Following the Summer break, and her dramatic encounter with The Master, Buffy returns to Sunnydale. Likewise, the show returned to American screens, looking revitalised and exhibiting a new-found confidence.
When She Was Bad is another excellent episode written and directed by series creator Joss Whedon. It begins by showing that the events at the end of the last series had long-lasting consequences.
This is a style that's becoming increasingly rare in television drama, which normally tends to live in the moment and assumes that viewers are too fickle to follow plot threads across more than one episode.
The episode does a good job tying up the loose ends left at the end of the first series and toys with the viewer's expectations that The Master might not really be dead. In fact, it's Buffy that might not really be alive or, at least, not fully recovered. Before long, though, it becomes obvious that she's back to fighting fitness, and by the end of the episode, Buffy has exorcised her remaining demons.
Sarah Michelle Gellar handles the changing moods of her character very skilfully, bringing added depth to confrontational scenes with Cordelia, Angel and Xander. Cordelia is finally integrated into Buffy's club of confidantes during When She Was Bad.
This changes the dynamic relationship between the lead characters - keeping the show fresh and giving the talented Charisma Carpenter new nuances to work with.