Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | June 9, 2014

The Angel Rewatch

Introducing The Angel Rewatch with William and Derek!

The Angel Rewatch

The Angel Rewatch

Download an introductory episode here

Or visit the Angel Rewatch site

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | May 14, 2014

The Buffy stats from Andrew from Tacoma

As promised here are Andrew’s selected Buffy stats:

SUNNDALE BODY COUNTS

Animals: 2 (the faux Razorback and the dog that gets eaten by the worm)
Random citizens:  64
Brits/tourists: 23
Initiative commandos: 7
Teachers: High school; 8 College 3
Students: High School 25, College 6, Swim team 4
Guns actually fired: 8
Bronze was attacked: 4 times
Body swaps: 2
Possessions: 6
Times people broke into a building: 9
Deaths by natural causes 2 (Cassie, Joyce)
Potentials: 13

MAIN CHARACTER COUNTS

Buffy:
Slays: 168 vamps/demons, 16 humans, 2 robots
Is thrown usually on her right side: 151 times
Uses Slayer strength/agility : 88 times
is Knocked out 9 times
Sneaks out a window 5 times
Gives bad advice: 3
Yells “Dawn!” 10
Cover ups: 35

Giles:
Takes glasses off: 250 times
Lectures or gives expostion: 49 but that is objective, by length he goes on, you could count it more
K’Oed  11 times
taken hostage or as bait 2
insults Americans: 7
cover ups 4
Slays 9 vamps and one Ben

Xander:
Slays 10 times and assists twice
K’Oed 16 times
Hostage twice
8 cover ups
Offers himself as sacrafice twice
Takes his shirt off 6 tmes

Willow:
Properly hacks:12 times
Slays 8
Taken hostage 6 times
K’oed 3
12 cover ups

Faith:
Kills two humans and 16 vamps
KOed twice
is thrown like Buffy 11 times
but her character throws or flips 14 people

Dawn:
SLays 3 by hand plus three using sunlight
Screams “Buffy!” 14 times
is shown as clumsy 5 times
4 cover ups
and is Koed, sneaks out and is captured 2 times each

Spike:
Kills 17 vamps
5 humans in 1-6
and 8 humans in season 7
Koed 3 times  knocks out Drusilla twice
Takes his shirt off 19 times

Drusilla kills 11
Riley slays 12  (and takes his shirt off 7 times)
Angel slays 3 vamps and 8 humans (Shirt off 12 times)
Anya Koed 4 times. Slays once and her humans actually come back to life
Andrew slays Jonathon and one Bringer and is mentioned as Tucker’s Brother/ what’s his name  7 times
Cordelia: slays once, captured 3 times used as bait twice and insults people 79 times
The Master only kills Buffy
The Mayor 3 people
The Judge one vamp (the mall people don’t die)
Mr. Trick 4 people
Adam 3 humans 2 vamps
Professor Walsh never slays
Harmony doesn’t kill on camera  Minions were turned off camera
Warren kills 2 humans
Darla 1 human 3 vamps
Glory kills 5  but makes 6 people crazy
Jonathan nearly dies 6 times and slays 2
Caleb kills three

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 29, 2014

Podcast #154: The Awards

Here’s the last podcast with all of your votes revealed for the Buffy Rewatch Awards.

Buffy the Class Protector

Buffy the Class Protector

Download: The Awards

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 21, 2014

Podcast #153: Final Feedback

Here’s the podcast with a discussion of each season of Buffy and all your final feedback.

A Buffy for all Seasons

A Buffy for all Seasons

Download: Final Feedback

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 28th April 2014 for the Awards podcast. VOTE NOW!!

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 14, 2014

Podcast #152: Drunk Band Candy (and Doppelgangland)

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 22 – Chosen

Joyce and handcuffs...the horror

Joyce and handcuffs…the horror

Download: Drunk Band Candy

And as a bonus (you be the judge if it is): Drunk Doppelgangland

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 21st April 2014 for the final feedback podcast for the whole of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

SEND IN YOUR FEEDBACK NOW!!

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

You can get your voice on the podcast by leaving a message on our voicemail 206-338-7832 (It’s a US number, so add 001 if you are elsewhere).

You can email an audio clip to thetvcritic@gmail.com

Or you can tweet us by following the links to our twitter on the right of the page.

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 11, 2014

A paper on Buffy from Angelique

Listener Angelique wanted to share this paper she wrote in college about Buffy.

 

Angelique C. Carter

2 April 2007

Prof. Yassmeen Abdulhamid

Pop Culture Icons-Final Draft

 

Formatia Trans Sicere Educatorum:

Enter All Ye Who Seek Knowledge

 

Vampires, witches, demons, apocalypses. These are not common, everyday household words unless you call Sunnydale, California home. That is something that Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Alexander (Xander) Harris, Rupert Giles, and many more characters created by Joss Whedon, know more than anything. For these characters, life has a completely different meaning and path. Many of their stories can be related to the works of philosophical thinkers such as Plato and Friedrich Nietzsche. They can be compared to historical movements, such as feminism and ideals such as eudaimonism; which is simply a system of ethics that evaluates action in terms of their capacity to produce happiness (Dictonary.com). The characters also serve as teachers for many young adults, without being obvious about it. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) is an important part of pop-culture because of its introduction of philosophical teachings that would not normally captivate the high school generation audience. For this reason, BtVS is a show that will continue to be studied as years pass. This is something that actress Julie Benz (Darla) agrees with. She stated during an interview during the season’s wrap-up party, “It’s going to be a show that will probably be studied in 25 years as what it meant to the world. I think it definitely has its place in history.”(BtVS DVD Series Season 7 Disc 6)

Buffy has taken many hits from Christian activists as evident in Jeff Pasley’s report “You Can’t Pin a Good Slayer Down: The Politics, If Any, of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel.” He illustrated many points that Christian activists had problems with. One of their arguments was in the Pilot episodes. Giles states, “This world is older than you know, and contrary to popular belief, it did not begin as a paradise.” This statement was seen as an anti-Christian cosmology. The most anti-Christian symbol in BtVS was Caleb, an agent of the First Evil (or the First); the main villain in Season 7. Caleb was a man of the church that continued to wear the uniform, even as he served the First.

Surprisingly, the biggest advocate for Christianity in BtVS was Sarah Michelle Gellar who played Buffy on the show. Gellar was quoted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly saying her show was “the most religious show out there! We’re more religious than 7th Heaven!” (Jensen 61). Television never saw a more in depth tie to Christianity than in Season 5 of BtVS. Buffy must sacrifice her life to save the world. When she jumps into a ball of energy that is destroying the world, and eventually kills her, she is positioned as Christ was when he was crucified on the cross. Her path that leads up to her dying, her position as she dies, her going to Heaven, and the resurrection in Season 6 all mirror the story of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. “Buffy’s struggle to understand and endure the divine sacrifice required of her cuts far closer to the heart of the Easter story than most of Hollywood’s explicitly biblical epics. There’s also no doubt that Buffy’s mysterious but powerful encounter with the divine is far more theologically correct than the weekly direct interventions that occurred…on Touched By An Angel…” (Pasley) Unfortunately, not even Sarah Michelle Gellar’s defense for the show will change the Christian conservatives’ viewpoints on it mainly because the denominations hold every word in the Bible to be fact and do not appreciate mixing the religion with magics and cults.

Despite the religious controversy, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer teaches us many important philosophical lessons that are otherwise uninteresting in a class room. When Joss Whedon created Buffy he had a particular path in mind for her. He said this best in an interview after the show’s final episode. “I always intended it to have the kind of impact on popular culture that it did. I wanted Buffy to be a pop-icon. I wanted her to be remembered. I wanted her to be in people’s interior lives. I wanted her to be a hero to kids.” (BtVS DVD Series Season 7 Disc 6) Whedon and his writers were successful. Buffy did become a hero to many people and her character and story were hard to look away from. Buffy is enticing to us because she is one of us. She is written as the one and only savior of our world, but at the end of the day she is just like the rest of us. She lives the way she wants to, normally (Seven Seasons of Buffy, 3). Though Buffy struggles throughout the entire first season, and some parts of the rest of the series, with her calling as a slayer, she always accepts what she must do. This makes her, for many, an idol that can be looked up to. Even young children can see that Buffy teaches life lessons as Nick and Olivia Ripper demonstrated in an essay that they wrote for a magazine called “Children’s Corner”. Buffy has taught them that the best people are the ones that act in the best interests of others and stand up for others. They admire that Buffy is a person that is independent and follows her heart. Although many children are scared at times when watching BtVS; and some episodes are restricted to an older audience, they are also learning that facing your fears and overcoming different obstacles is something that must be done in everyday life (Children’s Corner Ripper 127).

Buffy was labeled as a hero not just for kids, but for teenagers and adults as well. She teaches us how to deal with everyday problems and situations and leaves us thinking, “What would Buffy do?” (Pop Matters) Buffy as a hero and a teacher is seen not only in the fans of the show, but also in the characters as they progress from season to season. In the pilot episode of the fourth season, Buffy doubts whether or not she has what it takes to do her job as the Slayer anymore. She finally gets her courage back when Xander says to her “Let me tell you something, when it is dark and I’m all alone and I’m scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, ‘What would Buffy do?’ You’re my hero.” (BtVS 4.1) The heroes of Buffy, whether it is Buffy herself or another character, are “specifically set up as champions and users of traditional, nontechnological, uncommodified forms of knowledge and power. Buffy and her friends operate as an informed collective altruistically serving the common good.” (Pasley)

Approximately one dozen scholarly books have been written with their subject being BtVS and all of them touch on different types of philosophical view points and scholarly teachings (CTV News). One such book is called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. This book features different philosophical views from 25 authors. One author, Greg Forster, touches on how the works of Plato and Friedrich Nietzsche and the idea of eudaimonism are evident in BtVS; particularly between the characters Buffy and Faith. In eudaimonism, two premises are evident. “People will always do whatever they think will make them happy and it is therefore the job of moral theory to show that the morally good life is also the happiest” (BtVS and Philosophy, 10). Plato’s theory on the human soul and basis of happiness is best described from BtVS and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. He states that “…the human soul is divided into three separate parts: reason, the source of contemplation, logic, and judgment; spirit, the source of anger, courage, and pride; and the appetites, the source of almost all our wants and desires…the just person listens to the voice of reason and controls his appetites while an unjust person follows his appetites without control.” (BtVS and Philosophy, 12). Plato goes on to say that the balance between these three souls is very important because it keeps happiness and harmony in the body. The ‘just person’ lives in a state of happiness and balance because of the discipline and self-control established from being balanced in the souls. The ‘unjust person’ does not have this balance because his appetites are overpowering the spirit and reason. The constant battle between his three souls leaves him with a feeling of misery and is unable to have the restraint needed to have a happy life.

When Buffy drowned in Prophecy Girl in Season 1, a new slayer was called. The fact that Buffy was resuscitated only a few short minutes later did not undermine the fact that she had died, so another slayer had to be called. This slayer, Kendra, was killed in Bargaining, Part 2 in the second season. Due to Kendra’s death, a third slayer was called. Her name was Faith. Faith was introduced in the third episode of Season 3 entitled Faith, Hope, and Trick. Faith’s view on Slaying is that what she does is not a job or a duty, it is simply something to make her feel good and get her “juiced” (BtVS and Philosophy, 14). Faith outdid almost everything that Buffy did, from the female empowerment to the ability to gain the admiration of everyone around her. Jeffery Pasley describes Faith as someone who turns out to have too much of a good thing. “Physically and sexually more aggressive than Buffy and comfortable with her power and her warrior’s role (or so it seemed), Faith initially swept everyone in Sunnydale off their feet, only to prove unreliable and even dangerous in the long run. Filled with self-loathing, Faith had become a rogue Slayer by the end of Season 3 and began to amass a record of villainy that includes trying to torture a captured Buffy, nearly raping (and murdering) Xander, and beating and torturing her old Watcher, Wesley.” (Pasley/BtVS 3.3, 3.15, 3.15/Angel “Five By Five”)

In Season 4 of BtVS, Faith uses a magic spell to switch her body with Buffy’s and takes over Buffy’s life. As time moves on, Faith starts to see what she couldn’t before, that Buffy really is a true hero and she is content with herself, though she may not show it very often. This episode (BtVS 4.16) showed a conversation between Faith (in Buffy’s body) and Buffy’s mother, Joyce. Faith states (in defense of her way of life) “Maybe she is happy that way” to which Joyce replies “I will never believe that. I think she is very unhappy”. Faith does not understand what Joyce means by this until she realizes that Buffy really is a hero. Extra characters in the show force her to see that point. A young girl thanks her for saving her life in an alleyway; Riley (Buffy’s boyfriend) makes love to her and tells her he loves her. This freaks her out completely and she demands to know what he wants from her; meaning what he wants from Buffy. She reacts this way because she has never had sex for love, only for sex. These small ‘scenes’ of Faith’s life make her start to realize that she is not as happy as she thought she was. Faith’s acceptance of herself as a bad person; or the unjust person of the BtVS story; is best described by Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale:

 

Coming as it does after demonstrations of love and adoration Buffy inspires in her family and friends, and in those she protects, this finally forces Faith to confront a truth with deeply unpleasant consequences for her: Buffy has a better life. Buffy is happier. This realization forces Faith to acknowledge that her decision to turn to evil was wrong even on its own terms. That is, even if duty and abstract morality are set aside, it simply isn’t true that the evil life is more pleasant than the good life…Faith’s disgust with herself is reminiscent of another story from Plato’s Republic…Plato’s point in telling this story is that it is a key feature of morally good personalities that they are ashamed and angry with themselves when they do wrong.(BtVS and Philosophy, Greg Forster, 17&18)

 

Faith and other characters, such as Anya, Xander’s fiancée in the fifth and sixth seasons of BtVS, teach us that to be truly happy; we need to be happy with ourselves and with our decisions. Our own happiness, or sometimes lack of happiness, is the moral compass for our lives (BtVS and Philosophy, 19).

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is a teacher. Nancy Holder, a writer for the show, stated in an interview for the shows wrap up “We were trying to tell the great big story; the story of what it’s like to be human.” Holder, Whedon, and many other writers were successful in that. They were able to introduce philosophical teachings of Plato and Nietzsche into the show and they kept it entertaining as well. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’s story can be summed up with the following “Formatia trans sicere educatorum.” or “Enter, all ye who seek knowledge.”

 

Adams, Michael Slayer Slang: A Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Lexicon. Oxford University Press,

2003

 

Brin, David, et al. Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their

Favorite Television Show. Dallas: BenBella Books, April 2003

 

Jensen, Jeff “To Hell and Back” Entertainment Weekly 7 September 2001, 61

 

Ripper, Nick & Olivia Ripper Australian Screen Education Issue 23 (pg 127)

 

South, James B., et al. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy. Illinois, Carus Publishing

Company, 2003

 

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: The Television Series Seasons 1-7

 

http://jeff.pasleybrothers.com/writings/buffy.htm

 

http://popmatters.com/tv/reviews/b/030519-buffy-abernethy.shtml

 

 

 

 

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 8, 2014

Podcast #151: Chosen part 2: Feedback

The cast pose in their final scene

The cast pose in their final scene

Download: Chosen Feedback

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 14th April 2014 for the drunk episode of the Buffy Rewatch. Oh boy. Time to enjoy “Band Candy.”

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

You can get your voice on the podcast by leaving a message on our voicemail 206-338-7832 (It’s a US number, so add 001 if you are elsewhere).

You can email an audio clip to thetvcritic@gmail.com

Or you can tweet us by following the links to our twitter on the right of the page.

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 8, 2014

Podcast #150: Chosen

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 22 – Chosen

What do we do now?

What do we do now?

Download: Chosen

RSS Feed: The Buffy Rewatch

The next podcast will appear on Monday 14th April 2014 for the drunk episode of the Buffy Rewatch. Oh boy.

Comment on this post to get your views on the podcast.

You can get your voice on the podcast by leaving a message on our voicemail 206-338-7832 (It’s a US number, so add 001 if you are elsewhere).

You can email an audio clip to thetvcritic@gmail.com

Or you can tweet us by following the links to our twitter on the right of the page.

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 8, 2014

Robin’s Review – S7, E22 – Chosen

Synopsis: Angel drops off a necklace to be worn by an ensoulled champion. Buffy decides on a momentous plan to empower all Potential Slayers with her power. The next morning they occupy the school and open the portal. The Slayers, Potentials and Spike march down to take on the Turok-Han. Willow performs the spell and the Potentials become Slayers. The battle is going against the good side until Spike’s necklace lights up and Sunnydale begins to collapse around them. Anya dies battling Bringers. The rest escape as the Hellmouth closes for good.

The Good: There was a lot to like about the end of Buffy. Considering the poor job Season Seven had done setting it up I think it was about as good as it could have been.

The twin messages of female empowerment worked really well. Buffy concludes not just the Spuffy story but the Bangel one too with her cookie-dough speech. She isn’t done developing as a person. That’s why no relationship with a man has really stuck. Given all that poor Buffy Summers has been through, that was a bit of an understatement. But her conclusion felt like an entirely appropriate message to send out to female viewers. Unlike every other love story you’ll see on TV, this one isn’t about tragedy or a happy ending. It’s about understanding that you should be happy with who you are rather than looking to someone else for definition. Only a show that tells compelling stories can get away with a message aimed so squarely at its audience and thankfully Buffy has more than earned the right to underline it’s point of view.

Similarly the montage of young women being imbued with supernatural strength sent the message that women do have the strength in everyday life to be masters of their own destiny. The whole reason for the show is to underscore that idea so it felt ideal as the concluding science-fiction metaphor. It also tied up Willow’s season long angst as she taps into the power of goodness to such an extent that she goes white rather than black with magic.

Finally giving the Potentials the power to fight back and free Buffy from the responsibility of being “the one” was an ultra-happy ending. But again it felt earned after all the misery she’s suffered and the expectations for the Slayer which she has shattered. If she can conquer death then why not pass on her power now to all who can wield it. To see her standing, smiling, free of Sunnydale and her calling was a fine final shot.

The callbacks throughout were solid. It was nice to give us a repeat of Giles’ “doomed” line from the pilot and I smiled at Andrew mentioning bunnies around a scared Anya. Spike also gets to knock down the Sunnydale sign one last time.

Spike finally becoming a champion and giving his life for good was adequate. Without more build up I can’t say it hit the emotional moment it was going for. But it did again cross my mind that Buffy’s goodness rather than her strength had won this demon over to such an extent that he turned out to be the key to her salvation.

For the first time in what feels like ages I really liked Robin Wood here. The way he went all Principal on Faith and overcame her defensiveness and objectification of men was well played. It gave both characters an unexpectedly optimistic sendoff.

The Bad: The big moments would have been so much better if the preceding episodes had hinted at what was to come or what both sides needed to do. In retrospect you can see why the Scythe was so important and why the First was so determined to corrupt Spike. In both cases though it would have been nice to have more focus on them as key to winning the war. The fact that Angel drops off the amulet for Spike with the flimsiest of explanations was very unsatisfying.

More than that though I feel like Spike’s story didn’t really drive toward his heroic death. He got his soul back out of guilt and desire for Buffy and then spent the season being tormented or frustrated. It didn’t seem like he was looking for a role as a champion, it was moe that Buffy wanted that for him. I do see the long term significance of this story. Back in “Becoming” Spike saved the world to serve his own desires. Now he gives up everything to save it. But again more build up would have helped, perhaps more detail on the power of a restored soul could have made the Amulet seem less convenient.

Similarly we only found out here that the First can become corporeal once there are more Turok-Han on the Earth than people. That information could have been used to fuel the arguments between the Potentials and Scoobies rather than the vaguer and ultimately pointless questioning of Buffy’s leadership skills.

The use of the Turok-Han this season is a problem I’ve discussed before. Their strength is ambiguous to the point where I don’t have a problem with the En-Slayed Potentials holding their own for a while. But Buffy’s plan seems very foolish when you see thousands of them still advancing as the battle goes on. Buffy has no understanding of what the Amulet will do so it feels like she has simply delayed their inevitable slaughter rather than found a winning strategy. Maybe I missed it but it still felt like the First had no way of opening the portal with Caleb gone. If the point was that (as in “Prophecy Girl”) it was actually Buffy who was detstined to open the door then that too should have been worked into the story.

The idea that the Turok-Han were desperate to get out of the School and into the sewers was an idea which just about explains why they didn’t tear Robin, Giles, Andrew and Anya to pieces. But really, they should have done. Anya seems to have been killed by Bringers who randomly arrived on the scene.

Buffy’s wound didn’t seem to have any lasting effect on her once she stood up. I know she’s strong but shouldn’t that have slowed her down a little?

The Unknown: What do they do now?

Best Moment: The cut back to Buffy’s “Chosen” speech as the show comes full circle from “every generation a Slayer is born” to a whole generation being gifted all at once.

The Bottom Line: The good of this finale is that the message of Buffy the Vampire Slayer rang out loud and clear. It’s proudly a feminist show and the line where Buffy says “because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule” applies not just to Potentials and Slayers but to women’s lives everywhere.

The bad is pretty much everything that happened between this episode and “Conversations with Dead People.” It’s a real shame that the final season didn’t provide many highlights and wasted so many opportunities but it didn’t ruin the legacy of the show. The show still stands tall for its compelling super hero story and its ground breaking approach to storytelling.

If you’re watching Buffy after the modern TV era with its Lost or Breaking Bad then you may not fully appreciate what a force for change the show was. When it began shows didn’t have ongoing stories very often. They certainly didn’t show characters growing, changing and dying like they did here. Buffy broke a mould in more ways than one and I’ll be forever grateful for the way in which it showed me how great television could be.

67/100

Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 8, 2014

Cordia’s Review – S7, E22 – Chosen

Chosen
Season 7, Episode 22
Original airing: 5/20/2003

My Rating: 64

The Good: I liked this episode much more than it deserved. There are some serious logic issues, which there have been all season, but it did a good job of wrapping up several relationships and touching on the purpose of the whole show’s existence.

When Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out it was designed to basically celebrate the idea of the powerful girl. Wandering into a dark alley doesn’t make her a victim. It’s pretty obvious this episode is a love letter to that idea. Buffy literally slices Caleb open from the crotch up while Angel is incapacitated. Buffy “gifts” the potentials with their powers after pointing out Willow, a super powerful witch, is going to break a rule imposed on them by old men from centuries ago. The montage of potentials gaining their powers only shows women/girls who seem happy to be getting them and the image of the one girl standing up to an abuser was particularly powerful. So I think the show really hit this part out of the ballpark.

Along with this was Buffy’s discovery of her need to grow and develop as a person before she really can be in a fulfilling, long-lasting romantic relationship. I also liked that she’s able to be honest about her feelings with Angel and Spike. It seems a bit like she’s keeping them both on a string, but at the same time, I think she makes it pretty clear where she stands. So it’s up to them how much they want to hang around.

Anya’s death was well done. It’s quick and brutal, leaving the scene of her wide-eyed body to really bring it home. Xander’s necessarily brief search was rather heartwrenching.

I really liked the scene between Robin and Faith in the basement. He manipulated her rather excellently into looking at men in a slightly different light. I don’t really get why he’s so into her and willing to go through all this effort. Perhaps he’s just drawn to a challenge? Either way, I thought the dialogue was well done and the “prettier than thou” joke was great.

The biggest surprise for me was how much I liked Kennedy in this episode! She finally had the right words for Willow in the bedroom scene and she managed to admit she was a headstrong brat without it feeling out of character. I also really believed that despite herself, she would have taken Willow down during the spell if needed. Because that’s what Willow would have wanted.

I really liked the end of the episode (Robin’s fake death excluded). I started crying as soon as Dawn hoped out of the bus and hugged Buffy. I didn’t stop till the credits were rolling. It hit home to see our Scoobies looking out over the ruins of Sunnydale and Buffy’s wonderful little happy smile really sealed the deal.

The Bad: There are some pretty serious issues in this episode that I think could have been resolved if they had more time to be explained and introduced. The biggest left fielder is the amulet. But the silliness and morality questions surrounding The Plan were of a major concern to me.

But let’s start with the more minor issues. Robin’s fake death was really annoying. It wasn’t funny and I think in some ways it made Anya’s death less potent. Of course the series is going to end on a funny note, but I don’t think mocking death was a good way to go after all that intensity.

Angel’s appearance seems rushed and unnatural. He makes a lot of jokes and jumps to the Buffy and Spike relationship pretty quickly. He has no explanation for where he got the amulet or his information on the First. The jealousy he sparked in Spike last episode was commented on by the First and then completely ignored later. In the end, it felt like a wash. Why was he really there except as fan service?

The amulet Angel brings actually beats out the appearance of the scythe as ludicrous. Just last episode I was complaining about how the scythe felt like a huge bandage on the story and then we get something even MORE powerful from an even MORE obscure source with even LESS information on its abilities.

The worst part is how much of The Plan to prevent the end of the world depended on these two items and their abilities – which no one really knows. If one assumption had been flawed, everyone would have been screwed. Why does Buffy think the scythe is capable of activating the powers in the potentials? Why does she go into the Hellmouth with them before that activation takes effect? Why depend on the amulet to save them when they have no idea what it does and Spike points out it isn’t doing anything at first? What was Buffy’s real plan? It seems like it was – Welp, I hope the potentials get all strong and stuff and there’s enough of us. Otherwise we’re screwed. She had no way of knowing the amulet would wipe out all of the Turok-Han and close the Hellmouth.

I think if a bit more time had been dedicated to these objects and research about them, this would have felt more solid. Buffy decides to rush ahead with very limited knowledge and a lot of guess work. With Caleb dead, it didn’t seem like there was all that much of a timeline on the apocalypse.

I was disappointed to see how easily the Turok-Han overwhelmed all the new Slayers. It led to The Plan really feeling flawed when they made it upstairs. But I was even more annoyed to see how easily the humans upstairs were able to dispatch these monsters. The Turok-Han have been so reduced in power it makes the threat feel like even less. It also seems The Plan would have failed without the amulet, which makes it even more annoying that the amulet was just introduced and so important.

What I found most unsettling about it all though was the idea of forcing Slayer powers on all the potentials around the world. That’s fine for the ladies at the house who have some clue what it means. But all I could think of was the women who wouldn’t understand this power, might not want it, might abuse it or have someone else use them because of it, and a myriad other issues which could arise. Plus, Buffy made such a big stink about how unfair it was to do this to an unwilling woman in Get It Done (S7E15). She even references the obnoxious Shadow Men in this episode. Then she turns around and does the exact same thing. I think we’re meant to miss or ignore this in favor of the Woman Power message, but I just don’t think I can.

Logically related to this issue of imbuing potentials around the world is the question of the age discrepancies when every single potential at the house is early teens. Why then do we see middle-aged mothers and young girls also affected? The biggest question is why any of these women are still alive at all. Weren’t the Bringers hunting them all down and killing them? Were they only capable of finding the teenage potentials for some reason? It makes the First’s plan to wipe out the Slayer line look pretty stupid.

Favorite Moment: It’s beautiful to see the core four standing around before the battle, joking and mocking. I loved the tie in to the very beginning of the show with Giles line of the world being doomed. Lovely.

The Bottom Line: Despite major logic flaws and the lazy feeling generated by the introduction and subsequent importance of the scythe and the amulet, I liked this finale. In the end, it came full circle to the show’s ultimate point – women are powerful. It also had some wonderful character moments and ended with an excellent shot of Buffy. But I really think you have to be a fan of the show to appreciate the good parts of this episode. As an hour of television, it’s just not that good.

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