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Anything Wrong With Season 3?

thetopher

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Sineya
#1
So, season 3 is pretty much my favourite, and fairly popular amongst fans (usually sighted as one of the best, along with Season 2)

So, is there anything you don't like about it, anything you'd change to try and make it better, without changing the overall outcome of the plot? (So Faith still goes evil, Angel comes back.)

- 'Anne' is fairly weak, imo, but it was nessesary. I'm not sure how to change and make it better, but I think it needs to be.

-For me, I think I'd lose the Xander/Willow stuff, which seemed to me deliberate sabotage of two decent relationships, for pointless drama. It didn't really go anywhere, or provide us anything new about the characters. Xander was an idiot, Willow was weak and Cordelia reverts to 'bitch-mode', so it wasn't really worth it.

- Lose an inconsequencial episode (like Gingerbread, which is meh, imo) and have a bigger fallout from 'Dead Man's Party', which is weak because of the horrible fight (which I think was nessesary) and then the completley fake aftermath- all got resolved way too easily.

- More 'Good Faith', could've put her in 'Band Candy' and 'Gingerbread' without affecting the overall plot, would've been fun to see her reactions, and it would've been logical that she was there. :)

- Less back and forth Bangel. One example: After 'Lover's Walk' have Buffy stay away from him for more than one episode. I didn't find it very realistic, just frustrating. Have it grow again more organically in the middle part of the season.

- In 'Enemies', Faith should've kissed Buffy on the lips, like it was in the script dammit. :p

That's all I can really think of for the moment, any thoughts?
 

Kean

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#2
I don't think there is anything that bothers me so much in S3 that I would need it changed in that season, but there is some follow-up from that season that I would have liked to have seen later on.

- 'Anne' is fairly weak, imo, but it was nessesary. I'm not sure how to change and make it better, but I think it needs to be.
I LOVE Anne. I think it is a great ep with one of the best Buffy moments ever: "I'm Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and you are?"


- Lose an inconsequencial episode (like Gingerbread, which is meh, imo) and have a bigger fallout from 'Dead Man's Party', which is weak because of the horrible fight (which I think was nessesary) and then the completley fake aftermath- all got resolved way too easily.
OK, actually I agree with this completely. Gingerbread is total waste of an episode. I would have loved to see Buffy push back against the Scoobies and their actions when they rip her apart at the party. But I also get why she didn't do that, not just in that instance but any time the Scoobies have confronted her like that.


- Less back and forth Bangel. One example: After 'Lover's Walk' have Buffy stay away from him for more than one episode. I didn't find it very realistic, just frustrating. Have it grow again more organically in the middle part of the season.
I think this actually plays out very realistically. Buffy spends a the first half of the season trying to create a distance between her and Angel, trying to walk away from him and they just can't do it. They keep getting pulled in by the other, even when they really mean to separate. They could never be truly apart while they were both in the same place. Buffy says this to Angel when he breaks up with her in The Prom, "How am I supposed to stay away from you?" And that's why he leaves town because them being in the same place is never going to be a situation where they can stay apart. Angel leaving at the end of S3 was him doing what she tried to do all season. For me, it works perfectly.
 

Yosso

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#3
I always felt Angel came back too soon. But I guess I watched the episodes in quick succession on VHS rather than week to week on TV, so only a short while after watching Buffy send Angel to hell - a short while later he's back - bit of an anti-climax for me.

Xander/Willow did seem a little pointless now I think about it retrospectively - they pretty much just went back to normal afterwards, it really should have changed their relationship at least a little.

I wasn't a huge fan of the first five episodes to be honest as individual stand-alone episodes, the episode quality definitely improved mid/end season.

(p.s. I loved Gingerbread ;) I find it hilarious!)
 

Robb Stark

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#4
S3 is my favorite season, but there are one or two things I'd probably change if I could.

I agree with the Dead Man's Party resolution, which didn't feel very organic. It felt like things needed to be wrapped up in sixty minutes. Even though it's awkward I liked the direction of the fight they were having before the zombies hit the scene. That felt like a real argument. It's just frustrating because Xander says SO much bullshit and right when he gets called out on it the action starts. That was a character moment/confrontation I had been waiting for for a LONG time and it was cut short. Even though I get the anger from Xander, everything Buffy said to him was absolutely correct.

I would have altered the Faith arc a bit. I would have lengthened out the time she's buddies with Buffy, and after Angel and Buffy take a break in "Lover's Walk" I would have used that as a platform to hook Buffy and Faith up (yeah, yeah, network restrictions, I know...), for a few episodes. Eventually Buffy wouldn't have been able to let go of Angel and in turn Faith wouldn't have been able to let go of Buffy. She still would have killed the deputy mayor but her breakup with Buffy would have been another component of her dark turn.

And yes, kiss on the lips in "Enemies" for sure :D
 

Blaze

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Black Thorn
#5
No Willow/Xander stuff. I think that might be my most hated storyline of the entire verse. It was stupid. I mean it would have made sense but it happened like a year too late, it didn't fit in s3.

Less cheesy Bangel. I love Bangel in s1-2, but in s3 I got annoyed. I know this is not a popular opinion at all, but I think it would have been more fitting if Angel left for L.A. at the end of the Christmas episode. But that's only a minor complaint, I'm fine with the way things played out.

---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21 AM ----------

- In 'Enemies', Faith should've kissed Buffy on the lips, like it was in the script dammit. :p
Dear god, YES! This, this!
 

Lyri

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#6
I think I would get rid of the Xander/Willow stuff. It's the only thing that never really made sense to me, and something that I hated because of the fact that it was never followed up on, especially in regards to Xander.

And yes, I'm with [MENTION=7585]Kean[/MENTION]; I LOVED 'Anne'. One of the best season openers. Maybe THE best.
 

Fuffy Baith

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#7
There's only a few things I would nit pick about because the overall season is awesome. Xander and Willow's kiss in homecoming I thought was fine cuz it kind of makes sense in the moment but it should have ended there. I guess they couldn't figure out another way to break up Xander and Cordelia. And even though I like them as a couple, I like getting to see a different side of Cordelia dealing with the cheating and breakup and it leads us to The Wish and consequently Dopplegangland, but they could have broken them up better.

Way to much Bangel drama, I get it and understand, but I just want them to be together and more, instead of every scene being 'I love you but we can't be together'. Also Angel coming back in Faith, Hope and Trick, he should have came back the next episode.

Gingerbread was a bad episode so they could have gotten rid of that or maybe wrote it better, but I just find it boring with a few good jokes in there. Where was Faith? Joyce talks about getting rid of the witches and slayers, but she leaves out Faith when she knows Faith is a slayer. I think they could have found ways to incorporate Faith in more episodes. Like in Band Candy, I think Buffy says something about not getting a hold of Faith at her motel, but surely they could have ran into her when they went to the Bronze. It would have been nice to get a better sense of who Faith is and how she fits in or doesn't fit in with the scoobies.

I understand that they jut added Oz to the main cast and they didn't have room for more people but Oz doesn't do much and after Cordelia and Xander break up, she only pops up once or twice to give a rude comment. I wanted to see more of Faith and Buffy bonding, it would have made it more emotional when Faith goes bad. It would have been more of a betrayal and made the fight more powerful. Also yet to the kiss in Enemies. And while I like Enemies that could have been done better cuz as is, it's just full of plot holes.
 
thetopher
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#8
Get rid of "Helpless".

There is a great bond between Buffy and Giles and this blows the trust fuse forever. It could have been rewritten as something done by Quentin Travers without Giles knowing. Giles being a badass the way he threatened Snyder and coming to her rescue after he found out would be better here. Or Giles could have done with the Council what Angel did when he locked two vampires in the wine cellar with the best and brightest of Wolfram & Hart. That would have been an interesting episode.
 
Kean
Kean
Travers being the one would have been great. Losing the B/G paternal relationship was awful. Though it looks like they were purposefully saving the two fingers to the Council until Graduation Day.
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Wesley Junior
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white avenger

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#9
"Anne" wasn't my most favorite episode in the season, bit I do think that it was necessary, if for no other reason that we saw Buffy leaving town at the end of Season 2, and to show how, even away from the Hellmouth, she is still the Chosen One, and simply can't escape that fact, no matter how much she might want to. If she doesn't go to the monsters, they will come for her. That's what being the Slayer is all about.

Angel did come back too soon, and for no apparent reason or explanation. He just popped out of thin air, naked, like a Buffyverse version of the Terminator without the muscles or the Austrian accent. I was half expecting him to look malevolently into the camera as it pans in, and the words, "I'm baaaaaaack" bringing the episode to a close. I think that it would have been better if he had shown up a few episodes later, in control of his senses, and sort of lurked around for awhile, with no indication as to whether he was good, evil, or bent on revenge for being sent to hell by the woman he'd loved.

Buffy and Faith should have become much closer friends (not lovers, that just wouldn't have worked at that time) That would have made her turning evil much more personal and tragic for Buffy, as she finally decides that she will never have anyone who she can see as an equal and share her fight again, because, as she first came to realize at the first of the Season, she's the Slayer, and, as a very astute poet pointed out, "The Slayer fights alone."

THEN she finds out that Angel is back, there is a big reunion scene (cut short before "you know what" happens) and the Season goes on from there, with Angel coming to realize that he can't trust himself to be around Buffy and remain ensouled. He explains his doubts to Buffy, she agrees, and they tearfully but resolutely separate after the Mayor is blown up, Faith is in a coma, and the high school is rubble.

Oh, and we FINALLY find out how Harmony really got turned.
 
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#10
Like others have mentioned, some of the early episodes were a bit weak, but S3 is still my second favorite season, behind S2.

Too bad there couldn't be more Spike without changing the plot, haha. Would've liked to have seen he and Oz interact more.

Also, I agree with everyone about the Dead Man's Party...there should've been more fallout from that. It should've been brought back up in S4 as well IMO when Spike turned the Scoobies against each other as well. It was a conflict that just seemed to go away, not that realistic of real-life arguments.
 
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#11
Willow/Xander did feel rather forced. But Willow/Xander gave us "Lovers Walk," and "Lovers Walk" gave us "The Wish," and "The Wish" gave us "Doppelgängland."
 

thetopher

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#12
Willow/Xander did feel rather forced. But Willow/Xander gave us "Lovers Walk," and "Lovers Walk" gave us "The Wish," and "The Wish" gave us "Doppelgängland."
Well, technically all we needed for that to happen is for Cordelia to be wronged by Xander in someway, maybe something a little more realistic than suddenly finding Willow irresistable. (Don't get me wrong, Willow's cute an' all- but she's friend-zone material...and kinda gay, apparently.)

Wronged Cordy equals The Wish equals Doppelgangerland- problem solved.

Although we can keep drunk Spike, no way we're losing that ep. :)


Plus, I think they could've kept Angel away for a few more eps, not have him in the show credits and then- SURPRISE! he's all nekkid and sweaty in the mansion! Would've worked better imo.

Also, surprise, I think there could've been a few more Fuffy hints, but only hints, cause this is the WB we're talking about.
If S3 had happened on UPN...who knows.
 

AnthonyCordova

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#14
:: Opens door :: "Faith this, Faith that, Fuffy this, Fuffy that..." :: closes door ::


I think I would get rid of the Xander/Willow stuff. It's the only thing that never really made sense to me, and something that I hated because of the fact that it was never followed up on, especially in regards to Xander.
This quote was exactly my feeling too, particularly the part in bold.

I liked Helpless a lot personally. I'm not bothered by Giles "betrayal of trust" either. I liked that the decision for Giles was obviously a difficult one. He obviously didn't want to do that to Buffy, but it showed that A. he took his role as watcher and its duties to the council very seriously (he is a watcher after all, part of a long line of watchers which the council has specifically been specifically accountable and responsible for) and B. it was quite probable that he was also under a considerable amount of pressure from the council, which probably weighed into his reluctant decision too. And who knows what else besides. Maybe it's just me, but I could kind of buy it (I probably need to see the episode more than once to be sure though I guess). Besides, compromising the paternal relationship could have potentially just added more interesting spice to the story/relationship and everything (especially if it had been intelligently capitalized on and handled expertly. As I recall everything, the consequences of his decision in this episode wasn't really followed up on adequately though).

Helpless was incidently one of my favorite episodes of season 3. It had a lot of very sustained and tense drama and the vampire was one of the few vampires of the entire Buffy-verse seasons 1-7 that was genuinely intimidating and actually kind of scary.

---------- Post added at 10:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:51 PM ----------

Blaze agrees: Eh there! Nothing wrong with Fuffy haha Watch your mouth!
All I did was open the door then close it and walk away! :)
 
Blaze
Blaze
Eh there! Nothing wrong with Fuffy haha ;) Watch your mouth!
thetopher
thetopher
I hapeen to think that we need more Fuffy rooms...
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#16
Having grown up in the late-70s/early-80s during the tumultuous height of the "Satanic Panic", that utterly vile mass hysteria in the US, "Gingerbread" struck a strong chord with me, and I feel that its removal would be a mistake.

"Helpless" was brilliant and added a sinister chill to the character of Giles -- not because of who he was, but what his station as Watcher obligated him to follow, undoubtedly causing him a great deal of anguish.

There were so many outstanding episodes, that, if I were ever to teach a TV screenwriting course, I could exhibit quite a few just from S3 as specimens of gripping, entertaining programs. :)
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
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Give Us A Kiss

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Sineya
#18
*We would have AtS Wesley instead, can't stand Wesley in BtVS…
*Fuffy kiss on the lips, not forehead :p
*More Faith.
*More vamp Willow and vamp Xander.
*The mayor wasn't a good villain…
*More Jonathan (and possibly some Andrew, for foreshadowing purposes).

- In 'Enemies', Faith should've kissed Buffy on the lips, like it was in the script dammit. :p
Pretty sure that Faith really wanted to kiss them…:D
 
thetopher
thetopher
With all those looks that she was giving Buffy before hand...you bet that's what Faith wanted! :)
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Sineya
#19
Agree with the Fuffy kiss. Kisses on the forehead always seem weird to me, I'm not sure why.

I didn't like the Willow-Xander stuff. I hate that they reverted Cordelia and Xander's rather brazen attitude towards her after what he did really didn't do him any favours in my book either.

Plus, I think they could've kept Angel away for a few more eps, not have him in the show credits and then- SURPRISE! he's all nekkid and sweaty in the mansion! Would've worked better imo.
I've always thought that too. It seemed very unlikely that we'd have dreams or flashbacks every episode, so it was pretty obvious by him being in the credits.
Kinda like with Spike in Ats- Conviction. They bring him back as the "surprise cliffhanger" at the end, but hey, that blonde guy James Marsters is playing as shown in the opening credits like 35 minutes ago... figured that'd be Spike guys ;).
Should've kept them out like they did Dawn in Buffy Vs. Dracula.
 
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Black Thorn
#20
Not a lot really. I go back and forth on whether this is my favourite season or if it's season 2. Spike and Angelus are a big part of what makes Season 2 special but I wouldn't want to shoe horn them into season 3 just for the sake of it. Also the overall impact of Becoming is just so immense but you couldn't repeat it again the season after.

So for little tweaks I'd say something needed to change around Helpless. It's such a dangerous and massive betrayal by Giles that it either needed a bigger impact or a re-write so he doesn't look so terrible. I appreciate it was his job and tough decision etc. but we've seen him grow closer to Buffy for 2 and half years and then he pretty much plays Russian Roulette with her life for a week or two. Then the next episode or one after when Wes shows up we're supposed to be believing how tight a bond Giles and Buffy have and how it makes sense for them to dismiss the new watcher. Yeah that episode always bugs me, it's just too big and damaging for Giles and doesn't sit very well with the guy we saw in Prophecy Girl who was going to stand between Buffy and The Master. And it looks like @Ethan Reigns made this same point last year, should read the thread more carefully really!

Not a lot of the other stuff mentioned here really bothers me. Angel shouldn't have been in the credits until after he appeared. That's just lazy/silly. Willow and Xander always had a will they / won't they vibe. Could have been better in season 2 but I thought it was decent enough where it was. I never really saw the big Buffy / Faith attraction that everyone else seems to. I suppose it would serve to somehow make Faith even more psychotic if she kissed Buffy on the lips after planning on torturing her to death but I'm fine with the forehead.