Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Enemies

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Public Enemy Number One

We see Chirpy in a dingy motel room, preparing to get the hell out of Dodge. He tosses some stuff into a suitcase and then dithers about what to do with a fish in a small fishbowl. When I was discussing this episode with Sep, I was all sad about how Chirpy's little pet fish had humanized him and underscored the grimness of how Faith handles him, but that cynical Sep suggested that the tiny pet was actually just his next meal. ["Whatever. Fish are lame pets. Everyone knows they have no feelings." -- Sep] Folks, that's why she's evil and I'm just cranky. Faith crashes down the door and demands the books. When Chirpy asks if she brought the money, Faith responds by belting him across the face. Chirpy directs Faith to a pile of books on the bed and allows that the five-thousand-dollar fee might be negotiable. Muttering, "I don't like to haggle," Faith pulls out a knife and stabs Chirpy in the gut. Boy, I'll have to try that approach at the next yard sale I attend. Seems to get results. She turns back to collect the books, but Chirpy grabs her leg and they end up struggling on the floor. Faith finally kills the demon dead. She sits up and stares with confusion at her bloody hands.

The mansion. Angel is reading, in very dim light, I might add. Maybe all the squinting this causes contributes to that furrowed brow and broody look of his. As he reads, mouth just barely forming the words, Faith enters the room behind him. When he turns to greet her, she tells him, "Look, I hate asking for help, but I'm asking, 'cause, uh, I'm in trouble." Angel seems concerned but not overly friendly; however, he does usher Faith into the room with an invitation to talk. As she wrings her hands, she tells him she's scaring herself, and references the little pep talk about the corrupting power of the dark side he gave her when he had her chained up in "Consequences." Holding up her bloody hands, she says, "It's not human if that's what you're thinking. Not that that makes me feel any better or this guy any less dead." Pulling her hands away from his, she backs away. Angel tells her she needs help, and they both sit down. Faith confesses she's scared of turning into a "cold-blooded straight-up killer like [Angel]." Shaking his head, Angel corrects her, "Not like me. I didn't have a choice. But you do." And because I advertised this recap as 98 percent Spike-free, I'm not even gonna touch that "I didn't have a choice" comment. See, I'm not touching it. I'm backing away slowly. Scared of ending up "dead or a loser," Faith starts to break down, worrying that it's "too late" for her. Well, you're not dead yet, and one out of two ain't bad, honey. She then throws her arms around Angel, who shushes her but then pushes her away. As they move apart, Faith attempts to kiss him. Ooopsie! Angel is flustered, but he very directly tells Faith that he's with Buffy. Withdrawing into herself, Faith glumly repeats, "Buffy." She tells Angel that he and Buffy are lucky to have each other, and gets his assurance that they're still friends. She jumps up to leave and softly tells Angel that it's nice just knowing someone cares. She then inquires, "Do you think if things were different that things between you and me would be different, too?" "We'll never know," replies Angel, which is honest and about as close as you can get to "no" without actually saying it. Faith kisses Angel on the cheek and leaves; as she goes, we see that Buffy is lurking in the shadows and has seen the parting kiss.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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