaks down into the basement for a cigarette and a moment away from the "wannabees" who, in her opinion, have had entirely too much coffee. Faith finds Spike in the basement, and they discuss their common dangerous pasts, as well as various sexual proclivities. Faith reminds him of their previous conversation, which had occurred when she was in Buffy's body. Spike acknowledges that she had made quite an impression at the time. He informs Faith of his relationship with Buffy, which greatly surprises her. Buffy comes downstairs and becomes visibly jealous to find them lounging on Spike's bed.
Buffy quickly leaves for the hospital. Shannon relates her experiences with Caleb. She tells Buffy of Caleb's message: He has something of Buffy's. Later at the house, Buffy tries to motivate the terrified Potentials to accompany her when she attacks Caleb (who, meanwhile, is re-enacting scenes of his past murders with the First Evil). Buffy, alone, is confident in her plan; Giles, Spike, her friends, and the Potentials all question her decision. Buffy and Faith, on a recon mission, follow a Bringer through the woods. They discuss Faith's intentions and her recent experiences with Angel before locating Caleb's stronghold in the old winery Shadow Valley Vineyards.
At the Summers' home, Xander directs the Potentials on the methods of attacking in battle. When Rona criticizes Buffy's intentions, Xander strongly defends his friend. Leaving Willow and Giles to stay behind to protect the more inexperienced girls, Buffy leads Spike, Faith, Xander, and the more experienced Potentials (including Kennedy, Molly, Rona, Chao-Ahn, Amanda, Dianne, and several others) to the Vineyard. They divide into two groups: An assault team and a back-up team. After an initial clash with the Bringers, Caleb appears and the entire attack quickly turns into a disaster. He has super-strength, quickly knocking aside Buffy and Spike, and breaking Rona's arm. Xander and Faith arrive with the back-up team, but Faith is soon knocked unconscious. Caleb kills Dianne and Molly, and an enraged Buffy is ready to fight on until Spike tells her they need to leave now. Xander starts to yell that everyone needs to get out, but is then attacked himself by Caleb, who gouges out Xander's eye with his thumb. Spike tackles Caleb, giving them enough time to get Xander and leave the vineyard.
Alone and distraught, Buffy leaves the injured girls and walks through the empty streets as Caleb tells the First, in Buffy's form, that their victory is imminent.
- This marks Faith's first re-appearance on Buffy since she ran away from Sunnydale in "Who Are You?".
- This episode also marks the first appearance of Caleb.
- Willow took Faith with her from Los Angeles at the end of Angel episode "Orpheus".
- Xander's erotic dream with the Potential Slayers is reminiscent to a dream about Buffy in "Teacher's Pet".
- Faith mentions to Willow that someone tried to kill her while she was in prison, as shown in the Angel episode "Salvage".
- Faith tells Willow that she has spent too much time in hospitals. She is referring to her eight-month-long coma, spanning from "Graduation Day, Part Two" to "This Year's Girl".
- During the cemetery fight scene, Faith says "May I?" and takes Buffy's stake. This echoes her introduction in "Faith, Hope & Trick" when she first meets the group and borrows Buffy's stake to slay a vampire outside the Bronze.
- Dawn and Faith recognize each other, despite never having met before onscreen. This is further demonstration of the spell that the monks cast in "Buffy vs. Dracula" to make everyone in Buffy's life believe that Dawn had always been Buffy's sister ("No Place Like Home").
- Andrew's narration on Faith features archive footage from episodes "The Zeppo", "Revelations", "Beauty and the Beasts", "Enemies", "Bad Girls", "Faith, Hope & Trick", "Choices", "This Year's Girl", and "Graduation Day, Part One".
- When defending Buffy against the potentials, Xander says that he "saw her heart" so he knows that she cares about people a lot. Angel also stated similarly that he "saw her heart" in "Helpless" when Buffy asked how he could love someone like her.
- Faith recognizes Spike, but Spike thinks they've never met. In the episode "Who Are You?", Faith met Spike for the first time while inhabiting Buffy's body. Spike then reveals that Buffy filled him on the body swap eventually.
- Buffy walks in Faith and Spike's conversation and looks at the pair jealously. Faith has actually professed an attraction for or tried to seduce nearly all of Buffy's former boyfriends, including Scott Hope ("Faith, Hope & Trick"), Angel ("Enemies"), and Riley ("Who Are You?"). She notably breaks this pattern with Spike, when he attempts to casually flirt with her years later in Spike and Faith but she refuses him, explaining she no longer wants to be just a rebound to Buffy.
- Caleb's message of having something that belongs to Buffy refers to the Slayer weapon Mʔ, as she'll discover in episode "Touched".
- It is revealed in this episode that Caleb, under orders from the First Evil, caused the explosion that destroyed the Watchers Council. This event was mentioned by Giles in "Bring on the Night", in which he believed the explosion to have been caused by an agent of the First following his theft of several books and documents from the Council's archives.
- Molly is killed in this episode, making Kennedy the only remaining Potential from the original three that Giles first brought, in "Bring on the Night".
- Caleb's line to Xander that he "sees everything" references Xander's conversation with Dawn in "Potential", in which Xander said "I see more than anybody realizes because nobody's watching me."
- Caleb gouges Xander's eye, causing him to wear an eyepatch from now on.
- Allan Finch (Only in archive footage)
- Angel (Only in archive footage)
- Caridad (Only in visions)
- Colleen (Only in visions)
- Debbie (Only mentioned)
- Disco Dave (Only in archive footage)
- Dominique (Only mentioned)
- First Evil
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Lagos (Only in archive footage)
- Faith Lehane
- Gwendolyn Post (Only in archive footage)
- Willow Rosenberg
- Skyler (Only in archive footage)
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Lester Worth (Only mentioned)
- Robin Wood
Organizations and titles
- Harbingers of Death
- Higher being
- Potential Slayer
- Scooby Gang
- Sisterhood of Jhe (Only in archive footage)
- Watchers Council (Only mentioned)
- 1630 Revello Drive
- Bronze (Only in archive footage)
- Crawford Street mansion (Only in archive footage)
- Faith's apartment (Only in archive footage)
- Maple Court
- Shadow Valley Vineyards
- Sunnydale City Hall (Only in archive footage)
- Sunnydale High School
- Sunnydale Motor Inn (Only in archive footage)
- Alexander Harris' apartment
Weapons and objects
- Bringers' knife
- Faith Lehane's knife (Only in visions)
- Soul (Only mentioned)
- Weapon chest
- An unidentified vampire, dusted by Faith.
- Dianne, neck broken by Caleb.
- Molly, stabbed in the stomach by Caleb.
Behind the scenes
- Emma Caulfield is credited as Anya, but does not appear in this episode. She is however in the shooting script, only present in the group discussion.
- According to the DVD commentaries for this episode, the scene between Faith and Spike was meant to lead into a possible spin-off featuring the two. Spike would go on to become a regular on Angel, but Faith did not make any later appearances until the comics.
- In the montage when Andrew narrates the deeds of Faith, there is a scene with her fighting a Vulcan resembling Mr. Spock. According to the DVD commentaries, when the producers asked Star Trek's people permission to do it, they gladly accepted, telling them "to do what they want." There is background music similar to classic Star Trek as the Vulcan and Faith battle.
- The episode title, "Dirty Girls" resembles the title of season three Faith-centric episode "Bad Girls".
- Faith's line, where she offers a theory why the blind Bringers are so good in battle:
- Faith: "They say your other senses get better. Maybe all blind people are smokin' in a knife fight... Not saying it's likely."
Pop culture references
- Xander's comment about Matthew Broderick killing a "big dumb lizard that was not the real Godzilla" refers to the American made film Godzilla, and how its treatment of the Godzilla character (later officially named "Zilla" by Toho Studios) was not well received by fans and its creators.
- Andrew makes reference to Faith fighting a Vulcan, the alien species from Star Trek.
- When they first refer to the vineyard as "an evil vineyard", Spike immediately responds "Yeah, like Falcon Crest", which was a soap opera based around a wine family.
- Caleb refers to the Harbingers as the "Ray Charles Brigade" because of their signature blindness.
- Faith mentions watching the Mariah Carey movie Glitter in prison.
- Robert Duncan — "Something About Buffy"
- Robert Duncan — "Recap"
- Robert Duncan — "The War Begins"
- Robert Duncan — "The Bloody Battle"
- Armenian: "Կեղտոտ աղջիկներ" (Dirty Girls)
- Czech: "Nečisté ženy" (Unclean Women)
- Finnish: "Pahat tytöt" (Bad Girls)
- French: "L'Armée des Ombres" (The Army of Shadows)
- German: "Caleb"
- Hungarian: "Mocskos lányok" (Dirty Girls)
- Italian: "Ragazze Sporche" (Dirty Girls)
- Japanese: "汚れた女" (Dirty Woman)
- Polish: "Niegrzeczne dziewczynki" (Naughty Girls)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "Garotas Sujas" (Dirty Girls)
- Romanian: "Dirty Girls"
- Russian: "Грязные девчонки" (Dirty Girls)
- Spanish (Latin America): "Chicas Malas" (Bad Girls)
- Spanish (Spain): "Chicas Impuras" (Impure Girls)
- The book Chosen: The One includes a novelization of this episode, along with all season 7.
- An illustration of the scene of Caleb gouging Xander's eye was included in the Big Bads & Monsters Adult Coloring Book.
- Nathan Fillion played Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon's short lived space western Firefly. He is also not the only hero of Firefly to play a villain in the Buffyverse. Gina Torres, who played Zoe Washburne on Firefly, also portrayed the villain Jasmine on Angel; Adam Baldwin, who played Jayne Cobb, portrayed Marcus Hamilton. In contrast, Christina Hendricks, who portrayed the villain Saffron/Yolanda/Bridget on Firefly, played an innocent barmaid who is annoyed by a pre-vampiric Angel in "The Prodigal".
- Also of note, in the Firefly universe Malcolm Reynolds is born on a planet called Shadow and fought in the Battle of Serenity Valley, and in the Buffyverse, Caleb's homebase is Shadow Valley Vineyards.
- Nathan Fillion and Carrie Southworth, who plays Caleb's victim Betty, worked together again six years later in "A Death in the Family", the season one finale of Fillion's series Castle.
|Faith - "He's like Angel?"|
|Spike - "No!"|
|Buffy - "Sort of."|
|Spike - "I'm nothing like Angel!"|
|Buffy - "He fights on my side. Which is more than I can say for some of us."|
|Faith - "You're protecting vampires? Are you the bad Slayer now? Am I the good Slayer now?"|
|Xander - "I've been through more battles with Buffy than you all can ever imagine. She's stopped everything that's ever come up against her. She's laid down her life... literally... to protect the people around her. This girl has died two times, and she's still standing. You're scared? That's smart. You've got questions? You should. But you doubt her motives, you think Buffy's all about the kill, then you take the little bus to battle. I've seen her heart... and this time not literally... and I'm telling you right now, she cares more about your lives than you will ever know. You gotta trust her. She's earned it."|
|Faith - "Damn. I never knew you were that cool."|
|Buffy - "Well, you always were a little slow."|
|Faith - "Yep, guess I'm back in Sunnydale."|