Angel: Five by Five
(S01E18) Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies. -- Mohandas Gandhi
The best, most intense, angriest fight scene of Angel up to this point appears in this episode. It's between Angel and Faith, who . . .
I'm sorry, did you say 'Faith who?'. You remember Faith: she was the slayer who had a recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the third season. She arrived in Sunnydale to assist the Buffster in her slaying duties. Later on in the season we found out that Wesley was her Watcher (just as Giles was Buffy's Watcher). At first, she seemed like your standard fun-loving, wacky teen with superhuman powers. But, as the season went on she became a bit crazy, began working for the evil mayor of the town, and eventually got the crap beaten out of her by Buffy.
Back to the fight. See, Faith was in Los Angeles and . . .
I see you're confused again. You're probably wondering how Faith could be in L.A. after she was left in a coma at the end of Buffy's third season. Well, she got better. During the fourth season Faith confronted Buffy and eventually switched bodies with her. Buffy (in Faith's body) had a devil of a time getting back into her own body. By the time she did Faith had disappeared from Sunnydale. She ended up in the City of Angels.
Okay, to the fight again. It wasn't personal this time between Faith and Angel. This time she was working for . . .
There's that confused look again! Angel and Faith have a past, and not a pleasant one. Back in good old Sunnydale, Faith tried to poison Angel. This is when Buffy beat the crap out of Faith in an attempt to get the cure for Angel: the blood of a Slayer. Unfortunately, Faith ended up in a coma, so Buffy sacrificed herself to cure Angel, and she ended up in the hospital, and . . . oh, let's just get back to the fight!
So, this wasn't personal for Faith (or, not as personal). This was actually a paying job that she was doing for Wolfram & Hart, so she . . .
Yes, that Wolfram & Hart. The law firm that has harassed Angel throughout most of the first season. This was the first episode where we really began to get a feel for the firm that caters to plenty of non-human clients. When they found out that Faith was in town they didn't hesitate to make her an offer to help in getting rid of their biggest problem. Especially since she would be beating up on Angel in the process.
All right, the fight. It was intense. There was so much anger in it, so much insane rage on Faith's part. It was feral. Angel knew what it was all about and made sure to hold back to let Faith exhaust herself. And, when she did, the viewers saw not the disturbed slayer who was intent on hurting everyone, but a young girl who needed help.
This was an intense and disturbing episode.Eliza Dushku, who portrayed Faith, was downright scary this time around. The scene at the dance club, where she is fighting and dancing at the same time, showed the manic energy she had pent up inside her. Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley, had a strong performance this episode. After seeing him as a bit of a klutz this episode really showed that he was one tough bird while Faith was torturing him.
So, now that Faith is beaten and broken, what happens next? Well, you'll have to read the next episode review.