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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Graduation Day, Part One
March 18, 1999
3ABB21

 
Credits

Writer:
Joss Whedon


Director:
Joss Whedon


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Seth Green as Oz
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Eliza Dushku as Faith
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Cast:
Mercedes McNab as Harmony
Ethan Erickson as Percy West
James Lurie as Mr. Miller
Hal Robinson as Professor Lester Worth
John Rosenfeld as Vamp Lackey #2
Adrian Neil as Vamp Lackey #1

 
Synopsis

The Mayor prepares for his Ascension, as does the gang, with the help of Anya. In an effort to distract Buffy from the Ascension, Faith poisons Angel. When it turns out that the only cure is the blood of a Slayer, Buffy decides to sacrifice Faith. They fight, Buffy stabs her, and Faith jumps off the balcony rather than save Angel. She lands on a moving truck, and Buffy can only watch as she rides away, possibly dead.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Body Count

Professor Worth
Stabbed by Faith (courtesy of the Mayor) in his apartment.
Total: One
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Dialogue to Die For

Xander: "Yes, Men like sports. Men watch the action movie. They eat of the beef and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs and that's all you've learned?"

The Mayor (after Giles stabs him): "Whoa! Well, now, that was a little thoughtless. Violent outbursts like that ... in front of the children. You know Mr. Giles, they look to you to see how to behave."

Joyce: "You know, Buffy, looking back at everything that's happened, maybe I should have sent you to a different school."

Buffy: "I wish I could be a lot of things for you. A great student, a star athlete ... remotely normal. I'm not. But there is something I do that I can do better than anybody else in the world."

Angel: "Are you mad at me for being around too much or for not being around enough?"
Buffy: "Duh, yes!"

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Xander: "My number's coming up. And I was short! One more rotation, and I'm shipping stateside."

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References

  • Buffy: "The whole senior class has turned into the sixties. Or what I would have imagined the sixties would have been like, you know, without the war and the hairy armpits." — Buffy is referring to the stereotype sixties "flower children," who stressed peace, love, and understanding among people. Many of the women didn't shave their armpits. The war she's talking about is the Vietnam War.

    Siegfried and Roy

  • Willow (suggesting Commencement speakers): "Siegfried? Roy? One of the tigers?" — Siegfried and Roy (who call themselves "Masters of the Impossible") are famous magicians/illusionists/entertainers. They have been performing at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for years, and are probably most famous for their acts involving beautiful white tigers.

  • Buffy: "If the Mayor's trying to hide, I say we go seek." — Hide and seek is a game played by children in which a group of them hide and one tries to find them.

  • Xander: "Easier said than done, monarchy boy." — A reference to Wesley's Britishness, this time talking about the fact that his native country has a monarchy (form of government in which sovereignty is vested in a single person whose right to rule is generally hereditary and who is empowered to remain in office for life, though in England's case the monarch doesn't actually rule; the prime minister does).

    Jaws

  • Oz: "But you've got the swinging Habitrail going." — Habitrail is a maker of "environments" for small pets (usually hamsters or gerbils), consisting of plastic, tubes, and toys. The cage that Amy was in wasn't actually a Habitrail, but the tubing may have been.

  • Xander: "We're gonna need a bigger boat." — This is a rephrase of a line from Jaws, the 1975 horror movie about a great white shark (based on the book by Peter Benchley). The character of Brody, upon first seeing the shark, says "You're gonna need a bigger boat [to catch it]."

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Continuity

  • Doppelgängland — Percy thanks Willow for not kicking his ass again, like she did at the Bronze. Willow almost tells him that it was actually Evil Willow, her vampire Doppelgänger, who did that; but she decides against it.

  • Gingerbread — We see Amy in rat form; Willow has been unable to make her human again since Amy turned herself into a rat to avoid being burned at the stake.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • As Angel and Buffy start to argue in the street, he's holding the box with two hands. The camera moves to Buffy, but you can still see Angel at the edge of the shot, and he doesn't move. When it cuts back to him, though, he's holding the box with only one hand.

  • When Buffy tends to Angel in the library (after they realize he's been poisoned), the shots from the front of him show a lot of sweat on his face, but in the shots from the side, his face looks completely dry. It's possible, though, that this is due to the lighting.

  • It sounds as though Willow says that she can run a trace analysis and "see if it's a mystical poisoned" (which would be grammatically nonsensical).

  • When Faith and Buffy are fighting on the balcony, Faith falls on some cement or something and gets quite a bit of white dust on her butt. After she breaks out of the handcuffs, the white stuff is gone.
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Notes

  • This episode is James Lurie's fourth appearance as Mr. Miller.

  • The motto on the SHS yearbook is "The Future is Ours."

  • Buffy says that the Mayor will have a hundred helpless kids to feed on at graduation. That's a pretty small graduating class for a city with a UC school (see "Choices"), especially since SHS is the city's only high school. Perhaps she was underestimating.

  • There is/was a demon called Lohesh which is a four winged soul killer.

  • The Mayor apparently has a heightened sense of smell, assuming he meant literally that he could smell fear in the Scooby Gang.

  • If Amy ever becomes human again, will she have memories from her time as a rat (like the time she witnessed Willow and Oz having sex)?

  • Hearing Anya mention her car has us wondering where she lives and how she gets money. Perhaps that ugly guy compromised (since he wouldn't give her her powers back) and agreed to give her money. She could have a job, but it would be hard for a high school student to find one that pays enough to buy a car and pay rent, bills, etc...

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Music

Note: To cut down on bandwidth theft, sound files are password protected. After you click "Listen," just enter the username bg and the password 8rt at the prompt. If the password doesn't work, that probably means it's been changed; refresh/reload this page to get the new one.

  • Spectator Pump - "Sunday Mail" (From Styrofoam Archives, Trik Magic Records, 1998)
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Comments

Jeremy:
This episode was a bit disappointing. For the first part of a season finale, it wasn't great. That's not to say it was bad; I was just expecting more (kind of like the new Star Wars). The Faith and Buffy fight was good, but I liked the one in "Revelations" better. The story was also a bit dry; it seemed to just to want to tease us about the big face off against the mayor in the next episode. I hate to be bashing the show that we all love, because there were some great moments. During the scene with the mayor in the library, I was actually scared for the gang; I thought that he was going to end up killing Wesley or something! I must also commend Chris Beck for an outstanding score in this episode. I usually don't notice it, but in this episode it was so amazing I couldn't miss it. It's hard for me to give a low rating for an episode, but I'm sure next week's conclusion will make up for the lackluster part one.(6/10)
Jamie Marie:
I am not sold on this episode (sorry, Joss). The musical score was great, especially at the end. The fight scene was a great fight scene (stunt doubles aside — I wish they didn't have to use them). The development of Willow and Oz's relationship was great. Buffy cutting herself off from the council was great. But the biggest part of the episode was the whole Faith-killing thing, and it didn't sit well with me. It's not a moral thing (I know many people feel that Buffy is no longer on the moral highground, but I'm not one of them). It's something else, and I'm not even sure I can put it into words. For one thing, it looks as though next week Buffy will feed herself to Angel, and she obviously won't die — it's her show, after all. (Please note that that isn't a spoiler, it's my own speculation based on the preview.) So why couldn't they have done that with Faith? The whole gang could have caught her off guard and taken her without killing her, and then done their best to save her afterwards. But perhaps Joss thought the audience wouldn't be happy with that; perhaps he thought we desperately wanted a Buffy/Faith face-off. And I guess we did, but did we really want Buffy to shove a knife into her stomach? But, despite the fact that I'm having such a hard time explaining why I was unsatisfied with this development, it probably doesn't even matter; I personally don't think Faith is dead.(7.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
March 18, 1999 3.6 82 of 114
September 28, 1999 * 2.8 107 of 145 (tie)
March 27, 2000 1.6 112 of 139 (tie)
* Ratings for both GD1 and 2, aired together as a "movie."

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