The Gift

Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon

Perri's Review | Name's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

Death, terror, destruction... Yes, it's season finale time again. Like we expected anything else from Joss at this point but a massive mind-frell....

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- everything. From the very first "You are the Slayer" speech, through almost every episode in the last five season. How cool is this?

And even the present looks familiar, like we've been here before, racing through the alleys, like the young man who pants to a halt. He's being chased by a vampire, one of those things Buffy was Called to fight. And here she is, poking her head out the back door. "Are you guys having a fight? 'Cuz, you know, fighting's not cool." The boy tries to warn Buffy off, but she saunters into the fight. The vampire had no idea who he's facing, and Buffy takes him down after some witty banter and a good, long fight. The boy gapes at Buffy in awe. "But... you're just a girl." She smiles sadly. "That's what I keep saying." Somehow, even more than the previously-on montage, this seems to summarize Buffy's life. Which should be warning enough right there....

Buffy wanders back into the Magic Shop, where the Scooby Gang is gathered, trying to find a way to take down Glory and rescue Dawn, slated for sacrifice. Nothing new is presenting itself. The Key's energy is supposed to flow into a specific place at a specific time, and the walls between the dimensions would fall, unleashing hell on Earth. Stop the flow, the walls come back up; otherwise, Hell settles in for a visit. For their purposes, the Key's energy = Dawn's blood. Stop the flow = Dawn's death. "Why blood?" Xander demands. Spike answers him, of course: "Blood is life, lack-brain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead. 'Course it's her blood." To his credit, he is severely not happy about the prospect.

There appear to be only two ways this fight can go -- they stop Glory before the bloodletting starts, or they kill Dawn to stop it. And that is one option Buffy will not consider, even when Giles starts yelling. "Tell me to kill my sister," Buffy dares him. "She's not your sister," he responds quietly. "No, she's more than that. She's me. The monks made her out of me. I hold her and I feel closer to her than... It's not just the memories of her. It's physical. Dawn is a part of me." Giles understands, but he can't back down from the possible necessity. "If the ritual starts, then every living creature in this and every other dimension imaginable will suffer unbearable torment and death... including Dawn." Buffy is equally determined. "Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her." Giles: "You'll fail. You'll die. We all will." He turns away wearily, and Buffy shakes her head. "I'm sorry. I love you all, but... I'm sorry." The angst fest is interrupted by Anya, who quite sensibly just wants the whole point to be moot. Kicked back out of angst, Willow points out that all they have to do is delay Glory so she can't start the ritual. Good, Anya says, let's get some more ideas. Giles and Spike snarls at her to contribute something, and she immediately does. She starts rallying the room to come up with a new plan, and actually provides the basics herself. They've got a Daigon sphere, which is supposed to have power to repel Glory; they've got Olaf's Hammer, suitable for god-killing. They've got Tara, still insane, still being called by something....

It's Ben who brings the robes to Dawn, telling her to put them on. She's.. uncooperative. "I wish there were another way," he tries to apologize. Dawn sneers. "And I wish you'd fall on your head and drown in your own barf. So I guess we're both disappointed." She screams for Glory until the god herself appears, preferring her to Ben. "He's a monster. At least you're up-front about it." Glory shrugs it off, telling her not to be too hard on Ben: he just wants to live, and his touch of humanity is probably the only thing that's kept Glory from killing the Slayer and her crew. "Or maybe you just can't take her," Dawn challenges her, and gets pulled across the room for it. Glory points out a few home truths regarding Dawn's death, and how much it'll benefit the good guys. She shoves Dawn away again, leaving her sprawled on the floor, calling for her sister.

Buffy works out maniacally in the Magic Shop; Giles finally approaches her. They've got to time their attack on Glory very carefully. "I imagine you hate me right now," Giles says quietly. "I love Dawn... but I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to." They settle down almost companionably to discuss apocalypses; they count 6 -- and Buffy counts the cost. She survived sacrificing Angel, but if she loses her sister... She doesn't know how to survive that anymore. Not if everything she loves is stripped away. "I just wish... I just wish my mom was here." She gets up, wanders aimlessly. "MY spirit guide told me death is my gift. Guess that means a Slayer really is just a killer after all." Giles doesn't look at her, but says, "I think you're wrong about that." Buffy shrugs. "Doesn't matter. If Dawn dies, I'm done with it. I'm quitting."

Dawn has changed into the ritual robes, and arranges her own clothing on a chair with careful precision. As she finishes, two minions grab her; it's show time, and they drag her out to the tower that's been erected outside. She goes screaming Buffy's name.

Xander and Anya have been assigned to search the basement for the Daigon sphere, but an apocalypse is a funny thing. As Giles shouts down the stairs to them for a progress report, they stagger out of the boxes frantically retucking clothing. Anya isn't relaxed after sex as usual; she's back to being terrified. The unexpected appearance of the disabled Buffy-bot startles them both; a stuffed bunny scares Anya even worse. Xander tries to calm her and Anya isn't calming. "You see usually when there's an apocalypse I skedaddle, but now I love you so much that I have inappropriately timed sex and try to think of ways to fight a god." She's not scared for herself this time, but she's terrified for Xander. "I'm just on total overload and I honestly don't think I could be more nervous than I am right now." Xander takes a deep breath. ""Care to wager on that?" he challenges, as he holds an open jewelry box up to her. It holds an engagement ring. "Anya... you want to marry me?" She slaps him; not the response he was looking for. "You're proposing to me 'cause we're gonna die! And you think it's romantic and sexy and you know you're not gonna have to go through with it 'cause the world's gonna end!" Xander denies it. "I think we're gonna get through this. I think I'm gonna live a long and silly life, and I'm not interested in doing that without you around." Anya will accept that, and his proposal, but she won't wear the ring yet. "Give it to me when the world doesn't end."

Willow is looking for spells, but starting to freak out under pressure. But she's the only one who's done damage to Glory, and Buffy is counting on her. Willow's got one idea -- she thinks, if she can get close, she can reverse what Glory did to Tara. "It might weaken Glory... or make her less coherent... or it might make all our heads explode." As Buffy nods and moves away, Willow ties to comfort Tara -- who slaps her viciously across the face. Tara's face crumbles as she seems to realize what she's done; Willow's face tightens with resolve to bring Tara back. Meanwhile, Xander and Anya have found the sphere, and have another plan, one Buffy thinks will be pivotal. Spike and Xander have a macho-fight, until Buffy drags Spike out to get weapons. Those are at the Summers house; Buffy is halfway up the stairs before Spike calls her back; he's been uninvited and can't come in. And doesn't expect to be invited -- he just tells Buffy to pass the weapons over to him. Her face softens a little. "Come in, Spike." He blinks, quite sweetly, and steps in, then heads off for weapons. Buffy needs to talk to him, though. They both know people are going to die in this, but Buffy can count on Spike for one thing. "I'm counting on you to protect her." He agrees, as serious as he's ever been. "'Til the end of the world... even if that happens to be tonight." Buffy heads back towards the stairs, but he stops her halfway up. "I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that's...." He runs out of words. "Get your stuff, I'll be here."

It's windy on the top of the tower, as the minions ties Dawn to poles, and leave her there (and the entire audience begins massive The X-Men flashbacks). One says over his shoulder, "She will come to you soon." Comforting, oh yeah. The gang's all here in the magic shop, ready to fight. Willow makes the first move. "Tara, sweetie? Is there somewhere you should be?" She does indeed; the insane girl stumbles out the door, towards Glory, and Buffy turns to the others. "Remember: The ritual starts, we all die; and I'll kill anyone who comes near Dawn." She strides out, as Spike mutters, "Well, not exactly the St. Crispin's Day speech, was it?" Giles almost laughs. "We few, we happy few...." he quotes, brandishing a sword as he strides out. "...We band of buggered," Spike completes, shouldering his own sack of death and following the others out.

The tower is really, really impressive, minions and crazies scuttling around its base when the gang arrives. Only Buffy refuses to blink. "Will, you're up," she says, and Willow braces herself. Tara staggers into the site, unwrapping the bandages around her hand as she goes, until Glory suddenly grabs her from behind. "You! What are you doing here?" "She's with me," Willow announces, and grabs both Glory and Tara. Her hands sink into their heads as lightning flashes between them. Everyone goes sprawling as the spell ends, and the girls stagger off. Glory makes it to her feet, but, "There's a hole," she realizes. Willow's spell evidently worked; Glory is weak and disoriented, and suddenly in desperate need of a brain to munch. "Suppose I could always use yours," she smiles, and there's Buffy, standing a few feet away. "Okay, then," the Slayer dares. "Come and get it."

"You don't look very well," Buffy blinks with annoying perk. Glory sends the minion off to guard Dawn, and they cluster around the base of the stairs. Glory gets ready to pound on Buffy, but she suddenly produces the Daigon sphere. "I heard it's supposed to repel you. So my guess is, you probably shouldn't touch it, either." She tosses it, and Glory fields it automatically; she shudders horribly under its power until she manages to crush it in her hand. Before she can recover enough to resume the banter, Buffy kicks her in the face and the fight is on. The Head Minions call out to the other to stand fast, but that's hard with a crossbow quarrel in your chest. The Scoobies suddenly appear, Anya wielding a baseball bat, Giles with his sword, Spike game-faced and taking on all comers bare-handed, as Dawn watches helplessly from above. Willow manages to crawl to Tara, and her lover opens her eyes -- and recognizes her. "I got so lost," Tara whispers. "I found you," Willow cries. "I will always find you."

The main match-up is Glory and Buffy, and the two seem evenly matched for a while. Until Glory begins to recover and, in one blow, knocks Buffy's head clean off. Wires spark and the remains of the Buffybot falls forward, as Glory stares, dumbfounded. "The Slayer's a robot! Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?" Then a familiar voice comes from behind her. "You're not the brightest god in the heavens, are you?" As Glory turns to face the real Slayer, Buffy hits her in the face with Olaf's hammer. Dawn screams frantically from the tower, and Buffy instantly abandons Glory to race up the stairs towards her sister. Glory follows, and the two are once again slugging it out in and around the bars that make up the skeleton of the derrick. The hammer does damage, but so does Glory, and Buffy can't climb fast enough. She is finally knocked off the derrick, plummeting to the ground -- but she takes Glory with her. They both stumble back tot heir feet, and Glory stops to gloat. "You lost your hammer, Sweetcheeks. What're you gonna hit me with now?" At that moment, a giant wrecking ball swings through the wall next to her, knocking her through another wall. "And the glorified brick-layer picks up a spare," Xander gloats from the controls.

The Scoobies are battered and broken, but as long as Buffy can keep Glory occupied, Giles reminds them, there's still a chance. And there's only a few more minutes to stop the ritual. The odds look good; Buffy has recovered the hammer and is methodically pounding Glory into the ground. But Glory has other allies -- Dawn looks up from the fight and sees Doc standing at the end of the catwalk, smiling mildly. She begs him for help, and he wanders forward, but there's no help coming. "If Her Splendidness can't be here in time to bleed you... Hey, kid? Want to see a trick?" He whips out a very big knife, suitable for, well, sacrifice.

The Scoobies are regrouping on the ground when Spike looks up, and realizes Dawn has company. There are still minions in front of the staircase, making charging seem like a not-good option, but Spike suddenly hears Willow's voice in his head. She orders him to storm the staircase, and he goes, making it to the staircase when the minions are mowed to the side by invisible hands. He races up the stairs and confronts Doc, but the old guy is incredibly fast; he gets behind Spike in an eyeblink, and shoves the knife in Spike's stomach.

Down below, Glory is losing to Buffy, and Spike is still on his feet, bleeding but determined to stay between Dawn and the baffled Doc. " I don't smell a soul on you anywhere. Why do you even care?" Spike sways, but stays up. "I made a promise to a lady." Doc's tongue suddenly lunges out and Spike ducks aside; Doc kicks Spike's legs out form under him, knocking him to the floor of the catwalk. "Then I'll send the lady your regrets," he says, holding Spike over the edge. Spike gives Dawn one long, desperate look of apology, before Doc throws him off. It's a long, long way to the ground; Spike falls on a pile of rubble and lies motionless.

Buffy is still fully occupied with bashing Glory's brains in, too busy to understand what's happening above her. Glory's face finally melts into Ben's, and he looks blearily up at Buffy. "I'm sorry." Buffy's not interested. "Tell her it's over. She missed her shot. She goes. If she ever, ever comes near me and mine again..." Ben swear they won't, and Buffy drops the hammer, abandoning the defeated god in favor of getting to her sister. "I guess we're stuck with other, huh, baby," Ben mumbles through blood, before he looks up to see Giles standing over him. "She could have killed me," he mumbles, and Giles shakes his head sadly. "No, she couldn't. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy... and the world with her. Buffy even knows that, and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us." Before Ben has time to realize what that means, Giles' hand covers his nose and mouth quite firmly. Ben clutches at Giles a few times before he dies.

But Doc doesn't know it's too late. He still has the knife, and Dawn screams as he cuts into her sides. Blood begins to flow. Buffy arrives just a little too late; she shoves Doc away (and off) without a second thought, running to her sister. "It hurts," Dawn gasps as Buffy frees, then embraces her. And the first drop of blood runs down Dawn's leg to her foot, and drips into space.

White light flares, twists, opens.

Buffy begins to drag Dawn off the catwalk, but Dawn has seen the portal open. Lightning flashes begin hitting the city; wherever they strike monster -- hideous demons like nothing Earth has ever seen -- appear. The walls are open. Spike rolls away as the ground cracks open under him, and Anya pushes Xander out of the way as lightning strike near them, only to fall under a pile of rubble. Buffy and Dawn look at each other, then Dawn tries to break past Buffy to jump. Buffy stops her, and Dawn tries to talk her sister into letting her go. "I have to stop it. I have to! Look at what's happening!" Something big with wings that looks hungry flies out of the portal. "Buffy, you have to let me go. Once the blood stops flowing, it'll never stop. You know you have to let me. It has to have the blood." And as Buffy stares at her sister, she flashes back: Spike on the stairs of the magic shop, telling Xander, "Because it's always got to be blood. Sitting with Dawn one the floor of a hospital room, sharing their blood -- Summers blood. Facing Giles in the Magic Shop: "She's me. The monks made her out of me." The First Slayer: "Death is your gift." She turns slowly to look at the portal, realization crossing her face as the sun begins to rise. She turns to Dawn, who realizes what's going to happen, and holds her arms, saying something we can't hear. She finishes by kissing her sister's cheek -- then she turns and runs to the end of the catwalk, and leaps into the portal. As she falls through the light, her face a study first in pain, then in a strange kind of peace, her voice echoes:

Dawn, listen to me. Listen: I love you. I will always love you. This is the work that I have to do.

The portal closes, and the Scooby Gang gather around as dawn breaks. Willow and Tara are holding each other up. Xander carries a wounded but alive Anya. Giles walks alone.

Tell Giles I... tell Giles I figured it out, and I'm okay.

It's Giles who first walks over to the body of Buffy Summers, the Slayer, sprawled on the piles of rubble, limp in death.

Give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong.

They all stare, realization sinking in, but it's the bruised and battered Spike, crumbled on the ground, who first breaks down in racking sobs.

Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.

Dawn makes her way painfully down the stairs, and leans heavily against the wall, clutching her bleeding sides as she stares at Buffy's body, fighting to remember her sister's last words.

Be brave. Live... for me.

There are flowers in front of the simple gray headstone, nestled beneath a willow tree. The inscription reads:

1981 - 2001



One Slayer dies, next one's called.... But she and Giles took Ben/Glory with her.

Xander and Anya are engaged. Tara is back to full mental capacity and back with Willow.

Did we honestly expect anything from Buffy other than this? And I mean that in both the best and the worst possible way. Her loyalty has always been one of her best traits -- in this case, to her sister, determined to keep her alive until the bitter end. It's ridiculous math, of course -- the entire world versus the life of one created teenaged girl. There is no right answer, never will be, so Buffy chose one and stuck with it. It would be easy to accuse her of being selfish, or blindly willful, choosing the life of a sister who would die when the world was taken over anyway -- except that she wasn't blind, she knew precisely what she was doing. Would she have been able to kill Giles, or Willow, to protect Dawn? No idea, but smart money bets that way. Yeah, it'd be easy to whomp on her for her choices -- except that, given an alternate choice, Buffy sacrificed her own life without hesitation. Was she right? Was she wrong? The hell with it -- death cancels all debts, makes every question moot.

The rest of the gang doesn't have that peace -- they'll have to live with their decisions. Giles, in particular, got saddled with all the hard choices. It has never been more apparent who the adult is in this group, no matter how much they've all been growing up. It's Giles who forces Buffy to confront the choice before her, despite his own love for both of the girls. It's Giles who takes on the burden of killing Ben -- although the man's claim to innocence was long gone, neither Buffy nor the Scoobies could have lived with killing a 'normal guy'. It's Giles who goes to Buffy's body first. What happens to a Watcher when his Slayer dies? What happens to a father when his daughter dies? What happens when it's both at once?

And Dawn. Like the kid needs more guilt. Not only did her existence almost bring about the end of the world, her sister sacrificed herself to keep Dawn alive. She doesn't have her mom to help, god knows what use Giles is going to be.... How much can a 14-year-old, even one with Dawn's brains and guts, handle? One word of advice to the girl, though: in combat situations, screaming out someone's name as anything other than an ambush warning is a Bad Thing. Stop it.

Xander will make it through -- the center of his life is gone, but he's got Anya to hang onto. Not so much the person, but the promise of a future with her. And Anya's certainly proven her worth -- she came damn close to echoing Buffy's sacrifice in saving Xander. In fact, I'd say Willow and Xander are he luckiest ones in this lot. Tara will hold Willow together, and give Willow a reason to hold herself together, which god knows the girl is capable of doing. It was Willow and Olaf's hammer (which came to Sunnydale largely because of Willow) that defeated Glory, far more than the Slayer. And Willow and Spike together almost managed to save Dawn before Buffy ever got there. The Scoobies will have to clean up whatever leaked through the walls between the worlds and stayed here, but they've certainly proven to be up to the task, Slayer or not.

Spike. God, poor Spike. I've got a huge amount of money that says he's going to make a certain Platelet the center of his life -- out of love, out of guilt, out of the promise he made Buffy. So he doesn't have a soul, huh? Well, he does a damn fine imitation of it. In many ways, he's the bravest of the lot. Not just physically, although he took one hell of a lot of damage over several episodes and never backed down. But also emotional, when he was willing to stand there and tell Buffy that he knows she never love him and he can deal with it. And he does it all in his wonderfully Spikian way that makes his tears somehow the worst of the reactions....

What does it say when the vampire without a soul shows that much goodness, and the human who supposedly has a soul shows that much evil? Yes, I mean Ben. < sigh > I can't feel any sympathy for him. He knew what he was doing was wrong, he apologized for it the whole way -- and he did it anyway. By my definition (willfully causing harm to another when you know damn well what you're doing), that makes him at least as evil as Glory. Could he actually have done anything else, been able to stand up against her? We'll never know, and neither will he. The best I can say is that I hope he gets a better starting point in his next life, to see if he can overcome himself.

Best Moments:
The teaser. Like I said in the synopsis, this is a better overview of Buffy's life than the incredible montage. We're right back where we started, before the demons, and apocalypses and gods. Just one girl saving one kid from a vampire. Wow.

Spike's dissertation on blood. The subject is ew, but James' delivery is dead-perfect.

Giles' "Yes, we bloody well are!" If you didn't jump, you weren't actually paying attention. ASH rocks throughout the episode, seriously.

Anya the cheerleader. Good for her! Ever think she'd be this indispensable to the Scooby Gang?

Followed immediately by the priceless, "Smart chicks are so hot!" and Willow's "You couldn't have figured that out in 10th grade?" Little touches like this throughout the episode reminded us of where these people came from and what they've been through. Continuity in its best possible use.

Xander's proposal. I was spoiled on this and it pisses me off! But even without the surprise factor, it was sweet and wonderful, and Anya planning a wedding is going to be a sight to behold!

Spike not even asking to be invited into the house. The rest of this scene was wonderful, but the way he was prepared just to stay outside was just completely heart-melting. I defy anyone not to fall at least a little in love with Spike through this scene. James Marsters is incredible!

The St. Crispin's Day speech routine. Finally, Giles and Spike bond over something. < snerk > The tape had to be stopped and rewound because of the hysterical laughter.

The entire fight scene. Beautifully choreographed, gorgeously directed, wonderfully edited. Sarah's stunt double was blatantly obvious, but it moved so fast it was impossible to care. From Willow's initial assault, to the attack of the Buffybot, to the fight in and around the tower... Wow.

Speaking of which, Willow directing Spike up to the tower, and clearing the way for him, was far too cool. And his stand against Doc, his desperate look back at Dawn when it was obvious he was going to lose... Wow. Wow.

Giles killing Ben. What really got me was the careful way he put on his glasses, as if to make sure he could see clearly exactly what he was doing, so he couldn't block any detail of it out later. Amazing performance from ASH (did I say that already?).

The final montage. Of course. No one struck a single wrong note as they came to Buffy's body. Even knowing (as we do) that Buffy will return, there was sobbing. Outstanding job from everyone concerned.

Questions and Comments:
It's an emotional episode, no doubt, with many wonderful moments scattered throughout, carried by the craftsmanship of the dialogue and the characters, and the skill of the actors. Unfortunately, if you stop crying long enough to think, plot holes big enough to drive Xander's piledriver through start knocking you into walls (or some such mixed metaphor). The biggie first: Buffy=Dawn? Since when? The deal was that Dawn's blood is equivalent to the energy of the Key -- how does pouring Buffy's blood into the portal stop that energy from flowing? The Key is still out there, still giving off energy enough to knock down the walls, yet the universe itself is fooled by the substitution of a Slayer. I'm sorry, I just can't buy it, even if we go from the assumption that "the monks made her from me" and they actually have the same blood. At the very least, it's stretching the rules of the universe to breaking.

The rest of the holes are minor ones in comparison, like Olaf being upgraded from a troll created by Anya's curse, to a Troll God. Not to mention Doc's sudden growth of D'Argo's tongue (Farscape reference, you know what I mean).Whatever. Actually, my father compared this episode to the payoff for one of those computer games where you have to go around picking up all kinds of weird stuff to win. The Daigon sphere (I know I'm spelling that wrong), Olaf's hammer, the Buffybot -- it was a giant, season-long scavenger hunt, which makes you wonder just how much of this stuff Joss does plan? Or if he was just scrambling around for a way out of this, and got lucky. < g > The world may never know....

And wow, trust Joss to make use of spoilers by messing with everyone's minds. Did he leak deliberately that someone was going to die, or just take shameless advantage of it? It's Joss, who the hell knows. But there were at least three separate occasions during which the words "Oh, she/he's dead" crossed my lips, because I sure as hell never expected it to be Buffy. A truly classic mid-frell, beautifully executed.

The "thanks for five years" message from the WB was classy. Props to them.

Rating: 4 stars out of five. I would dearly love to rank it higher, just for the amazing performances and the really very good writing. I sobbed my eyes out first time around, and immediately produced angst fic. But on second viewing, without emotion smoothing the way, the plotting, and the blatant retconning of Dawn's existence at the end knock it down.


"< squeak > < squeak > < squeak >"
"I see that and raise you a "Joss, you rat-bastard!" *meep**meep**meep*" -- Mary Beth, Lizbet and Julie's first posts

"They very cleverly covered their bases, in a way that I pretty much expected--this way if Sarah walked they could bring Buffy back in a different body or something next season. But I've been compiling a vid reel nonstop for the last two weeks, and have no brain cells left for the burning question: What the FRELL are they gonna do now?"
"My first-thought angle for solving it? The blood-bond she shares with Dawn and Dawn's heretofore untapped power as The Key (well, untapped by _her_ anyway). I could do something with that; I'm sure Joss can do something better." -- Val and Dianne

"I kept clinging to the realization that -- while Joss is *totally* evil enough to kill off his star without warning, and while I think he could pull off continuing the show without her -- I just _can't_ see UPN having shelled out what they did without making SMG part of the deal. TPTB would never trust Joss to be able to pull something like that off. I love it -- I'm now relying on the timidity of TPTB as a lifeline. The irony, the irony. (Of course, if it turns out I'm wrong and UPN wanted it that badly [or failed to specify who was coming with the show], then this little castle of playing cards I'm building around us all comes fluttering down... so let's not go there, huh? ;-)" -- Dianne

[Editor's Note: I can't find the quote, but SunS auxiliary member Jack contributed the intensely amusing image of a UPN exec who didn't get the memo, watching the finale and spewing coffee across the room. Just a little image to savor....]

"Bits I loved (in no particular order):
* The "Previously on BTVS..." bit... When they started back at WTTH, we goggled, then we started laughing. I'm willing to bet there's a single clip from every one of the 99 eps in there. (I'm frightened how many I recognized, even when they started speeding up.... "What....? *Oh!* Look! First season.... second ...third...fourth.fifth!" Giles' Halloween hat-from-hell? < g >)
* Spike not even asking to be allowed in Buffy's house, just offering to help from the doorway. (And *Bad* Joss! He *so* set us up for believing Spike wouldn't make it.)
* Giles doing what was necessary when Buffy couldn't. (And Perri, you're right: It seemed an odd way to kill him, but Giles was fully expecting Buffy to come back down those stairs, and this way it would look like Ben simply expired of his wounds.)
* The whole proposal scene.... awwwwww!!!!" -- Dianne

[RE: Spike] "*blink* That never even crossed my mind considering how much fun Joss & Co. seem to have from torturing him (or torturing us via Spike) to get rid of him now. Kind of the character version of 'don't throw that away--we might need it later.'" -- Julie

"Actually, I was the one saying that Giles smothered Ben so there wouldn't be any evidence, Dee. He was still assuming at that point that Buffy would be coming back down in one piece--- and even if police or anyone else would buy that Ben broke his neck in a fall, Buffy would know better; and he didn't want her to have to wonder about it, or feel any kind of guilt. I knew he was going to do that the second he knelt down next to him.... < sigh > And all this was echoed in "Angel" later, with Wes being ruthlessly practical, both with the Merry Men who were probably going to get killed, and in setting Angel up for a possible fall. If you don't end up a total twit, Watcher Training can make you tougher than the SAS and Special Forces guys." -- Chris

"That "St. Crispin's Day" smart-assed'ness on Spike's part, and he and Giles doing their resigned Brit routine on the way out was hysterical. Loved it. It got echoed again, without the laughter, in "Angel", with Wes sitting by the fire with the sword; it made me think of Henry V. I watched these two out-of-order, so maybe the connections are stronger when you see them that way, but I kept thinking how much money I'd give to see all *three* of them carrying swords and going off to save the day together... Happy Mental Meltdown place!" -- Chris

Back to Episodes.