The dynamic of the two characters is unique, and spellbinding. Faith is a girl whose superior abilities can't save her from her own human frailties and jealousies, and the Mayor is a squeaky-clean fascist nerd politician, who directs his vampire and demon minions to murder the masses while in the same breath admonishing them not to swear. The Mayor, oddly enough, genuinely loves Faith, as he would his own daughter - knowing full well that she is a violent psychopath, and fully exploiting the fact to their mutual advantage. Watching the two together has, simultaneously, the dark humor of an Addams Family episode and the fascination of an unpreventable train wreck. They make your skin crawl, and yet actually tug at your heartstrings in the very real love - however unholy it might be - they share for each other.
Faith's interaction with Buffy is equally compelling, each being the mirror image of the other. Buffy is the "favored sister," the beautiful blonde with all the advantages, and the dark, sensual Faith's jealousy at perceiving herself always on the outside of everyone's affections ultimately sends her into a fatal tailspin of murder, madness and betrayal. She wants to be like Buffy, but lacks the character and inner spirit - so she ends up trying to destroy her, instead. The climactic battle between the two, is - along with Buffy's second season duel to the death with Angelus - the most dramatic of the entire series.
While the entire cast is, as usual, witty, charming and loveable, this set is really a showcase for the talents of Dushku and Groener - playing the best pair of villains the series ever had to offer, and one of the most perversely fantastic odd couples ever to delight an audience.
While Faith was around for a good deal of Buffy's third season, the six episodes of the Slayer Chronicles represent the highlights of her and Buffy's relationship. "Bad Girls" shows Buffy and Faith at their closest, going on a demon-killing rampage--until Faith accidentally kills a human being, and shows little regret for doing so. "Consequences" deals with the, well, consequences of the accidental murder, and also brings Buffy face-to-face with the mayor's evil plans for Sunnydale. "Enemies" details Faith's attempts to seduce Angel away from Buffy, by stealing both his body (hubba hubba!) and his soul. The controversial "Earshot" (pulled from its initial broadcast due to its similarities to the Columbine massacre) is one of Buffy's best episodes ever, mixing pathos, humor, and suspense as Buffy develops the ability to read minds, and discovers someone is thinking very seriously about mass murder at Sunnydale High. The Slayer Chronicles' pièce de résistance, though, is the two-parter "Graduation Day," wherein Faith tries to kill Angel, and the students of Sunnydale High prepare to do battle with a mutated mayor and his army of demons. Aside from the series' exceptional writing and acting, what makes the Slayer Chronicles so compelling are the performances of the consistently excellent Gellar (as Buffy) and Dushku as the complicated Faith, a girl you truly love to hate. By the end of these episodes, Faith will have cast a spell on you that you'll find very hard to shake off. --Mark Englehart