Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 7, Episode 18
Air date April 15, 2003
Written by Drew Goddard
Directed by Michael Gershman
Episode Guide
Lies My Parents Told Me
Empty Places


"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 priests' 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, 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.

File:718 DirtyGirls2.jpg
At his apartment, Xander's erotic dream about a pair of teenage Potentials, Colleen and Caridad, is cut short when the 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.

Shadow Valley Vineyards

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 volcanologist, 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).
File:718 DirtyGirls3.jpg
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. 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 Diane and Molly, and Buffy orders a retreat. Xander starts to yell that everyone needs to get out, but is then attacked himself by Caleb, who gougues 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.



Special Guest Star

Guest Starring

Co Starring

  • Mary Wilcher as Shannon
  • Dania Ramirez as Caridad
  • Rachel Bilson as Colleen
  • Carrie Southworth as Betty
  • Christie Abbott as Helpless Girl

Background Information

Production Information

  • 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."


  • 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.
  • In the montage when Andrew narrates the deeds of Faith, there is a scene with her fighting a Vulcan resembling Mr. Spock. In the DVD commentary, it is said that when Buffy's producers asked Star Trek's people permission to do it, they gladly accepted, telling them "to do what they want."
  • Andrew makes reference to Faith fighting a Vulcan, another example of his extreme Star Trek fandom.
  • 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.
  • Caleb refers to the Harbingers as the "Ray Charles Brigade" because of their signature blindness.

Other Information


Faith - "You're protecting vampires? Are you the bad Slayer now? ... Am I the good Slayer now?"
Caleb - "You're the one who sees everything, aren't you? Well, let's see what we can't do about that."
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."


  • We see Willow drive a car for the first time, at least without using magic.
  • Faith is kicked across the room by Caleb in the same fashion the Beast kicked her in their fight in "Salvage" on Angel.
  • 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".
  • 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. 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.


  • Robert Duncan - "Something About Buffy"
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.