If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that I can have Buffy on the brain in a serious kind of way. But that’s fair – I mean it is the greatest TV show of all time. In the first three seasons Buffy is in high school (see: High school on the Hellmouth), and now she’s grown up, and dealing with all sorts of growing pains. But she’s still Buffy, which means she is still breaking the rules, or at least going forward, she’s making her own! 😉
“Into every generation, there is a chosen one. One girl in all the world. She alone will wield the strength and skill to stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness; To stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer.”
The love of her life, and death (I mean they both died at some point in those first three years together) moved away so that Buffy could try and have some sort of normal life. But she’s the slayer, so good luck with that. Buffy moved out of her house and into the dorms and gets to juggle new boy possibilities, life with a roommate for this forever only child, new challenges and new sources of evil.
At first Buffy wasn’t really feeling her life at U.C. Sunnydale. Our favorite slayer, isn’t exactly a fan of change. But once she realized the day-to-day is a lot like high school – everything was fine. Except for her roommate, who turned out to be a demon from another dimension who was sucking out her soul each night. Hey, in college I had a few roommate nightmares of my own freshman year. Then I became an RA (Resident Advisor) and one of the perks with that job was my own room – Thank Buffy. Buffy strikes out with the wrong kind of guy, just to start falling for the right kind of guy. Or is he?
Riley was my first major crush. Even though the fan in me thinks Angel is Buffy’s soulmate, Riley was the guy she should have married. And she chased him away. Don’t worry Buffy, I would have done the same thing when I was in college. I didn’t actually find myself ready for the “the marrying kind” until I was 26. And the show ended when you were 22!
What I loved about Buffy’s freshman year is that it was the year that the show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” enlisted. That’s right… the military had a main role on the show that year, and mixed military sciences with the mystical and all things demony. But maybe those military guys should leave the slaying to the actual slayer, as they all found out in the end!
And the year ended with the first slayer, the very first one, visiting Buffy in her dreams, and the dreams of her friends with a very important message: “You think you know what you are, what you’ll become. You’ve only just begun.” (Restless, Episode 4:22) But Buffy had some words of her own to impart…
But wow was the spirit of the first slayer right! The following year was all about Buffy becoming her strongest self. Training to connect to her inner slayer, and learn more about herself, but also becoming her family’s foundation, after the existing foundation is rocked to and fro, splintering at first, before completely shattering.
Buffy: I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other slayers. I mean, maybe… maybe if I could learn to control this thing, I could be stronger, I could be better. But… I’m scared. I know it’s gonna be hard. And I can’t do it… without you. I need your help. I need you to be my Watcher again. (Buffy Vs. Dracula Episode 5:01)
To kick off one my favorite seasons of the show, Buffy faced off with Dracula himself. I didn’t know what to think at first, but really, how great is it that the show took on one of the biggest vampire stories of all time and made it their own? Of course there was a much bigger surprise waiting at the end of the episode…
Buffy: I’m outta here. Riley and I are going to the movies.
Joyce: Okay. Have a good time.
Buffy: What are you doing here?
Joyce: Buffy? If you’re going out, why don’t you take your sister?
Buffy and Dawn: Mom!
All of a sudden, Buffy had a sister! And if you’re a big fan like me, you know something is amiss. Buffy has never had a sister – ever, and now one suddenly exists. What’s going on? And then we got our answer, when Buffy did a spell to see what was making her mom sick, and while the spell didn’t show her anything about her mom, it kept blanking on Dawn, as though she were make-believe. Then Buffy rescues a monk from some hot chick with super human strength, who just happens to have all of the answers…
Monk: My journey’s done, I think.
Buffy: Don’t get metaphory on me. We’re going.
Monk: You have to… the Key. You must protect the Key.
Buffy: Fine. We can protect the Key together, okay, just far, far from here.
Monk: Many more die if you don’t keep it safe.
Buffy: How? What is it?
Monk: The Key is energy. It’s a portal. It opens the door…
Buffy: The Dagon Sphere?
Monk: No. For centuries it had no form at all. My brethren, its only keepers. Then the abomination found us. We had to hide the Key, gave it form, molded it flesh… made it human and sent it to you.
Monk: She’s the Key.
Buffy: You put that in my house?
Monk: We knew the Slayer would protect.
Buffy: My memories… my mom’s?
Monk: We built them.
Buffy: Then un-build them! This is my life you’re-
Monk: You cannot abandon.
Buffy: I didn’t ask for this! I don’t even know… what is she?
Monk: Human… now human. And helpless. Please… she’s an innocent in this. She needs you.
Buffy: She’s not my sister?
Monk: She doesn’t know that. (No Place Like Home, Episode 5:05)
And Buffy protects Dawn, while Glory (the big bad/hot chick) keeps kicking the crap out of Buffy. And Buffy’s mom gets worse… turns out she has a brain tumor, but doctors find it and remove it and all is well for awhile. But looking for information on Glory means turning to the Watcher’s Council, the same group Buffy quit two years ago. And you know they have to make things difficult.
Giles: “It seems that the Council of Watchers has… found some information that may help us out.”
Buffy: “About Glory?”
Giles: “Presumably. We’ll find that out when they… arrive. Could be very important.”
Buffy: “Arrive? They’re coming here? Now? W-why do they have to come here?”
Xander: “Yeah, don’t they have phones? ‘Allo, Buffy, here’s some stuff we know, pip pip.'”
Buffy: “Yeah! Phones. See, I’d like them on phones.”
Tara: “Well, what’s so bad about them coming here? Aren’t they good guys? I mean, Watchers, that’s just like other Gileses, right?”
Buffy: “Yeah, they’re scary and horrible!”
Giles: “Um, they, well, they can appear a bit … well, uh, hard-nosed, but, uh, well, essentially, their agenda is the same as ours, they want to save the world and kill demons.”
Anya: “Kill the current demons, right? Current demons. I don’t like the sound of this. They don’t sound very ex-demon-compatible.”
Tara: “Are you sure they’re English? I-I thought English people were, um, gentler, then, uh, normal…” (Checkpoint, Episode 5:12)
And they made Buffy jump through a bunch of hoops until Buffy decided she didn’t want to play anymore. After all she was the one who had the power…
Buffy: “There isn’t gonna be a review.”
Buffy: “No review. No interrogation. No questions you know I can’t answer. No hoops, no jumps – and no interruptions. See… I’ve had a lot of people talking at me the last few days. Everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am. And I’ve finally figured out why. Power. I have it. They don’t. This bothers them. Glory… came to my home today.”
Giles: “Buffy, are you-”
Buffy: “Just to talk. She told me I’m a bug, I’m a flea, she could squash me in a second. Only she didn’t. She came into my home, and we talked. We had what in her warped brain probably passes for a civilized conversation. Why? Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her. You guys didn’t come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in. To give your jobs, your lives some semblance of meaning.”
Nigel: “This is beyond insolence-”
Buffy: “I’m fairly certain I said no interruptions.”
Xander: “That was excellent!”
Buffy: “You’re Watchers. Without a Slayer, you’re pretty much just watchin’ Masterpiece Theater. You can’t stop Glory. You can’t do anything with the information you have except maybe publish it in the ‘Everyone Thinks We’re Insane-O’s Home Journal.’ So here’s how it’s gonna work. You’re gonna tell me everything you know. Then you’re gonna go away.
[A minute later same scene]
Buffy: “Now. You all may be very good at your jobs. The only way we’re gonna find out is if you work with me. You can all take your time thinking about that. But I want an answer right now from Quentin, ’cause I think he’s understanding me.”
Travers: “Uh, your terms are acceptable.” (Checkpoint, Episode 5:12)
And they were, and Buffy continued her fight, even when it seemed futile, and despite all of the loss that surrounded her. Her mother died, which devastated her, and left her to make a life for herself, and Dawn, when she was only 20. Riley left, and now the world was closing in, and Glory was set on making Dawn her bitch. Also, if you didn’t know, it turns out Glory is a god.
And then in one big glorious (pun intended) showdown, Buffy and Glory fight to the death. Once Glory is defeated, it’s too late for Dawn. The portal has been opened, and only her blood can close it. And then Buffy realizes everything, and makes the ultimate sacrifice…
Buffy: “Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles… tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I’m okay. And 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. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.” (“The Gift” Episode 5:22)
And that was how Buffy the Vampire Slayer was originally meant to end. They had been cancelled by the WB and Joss Whedon thought there was no more fitting of an end than this. And I agreed. Buffy gave up her life so that others could live. And she was okay with that, unlike when she faced off the Master at the end of the first season. She was a hero in every sense of the word, until the end and after.
While I was furious my favorite show was over, (when I watched this episode live, I thought it was the season finale, until I looked at the promo and it said “series finale,”) but I didn’t have to worry. After all, if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that Buffy doesn’t like the rules, and she isn’t good at staying dead… 😉