Dead Man’s Party
Faith, Hope & Trick
Beauty and the Beasts
Graduation Day: Part 1
Graduation Day: Part 2
After the profound success of last year, Buffy The Vampire Slayer returns for its third season full of entertaining episodes, further character development and another gripping plot line. New slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku) adds another dimension to the show and her dynamic alongside Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) helps elevate this season and drive the show in new and interesting directions. Whilst the finale doesn’t quite reach the same lofty heights achieved last year, the third season is still a decent one and solidifies Buffy’s place among the great shows out there.
The story this year follows a much more episodic monster-of-the-week formula compared to last year. This structure works well for the most part and helps to drive the character relationships a lot more, especially the interesting dynamic between Faith and Buffy as well with Wesley (Alexis Denisof) driving a wedge berween Giles and Buffy as her new watcher. The episode content is good and as well as exploring the relationships between characters, there’s some good episodes involving werewolves, witches, vampires and all manner of demon. Although the overarching story isn’t quite as strong as it was last year, with The Mayor manipulating Faith into working with him the highlight, the individual episodes are arguably stronger.
Once again, the focus this year is on the characters and it’s here that Buffy shines. The new characters fit well in the universe and the various characters inhabiting Sunnydale do a good job of furthering their personas. Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) returns as Buffy’s concerned mother and her rally against the supernatural in Sunnydale is a realistic depiction of what a concerned mother would do in that situation. Oz (Seth Green) features more prominently this year and Angel (David Boreanaz) returns, playing a key role in the conflict between Faith and Buffy, as well as the tense final two parter. Whilst the finale is another good one this year, it doesn’t quite reach the same level achieved from last year’s incredible ending.
Although the story line this year in Buffy might not be as strong as last year, the third season does a great job of developing the characters whilst continuing to push the show in new and interesting directions. Faith is a great inclusion to the hellmouth this year and her dynamic with Buffy and Angel is far and away the most compelling part of this season. Buffy The Vampire Slayer continues its trend as a great supernatural show and although the third season might not be as strong as last year’s effort, its still a great showing and one that makes for a really entertaining watch.