“Her. It’s always about her. Giles sent me on a suicide mission ‘cause he said it was about saving the world… But really, it was just about saving his golden girl.” – Faith Lehane
In the previous issue, Faith discovered that Genevieve is plotting to kill Buffy. This leads her to question Giles’s true motives. Was she sent on this mission to stop a rogue Slayer from ending the world? Or was Giles just looking out for his number one Slayer. Faith’s insecurity steers her to believe it’s the latter.
Maintaining her cover as Hope Lyonne, Faith plays along with Genevieve's scheme. It’s becoming apparent that she would rather try to reform the rogue Slayer, than take her out. Genevieve is showing Faith all the surveillance footage she’s gathered on Buffy. She’s been studying her for months, learning her strengths and weaknesses. She hopes Faith will stand by her side when she assassinates Buffy. She wants to usher in a new era of Slayers, to reign over humanity. Genevieve believes that being a Slayer makes you superior. Faith herself once held the same view.
“Buffy has forced our kind to be the serfs of this world, when we should be lording over the masses. Once she’s gone, we can finally lead her brainwashed Slayers out of the shadows of servitude and into the light.” – Lady Genevieve
Meanwhile, Giles is outside the manor trying to make contact. He’s unaware that Faith threw away her earbud, “Faith, do you copy? I’m at the rendezvous point outside the estate. I’ve been waiting here all night. If you can hear me but just can’t respond, know that I’ve hired a freelancer to help.” The freelancer is a small woodland-gnome-type creature named Trafalgar. He’s trying to break through the estate’s mystical barrier with the Hammer of Hamner. However, he’s unsuccessful. The barrier can’t be breached. Trafalgar implies that perhaps Faith is enjoying the high-life and has abandoned the mission.
Inside, Faith and Genevieve continue to bond over alternative music. This time, while enjoying a soak in a large tub together. Faith questions Genevieve about Roden. She fears that he’s manipulating Genevieve in the same way the Mayor manipulated her. She tries to dissuade her from going after Buffy. Genevieve thanks her for the concern, but it’s clear this girl is out for blood.
Back at Slayer HQ, Buffy and Wilow are setting up some extra protection around the castle grounds in case of any more military attacks. When Buffy suggest investing in some sonar, Willow questions her about how they can afford all of this? Buffy’s response is vague to say the least. (More on that in a later issue)
“We have friends with pockets deeper than the ones in Dawnie’s giant pants, Will. But some donors like to stay anonymous, you know.” – Buffy Summers
Willow also quizzes Buffy how they’re planning on combatting human adversaries. She says that not killing humans is what separates them from the bad guys. But Buffy says that not being bad is what separates them from the bad guys. Before they can get into it any further, Buffy vanishes. Roden has teleported her to Genevieve’s manor.
Genevieve attacks Buffy with a sword. Faith watches in horror from a balcony. Genevieve gets some good hits in, but Buffy obviously bests her. Eventually, Buffy gets a hold of the sword. But before we know whether she would have made that fatal swing, Faith charges to Genevieve’s rescue. She crashes through a window and they fall into a swimming pool outside. Buffy thinks Faith has gone bad again,“So you decided to start your own evil Slayer club?” She asks.
Buffy makes with the punchy before Faith can explain. Faith tries to tell her that she’s working with Giles, but Buffy doesn’t believe her. Faith eventually gets tired of taking a pummeling and starts fighting back. She grabs Buffy by the throat and plunges her into the pool. She momentarily loses control and begins choking Buffy under the water while screaming, “Shut Up!”
She snaps out of it, and Buffy comes up for air. Faith is still muttering, “Please, shut up.” Buffy asks who she is talking to, but before Faith can answer, Willow teleports Buffy back to the castle in Scotland. Willow asks Buffy what happened? But Buffy simply replies, “Get me Giles.”
Back at the manor, Faith’s in trouble. Genevieve is pissed! She’s coming at her with an axe!
“You let her go, didn’t you? I thought you were my friend.” – Lady Genevieve
To be continued...
The Watchers Files
No Future For You was written by Brian K. Vaughan and features artwork by Georges Jeanty and Jo Chen.
Another strong issue. I really can’t fault this story arc. It plays out beautifully. This issue continues to heat things up as it gears towards the climax.
The relationship between Faith and Lady Genevieve is interesting. On paper they should despise each other. Their backgrounds are very different. But I think Faith see’s a little of her former self in the rogue Slayer. Although her mission is to assassinate Genevieve, it’s become apparent that she’d rather try to save her. This shows a lot of growth.
I love seeing Buffy and Faith together. It’s just a shame that most of the time they’re beating the living daylights out of each other. I have always longed for the day when they work their shit out and truly become friends. There's a lot of bad blood between the pair. Perhaps, too much. But at least they’re on their way to understanding each other. They had some touching moments in Season 7. But clearly there’s still a lot of work to do. It’s tough because I love and understand both characters. If you were Buffy could you truly trust Faith again? (See this week’s Trivia before answering that?)
Buffy & Faith: Many Rivers to Cross
At times, it may seem like Buffy is a little hard on Faith. Everybody loves an underdog and Faith truly is trying to make amends for her past. But, if you look at it from Buffy’s perspective, it’s not hard to understand why she has trouble forgiving her. There's a lot of water under that bridge...
The following are arguably Faiths Top 5 most malicious attacks on Buffy.
1. Framing Buffy for murder
When Faith accidentally stakes a man while patrolling, instead of taking responsibly for her actions, she tries to pin it all on Buffy.
2. Trying to seduce and de-soul Angel
After teaming up with the Mayor, Faith tries to sleep with Angel in a bid to remove his soul and further torment Buffy. This isn’t the last time she puts the moves on one of Buffy’s beaus.
3. Trying to Kill Angel
Under the Mayors instructions, Faith shoots Angel with a poison arrow. The only cure, the blood of a Slayer.
4. Stealing Buffy’s life, literally…
Using a mystical heirloom, left to her by Mayor Wilkins, Faith switches bodies with Buffy.
5. Sleeping with Riley
After stealing Buffy’s body, Faith violates both Buffy and Riley by sleeping with him. If Riley had known it was Faith, he would never have given consent. This could essentially be defined as rape.
Buffy Speak of the Week
Faith: Whenever she’s (Buffy) around, you’re the villain. But as soon as she’s gone, you’re the hero. Never forget how deep she cut you. Never forget how deep.
This short piece of dialogue gives us an insight into how Faith feels when Buffy’s around. Not only does she feel inferior in Buffy’s presence, she’s also forced to confront her darkest deeds. When she says, “Never forget how deep she cut you.” she’s referring to when Buffy stabbed her in Graduation Day, Part One. In her weakest moments, I think part of Faith resents Buffy for giving up on her. When Faith was called, the role of heroic Slayer was already taken. She didn’t feel like she could compete with the golden girl, so she headed in the opposite direction. Faith doesn’t hate Buffy. She’s just insecure. She hates how she feels about herself when she’s around Buffy.
Slayer Rating: 5x5