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Rank the Season 3 Episodes

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
6,766
Location
UK
My opinion changes all the time, so this is my ranking for right now:

1. The Wish
2. Homecoming
3. Revelations
4. Graduation Day P1
5. Dopplegangland
6. Earshot
7. The Prom
8. Helpless
9. Gingerbread
10. Graduation Day P2
11. Enemies
12. Amends
13. Consequences
14. Choices
15. Faith Hope & Trick
16. Lover's Walk
17. Beauty & the Beasts
18. Anne
19. Dead Man's Party
20. Bad Girls
21. Band Candy
22. The Zeppo
My opinion has changed in nearly 4 years 😊
1. Helpless
2. The Wish
3. Revealations
4. Homecoming
5. Doppelgangland
6. Earshot
7. Lovers Walk
8. Gingerbread
9. The Prom
10. Anne
11. Enemies
12. Graduation Day Pt 1
13. Faith Hope & Trick
14. Amends
15. Band Candy
16. Graduation Day Pt 2
17. Consequences
18. Choices
19. Bad Girls
20. Dead Mans Party
21. Beauty & The Beasts
22. The Zeppo
 

atiredonnie

"What's a stevedore?"
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
19
might as well branch out into threads other than my introduction with my favorite season!

22. Dead Man's Party
okay, dead man's party might not actually deserve last place, but god does this episode piss me off. buffy's treatment by her friends after literally having to murder her boyfriend after half a season of emotional trauma and manipulation was incredibly unfair. like, i'm sorry you all have suffered so much after buffy reasonably left sunnydale as a response to the aforementioned boyfriend-murder and being basically kicked out of her house, but your lack of sympathy to her own incredible pain and disregard for her own feelings is just... eugh. don't want to think about this episode ever.

21. Beauty & The Beasts
your plain old throwaway monster-of-the-week. bleh. beauty in the beasts has some value to it, certainly, and the depiction of blaming your partner for your own abuse of them is startlingly realistic, but at this point in buffy pointless one-offs featuring irrelevant characters were disappointing, to say the least. i certainly don't hate it, though.

20. Gingerbread
from this point on every episode has something of value to it, because season 3 is just that good. gingerbread is hilarious - sometimes i'll randomly remember buffy asking "did i get it? did i get it?" and burst into laughter, and of course the fundamentalist, puritan witch-hunt of joyce's gang rings true and absolutely horrifying for that reason. gingerbread has plenty of things in its favor, and the only thing wrong with it, really, is that it just can't compare to everything else season 3 has to offer.

19. Anne
this is already starting to get really difficult, and we're not even halfway through the list! anne is great as an exploration of buffy's psyche and in retrospect fantastic foreshadowing to her depressive state circa season 6. the dingy atmosphere and buffy's triumphant return back from her period of self-loathing is something i always cheer for and of course this is the episode that contains probably my favorite stupid buffy quip: "wanna see my impression of gandhi?... you know, if he was really pissed off." just the same issue as gingerbread, honestly, in that everything else is better.

18. Amends
i know this episode gets a lot of flack for being overdramatic, and you know, it is, but it's overdramatic in the kind of way i absolutely appreciate. buffy and angel's anguish is so heartbreaking, every time i go back to it, and this is a wonderful character study for the both of them, highlighting a very important tenet of buffy's life philosophy in her need for people who have done bad to try and recover and do good in response, and how giving up on the notion that you can be better is so infuriating to her and in my opinion likely fuels a lot of her self-hatred in season 6. angel is as tortured and broody as ever and this episode is just a lovely if somewhat exaggerated gem amongst all the melodrama bangel has to offer (speaking as someone who likes bangel and melodrama both.) it's just not as good as everything else!

17. Faith, Hope, & Trick
the introduction of faith and everything that is startlingly wrong in her head, this episode should be one of my favorites, but the rather forgettable character of scott hope in comparison to the flashy, gone-to-soon mr. trick and the love of my life faith, brings this episode down somewhat. regardless bringing faith into the picture is worth something - no, a whole lot of somethings.

16. The Wish
now this is something i'm sure is going to be controversial. the wish is absolutely beloved and i completely understand why, but i do have a few qualms with it - the episode really has no repercussions for any of the characters nor does it fuel development from cordelia. it's an extremely entertaining and thematically rich what-if that introduces vamp!willow and exits on the emotionally fraught deaths of all of our beloved characters either at the hands of their loved ones or without regard for said loved ones, but the lack of actual impact it has on the plot as a whole and how it doesn't help cordelia learn anything as a side effect of her, you know, dying, makes me unable to elevate it any further. it's still absolutely fantastic, though, as is every episode from this point.

15. Choices
...i forgot everything that happened in choices other than the fact that i enjoyed it, help.

14. Helpless
helpless is excellent! buffy as a character relies so much on her own power, as someone who due to the events of season 2 and her own loss is fundamentally uncertain in regards to her own choices and worth, that stripping her of this power and leaving her only with her own thoughts and none of her former physical and emotional protection is a great way to get inside her head, and the exploration of her relationship with giles and how his betrayal robs her of yet another source of protection, the idea that no matter what giles was locking out for her, is to die for. same problem as everything else, really - just not as good as everything else! but still really damn good. and of course zachary kralik makes one hell of an impression and is pretty firmly in my top ten one-off villains.

13. Revelations
if helpless is a character study for buffy, revelations is a character study for faith, but one that's somewhat overshadowed by the brilliance of bad girls and consequences, the immortal exploration of faith's character. but this episode still has a ton to offer when it comes to faith and her troubled relationship with authority. faith has never, ever in her life, had an authority figure that didn't either screw her over or got screwed over. her mother was abusive, her first watcher was brutally murdered, and all of this culminates in gwendolyn posts' betrayal. faith is so desperate for positive attention from anyone in a position of power that she latches on like a leech to anyone who can offer it, and is let down again and again and again, and a final betrayal by gwen informs her relationship with the mayor and how important he becomes to her when she realizes that he isn't going to leave. god, all of these episodes are so good!!

12. Enemies
this is the mother of buffy/faith sexual tension. it relies a bit too much on trickery and subterfuge for my liking, but it fuels ss fuffy, and thus deserves any and all acclaim.

11. The Prom
the prom is probably the most sentimental buffy ever gets, and i adore every goddamn second of it. buffy has given up so much for her job - romantic relationships, parental relationships, friends, her education, her own happiness and even her life and finally, for once, everything she's done to protect her classmates and the world is acknowledge. that moment where she realizes that everyone loves her and acknowledges everything she's done for them is so beautiful and not crying during it is always monumentally difficult. buffy deserves every sparkle on that ornamental umbrella, and i will die on that hill.

10. Lovers Walk
spike is an iconic character for a reason - he's hilarious. whether he's a swaggering villain, a lovestruck nancy-boy, a reluctant anti-hero, or in this episode a sad and lonely drunk, he is a well of humor. spike asking joyce for more marshmallows in his hot chocolate, lecturing buffy and angel about their inability to hold a cordial relationship not motivated by kisses, and sobbing into willow's shoulder over dru breaking up with him for a slime demon? all of that is priceless. the only thing this episode has against it is its breaking up of cordy and xander, a surprisingly entertaining couple that deserved a better ending than xander cheating on her with willow after she sacrificed her precious social standing for him.

9. Homecoming
cordy and buffy are absolute queens, and this episode is the peak of their bitter, frothing sisterhood that never once disappoints. in her heart, despite the airs she puts on, cordy is just as much of a fish-out-of-water as the rest of the scoobies and this episode highlights this, from her own insecurity to her own exhaustion with the pretenses the cordettes employ. although cordy still technically has more than three quarters of a season left on buffy, this episode is her proper exit, and the one she deserves, that highlights all of her wit, snark, and attitude.

8. Consequences
this is getting so long and i have shit to do, so let me just say that i love faith.

7. Band Candy
in the interest of keeping things concise from now on: "you had sex with giles? TWICE? ON THE HOOD OF A POLICE CAR?!?"

6. Earshot
jonathan is just a comic relief character up until this point, but this episode forces us to acknowledge that he has feelings and being the constant butt of the joke has serious consequences for him and his mental health. jonathan is my favorite guy in btvs, so clearly, i appreciate this.

5. Graduation Day, Part 2
keeping this short, i will simply say - iconique.

4. Bad Girls
oh my god, reducing all of this down is so difficult. i love faith!!

3. Graduation Day, Part 1
more fuffy wooo

2. The Zeppo
xander has his issues, but this episode is his swan song. hilarious, lovely, every inch of it oozing with what makes xander interesting.

1. Dopplegangland
"...and i think i'm kinda gay!"
 

MrX

Townie
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
12
Age
34
Season 3 is the 2nd best season. First place goes to season 2 which has the best main arc, the best versions of the main characters, the best villains, the best overall tone and the most memorable monsters.

However season 2 wasn't perfect and some of its specific flaws are less present this season. Whereas season 2's monster of the week episodes (or story of the week as I like to call them) could sometimes be skipped, season 3 did feel more serialised and the story of the week episodes are amongst the best in the entire show. Where season 3 loses points, is how it handled its overall arc. A lot just doesn't work on paper and was probably given a pass because this was a 90 shows. I elaborate more in my comments for each episode below.

1. Doppelgangland: Amazing episode. They could have made a whole season dedicated to the alternate reality and Vampire Willow. This episode made me wanting more. So much more.

2. The Wish: Amazing episode. The reason why I prefer Doppelgangland is because the alternate reality only kicks in after 15min. Side note, this may be the first time we see a demon walking about in the open which is a terrible idea and doesn't work.

3. Lovers Walk: The episode which turned Spike into a regular. "Do you have any of those little marshmallows?" Priceless. My only nitpick is that it retconned Cordelia into her season one character after this episode.

4. Earshot: Great story. Great speech. Great balance between humour and drama. But why are demons running around openly in the wild? They could have replaced the demons with something mystical.

5. The Zeppo: Great story and solid entertainment. Although, I feel that after this episode Xander becomes a bit pointless. I thought the point of this episode was to show that he wasn't pointless. Also, too many apocalypses throughout the show.

6. Graduation Day Pt 1 & Pt 2: How to end the High School years. Buffy and Faith's show down was amazing and the dream sequences are terrific. I think the idea of having the Mayor turn into a giant snake worked better on paper than what ended up on the screen. Ouch.

7. Revelations: Episode which advances the main story. Great story and the beginning of a great conflict. I do think Faith is under-utilised in the first half of the season.

8. Bad Girls/Consequences: Finally, I feel the main arc starts to kick in. It could have been improved by making Faith the Mayor's henchwoman all along. I understand why she turned dark but her alliance with the Mayor was forced into the story. You could tell the writers were making up a lot as they went along.

9. Helpless: Dark, entertaining, great villain, and yet makes no sense. The Watchers, including Giles, gamble with the Slayer's life? Seriously?

10. Choices: Episode which advances the main story. Entertaining but the Mayor's plan is really poorly planned. First, why is he only getting the box now. Hasn't he been planning his Ascension for like a hundred years? Second, that box had the worst protection ever.

11. Band Candy: Fun episode in which they bring back Ethan Rayne who was also in the sixth episode of season 2. Not on the same level as Halloween though.

12. Amends: I admire the direction more than the story. Do we ever really find out why Angel is back? And why did the First not do anything until season 7?

13. Faith Hope & Trick: Enter Faith who is awesome. Eliza Dushku's performance is first rate. One issue I have is that the vampires post season 2 were never that interesting. Isn't this show supposed to be about vampires?

14. Anne: Good opener but nothing special. Also we never deal with Buffy's return properly.

15. Homecoming: Enter the Mayor. The episode is entertaining but the story makes no sense. Why does Mr Trick do any of this? And more Faith please.

16. Beauty & The Beasts: Entertaining but doesn't stand out compared to what comes later. And more Faith please.

17. The Prom: Not a lot happens in this episode. The monsters were generic and I don't like the idea of everyone actually knew about the supernatural.

18. Gingerbread: Not the most interesting monster or entertaining episode.

19. Enemies: I still think this episode makes no sense. How did Giles and the demon collaborate? Was Angel informed about Faith's betrayal before she tried to turn him? A little more entertaining than Dead Man's Party though.

20. Dead Man's Party: This is the first bad episode of Buffy. I just found everyone annoying and I didn't like how Joyce's friend became the demon and then was just discarded. I wish I could skip this episode but it's necessary to the overall story.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

Occasionally, I am callous and strange 🐶
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
4,583
Location
midwest
Season 3 is the 2nd best season. First place goes to season 2 which has the best main arc, the best versions of the main characters, the best villains, the best overall tone and the most memorable monsters.

However season 2 wasn't perfect and some of its specific flaws are less present this season. Whereas season 2's monster of the week episodes (or story of the week as I like to call them) could sometimes be skipped, season 3 did feel more serialised and the story of the week episodes are amongst the best in the entire show. Where season 3 loses points, is how it handled its overall arc. A lot just doesn't work on paper and was probably given a pass because this was a 90 shows. I elaborate more in my comments for each episode below.

1. Doppelgangland: Amazing episode. They could have made a whole season dedicated to the alternate reality and Vampire Willow. This episode made me wanting more. So much more.
Amen! I had an idea for a season 6 redo with Vamp Willow & Spike as the semi-contentious big bads.
 

Doppelgangers

Townie
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
7
1. Doppelgangland: My favorite episode of all time. Alyson nails it from start to finish. Amazing how it all fits together so well. If they'd had Vampire Willow come back for every episode after this one, I wouldn't have minded.

2. Band Candy: Love Joyce & Giles getting together, and all the teachers acting like kids.

3. The Wish: Excellent episode. I love Vampire Xander and Willow. Wish we'd seen more of them - maybe even hanging out with Spike and Drusilla.

4. Graduation Day Pt 1 & Pt 2: Great end to the season. The Faith and Buffy showdown is excellent. I do wonder, though, why some kids wouldn't skip graduation if they knew a giant snake was going to try and eat everyone. I guess we're not supposed to think about that sort of stuff.

...

20. Dead Man's Party: I hated how this turned into a zombie fest, and not a very good one. I dislike how Willow, Xander, etc, treated Buffy in this. Right up there as one of the worst episodes ever.

I'll do the rest later.
 
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