I’m now three seasons into my Buffy the Vampire Slayer rewatch, and I have to say, the storylines are getting a lot more convoluted – and exciting! Season three introduces some of the more complicated characters in the series, including Faith, Wesley, and, my favourite, Anya, but, like most TV shows, there are highlights and lowlights to the season’s plot elements.
As I mentioned, she’s my fave (I’m already crying just thinking about her fate in the series finale), so I literally spent the first half of the season going “BUT WHERE’S ANYA?”. Her role as part of the Scooby Gang isn’t fully established until season four, but she’s in some of the – in my opinion, anyway – best episodes of this season (“The Wish”, which is her first appearance, and “Dopplegangland”, which is just great in general).
I had actually forgotten most of Faith’s arc so I was pretty intrigued by her dark and broody path. I knew she was badass and a little more bloodthirsty than our gal Buffy, but I forgot to what extent. She gets all the points for being a super complicated character though, and it was interesting to see how she developed over the season.
Sidenote: the mayor is so evil!!! But also funny? BUT MAINLY EVIL.
Major Life Events
On the one hand, you have normal high school milestones like prom and graduation, but since this is Sunnydale, graduation also brings about the apocalypse (or at least the mayor’s ascension). And, even though it feels like it happened in the last season, the first few episodes dealt with Buffy accepting Angel’s “death”, closely followed by Buffy rejoicing in Angel’s return. If that’s not a major moment in her life, I don’t know what is.
All Filler, Not Enough Killer
There are some seriously wacky episodes scattered throughout the season that mostly serve as filler with maybe a minute or two of something significant (the “Homecoming” episode, for example). I was especially disturbed by the Xander/Willow plotline (they are definitely better off as just friends otherwise they’re SUPER awkward together), and the abundance of Xander-centric episodes (see next point).
Everybody Loves Xander
Don’t get me wrong, Xander’s a great character, but he’s really more comedic relief/supporting cast than anything else. There were a handful of episodes dedicated to fleshing out his character a little more, giving him a personality outside of the Scooby Gang, but honestly, those were the most boring episodes. Well, until Anya takes an interest in him, anyway.
I barely remember season four at all, so I’m pretty stoked to be following the gang to college!