Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | March 30, 2014

Podcast #149: End of Days

Here’s the podcast for Season 7, Episode 21 – End of Days

Where have you been all my life?

Where have you been all my life?

Download: End of Days

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The next podcast will appear on Monday 7th April 2014 for episode twenty two of Season Seven: “Chosen.” The final episode of Buffy.

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  1. I kind of know that you are going to rip Chosen to pieces on the next podcast – it has got lot of flaws, plot points that don’t make that much sense and more deus ex machina than you can poke a stick at. But still – it’s the last episode of Buffy….and it still leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Redistributing power among the potentials is a lovely concept – I like them pointing out that it’s bucking a tradition that’s been going for thousands of years. It echos the idea that we can change traditions in the real world if they don’t agree with our modern more liberal values, even if they are ancient.

    It was one of the few endings that could have given Buffy a chance at what she has always wanted – with hundreds of slayers she could now actually have a normal life – that’s why I think she seems so happy at the end.

    Obviously Willow was going to be the person to make it all happen and that tied up her story nicely. She finally manages to use powerful magic safely.

    Also Spike’s sacrifice is a great way to end his plot – from the big bad, to willingly give his own life to save others.

    So all great, well except:

    – Buffy illogically sending Angel away when she needs all the help she can get
    – The kill-all-evil amulet turning up out of the blue
    – Although previously just one ubervamp almost wiped out Buffy they can now be despatched by Giles with a sword
    – Why didn’t they wait until they were sure Willow’s spell had definitely worked before going down the hellmouth?
    – Complete disregard for the last scene in the previous episode with the First trying to upset Spike, also Spike and Buffy’s relationship is a bit confusing – I don’t believe two adults with a sexual past are going to carry on having just a cuddle so what’s going on?
    – Anya’s death lacks any emotion
    – Andrew generally
    – Poor special effects
    – References to tongue studs

    But apart from all that….

    • I actually really like the way the Buffy/Spike relationship plays out here. I think they leave it to the viewer to decide for himself if he thinks they had sex or not, and that’s why they fade to black in the second scene when Buffy enters the basement.

      • Don’t forget that Spike has special pants. They could be having sex all the time for all we know!

    • You felt no emotion from Anya’s death??? Really???

  2. I love this episode despite the fact that it has tons of narrative flaws.

    So, starting at the beginning and with the positive:
    Did Angel always have this personality and I just forgot that or is that something he picked up in his spin off?
    Even though his visit feels very short and rather unnessecary in the end, it’s still nice to see him here one last time and have him share a moment with Buffy.
    I loved the Dawson’s Creek reference, that was spot on, unlike the last one where I’m still not sure what Spike was talking about. Everybody loved Pacey.
    I also love the cookie analogy and am glad that for once a “teen show” doesn’t pretend that you’re done when you’re 20. That always bugs me.

    Why oh why are people on TV always slicing their palm when they need blood? That is one of the worst places to cut yourself, you need your hands, especially when you’re about to enter the hellmouth to fight.

    I love the solution Buffy comes up with, to share her power. She has always defied expectation and now they turn the entire premise on its head. Also, it’s a great montage. But: The girls in the montage are presumably potentials so why are they not on the hellmouth or dead? The bringers apparently didn’t do such a good job of destroying the slayer line.

    As far as series finale/ stop the apocolypse plans go, this is a pretty bad one, for various reasons.
    It needs too many dei ex machina: the scythe, Willow’s spell just randomly pops up out of nowhere, and the biggest and most convenient one: the amulet. They don’t even do any research on where it comes from or what it does, if it does anything. Maybe it’s going to kill them all, Angel didn’t want to wear it.
    The Turok-Hans are now easily killed by normal humans. And why do they have to block the school’s exits anyway when the sun is shining?
    They have no idea if Willow’s spell is going to work when they go into the hellmouth and even if it does, even 30 slayers could not win against this army of übervamps. They have no idea exactly what to expect down there.
    So, in the end they only win because the amulet does whatever it is that it does.
    This is probably just the tip of the iceberg, but somehow and rather surprisingly none of this shortens my enjoyment while I’m watching the episode, and maybe that’s just in part because my general series finale nostaglia is setting in, making everything seem rosier.

    • I thought I could offer some input on the blocking off the school exits: P. Wood specifically says that those three sites can lead to the sewers and into the city, that’s why they are blocking them. If the Vamps get into the sewers, there would be no stopping them.

      • Now that I think about it, given than Anya can kill two Turok-Han by herself, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal if a few dozen had escaped. It would have given Buffy a busy few weeks, but so what?

        That was generally a flaw in the plan. If the Turok Han were bad news, there was no way that Anya and Andrew or even Giles and Robin would be able to hold them, and if they were weak enough to be stopped by three pairs of normals, then letting a few escape would be bad but manageable.

    • I also think Buffy saying that it never really occured to her before that they could win this war is really interesting and I’ve been waiting for it. To me, at least, it explains a lot of her weird behavior over the season and especially all the great motivational speeches that seemed to come out of nowhere and did not fit the situation they were in, because she herself never really believed in what she was saying. So she just said and did what she thought the others wanted or needed her to say. At one point (I think it’s before the first big speech) Giles even says that they don’t have a plan, Buffy is the plan.
      So I kept this idea in the back of my mind and was therefore not overly irritated by her speeches.
      Maybe the line also further explains why she was so cut off especially from the potentials, to the extent that she apparently didn’t even learn their names. Because they’re all going to die anywhy, so why should she let herself care? That’s only gonna make it harder in the end.

  3. When I first watched this episode, I had the kind of reaction they were hoping for – the “hell yeah” reaction. But now that I stop to think about it, what is the difference between Willow’s spell and the one the Shadow Men used centuries ago? Either way, girls, some of them quite young, are imbued with demon power without their consent. Either way, they’ve just been conscripted into fighting for their survival and that of the world. Even if there are a hundred other new slayers, that’s a hundred out of 7 billion people. I don’t think that would help too much in their feeling of loneliness. Mostly I’m thinking of that little girl on the softball diamond. She has to grow up having these powers, either trying to keep them a secret or being whisked away for training like Kendra was. How would they explain that to her parents? Were we to forget that Buffy was expelled after fighting vampires in her old school? That the authority figures were always suspicious of her? That her powers put a strain on her family life? Buffy always just wanted to be normal. We’re supposed to assume that since she’s made peace with her power that all these other girls can and will? Or were we supposed to forget about Faith’s blood-lust and crime spree facilitated by her powers? Are we supposed to assume that all these new slayers are going to be honorable like Buffy? We’re supposed to think Kennedy and Rona would make good slayers? Really? Kennedy had a huge ego and power trip before she even had power. Remember how much she enjoyed calling the younger potentials names and bossing them around?

    Come to think of it, I’m remembering the tone the show took when Anya had given her speech when they kicked Buffy out. She said that Buffy didn’t earn her power, and the show seemed to be taking her side since everyone in the show seemed to be in agreement. Well, now they’ve just handed that power to perhaps hundreds of girls, some of whom I wouldn’t trust with a butter knife, and we’re supposed to feel triumphant?

    I really am a fan of this show. Just not this season…at all.

    • I kind of agree with you. The potentials at Buffy’s house made the choice, but the others didn’t. If being a slayer is such a burden then it’s not fair to change their lives like that. I guess you could look at being a slayer as a positive thing. It all plays out more in the comics and I think that they give them a choice to take back the powers.

    • But didn’t the gang say at the end that Buffy had to live like a normal person now, that she wasn’t the one and only any more? That to me says that the spell changes the course of a slayer, making it a gift, not a burden as it was for Buffy.

      I have to say that I do agree with you on the Rhona and Kennedy thing. I really don’t like the fact that someone with as much an “I’m better than everyone else” complex now actually has an “I’m better than everyone else” gift. Although, Rhona looked in pretty bad shape on the bus, so…fingers crossed 😉

      • I agree. I think the choice is not, do you want this power? But, what do you choose to do with it? They could have walked away and chosen not to fight. And because it’s not just the one slayer anymore, there’s no longer one girl who has to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders with more or less no choice if she wants to do it. These girls could theoretically ignore that part alltogether and choose to live a relatively normal life. And strength and confidence could be considered as a good thing.
        My only concern would also be what happens if a slayer goes bad.

  4. Firstly, thanks for a great podcast! It has always been insightful and enjoyable and a welcome relief in what has otherwise been a tough year.
    Onto Chosen; I think your criticism of season 7 in general has certainly been fair. For me though, despite the flaws, season 7, and Chosen in particular, at least manages to have a purpose and a way of ending the show that thematically brings it full circle. Considering the quality of previous climaxes such as Becoming and The Gift, Chosen to me allows the show to end in a way that provides a certain symmetrical closure, which may not have been executed as well as it could have been, but felt like a relevant way of ending it.

    Many other shows can drone on in their later seasons with no purpose at all and end up with a series finale that gives the series no sense of having a coherent beginning, middle and end.

    Chosen wraps things up in a way that completely flips the premise of the show and provides a sense of closure for the series and for Buffy’s character. Considering they actually killed off the lead character at the end of season 5 (which would arguably be the most explicit closure you could get from a final episode), I think it’s an accomplishment that they found a way to end season 7 which in many ways gives an even more fundamental sense of closure for the character’s arc through sharing her power, no longer being the chosen “one” and destroying the whole of Sunnydale for good measure. The execution may have its flaws, and I’m not saying it’s a better episode than the likes of The Gift, but it allowed me to come away satisfied and to feel like the show told a worthwhile 7 year story.

    A few thoughts on plot contrivances (e.g. the scythe, overly convenient and unexplained uses of magic); while I agree that these are issues, they don’t bother me nearly as much as on many other shows. This is because Buffy uses these devices as dramatic shorthand for the drama/humour etc. and doesn’t really spend much time asking the audience to be overly impressed by ingenious plotting or bizarre mysteries. It has other strengths and tends to keep the technobabble explanations vague enough that the big dramatic moments feel earned through the elements of writing which it is trying to impress you with (e.g. the characters, thematic and symbolic resonance, metaphor). Many other shows, Lost being a good example, can make such a conscious effort of trying to say “aren’t you impressed by my unexplained randomness and weird mysteries” that when the explanations never come, or are so arbitrary and disappointing when they do come that they are not worthy of all the build up and teasing, most of the dramatic impact is completely unearned because it’s been hiding behind mysteries which are nonsense or uninteresting instead of getting on with just telling a good and meaningful story. At least Buffy always wore its heart on its sleeve and generally knew the most important buttons to press so that the dramatic aspects felt earned.

    I would be interested to hear whether your disappointment in season 7 sours any of the earlier seasons for you, and whether your issues with it leave you feeling it would have been better if Buffy had been cancelled a season or two earlier? Was there enough good in it for you to feel it was at least a worthwhile part of the show?

    Final quick note on the music in Chosen – I thought it was excellent and really helped sell the epic-ness that it needed.

    Thanks again and I hope you find another podcast to do together 🙂

  5. Hey there!

    As a Buffy fan who just discovered your podcast a few months ago, I wanted to wait till the end of the series to make some comments, thus avoiding any spoilers for others, and now here we are!

    The finale: I find the series finale to be very effective, if not entirely well put together. Emotionally I feel like it works really well, and gives a fairly satisfying conclusion to the story, but at the same time there are a lot of elements that don’t make a lot of sense, primarily that I don’t even think at this point, the very last episode, we know what The First’s plan is. I don’t think I noticed how unerwritten/underconceived the First and its plan was until I listened to your podcast, and I feel like that’s because by season 7, one can be so into the characters that the evil they’re facing becomes secondary in concern. That said, The First is not handled very well over all.

    The second huge problem with the finale is what I like to call “Monster Movie Sequel Syndrome,” which is defined as: “the thing that happens when you bring back a super strong monster for a second round, and it’s either stronger, or there’s more than one, but not both, because that’s too hard.” I know all the girls are slayers now, but how the Uber-Vamps went from “Buffy almost being killed by one” to “Even Giles kills like three” is beyond me. If there were that many of them let loose at once, Buffy and co. wouldn’t stand a chance, unless they were conveniently powered down to be disposable, as they were in the finale.

    I feel like season 7 overall suffers from good ideas thrown together haphazardly. I like the Slayer mythology stuff, I like the idea of the scythe, and I even like the idea of the potentials (to a point), but I feel like all these things were written on the fly, and weren’t really worked out well beforehand, which probably was the case, as contrary to popular belief, most tv shows aren’t plotted far enough ahead that they have any idea how a season is going to end when it starts. This generally isn’t a huge deal, but when you start pulling out these big, over-arching ideas that alter the fabric of your core concept episodes before you end the series, or bring them up and just never really address them again, it makes for bad writing and shoddy planning. Like honestly, if they had just mentioned the idea of the scythe, or the idea of the female watchers, whose appearance is laughably ridiculous, at the beginning of the season, then implementing them so late in the game might not have seemed like writers scrambling to get out of corners.

    Another example of this is in the finale for season 6, where Evil Willow’s plan is to unearth that satanic temple or whatever to destroy the earth – that’s SORT OF a giant plot device that you’d think maybe would have been mentioned or something beforehand, instead of just conveniently supplying the gratuitous world-ending threat as needed.

    As for the potentials, I’m fine with the idea, I like you wish they had done more with them, and as for Kennedy, I don’t hate her character. LET ME EXPLAIN. I hate her in the show, but I actually really like the concept of her character, the girl who has been raised to expect to be a slayer, and is sort of pissed off that she isn’t one. I think that’s a pretty interesting idea, and wish they had more time to explore that, instead of just making her an even more annoying Willow cheerleader than Tara.

    As flawed as Season 7 is, however, I feel like its one great success, and possibly the one truly great success of the show overall, is Spike. I think Spike is easily THE BEST character in the whole Whedon-verse, and not just because he’s cool and a badass or whatever, he is the most clearly defined and fleshed out, and has the clearest character arch, even more so than Buffy herself. I mean at the end of the series, who in the principle cast has really changed THAT much? Willow? I guess, but I feel like a lot of her changes are sort of contrived and surface level, whereas Spike starts as one thing, and through his actions and the action of the story emerges forever changed on the other end, and that is the goal that all writers strive to arrive at effectively for any character.

    Now for random thoughts:

    I still think Graduation Day would have made a better series finale, even more so than The Gift, because Buffy’s logic in the Gift is a little…I don’t know, selfish? Yeah she sacrifices herself for her sister, but the last thing she tells her is that the hardest thing to do in the world is live in it….and then goes and kills herself. What kind of message is that really sending?

    I think Season 6, while having a great villain in Willow, is 22 episodes of the most depressing TV I’ve ever watched, and while I do understand the choices made by Whedon and co, there’s a lot of them I really don’t care for. Why EVERYONE needed to be miserable that season is beyond me, but whatever. I hated the Trio, I thought they were the worst villains of any season, and I absolutely hated when Warren shows up and shoots Buffy and Tara. Not because I loved Tara, I was glad to see her go, but because when a normal person shows up with a gun in Buffy, that’s bringing in a.) a real-world element that I really don’t think feels at home in Buffy’s universe and b.) really really really lazy writing. Guns are more often than not the laziest way a writer can manufacture tension or drama, and I really thought Buffy was above that.

    Why is Angelus the best villain by far? Well I think The First sort of helps define that: Angelus is the only villain who ever did anything threatening. Every other Buffy villain sort of slinked back in the shadows, not really doing anything worth mentioning, or having his/her minions do things while he/she waxed apocalyptic, but Angelus actually was out there in the field doing horrible things, and the fact that he had the emotional connection to Buffy made everything he did even more effective. I guess the Trio did things as well, but they were just so lame and so mischievious, whereas Angelus was the real deal, no joke. This is why (((SPOILERS FOR ANGEL))) when he comes back on Angel, he feels sort of silly and neutered, because he doesn’t actually do anything on that show. Angelus on full blast requires Angel to be killed, and they’re not gonna do that on his own show (((END SPOILERS)))

    I think if I were to recommend the series to someone who poo-poos it, I would say watch a couple first season episodes to get the idea, and then watch seasons 2 and 3, as they really are great TV, and so much more than the other shows that were on at the time. There are other great episodes outside of seasons 2 and 3 (such as my personal favorite Restless), but the Angelus stuff and the Faith/Mayor stuff is just playing on a different level, I think.

    I love the show as a whole, and have since it first aired, I’m sorry for talking your ear off, and thank you so much for dedicating so much time to this podcast, it’s been a blast. And please don’t follow it up with a Firefly podcast, because I hate that show.


  6. Alright time to flood this with links…sorry in advance lol.

    Buffy Season 7 “Movie” Trailer

    • Okay, so if you have any interest in the extended universe of Buffy with the proceeding comic storylines I will include a trailer for the “motion comic” for Season 8. It goes a little out there but I still found it enjoyable. It’s the methadone for my heroin addiction that is Buffy.

      Season 9 wrapped up a little while ago and they’re just starting Season 10. Also the season 9 Angel and Faith comic is great!

      • Okay, so you’re saddened that now the podcast is coming to an end too! Here’s 12 episodes of a short lived podcast that tackles a number of topics. Insightful and interesting. Take a listen to Buffycast.

      • The comics are pretty good, it gives me my Buffy fix. The first issue of Angel and Faith season 10 is out now. I don’t like everything they did in the comics but I like continuing the story. there’s also some good fanfic out there too.

    • Also how about the music in this last episode?! I think its really great.

      • Very true. I remember they use that battle music for the title screen on the dvd. I wish it was on the soundtrack, but it only goes up to season 5!

  7. Chosen
    It’s sad to see the show go. It may not be a great episode but it is the last. I like the conversation Buffy and Angel have with the cookie analogy. Anytime Angel acts petty and jealous I think it’s hilarious. I do like Spike’s drawing of Angel on the punching bag and Buffy’s joke about having them wrestle in oil. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m still unclear about Buffy and Spike’s relationship. She just made out with Angel but now she wants to cuddle with Spike?

    Ok so the First want’s to overrun the planet with demons so that it can become corporeal. So that’s it’s plan but what would happen if it does become corporeal? At this point I just don’t care about the First and want to get to the end battle. So last time Buffy got her ass kicked by the Turok Han and it took her two episodes to defeat it but now apparently anyone can fight the Turok Han.

    If there’s so much research to be done why are they sitting around playing Dungeons and Dragons? But I do like Giles line about he used to be a respectable watcher. The scene in the school with the core four I thought was nice, it reminded me of the last scene at the end of The Harvest both ending with Giles saying the Earth is doomed.

    Robin and Faith in the basement is supposed to set up a potential relationship between them. Why does he care so much about being with her though, other than his slayer mommy issues. I do like Faith’s hurt reaction when he says he’s prettier than her. His surprise to Faith at the end was kind of sweet and kind of not, cause I don’t care about them as a couple.

    Spike burning up was sad, and I like the scene with him and Buffy. Cassie did tell him that one day Buffy would say it to him. I like the final scene where Buffy doesn’t say anything she just takes it all in and everyone around her is talking about what to do next. No more sunnydale huh? I am curious since it’s gone if they knew or not? And whether or not they packed some stuff up to take with them. Like Buffy’s protector umbrella and that picture of her, Willow and Xander that she always looks at during apocalypses. Overall I don’t mind this episode I like the beginning and the end.

  8. Hey guys. It’s been awhile since I’ve left my comments on an episode, so I figured I’d jump in for the finale with just a few things I liked.

    -I love that Spike is the “champion” chosen to wear the amulet, and I love that he sacrifices himself. I also love that he once again manages to knock over the Sunnydale sign through his actions. Anya dying because she was protecting Andrew was also a nice symbolism of her character transformation throughout the show. Once an evil character, she has come full circle.

    -I love the callback to The Harvest, with the core four talking together before the battle, and Giles saying that the earth is doomed.

    -I think that Willow being able to bring out the powers of slayers all over the world is a testament to just how much her magic evolved over the series. I also appreciate the reference to Charmed when she says the spell.

    -Most of all, I love the soundtrack. The epic fight music is great, but what really gets me is the soft melody of the theme song that plays as the gang looks out over what was Sunnydale. If anything makes me cry, it’s that. Oh the nostalgia.

    Yes it’s true that there may be some flaws in this episode, but as a finale, it really is one of the best I have seen. As a fan, it left me satisfied, and I really couldn’t ask for much more than that.

    I also want to take the time to thank Robin and Cordia for doing this podcast. It is through you guys that I have come to know and love the world of television podcasting. I’ve actually started my own rewatch podcast for the show Charmed, and am loving every minute of it. If anyone is interested in checking it out, we’re currently only on youtube. I haven’t made it to the itunes world yet. Anyway, here’s a link to our first 9 episodes.

    Thanks again for this podcast guys!!

  9. This episode is probably one of my least favorite Buffy episodes and it is mostly because it is the finale and because it was written by Joss himself. Now I don’t hold Joss on a pedestal like many fans do. I hate him, but I do think he is a great writer and he has created some of my absolute favorite TV shows (Buffy being #1 on that list), which is why I still can’t believe this is what we got for the final hour of Buffy. Throughout all of Chosen I’m just saying to myself “that makes absolutely no sense” over and over and over again. Even from the very beginning, Angel was acting SO out of character, even if you have never seen an episode of Angel it’s still weird. When has Angel ever been THAT jolly on any episode of Buffy (besides when he was souless). It felt more like it was a scene between David Boreanaz and Buffy Summers.
    And if you have seen Angel up to this point in the series than it’s even worse. Angel pretty much lost everything that means that most to him at that point and was broken, so I understand why he would want to hold on to the one thing that he still has left in this world (I may hate Bangel with a fiery passion of a thousand suns but it’s canon so whatever), still the pep was too much. I wonder if the fact that they only had DB for 7 hours to shoot the entire scene had anything to do with his performance? This scene made me so made when I first watched it (still does). Being a huge fan of the Angel and Cordelia relationship it kind of felt like a huge slap in the face. I understand why it was done, so Joss wouldn’t have to listen to Bangel fans complain about how Bangel wasn’t endgame, doesn’t mean I like it. I wish we would have gotten some mention of Cordelia in this scene. Then again the show hasn’t mentioned her since season 5 so it might have been weird, but what about this first scene wasn’t weird.

    The scene where Buffy leads the potentials down into the Hellmouth is the point where I start thinking it’s a good thing Buffy is hoping to make all the potentials slayers, because she has officially lost it. Why wouldn’t you just wait for Willow to perform the spell then go. This isn’t Glory opening a portal, you’re not on a schedule Buffy! And Buffy turning all the potentials into slayers was just such a stupid move for many reasons. What if a slayer goes bad like Faith? What if a slayer becomes a vamp? Sure Buffy knew these girls and what they were like, but what about all the other girls from around the world. And speaking of the other girls from around the world, how come they are still alive and why aren’t they with Buffy? Did the Bringers just forget to go and kill them? Now I know Joss has stated that he was more interested in showing the empowerment than he was in the continuity but to me that just sounds like a cop out, which is what this episode was.

    I would have preferred Buffy to defeat the Ubervamp army with call-backs. A bunch of potentials could have used flamethrowers like they did in Graduation Day. Faith maybe could have used Olaf’s hammer from The Gift. Xander could have used the bazooka’s that they even mentioned in this season but didn’t think of using at any moment besides to try to kill Robin (it could have come in handy against Caleb, don’t you think?). And whatever happened to Willow’s sun spell from Triangle, it was never brought up again (besides in Chaos Bleeds, great game btw). It would have been cool if Willow had been working on a secret spell that could save them in these past few episodes and then when they are down in the Hellmouth Willow hits a bunch of the Ubervamps with sunlight. And if any of them happen to get past her you have Buffy with the scythe, Faith with the hammer and everybody else with flamethrowers, bazooka’s, and all sorts of weapons and traps. It would have been better if they had used the strengths they already had instead of making some up *cough*amulet *cough*.

    And am I the only one who hated Giles’ comment about there being another hellmouth in Cleveland. A lot of people say that this is a callback to The Wish, but in that episode they never say that there is a hellmouth there, just that there is a lot of vampire activity. There being another hellmouth just raises so many questions. Like who is stopping all of the apocalypses in Cleveland? Why wasn’t Buffy ever called to go to Cleveland to help avert an apocalypse like Kendra was in Becoming? Why would anyone try to open the Hellmouth in Sunnydale if they know the slayer is there? Why not just open the Cleveland one?

    What this episode did do well though, besides the awesome special effects, was that it felt like a goodbye episode(which is probably one of the reasons I don’t hate it as much as I would if it were any other episode) and it just made me want to rewatch the series over and over again.

    Other stuff I wanted to mention, you guys were wondering about the scythe and why they introduced it. The Fray comics (which is a great comic) came out way before this and they introduced the scythe there. I guess Joss liked it so much there that he thought it would be a nice way to tie the series and comics together (except he changed it from originally being all red).

    I haven’t read the S8 and After The Fall comics yet, but plan to one day. The more I read about the comics, the longer I put off reading them because they just sound SO terrible. I actually own the first three volumes of Season 8 and still haven’t read them. However, I have been reading a Buffy virtual continuation series for a while now called The Chosen and I highly recommend it to any Buffy fans. It feels so much like Buffy. It’s really great and it fixes a lot of the problems I’ve had with the series. And Season 5 of Angel isn’t canon in this series which just makes me love it even more.
    Another virtual series I’m planning on reading after I finish The Chosen is Watchers. From what I’ve read, this was the more popular virtual series, while The Chosen was the better one in quality.

  10. End of Days:

    I liked this episode a lot better on rewatch than I had expected. I think it benefitted from the show lowering expectations consistently since the potentials arrived, and from my good feelings towards BTVS as a whole, but I really enjoyed it and thought it was a good way for the show to go out. 78/100.

    The good:

    – I liked Angel and Spike. Yes, some of the humor was a little broad, and yes, it’s questionable to send Angel away, but I enjoyed the humor, and I buy the situation. Buffy and Angel will always love each other, and Buffy and Spike might be a couple one day, but for now, everybody accepts the place they’re in, which seems to be a step towards maturity. And I liked that Angel accepts Buffy’s decisions, both tactical and romantic, even if he doesn’t like them. They’ve come a long way from when Angel and Giles were telling Buffy what to do in Prophesy Girl. (And yes, Robin, it was very funny when Angel said “I’m not getting any older.”)

    – I liked the fight scene a lot. It was very effective, and passing the axe around was a nice metaphor for Buffy sharing her gifts with the next generation, but continuing to lead them. I did shed a tear when all the potentials got empowered, and it was great to see them all fighting.

    – Buffy and Spike’s goodbye was very effective. Did anyone else sing “Let It Burn” when they were holding hands? I’m not sure what it means, but I had a full on flashback to Buffy singing “I touch the fire, and it freezes me.” She’s come a long way.

    – It was great to see Buffy running on her tiny little legs one last time.

    The middle:

    – I’ve said before that a good episode can make me overlook plot holes. So, with that said:

    — Yes, it was ridiculous for the Turok-Han to be so weak that Anya could kill two with a sword, or even that newly empowered potentials could easily kill them when Buffy could barely kill one earlier in the season. I choose to assume that they sent their champion through when the hellmouth first opened, and that the footsoldiers aren’t much better than regular vampires.

    — Yes, Buffy’s plan was terrible. I choose to assume that when Giles called it “bloody brilliant,” she hadn’t yet explained the part where they would open the hellmouth before they were sure if Willow could empower the potentials, or the part where she would split up the Scoobies upstairs instead of just putting Faith and a couple potentials at the top of the hellmouth.

    The season overall.

    – Season seven is still a miserable failure, but I liked the last episode and the first few enough that I would have to think about whether this or four was the absolute worst. Probably seven is the worst, though.

    – Looking back, I think any of us could write a better story. There are a lot of great elements – the first as the incorporeal embodiment of evil, the rise of the potentials, Buffy maturing into an adult – but it felt like none of them paid off at all until now.

    Thanks for the podcast – it’s been a delight, and people will be enjoying it for years.

  11. Thanks so much for the podcast. It’s been great getting to rewatch with you guys. Chosen was a good episode but it did have some flaws. It feels like they were trying too hard to please everyone with Buffy keeping both Spike and Angel on a string. I liked the way she confessed to Angel that Spike was in her heart, but then that was all spoiled by her basically telling him to wait for her, some day she might be cookie dough. I loved the analogy. Typical Buffy humour. I enjoyed the Spuffy scene from the basement from Spike’s drawing of Angel on the punching bag, her reference to locking him and Angel up and Spike’s hopeless attempt at playing hard to get as well as Buffy giving him the amulet. In my humble opinion, I think he must have known that the end was nigh.
    The decision to give all the potentials the Slayer power was a very interesting idea, but how the hell did they know that Willow would be able to use the Scythe that way?
    I enjoyed the sight of Giles, Xander, Andrew and Amanda playing the game while Anya slept.
    Also, the fade to black scene with Spike and Buffy was perfectly unambiguous, leaving room for you to decide what happened.
    The fight scene was pretty amazing. Buffy finding the strength to stand up again after being stabbed was wonderful.
    I think Spike’s sacrifice was a perfect if heartbreaking way to end his redemption. What amazing acting in that scene when they clasped hands and it was beautifully shot. He looked almost angelic (no pun intended). Of course, Buffy telling him she loved him meant that Cassie was right after all. The whole Buffy running on the roof tops was a bit overdone I thought, but the Sunnydale sign falling in the abyss was a fun reminder of Spike’s entrance.

  12. Forgot to add this to my previous comment, but thank you guys so much for this great podcast. It’s my favorite and I’m sad to see it go. Can’t wait to see what show the two of you will be reviewing next once you wrap up this one!

  13. Great podcast guys. You both have excellent voices and interesting things to say. Good luck to you!

    My final comment on Chosen is that, while I hate a few things in it—– particularly the hypocrisy of showing Willow’s empowerment of the Potentials as an absolute good while sneering at the Shadow Men for doing exactly the same thing—– I still think that Chosen is a success, basically because the ending is certifiably epic.

    I’m even willing to forgive the fact that plot requires TWO seperate deus ex machinas to work. It’s as if the writers on Angel the Series came up with one artifact to give Angel a reason to show up in Sunnydale (the Amulet of Sunny Delight) and the writers on Buffy came up with another one (the Scythe of Female Empowerment) that exists to tie a bow around the series and make it about Feminism. Wheedon couldn’t bear to kill one of these two darlings, so had to awkwardly mash both of them into the finale.

    Despite these problems however, the fact remains that Spike’s sacrifice perfectly resolves the arc of the season. And it also shows again what Buffy’s greatest power is. It is not her strength or her skill. It is her ability to make and keep friends. Despite all the talk of the “Slayer fights alone”, in the end Buffy is greater than Faith or Kendra or Nikki Woods because she is the Slayer who does NOT fight alone.

    Also perfect: having the whole town of Sunnydale fall into a giant crater.

  14. Oops, technically, I guess the plural of “deus ex machina” is “di ex machinis”.

    I wouldn’t have bothered correcting it, but I though of Riley’s “need to know the plural of apocalyse” comment and I had to…..

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