Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Consequences" (Buffy 3.15): CSI Sunnydale

You know we're dealing with some heavy stuff on this show when Buffy has a loaded dream sequence.
As an aside, I totally have those pajamas.

The SPD (must be the hardest working cops on TV) are sniffing around the deputy mayor's death, and are intrigued that there are traces of wood in the wound. The investigation Buffy and Faith undergo is a marker for the larger ethical exploration the episode presents. Is it okay to lie to someone in order to help them? Can you trust the Man? Are Slayers better than regular people, as Faith affirms? According to "Consequences," the answers are : Yes; no; and sort of, but not in the way she means. Let's look at the Buffyverse guide to avoiding a murder rap (though it would probably be pled down to criminally negligent manslaughter).

DO dance with the ones who brung you.
The original Scoobies step up big in this episode. Willow forgives Buffy for being sort of bitchy the past episode, and offers good and much needed advice to her rattled and guilt-stricken friend. Also, Giles pretends he believes Faith's account of the murder, basically that Buffy did it (NICE, Faith), in order to keep her close until they can figure out what to do.
Hey, framing your friends ain't five by five!

DO page Dr. Angel.
Murder an innocent? Angel's been there done that for centuries in his evil incarnation as Angelus. He seems a natural to help Faith through her crisis of conscience. Or, at the very least instigate one. He adopts the rather tough love strategy of chaining Faith to the wall, but supplements with some good old fashioned Freudian Q&A.
Pictured: therapy!

This seems to be working, until . . .

DON'T see your soul to the company store.
This show has a serious anti-establishment streak (you know, THE MAYOR is evil), and it comes out in spades this episode. Not only is civic governance a repository for demonic tyranny, you can't trust the Watchers Council either. Wesley's decision to alert the authorities about Faith's crime leads to an epic fail of an extradition attempt, and prompts Faith to join Team Mayor.
But not before she stakes Mr. Trick. Well, at least he didn't die first.

DO Slayer up.
 Faith's rather lackluster performance of ethical behavior in this episode further clarifies what being a Slayer means for Buffy, and it's pretty much all there in the title. There are consequences to wielding the power with which the two girls have been gifted. Being a Slayer and (metaphor alert!) being an adult are all about taking responsibility for them. Whew! These last two episodes have been sort of heavy. I sure hope 3.16 has something a little more fun and whimsical to offer.
Something . . . like this?

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