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From Aintitcool.com

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy 7x18 Dirty Girls - FAQ

Tuesday 15 April 2003, by Webmaster

Herc Gives BUFFY 7.18 Four Stars!! Buffy 7.18 FAQ What’s it called? "Dirty Girls."

Who’s responsible? Teleplay is credited to star rookie Drew Goddard ("Never Leave Me," "Lies My Parents Told Me").

What does TV Guide say? "Buffy’s old nemesis Faith returns to Sunnydale and helps the Scoobies combat an ally of the First, an evil preacher who preys on young women with a knife."

How long has it been since we saw new "Buffy"? Three weeks. "Lies My Parents Told Me," the one with Spike’s mom, aired March 25.

When was the last time we saw Faith on new "Buffy"? Leap-year day, Feb. 29, 2000.

The big news? At long last, the residents of Sunnydale are wising up. "People are leaving town," notes Wood. "Half the kids don’t even bother showing up anymore."

Giles had that door shut in his face last time. Is he still in the slayer circle? There is tension (which Faith senses immediately), but he continues to dwell at the House of Summers.

Does Wood continue his misbehaving? He seems willing to not kill Spike, so he and the slayer remain friends and allys.

Does the Harris abode, as rumored, now house excess potentials? It does.

Does Xander behave, baby? He does, even in his hilarous dirty dreams.

And what of Anya? Yes, what of Anya? She is not even glimpsed in this overstuffed installment.

And Willow? Buffy puts Willow in charge of protecting the potentials.

Any estimates on the sheer number of potentials hanging about? Their number is not quantified this week, but there’s a ton.

Andrew, we hear, fills the potentials in on Faith. He wasn’t seen in seasons three and four; does it get it straight? He gets it wrong, and fairly hilariously, with homage to a classic sci-fi television show.

Do Faith and Spike bond over their long-lapsed "big bad" status? Yes. And it turns out the only time they ever met was when Faith took over Buffy’s bod.

What else goes on with these two? Before the bonding, Spike takes some pummeling. Seems Faith didn’t get the memo about blondie’s new soul.

Does Dawn require rescuing? Not so much this week. Dawn wasn’t around last time we saw Faith in Sunnydale, but this doesn’t prevent them from remembering each other. "Does she have to stay here? Because there’s some nice hotels that welcome tried-to-kill- your-sister types." "Check it out. Brat’s all woman-size."

Any sign of Fantastico? No.

When do we meet Nathan Fillion’s character? In the very first scene, as he seems to come to the rescue of a potential.

Is he as dreamy as Serenity captain Malcolm Reynolds? Caleb shares Mal’s penchant for countrified talkin’, and neither character is shy about throwing around the word "whore."

We hear Caleb’s not much of a feminist. Does he provide the episode’s title? "Well, you know what you are, shannon?" asks in his introductory scene. "Dirty."

Does a potential, as rumored, deliver a cryptic message to Buffy? Yes, from Caleb. "I have something of yours."

What’s good? The comic texture in Caleb’s menacing dialogue. The genuinely witty jabs that fly as Spike gets his first gander at Faith. Xander’s dream. Andrew’s wondrous Faith montage generally and her battle with the volcano professor in particular. The return of the Chinese slayer. "I made some doodles." The vampire take on coffin nails. Faith’s post-incarceration horniness. "Oh, you have been away." Xander’s briefing in general and Molly’s comment on tentacles in particular. The Matthew Broderick discussion. So much more.

What’s not so good? After this week, only four more remain.

How does it end, spoiler-boy? "See?" drawls Caleb. "I told you it had a happy ending."

Herc’s rating for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" 7.18? **** The Hercules T. Strong Rating System: ***** better than we deserve **** better than most motion pictures *** actually worth your valuable time ** as horrible as most stuff on TV * makes you quietly pray for bulletins 8 p.m. Tuesday. UPN. I am - Hercules!!