James: "Full strength Buffy"
Anyone else really miss the Mayor?
Adam isn't in this episode, and the Mayor steals the show from beyond the grave. He's only in two scenes, and he's still so endearingly evil ... especially when he starts talking about the Richard Wilkins memorial museum.
While we're being all nostalgic, isn't it lovely to have Faith back even if she ends up in Buffy's body? This episode suddenly makes you realise what you've been missing - It's been Buffy-lite for a few weeks and isn't it great to have all the sugar and all the taste back?
When you think about it, this episode is just one long set up - but what a set up! It’s a cracker of an episode. The bad girl is back, Spike’s ready to go all loose-cannon again, and the Watcher’s Council are back on the scene. In a helicopter! Wow! To think we presumed they just hung around in libraries being all doddery and ineffectual...
My respect for Joss and his team grows daily. There’s a definite knack to bringing back a character from a coma and fitting her right back in to the plot, and they do it so seamlessly it will take your breath away. Roll on next week!
Steve: "Have Faith in Clichés"
The Slayer Betrayer returns.
Spot the great "bad guy awakes from coma" cliché here: Witness Faith just ripping out her life support drips with no adverse effects whatsoever. No dizzyness, dehydration, or nausea. Why were they even necessary? She could have torn up a Teddy bear too, for extra hardness.
The Mayor’s taped speech to Faith was a highlight. At once more paternal than Wesley ever was, yet ten times more cutting. Dushku’s silent reactions were affecting and sympathetic in a role that rarely allows for subtlety.