|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 7, Episode 18|
|Air date||April 15, 2003|
|Written by||Drew Goddard|
|Directed by||Michael Gershman|
"Lies My Parents Told Me"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Alyson Hannigan|| Willow |
|Special Guest Starring|
|Anthony Stewart Head||Giles|
|Nathan Fillion|| Caleb |
|D. B. Woodside|| Principal Wood |
|Christie Abbott|| Helpless Girl |
|Jack Plotnick||Deputy Mayor|
"Dirty Girls" is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred fortieth episode altogether. It was written by Drew Goddard and directed by Michael Gershman. It originally broadcast on April 15, 2003.
A group of Bringers chase a new Potential into the grasp of Caleb, an evil villain in priest's clothing. He gives her a message for the Slayer, burns her, stabs her, and throws her out of the car. Willow and Faith return to Sunnydale and find the injured girl, who tells Buffy that Caleb says he has something of hers. Buffy gathers a group of dismayed Potentials for an attack against Caleb after she and Faith discover his stronghold. The attack is a disaster; Caleb easily overpowers the whole group, including Buffy, Spike and Faith, killing two potentials and seriously injuring Xander. The terrified survivors are taken to the hospital and Buffy reflects on the debacle.
A young Potential, Shannon, is chased through the woods by Bringers. 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 (which the viewer does not hear at this time), stabs her in the stomach, and forces her out of the car. Faith and Willow find the girl on their way back to Sunnydale after re-ensouling Angel in Los Angeles 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 (who is exercising in the back yard) with fascination and curiosity. At the school, Buffy and Principal 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 an old winery.
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 Season Four's "Who Are You". She stays for the duration of the series.
- One of the early options considered for what Caleb could do to Xander was to kill him, so that Xander could return as the First. Considering the build up towards the finale and the potential of negative fan reaction this was eventually changed to the way it is now.
- This episode also marks the first appearance of the character Caleb who will later go on to be a very important character and story arc.
- With the exceptions of Spike and Angel, this episode marks the final appearance of a regular vampire on the show.
- Xander's erotic dream with the Potential Slayers is reminiscent to another dream on Buffy in "Teacher's Pet".
- We see Willow drive a car without using magic for the first time.
- 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.
- Molly is killed in this episode, making Kennedy the only remaining Potential from the original three that Giles brought.
- This episode really sparks the seriousness of what the Potentials have to face in the upcoming and unavoidable battle against the First Evil. This episode also drastically increases the mistrust of Buffy's capacity as a leader by the Potentials and even the Scoobies as a result of the outcome of the battle against Caleb at the vineyard.
- Crossover with Angel: Willow took Faith with her from Los Angeles at the end of "Orpheus".
- Faith recognizes Spike from having met him before, but Spike thinks they've never met. They are both right: in the episode "Who Are You", Faith meets Spike for the first time while inhabiting Buffy's body, and teases Spike. Spike states that Buffy had filled him on the body swap, although this must have occurred off camera.
- Faith mentions to Willow that someone tried to kill her while she was in prison, but she didn't know why. But she now realizes that the killer must have been sent from The First. The attempt on her life was shown in the Angel episode "Salvage".
- 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"
- Dawn and Faith recognize each other, despite never having met before onscreen. This is further demonstration of the spell that the monks cast in Season 5 to make everyone in Buffy's life believe that Dawn had always been Buffy's sister.
- The episode title, "Dirty Girls" resembles the title of season three episode "Bad Girls", which is a Faith-centric episode indicating Faith's descent into evil.
- 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.
- 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".
- Faith further elaborates on her colorful sexual history, telling Spike about wearing a schoolgirls uniform for a bullwhip wielding former lover whom she's thinking of looking up after 3 years in a woman's prison. Many fans have suggested this may be Mayor Wilkins or 'Spanky' whom we meet in the opening episode of Angel season 5.
- During the Faith/Spike scene Buffy walks in 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 (whom she has sex with in Buffy's body in "Who Are You"). Willow refers to her as the 'do that girl'. However, Faith would later break this pattern of hers when Spike attempted to casually flirt with her years later in "Spike and Faith". While she was undeniably attracted to Spike as well, her newfound maturity stopped her as she no longer wanted to be just a rebound to Buffy.
- 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.
- One vampire woman, dusted by Faith
- Dianne, neck broken by Caleb
- Molly, stabbed in the stomach by Caleb
Behind the Scenes
- Emma Caulfield is credited, but does not appear in this episode. She is however in the shooting script for Dirty Girls, only present in the group discussion but never speaks.
- According to the DVD commentary for this episode, the scene between Faith and Spike was meant to lead into a possible spin-off featuring Faith and Spike.
- 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, another example of his extreme Star Trek fandom. Faith actually killed Professor Worth, a volcanologist, for the Mayor in Graduation Day, Part One. Adding to that, in the fantasy, Faith was using the knife the Mayor gave her, which, in real life, is called the "Jackal", and that particular knife appeared in Star Trek: Nemesis.
- 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. This is a reference to Spike's love of soap operas, as primarily depicted in Seasons Four and Five.
- Faith mentions watching the Mariah Carey movie Glitter in prison as the reason her incarceration couldn't get any worse.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- Willow and Faith are shown leaving Los Angeles in the Angel episode "Orpheus" but arrive in Sunnydale, a two-hour drive, wearing different outfits. Faith is at least justified as she may want to get out of the clothes she was wearing when she and Wesley fought Angelus, but Willow has no excuse.
- Buffy is referred as being the true Slayer even though Faith is.
- Robert Duncan - "Something About Buffy"
- 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.
- 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 commentary, 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.
- Nathan Fillion and Carrie Southworth, who plays Betty, one of Caleb's victims, 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."|