Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Graduation Day (1)

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Graduation Day (1)
Graduation Day (1)
Season 3, Episode 21
Airdate May 18, 1999
Production Number 3ABB21
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
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Graduation Day (2)
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Three

Graduation Day (1) is the twenty-first episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the fifty-fifth episode overall.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Seth Green (Oz)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Harry Groener (The Mayor), Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Ethan Erickson (Percy West), Emma Caulfield (Anyanka), Eliza Dushku (Faith)

and Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder)

Co-Starring: James Lurie (Mr. Miller), Hal Robinson (Lester), Adrian Neil (Vamp Lackey #1), John Rosenfeld (Vamp Lackey #2)


Plot Overview

With the Ascension just around the corner, the Mayor works to close up any loose ends, including poisoning Angel to distract Buffy. The only cure leads Buffy to an inevitable face-off with Faith.


Monster of the Week

The final plans for the ascension are put in place by Mayor Wilkins and even more of the details about what exactly happens at an ascension are filled in by Anya, who witnessed one 800 years ago. According to her, the village was decimated within hours when someone became the embodiment of Lohesh. Only three people, she guesses, made it out alive. She also explains that Buffy has never faced a real demon before and a pure demon, which Wilkins intends to become, is much bigger and much stronger. They later discover that the Mayor plans to become Alvicon, a demon whose picture takes up three pages of one of Giles' books.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Prof. Lester Worth Faith Stabbed Office


  • "Sunday Mail" by Spectator Pump: The song that Faith is listening to before Buffy turns off her radio is "Sunday Mail" by Spectator Pump, an Oregon based pop punk band. The song appears on their independently released album Styrofoam Archives.

Arc Advancement


  • Watchers Council: Buffy disowns the Watchers Council and rejects them entirely because they refused to help her cure Angel. Giles backs up her decision to sever ties with the council, which is unsurprising considering that he was fired from active duty for being too close and fatherly with the slayer.


  • Angel: Angel is poisoned by something called the "killer of the dead", which cannot be reversed except by draining the blood of a Slayer. Buffy stabs Faith in hopes of using her blood for the cure, but she escapes after the mortal wound is dealt.


  • 3x16 - Doppelgangland: The evil Willow from Anya's alternate Wish reality was briefly transported to regular Sunnydale when Willow and Anya botched the spell that was meant to return Anya's powers. Evil Willow made her first public appearance at The Bronze, where she assaulted Percy when he got in her face about how she wasn't doing his homework.
Percy: ...And for not kicking my ass like you did at The Bronze.
  • 3x11 - Gingerbread: Amy turned herself into a rat to escape a mob of demon possessed witch hunters. She is unable to turn herself back and Willow has yet to find a cure on her own.
Willow: I can't even change poor Amy back into a person.
  • 3x19 - Choices: The knife that Buffy uses to stab Faith is the same knife that the Mayor gave Faith as a gift. She was forced the leave the knife behind when a security guard opened a box full of giant aggressive spiders and she threw it to kill one crawling on a wall.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "La Cérémonie, Première Partie" ("The Ceremony, Part One")
    • Italian: "La sfida - I parte" ("The Challenge - Part 1")
    • German: "Das Blut der Jägerin" ("The Blood of the Hunter")
    • Japanese: "卒業の日 パート1" ("Sotsugyō no Hi Pāto 1" - Graduation Day, Part 1")
    • Spanish: "El día de graduación" ("The Graduation Day")
  • Trailer: The first ever advertisement for Angel aired during the first broadcast of this episode. The four second trailer showed David Boreanaz turning to face the camera and the words "Angel. This Fall."

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Xander: Guess who our commencement speaker is?
Willow: Sigfreid?
Xander: No.
Willow: Roy?
Xander: No.
Willow: One of the tigers?
  • Wesley: Ah. By attempting to keep a valuable clue from us, the Mayor may have inadvertently led us right to it.
Buffy: What page are you on, Wes? 'Cause we already got there.
  • Giles: Faith has you at a disadvantage, Buffy.
Buffy: 'Cause I'm not crazy, or 'cause I don't kill people?
Giles: Both, actually.
  • Cordelia: What's her saga?
Xander: She's freaking.
Cordelia: About what?
Xander: The Mayor is gonna kill us all during graduation.
Cordelia: Oh. Are you gonna go to fifth period?
Xander: I'm thinking I might skip it.
Cordelia: Yeah, me, too.
  • Willow: No, it's great... if we want to make ferns invisible, or communicate with shrimp, I've got the goods right here.
Oz: Our lives are different than other people's.
  • Angel: (slips while entering doorway) Ow.
Buffy: Stealthy.
Angel: Not my best entrance. I think they were mopping in the halls.
  • Angel: Are you mad at me for being around too much or for not being around enough?
Buffy: Duh. Yes.
Angel: Which?
Buffy: What?
Angel: I don't get you.
Buffy: No, you don't. Not anymore.
Angel: Are you making this harder to make this easier on yourself?
Buffy: Can we stop with the brain teasers? I just wish it was over. Done.
  • Wesley: Buffy, they're very firm. We're talking about laws which have existed longer than civilisation.
Buffy: I'm talking about watching my lover die. I don't have a clue what you're talking about and I don't care.
  • Wesley: You can't turn your back on the Council.
Buffy: They're in England. I don't think they can tell which way my back is facing.
  • Xander: Come on, guys, the suspense is killing Angel.
  • Xander: Boy, it's a good thing no one ever wanted to check any of these books out, huh?
Giles: Yes, very convenient.
  • The Mayor: Mmm. My God, what a feeling. The power of these creatures. It suffuses my being. I can feel the changes begin. My organs are shifting, merging, making ready for the Ascension. Plus, these babies are high in fibre. And what's the fun of becoming an immortal demon if you're not regular, am I right?
  • The Mayor: We don't knock during dark rituals?