How Buffy’s History Changed When Faith Joined Season 3


Faith’s addition to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in season 3 permanently changed the show. Faith’s appearance was a long time coming. After Buffy briefly dies at the end of season 1, a second Slayer is activated, Kendra. She only appears in a handful of episodes before being killed by Drusilla. In season 3, Faith is introduced as the Slayer replacing Kendra, and makes a big impression on the show’s history.


Faith is a recurring character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3, then goes on to appear in seasons 4 and 7. She also appears in several episodes of the Buffy spinoff, Angel, sticking around much longer than creator Joss Whedon originally intended. Though she’s a Slayer like Buffy, Faith is a very different person, and even teams up with season 3’s “Big Bad.” She’s a complex character who accidentally became vital to the fabric of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was introduced at the perfect time. The show would have been vastly different if Faith had appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1 or 2.

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Related: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Why Faith’s Original Plan Would’ve Been Much Worse


Faith Stops Buffy From Making Friends

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 Cast

Faith is the perfect foil to Buffy, and the two characters would have contrasted even more in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1. In the first season, Buffy is still learning how to be the Slayer and finding her place in Sunnydale. Faith’s presence, whether as a Slayer or not, would have caused her even more problems. Faith is always vying for Buffy’s leadership role, only finally getting it in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7. Had Faith shown up before Buffy was more established in Sunnydale, she might have been able to win over the “Scooby Gang” before Buffy could. Without all her friends at her side, Buffy would have died permanently at the hands of the Master, who would have then opened the Hellmouth and destroyed Sunnydale. Having loyal allies also would have turned Faith into a powerful force, for good or evil.

Faith Replaces Buffy Instead of Kendra

buffy vampire slayer faith kendra powerful

Faith could have easily been introduced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 as the next Slayer instead of Kendra. Faith would have taken Buffy’s place as a ruthless Slayer and leader to the “Scooby Gang” if the original Slayer had died in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1. Without Buffy, Faith would have caused the deaths of several innocent people. On the other hand, if Faith had become the Slayer and then Buffy was still revived, that would have made Faith even more upset. Either way, Faith would have ended up on an even worse path than the one she goes on in season 3, maybe even becoming a “Big Bad” herself.

Faith is Killed by Drusilla in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2

Drusilla and Kendra in Becoming Pt 1

However, Drusilla is the real villain of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2. Despite her ruthlessness, Faith may not have been able to fend off Drusilla. In order to kill Kendra, a powerful Slayer in her own right, Drusilla hypnotized her, preventing her from fighting back. Even Faith may not have been able to resist this, meaning she would have died in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2.

The Mayor Fails Sooner in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3

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Since Faith has the same powers as Buffy, she was the Mayor’s perfect spy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3. Had she died in season 2, his plans would have failed sooner. Faith stole, kidnapped, and killed for the Mayor, things he couldn’t always do himself. She was the only person who could go toe-to-toe with Buffy, although she ultimately lost in a fight against her fellow Slayer and ended up in a coma. Still, Faith was vital to the Mayor’s plan, and Buffy wasn’t able to defeat him until Faith was out of the way.

Related: One Buffy The Vampire Slayer Character Who Shares A Birthday With Buffy

Angelus Remains in Angel Season 4

Angelus on Buffy

After Faith and Buffy switch bodies in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4, Faith regrets her past actions more. In Angel season 1, she turns herself over to the police and goes to prison. There she remains until Angel season 4, when the titular character reverts to his soulless, evil form, Angelus. Wesley breaks Faith out of prison, so she can help defeat Angelus. She drugs herself and lets Angelus feed on her, causing the drug to enter his system and incapacitate him. The Angel team is then able to turn him back into Angel. Without a soul, Angel is one of the most dangerous creatures in the Buffy-verse. If Faith hadn’t been able to help, Angel might have stayed Angelus for much longer and caused serious damage.

The First Evil Wins in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Finale

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Caleb First Evil Buffy

When Faith returns to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in season 7, she has been in prison for several years, realized her wrongs, and matured. For the first time, people choose her over Buffy when all the potential Slayers decide they want her to lead them. While they eventually ask for Buffy’s guidance again, the two Slayers ultimately work together to defeat the First Evil and Caleb. Without Faith’s brief stint of leadership, even if it didn’t go so well, the potential Slayers probably would have faced more tragic ends. And without all of them, the First Evil would have won, destroying the Slayer line for good.

Buffy Lacks Character Growth

Buffy Vampire Slayer guilt

Faith’s biggest change to Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in Buffy herself. Faith challenges Buffy’s role as Slayer in a way no other character does. Many villains seek to destroy the power of the Slayer. Faith is in a unique position, having the same powers as Buffy, but still never living up to her. Buffy has, to Faith’s point of view, a perfect life. Faith, however, has suffered abuse and struggles to fit in. Though many Slayers appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Faith stands out because she offers a different perspective on Slayer life to both the audience and Buffy.

While Buffy’s life may have been easier without Faith, she grows a lot thanks to her. She empathizes with her, even after Faith does terrible things. The same is true for Faith, who may have ended up going down an even darker path without Buffy. If Faith had died before that character growth ever happened, or if she had never appeared at all, the character of Buffy and therefore all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have been worse off.

Next: What Faith Did After Buffy The Vampire Slayer Ended



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