Who Are You (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode)

Who Are You (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode)

Infobox Television episode
Title=Who Are You

Series=Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Airdate=February 29, 2000
Writer=Joss Whedon
Director=Joss Whedon
Episode list=List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes
Prev=This Year's Girl

"Who Are You" is the 16th episode of season 4 of the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".

Plot synopsis


Buffy, in Faith's body, is abducted by the Council's team and taken to a barn as her captors await instructions. Meanwhile Faith, in Buffy's body, gives herself a makeover and heads to the Bronze, where she has ruthless fun at the expense of Spike and Tara. Tara recognizes that something is wrong, and she and Willow perform a spell to find the real Buffy. Faith visits Riley and has sex with him while Buffy escapes the Watchers' Council retrieval team and heads back to Sunnydale in search of Giles and her friends. Faith and Buffy both decide to rescue a group of people in a church that has been attacked by vampires. Buffy and Faith then fight each other, and Buffy (with the help of Willow and Tara's magic) restores herself and Faith to their rightful bodies. Faith subsequently escapes from Sunnydale and Buffy discovers that Riley had slept with Faith during the body swap.

Expanded overview

::"NOTE: Buffy and Faith will be referred to by the character they are, rather than the body they're in."

Faith (in Buffy's body) stands by Joyce while Buffy (in Faith's body) is carried away in an ambulance. They discuss Faith, and Joyce notes how horribly unhappy Faith must be. After their conversation, Joyce hugs Faith, who is uncomfortable by this sudden affection. Afterwards, Faith goes upstairs to take a bath. She tries to get used to her new body, and practices phrases she thinks Buffy would say. Faith then crimps her hair, puts on sultry makeup, and gets dressed up in black leather. Soon after, she buys a plane ticket with Joyce's credit card, and then goes out to meet the gang. Meanwhile, Willow and Tara talk about Faith, and Tara confesses that she "belongs" to Willow.

An armored truck runs into the cop car carrying Buffy, and the leather-clad members of the Watcher's council jump out. They capture Buffy and put her in the back of their truck. Giles soon informs the gang that the Watcher's Council has sent a team to apprehend Faith and take her back to England. Faith is ecstatic at the news, and she celebrates by dancing with several men and women (concurrently) at the Bronze until she runs into Spike. Once she realizes who Spike is, Faith speaks to him seductively and teases him ruthlessly, telling him all the things she could do to his body; when it is obvious that Spike is confused, yet attracted to her, she concludes by telling him that she won't do anything she could do to Spike "... because it's wrong." Frustrated and furious, Spike promises that as soon as he gets his chip out, they will have a confrontation. Faith, however, merely smirks at Spike's threat, and walks away from him, and he storms out of the Bronze soon after.

Elsewhere, a vampire pack return to their nest to find Adam waiting for them. Adam talks to them, discussing things that vampires fear and concluding that vampires are a paradox; because they are immortal, they fear death at every corner even more than mortals do. Meanwhile, Buffy awakes to find herself chained in the back of a truck with the council members. She tries to convince them that her body has been switched with the other Slayer, but they are unfazed: she is merely a package for them to deliver. At the Bronze, Willow introduces Tara to Faith. When Willow goes to get drinks, Faith makes no effort to maintain Buffy's persona and says several rude, harsh things to Tara. Willow returns and points out a vampire with a girl, which Faith reluctantly leaves to slay. When the girl thanks Faith for saving her, Faith is stunned by the girl's gratitude.

One of the council members, Smith, enters the truck where Buffy is being held, and she attacks him. However, the other members, Collins and Weatherby, remain focused on the mission. At the Bronze, Tara explains to Willow that Buffy was not Buffy; Tara recognized the dark energy coming from the body, and knows that it is not Willow's friend. As Willow and Tara prepare to perform a ritual to locate Buffy's real energy, Faith visits Riley and seduces him in the guise of Buffy. At first, Faith is overly sexy and provocative; however, she is surprised to find that Riley is not interested in games, and that he wants to make love rather than just have sex. After they sleep together, Riley tells Faith that he loves her, which confuses and disturbs her own identity yet again. In the morning, she attempts to leave quickly from a sleeping Riley and catch her flight, but ends up having a confrontation with Forrest, who is concerned about her influence over his friend.

Adam speaks to the pack of vampires who have become his devout followers and tells them that he is aware of his purpose in life: to extinguish life wherever he finds it. He appoints them his harbingers and asks them what they fear more than anything else.

When the council members realize that they will not be able to get the dangerous Slayer to England, they decide to kill her instead. Buffy, however, is prepared; she uses Collins's gun to break her chains and the lock on the door, and then moves to the driver's seat and leaves with the armored truck.

Faith, meanwhile, now at the airport, prepares to leave town by obtaining a boarding pass for a plane. Buffy arrives at Giles's place and struggles to convince him of the truth about the body swap. She reminds him about his stint as a demon, and about his sexual relationship with her mother, which sufficiently convinces him of her true identity. Willow and Tara arrive, having created a katra that will switch Buffy and Faith back the next time they make contact. After turning on the TV, they learn that the group of vampires are holding hostages at a church. At the airport, Faith sees this on TV and decides to visit the church as well. Riley arrives, wanting to help, but Faith reminds him of his injury and asks him to stay outside.

Faith challenges the vampires inside, and as the last one is hitting Faith, Buffy stakes him from behind. The two Slayers fight and Faith lets out her anger towards Buffy and herself. Buffy grabs Faith's hand and the two switch back to their own bodies. The real Faith runs away and is gone without a trace. The next day, Buffy and Riley talk and Buffy realizes that Riley had sex with her while Faith was in her body, a revelation that deeply troubles them both. Faith leaves town in a cargo car of a train.



*Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers/Faith Lehane
*Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
*Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
*Marc Blucas as Riley Finn
*James Marsters as Spike
*Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles

Guest starring

*Emma Caulfield as Anya
*Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
*Amber Benson as Tara Maclay
*Leonard Roberts as Forrest Gates
*George Hertzberg as Adam
*Chet Grissom as Detective
*Alastair Duncan as Collins
*Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane/Buffy Summers (credited as Buffy)


*Rick Stear as Booke
*Jeff Ricketts as Weatherby
*Kevin Owers as Smith
*Amy Powell as Reporter
*Rick Scarry as Sargeant
*Jennifer S. Albright as Date


Gregory Stevenson, in "", finds it significant that Faith's moment where she "confesses the truth about herself and begins to experience the weight of moral responsibility" occurs in a church. [Citation
last =Stevenson
first =Gregory
title =Televised Morality: The Case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
publisher =University Press of America
year =2003
location =Oxford
url =http://books.google.com/books?id=r7spi5_StNIC&pg=PA134&ots=7Q3AWjsij1&dq=Buffy+the+Vampire+Slayer+glory+christian&sig=iYqmhwiM4ZQqyaz2xDLQBezEGlo#PPA16,M1
isbn = 0-7618-2833-8

In their book discussing existentialism in "Buffy", Richardson and Rabb argue that this episode and the previous (intended or not) explore the impact of - the outside view that causes a person to redefine themselves from the perspective of the Other. Faith can now literally see herself as Buffy sees her. When the real Buffy escapes from the Watchers’ Council and challenges Faith, the two fight, and Faith (in Buffy’s body) repeatedly punches her own face in a fit of self-loathing, shouting, "You’re nothing! Disgusting, murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting!" According to Richardson and Rabb, "Faith is finally seeing herself as Buffy sees her and is even harder on herself than Buffy has ever been." [Citation | last =Richardson | first =J. Michael | last2 =Rabb | first2 =J. Douglas | title =Buffy, Faith and Bad Faith: Choosing to be the Chosen One| journal =Slayage | volume =23 | year =2007 | url =http://slayageonline.com/essays/slayage23/Richardson_Rabb.htm | accessdate = 2007-07-26 ]

Production details


*Headland - "Sweet Charlotte Rose"
*Nerf Herder - "Vivian"
*The Cure - "Watching Me Fall"


* Italian title: "Chi sei?" ("Who are you?")
* German title: "Im Körper des Feindes" ("In body of the enemy")
* French title: "Une revenante, deuxième partie" ("A Ghost - Part 2"; "the word "Revenante" is a way of saying "ghost" typically used to talk about a person that has not been here for a while, on the contrary of "Fantôme" which often means "ghost" in a literal sense only")
* Spanish title: "¿Quién eres tú?" ("Who are you?")

Quotes and trivia

* Sarah Michelle Gellar cites this as one of her favorite episodes, saying that "Eliza was brilliant."Fact|date=November 2007
* The credits show "ELIZA DUSHKU as Buffy" (not Faith) as a special guest, so the credits reflect the exchange correctly.


Arc significance

*Crossover with "Angel": Faith ends up escaping to Los Angeles in "Five by Five".

*When Faith flirts and teases with Spike in Buffy's body, Spike clearly reveals some of the repressed lust he harbors for Buffy, foreshadowing their later relationship.

*Spike and Faith do not meet again until three years later, when the Slayer returns to Sunnydale as an ally against The First Evil. Faith reminds him of this conversation, and he clearly remembers it, noting that it is "not the kind of thing a man forgets."

*Faith (in Buffy's body) becomes the first person to recognize Willow and Tara's romantic relationship when she comments that Willow "isn't driving stick anymore." She is one of only two characters to recognize it without being told (the other being Spike.) Tara herself references it when she states that she is Willow's.

* This episode also contains the first explicit references stating that Tara and Willow are having a romantic relationship (previously all that had been given were "hints").

* Tara demonstrates her power, as she is the only one who recognizes that Buffy is not acting herself. She shows her magical knowledge, as she knows how to find out what is wrong.

*While Faith (in Buffy's body) is being punched by the vampire in the church, Buffy (in Faith's body) stakes the vampire from behind in the same way as Faith had done in Season 3's Bad Girls.

* When Buffy is "not herself" for some reason, she often appears with crimped hair, as she does in this episode while Faith is possessing her body. This also occurs noticeably in "Beer Bad," when Buffy becomes a prehistoric version of herself, and in "Something Blue" when Willow's spell causes her to become engaged to Spike.


*Stories that take place around the same time in the Buffyverse:

External links

* [http://www.buffyguide.com/episodes/whoareyou.shtml BuffyGuide.com]


* [http://www.soulfulspike.com/spikecentricity/WhoAreYouReview.htm Soulful Spike Society analysis of "Who Are You?"]


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