Synopsis: Faith returns! ...Again. She's out for Angel blood and our favorite evil lawyers are willing to pay her for it. Meanwhile, back in 19th century gypsy-land, Angel gets his soul.
Review: Spoiler Warning! Don't read this review if you haven't seen the episode.
Faith has always been one of my favorite characters, so any episode that focuses on her has an unfair advantage in my rating. Even so, I do think this is legitimately one of the best episodes so far in the season.
Almost as good as seeing Faith again is seeing more of Angel's background. It was interesting to see how he deals with suddenly having a conscience but still being a bloodthirsty demon. At first, this side plot seemed strangely irrelevant to the main story since we obviously already knew how everything would play out, but then I realized that the point was to show how much Angel can identify and sympathize with Faith even after she's tried to kill him twice.
For most of the episode, I was frustrated that Faith seemed to have forgotten everything that happened during her two-episode appearance on Buffy earlier in the season where she seemed to have regained her sense of right and wrong to some degree. Seeing her trying to kill Angel again made it seem like the writers had chosen to ignore that development. However, by the end of the episode, I realized that Faith had become suicidal in her self-loathing and really wanted Angel to kill her. This is evident in her inability to overpower him in a fight, which a slayer should be able to do. Also, she had plenty of opportunities to kill him before the fight, but did not take advantage of them.
The scene where Faith tortures Wesley was very powerful. My opinion of Wesley has been steadily climbing as this season has progressed. I am glad to see him given more chances to be a real person and not just comedic relief. Strong, angry, vengeful Wesley is much more fun to watch than clumsy, dorky Wesley.
The same scene also reveals much about Faith's character, and how it has changed since the last time she intended to torture someone. She appears to be enjoying Wesley's pain, but at the same time, she is trying to convince him and herself that her actions are the fault of others. She no longer believes that she is the good guy and is now trying to find excuses for her evil actions. Also, the brilliant scene where she drops the bloody shard of glass from the window suggests that she does not enjoy the torture as much as she pretends to. I give it a 9 out of 10.
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matt Pickle)