Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 3)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
season 3
File:Buffy Season (3).jpg
Region 1 Season 3 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel The WB
Original run September 29, 1998 (1998-09-29) – July 13, 1999 (1999-07-13)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 January 7, 2003 (2003-01-07)[1]
Region 2 October 29, 2001 (2001-10-29)
Season chronology
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List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

The third season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on September 29, 1998 on The WB Television Network and concluded its 22-episode season on July 13, 1999. It maintained its previous timeslot, airing Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET. Two episodes, "Earshot" and "Graduation Day, Part Two", were delayed in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre because of their content.[2]


After attempting to start a new life in Los Angeles, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) returns to Sunnydale in season three, and is reunited with her friends and her mother. Her criminal record is cleared but Principal Snyder, who took a vindictive pleasure in expelling Buffy refuses to have her reinstated, until he is told down by Giles. Angel (David Boreanaz) is resurrected due to unknown circumstances. While Buffy is happy to have Angel back, he seems to have lost much of his sanity in Hell. Buffy helps Angel recover but, having seen Angel's demonic side, Buffy's friends distrust him until he saves them from a monster.

Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) is fired from the Watchers' Council because he has developed a "father's love" for Buffy, and towards the end of the season Buffy announces that she will also no longer work for the Council. Early in the season she is confronted with an unstable Slayer, Faith (Eliza Dushku), who was activated after Kendra's death near the end of season two.

Angel, after getting his soul back, is once again tormented by his guilt and personally by an entity called the First Evil, who goads Angel into attempting suicide. Buffy prevents Angel from killing himself but he still feels heavy remorse for his past actions.

Although the First is still out there, the antagonist of the season is shown to be the affable Mayor Richard Wilkins (Harry Groener), who has plans to become an Olvikan, a giant snake-like demon, on Sunnydale High's Graduation Day — a goal he had in mind after gaining immortality through a Faustian bargain with demons when he originally founded Sunnydale. Said goal is to occur on the eclipse, where the Mayor has vampire lackey's backing him up.

Although Faith works with Buffy at first, after accidentally killing a human, Faith becomes irrational and sides with Mayor Wilkins, whose charismatic behavior influences Faith's dark side. She helps Wilkins in his plan, and eventually she poisons Angel. To save Angel, Buffy had to feed him the blood of a Slayer, so she picks Faith. In the fight that follows, Faith falls from her roof and into coma. Buffy is forced to let Angel drink from her, putting her in a brief coma. Wilkins, who had a fatherly affection for Faith gets angry and attempts to suffocate her, but is stopped by Angel. During her time in a coma, Buffy shares a comatose dream with Faith where they make peace.

At the climax of the season, Wilkins speaks at the graduation ceremony, as the time for his transformation has come and he finally morphs into Olvikan. He kills several people, including Principal Snyder. It turns out Buffy and her friends organized the graduating students to fight back against Wilkins, with Angel leading the fight against his minions. Buffy confronts the demon, taunting him about Faith. She lures the provoked Mayor into the library which was rigged with explosives. The explosion is set off, destroying Wilkins and his Olvikan form.

Meanwhile, Angel becomes convinced that Buffy's love for him will be bad for her in the long run; after the battle with the Mayor he leaves Sunnydale, leading to the spinoff series in Los Angeles.

Cast and characters

Main cast

Recurring cast


Series creator Joss Whedon served as executive producer and showrunner, and wrote and directed five episodes of the season including the season premiere and the two-part finale. David Greenwalt was promoted to executive producer, and wrote two episodes (including directing one of them) and directed another. Marti Noxon was promoted to co-producer and wrote five episodes. New additions in the third season included Jane Espenson, who served as executive story editor and wrote three episodes, including an episode originally pitched from Thania St. John (who receives story credit). Douglas Petrie joined as a story editor, later promoted to executive story editor midseason, and wrote three episodes. Dan Vebber joined as a staff writer and wrote two episodes. David Fury returned and freelanced two episodes. This was the last season for Greenwalt as a writer/director on the series, as he departed to be the showrunner for the spin-off series Angel. He would serve as consulting producer until the end of the sixth season.[3]

Joss Whedon directed the highest amount of episodes in the third season, directing five episodes. James A. Contner and James Whitmore, Jr. each directed four.


# Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
351 "Anne" Joss WhedonJoss WhedonSeptember 29, 1998 (1998-09-29)3ABB01
Still not knowing Buffy's whereabouts, the rest of the gang return to school and take over the slaying. Meanwhile Buffy, who is now living under an assumed identity, is recognized in a diner, and begins her fight to return home from the Netherworld she has fallen into. 
362 "Dead Man's Party" James Whitmore, Jr.Marti NoxonOctober 6, 1998 (1998-10-06)3ABB02
Buffy struggles to fit back into Sunnydale life. She feels her friends and family have grown distant while she was away. Meanwhile, a Nigerian demon mask summons an army of zombies straight to Buffy's house...where everyone is celebrating her arrival. 
373 "Faith, Hope & Trick" James A. ContnerDavid GreenwaltOctober 13, 1998 (1998-10-13)3ABB03
Another Slayer, Faith (Eliza Dushku), arrives in Sunnydale, closely tracked by two vampires, thoroughly modern Mr. Trick (K. Todd Freeman) and incredibly ancient Kakistos (Jeremy Roberts). Buffy and Faith set out to put an end to Kakistos. Buffy finally accepts Scott Hope's (Fab Filippo) invitation to date. 
384 "Beauty and the Beasts" James Whitmore, Jr.Marti NoxonOctober 20, 1998 (1998-10-20)3ABB04
After Oz escapes from his cage, everyone suspects that he committed last night's brutal murders. Only Buffy knows that Angel is a suspect as well. 
395 "Homecoming" David GreenwaltDavid GreenwaltNovember 3, 1998 (1998-11-03)3ABB05
Buffy and Cordelia compete for Homecoming Queen while Mr. Trick organizes SlayerFest '98. Willow and Xander kiss, although each is seeing someone else. Unknown to SlayerFest personnel, Cordelia changes places with Faith. Buffy and Cordy reconcile while trying to defeat Mr. Trick's contestants. 
406 "Band Candy" Michael LangeJane EspensonNovember 10, 1998 (1998-11-10)3ABB06
A candy created by Ethan Rayne (Robin Sachs) causes Sunnydale's adults to behave like teenagers. Buffy confronts Rayne and makes him tell her about a plan to sacrifice Sunnydale newborns to a monster in the sewers. 
417 "Revelations" James A. ContnerDouglas PetrieNovember 17, 1998 (1998-11-17)3ABB07
Faith's new Watcher, Gwendolyn Post (Serena Scott Thomas), arrives in Sunnydale. Xander discovers Buffy's secret and manipulates Faith into attempting to slay Angel, while Ms. Post is revealed to be more than meets the eye. 
428 "Lovers Walk" David SemelDan VebberNovember 24, 1998 (1998-11-24)3ABB08
A lovelorn Spike (James Marsters) returns and kidnaps Willow to cast a love spell on Drusilla. Stashing Willow and a wounded Xander at the factory, Spike soon concocts a new plan while Buffy, Oz, Giles, and Cordelia hunt their friends down. 
439 "The Wish" David GreenwaltMarti NoxonDecember 8, 1998 (1998-12-08)3ABB09
Cordelia's pain over Xander's betrayal summons Anyanka (Emma Caulfield), a vengeance demon who grants wishes to scorned women. Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, and constructs an alternate reality where the Master (Mark Metcalf) rose from the dead and the Harvest took over Sunnydale. Giles discovers this in the alternate reality and realizes he is able to reverse the events. 
4410 "Amends" Joss WhedonJoss WhedonDecember 15, 1998 (1998-12-15)3ABB10
The First Evil is driving Angel insane, appearing as victims of his past crimes, priming him to kill Buffy. Instead, he tries to kill himself. 
4511 "Gingerbread" James Whitmore, Jr.Story by: Thania St. John & Jane Espenson
Teleplay by: Jane Espenson
January 12, 1999 (1999-01-12)3ABB11
After two children are mysteriously killed, apparently as part of a cult sacrifice, Joyce (Kristine Sutherland) leads the town in a witch hunt - but all is not quite as it seems. Buffy, Willow, and Amy Madison (Elizabeth Anne Allen) are tied to stakes and Giles and Cordelia must rescue them, while Amy turns herself into a rat to escape the angry mob. 
4612 "Helpless" James A. ContnerDavid FuryJanuary 19, 1999 (1999-01-19)3ABB12
Giles secretly prepares Buffy for the Cruciamentum, an ordeal the Watchers' Council requires every Slayer endure on her eighteenth birthday. Giles helps Buffy, thereby affecting his job as a watcher. 
4713 "The Zeppo" James Whitmore, Jr.Dan VebberJanuary 26, 1999 (1999-01-26)3ABB13
Xander tries to be cool and hangs out with Jack O'Toole (Channon Roe), who resurrects three of his former buddies. Xander soon realizes they are up to something deadly and attempts to hide. Meanwhile, the others need to prevent the Sisterhood of Jhe from reopening the Hellmouth. 
4814 "Bad Girls" Michael LangeDouglas PetrieFebruary 9, 1999 (1999-02-09)3ABB14
The Slayers get a new Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Alexis Denisof). The girls are having a wild night at The Bronze, where Angel brings info on the whereabouts of the demon, Balthazar (Christian Clemenson). 
4915 "Consequences" Michael GershmanMarti NoxonFebruary 16, 1999 (1999-02-16)3ABB15
Faith tells Giles that Buffy is the one who slew the Deputy Mayor (Jack Plotnick). Angel apprehends Faith, but Wesley thwarts his intervention and allows Faith to escape. She plans to leave town on the next freighter. 
5016 "Doppelgangland" Joss WhedonJoss WhedonFebruary 23, 1999 (1999-02-23)3ABB16
Wanting to be a vengeance demon again, Anya tricks Willow into helping with a spell to retrieve her power center, the amulet Giles destroyed in an alternate reality ("The Wish"). Instead of the amulet, however, the spell transports Willow's vampire version to an unsuspecting Sunnydale. 
5117 "Enemies" David GrossmanDouglas PetrieMarch 16, 1999 (1999-03-16)3ABB17
The Mayor (Harry Groener) and Faith plot to use a demon to steal Angel's soul and let Angelus remove Buffy from the picture. 
5218 "Earshot" Regis KimbleJane EspensonSeptember 21, 1999 (1999-09-21)3ABB18
Buffy is infected by a demon's blood and gains the ability to read minds. At Sunnydale High, Buffy overhears someone through mind-reading making a violent death threat to the whole school. As she goes insane hearing everyone's thoughts all at once, Angel, Giles, and Wesley struggle to save her. 
5319 "Choices" James A. ContnerDavid FuryMay 4, 1999 (1999-05-04)3ABB19
When Wesley tells her she cannot leave Sunnydale to go to a fine college, Buffy launches an offensive to shut down the Mayor's plans for Ascension. Willow chooses among colleges while Xander plans a road trip. 
5420 "The Prom" David SolomonMarti NoxonMay 11, 1999 (1999-05-11)3ABB20
Angel decides to do the right thing and break up with Buffy. Meanwhile, Buffy has to save the prom from Hellhounds with a fetish for formal wear. Angel shows up for the last dance. 
5521 "Graduation Day (Part 1)" Joss WhedonJoss WhedonMay 18, 1999 (1999-05-18)3ABB21
While the Mayor prepares for his Ascension, Faith goes around "tying up" loose ends, one of those being Angel. Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow, and Buffy must battle Faith to save Angel's life, needing her Slayer blood as antidote. 
5622 "Graduation Day (Part 2)" Joss WhedonJoss WhedonJuly 13, 1999 (1999-07-13)3ABB22
Buffy forces Angel to feed on her to save his life and he must rush her to the hospital to save hers. The Mayor, as a guest speaker at Sunnydale, Ascends and becomes the demon Olvikan. Meanwhile, Faith remains in a coma, from which the doctors expect her never to wake. 


The series received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, for Outstanding Makeup for a Series for "The Zeppo" and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series for "Lovers Walk".[4]

The third season averaged 5.3 million viewers, which was its highest rated season.[5]

DVD release

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Third Season was released on DVD in region 1 on January 7, 2003[1] and in region 2 on October 29, 2001.[6] The DVD includes all 22 episodes on 6 discs presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Special features on the DVD include four commentary tracks—"Helpless" by writer David Fury, "Bad Girls" by writer Doug Petrie, "Consequences" by director Michael Gershman and "Earshot" by writer Jane Espenson. Writers Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, and Doug Petrie discuss the episodes "Bad Girls", "Consequences", "Enemies", "Earshot", and "Graduation Day, Part One" in interviews. Scripts for "Faith, Hope & Trick", "Band Candy", "Lovers Walk", and "The Wish" are included. Featurettes include, "Special Effects", "Wardrobe", "Weapons", which all detail the title subjects; "Buffy Speak", which details the language and dialogue used on the show; and "Season 3 Overview", a 20-minute featurette where cast and crew members discuss the season. Also included are cast biographies and photo galleries.[7]


External links

  • List of Internet Movie Database
  • List of TV.com
  • List of BuffyGuide.com
  • at epguides.com

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