Let's get this right up front: Buffy was addicted to Angel's love.
The mere presence of basking in the passion of her toxic ex might've made her feel whole, but it nearly destroyed the life around here. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 7 was her hour of intervention.
She lied, she made excuses, and she risked it all to spend quality time with her brooding vampire ex. In fact, this moment is what started the breakup of the Faith/Buffy friendship. But, would you have done the same?
Let's figure that out by rewatching "Revelations."
Going into Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 7, Buffy and Faith had a great friendship.
Similar to her relationship with Kendra, Faith was the only person in the world who could relate to Buffy's struggles. Both of them were slayers with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Something like that would bond them forever.
And, if you take into account the awkwardness that originally started during Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 3, the pair came a VERY long way.
Both slayers were hitting, punching, and kicking in unison. Had it not been for the deterioration of their friendship, they could've been a force to be reckoned with.
"Revelations" gave us the early cracks into their fostering friendship. All caused by the devious Gwendolyn Post.
Gwendolyn Post suffered the same fate as a lot of one-off villains on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She had all the potential in the world to be an ongoing force, but she got eliminated too soon before her true power was felt.
Ever since the original airing of "Revelations," I've stood behind the position that Gwendolyn was underutilized by keeping her to a one-episode appearance.
If we had been introduced to her a few chapters prior, we could've explored her character more, and the budding working relationship between her and Faith. Her purpose in the hour focused on serving as Faith's watcher; she presented herself as the Giles figure who wanted to be there for her. Instead, we only were treated to the early incarnations of it.
Gwendolyn's betrayal to the Scoobies, and the betrayal of Faith, would've had more of an impact if her appearances had lasted a few more episodes than one.
This depressing realization also works because of how witty the character was with the other Scoobies, especially with a counterpart like Giles.
You could tell that Giles loathed Gwendolyn!
If there was a high school archetype that fit her character, she would be the Type-A class president. Nothing seemed good enough to her, she acted like she was above it all, and that she had every answer long before any of the Scoobies caught up. She verged on prim, proper, and smug.
But, all of those qualities together created a clever villain who loved manipulating people. As well as putting people in their place.
Her comment to Giles about the state of his library was next level shadiness that he never experienced before. He looked flabbergasted that anyone would judge his curated collection of books; let alone referring to him as "too American." Giles wasn't prepared for the tour de force that was Gwendolyn.
Plus, the idea of his work being scrutinized made him act more flustered and stressed than usual. He snapped at the Scoobies more than normal. Gwendolyn did a great job at hitting him in the nerve.
Gwendolyn: Mr. Giles, where do you keep the rest of your books?
Giles: I'm sorry, the rest?
Gwendolyn: Yes, the actual library.
[Giles looks around]
Gwendolyn: Oh, I see.
Giles: I can assure you, Mrs. Post, this is the finest occult reference collection.
Gwendolyn Post: This side of the Atlantic, I'm sure.
How did Gwendolyn know about Lagos coming for the glove? Was this a lie too?
Beyond coming to Sunnydale to look after Faith, she claimed that the Council gave her information about a demon searching for the glove. However, we all know now that the Faith reason was a lie. The demon Lagos and his mission for the glove could also have been a lie too.
But, it begs the question what exactly did Gwendolyn know about the situation?
Was she making up the entire situation to find the glove herself? Was Lagos really searching for the glove and she took advantage of the opportunity? Was that demon truly Lagos?
A lot of questions that will never be answered.
Willow and Xander needed self-control with their cheating storyline. (An alternative would've been an ice-cold shower, but that never happened.)
Within the short time of their flirtation, their passion spiraled out of control pretty quickly. A bit of leg rubbing evolved into a frenzy of kissing behind the bookshelves in the library. They no longer could blame this on a mistake; both of them were cheaters at this point.
Which brings up an important note about themselves as characters: If they truly wanted to stop, they would've stopped!
Once is an accident, the second time is a pattern. Willow and Xander acted guilty about the "mistake" they made, but they kept doing it time and time again. The excuse of accidental cheating would not apply in their books since their actions became a common occurrence.
Plus, if they cared about Cordelia and Oz, they would've felt horrible enough about what they were doing to stop. They said they did, but they didn't stop themselves. For as much as Willow is a great character (Xander is still trash), both did their significant others dirty with little remorse until they eventually get caught.
Buffy not being ready to talk about the Angel situation with Faith didn't fit with the progress the character had made by Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 7.
By this point in their friendship, the two had killed Kakistos, helped save Oz, and dealt with the Scott dating drama. The two bonded nicely over their shared responsibilities; similar to what was mentioned above. Still, why didn't Buffy feel ready to talk to Faith?
Faith no doubt got all the details from the other Scoobies about Angel. They obviously had to have brought it up to her before, regardless. Their battle with him during Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 was their biggest fight yet, and especially tough since a friend was the villain.
Nothing would've been new to Faith; she only wanted to have a heart-to-heart with her closest friend at the time. And, Buffy seemed ready to discuss and explore the Angel situation, regardless of him being alive again.
She either must've been frustrated that day or the development changed to suit the focus. Her snapping at Faith and not discussing it earlier didn't feel organic to the characters.
Buffy's intervention in the library won't be the last time that the Scoobies have a heart-to-heart with their fearless leader. As much as we love Buffy Summers, she is a flawed character with a lot of growing up to do. (Let's not forget that she's 17 right now in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3.)
The Scoobies did have a point about their concerns.
Buffy lied to them all this time about Angel being back, and she risked their lives in case Angel turned out to be Angelus after all. Her actions had potentially dire consequences. Let's not forget a lot of people died because of Angel/Angelus.
Even though Xander's approach during the intervention might've been the worst out of everyone, he had a legitimate reason to be upset. Forgetting about the murders wasn't going to be something he'd sweep under the rug. He always blamed Angel for the deaths.
During the intervention itself, Xander, Cordelia, and Giles were the angriest of the bunch, and they had good reasons to be.
Xander hated Angel, but he (mostly) based his hate on legitimate actions that happened in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2. Cordelia's position stemmed from the realistic approach of the situation; Angelus terrorized the town, so he was a threat.
Giles, on the other hand, provided the most emotionally devastating stance that cut right through Buffy.
Giles: You must've known it was wrong, seeing Angel, or you wouldn't have hidden it from all of us.
Buffy: I was going to tell you. I was. It was just that I didn't know why he was back. I just wanted to wait.
Xander: For what? For Angel to go psycho again the next time you give him a “happy?”
Buffy: I'm not going to... look... we're not together like that.
Oz: But you were kissing him.
Buffy: You were spying on me? What gives you the right?!
Cordelia: What gives you the right to suck face with your demon lover again?
Buffy: It was an accident.
Xander: What? You just tripped and fell on his lips?
Buffy: It was wrong, okay? I know that and I know that it can't happen again. But, you guys have to believe me, I would never put you in any danger. If I thought for a second that Angel was gonna hurt anyone...
Xander: You would stop him? Like you tried the last time when he took down Miss Calendar?
My heart broke for Giles when he shared his disappointment with Buffy.
Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla tortured him mercilessly to get the ritual information on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 22. However, Angelus took pride in being the one to hurt Giles. He enjoyed every minute of the abuse he inflicted on his former ally.
Giles had a point with every word he said to Buffy. She knew it was wrong that she kept Angel returning a secret, and that she minimized the damage he had done, like torturing her father-figure.
Buffy risked one of the most important relationships in her life to keep her romance a secret. As much as we love Buffy/Angel together, their toxic relationship only destroyed more than it ever built up. (It's sad to admit, but it's true.)
I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But, sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me or the job I perform.Giles
One of the reasons why Gwendolyn should've been kept on longer than her one-off appearance was because the character was a master manipulator. Simply look to the series of events that spiraled out of control after she visited Faith in the motel.
She not only got Faith to distrust the Scoobies by using the intervention as a means to plant seeds of doubt, but she riled up Faith into turning on Angel and Buffy. Faith didn't hesitate one second in ignoring any reasoning; she reacted emotionally and with force. Gwendolyn preyed on that fear to get everything she wanted.
Sure, we can debate (and agree) that none of the Scoobies knew Gwendolyn lied about everything before she turned on them.
She caught both Giles and Willow off-guard when she knocked them out. And, she led Xander and Willow into giving her the glove by acting like the victim, but the entire set-up was all pure manipulation.
Her mission to infiltrate the Scoobies worked since her goal was to get the glove. She got the glove. So, bravo to her!
It's a shame that she got subdued pretty quickly. The glove looked to be a powerful force to be dealt with, and if she had escaped Angel's mansion, she could've caused a lot of destruction in town.
Her battle ended too soon thanks to a shard of glass chopping off her arm.
In hindsight, it would've been nice if the plot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 7 structured itself a bit more on the glove action. Having an additional five minutes of screen time would've heightened the stakes of her wearing the glove and the damage it could've caused to Sunnydale. Plus, it would've meant more time on Gwendolyn.
Don't get me wrong, I like the structure since it served the cracks forming in their friendships/relationships. However, just looking at the plot of "Revelations" alone, the development would've been better with a bigger focus on the villain.
Faith: What's going on?
Gwendolyn: Faith... a word of advice: You're an idiot!
While Giles and Buffy's relationship took a hit because of the intervention, Buffy and Faith were hit the hardest.
The slayers always had some type of tension between them, especially right from the beginning of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 Episode 3. Things were looking up for them as they were getting closer and overcoming the obstacles. However, Faith was ready and willing to start a fight with Buffy.
Faith had a lot of residual angst against Buffy.
The newer slayer resented her for being the leader with the perfect life. And, the fact that her vampire lover returned from the grave and she kept it secret from Faith didn't help too. Everything built up to this moment where they would let out their frustrations.
Buffy walking away from Faith after apologizing was the worst thing that she could've done. That single moment created a crack that could never be fixed in the long-run.
Faith showed all the signs of someone who pushed people away and kept them at a distance. Creating roots and letting people in emotionally was never something she'd do. Faith preferred to be a lone wolf, and arguably she fit the mold of a typical slayer perfectly because she liked to work alone.
After the realization that Gwendolyn lied to her and preyed on her insecurities, the last thing Buffy should've done was leave Faith.
Faith didn't need to be alone; she needed a friend who could reassure her that she mattered to the group. The newest slayer is stubborn and would push back, but if Buffy stuck her ground, she would've gotten through to her.
The awkward chat in the motel was a misstep in their friendship.
What did you think of "Revelations"? Should Buffy have gone back to talk with Faith? Did we miss out on more episodes of Gwendolyn Post? Did you ever root for Willow and Xander to be together?!
Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Come back Here and share your thoughts in the comments.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.