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Thank You, Joss (Beware - All spoilers all the time) -- Jane, 22:08:29 05/20/03 Tue

"Are you ready to be strong?"

Maybe it was because I wasn't the slightest bit spoiled for this episode, or because I was half expecting it to be a bit of a let down, or just because I'm feeling all nostalgic all of a sudden, but I loved this episode.

I loved that Buffy, after hoisting around this heavy burden of slayerdom and constantly feeling so alone in the battle for seven years, finally and truly took control of her destiny by sharing that power. In true Jossian fashion, the show takes its central conceit - "into each generation one is born" - and turns it completely on its head.

And I loved that Willow, frequently described as Buffy's spirit on a metaphorical level, was the key to all these girls around the globe realizing and actualizing their power.

But the big empowerment anthem stuff aside, what's always kept me hooked on this show? The little moments. And there were plenty of priceless little moments to be had here:

Wood to Faith: "Oh please. I'm so much prettier than you are." I concur.

Wigged-out Willow facing the burden of her power:

Kennedy: "I'll keep you grounded"
Willow: If this goes wrong, "you might have to keep me stab-ded..."

"You know Buffy: Sweet girl, not that bright."

"You ready to (insert hysterical mini-laugh here) kill me?"

Andrew's "I'd like to thank the Academy" speech.

Giles, Andrew, Xander and Amanda getting in a last pre-apocalypse game of D&D. And, really, who -could- sleep on potentially the last night of their lives? Cut to Anya snoring and the sweet look on Xander's face when he answers "Only the crazy ones."

The Core Four back in Hellmouth High preparing for one last apocalypse with one last round of Buffy-banter recalling the end of "Welcome to the Hellmouth."

Willow collapsing after basically risking everything and changing the world. "That was nifty" indeed.

Dawn: "You destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side."

The "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign taking its final creaky bow and falling into the sealed Hellmouthy sinkhole.

And Joss definitely brought the sad. Alas, poor Anya. A heroic end for our favorite little 1,000-plus year old ex-vengeance demon. "That's my girl. Always doing the stupid thing."

Maybe it wasn't the most poetic, most perfect, most powerful episode of Buffy I've ever seen. Nope, but they already did "Restless" and "Hush" and "The Body." But did it feel like the exact right way to end the series? For me it did.

With everything that all the characters had gone through on the Hellmouth, it truly did feel like another graduation day with the Core Four and company looking over the sealed Hellmouth. Looking forward to a new world, or a first chance at a "normal" life, but also looking back. Remembering those who didn't make it. Anya, Spike, Buffy's mom, Tara. I could almost hear good old Oz.

"Guys, let's take a moment to deal with this. We survived."
"It was one hell of a battle."
"Not the battle."

[> I concur!! -- Kate, 22:13:20 05/20/03 Tue

[> [> Did anyone else burst into a chorus of "where do we go from here" at the end? -- Meh, 23:26:54 05/20/03 Tue

[> [> [> My CD player's had it on 'repeat' for the last hour! -- Tyreseus, 02:16:10 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Thank You, Joss (Beware - All spoilers all the time) -- Indri, 22:37:26 05/20/03 Tue

I loved that Buffy, after hoisting around this heavy burden of slayerdom and constantly feeling so alone in the battle for seven years, finally and truly took control of her destiny by sharing that power. In true Jossian fashion, the show takes its central conceit - "into each generation one is born" - and turns it completely on its head.

The central conflict in BtVS has always been Buffy's desire to be a normal girl and her sense of isolation in being gifted. For the finale, this had to be resolved without Buffy either dying or choosing to be stripped of her power.

So Buffy redefined "normal" instead.

Works for me.

[> [> Re: Thank You, Joss (Beware - All spoilers all the time) -- BMF, 23:00:28 05/20/03 Tue

I'm not so sure Buffy redefined normal as much as returned the world, er, Buffyverse, to normal. The implication is strong that the solitary Slayer existed due to the Watchers, and that before them any girl who could be a Slayer, was. At least that's how I would interpret the Guardian's words to Buffy in the tomb.

[> [> All spoilers! PERFECT! -- Briar, 23:29:14 05/20/03 Tue

I had so been dreading this ep... I was as spoiled as you can get.

I knew about the "sharing the power" and that Spike would end up toast. I also knew that Anya was going and Buffy didn't die....

But NOTHING prepared me for the brilliance of this ending episode.

The one thing that Joss and Marti have always brought to the show is hope against loss of all hope. They have done it in perverse and evil ways at times - but it's always there in the mix.

And the ending of the series was beyond perfect with the smile Buffy ended on showing that she's finally set the timer to start baking those cookies she alluded to, or at least got 'em onto the pans.*S*

This was a Joss and Company's best episode for leaving the audience (MOO) with exacly what was needed: some tears, lots to laugh about, some of the best dialog since season 3 and wanting MORE.

There was no "end" even with the Sunnydale Hellmouth closed for business indefinitely - there's always Chicago anyway. There was no major, all encompassing closure, just the original Scoobies (plus a few) that will carry on older and wiser and ready to seek a little needed vaca.

Wow! There is no reason for Buffy boards to close - this show could be discussed for decades with all the layers woven into it. And there will be future things to speculate on with the fact that it was left open to ponder, especially with Angel having more storyline to come soon enough.

I'm toasted. It was such a great way for them to go out that I am all mellow and satisfied now. Usually that only happens with great sex.*L But in a way, that was exactly what this was.... a 7 year foreplay for an emotionally satisfying climax.

[> [> [> Cleveland, not Chicago! -- lost_bracelet, 00:55:00 05/21/03 Wed

And having attended the high school located directly over the Cleveland Hellmouth, I wholeheartedly agree. Cleveland should be next to go all canyon-y.

[> [> [> [> Good catch! Thanks. I had a bothersome non-fan curbing my joy tonight. -- Briar (grrrr-arghhhh), 01:50:48 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> Amazing- Spoilers for Chosen and Casting Spoiler for AtS -- Wizard, 01:15:12 05/21/03 Wed

I, too, came into this spoiled. Damn, but I wish I didn't. I knew everything, and it still surprised me. Seeing it really is different from watching it.

I smiled at the Angel/Buffy scene. It was, in many ways, the perfect reencapsulation (sp- if it's even a word) of their relationship. They parted on good terms- and once again, it was because of duty. Never together, never apart- the story of their lives. I never quite caught the full significance of the cookie dough metaphor until I saw the look on Angel's face when she brought it up. I thought that a cake would have been a better metaphor, but then, when I actually saw it, I remembered IWRY and the cookie-dough ice cream. Hearing Buffy bring it up must have been a little wrenching, given the full context of the sitch. And I loved how Buffy never said that she would one day end up with Angel or that she never would. She never thought that far ahead- but... sometimes she did. "Sometimes is enough." The story of their love.

The Buffy/Dawn scene was wonderful. Buffy handled that well, and poor Xander! No wonder he wanted to stay out of it. Bringing me to the only dissatisfying bit in the whole episode- Xander should have had a part in Caleb's defeat. Like whacking him with a wrecking ball- that would have been good. The boy had the right, and more. Oh, well. A minor quibble at best.

The Spike/Buffy scene after was just great. After all the verbal barbs (and does anyone else think Buffy would enjoy seeing Angel and Spike wrestle? With oil? LOL), we were treated to more trust and platonic love. And then we got a last look at Caleb, and a revelation of the First's plan (about time!).

And then the Scoobies were back! The scene was right out of Graduation Day- a bit of doubt about the craziness, but Giles supporting it fully. With a few words, the Giles we know and love finally came back to Sunnydale.

Faith/Robin. After Dirty Girls, I thought that Spike/Faith (Fike? Spaith?) would be an awesome couple. Faith/Spike didn't change that, but... I dunno, maybe it was Joss' writing, but they seemed more... relaxed. Like maybe there was more to them than just hormones. When Robin talked about showing Faith about the world, I believed him. Too bad we're not getting a Faith show- he doesn't have a home, she definitely doesn't- wandering the world, fighting evil and undergoing self-discovery... coulda been good. Still can.

The Willow/Kennedy scene was good. I haven't gotten into Kennedy like I got into Oz or Tara (you know what I mean!), but just then, they worked. Maybe it was Kennedy's admission that she's a brat that helped, but can you imagine what we would have seen if Willow had to ask Oz to kill her?

We finally see Dungeons and Dragons on Buffy! Yay! Uh... why was Andrew wearing the hood? Giles' snarking and Amanda's smugness were nice touches, as was the Xander/Anya bit. Who didn't smile (even if you knew... especially if you knew... what was to come).

I enjoyed the last tour of Sunnydale High, and the resulting preparations. Nothing had the emotional impact of seeing the Core Four (and just the Core Four) together that one last time. We took a time travel trip right back to The Harvest, showing us how far these four people, these four pieces of a greater whole, have come. "The earth is definitely doomed." Joss, my man!

I don't know where to begin next. They entered the Hellmouth itself! The one thing we've been waiting for them to do, and they did it! Buffy's constant reassurances that she wasn't frightened, the look on everybody's faces when they saw the Uber-Army, the moment when the army charged... even as they wished they took Xander's advice, so did I!

And then the spell. Willow saved the day. She conquered her fear of her power, and then she changed the world. "Oh. My. Goddess!" Joss, you took the words right out of my mouth (and most everybody elses, too). That was nifty.

And then the flashback, where Buffy unveils the plan. She didn't tell the Potentials what to do- she gave them a choice. For the first time, when it really mattered, a Potential was given a choice. That is huge. And the montage! I don't know if I'd have put the scared girl at bat in the beginning and the end. I'd have put- and just hear me out- the girl getting hit first, then the girl at bat second, then the girl smiling second last, and closed with the girl standing up to her father last. I don't know why,but that little bit, more than anything, really illuminated the full magnitude of what Buffy had done. Forget the scales of good and evil for a moment- Buffy (and Willow) empowered that girl, and God only knows how many like her, and that nameless girl and all the Potentials like her will never have to take any of that shit ever again.

And the fight scene! "These guys are dust." Not shouted, or overly emphasized, but spoken as a fact- a happy fact, but a fact. And they were dust! The invincible Turok-Han, who gave all of those people the chills, got an their asses kicked!

And bot just by Spike and the Slayers. Everybody got their licks in. And continuing the grand theme of empowerment, Anya faced her fears (sort of). "Bunnies. Floppy, hoppy bunnies." She didn't freak. She didn't get angry at Andrew. She became firm, resolute, and utterly kick-ass. Seriously- didn't she look like she got hit by that Slayer-Wave for a minute?

Kennedy, the oldest recently-ex-SiT, bringing the Scythe to Buffy felt right, somehow. And come on- who didn't enjoy her "I could get used to this"? And then Buffy got stabbed! No- Joss wouldn't, would he? And while Buffy was down, we got a look at the Slayers that fell- there were at least two of them. RIP, Amanda. You will be missed- Jenny, Joyce, Tara, Jonathan, make a place her feel welcome, please?

And then, of course, fortunes shifted. Even as Xander and Dawn helped fry the Ubers, they were hit by another wave. Robin was stabbed in the stomach. And Anya!

I knew this would happen. Many of us expected it, and we were certainly given enough hints- the speech, the general lack of direction since Selfless, Andrew's assertion that she'd live... we were given enough hints by ME standards. But I can still see her face, and that cut through her chest... RIP, Anya. In the end, you were as human as anyone I've ever seen, and I mean that in the absolute best possible sense. You will be missed.

But even after the despair, we were treated to something beautiful. If Buffy hadn't made it clear before, she did now- Faith is worthy, as a Slayer, and as a person. Handing the scythe over to her clearest replacement, former-enemy, and (I think) new friend was... mythic.

You'd think the First Evil would learn. Rubbing salt in the wound only makes Buffy mad, and she wins when she's mad. The look on the First's face when Buffy got up- who didn't smile? And the way she got the Scythe back, and proceeded to kick ass, knocking three Ubers over the ledge? Awesome. Simply awesome.

And Spike with the medallion? Spike saved the world. For the first time, he saved the world. The gradual evacuation of everybody to the bus, leaving Spike and Buffy, made sense in that this was about those two. The sexes joined in perfect harmony to save the world. Please don't flame me for it, but that epitomized feminism, as I understand it: the unity and equality of the genders. Seperately, they are at best limited. Together, they are unstoppable. Buffy and Spike, and to a lesser extent Angel and Willow, saved the world. Two women, and two men, and in a fashion, all of the Scoobies and Slayers, living and dead, because even though we didn't see them, they were there in spirit. Cassie's prophecies were fulfilled- Buffy did tell Spike, and Buffy did make a difference. Too bad Spike didn't believe it- or maybe, he could see that she did mean it, but not in the way he wanted. That final scene with JM... laughing as he sacrificed his life to save the world... damn, but the man better win an Emmy for this season! I would say RIP, but if he is going to appear in AtS, his story isn't over. A vampire with a soul who was also a Champion played a major role in the apocalypse. In the course of his fight, did he shanshu? There was a reason Spike and Angel didn't meet. If he shanshued... I don't even want to go into the ramifications of what that might mean right now.

Buffy jumping on top of houses to get to the bus was good, but the real action was inside. The wounded Robin driving as fast as he could, Vi tending the dying Rona, Dawn frantically looking for Buffy, Xander doing the same for Anya even though he rationally knew she was dead, Andrew's "Why didn't I die?" Great stuff.

And those last scenes! Spike knocking the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign over one last time! LOL!!! Xander was proud of Anya, and able to keep it together enough to provide a small measure of comfort to Andrew. The Faith/Robin bit in the bus. "Surprise." Snicker. And the last scene, with all the major Scoobies (Faith taking Anya's spot) standing, looking at the ruins, with Andrew and (I think) Kennedy in the background, talking and laughing... it reminded me of the end of Graduation Day, except without the denoument stuff. I half expected somebody to half-quote Oz. And the final shot with Buffy smiling, when the screen went black, followed by Joss and Marti's names coming after an unusually long pause? Perfect. So was the Mutant Enemy itself! I couldn't help laughing. It was a little thing, but like "Oh I need a hug," the cap-and-diploma, and the musical "Grr! Argh!," it was just perfect.

BtVS is over. AtS continues. Fire bad. Tree pretty. That's where I am right now. Anybody else feel the same?

[> [> [> [> With you on the - "fire bad. tree pretty." feelings Wizard.*S* -- Briar - coming down slowly, 01:59:51 05/21/03 Wed

[> Most definitely a 10 !!!!!! -- Artemis, 23:04:33 05/20/03 Tue

[> Re: Thank You, Joss (Beware - All spoilers all the time) -- Rina, 09:23:51 05/21/03 Wed

When VOYAGER ended its run, two years ago, less than five minutes had passed before I started crying.

When BUFFY ended its run, last night, I got a little teary-eyed - twice - during the last episode. Then about 90 minutes later, I found myself thinking about "Chosen" . . . and started crying again. Several hours later, again I cried a little. In fact, I've been crying on and off since last night. Which is amazing for a show that I've only been watching since last January (including the reruns on the FX Channel).

I understand about the Slayers, now. And why it wasn't that important that Buffy's resurrection had not upset the Slayer line. What she did was created something new. Instead of one Slayer, there are now Slayers all over the world. Something that should have been done from the beginning. But a part of me suspect that the reason Buffy's idea never came to fruition in the past is that the Watchers - from the Shadowmen of long ago, to the now defunct Watchers' Council - have used the one Slayer system to maintain control. No longer. Now it will be the Slayers who are in control. This was something Giles had difficulty dealing with during his clashes with Buffy, earlier in the season. But after her success against Caleb, I think he finally understood.

As for Angel, Buffy and Spike - well, I saw it coming a mile away. Did anyone notice Buffy's body language while she was talking with Angel? Although she was warm and affectionate with him, her body was screaming for him to go away. Not in a negative way, mind you. I think she realized that she wanted more than just to revisit the past. At the moment, Spike is gone. Dead. But considering he will resurect and become a regular character on ANGEL, next season, it will be interesting to see how he and Angel will deal with the after affects of this finale.

By the way - thumbs up to Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Geller and Company! Great job!

My goddess! It must be a Joss episode. (beaucoup spoilers for series finale "Chosen") -- Jay - with a post 7 years in the making, 22:42:27 05/20/03 Tue

You know me, not much for damseling.

I've got coverage on the whole thing. Very gripping, needs a third act.

You have to leave LA.

He had to split.

I'm getting the brush off for Captain Peroxide.

Are you going to come here and go all Dawson on me every time I have a boyfriend?

Because, I'm cookie dough.

Then, you know, if I want someone to e?

I'm not getting any older.

Dumb ass.

Don't look at me, this is a Summer's thing, it's all very violent.

There's a party in my eye socket, and everyone's invited.

Sometimes I shouldn't say words.

Most people don't use their tongues to say hello, or, I guess they do, but...

He wears lifts you know

Ooh, there could be oil of some kind involved.

I'm not gonna just let you whack me back and forth like a rubber ball. (Masturbation joke here somewhere.)

I'm drowning in footwear. Weird dream.

It's a total loss of control, and not in a nice, wholesome "my girlfriend has a pierced tongue" kind of way.

Oh!?! "Pierced tongue."

Come, let's go assemble the cannon fodder.

I'm Sorry if it seemed like I was blowing you off the other day. I was just, you know, trying to blow you off.

Oh, please, I am so much prettier than you are. Oh, and, uh, for the record, our little encounter didn't exactly change my world.

And you're, you're very, umm, enthused. And I think with a little more experience...

No, the hell with that, we're going again, baby. You're gonna learn some respect here, pal.

No way you're prettier than me.

A little bit, yeah.

You know, Buffy: sweet girl, not that bright.

Could it get uglier? I use to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. I just wish I could sleep.

Welcome to Sunnydale High. There's no running in the halls, no yelling, no gum chewing. Apart from that there's only one rule: if they move, kill them.

If you have to go to the bathroom, it's to your left. If you don't have to go to the bathroom, picture what you're about to face. Better to go now.

Yes, we will defend it with his very life.

And don't be afraid to use him as a human shield.

Good. Yes. Thanks.

So, what do you guys want to do tomorrow?

The earth is definitely doomed.

Are you ready to be strong?

These guys are dust.

That was nifty.

Bunnies! Floppy, hoppy, bunnies.

I want you to get out of my face.

Oh bollocks!

I wanna see how it ends.

I don't understand. Who did this?


She was incredible. She died saving my life.

That's my girl. Always doing the stupid thing.

We made it. We won.


There's another one in Cleveland. Not to spoil the moment.

We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side.

Yeah Buffy, what are we gonna do now?

[> Thanks, Jay. Many fine lines here. Makes me smile. -- Indri, 23:11:51 05/20/03 Tue

[> A writer's critique -- Spoilers for Buffy finale and casting spoiler fo Angel S5 -- VampRiley, 06:57:04 05/21/03 Wed


She stabs Caleb and they kiss passionately. I can understand that that's used to make Spike go away, to make him made, but it keeps leading me back to my "Buffy is just plain mean" theory. Spike was more deserving of a kiss like that, even if she didn't love him, than Angel ever was. Later, she even saystheir relationship wasn't good. Her "dreaming" of a life far ahead with Angel keeps leading me back to my "Buffy is just stupid" theory. She no longer wants to be cookie dough. She wants to be a baked cookie. She's never gonna be that way until she moves on from Angel. Based on Buffy and Angel's storis so far, they'r not gonna get together anytime soon.


Dawn kicks Buffy in the shin. And I get Jossed again! Damn it!


I liked their scene up until Spike says that he his "having pride speech" was just a smokescreen. Brings me back to the Spike of S6. The Spike I didn't like. I thought that during this season, he would have learned to have had some osrt of self-worth And I thought he did. What made me think that was when Spike spent the night with Buffy. They're conversation afterwards was good, but I never saw him stopping her from leaving the basement. I'm usually okay with the way any of the writers have written the characters, with a few exception (especially with Spike). He's still in his "I don't care much what you do to me or how you treat me. Just as long as I get to be with you in the end" phase. He had more pride before he fell in with Buffy. I'm not blaming Buffy for Spike's "failure". He's is repsonsible. And this goes beyond my theory of vampires being natural masochists.
This is just plain idiocy and self-loathing.

Robin's speech to Faith

About their encounter, her "enthusiasm" with his thumbs up, how he's prettier than her. I really liked this part.

Activating all slayers

Still not sure how I feel about this.

D&D scene

I thought it was funny.

Andrew's speech.

Very nice. I liked it.

Giles line after the trio leaves him

No surprise here

Showing the ubervamps and their cavern

With their running to the others, it looked good.

Anya's death

As well as being a Willow man, I'm an Anya man. Didn't like it.

Spike's dusting

There had just better be a very good explanation given for this in Angel.

The town caving in

I found this to be way overkill. Whatever happened to the ball of sunshine spell Willow and Tara were thinking of making?

Faith presumption that the hellmouth was "offically closed for business"

Based on what? There's nothing in this ep or any other that gives any indication this would be so. Chances are, the hellmouth is still around, under the crater that was Sunnydale. Yeah, it's now buried, but it was buried before. There's just less space down there to move around. And it's just rock and dirt, like what's always been there. How long do they honestly think it'll be before evil demons are able to push their way through?

Overall, I'm disappointed in this episode.


[> [> The Ball of Sunshine (Spoilers for Chosen and Scooby-Doo) -- Darby, 07:31:15 05/21/03 Wed

I predicted a while ago that therein lay a possible way of taking out the Ubervamps in their lair. Little did I know that, instead of building on their own mythology, the BtVS folks would crib their solution from Scooby-Doo, with James Marsters playing the part of the Big Shiny Head.

Did this strike anyone else as a script from a very talented writer who barely had watched the shows this year?

And as for Scooby-Doo, which I in a moment of pining for Sara (off to Mom's) watched this past weekend, even if it did show me the source of the Glowy Deus, is there any way I can get that hour-and-a-half back?

[> [> [> Really? I thought they homaged it from the first Indiana Jones flick. -- OnM, 07:55:15 05/21/03 Wed

Ark of the Covenant and all, recall? Parodied brilliantly in Toy Story II, also.

[> [> [> [> That's how I saw it. SD really was parodying Radiers of the Lost Ark, too, anyway. -- Rob, 12:33:30 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: The Ball of Sunshine (Spoilers for Chosen and Scooby-Doo) -- VR, 17:30:09 05/21/03 Wed

I started watching Scooby-Doo when it came on cable, but I only got to where that girl sat next to Shaggy and Scooby got up to sit with Fred and Velma. At that point, I just stopped watching.

[> And in the end... -- matching mole, 08:21:01 05/21/03 Wed

A fine episode and a fine ending to the series. IMHO not such a great ending to the season but that's another post.

The high points for me were the following.

Buffy's solution to the problem of the First - sharing her power. Simple and obvious once you think of it and, at least to me, completely unexpected. And a brilliant subversion of a central metaphor of the show. Being the Slayer means you are unique and alone. But we are all unique and alone and thus united. Simply outstanding.

The dialogue - as listed so well by Jay.

The D and D scene. Funny and moving in the best BtVS tradition.

The Faith/Robin scenes. The principal became an interesting character for the first time here and Faith got disconcerted in a surprising, yet in hindsight obvious, way.

Willow's big spell - I'm not sure why this moved me so much but it did.

The not so great stuff.

Angel's appearance on the show seemed kind of pointless in the end. Maybe it's because I never found him to be particularly interesting on BtVS (AtS is a whole different story). The 'trinket' could have been obtained in some other way. However I will point out that this now links Spike to Wolfram and Hart.

Anya's rather inglorious sendoff. Again my bias is showing in that I think Anya was one of the most compelling characters on the show. I do think her death deserved more than the brief recognition that it got. And I did miss the opportunity for one last classic Anya line at the end when surveying the wreckage of Sunnydale. I also think she would have been a great cross-over character for guest appearance on AtS.

[> [> Re: And in the end... -- Simone, 12:12:00 05/21/03 Wed

I disagree that Anya's death was "inglorious." She died doing exactly what she finally admitted to irrationally admiring in those crazy humans: fighting. That may not be the comic book, save-the-world, epic type of heroism that the show glorifies a bit too frequently for my taste (although YMMV), but, to me at least, it's a much more real and meaningful heroism.

That said, this:

>Being the Slayer means you are unique and alone. But we are all unique and alone and thus united. Simply outstanding.<

Is brilliantly concise. Thank you.

[> [> [> Sorry.. -- matching mole, 13:46:39 05/21/03 Wed

I should have said the portrayal of her end was inglorious (or some less pretentious word) rather than the end itself. i agree that she died well - I just think it didn't get the attention it deserved

[> [> [> [> That I agree with. Sorry I jumped to conclusions. -- Simone, 16:53:28 05/21/03 Wed

[> Another homage . . . . (one line spoiler for series finale "Chosen") -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 12:51:54 05/21/03 Wed

"Yeah Buffy, what are we gonna do now?"

Homage to "Leave it to Beaver."

"Gee, Wally, what do we do now?"

The Question of Joyce's prophecy (spoilers up to 7.22 and AtS 4.17) -- RadiusRS, 00:43:16 05/21/03 Wed

Was answered when Dawn read Buffy's letter and tasered Xander. Buffy didn't chose her for the final battle. So she went back, kicked her in the shin, and called her "Dumbass." Either Dawnie's empowered and that WAS Joyce (the white dress, similar to the white suit Darla wore in Inside Out seems to confirm this; I think the fact that Darla appeared out of darkness is consistent with her past, while JOYce's glow (making pretty lights is not an FE power as far as I know) is consistent with HER past as the source of life in the Summers home), or the FE just wanted Dawnie back in Sunnydale so It could kill her, though Dawn never really seemed one of its targets. Also, without Dawn, Xander might have have become a Turok-Han Scooby Meal (Now with less eye!).

[> Re: The Question of Joyce's prophecy (spoilers up to 7.22 and AtS 4.17) -- Darby, 05:27:59 05/21/03 Wed

JOYCE Things are coming, Dawn. Listen. Things are on their way. I love you. And I love Buffy. But she will not
be there for you.

DAWN What? What are you--

JOYCE There will be choosing to be done. And when it is very bad, Buffy will not choose you. She will be against you.

I guess this played out. Kinda. Sort of. Heck, if all you want is kinda sortof, it's been fulfilled maybe four times or more. It sounds specific but is really very vague, the hallmark of a good prophecy.

(Quote from Psyche's)

[> [> Re: The Question of Joyce's prophecy (spoilers up to 7.22 and AtS 4.17) -- CW, 06:06:35 05/21/03 Wed

It seems to me fairly clear in hindsight that Joyce-who-appeared-to-Dawn was the First Evil. The fact that her prophesy sorta-almost came true is not much different than FE-Buffy appearing in her last matinee to Buffy and taunting her with what turns out to be the solution to Buffy's problem.

Oddly, last week, when I was trying to figure out what it meant, I kept coming up with the joke answer that right after the apocalypse (when it was very bad) The survivors would decide to play softball with Faith and Buffy as captains. In picking teams for the game, getting down to the last two, Buffy would choose Vi or Andrew over Dawn... "She won't pick you... She'll be against you..." The appearance of the Slayer-at-the-bat really made me smile.

[> [> [> Re: The Question of Joyce's prophecy (spoilers up to 7.22 and AtS 4.17) -- Eryn, 08:29:57 05/21/03 Wed

I also think that the apparition of Joyce was the FE. When she first appeared I assumed it was actually Joyce's spirit, but in retrospect the prophecy was very much along the lines of the FE's other mind games. It's true Buffy didn't choose Dawn, but there never really seemed to be a time that Buffy was against Dawn. (Now if Joyce had appeared to Buffy and warned her that Dawn was against her . . . . But the opposite never seemed to happen.)


[> [> Re: The Question of Joyce's prophecy (spoilers up to 7.22 and AtS 4.17) -- Shiraz, 07:48:56 05/21/03 Wed

I feel the same way.

I know that there were several times throughout this season where Buffy could be said to have not "chosen" Dawn, but none of them had that "AND THUS THE PROPHECY BESPOKE BY JOYCE TO HER YOUNGEST DAUGHTER DID COME TO PASS" that we've come to expect from the forboding prophecies (TM) we've seen.

Also, Joyce didn't just say that Buffy wouldn't choose her, but that she would be "against her", and nothing Buffy did even remotely came close to that.

And frankly, if the vision of Joyce was the First, then how lame is that? After all, we never got any follow up on it, or any indication as to why the First was going after dawn to begin with.

I think this is one of the places where they dropped the ball this season.


"It didn't occur to her to start worrying. For the first eight years of her life the world had been a particularly boring place and now that it was becoming interesting Esk wasn't about to act ungrateful."

Terry Pratchett - "Equal Rites"

[> Quote from Kristine Sutherland... -- Kate, 14:46:54 05/21/03 Wed

This was in the latest "Buffy" mag from an interview with KS, speaking about her apperance in CwDP:

"...I knew that I was mom, but I also knew that The First, the evil one, was speaking through me...."

Guess that clears up the question, but it does make it seem like this was one of the plot points they dropped the ball least in light of Buffy's dreams as well. Maybe if CwDP had been Joyce's only appearance then it would be okay b/c everyone else in the episode only appeared then too. Wasn't like we saw Cassie or Holden again. But throw her into Buffy's dreams and you gotta wonder what was what. Unless we were just suppose to assume they were Buffy's usual slayer dreams/visions like in the past. Hmmmm....???

[> [> Actually, she was referring to CwDP in that article... -- Rob, 07:43:24 05/22/03 Thu

She never cleared up her appearance in "BotN". I personally think the Dawn appearance was the FE and the Buffy appearance was the real deal...but either way, I don't think any ball was dropped. I think they very deliberately left this one up to interpretation. Joyce's appearance the first time was so angelic and heavenly, I think Joss decided to leave it up to us to decide whether we believe in the heavenly apparation or if we don't buy it and think it's the First.


OK, so how is Spike going to ... (spoilers) -- lost_bracelet, 01:20:10 05/21/03 Wed

...come back alive, move to L.A., and join the Angel Scoobies? He was totally immolated!

Any theories?

By the way, when is Angel starting up again? September? October?

[> Re: OK, so how is Spike going to ... (spoilers) -- Wizard, 02:05:05 05/21/03 Wed

That is what I, and everyone else, is waiting to find out. It's doable- Angel came back from Hell, Lilah did the same, and Buffy died twice. But the how? That's what I want to find out. And come September (hopefully it's September) we'll know.

[> Re: OK, so how is Spike going to ... (spoilers) -- Kenny, 09:51:36 05/21/03 Wed

Hmm, how about this? Wolfram and Hart pull the Darla-resurrection spell on Spike with the sole intent of fulfulling the shanshu prophecy. Then they can say, "Oh, Angel, guess it really wasn't for you. Too bad." They've already got him working for W&H, this is just a way for them to try to tear him down. Pure evil, which is what W&H is all about. Can't you just see Lilah gloating in the fact?

[> [> Angel pulled a switch! (possible spoilers) -- VLS, 12:04:48 05/21/03 Wed

I think Wolfram and Hart wanted Angel to wear the amulet, they did not know Spike would end up with it. Whatever evil plan they had for Angel, Spike is now caught up in it. VLS

[> question for the ages -- tam, 00:21:40 05/22/03 Thu

sooner or later angel and spike have to be "de-vamped". vampires don't get older and these boys ('specially angel)are beginning to show some wear and tear.

Ex-demons, Vampire with a soul.....and redemption spoilers for Chosen -- Rufus, 03:09:23 05/21/03 Wed

"By our interactions with each other we redeem us all." ML Von Franz

I had a very long post composed and supposedly saved....but for whatever reason it's gone so I had to start all over again. So here I am right back to the beginning just like season seven has been, a cycle of leaving and returning. The past informing the future, of what's to come. I feel the first thing to start with would be Buffy's lovers....Angel and Spike. Both vampires, but very different undead people.





Buffy is a Slayer, no damsel in distress, but the return of her first love still tempts her to bask in that first love from the past. Thing is that she can't live in the past anymore than Angel can, and Angel is there for business.

Angel: I, UH, BROUGHT SOMETHING ELSE AS WELL. [shows amulet]






The word "champion" has been liberally used in Angel....usually to mean Angel, but it became clear that champions come in all genders, races, and states of being. A champion is one that is willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of everyone else. Hero, champion...each Scooby and each member of Angel investigations is in their own way a champion, a hero. Champion, hero...titles not limited to physical strength.

When Buffy and Angel get together the both of them regress to what is left of their relationship or longing for a relationship, with everything that they have to do keeping them apart. But Angel does notice that a certain bleach blonde has left a trace scent on Buffy.....







Angel: OH. WELL.

Buffy: WHAT?



Angel: [not getting past his original thought] YOU KNOW, I STARTED IT.

Buffy: OH, MY GOD. ARE YOU 12?





Kinda hard to be a champion when you are sulking over your loss of status as a special exceptioin to the rule regarding vampires. This is where I enjoy Boreanaz, he is capable of taking shots at his role as a perfect champion. He is able to show that he has the same flaws that he had as a human so long ago. Buffy is right....Angel and Spike for that matter quickly find that inner 12 year old when it comes to her....and Buffy does the same thing when it comes to characters like Cordy and Faith. We may watch a show about heroes and champions, but we get them warts, amulets, souls and all. Angel gets the unbaked cookie speech...that kinda makes sense for each member of that triangle. My question is will any of them ever be ready for a healthy relationship...I guess we will have to see if the timer ever rings to signal that they are all done.

Continuing on the cookie motif, Buffy gets back to the house to find that Spike is no artist but he can act as pissy as the worst diva.




Buffy: IT WAS...A HELLO.


















Spike is just as bad as Angel is proving that where relationships come in we can all lose all reason in that jealous need to possess someone. In Chosen this is a comic start to loosen us up for the big pain ahead.






Spike may be jealous but he has no pride when it comes to Buffy, and Buffy is drawn to the vampire she had so much dangerous sex with in season six. As usual we end the season and now the series with an apocalypse. The First has decided to get itself a gang and try to bully humanity out of existance...starting with all the Slayers....or potentials.







YOU KNOW THE DRILL: [the first morphs into the form of Buffy]



We finally get the plan...The First wants to be flesh so it can enjoy feeling the pain and destruction it has been forced for so long to only watch. The Ubervamps are the army meant to be a scourge on the earth....and only Buffy the Scoobies, and the potentials can stop it.

The First is right, the Slayer is alone, the potentials just that, potential. To get real power a Slayer has to die because the stupid rules were set up to only accomodate one. But we know that isn't true...Buffy isn't alone, she has Faith (in a less biblical way than Wood has had). As usual the bad guy/thing is arrogant enough to think that it will it gives away the plan, and unwittingly the solution. Shame the First decided to inhabit the form of some idiot who thinks of every female as some dirty girly girl with no brains. This is where the First has been expert for eons....finding that evil that lives in the hearts of every single person, just waiting for someone to plant that seed of doubt that can end up in an evil conclusion.


Buffy has decided to find a way to give the potentials the choice she never had....the choice to fight but on a more equal footing that their potential status has never allowed a girl to fight before. I've seen posts on other boards arguing that Buffy was being just as bad as the Shadow Men but I thing Buffy can't change is the fact that all over the world certain girls have already been chosen to be a potential slayer. Earlier in the season we saw that each girl was being murdered as they had no chance to fight back. Buffy wants to change that. It's all about power, and power is something that people can feel protective of, want to keep to themselves. Part of the problem between Buffy and Faith was not the fact that they were Slayers but just girls who allowed jealousy and fear keep them isolated from each other. Faith said that perhaps the reason they couldn't get along was that there was only to be one Slayer....but Buffy finally figured out that sometimes to be powerful you have to be willing to give away some power to become better than you were before.

Buffy and her friends are ready to fight.....they end up at the Seal, spilling their blood willingly to finish this battle before it gets way out of hand. Willow and Kennedy are in Principle Wood's office preparing to use the Scythe to do something thought impossible.........


Willow: [WHIMPERS]


Buffy changes the rules....she figures out that everyone is connected after all. Through the power that Willow thought could only turn her evil, we find that if you use power for things other than personal gain, that magic can be a powerful force for good. The promise we only saw hinted at in episode one "Lessons" the promise of the worldly interconnectedness of everything could also extend to the Slayers. Buffy shared her power with every potential in the risking everything, Buffy gave humanity a much stronger force for good. Willow was able to use the scythe to distribute the power everywhere there was a potential to receive it. Willow's hair went black when she used power in the wrong Chosen, Willow's hair went the opposite colour...white.

It isn't just the power of the Slayer that won this battle, I finally move to the demonic...or ex-demonic. Anya left town in season three because she still only cared about herself. This time, after rejecting the demon in herself a second time, Anya stays....she fights. To become a demon the first time, Anya suffered a rejection that hardened her enough to only seek vengeance, but there was the original Aud seen in Selfless.....

ANYA: The rapid reproductive rate of our rabbits...has given me an idea. I can give the excess out to the townspeople, exchanging them not for goods or services, but for goodwill and the sense of accomplishment that stems from selflessly giving of yourself to others.

At one time, Aud/Anya had the right idea...she wanted to do something nice just to do it, not just for gain. We saw her capitalistic leanings played for laughs over the past few years, but Anya only wanted to be safe with someone who loved her and who she could trust. Betrayal made her demonic with rage, getting even with men because she couldn't trust one. I believe that she and Xander just may have made a go of it after this battle but we will never know. Anya is cut down, protecting what she formerly preyed upon, humanity. It took a few years and some painful experiences but Anya finally tried to give back a bit of what she took....she dies selflessly giving of herself.

Then we come to Spike....vampire with a soul, now wearing the amulet of a champion. Who knows if he deserves any consideration from humanity, he has killed enough people, and he can't ever bring back those he killed. With a soul the only way Spike killed humans again was when he was under the influence of mind control. He told Buffy he was now in the fight to do good and in Chosen we got to see him prove it. As everyone battles around him Spike finally is pinned against the wall of the cavern, unable to move.....a beam of light shoots through the roof the into the depths below. The amulet lived up to the hype....purifying....cleansing the world of all the Ubervamps who from beneath they existed to devour every man, woman, and child in the world. I won't describe it myself but allow the shooting script to give you an idea of what happened........


Kennedy helps Willow out, as Dawn pulls on Xander, who is calling out...

Xander: Anya! Anya!

We see, as he cannot, her corpse, hidden by debris and fallen Bringers.

ANGLE: A BRINGER....the one that jumped on Andrew falls away, Andrew's sword in his chest. Andrew is bloodied but alive, and completely wigged by the fact.

Andrew: Why........

A girl grabs him, hauls him out.


Buffy hasn't left Spike's side.

Spike: Go on, then.......

Buffy: You've done enough, you can still--

Spike: No. You beat 'em back, it's for me to do the clean up.

Faith calls from the entrance:

Faith: Buffy! Come on!

Then falling debris makes her bail.

Stuff it falling around Buffy and Spike as well.

Spike: Gotta move, lamb. I think it's fair to say school's out for bloody summer.


is collapsing at the top and bottom -- the actual school falling in on the vamps.

Buffy: Spike

Spike: I mean it. I gotta do this.

His hand is held up, frozen in his rictus of revelatory pain. Buffy takes her own hand, interlocks it with his. A moment, and both hands burst into flames.

We hold close on the two of them, ignoring the flames, looking at each other.

Buffy: I love you.

A moment. He smiles kindly.

Spike: No you don't. But thanks for saying it.

A big quake rocks them, Spike pushes her away.

Spike: It's your world up there. Now GO!

She looks at him -- and bolts.

He looks back at the destruction in front of him, smiles wickedly.

Spike: I wanna see how it ends.


Wood shuts the door -- he's at the wheel -- and the bus peels out.

ANGLE: The very back of the bus -- there's Dawn, looking for

Dawn: Buffy.........


Buffy tries to head for the door, but is blocked. She has nowhere to go but up the stairs.

[note from me Spike has sent Buffy up the stairs to the chance at a life]

Spike is still smiling as he is eaten from inside by the power, and the world falls away from beneath him as he dies.

Slayers, demons, ex-demons, potentials, Scoobies, Wood....all of them worked together for a single goal...saving the world. Our interactions in the world make us what we are, in the Buffyverse the result can be the demonic as in Vengeance demons or Vampires. I don't care what people think of Spike or Anya but both played an important part and both risked dying....both had already lived long past their mortal life span. At some time each lost that tether that makes us human. In their interactions with Xander and Buffy both ex-demon and vampire with a soul connected to the world of the humans. To show just how connected Buffy and Spike were at the end I go back to season five and Crush....

Spike: I'm drowning in you, Summers, I'm drowning in you.

Earlier in Chosen Spike wakes from a dream saying...


Just before the battle begins Buffy says....


Such a meaningless they shared it...they shared thoughts. Spike may never have ended up with the girl but he was closer to Buffy than anyone when she died. She said she loved him, and I believe her.

Spike reverses The Gift, all he wanted was to save her, first his mother (seen in Lies My Parents Told Me) the mother he made a monster and having to destroy her because even he couldn't take what she had become. Then, there was Buffy......

BUFFY VOICEOVER: But this is the work that I have to do.
From Chosen.......

Buffy, the one Spike couldn't save in the Gift, the one he saved every night, and celebrated her return....ultimately tried to bring into the dark with him in season six....found his soul, for her. In season seven Buffy's trust taught him how to use it. Spike/William (they really are the same guy) called someone efflugent and it was his destiny to die in the light, save Buffy...the world...the soul he tried to claw out at the beginning of the season directing him to his destiny, I think for just maybe he and Anya will find their place in paradise, once lost, now earned.

[> Re: Ex-demons, Vampire with a soul.....and redemption spoilers for Chosen and AtS 5 -- Kitkat, 04:51:53 05/21/03 Wed

'...just maybe he [Spike] and Anya will find their place in paradise, once lost, now earned'

Its a nice thought, but Spike will be in the next series of Angel. Which begs so many questions. Who will raise him, how, and why? Will he be human? How will he cope? Will he find himself in the position of Buffy in S6, pulled from heaven?

This is going to occupy everyone all summer, isn't it?

[> Re: Ex-demons, Vampire with a soul.....and redemption spoilers for Chosen -- DEN, 04:57:26 05/21/03 Wed

Isn't there a Book that says "greater love has no man, than a man lay down his life for his friends?" Surely that goes for demons and ex-demons too.

[> Thanks for that! -- frisby, 05:37:21 05/21/03 Wed

Thanks for gathering all of that, and for the thoughts. Is the script already posted at psyche? I liked William/Spike's final "efflugence" --------

[> You grabbed my favorite line in the episode!!! -- Tyreseus, 06:21:43 05/21/03 Wed

Okay, way off topic to the purpose of your post, but...




It had me laughing really hard after all the fanfics I've read.

[> Re: "But he has a soul now" -- leslie, 16:10:33 05/21/03 Wed

I know I am not the only one who has been somewhat put off by Buffy's constant harping on "but he has a soul now" all season. There's been a lot of metaphysical discussion, blame flung hither and yon. But in that scene between Buffy and Angel, probably contextualized by Angel's 12-year-old tantrum, I finally realized what it was. Every time Buffy says "but he has a soul now," there is the very faintest echo of Cordelia saying "Senior boys have cars."

[> [> Agreed. Bugged me too. -- s'kat, 20:00:39 05/21/03 Wed

Yes I felt the same way...I think that may be why I loved the scene where Buffy stands with him and he's awash in gold light - the light of his soul magnified a hundred-fold and he says: "My soul...I knew it was there. All the time.
Kinda stings." And she takes his hand and feels the brillance for herself.

I liked that. PArticularly after re-watching the episode Him - where Buffy admits she has no idea what Spike having a soul means. Now she knows.

[> A note of appreciation -- ponygirl, 16:22:05 05/21/03 Wed

Hey Rufus, just wanted to say thanks for all the lovely reviews and your hard work for the Trollops -- tracking down spoilers and articles from near and far. I've been avoiding spoilers for a while but your posting of articles and links has been greatly appreciated. And I'm thinking, after months of self-denial... put me in a red dress and call me a tart -- I'm spoiling myself silly for the AtS premiere!

Anya -- elabou, 04:43:31 05/21/03 Wed


[> Re: Anya -- cthulhu1592, 05:01:08 05/21/03 Wed

She truely was the third best of them all.
first Willow
then Faith
then Anya..she was and a true character. she made the show more interesting. her death should have been more meaningful and that @#!$%!* xander should have been moved to a greater degree by her passing.

o/t one question though i herd rumors that spike was going to be on angel and it looked to me like he dusted from sun light whats the what?

i also wish they would have gone into who survived more and the other potentials around the world. this easily could have been a 2 hour episode.

im a little upset that the stupid necklace saved the day.

R.I.P. anya and btvs

go angel

[> [> Re: Anya(miner spoilage above) -- cthulhu1592, 05:03:34 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Anya -- my comment -- frisby, 05:16:06 05/21/03 Wed

Was Xander's comment with Andrew a bit cold? He seemed to swell with pride with her warrior's death. No grief? Something was missing there.

[> [> Re: Anya -- my comment -- Shiraz, 06:55:44 05/21/03 Wed

Yeah, she deserved so much more than 30 seconds of rememberance.


The whole panoply of the universe has been neatly expressed to [animals] as things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Terry Pratchett: "Equal Rites"

[> [> [> She was what hooked me into the show. -- yez, 07:30:49 05/21/03 Wed

I happened to land on BtVS a little more than halfway through an ep. as I was channel surfing. Having heard, ad naseum, from friends about how good the show was (and having been given a vague idea of who was who), and not having anything better to do, I left it on. It was "Checkpoint."

Remember when Buffy is justifying her "civilian" allies and mentions having a thousand year old ex-demon among them and Anya yells out, "Willow's a demon?!" because she's afraid the Counsel is going to come after her?

That was it for me. Something about that line and especially the delivery of it just cracked me up. The way other characters reacted to it. The way it so expertly broke up the tension in a moment that was about to take itself too seriously. *That's* when I knew this was a show I was going to tune in for again.

And apparently again and again and again... (Thank goodness for syndication.)

So I'm right with you guys in mourning this character. And while I understand that lingering on Anya and giving us a moment longer with her might have disrupted the tension and rush being created, and I imagine that in battle, situations like this are very common... I also wish some other way could've been found. Yes, definitely more from Xander (how about asking for the bus to wait one more second for her?), but the others, too. To not even speak her name after all they'd been through together? Didn't feel right.

Anya... gonna miss you, babe.


[> I won't defend Xander, but... -- Malathustra, 07:21:10 05/21/03 Wed

I truly, truly loved Anya as a character but I was never able to "get behind" her relationship with Xander for the same reasons that I was never able to get behind Buffy's relationship with Spike. In fact, it was the same reason that I have asserted all along that Anya and Spike should be the ones together (and, in a way after last night, I guess they sorta kinda were...).

It's that Xander never truly appreciated what he had in Anya. He spent so much time being embarrassed by her and acting put out by her naivete that he never embraced all that Anya was and could be. Every time he'd roll his eyes at a comment of hers -- every time he apologized on the sly or made her feel stupid in front of his friends -- I'd get a little bit more enraged on Anya's behalf. Buffy did the same with Spike until this second half of the last season.

And so, sadly, while it was a bit callous and certainly evidence of post-battle shock, Xander's comment about her always doing the stupid thing was totally and completely in character.

Doesn't make me love Xander any less or want to inflict the kinds of pain on him that I'm reading about elsewhere today, but reiterates that, really, Xander wasn't good enough for Anya.

I'm glad she died nobly.

[> [> I refuse to believe that Anya is dead. -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 09:35:40 05/21/03 Wed

I particularly refuse to believe that Anya--who added so much to the series--died saving that weasel Andrew. Now if Andrew had sacrificed himself to save Anya, that would have redeemed his existence somewhat in my eyes. But Anya for Andrew? Not an even trade, dude. Not even CLOSE.

So I, in my capacity as Imperial Ruler of Sunnydale on the River Denial, have decreed unilaterally that when Anya died, she was still a vengeance demon--a vengeance demon who had been stripped of her powers, but still a demon. Therefore, she had the whole demonic durability and demonic healing thing going for her. Therefore, she survived that mortal wound that I'm told she suffered. Thanks to demonic durability, she also survived the collapse of Sunnydale High.

(I should mention here that all that I saw on my TV was Emma Caulfield lying on her side staring at the ceiling. That's because the UPN affiliate in my area sometimes edits out things that it considers unacceptable for its viewing audience. It's done this kind of thing before, mostly with profane language and special effects the people who run the affiliate find too gory. Such post-production editing makes it easier for me to deny that Anya's death ever took place.)

Now, I will say that Anya is not in the best of shape, even in my little scenario. She is weak from the recent healing of her injury, battered from all the rocks and rubble falling on her and absolutely exhausted. It may take her a while to dig her way out. But...she is alive.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

P.S. Last night, Xander said of Anya, "That's my girl. Always doing the stupid thing." A question crossed my mind: "Xander, was one of the stupid things that Anya did falling in love with you?"

[> [> [> Actually I believe Xander would agree with that -- Charles phipps, 13:13:58 05/21/03 Wed

I've always been against Anya/Xander because Xander despite his fobiables (even I have difficulty justifying his dumping her at the altar even if I can't imagine in his position I could go through the wedding on THAT day either) is my favorite character and I want to see Xander/Buffy and I always held out a torch at least until Kennedy that Willow was bi and could go back to him.

Xander would have broken down weeping normally at the Anya thing but I think Joss realized that's not where we want to leave Xander even if later I'm sure he cried his eyes out. He never felt he was good enough for Anya and was afraid he was hiding a monster inside of him just as awful as the vampires buffy killed.

Xander loved Anya despite the fact she was a demon and Xander is....well kinduv...a demon hunter. You may talk about love conquering all but he loved Anya despite the fact she murdered thousands.

His comments and quips to her and embarrassment may make him "unworthy" in fans eyes but I want to ask what you've done to your boyfriends and accepted. He was trying to help her adjust and while he's not perfect he in general treated her far better than Dawson's creek or most teenmovies

[> [> [> [> Well, never having seen Dawson's Creek or any teen movies, I really can't compare.. -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 17:09:52 05/21/03 Wed

I do know that I liked the Xander/Anya relationship until last night. His embarrassment and quips were sometimes awkward but always believable. I honestly felt that, despite his qualms about marriage and his fears that he would be an abuser like his father, Xander truly loved Anya.

That's why I hated Xander's, "That's my girl, always doing the stupid thing" comment so much. I didn't feel that Xander was speaking ironically. I felt that he was being dismissive of her, and I really thought that Anya deserved better than to be dismissed so cavalierly. I didn't expect Xander to break down in total emotional collapse, but--and this is the point--I did expect him to show some regret, some sense of loss. One tear trickling down his cheek, for God's sake. But no. He had to be flip.

Xander has always been the Heart of the Scoobies. I wish that the writers had allowed Xander to show us his emotions in one understated moment, rather than going for a snide comment and a cheap laugh.

Anya deserved better. So did Xander.

P.S. Charles, I'm not clear on what this statement of yours means: "His comments and quips to her and embarrassment may make him "unworthy" in fans eyes but I want to ask what you've done to your boyfriends and accepted." Are you talking about what hurtful things I've done to my boyfriends, or what hurtful things I've accepted them doing to me?

[> [> [> [> [> Both actually and Xander thoughts -- Charlemagne, 22:46:55 05/21/03 Wed

I don't think Xander was being dismissive of her and I think frankly one has to rewatch that scene since I can't imagine someone interpreting it. It was a statement that conveyed a number of facts

* Anger at Andrew for living while she's alive
* Pride for her saving his life
* Love and affection for her
* Ironic sadness in the fact he'll never be able to patch things up with her about the way he broke up with her because of his lack of faith in her

Do you think Xander was dismissing the fact he's missing an eyeball when he said "Party in my eyesocket and everyone is invited?". No, Gallows humor is a way of keeping emotional grief at arm's level from when he lost his best friend Jesse to when he had to deal with Angelus

In any case I meant both.

I've screwed up with two women whom I very much wanted to marry and it was my own fault. In any case it didn't mean I didn't care for them or appreciate it them....I just didn't think about certain actions and forgets that made them think others could do a better job.

In my mind I forgive Xander because

* He's barely an adult, he's 22 for god sakes that has never been out of sunnydale and only had a few relationships that haven't ended in his near death he's never had one without his near death

* He is constantly concerned with the safety of others around him and the possibility of the world's destruction.

* He has very low self esteem due to the fact the women around him are very superior

His quips and advice arn't meant to insult Anya or make her pained but to try and help her adjust to being a human being.

I mean no offense Xander is beyond the pale forgiving to a person who treats mass murder flippantly. His only mistake is perhaps missing some growth where it was needed...and given its a two year relationship that's understandable BUTTT

* He's also gotten a new job he has to deal with

He's not perfect but cut the man some slack who was willing to die for his girlfriend when she was a demon.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I mean if we can love Anya who tried to murder Xander after their wedding... -- Charlemagne, 22:50:47 05/21/03 Wed

We can forgive Xander for a few stupid decisions in their relationship.

I think he honestly loved her despite all my attempts to deny it.

They were too very messed up human and quasi humans.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Answers to your questions, Charlemagne -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 08:20:46 05/22/03 Thu

I haven't accepted any crap from boyfriends. I don't see why I should. I don't see why anyone should.

Have I have hurt any of them? Yes, one. However, since he had decided that night to try beating me for the first time in our relationship, and since he was a head and a half taller than I and at least a hundred pounds heavier, I feel no guilt for breaking his arm with a ten-pound cast-iron skillet--or for ending our engagement then and there.

As for Xander...

You asked: "Do you think Xander was dismissing the fact he's missing an eyeball when he said "Party in my eyesocket and everyone is invited?". "

No. I just thought that he was being incredibly tacky. I've never heard any phrase remotely like that, so to me it sounded both tasteless and stupid. I mean, it's not as if you can have a party in an eye, much less a socket. And it wasn't funny or even ironic, so I can't consider it a joke. I think it was just one of those lines that the writers went re-wrote one too many times.

* He's barely an adult, he's 22 for god sakes that has never been out of sunnydale and only had a few relationships that haven't ended in his near death.

Xander's been fighting vampires and demons since he was seventeen in the first season. I think that would make him 24, unless we are dealing with Joss's math suckage again. To take on such a responsibility with no supernatural powers or magic to back you up shows unbelievable maturity. He's been acting in this fashion since high school. He is a young adult, yes, but he's also been shown over the years to be a remarkably mature one.

It's true that Xander has spent his whole life in Sunnydale, but I don't see why that entitles him to some slack. Many people spend their entire lives in one town or one city.

I will agree that Xander's relationships have not been terrific, and have often been perilous. However, I don't think that his relationship with Cordelia led to her causing his near-death. I may be wrong, but I don't recall her doing anything to him in this universe. (Granted, in the "Wish" universe caused by Cordelia, he was a vampire, but I don't think she tried to kill him in the Jossverse of Sunnydale.)

"He is constantly concerned with the safety of others around him and the possibility of the world's destruction."

So were Buffy, Willow, Oz, Tara, Anya and Giles. Angel and Spike were more ambiguous, as over the years both tried to bring about and both battled apocalypses. And Dawn, of course, was nearly the cause of one, though she took part in the fight against the next two.

"He has very low self esteem due to the fact the women around him are very superior."

I thought he had very low self-esteem due to the fact that his father was an alcoholic and abusive swine, and that Xander feared that he was destined to be just like his dad. The women around Xander are very powerful, but I don't see why that would affect his self-esteem. They have all shown, in various ways, that they value Xander.

"His quips and advice arn't meant to insult Anya or make her pained but to try and help her adjust to being a human being."


"He's also gotten a new job he has to deal with."

He's been working in construction for two years. Not really a new job.

Now, I like Xander. I like him very much, and have all through the series. But both the "Party in my eye socket" and the "That's my girl, always doing the stupid thing" remarks rubbed me the wrong way.

I've been told repeatedly that Xander's remarks were supposed to be humorous. Perhaps so. However, if something is truly funny, it doesn't generally require an explanation to tell me so.

Those remarks were crude, callous, tacky and unfunny. I could scarcely believe that they were spoken by Xander. Not his style at all. I'm only sorry that the writers didn't see it that way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Answers to your questions, Charlemagne -- Utopia, 10:10:38 05/22/03 Thu

Sigh, this is the kind of argument that can never really be resolved because it's totally based on your perspective and not facts. If you don't think it's funny...actually, I don't think either the eye socket thing or the comment to Andrew was supposed to be funny.

After the eye socket thing he's embarrassed, 'cause he knew it was gross. He finishes with "Sometimes I shouldn't say words." Which I found completely endearing. And also pretty funny. Even though the previous comment was just yuck. Whatever.

And then in the Anya thing - he wasn't laughing, Andrew wasn't laughing, it wasn't really meant to be funny. I don't think he was saying it to be funny at all. It was one of those pain twisting in your belly w/ an ironic statement moments. If you think it's inappropriate, it's hard to argue against that...I just don't think he meant it to be a *funny* joke. Just a vent for his pain that didn't involve either crying or hitting something.

(Oh and this is so totally irrelevant, but in The Pack Giles says that Xander is 16 which would make him 22 now.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> In any case... -- Charlemagne, 20:54:32 05/22/03 Thu

In any case I am sorry for your situation and admit my example doesn't work for you. Personally I would never have dated Anya and would be frankly terrified of a woman who could kill without a thought.

Nor was I making a sexist comment about the women about him, I was pointing out Xander's relationship with the women about him is always about him trying to live up to their examples and expectations.

In any case Xander is trying to bring levity

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Both actually and Xander thoughts -- Malathustra, 12:34:14 05/22/03 Thu

I madly love both Xander and Anya. I liked Anya consistently from the beginning t even when everyone else seemed vaguely bugged by her.

But I did not want their relationship to work out. I did not want them to get married because (aside from the YOU'RE TOO YOUNG effect) of the way he treated her around his friends.

That's all I was saying. I cut Xander massive slack and actually I wasn't all that offended by his dismissive "That's my girl" line. I knew it was an expression of his love for Anya t but it also really rang true to me as something Xander would say. He did think she was noble, but also treated her as though she were sort of silly and stupid.

(She wasn't.)

[> [> Well I will defend Xander.. -- Utopia, 10:48:47 05/21/03 Wed

God, he was being ironic. The way I saw it he was proud of her and filled with grief and in typical Xander fashion was trying to remain in control and not lose it in front of everyone. Rewatch the scene. His lower lip is trembling and his voice is shaking and it just broke my heart. Poor, poor Anya.

[> [> [> I agree - the "stupid thing" was saving Andrew -- Steve, 17:51:47 05/21/03 Wed

Watch it again -- you can actually see Andrew sort of nodding and half smiling in self deprecating agreement. It's actually a moment of shared loss between Xander and Andrew for a woman they both thought rocked.

[> [> [> Thank you -- auroramama, 17:47:15 05/22/03 Thu

If I said something like that, in that way, that's what it would mean.

[> The Anya S7 Arc or: "Yeah, right." (spoilers for "Chosen") -- cjl, 09:57:06 05/21/03 Wed

I'm peeved by how Anya went out.

No, I'm not angry because Xander is an insensitive yobbo who clearly didn't appreciate her and should have recited all of Shakespeare's sonnets in her memory, blah blah blah; I'm irritated because, on reflection, I feel the WRITERS didn't fully appreciate her and let her story arc drift after "Selfless."

Hell, Jane E. CONFESSED that they "lost" Anya for most of the season. (WTF?!)

The truly great thing about "Selfless" was that Anya was given a chance to break free of the eternal curse of the SSO (Scooby Significant Other): namely, existing solely as an extension of the "core Scooby" partner. Ultimate Drew brought her character back to her beginnings, listed all her mistakes, destroyed all her delusions, and re-humanized her. She walked away from Xander at the end with her future ahead of her, freed from the influence of the men she'd both loved and hated over the centuries. She had unlimited possibilities--but ME took advantage of NONE of them.

[Don't want to go through episode by episode from 7.6 - 7.21, but you all know what I mean.]

Her epiphany near the end of "End of Days" was appreciated, but not particularly earth-shattering for her character. Her death in "Chosen" was quick and painless, but more perfunctory than shocking. And when Andrew told Xander the story of her "valiant sacrifice," we focused on Xander as he teared up and gave Anya the only eulogy that counts on the record. Anya, freed from the men who dominated her life and her thoughts in "Selfless," wound up back in her original role--an extension of Xander. I'm surprised Goddard didn't throw up his hands in those final story meetings and snark: "Sh**--why did I even bother?"

I will miss Anya very much. But I wasn't saddened by her death last night. The misuse of her character for most of the season made it a mercy killing.

Good luck to Emma--a big-screen romantic heroine in the making.

RIP, Aud.

[> [> I disagree that it was perfunctory. (Chosen spoiler) -- Rob, 10:09:08 05/21/03 Wed

It was the suddenness that made it so powerful for me. I had no idea it was coming, but the second that Bringer sliced her in half, I gasped out loud. And I thought her sacrifice was the perfect follow-up to her attempted sacrifice at the end of "Selfless." There were tears in my eyes when Xander was calling for Anya, and we saw the shot of her body, as well as during Andrew's eulogy. I was deeply saddened by her death, but I thought the way it was done was absolutely perfect and in many ways, for me, salvaged the misuse of her character through the majority of this year.


[> [> [> A Bringer sliced her in the hall? -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 13:14:47 05/21/03 Wed

Okay, that didn't happen in the episode I saw last night.

The last time I saw Anya, she was muttering,
"Floppy...hoppy...BUNNIES." The next shot I saw of her was a head shot--nothing else, just the head and the shoulders--with Anya staring at the ceiling, clearly out of it. She looked like she had a mild concussion, or had been hit on the head and was stunned for a few moments.

That's IT. Nothing in between.

So what happened that I didn't see?

[> [> [> [> Re: A Bringer sliced her in the hall? -- Alison, 13:23:26 05/21/03 Wed

Anya was fighting off several Bringers, and one slashed her straight through the chest..then, much later, they showed the head shot.

[> [> [> [> [> Rewatch, Farquarson. It was so shocking I gasped out loud! -- Rob, 14:12:05 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> I can't rewatch something that wasn't shown, Rob. Even if I HAD a DvD player. -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 17:12:28 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think there may have been some cuts made by local stations -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:36:10 05/21/03 Wed

Mine showed Anya being stabbed, but I'm pretty sure Giles's line about the other Hellmouth in Cleveland wasn't there. Could be the episode ran just a tiny bit too long, and stations made cuts as they thought appropriate. Although, it would be rather easy to miss Anya's stabbing; it only took up about three seconds of screen time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'll see your gasp and raise you a cry to heaven. -- Sofdog, 21:09:04 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Bringer? What Bringer? -- skyMatrix, 22:39:21 05/21/03 Wed

They showed her get sliced... but guys, I'm pretty sure it was ubervamps, and that no Bringers were involved. I know it doesn't make sense that those mortals could fight them, and it would make a lot more sense if it had been Bringers. And furthermore, why not soon-to-be-slayers take the perimeter, it's like Buffy wanted a Scooby to die! I think Joss' battle plans are inherently illogical, partly because the emotion is more important. I don't know about y'all, but I think I'm picking on the plotholes because I feel this one was, overall, a let down for me personally in comparison to "The Gift" (not to mention "Becoming") But then my expectations were a lot higher this time, which is always a mistake!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Bringer? What Bringer? -- Rob, 07:55:28 05/22/03 Thu

No, rewatched it again to be sure. It was a group of Bringers that came in from behind, which is how they were able to surprise her.

And furthermore, why not soon-to-be-slayers take the perimeter, it's like Buffy wanted a Scooby to die!

Um...because she was more worried about going into the actual Hellmouth and didn't want her friends in the thick of the battle, where they most surely would have died!


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bringer? What Bringer? -- skyMatrix, 10:52:25 05/22/03 Thu

Ok Bit says she watched it again and it was Bringers (she was also kinda the one that "confirmed" that it wasn't Bringers in the first place, haha). So what were the Bringers neeeded for?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bringer? What Bringer? -- Veronica, 11:35:37 05/22/03 Thu

Wouldn't it have been wierd if the Bringers weren't somewhere in the mix for the final battle when they were out there doing all the dirty work all season?


[> [> Hear, Hear! Except, I cried. There's nothing more tragic than squandered possibility. -- Haecceity, 11:34:30 05/21/03 Wed

[> Have Anya wallpaper on my office computer in memoriam -- mamcu the bereaved, 10:53:33 05/21/03 Wed

[> bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies.... -- gillie, 19:23:13 05/21/03 Wed

did it occur to anyone else that what truly
empowered anya at the end was finally conquering
her fear of bunnies? or was that just me?

[> [> Re: bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies.... -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 07:30:35 05/22/03 Thu

I didn't see her teeth-gritting "Floppy--hoppy--bunnies!" as overcoming her fear of bunnies. I mean, you don't overcome a thousand-year-old fear in two seconds. And you don't fight for something that you hate and fear, either.

When Andrew mentioned bunnies, Anya stiffened and raised her sword--why? I think she had decided to fight the enemy as if it was the thing she hated and feared most in the world: bunnies. If so, this was significant--Anya had always tried to flee from bunnies before, even cringing when other people mentioned them. This time, she faced her fear, and fought what she most hated.

The fear and hatred of bunnies didn't dissolve. But she faced the fear, and used it to help her fight. That took immense courage.

Okay,, Fess up! (spoilers for Chosen) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:16:10 05/21/03 Wed

How many of you ladies turned into slayers last night? Honorificus was unusually upset last night, so that means HonorH must have become one. With Rufus it would be hard to tell. How much different would slayer Rufus be than old Rufus?

[> I think Ruf was already "chosen!" -- dub ;o), 09:26:10 05/21/03 Wed

Now, if I could only embrace some of that empowerment that's floating around out there, I could make some changes for the better...

dub ;o)

[> [> Slayer Wisewoman sounds great! -- CW, 10:53:26 05/21/03 Wed

Slayer Whipwoman is just plain scary!

[> [> [> ROFL! -- dub ;o), 11:15:27 05/21/03 Wed

Oh. My. (spoilers - last night & WKCS for Angel s5) -- dream, 07:46:47 05/21/03 Wed


I loved every minute of that. The completion of Willow's seven year arc. She's a goddess, yes, but she's also still a geek: "That was nifty." Buffy's understanding that she has to share the power. Also, her secondary understanding -that she doesn't know what she is to become (cookies?), and she isn't ready for eternal love. The painful loss of Anya - how much did I love her calling Andrew a "little monkey?" Andrew's storytelling making a return at the end for Xander's peace of mind. Wood and Faith's interactions - that's a prettiness contest I wouldn't want to judge. The playing of D&D. The big spell. I liked that some Potentials had been missed. God, I liked everything.

A few quibbles or questions - why did they have to wait until they were in the Hellmouth for Willow to do the spell? Tension-building, sure, but was there a reason given?

Also, how did Angel know the amulet wasn't for him? It didn't do anything when Spike first put it on. Spec - wouldn't it be interesting if it came out later that either one of them COULD have done it, but Spike chose to stay and chance it, while Angel didn't.

Will Spike go to Angel as 1) a Shanshued human (how does that work) 2) a ghost (a particularly taunting Jiminy Cricket figure for Angel) 3) most horrifically, a vampire raised by W&H's other branches, without his soul?

Did anyone else think the Spike death thing would have been far more traumatic without the WKCS for Angel?

Oh, I also loved how the absolute perfection of Buffy finally getting to share the power and responsbility was undercut by the "what do we do now?" bit at the end. You think it's over? It's never over.

Could they have left open more possibilities for spin-offs and movies? Faith bonding with Wood, Kennedy being quite likable for the first time in a while (just my opinion, of course), Willow powerful and in control, Buffy still strong, all the Slayers around the world needed instruction and guidance.

I expected it entirely, but my heart still broke for Amanda.

My biggest complaint about the season overall was the misuse of Giles. Every line he had last night seemed to be an attempt by Joss to put that in order, but I felt it was too little, too late. Giles as a character was terribly ill-served by this season, and I DEMAND the Ripper series as penance.

I don't understand why there was all that juicy Xander-sees-all, Xander-is-blinded set-up and no follow-through. Did I miss something, or did that lead nowhere?

I'm just completely emotionally drained.

[> Agree about Xander and Giles -- matching mole, 08:38:10 05/21/03 Wed

In both cases it seemed like they were being prepared for something (by the writers) that never transpired.

Also agree about Amanda - she was by far the most interesting of the potentials.

[> Addressing the amulet thing -- Scroll, 08:44:04 05/21/03 Wed

Just wanted to address this one thing, but also wanted to say I have many of your questions as well. Poor Giles and his bad characterisation this season... Still, I loved "Chosen" and cried like a baby, even though there were Olaf-the-troll-god-Huh? type plot holes.

Also, how did Angel know the amulet wasn't for him? It didn't do anything when Spike first put it on. Spec - wouldn't it be interesting if it came out later that either one of them COULD have done it, but Spike chose to stay and chance it, while Angel didn't.

Actually Angel said the amulet was for him, for someone who was a champion, ensoulled but more than human. He offered to wear it, but Buffy wanted him safe and out of town. She told him to prepare a second front, which made sense, but I'm glad Angel called her out on the other reason, Spike. Anyway, so it wasn't that Angel wasn't willing to risk using the amulet, just that Buffy didn't want him there.

[> [> Oh. That DOES make a difference. -- dream, 09:42:01 05/21/03 Wed

But now I'm left wondering why Angel wouldn't take the amulet if he thought it was for him...

[> [> [> It came from the not reliable source of Wolfram and hart -- lunasea, 10:57:52 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> I'm wondering... -- yabyumpan, 11:52:52 05/21/03 Wed

...if, as has been widely speculated, that the Spike who'll come to AtS next season will be human because he used the Amulet - Lilah may have given it to Angel knowing that that is what it would do, expecting Angel to wear it. A human Angel would be less of a threat to W&H, physically and in other ways, and would probably have seen it as his Shanshu and so, maybe, have given up the mission. It would be one way of taking Angel out of the game. I wonder if we're going to see a Lilah next season who's shocked that Angel is still a Vampire.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm wondering... -- Dochawk, 12:26:47 05/21/03 Wed

Interesting thought. Was wondering why W&H would give Angel that info because it wasn't necessary. And just as weird as giving him the amulet, was giving him the file that contained the spell to give all the slayerettes power. Why does W & H want a world full of slayers? (Unless the guardian gave Buffy the spell, but I don't think so)

[> [> [> [> [> [> I thought the coven (spoilers Chosen and home) -- lunasea, 13:37:44 05/21/03 Wed

helped Willow figure out the spell. Not all spells are written down in a book. Someone needs to figure them out before they can be written down. I got the impression that Willow had to figure out what to do, which makes it that much more impressive.

Now if she can just do that for Angel so that his soul is permanently his. Unless Lilah meant more by her "isn't it more fun when you handle her" crack. How amazing would it be if the curse was fixed and Angel still walked away?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm wondering... -- PartlyCloudy, 17:04:07 05/21/03 Wed

I'm guessing that the file from W & H had no information about the spell or even the idea of extending the Slayer power to all the Potentials. If it did, it sort of takes away (for me) the idea that Buffy herself figured out the key to winning was to share the power with all the Potentials. It's the whole 'subverting the paradigm' thing that has always come from her instincts and has always helped her succeed.

Plus, though they are in somewhat separate TV-coccooned universes, I can't imagine W & H being all that enthused about the prospect of thousands of Slayers running around, thwarting their plans and making with the good. So even though we can speculate as to what their hopes for Angel were regarding the amulet, I suspect that if W & H even had a clue that giving that file to Angel would somehow assist Buffy in defeating The First, they would have sent ONLY the amulet and let the consequences fall where they may.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> But, in "Rain of Fire", we saw . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:18:55 05/21/03 Wed

That Wolfram & Hart isn't too thrilled about the end of the world unless they're the ones behind it. After all, the Senior Partners, whoever or whatever they are, obviously have been planning a global takeover for awhile now (like, since the beginning of time), and it would really piss them off if a different evil destroyed the world and crowned itself ruler before they had a chance too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: But, in "Rain of Fire", we saw . . . -- PartlyCloudy, 17:45:12 05/21/03 Wed

Hmmm. You could be right. Though I still think they'd ultimately come down on the side of "apocalyptic destruction of humanity" by a rival evil than "augmentation of all things good, bright and beautiful" by a mass of majorly-empowered Slayers...

Plus, The Beast coming in and zombifying the whole LA office may have been more than they could swallow, rival-wise. Which actually then supports the idea that maybe it IS a question of ego... A little petty evil jealousy about who gets to end the world?

Though I think I remember them stating that they were all for evil, but not necesarily for chaos (sorry--can't remember who says it or in what ep... Holland Manners? Lilah?)... Rivalry aside, maybe they could have jumped onboard with The First's systematic annhilation of humans--so long as it was all neat and tied with a bow when it was all said and done--provided they had something to do in the aftermath [corrupt demons of somewhat nebulous-morality, perhaps (Clem, for example)? Or conquer another dimension/universe & set up shop there (Pylea, anyone?)].

It's hard to know when W & H's master plan hasn't been completely laid out for us yet. Do they want to conquer the world or actually destroy it? I don't know, just trying to puzzle it out... with a generous dose of pure speculation and more than a little blatant interpretation I admit. (There's a stack of comment cards on your desk just to the left there... feel free to use them, one and all...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> wolfram and hart from Reprise -- lunasea, 08:13:55 05/22/03 Thu

Holland: "Well, if there are no objections, I suggest we get going. It is rather a long ride."
Holland pushes the 'down' button. The doors close and we see the elevator descending down the elevator shaft.
Angel and Holland are standing side by side in the elevator as the lights from the floors it is passing flash by and typically annoying elevator music plays in the background.
Holland: "Well, this is exciting, isn't it? (Smiles) Going straight to the source. - So, what's the big plan, Angel? Destroy the Senior Partners, smash Wolfram and Hart once and for all?"
Angel: "Something like that."
Holland: "Hm-mm, now tell me just what do you think that would accomplish? In the end, I mean."
Angel: "It'll be - the end."
Holland: "Well, the end of you, certainly. But I meant in the larger sense."
Angel: "In the larger sense I really don't give a crap."
Holland: "Now I don't think that's true. - Be honest. - You got the tiniest bit of 'give a crap' left. Otherwise you wouldn't be going on this Kamikaze mission. Now let me see, there was something - in a sacred prophecy, some oblique reference to you. Something you're supposed to prevent. Now what was that?"
Angel: "The apocalypse."
Holland: "Yes, the apocalypse, of course. - Another one of those. Well, it's true. We do have one scheduled. And I imagine if you were to prevent it you would save a great many people. Well, you should do that then. Absolutely. I wasn't thinking. - Of course all those people you save from that apocalypse would then have the next one to look forward to, but, hey, it's always something, isn't it?"
The elevator shaft and cable dissolve as the elevator continues to plummet into a hellish red glow.
Angel: "You're not gonna win."
Holland: "Well - *no*. Of course we aren't. We have no intention of doing anything so prosaic as 'winning.'"
Holland laughs and for the first time Angel turns his head to glance in Holland's general direction.
Angel: "Then why?"
Holland: "Hmm? I'm sorry? Why what?"
Angel: "Why fight?"
Holland: "That's really the question you should be asking yourself, isn't it? See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We - go on - no matter what. Our firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor. See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And *that* - friend - is what's making things so difficult for you. - See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."
And with that the elevator comes to a screeching halt.
The doors open and Angel looks out to see a homeless person pushing a loaded shopping cart across the plaza in front of the Wolfram and Hart Office building in LA.
Holland: "Welcome to the home office."
Angel: "This isn't..."
Holland: "Well, you know it is. - You know *that* better than anyone. Things you've seen. Things you've, well - done. You see, if there wasn't evil in every single one of them out there (Angel watches as some people in the plaza start yelling at each other) why, they wouldn't be people. - They'd all be angels."
The glove drops from Angel's right to land on the floor of the elevator and Angel slowly shuffles out of it.
Holland calling after him as the doors close: "Have a nice day."

All Wolfram and Hart want to do is keep the game going. There is no master plan. They just exist. As such, things like the Khmer Rouge have plans. The lawyers aren't the ones that commit most crimes. They are the ones that get people off.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sure makes them sound like The First Evil. -- V, 11:54:43 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> who said it: -- anom, 14:19:06 05/23/03 Fri

"Though I think I remember them stating that they were all for evil, but not necesarily for chaos (sorry--can't remember who says it or in what ep... Holland Manners? Lilah?)..."

It was the girl in the red dress in the white room, explaining why "we" (whoever that was) made Sahjhan (& some others, maybe?) incorporeal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Did the amulet do that, or was it Willow? -- mamcu, 18:30:31 05/22/03 Thu

Can't review due to VCR demon, but I thought the amulet killed the ubervamps but Willow's magic was what empowered all the slayers all over the world.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You remembered correctly, mamcu -- Scroll, 21:16:17 05/22/03 Thu

[> Re: Oh. My. (spoilers - last night & WKCS for Angel s5) -- luvthistle1, 09:50:58 05/21/03 Wed

....they said the idea for a spin-off was dropped. beside, SMG said she didn't want to do Btvs anymore. if once of the sits were to do a spin-off, I hope it would be "Vi" ( with Andrew) she rock, yesterday. by the way, I really didn't like it, it seem so unfinish and rushed.

[> I give up. What's WKCS? -- wondering, 12:48:42 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> WKCS = Well Known Casting Spoiler -- Dochawk, 13:05:31 05/21/03 Wed

Which originally referred to Faith's return to the Buffyverse, but now refers to James martsters being added to Angel as a regular

How much of the last season was metanarration? Confessions of CW... (spoilers through the end) -- Cactus Watcher, 08:08:45 05/21/03 Wed

I admit I misjudged in my Great-Secret-Theory (TM). I did know Buffy was going to walk away 'normal' But I figured it would be part of a sacrifice. The First Evil seemed to be feeding off of something of recent origin, so I figured it was Buffy's unprecedented power as slayer who shouldn't be slayer anymore. It made sense that the original slayer's power was brought about to balance the power of evil in the world, and that Buffy's existence as slayer upset that balance. In my theory the FE was using Buffy's own power against her. Because the FE was old and wise it learned to use that power to its fullest before Buffy could. Therefore Buffy could not win as long as she was the slayer. But, if she gave up the power of the slayer, the FE was over extended and its power would collapse. Whether there should be a slayer at all was a question I couldn't resolve.

The central idea of my theory was that in her life Buffy had sacrificed everything at one time or another. She gave up her friends in "When She Was Bad." It only led to disaster. She gave up her childhood and family when she ran away at the end "Becoming p II" She decided this was not the solution and return on her own. She gave up her love, also in "Becoming p II," when she chose the world over reensouled Angel, and again in "Faith, Hope and Trick," by her leaving the ring behind. This sacrifice was accepted and Angel was returned, but with a permanent cloud of doubt between them. She gave up her life in The Gift." But, her friends felt her work wasn't done and brought her back.. Each time she sacrifced something extreemly important to her. Each time the sacrifice itself came back to her. The one thing she had never sacrifcied was the thing that made her special . It was obvious this sacrifice could never be undone. My mistake was what form this 'sacrifice' would take.

I honestly believe that when the Beljoxa's eye scene was written the intention of the story was that Buffy would give up being the slayer with Willow's help, destroying the power of the FE, and that Faith, or which ever newly chosen slayer would destroy the remaining demons in Sunnydale thus saving the world and allowing Buffy to walk away as a normal person., I don't think Beljoxa's Eye's speech foreshadows what actually happened at all. So why did we get the fairy-tale ending in which Buffy gets everything, to be the slayer and be normal? I think it was the impending war in Iraq that changed ME's mind. Dumping Buffy weak and helpless back into full of a world of all too human evil, must have seemed too cruel a fate.

But, added to that the last third of the final season looks like a believable story of the final seasons of Buffy in Joss' real life. If you see Joss as Buffy then Joss is the general who everyone relies on for everything. Joss is the one who gets the bulk of the criticism when things go wrong. As he says in real life Buffy is just making him tired. Buffy needs rest on the show. Joss can try delegating authority to Marti Noxon (Faith), but that doesn't really work either. Indeed it blows up in Faith's face (people really start hating Marti). Not only that, the person outside the inner circle of ME writers who has been the most dependable, SMG (Kennedy) has started making life miserable for those around her. (Wanting like Kennedy to force relationships the story in the direction she wants?) So what happens? Many fans were insisting Buffy choose either Angel or Spike. It's driving Joss crazy. So instead he has Buffy pick the feminist ideal, and choose herself instead. Many fans are demanding that Buffy's life turn out exactly as they imagined it. So what does Joss do? He tells the world, "Okay. I'm not the only slayer (final judge) anymore. All you viewers are slayers. Each of you has just as much right to Buffy's future as I do. The road is open ahead of Buffy. You decide what happens to her now!"

[> Intriguing. I like it. -- Sophist, 08:32:04 05/21/03 Wed

Willow and the nature of magic(k) -- Jean, 09:10:23 05/21/03 Wed

In the short time I've viewed this board many people ask questions on magic(k). In last nights episode I think it was clear that magic(k) doesn't come from the dark side of the universal spectrum. Willow became radiant with light and gave the power to all potential slayers. Where the shadowmen brought power from dark, Willow through all she has been through finally brought power from the light..And managed to say "that was nifty". Clearly she showed the truest essence of magic(k) and I can say I am very proud

[> Re: Willow and the nature of magic(k) -- Rina, 09:44:42 05/21/03 Wed

I am also proud. If there is one complaint I've had about BUFFY, throughout the seasons, is its tendency to consider powerful magic as dark. Tonight's episode clearly showed that powerful magic can also be light, as well. And that in the end, it all depends upon what it is used for.

[> [> Did anyone else think that Willow was to become the new Guardian? -- Dochawk, 10:04:33 05/21/03 Wed

She sure looked like the guardian from last week while she did the deep magic and then she can still feel all the slayers. Not a goddess since she is still mortal, but a guardian? The guardian's magic (woman's magic) more powerfulk than man's magic (the shadowmen?)?

[> [> [> Alternative interpretation -- Darby, 10:16:12 05/21/03 Wed

Being given the glimpse of the Guardian (hairwise) in a an overhead shot that almost exactly matches the shot during Angel's resouling in Becoming might imply that the Guardians (maybe not the last one, but her predescessors' spirits) might have given Willow the ability to complete the spell, and hooked her into magic more strongly? It would be a very feminine link to the Slayer. Joss seemed to be obsessed with answering old questions (and new questions related to earlier canon, like how many Hellmouths there are), and this might have been at least a hint of an answer.

[> [> [> [> I like this. -- Sophist, 10:31:39 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Alternative interpretation -- Dochawk, 11:34:08 05/21/03 Wed

Nothing but support here. Fantastic theory! Typically though Joss would have had her say "I'm the last one, but there is another" or would that have been too Star Warsish?

[> [> [> [> I just thought they were emphasizing it was the opposite of the magic BadWillow used. -- WickedBuffy, 13:28:04 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> Yup, had the same thought Dochawk... -- Kate, 11:51:59 05/21/03 Wed

Especially since at the end Willow said she could sense all the newly called slayers. I definitely see her creating a new line of guardians, which is such a fantastic thought. Shows that it wasn't just about Buffy or the slayer's ultimate (feminine) power being realized, but those who lives Buffy has touched as well such as Willow (and Dawn). (As well as the men in their capacity.) Great stuff!!

[> [> [> I personally object to the portrayal women's magic is stronger...especially in the Buffyverse -- Charlemagne, 13:24:18 05/21/03 Wed

I for one support an equal opportunity magic user base given that there are so many male magic users in the Buffyverse.

BTW I'm not so sure its good magic since Joss doesn't support anything good. I'm sure the Guardian will turn out to be evil

[> [> [> [> Re: I personally object to the portrayal women's magic is stronger...especially in the Buffyverse -- Wizard, 15:48:20 05/21/03 Wed

Hmm... There are a lot of wizards, shamans, sorcerers, and warlocks, true. Ethan is very powerful, and Giles could have easily been, and the Shadowmen were... maybe the new Guardians will be an equal opportunity organization, much like the new Watchers. Willow the head Guardian, Giles reforming the Council... oh yeah, baby.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Isn't Giles the only Council now? -- Brian, 04:23:50 05/22/03 Thu

Cleveland (Spoilers for "Chosen") -- Sgamer82, 09:10:55 05/21/03 Wed

Just a minor thing, at the end of last night's episode, Giles mentioned there was a Hellmouth in Cleveland. I'm wondering, didn't Giles mention demonic activity in Cleveland in "The Wish"? I think so, I remember that he was trying to get alternate-Buffy to Sunnydale and said the line "Yes, I know there is a lot of demonic activity in Cleveland."

[> Yes- Alterno-Buffy comes from Cleveland -- Tchaikovsky, 09:26:42 05/21/03 Wed

From 'The Wish'- courtesy Psyche:

(into phone/mid talk)
...yes, I understand, but it's
imperative that I see her. Here.
Well, when will you...? You are her
watcher, I would think she'd at least
check in to... Yes. I'm aware there
is a great deal of demonic activity
in Cleveland. It happens, you know,
that Sunnydale is on a Hellmouth... it is so!
(gives up)
Just give her the message, if you
ever see her again.


[> Re: as one who was born and raised in The Land of Cleve... -- PartlyCloudy, 17:08:16 05/21/03 Wed

I can tell you that we had a saying about my beloved hometown when I was growing up:

Cleveland: A nice place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit...

Now I know why... The Hellmouth as a vacation spot? Not so much...

After the last scene, who else thinks... (mini spoilers for Chosen) -- Vash the Stampede, 09:20:29 05/21/03 Wed

that the Scoobies will start recruiting and training slayers at a type of school, sort of like Professer Xaiver's School for Gifted Youngsters? Come to think of it, they are already like the X-Men; they've got a Cyclops and a Phoneix ;)

You know, that could make a pretty cool series down the road; Slayer High or something. Set it a few years in the future, have reformed Watcher's Council set up to train and teach, and the occasional guest appearance by the old gang, and it could be pretty good. You could follow the progress of one Slayer, or a group, or hell, different individuals over the years. Oh, and it should be set in England (I'm obsessed with British Culture)

[> Re: After the last scene, who else thinks... (mini spoilers for Chosen) -- Belladonna, 14:04:23 05/21/03 Wed

I'm pretty sure that ME thought of that. I read somewhere that Marti Noxon and Joss Whedon were tossing around an idea just like that...a slayer training school. I think they decided against it, but who knows?

[> I can see it now... -- RichardX1, 16:13:03 05/21/03 Wed

"It's all right 'cause I'm Saved from the Hell!"

Saved from the Hell, coming to NBC Saturday Mornings this fall!


The final empowerment of Buffy Anne Summers (spoilers Chosen) -- lunasea, 10:39:05 05/21/03 Wed

Still sort of torn about the ending, but loving it more the more I think about it.

The parable of "Chosen," as with any Joss episode, exists on so many levels. Joss created his fantasy, a world where "every girl who could have the power will have the power." He has said it often enough in interviews. He empowered the little blond girl in the alley to empower us all. As Buffy says in STSP "Me, I got so much strength I'm givin' it away." Joss has done that beautifully with his writers. It really is a pity that Marti couldn't write 7.21. She is living proof of Joss' power. Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie were a good second choice, people that started as story editors and quickly rose through the ranks.

In some ways, I didn't feel like "Chosen" was about Buffy's empowerment, but Joss' wish for us all. I also felt like it was Joss' wish for himself. We have heard about how lonely Buffy is all season and the smile at the end said it all. Being exceptional is lonely. The show has explored this wonderfully. Buffy was no longer alone. Not sure how I still feel about this. Seems sort of cheap to me. Rather than Buffy learn to deal with being extraordinary, she is no longer extraordinary. She didn't lose her power, but empowered everyone who wanted it.

I guess I would have liked them to have earned it more, like they did with the mutiny of "Empty Places." A lot of "Chosen" seemed to be just tidying things up with a simple line or look, such as Giles and Buffy. Joss is great at doing that. His actors are great at giving us so much in between the lines. It really does make the audience have to "sit forward and think about it."

The final solution is always just symbolic of Buffy's realization. So what was Buffy's epiphany this time around? First, I want to say to the girl, 7 years of realizations and you aren't exactly raw. Besides, I prefer cookie dough to cookies. That is usually what I snack on when in chat (that or frosting).

Back to the cookie dough metaphor. That is the realization that comes out of the turgid supernatural soap opera. One thing about it really bugged me. We aren't ever finished baking. We never become what it is we are to become. When I was 22, I thought the same way, though, so I'm not going to fault Buffy for not getting that part. If anything, this speech in tone reminded me of Angel in "Epiphany" when he figured out a lot, but he also figured out that he didn't have everything figured out yet. He became more open, what in Buddhism we refer to as the human realm.

This is why Buffy can't be with Angel. In an interview Joss said that when Buffy and Angel get together, the audience would be reminded why they can't be together. The curse wasn't brought up. Neither was the whole being a vampire thing. Seems at this point, that really doesn't bother either of them. So what is keeping them apart? "Sometimes." Buffy does think every now and then about the long-term with Angel. She wants to be cookies then. The whole point is not to think this way.

She doesn't think that way with Spike. He isn't Mr. Right. He is Mr. Right Now. It can be debated whether Buffy means it when she says "I love you," but I think that Spike is admitting that he knows that she doesn't think he is Mr. Right. She is just trying and it means a lot to him that she would even do that.

Trying. The first major realization that Buffy has at the beginning of the episode is that nothing is wrong with her. She just doesn't get everything yet and that is ok. In Buddhism the human realm is characterized by doubt and inquisitiveness and the longing for something better. We are not as absorbed by the all consuming preoccupations of the other states of being. We begin to wonder whether it is possible to relate to the world as simple, dignified human beings. That is exactly where Joss puts his hero to start with.

From here, enlightenment is actually possible. From the other realms, the only thing possible is to continue the round of rebirths. Just because you are in the human realm doesn't mean that enlightenment will happen. Typically, when Buffy gets close, circumstances intervene to push her to another realm. This is probably the most firmly we have seen her established in it. It actually last more than one scene and survives her interaction with two jealous vampires.

In her interaction with Spike, she even allows herself to be a bit more vulnerable than we have seen. First she not-so-subtly tells him that she needs a place to sleep. Then when he admits he was bluffing, she shows how relieved she is. It in an interesting place to be in after admitting to Angel that she thinks he may be Mr. Right (and the big sap basically says he'll wait for her) and that she doesn't think that Spike is. Even with all that, she goes back and tries to try. She's just trying to get baked and isn't about to turn off the oven just because she isn't cookies yet.

The jealousy of the two vampires is great, but as usually it is all about Buffy. What is important is that she doesn't let their jealousy interfere. She calls them both on it, but she doesn't write either of them off because of it. Even though Angel was acting like a 12 year old, she won't let him leave without letting him know that she does think about him sometimes. With Spike, even though he was being an 8 year old, Buffy still gives him the pendant and wants to spend the night with him. It really shows how much she has grown as a person. Compare this to her interaction with Angel in "Sanctuary" where the only reason they managed to patch things up is because HE made the effort.

From Buffy firmly established in the human realm, just trying to get baked, we go to the appearance of the First. Wasn't this the first time the First actually appeared to Buffy alone? In "End of Days" she obviously heard "Faith go boom," but when else has this entity appeared to Buffy this season? Buffy was the only major player it hadn't taunted. It picks now, when she has actually made some progress, to appear and try to undermine her. It hasn't needed to prior to this. Uncooked Buffy who is willing to overlook the childish attitude of her "dead lover" is now a threat.

So the First comes a-taunting. Buffy will have none of it. She is the most resilient out of everyone it has faced. It thinks it has won when it leaves, but really it has given Buffy the key to its defeat. This is what is symbolically represented by turning everyone into Slayers.

Here is what she tells the girls (thanks Rufus):


I love the parables of Joss. This is the final realization that Buffy has. Buffy has felt superior because she is Slayer. She is Slayer because thousands of years ago, a bunch of people said that the Slayer is one, alone, the strongest, most fierce warrior. This woman, meaning Buffy's spirit, is stronger than that rule. We see this symbolically through the magick she performs.

What we are seeing is the dictates of society, that are often formed by men who died thousands of years ago, not being as strong as the human spirit. Joss gets a lot of praise for what he is able to do. It is easy to feel special and better than others when this happens. I am sure that a lot here have had similar experiences. Society values certain things. On a show about geeks and nerds, there is a balance. On the one hand, we tend not to be accepted socially by the "regular" people. On the other, our talents tend to be praised. It is easy to compensate for the social isolation by developing a superiority complex based on those talents.

What Buffy is saying is "Fuck that. Who cares about what society says? Who cares what the rules are? I am NOT better than all of you because some long dead men said so. My spirit is going to empower you all."

Buffy, being in the human realm, does find a new way to relate to the world as a simple, dignified human being. She isn't relating as Slayer. She is relating as a human. Her spirit wants to empower others. Why can't she? Because others say she can't. F-that. Joss is different from the other people in Hollywood. As much as he claims to be an egomaniac, he actually nurtures his writers. He convinced Marti to be executive producer, telling her that he would make her a better writer. He has. I look forward to her new show (midseason replacement on Fox). Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie, the people who wrote "End of Days" started as story editors and quickly rose in the ranks. He does the same thing with his actors. He has been loyal to Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres among others. He pushed his cast with OMWF and has really caused David Boreanaz to grow into such an amazing actor that he won this years Saturn award for Best Actor. I don't think we could begin to list all the ways that Joss has empowered his cast and crew to excel.

But that is how he handles being so exceptional. He doesn't adopt some false modesty. He empowers those around him. What other producer would take someone as inexperienced as Drew Goddard and let him fly? Society says that you have to work your way up the ladder. Talent doesn't matter. Drive doesn't. Experience does. Joss says f-that. He takes inexperienced actors like Nick Brendon and David Boreanaz and gives them a real shot.

And that is what Buffy realized. Screw what those dead men said. I don't have to play by their rules. I don't have to relate to everyone here as Slayer-Potentials. We can all be Slayers.

Then she sets about making it so. Joss has created Marti, who is now running her own show. He says he is going to let Jeff Bell stay in control over at Angel. His writers are getting ready to leave the nest on both shows. Joss really has created other Slayers who can now face the world stronger.

Everything after this on the show is just the exclamation point, which is why he didn't show it until the Scoobies reconnected in what really harkened back to the beginning.

Buffy's final empowerment, her final realization was to make real the words of the Prayer of St. Francis that ended "Grave."

Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon...
Where there is doubt, faith...
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy...
O divine master grant that I may...
...not so much seek to be consoled as to console... be understood as to understand... be loved as to love...
For it is in giving that we receive

That is the final message that Joss wants to give us. To be truly empowered, it isn't about power, but what we do with it.

[> Final empowerment and Easy Bake-iness -- Vesica, 13:46:27 05/21/03 Wed

In some ways, I didn't feel like "Chosen" was about Buffy's empowerment, but Joss' wish for us all. I also felt like it was Joss' wish for himself. We have heard about how lonely Buffy is all season and the smile at the end said it all. Being exceptional is lonely. The show has explored this wonderfully. Buffy was no longer alone. Not sure how I still feel about this. Seems sort of cheap to me. Rather than Buffy learn to deal with being extraordinary, she is no longer extraordinary. She didn't lose her power, but empowered everyone who wanted it.

I saw this 'non-exceptionality' as the key element in a beautiful ending to the series. All Buffy has ever wanted from Day 1 is a chance to be a little less special. Her repeated rejection of her calling or threatened 'retirement' during the first few seasons. The heart wrenching dilemma that Buffy could get into college but probably not attend. Those episodes where she agonized over having no future career, no future family and no future to grow as a normal girl were answered poetically in an ending where Buffy is finally free.

Many of my friends were rooting for her (third) death. But now that is unnecessary. When Dawn asks 'What do we do now, Buffy?' - her sisters silence is out of a profound peace. For the first time in her life, Buffy is not solely responsible for the fate of the world (ignoring the smidgen of a season where Faith was 'good'). She can do whatever she wants! What an amazing gift to a girl who has given up so much for the greater good - the ignorant masses who never even know she's saved them - Yet again!

I guess I would have liked them to have earned it more, like they did with the mutiny of "Empty Places." A lot of "Chosen" seemed to be just tidying things up with a simple line or look, such as Giles and Buffy. Joss is great at doing that. His actors are great at giving us so much in between the lines. It really does make the audience have to "sit forward and think about it."

Earned, pooh! Yeah the awesome powers are great but no one ever cheers about the sacrifice and responsibility that goes with it.

Back to the cookie dough metaphor. That is the realization that comes out of the turgid supernatural soap opera. One thing about it really bugged me. We aren't ever finished baking. We never become what it is we are to become. When I was 22, I thought the same way, though, so I'm not going to fault Buffy for not getting that part.

Speaking from a hard earned, "All-I-know-is-I-don't-know-nearly-enough" 24 years, I am with her on this one. While we are never finished baking (i.e. learning and growing) there is a point where who we are and what really matters to us in life all kind of gels. I don't think Buffy is there yet...heck I don't think I am there yet. Until this point, what does one really have to offer someone else? I like you a lot right now - let's see in a few years? How are to you judge compatibility when you are not yet sure what you need and want from yourself?

He is Mr. Right Now. It can be debated whether Buffy means it when she says "I love you," but I think that Spike is admitting that he knows that she doesn't think he is Mr. Right. She is just trying and it means a lot to him that she would even do that... She's just trying to get baked and isn't about to turn off the oven just because she isn't cookies yet.

I too have spent time pondering this diolouge...I think Buffy does love Spike in a way. Perhaps he, having had more time to bake, understands better than she what she means when she says those three magic words....and that they are quite different when he says them.

Overall, wow! Amazing ending...thanks for the thoughtful comments lunasea - they helped me sort it all out.

Because She Lives, or The Cookie Dough Rises (Chosen spoilers) -- Rob, 11:45:06 05/21/03 Wed

THE FIRST: You think you can fight me. I'm not a demon, little girl. I'm something you can't conceive. The first evil. Beyond sin, beyond death... I am the thing the darkness fears. You will never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate...


BUFFY: Everyone's counting on me.

JOYCE: They do that. And I'm sorry, but these friends of yours put too much pressure on you. They always have.

BUFFY: Something Evil is coming.

JOYCE: Buffy, Evil isn't "coming." It's already here. Evil is always here. Don't you know? It's everywhere.

BUFFY: I have to stop it.

JOYCE: How are you going to do that?

BUFFY: I, I don't know. Yet, but...

JOYCE: Buffy. No matter what your friends expect of you, Evil is a part of us. All of us, it's natural. And no one can stop that. No one can stop nature. Not even...


BELJOXA'S EYE: It cannot be fought...It cannot be killed...The First Evil has been and always will be... Since before the universe was born... Long after there is nothing else... It will go on.


GILES: If The First has been around for all time... why hasn't it attempted something like this before?! Why now?!

BELJOXA'S EYE: The mystical forces surrounding the Chosen line have been irrevocably altered. Become... unstable. Vulnerable.

ANYA: Why? Something The First did?!

BELJOXA'S EYE: The First Evil did not cause the disruption. Only seized upon it. To extinguish the lives of the Chosen forever.

GILES: Then what caused the disruption?! What is responsible for letting this happen?!

BELJOXA'S EYE: The Slayer.


ANYA: I just... still don't understand how Buffy's death mucked up the Slayer mojo. Not like she hasn't died before.

Giles stops and turns to her.

GILES: It's not her dying. The Beljoxa's Eye was clear... in its enigmatic way... It's because she lives. Again...(then)Buffy's not responsible for that.

ANYA: NO. It's our fault. Willow and me and Xander and... and Tara. We brought her back... We're the reason The First is here. The reason all those girls were murdered...

So, all year, we've been wondering, how is Buffy going to fight an incorporeal villain? An evil that has been around since before the world was fact, the source of all evil? How would Buffy fight back and prevent evil from overtaking the world? It is in each and every one of us, including Buffy and her closest friends. Evil as a concept cannot be destroyed, cannot be hit, cannot be pummelled, cannot be extinguised.

The second thing that has been especially niggling at me all season was this exchange from the third issue of "Fray," Joss' comic book about a Slayer in the future, the first to be called in centuries:

MELAKA: Good. Good. Tell me about the Slayers while I bleed to death. They made that first one...

URKONN: She fought, and died, and was succeeded by another, throughout time. Always a woman. Always a warrior... They were trained. Sought out and guided by Watchers, descendants of the shamans who created the First Slayer.

MELAKA: ... Why don't you tell me what happened to the last one?

URKONN: Because I don't know. It was some hundreds of years ago, in the twenty-first century. What we do know is this --there was a battle. A Slayer, possibly with mystical allies, faced an apocalyptic army of demons... and when it was done, they were all gone. All demons, all magicks, banished from this earthly dimension.

MELAKA: And the Slayer? Did she...

URKONN: I do not know if she lived. But, the demons being gone, she was the last to be called. The line continued - there were girls with the power, but they were never called, never trained...

All season, I figured, Slayer in the 21st century, with mystical allies...must be Buffy. How could Joss end Buffy: the Series, though, with the banishing of all demons, and still be able to continue the franchise with AtS and future spin-offs? And if this isn't the final battle, what kind of closure will we have on Buffy as a character? The last episode can't just be any other apocalyptic battle, but it certainly can't be the last. How in the name of Hades would Joss satisfyingly pull off an ending for the series that felt like an ending and provided closure, but not seal off his franchise?

What he came up with was absolutely brilliant. No, evil can't be destroyed. It will last forever, but now the balance has been irrevocably shifted into the hands of the good. I've suspected for a while now that the reason the First has been able to gain power is not just because the Slayer lives on, but because she has spent the last two years mostly depressed and disconnected. The other Slayer has been incarcerated, living in a protective bubble for the past 3 years. The Slayer line is weak because both active Slayers at the time are weak. All year, Buffy has tried to combat the First by cutting herself off from everybody else, stifling her emotions, making herself cold and hard. In the back of her head, she has been positive that she will lose and she is preparing herself for the deaths of her friends and the Potentials.

BUFFY: I have to fight it and the truth is, I don't have any more answers than I did then. There's so many people to protect...

HOLDEN: And you have to do that alone.

BUFFY: I have friends, they do it with me -- sometimes they do it in spite of me, but they do it 'cause they're decent people. I do it 'cause I was chosen.

She looks at him, understanding a bit better.

BUFFY: I sort of think... this is complicated and if you'd rather just fight...

HOLDEN: Tell me.

BUFFY: I feel like I'm worse than anyone, honestly, I'm beneath them. My friends, my boyfriends, I feel like I'm not worthy of their love 'cause even though they love me it doesn't really mean anything because their opinions don't matter. They don't know. They haven't been through what I've been through, they're not the Slayer... I am. And sometimes I feel... this is what's so awful. (beat) I feel like I'm better than them. Superior.

A beat as he takes this in.

HOLDEN: So you can't win.

She looks down as he smiles kindly.

HOLDEN: And I thought I was diabolical. Or, I plan to be. You do have a superiority complex, and you've got an inferiority complex about it. Kudos.

BUFFY: It doesn't make any sense.

HOLDEN: It makes every kind of sense. It just adds up to you feeling alone. And, Buffy... everybody feels alone. Everybody is, 'til they die.

How will Buffy get over these feelings of separation and loneliness? The answer ends up being so pure and beautiful in its simplicity. In fact, she answered it herself earlier this year:

WILLOW: It just takes so much strength. I don't have that much.

Buffy shifts on the bed, so that she's sitting cross-legged too, facing Willow. She touches Willow's hand with hers. Observant viewers may notice that this is the first time anyone has touched Willow this episode.

BUFFY: Me, I got so much strength I'm givin' it away.

Buffy will share her power with others. She doesn't need to be the only one bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders. She can give this power to others, using, significantly, as a conduit, Willow. This idea works on so perfectly on so many levels, because it's thoroughly satisfying, both plot-wise and emotion-wise. It makes perfect sense with the mythology of the series, allows Buffy to finally reach the peace she's always longed for, and speaks to the themes of female empowerment that have always run through the series. Come to think of it, the Beljoxa's Eye was more helpful than they had realized earlier in the year. Let's look at his words again:

The mystical forces surrounding the Chosen line have been irrevocably altered. Become... unstable.

Buffy takes this vulnerability and subverts it, using the cause of the Slayers' (and by extension, the world's) possible destruction, the altering of the "mystical forces surrounding the Chosen line," and turning it on its head. The Beljoxa's Eye, although it claims to not know the future, accurately predicted what Buffy would do in the end. Some people worried earlier in the year that the fact that the Shadowmen had forced the First Slayer to be imbued with the spirit of the demon lessened the female empowerment theme of the show. Now we learn that it has not. Buffy has never been one for prophecy and has never been willing to play by the ancient rules. She is the first slayer to fire the Council, overthrowing the patriarchy, and now completely overthrows any patriarchal hold and control the Watchers and Shadowmen ever had on the Slayers. She uses the Slayer power that the female Guardians had harnessed to protect the Slayer and shatters the old rule that a bunch of old men made up, that there could only be one Slayer in the world.

In the end, evil has not been vanquished forever. The First Evil has not been destroyed. As Joyce and the Beljoxa's Eye said, it can't. But the First has lost its army and its power, and further, now, there is not only one girl preventing the evil in all of us taking over the world, but slews of girls. The First doesn't have a group of weak little girls to pick off any more, but an entire army of Slayers who will stand up and fight. And we already know what will eventually happen: the demons will all be fought off. Again, the First Evil will never be destroyed, but it will never win, either. "Buffy" reached a perfect conclusion. Buffy the character is no longer alone, no longer isolated. She can finally be a whole person. That smile on her face was the most satisfying final shot I could have hoped for.

Is this the end of the story? Not by a long shot. After all, there is still a Hellmouth in Cleveland.


[> Lovely, Rob -- ponygirl, 12:01:54 05/21/03 Wed

I'm not as satisfied with the conclusion as you - thematically yes, sharing the power was something we've been headed to all season, but plot-wise? and emotionally? Buffy's emotional arc has been about disconnection, the power was never something she wanted therefore her sharing of it is less of a resolution. She has won her freedom from the burden of leadership but will it allow her to connect to others?

[> [> Re: Lovely, Rob -- Rob, 12:10:57 05/21/03 Wed

but plot-wise? and emotionally? Buffy's emotional arc has been about disconnection, the power was never something she wanted therefore her sharing of it is less of a resolution. She has won her freedom from the burden of leadership but will it allow her to connect to others?

See, I think it already has. That which always kept her apart from others was her Slayer power. Now that she is no longer the only one, she is no longer "above" her friends (in fact, she freely admits that Willow is stronger than all of the forces that created the Slayer).

And it was a major sacrifice, IMO, because whether she claimed to have wanted it or not, it is a major change in her identity now--she may not have loved it all of the time but being the Slayer and the power that comes with it is who she is. She was jealous when she first met Kendra, as well as when she first met Faith, because although she later thought for a while about letting each of them take over, she was the Chosen One. Who are they to say they are too? Buffy doesn't have to be the leader anymore, and most importantly, it's a conclusion she reached all by herself.

All the proof that we need that she can connect with humanity now, IMO, is the scene with the Willow, Xander, and Giles in the school hallway that so brilliantly echoed the end of "The Harvest," and the final scene. A major part of the hero's journey is that when the hero comes back from the dead, he shares the knowledge he has learned with others. Buffy up to this point had not. Now, she has shared not only her knowledge but the very essence of it, her very power, with the entire world.


[> [> Re: Lovely, Rob -- dream, 12:33:48 05/21/03 Wed

**She has won her freedom from the burden of leadership**

Oooh, but has she? I loved the way they undercut the sense that now Buffy was one among many equals by the quesiton "What do we do now?" Even now, she's the leader, the one they look to for guidance.

Emotionally - yes, I think she was connected more fully. A longer show would have done more justice to this, but I think we could see it in
her interactions with Angel, esp. the cookie-dough speech (maybe I'm not so different after all)
her easy reconciliation with Dawn
her continuing to sleep (literally) with Spike
her happiness at Giles approval of her plan
the four core Scoobie moment in the hallway at the school (this one particularly)
her willingness to throw the weapon to Faith (when there were other choices)
her telling Spike she loved him (of course)

The very idea of the plan seems to indicate a major change in her thinking about herself. I'll buy it all, though I do agree with you that it could have been laid out more fully. A two-hour finale would have given us more time with Faith (though that was handled pretty well last episode), Xander (ditto), the Potentials, Willow, and Giles. But I do think they did remarkably well with the time that was left.

[> [> [> You could tell this was a Joss episode, because... -- Rob, 12:46:27 05/21/03 Wed

...even though it was only a regular-sized episode, it was balanced perfectly. Think about how much occurred in that 42 minute period, not just plot-wise but character-wise too. Joss' greatest genius, IMO, is in how he doesn't waste one moment of screen time. Willow, for example, probably didn't have much more screen time than she has in many other eps this year, but to me at least, it felt like more. Same for Anya. The reason is that every moment each of the characters was on screen was completely satisfying and fulfilling. The thing I always remember is that the Witch in The Wizard of Oz is on screen for a total of 8 minutes, and yet her performance so pervades the film that it seems impossible for this to be the case. Small gestures such as Willow's "That was nifty" speak such volumes about the characters. That tiny line and expression on Will's face, for example, was the perfect culmination of her character--one of the most powerful witches in the world, and at the same time, a geek. Dawn's kicking Buffy was brilliant. Giles telling Buffy that her idea was brilliant, was brilliant. The D&D scene was brilliant. Joss is a damn fine director and'll never believe this...I liked Kennedy in this episode!! I'm glad this wasn't a 2 hour episode, because this one hour, IMO, was a perfect encapsulation of the series. No more needed to be said. Sometimes less really is more.


[> [> [> [> What? Liked Kennedy in this episode? Did I hear you correctly? -- HonorH, 17:38:21 05/21/03 Wed

You never cease to amaze me, Roberino!

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! Yes, it's true! -- Rob, 20:11:52 05/21/03 Wed

Maybe it's because she admits to being a brat, and she toned down the whiny voice (which I assume was a result of Joss' directing her). I still don't know how much chemistry the two have, but I can much more by them as a "not-in-love-but-having-fun-at-the-moment" couple than I could before.

One question though...Did Kennedy survive? We last see her in the school, but I didn't catch her in the bus later, or in the final scene. I thought Joss might have left that purposely ambiguous. Those who hate Kennedy could think she died, those who don't could think she lived. Unless she was there and I didn't notice. Did you catch that?


[> [> [> [> [> [> Regarding that-- -- HonorH, 22:27:21 05/21/03 Wed

Yes, she survived. You see her at the end, when they all get off the bus. They're gathered in a group, with Xander supporting Willow, and Kennedy right beside her. I'm pretty sure she even has a line. Joss couldn't leave it ambiguous, not after Tara's death.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, I didn't think he would leave it open... -- Rob (Brand-New Kennedy Devotee), 22:48:40 05/21/03 Wed

But I completely didn't notice her. Next time I watch (my third time!) I'll keep an eye out for her. Ya never know, maybe when I rewatch the 7th season eps I'll be able to appreciate Kennedy now. You were right, did eventually happen! Who'd've thunk?

"I would like to thank HonorH for her unbridled enthusiasm for Kennedy and her wiley, pierced-tongue-y ways..." ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I knew you'd come around eventually! LOL!! -- LittleBit, 00:37:41 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And it wasn't even that painful! ;o) -- Rob, 08:04:12 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> Buffy's fire...and feminine archetypes -- Caroline, 13:08:58 05/21/03 Wed

I was more satisfied than you appear to be ponygirl. There were 3 important disconnections for Buffy - from her own darkness (the erotic feminine), from her protective side (the maternal) and from her emotional isolation she put herself under as the slayer (warrior). I think that we saw these connections being forged (again in some cases) and made stronger.

Buffy comes to a realization that her own emotional isolation is related to her own response to being a slayer, not to her slayer powers themselves. We see in her conversation with Angel that she comes to some awareness of her internal emotional state (even though the cookie dough analogy was kinda weird and not at all sub-text-y and sets up about a thousand rather rude comments). We also see this in her conversation with FE/Buffy - the FE is so keen to keep her isolated - from Spike, from the potentials - that the lightbulb goes on in Buffy's head and we see her getting it together. She had 'failed' the potentials before and everyone had turned her out but now she has the confidence back precisely by being connected to them. Buffy connects with the potentials and Dawn - she gives 'birth' to the former's existence as slayers and while she did try to protect Dawn, she accepted her return and allowed her to fight with the big kids. Buffy also managed to connect with her own darkness and eroticism, through their representations, Angel and Spike. She sets an important boundary with Angel - she's not ready right now, she might be but there are no guarantees. Spike is in her heart right now but she's not thinking of happy-ever-afters. But what she does have to give, she gives to Spike, who has represented the projection of her own darkness. She comes to accept this and love this part of herself and this is symbolized by Buffy wanted to be with Spike. All their interactions are rather tender and it's clear that Spike is the present tense and Angel is the past tense. She gives him the amulet, and when it becomes active, she wants to stay with him. But while her darkness has to be cleansed and purified, Buffy herself does not need to die. In fact, she needs to live so that she can be a psychologically integrated person and live the life she must live after having completed this part of her journey. She is fully alive now, no longer having secret sex to feel something. In OMWF she sang

'I touch the fire and it freezes me, I look into it and it's black. Why can't I feel, my skin should crack and peel, I want the fire back.'

When she clasped Spike's hand and their hands were on fire, it was the completion of that desire to feel the fire in OMWF. Buffy makes the final connection on the disconnected parts of herself - she's a mother/protector, a warrior and and erotic, desirable person. Buffy is fully alive now and this set of internal demons are destroyed, thus the destruction of the physical landscape that represented those demons. This episode is the companion to The Gift - the realization that Buffy needs to live and that is the gift that she can give to the world. Her return from paradise has been hard but she has accomplished it. And I feel that even though there are many slayers, Buffy will still be the leader. She seems to have an intuitive power and resource that is unparalleled and in the last scene, where everyone was standing around, they were all questioning Buffy about what they should do next. It sounds like 'Where do we go from here?' from OMWF.

[> [> [> Lovely post. You said this better than I did above. -- s'kat, 13:29:39 05/21/03 Wed

But what she does have to give, she gives to Spike, who has represented the projection of her own darkness. She comes to accept this and love this part of herself and this is symbolized by Buffy wanted to be with Spike. All their interactions are rather tender and it's clear that Spike is the present tense and Angel is the past tense. She gives him the amulet, and when it becomes active, she wants to stay with him. But while her darkness has to be cleansed and purified, Buffy herself does not need to die. In fact, she needs to live so that she can be a psychologically integrated person and live the life she must live after having completed this part of her journey. She is fully alive now, no longer having secret sex to feel something. In OMWF she sang

'I touch the fire and it freezes me, I look into it and it's black. Why can't I feel, my skin should crack and peel, I want the fire back.'

When she clasped Spike's hand and their hands were on fire, it was the completion of that desire to feel the fire in OMWF. Buffy makes the final connection on the disconnected parts of herself - she's a mother/protector, a warrior and and erotic, desirable person. Buffy is fully alive now and this set of internal demons are destroyed, thus the destruction of the physical landscape that represented those demons. This episode is the companion to The Gift - the realization that Buffy needs to live and that is the gift that she can give to the world. Her return from paradise has been hard but she has accomplished it. And I feel that even though there are many slayers, Buffy will still be the leader. She seems to have an intuitive power and resource that is unparalleled and in the last scene, where everyone was standing around, they were all questioning Buffy about what they should do next. It sounds like 'Where do we go from here?' from OMWF.

Wish I'd read that before posting. While it is by no means anything similar to what I did post. It is in many ways what I was trying to figure out.

Well said.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy's fire...and feminine archetypes -- ponygirl, 13:57:29 05/21/03 Wed

Caroline, that was great! There are many aspects of the episode that I thought were perfect, Buffy's cookie dough speech -questionable analogy and all - was one of them. The hand clasp with Spike, which was both romantic, tragic, and erotic was another. I agree completely with your interpretation of the destruction of Sunnydale and the re-working of the mournful question of OMWF to something more hopeful... but I just don't feel the resolution of Buffy's journey as I should. Maybe I'll get there, I just churned out a lot of negativity in a post above and feel better. Thank you for a wonderful post though!

[> [> [> So well put Caroline... -- Kate, 15:00:21 05/21/03 Wed

This analysis sums up the episode (and the series) perfectly. Buffy is now a whole person - slayer, woman, lover, protector, etc. I won't add more b/c you stated it so clearly and precisely.

[> [> [> Perfect on the fire, Caroline -- mamcu, 15:44:10 05/21/03 Wed

I was struggling to see what that meant, and that's it, exactly--the fire from OMWF.

[> [> [> Brava! A perfect post! -- HonorH (applauding), 17:41:31 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Because She Lives, or The Cookie Dough Rises (Chosen spoilers) -- Rina, 14:50:38 05/21/03 Wed

Great opinion, Rob! Nobody could have said it better! It also brings to mind something else that has been on my mind.

With a system of only one Slayer, the masculine power - namely the Shadowmen and later, the Watcher's Council, have been in control; believing they are in the right to control these powerful girls/young women. How many times over the years have we witnessed Buffy expressed resentment over the Watchers Council's attempt to control her? And I suspect that Giles' earlier attempt to have Spike killed, was another example of such control - hence their estrangement during most of the latter half of Season 7. But when Buffy went out and acquired the scythe on her own and later killed Caleb, I believe that Giles had finally saw the light and finally began to view himself as Buffy's equal, as opposed to her guardian and watcher.

Will there be another Watchers' Council? I hope not. Instead I would hope that Buffy and the others begin some kind of school for those Slayers who want and need initial training. I also hope this school will teach them to be in control of their own destinies.

[> [> I Don't Know... -- Wizard, 16:44:26 05/21/03 Wed

... I think there will be another Council. For all of their numerous flaws and shortcomings, they served a purpose. But Watcher's Council Version 2 will be different from Version 1, in that the Watchers and the Slayers (and I suspect the Guardians, as re-started by Willow) will be partners, the way Buffy and Giles are at their best. And how many things have been able to defeat that partnership?

[> And how cool was... -- grifter, 15:10:17 05/21/03 Wed

...Vi in this episode? She´s always been my favorite Potential (ok, so not saying much, but I really did like her from the beginning). From "These guys are dust!" over the slicing and dicing of the Ubervamps to "This is nothing!", she was great! I can still remember how she clinged to her lil´ dagger in Potential, scared of a single, normal vampire.

Also, the music ruled! Was it Chris Becks doing? Anyone know?

[> love the connection w/stsp, rob! never would've thought of that! -- anom, 00:01:23 05/22/03 Thu

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