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Faith was better than Buffy

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As I re-watch This Year's Girl, I find myself completely enamoured with lovely, tragic Faith. Observing her as she watched the Mayor's taped message, I found myself rooting for her (and wishing the Mayor was still around!).

Buffy wouldn't tell Riley the main reason she had it in for Faith...just that she hurt people Buffy cared about and how she was a psychotic killer. Even Riley could tell Buffy was "leaving something out." This caught my eye big time. Buffy didn't want to say, "Faith tried to take my boyfriend away from me, and I was soooo upset." I was actually glaring at Buffy's image at this point.

When Faith came to Sunnydale, she TRIED to fit in, and embraced Buffy like a long-lost friend. She was like an eager little puppy dog wagging it's tail. She was friendly, engaging, and frankly, a breath of fresh air. And a pretty damn good Slayer. Buffy chose to be threatened...as she did with Kathy.

Sadly, Faith accidentally staked a human...which could've happened to ANY Slayer in the heat of the moment. She panicked, made a couple of questionable choices, and the rest is history. I'm not saying Faith was perfect, but she was a lot better than the eternally spoiled princess, Buffy Summers.

I like my Slayers like my men...wild, brunette, and quip-free.
 

VisionBoy

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I do love Faith and I think her story is one of the universe's most compelling.
Plus after she starts her redemption, I do generally find her more likable and relatable than Buffy. Especially season 6 onwards.
 
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thrasherpix

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Though neither the biggest pleasure nor disappointments of season 7, one of the biggest pleasures I got was seeing Faith kick Spike's butt (and I'm not generally down with the butt-kicking to handle disagreements). One of the biggest disappointments was not seeing Faith kick Buffy right after Buffy pulled a Caleb on her (Caleb doesn't like Buffy's defiance and punishes her with his fists, a little later in the same episode Buffy doesn't like Faith disagreeing with her--quite civilly, more so than Buffy was with Caleb--and punishes her with her fists, and I was so rooting for Faith right then to give Buffy some of her own medicine). This only happened because of how Buffy, Spike (and Spuffy) were portrayed, I never wanted to see Buffy get her butt kicked before season 7.

I can't help but notice that Buffy is a lot more like Faith, like her saying she is the law (and in other ways as well), and on the second (and probably last) viewing of season 7 as Faith asks if Buffy is the bad Slayer now and Faith the good, I answer, "Yes!"

But then those are only a few reasons why I don't like to count season 7 as canon in my own head. (Season 7 was also why I didn't get Angel for years because I felt the show lost its magic, and so Angel probably had as well, and not being able to follow the couple of random eps of Angel I caught didn't help.)
 

thetopher

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As I re-watch This Year's Girl, I find myself completely enamoured with lovely, tragic Faith.
The reason I like this episode is because it starts the excellent trend of telling episodes from the 'bad guy' point of view; and their usually very good. 'Fool For Love', 'Selfless', 'Storyteller'- each of which makes us feel/understand more about this character who has done very bad things. And yet we often find ourselves rooting for them.

I'm not saying Faith was perfect, but she was a lot better than the eternally spoiled princess, Buffy Summers.
In Season 7 I tend to agree; Faith seems to have a perspective that Buffy has lost. She's not as cynical as she once was and a bit more idealistic. 'Good slayer now' indeed.

And in the comics she so much better; princess Buffy whining about her lot in life when she's living a friggin' CASTLE with all her loving friends around her. Robbing places and having sex with hot lesbians.

Meanwhile Faith is living in the crap-tastic Cleveland Hellmouth killing baby vampires. That's the girl I'm gonna root for. Always.

I got was seeing Faith kick Spike's butt (and I'm not generally down with the butt-kicking to handle disagreements).
If the other guy throws the first punch (and Spike ALWAYS throws the first punch) then to hell with it, let the butt-kicking commence! :)

One of the biggest disappointments was not seeing Faith kick Buffy right after Buffy pulled a Caleb on her (Caleb doesn't like Buffy's defiance and punishes her with his fists, a little later Buffy doesn't like Faith disagreeing with her--quite civilly, more so than Buffy was with Caleb--and punishes her with her fists, and I was so rooting for Faith right then to give Buffy some of her own medicine).
I think it was when Buffy called the Potentials 'children' that I kinda rolled my eyes. Either you take the 'children' into battle against the First AND let them relax in their downtime; in other words treat them like off-duty soldiers and therefore human beings, or you don't do either.
There is no 'we do one but the other is wrong'.

This only happened because of how Buffy, Spike (and Spuffy) were portrayed, I never wanted to see Buffy get her butt kicked before season 7.
Again I agree. I always rooted for Buffy in the previous 6 seasons but her 'the mission is what matters...except for me' is really annoying and petty.
I know she's the leader and under a lot of pressure, but she HAS been in that place before and- unlike every other character- hasn't learned from past experiences. She's actually regressed to a painful level.
The 'Spike is the only one who has my back' thing was shocking in its ingratitude if you consider the past 7 years. And she said this to Giles of all people.

I will always love the character of Buffy, but I was rarely on her side in that last season; for painfully obvious reasons.
 
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Initially, I believe Faith switched bodies with Buffy as payback. But as she grew accustomed to being appreciated, being "good," it was really facinating to see the struggle within her. It was remarkable...I truly believed that Faith HAD switched bodies with Buffy. (A lot of this is due to Sarah's INCREDIBLE performance, of course)
 

Athene

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As I re-watch This Year's Girl, I find myself completely enamoured with lovely, tragic Faith. Observing her as she watched the Mayor's taped message, I found myself rooting for her (and wishing the Mayor was still around!)
I'm the same with that scene, you can see pain, worry and most of all grief on her face and it wouldn't matter what Faith did or has done I just can't hate her :D
 

Carrie Hopewell

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I truly don't care about Faith on Btvs. I think Faith wasn't written all that well: she had little depth and was the typical "bad girl". The little backstory we got for her wasn't enough to make feel sympathetic toward the character and only served to make her more of a cliche. I also think ED overacted.

However, on Ats, I love Faith. The show suits her better than Btvs. It heightens her dark side and her complexity, matures her, makes her more vulnerable, etc. Also, Angel always gave Faith a lot of credit and possibilities to shine - in pretty much all of the episodes she was in with the exception of Judgment, where she had little screen time.

Buffy was never a character I was impressed by. She often irks me with her immaturity or selfishness - not that she is immature and selfish, obviously. Still, Buffy has a lot of qualities, and on Btvs I'd say I generally prefer Buffy over Faith. However, on Angel, and considering Faith's arc on both shows, I think Faith is better than Buffy.
 

GraceK

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One of the things I love about this community is reading all the different viewpoints. I find it pretty awesome how we all watch the same show and can see totally different motivations and layers to characters. :)

I love both Buffy and Faith. I honestly think both are more interesting because of each other.
 

Mylie

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I love both characters so much but where I don't always understand Faith's actions early in the show, she grows out to be this awesome and mature character that is just really trying hard and that makes me root for her. I have the opposite journey with Buffy (in general) as I'm having more trouble understanding her actions and attitude by the end of the show. They really are each other's foils and exploring their dynamic would have done wonders for both characters, I think. I do think Faith ended up being presented in a better light than Buffy when it comes to their history/conflict.

So for me, Faith isn't necessarily better than Buffy, she just had a much more satisfying arc.
 
thetopher
thetopher
For that last line. :)

RomanticSoul

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Faith is more a stereotype than a character in her early Buffy days. One thing however that is very noticeable is how vulnerable she is and how much of her attitude is so clearly a mask. And how eager to just belong somewhere and have someone care about her to give her some security. I don't even blame Wesley for any of it. I blame Giles, The Council and Buffy (and in that order). Giles literally paid no attention to Faith whatsoever. The Council not only didn't tell anyone about rogue Mrs. Post but neglected to send a new watcher immediately after Faith's was killed or alerted anyone in Sunnydale that there might be a slayer headed their way. And then they capped it off by sending Wesley of all people to deal with not just one but two difficult slayers. And the Scoobies then treated him like dirt. Buffy was both distracted by her own issues with Angel and the fallout from her running away to really pay any attention to Faith. The mayor was so appealing to Faith because he gave her that feeling of belonging and caring she so desperately was looking for.

I started caring for Faith and see her as an actual character once she hit rock bottom which was her asking Angel to kill her. From then on it's not only one hell of a redemption story but also a great journey of growth that continues in the comics. Buffy's own growth arc was killed stone cold dead by 2 things. Dawn and shipper fan service. Buffy as a character was on a good journey for S1-4. And then Dawn comes along and kills Buffy's own growth arc because 'I have Dawn's life.'. Buffy stopped living for herself and instead lived for her 'child'. And then of course there is the shipping. She was largely just a tool for Spike's story at the end of S6 and all of S7. S7 Buffy in general makes no sense whatsoever so I'm not even going to touch that one. Buffy would literally make one epiphany after another each Season where you think 'FINALLY' only for them to hit the reset button at the beginning of the next Season. They are keeping Buffy eternally trapped in the same repeating stories because God forbid she actually grows up and matures and internalizes the lessons she learned. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to do the shipping stuff. The problem however becomes that this turned Buffy into a useless, one -note and whiny character who bit by bit has the things removed that made her likeable in the first place.

On the other hand Buffy was never given a time out like Faith was. And in large part that is due to Faith. Faith was allowed to get herself right in prison. Buffy wasn't given a time out from her duties. But the thing is, by the time it becomes clear that Willow is a hundred times more powerful than a slayer and Buffy is screwing the very thing she should be killing and not giving a damn about defenseless humans, she should have chosen to take that time out. If she doesn't then she has no excuses and especially no right to whine about her circumstances.

I love canon Buffy (she is my fave for S1-4) but I have irrational hate for Dawnverse Buffy because of the changes done to her character. So when Faith shows up in S7 and asks 'Am I the good slayer now, are you the bad slayer now?' my reply is always HELL YEAH. And it continues to be true in the comics.
 
GraceK
GraceK
Wow. Yes ! This sums it up perfectly!!! ::clap::clap::clap::
GwenRaiden
GwenRaiden
Hi. I agree with the majority of this post. Thank you.

white avenger

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I will have to admit that I have always had a weakness for brown eyed brunettes, so, if for no other reason than that, Faith would be my favorite (of course, Sarah is actually a HAZEL eyed brunette, which is just as good. She should skip the Lady Clairol and go natural) I've also always sided with the underdog, as long as her name isn't Hillary (under b*tch?) and her motives, if not all of her actions, are well intended. Adam Pierson was no more than collateral damage, tragic, but sometimes unavoidable, and I have no doubt that Giles would have been the first to point that out at the time if it had not been for the one, for him, unforgivable mistake that Faith made. She tried to put the blame on Buffy. That, Giles simply would not tolerate, and I think that the story line would have been much more realistic if that element had been included. We saw plainly throughout the run of the show that Giles' feelings for Buffy clouded his judgement more often than it did not, and this was just another of those times.

As for fighting skills, by the end of Season 3, Buffy and Faith were so evenly matched that the only way that Buffy could ultimately beat Faith was by using a knife, and that was at a time when Buffy had had three years of actual fighting experience and training as compared to Faith's less than one. Then, after six months in a coma, Faith can still hold her own against her. Three years later, after living in an environment where her fighting skills would have been so poorly taxed as to actually diminish, she is still able to give a more than adequate account of fighting ability in unarmed combat against arguably one of arguably the most formidable opponents ever shown in the Buffyverse. Compare that to Buffy's first, and second, encounter with the first ubervamp in Season 7. Granted, both girls got their a**es handed to them by extremely powerful opponents, but it took days for Buffy to fully recover, while Faith seemed back in top fighting form after just a hot shower (Okay, maybe that doesn't really count, but I just thought that it was worth mentioning)

Throughout it all, the only actually one undeniable and unbeatable advantage that Buffy had was the simple fact that it was her show, and Faith only had an, at best, recurring role. Take away the home field advantage, take away the influence of the show's creator and his writing staff, make both Slayers guest stars on "Walker, Texas Ranger," and let them square off on equal terms, and we would see who the real kick ass Slayer is.

Of course, Walker could have whupped them both, but, then, that's only fair. It was his show.
 

Last Watcher

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As for fighting skills, by the end of Season 3, Buffy and Faith were so evenly matched that the only way that Buffy could ultimately beat Faith was by using a knife, and that was at a time when Buffy had had three years of actual fighting experience and training as compared to Faith's less than one.
I've always been of the opinion that by the time they fought on that roof Faith was already looking for a way out & part of her kind of expected/wanted Buffy to beat her.
She almost seemed relieved when she realised Buffy had 'Killed' her.
 

Athene

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The little backstory we got for her wasn't enough to make feel sympathetic toward the character and only served to make her more of a cliche.
But that's what is fun about Faith to me, the writers gave us her and her behaviour and left us to imagine her backstory :D
 
I've always been of the opinion that by the time they fought on that roof Faith was already looking for a way out & part of her kind of expected/wanted Buffy to beat her.
She almost seemed relieved when she realised Buffy had 'Killed' her.
I feel like this is suggested through how Faith was always trying to goad the dark side of Buffy out of her, she almost wanted Buffy to hurt her because that would mean that Buffy was unleashing the Faith within her :eek:
 

thetopher

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But that's what is fun about Faith to me, the writers gave us her and her behaviour and left us to imagine her backstory
I think the writers gave us just enough really, from the odd off-hand comment about her Mom, or her attitude to guys/sex, we can build a picture of her upbringing. It's just the 'filling the blanks' that a lot of fans like. There's more 'space' to work with.

What we find out about Faith and her home life are comparable to the little pieces we have of Xander's or Willow's home life up til S3.
 

Athene

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I think the writers gave us just enough really, from the odd off-hand comment about her Mom, or her attitude to guys/sex, we can build a picture of her upbringing. It's just the 'filling the blanks' that a lot of fans like. There's more 'space' to work with.

What we find out about Faith and her home life are comparable to the little pieces we have of Xander's or Willow's home life up til S3.
Exactly, the writers hint at a lot of things in her backstory so I feel like we know what we need to know in Faith's backstory. Plus it makes sense for us to know less about Faith's background because Faith was abused, she had a broken home life so why would she like to talk about it? Also unlike Willow and Xander, Faith is living alone so it's not as relevant or easy for us to know much about her before she arrived in sunnydale alone. Anyway, I certainly got enough hints to understand her backstory.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Exactly. Just enough. :)

Last Watcher

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I feel like this is suggested through how Faith was always trying to goad the dark side of Buffy out of her, she almost wanted Buffy to hurt her because that would mean that Buffy was unleashing the Faith within her :eek:
The exchange between them just before the fight kind of sums that up......
Faith: "You know you're not gonna take me alive."
Buffy: "That's not a problem."
Faith: "Well look at you, all dressed up in big sisters clothes."
Buffy: "You told me I was just like you, Faith. That I was only holding it in."
Faith: "You ready to cut loose?"
Buffy: "Try me."

Buffy was there to kill Faith, & a part of Faith wanted her to.........
 

Athene

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The exchange between them just before the fight kind of sums that up......
Faith: "You know you're not gonna take me alive."
Buffy: "That's not a problem."
Faith: "Well look at you, all dressed up in big sisters clothes."
Buffy: "You told me I was just like you, Faith. That I was only holding it in."
Faith: "You ready to cut loose?"
Buffy: "Try me."

Buffy was there to kill Faith, & a part of Faith wanted her to.........
I agree :)
 
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