And it isn't bunnies.
So here's what we know:
- Buffy dies at the hands of the Master, but is brought back by Xander (ep 1.12)
- Kendra is called up from the bullpen, and shows up in Sunnydale (2.09)
- Kendra shuffles off this mortal coil (2.22)
- Faith arrives on the scene (3.03)
- Faith bucks the trend and continues to live, although stuck in a jail cell
- Buffy dies...again (5.22)
- Willow and the gang bring Buffy back (6.01 & 6.02)
Seems fairly clear cut. Everything that we know so far tells us that once Faith kicks it, one of the slayers-in-training (SIT) will take her place. Assuming, of course, there are any SITs at this point. And everything tells us that when Buffy dies...and stays dead...that's the end of that.
Or is it?
What if Buffy coming back permanently split her slayer lineage? Obviously, it wouldn't have been too noticeable between episodes 1.12 and 5.22, because Buffy was still alive for all of that. But suppose her second death brought forth another slayer?
But where is this extra slayer?
Good question. You would think that the Watchers' Council would have noticed another slayer pop up somewhere in the world. And that's true...if they were looking for one.
Think back to Buffy's "origins", as they were. Going by both the movie (which is never a terribly good idea) and, more importantly, episodes 2.21 and 2.22 (The Becoming), we get the impression that Buffy was actually the slayer for a while before anyone bothered to tell her. In both instances, her original watcher was trying desperately to find her, because he knew she had the power. It doesn't help that she wasn't in training like many other potential slayers, like Kendra, who was taken from her family at an early age.
And the Council, as knowledgeable as they were, never thought about the fact that the lineage could be split. So of course they never went around looking for another slayer once Buffy died the second time. Obviously, Faith is the "important" slayer, and they'll keep track of what happens to her.
So it is entirely possible that a new, third slayer has been walking around, full of slayery-goodness, without even knowing it. Hell, whomever was called after Buffy's second death could have been killed, and replaced...several times. It has been more than a year, and slayers don't exactly have a long shelf life.
Which leads me to this, from ep 7.04 (Help), which re-aired last night:
AMANDA: I'm glad you said that.
BUFFY: Well, it's true.
AMANDA: (quietly) Well, 'cause that's what I did. Stood up for myself. The other day after class? I jumped him in the parking lot and slammed his stupid-ass insecure face right into the pavement.
Hmmm...seems pretty strong for a skinny, awkward girl who seems to have issues even carrying herself around. And what do you know? Last week's show, Potential, reveals Amanda to be a SIT. However, she did fight the vampire as well as the Bringers with relative ease. Perhaps she is in fact the newest slayer.
But the witches council said there was a potential slayer in Sunnydale...not an actual slayer!
True. However, were they looking for a full-fledged slayer? Or just someone with the correct "signature"? Odds are they would have seen all of the potentials in the Summers house, as well as Buffy plus this new SIT/slayer.
Yeah, fairly far-fetched, but hey, it's not like Joss and crew haven't done anything far-fetched before. And really, with Buffy both dying and coming back twice, this opens up three slayer lines. But this might also shed some light on the freaky, inter-dimensional eye's cryptic talk about Buffy screwing things up by coming back.
Or I could be completely off my chump and grasping at straws. Amazing the sorts of things my brain will come up with while I'm at work.