Buffy 7×21: End of Days

[Review by Mike Marinaro]

[Writer: Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson | Director: Marita Grabiak | Aired: 05/13/2003]

“End of Days” is not at all awful and is certainly watchable, but it’s also quite a disappointment. There’s no other way to say it. We’re at the end of what’s my favorite television show and we have to sit through a bunch of unwieldy exposition about an overly convenient plot device thrown into the story at the last second? Come on guys! You’re better than this! Remember in my review of “Empty Places” [7×19] how I related the end of the show to a flickering candle? Well, the candle’s getting dim again.

This is a plot-heavy episode with a falsely billed epic title. One particular scene really sticks in my mind when I think about it: Willow and Giles doing booooring research on the scythe. It’s a whole lot of meandering, exposition, and last-minute revelations that really cheapen the stakes of everything going on. And that’s how I feel about the episode as a whole. Now with that said, there’s still a handful of quality scenes worth cheering about that still give the episode a sense of purpose and quality.

The scythe itself represents a mistake on the part of the writing staff. When Buffy tells us that this scythe is all they have going for them, I can only respond with “huh?” The timing and appearance of the scythe is incredibly contrived and forced. When the writers throw in a plot device and/or item specifically meant to get the protagonist out of a tricky situation, something’s definitely gone wrong. Although I’m a fan of how the scythe is used as a metaphor in “Chosen” [7×22], it doesn’t wash away how it reeks of convenience and lazy plotting here.

A conversation between Buffy and Xander represents another problem that shows up in “End of Days.” How did things so quickly become alright between Buffy, Willow, Xander, and the rest of the group? I’d expect a lot more hostility there despite Faith’s failed mission. Buffy makes jokes to Xander and gives him a speech about how much she needs him, yet it all just feels off to me. Earlier Willow cracks a silly joke that Buffy smiles to. I don’t feel like these reactions have been earned after what just happened. It’s like the writers ran out of time and have jumped right into oh-####-the-series-is-almost-over mode. It just doesn’t feel right to me. One bit of self reflection we get is from Willow in terms of whether she can perform magic under pressure, but even this is ground that was already covered in “Get it Done” [7×15].

The primary problem of the episode is really solidified by the long-winded expository scene between Buffy and the Guardian in the Pagan Temple. For one, why does Buffy instantly trust this lady with the scythe? Secondly, what’s with all the nonsense about all the ancient groups watching other ancient groups? Buffy’s confusion is palpable. Why only now is all this information coming to light? It’s actually kind of amazing that in all that talking, we didn’t learn anything relevant. She talked a lot and confirmed that the Shadow Men eventually formed the Watcher’s Council, but beyond that interesting tidbit it pretty much felt like a lot of filler to me. This is the second to last episode of a great show! It pains me to have any moment of screen time wasted like it is in several places here in “End of Days.”

Now, fortunately, there are several things the episode does right. One scene that rubs off as much more successful is between Buffy and Faith. Buffy correctly informs Faith that the deaths the group incurred were not her fault. Faith also gets introspective and finally begins to understand Buffy and her burden. It’s easy to be jealous or criticize someone from the outside, but it’s not so easy when you’re in their shoes and have to do that job. Even though Faith had all those people supporting her, she felt alone as ever before. Faith then tells Buffy, “and that’s you. Every day.” Buffy solemnly responds, “I love my friends. I’m very grateful for them. But that’s the price of being a slayer.”

Another scene that works for me is the reunion of Buffy and Spike after their special evening together in “Touched” [7×20]. After some fun word play between them and a clear avoidance of discussing what they shared the other night, Buffy insists they discuss it. Spike’s reaction is nothing short of amazing. He says, very rawly, “Last night was… God, I’m such a jerk. I can’t do this … it was the best night of my life. If you poke fun at me, you bloody well better well use that [scythe] ’cause I couldn’t bear it. It may not mean that much to you but-” Buffy jumps in and whispers, “I just told you it did.” Spike, not completely convinced that she was there with him yet, directly asks her “Yeah, I hear you say it but- I’ve lived for soddin’ ever, Buffy. I’ve done everything. I’ve done things with you I can’t spell. But I’ve never been close to anyone, least of all you. Until last night. All I did was hold you, watch you sleep, and it was the best night of my life. So yeah, I’m terrified. … Were you there with me?” Buffy honestly says, “I was.”

When Spike pries a little further to figure out what this means for them, Buffy has a very human response: “I don’t know.” Some may feel this comment is a cop-out, but I personally feel it is the most honest response that Buffy could have given. But what is clear is that the two of them definitely love each other. It’s what they do next about it that is left open-ended as the series rolls to a close. What a journey for both Buffy and Spike.

Although it’s hard to pick a favorite scene in the episode between the stand-outs, I might have to pick Andrew and Anya at the hospital. We sadly haven’t seen much attention devoted to Anya’s jouney to find herself in the aftermath of the brilliant “Selfless” [7×05], but this conversation directly picks up that thread. Although it’s not as much as I had hoped for, I’m still thrilled we got closure to this character thread — it’s more than most shows would give us. Andrew asks the very pertinent question of why Anya doesn’t just leave town and run away. What’s different?

Anya points out that she took off before (“Graduation Day Pt. 1” [3×21]). What’s changed is that “Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. But now I’ve seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they’re capable of and I guess I just realized how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. … And they have no purpose that unites them so they just drift around blundering through life until they die, which they know is coming yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet here’s the thing. When it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting but they do. They never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting too.”

Sometimes Anya really surprises me with how insightful and touching she can be. It’s cool to see Andrew continuing that self reflection that awoke in him after “Storyteller” [7×16]. And then… there’s the wheelchair fight. This is what Whedon shows do best: have a genuinely serious moment, and then follow it up with a hefty chuckle to help sink in that warm feeling and connection to the characters. Wonderful.

So that all pretty much sums up what “End of Days” is about. It’s a plot-heavy outing that does boast a few great character scenes, but overall isn’t sure of what it’s trying to do. As the penultimate episode of the entire series, it’s extremely lacking. The last thing I wanted is long-winded exposition scenes this close to the end. Thankfully Buffy, Spike, Faith, and Andrew save this one and make it a worthwhile watch. “Touched” [7×20] aside, I just expected more out of the final group of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fortunately, “Chosen” [7×22] gives us a fairly satisfying conclusion to it all, flaws and all.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ The post-explosion intro scene was well done.
+ Andrew drinking Capri Sun.
+ Buffy dropping down into the cave with the scythe and kicking a lot of ### in front of a bunch of injured potentials.
+ Buffy kicking the door to the Pagan Temple down.
+ Buffy’s fight with Caleb is pretty fun to watch, although the editing is a little sloppy in a couple places.
+ Angel! It’s great to see Angel make an appearance again. It’s also great to have him simply enjoy the show of Caleb vs Buffy. It’s almost like the ghost of Mal (Firefly) is coming to beat up Buffy because his show got cancelled and hers didn’t.

– What the hell was Caleb doing down in the Pagan Temple? Was there another entrance somewhere? Was he just hanging out sipping on martinis while Buffy and the Guardian were having that chat?
– Dawn tasering Xander in the middle of the highway? There had to be a better way to handle that.
– Why did Buffy need to kiss Angel? Wouldn’t a warm hug suffice? I know Whedon’s trying to pander to all the various fans, but after what her and Spike have shared ever so recently, I don’t think an insta-kiss for Angel was really appropiate. Then again, they had to leave us ‘wondering’ about whether Spike will go into a murderous rage after seeing them kiss! Sigh. At least Whedon doesn’t stoop as low as actually persuing that obviously stupid route in “Chosen” [7×22].


[Score]

72/100

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123 thoughts on “Buffy 7×21: End of Days”

  1. [Note: Emma posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    I loved Dawn tasering Xander – okay, maybe it isn’t a great idea blogically, but it cool dammit!

    Agree with your love for the Hospital scene.

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  2. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    The end is near, I can believe that there’s just one episode left for you to review! When did you start this site?

    143 episodes reviewed…Whaoh!

    I was waiting for this one, since my feelings for End of days are kinda messy. I used to hate, hate!, this ep. Mostly because of the last scene. I didn’t even care for the rest of the episode because the end always made me so angry! What a lack of respect for the characters of Buffy et Angel and their journey!! That kiss is just there to make Bangel fans happy, like if nothing happened since the end of season 3! And the cheap music? The cheap acting of David? Just ridiculous and painful.

    However, finally with time, it’s an ep I really enjoy now. It’s…pleasant in some way, quiet, with really good characters moments… If I forget the last scene, I love this episode. From the cool teaser sequence, to the wonderful character moments. I loved Buffy and Faith, Buffy and Spike,Buffy and Xander and the way it shows an little welcomed developpment for Buffy, who starts to be more open thanks to the events of Touched. I particurlarly like this line from Buffy “the good guys are not known for their communication skills.” The girl made a lot of progress in this ep, the sharing isn’t perfectly complete (that’s for next episode) but,

    I like the way it finally focuses on the scoobies again. That’s why the plot doesn’t bother me much. For example, the research scene, I could’nt care much about the explanations, I was just so nostalgic, happy, and sad at the same time to see a good old research scene again. And to see Giles at what he’s best, on contrast to his struggle to find a place lately.

    Maybe the conversation between Buffy sounded a little bit off, but I really liked it.

    Again, nice scooby moment with Dawn and Xander (before he makes her sleep anyway).

    About, the quick forgiveness, you made a good point. It’s the end and the scoobies should be on good termes again….so let’s them be on good terms again! Yay! And what? That’s just it? Come on Whedon team? Why the pain in Empty places?

    Nice episode which follows well Touched about the power of intimacy, that i really enjoy. Why do I enjoy it? It has a lot to do with my own state of nostalgia…in itself, that’s not enough like you said for the 21st episode of the last season. That’s surely the weakest 21st episode of the show (with Primeval)

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  3. [Note: Ursus posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    Agreed. The majority of the episode is nothing but thin plot contrivance, saved only be a few touching moments. The magic scythe, the Pagan Temple and the women watchers are seem like something out of a bad Dungeons and Dragons novel.

    I actually thought the Anya-found-humanity speech was a little over the top, but did love the wheelchair fight.

    Angel did not need to come back, nor did Buffy need to French kiss him. What a hussy, after everything Spike said to her.

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  4. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    I agree with your review, this episode leaves much to be desired. Not my favourite either. But I am so glad you pointed out Buffy being on good terms with all of them so suddenly because it bugs me a bit too. I don´t know, maybe I was expecting an apology from everyone, although I love, love the talk between Faith and Buffy and the wheelchair fight.

    Like you said, messy episode but watchable.

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  5. [Note: Susan posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    So happy to see a great new review. You really nailed this episode and put into words the feelings I have about what is wrong. The arrival of Angel at the right place at just the right time is very “cheesy” in my opinion as is David’s acting. He simply smirks throughout the scene and doesn’t seem at all in character to me. I’m trying to remember what was happening on “Angel” at this time. It would be the end of Season 4 and I haven’t watched it in a long time. But I would like to know how his visit to Buffy, the kiss, and what he says to her fits in with the “Angel” storyline.

    On the major plus side is the whole scene between Buffy and Spike and the beautiful words that he says to Buffy. The interaction between those two characters here is really first-rate, worth seeing over again, and definitely not “cheesy”. By the way, how many wonderful speeches or soliloqueys has Spike had in this series? One after another in my opinion. His scenes just stand out. I wonder how much of that is because of the actor. If someone other than James Marsters had played Spike, would his character have been as interesting and memorable?

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  6. [Note: Darth Bunny posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    Susan: Angel at the end of season 4 saved the world from Jasmine and he “saved” his son by wiping away his memory and giving him to another family. He accomplished this feat of magic and found out about Buffy’s fight when he agreed to Wolfram and Hart’s offer to be their new CEO.

    Long story short, Angel just defeated a big bad and agreed to work for another big bad in exchange for his son’s life. Overall, not sure if he has a right to smirk, especially since he’s never seen Caleb in action. Also the last time Angel faced the First Angel almost died. I honestly don’t know where his confidence in Buffy comes from.

    A large part of Buffy’s success was in getting outstanding actors. Watch the original pilot without Alyson as Willow for example, and this point should be obvious. If Buffy was a strong show it was because great writing and great acting came together. Both needed to be there, which is partly why season 7 was a let down. The actors were doing their best to hold everything up, but the weak plot could not be ignored.

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  7. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    I never found the kiss between Angel and Buffy out of place. They still love each other, and it’s quite possible they were never going to see each other again. Just because she has some confusing feelings for Spike now doesn’t mean she no longer has feelings for Angel.

    I also don’t fee that Angel was particularly played out of character. And personally, I love it when he acts petty and childish. It’s amusing. Much more so than when he’s being brooding and boring.

    And yes, the scythe was a plot contrivance, but it’s admittedly so, by Whedon himself. Plot contrivance or not, it doesn’t change the fact that they managed some nifty stuff with it.

    As for the relationship mending between the Scoobies, I just assume they all figured: Fuck it, we are all probably about to die. There’s no point in wasting what little time we most likely have left together finding or being awkward or whatever.

    Now, I’m not saying that I think there isn’t anything wrong with the last chunk of episodes, because they are far from perfect. But they still managed to entertain, and culminate in a pretty nifty finale.

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  8. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    There could have been a kiss, but not like that. If you still have feelings for your ex, that’s not a reason for kissing him the second you see him. Especially when you didn’t really see him for 4 years, they don’t know each other anymore. Especially when there’s a Cordy and a Spike out there.

    There could have been a kiss, but not just where and how it is. It would even have been better for Bangel fans, because it could have been a meaningful kiss…What was the point to the kiss we saw on screen?

    I agree with you, Angel was not THAT out of character however. The petty part was quite perfect. It’s just when he arrives, the first shot of him…ew!

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  9. [Note: Kyarorin posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    I am in complete agreement about the Buffy and Angel kiss. Especially since in season 3 of AtS they seemed to give Angel closure over his feelings with Buffy. And while it didn’t seem right for Buffy to be kissing Angel, it seemed even more out of place for Angel to be kissing Buffy, considering what just happened with the person he is actually in love with. It’s as though they ignored all the growth that took place on AtS to satisfy the desires of a few fans. And, I’m sorry, but attempting to appeal to the majority of viewers is something that’s normally done by lesser shows than this, for good reason. It doesn’t work and usually doesn’t make sense. Especially for a show that’s already proven to put the integrity of the characters/story above the immediate fantasies of the viewers.

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  10. [Note: Kate posted this comment on October 9, 2009.]

    Thank you for posting another review so quickly! I guess that you’re either looking forward to doing your proposed ‘whole show review’ or not.

    I think the buffy/angel kiss was what they would do. This series, Spike and Buffy were much better than Buffy/Angel’s relationship, but they romance between them never seems to go, does it? They did the same ‘comfort’ kissing in ‘Forever’ and maybe that’s what this was about.

    I think Joss whedon was leaving doors open for Buffy’s relationships with Spike and Angel. And in Chosen, remember, she said it was just ‘hello’. Well, they both used to kiss a lot as a ‘hello’. Then again, completly out of character for both. Oh well.

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  11. [Note: Cecily posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    A very special day? Your birthday? Christmas? 13 year anniversary of when Buffy started? Can you at least give a hint?

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  12. [Note: Ender posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    I don’t know, I wasn’t terribly happy that everything was cool straight away between Buffy and the Scoobies straight away, but then again, I think a lot of people miss the point. The scoobies never hated Buffy, nor she them, they simply pointed out that she had lost the faith of the army (the potentials) and could no longer lead them. And they thought she was making the wrong call with taking everyone back to the scene of the slaughter. And they weren’t wrong.

    While Buffy herself clearly did need to go back, bringing everyone else would have been a disaster. She gets the scythe by basically just running away from Caleb. If the whole group had been there, they may not have got the scythe at all, and there certainly would have been a lot more deaths. So I don’t see that the scoobies need to apologise to Buffy, and I think Buffy realises her original plan would not have worked so I don’t think she feels a lot of resentment.

    I realise a lot of fans miss the one big lovefest that has, on occassion, been the scoobies, but that wouldn’t have been true to the characters. Ever since the end of Season 4, the scoobies were never that close again. The bonds of the group started to become looser in Season 4, and they never really tightened up again. Buffy was closer to Dawn in Season Five, and then 6 and 7 it was Spike. And I see this as being true to the character evolution on the show.

    This started out being a response to the quick forgiveness thing, but I didn’t see that much needed forgiveness so I’m OK with it, though I would have liked them to mention it.

    Also, agree with everyone about the Angel kiss. Completely out of character for both of them. Clearly the Buffy writers throwing a bone to the Bangel fans, considering the events of the finale.

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  13. [Note: Lyv posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    Loved the review and agree with most of it. After the wonderful Touched it’s a shame that character has to be sacrificed for the most part. Couple of points:

    – Love the continuity of Spike saying it was the ‘best night of his life’ because of course in Fool For Love he claimed the best night of his life was killing a Slayer.

    – The Faith/Buffy scene rocked and my favourite line was probably when Faith touches the Scythe and says “it feels like… like it’s mine. I guess that means it’s yours”. Could have made her look like she was whining but the delivery is spot on.

    – I’m still confused as to the links between this and CWDP. Was that actually Joyce speaking to Dawn, and if it was did Buffy trying to get Dawn to safety really count as betrayal? If Joyce was The First then I suppose you could say that the result of her appearing of Joyce was what happened in Empty Places when Dawn turns against Buffy but the significance of ‘Buffy won’t pick you, she won’t choose you’ doesn’t really make and sense then (unless Dawn is angry because she wasn’t a potential, which seems pretty silly even for a teen).

    – That last point reminded me about the closure for Miss Kitty Fantastico. Heh.

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  14. [Note: Blue Fan posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    A fantastic review again, Mikejer! I just want to say that I have the same problem that Lyv has.

    In CWDP, who was talking to Dawn? Was it the First?

    There was another appearence that was even more difficult to figure out. At the middle of the season, when Buffy was dreaming and her mum tells her that she needs to sleep in order to defeat the Uvervamp, was it Joyce really or the First? Because in this case, she was really helping Buffy and not playing the usual First Evil’s manipulation.

    As usual, I apologyse for my terrible English!

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  15. [Note: Sam posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    1. Mike, since the Jewish day of atonement passed, I’ve gotten reflective and I want to apologize again for the unnecessary attack I left in the “After Life” thread. I’m actually in fundamental agreement with you about most aspects of the show; it’s just that the few times I’ve disagreed with you, I practically blew a gasket and posted without thinking first. In short, a big thank you for doing this site. I’d have a lot more free time on my hands if it wasn’t for this place. 😉

    2. I truly do not understand why people are making such a big deal over the kiss and trying to please Bangel fans. Spike fans are the reason that Spike wasn’t killed off after “What’s My Line, Part 2”, and they are also at least part of the reason that he became a regular in Season 4. This show’s legion of loyal fans is also the reason why Faith & Oz weren’t killed off. In addition to writing incredible dialogue and characters, Whedon & Co. have been known to check out fan feedback from time to time and incorporate their desires into the show. In a way, this show was almost interactive.

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  16. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on October 10, 2009.]

    @Blue Fan: The writers have stated that the First was talking to Dawn in CWDP. Also, your English is vastly superior to many native English speakers, so don’t worry about it.

    @Sam: Thanks for the kind words! Don’t worry about getting heated every now and then — we all do it. I only ask that people actually, you know, read my review before ranting off on their pre-existing point of view. 🙂

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  17. [Note: Anne posted this comment on October 15, 2009.]

    I think that the “romance” between Angel & Cordelia is what was forced and OOC. It just seemed like a way for the writers to distance the two shows. Angel had to be told that he had feelings for Cordy. He got angry with Fred for saying they had “kyrumption” (which they didn’t since it was a boss/employee teacher/student thing and not two warriors/leaders) WIIT was played for comedy. She left to have sex with Groo for weeks without a second thought to wanting Angel. Having Angel compare his height to Groo was just idiotic. She let herself believe that she was a “Higher Being” instead of meeting Angel. They made her part demon (with nothing demonic about it) and cut and dyed her hair blond. He asked her “Were we in love?” and not “Did you love me?” as if he didn’t know what he felt and would decide depending on her answer. He didn’t know she was posessed for MONTHS. He just assumed that she had matured and not that there was an evil Hell Goddess in her body. I just think he was lonely and confused a friendship with an attractive female with “love”.

    Buffy’s relationship with Spike was always organic and believable.

    I completely bought that Angel would kiss Buffy again. When they did see each other over those four years it was always very passionate or heated. They made love all day in IWRY and he gave up his humanity for her, she still acted like his girlfriend and he felt so badly for yelling at her in Sanctuary that he drove two hours to apologize and she was morose in her dorm room over their fight instead of visiting Riley in TYF, they kissed (he was surprised that kissing her could still affect him so deeply) and spent the entire night talking and in each other’s embrace in Forever, and had their offscreen rendevous in BtVS S6/AtS S3 which Buffy called “intense”. Angel didn’t break up with Buffy because he didn’t love her. He did it because of how much he loved and wanted her. “When we’re apart it’s easier. It hurts. Every day. But I deal with the hurt. and now you’re right here. Close enough that I can reach out and…it’s more than confusing. It’s unbearable.” It makes sense that seeing her again would make him smile and he would love getting to see her fight again. Why would he doubt her abilities? He knows that she is stronger than him and can take him in a fight. Of course he would believe she would be able to kick Caleb’s butt.

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  18. [Note: Anne posted this comment on October 15, 2009.]

    It was nice that Faith FINALLY realized how hard Buffy has it. That Buffy feels as alone (more so) than Faith does. She realized that Buffy does not have an easy life and was not handed things. Buffy has to deal with a lot of responsibility and stress and isolation and burdens.

    I bought everyone sweeping EP under the rug. It is what the Scooby Gang does. They never deal with their issues with each other. And Buffy always forgave them for every single betrayal and group gang-up.

    I really loved that scene between the FE/Buffy & Caleb.

    The scene between Buffy & Spike was definitley my favorite. I love Spuffy!

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  19. [Note: Leelu posted this comment on October 15, 2009.]

    @Anne: Another thing to bolster the thought that he had much more love for Buffy than Cordy, and was still just as in love with Buffy as ever, was when during the scene (please forgive me for not remembering which episode or season XS) where, though it ended up being just a fantasy, he and Cordelia had sex–when he climaxed, he called out Buffy’s name.

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  20. [Note: Jeremy posted this comment on October 18, 2009.]

    I just LOVED that ending comment with The First and Spike watching Buffy and Angel. The First is so damn amazing because it can play as either an extreme nemesis for Buffy and the gang and freak the hell out of them (like in Showdown) but can then come back and have civilized conversations with them. Just shows how complex it is as a villain.

    Also I think I can put all of the bad (well terrible) plot problems such as the scythe, Caleb and the big finale power sharing down to a slower, much more character focused season rather than plot focused. While it still got in alot more plot movement than 6, it got nowhere near 5 and in this season it served to create alot of tension which couldn’t be lived up to in such a short finale of episodes.

    Still I wouldn’t give up ANY of the character centered stand-alones because this season had some of the BEST in the series. Help, Selfless, Him, Storyteller, CWDP, Lies My Parents Told Me and First Date worked so well in my opinion because the series has really reached a place where it knows what works and what doesn’t. Stand-alones used to be cringe-worthy-now they are kickass and have matured to 100% what I think Joss wants them to be.

    Long story short I think the season was pretty perfect. Since I don’t really have a favourite season (5 was too depressing, sorry) yet I think I’m gonna give that title to this one. May not have had the most well planned plotline but damn it was fun to watch.

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  21. [Note: Tash posted this comment on October 20, 2009.]

    I agree with others on Buffy kissing Angel being out of character for both of them. Although Buffy has been callous with Spike’s feelings in the past – too much has happened between them now for her to just wave all that aside within the first 5 seconds of seeing Angel again and passionately kiss him.

    And after all of what AtS had done to make Angel into so much more than just a Buffy love interest, to just go back to basics and pander to Bangel fans that needed to realise that the show had left them behind years ago.

    When it comes to the Spuffy or Bangel debate, to me it’s easy. I just have to think about which ‘Firsts’ I like the best.

    The First Kiss I enjoy watching more, Spuffy comes out tops each and every time. And yes, I am including the kiss in ‘Something Blue’ which was funny, unexpected and incredibly hot. And the proper first kiss in ‘Once More With Feeling’ which was not so unexpected, a wonderfully perfect ending to the episode. And incredibly hot.

    And when it comes to the First Sex, I am sometimes alittle bit disturbed that I’m more into the all out punching, smashing, antagonistic, and ultimately incredily hot sex that occurs between Spike and Buffy in ‘Smashed’.

    On an aside, Mikejer, I am loving these reviews and I am putting off reading your ‘Chosen’ review because it’s abit akin to having watched Chosen and knowing that that was it. (I am not lame AT ALL)

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  22. [Note: Blue Fan posted this comment on October 24, 2009.]

    Your reviews are always outstanding Mikejer! As I have previously commented on other post, they give us the possibility to see the series from a new and challenging perspective.

    With that said, back to this episode.

    I agree with many people here that the kiss between Buffy and Angel was a bit out of character, specially because of what has happened since the end of season 3. Nevertheless, I don’t have stronger complaints about this. However, I keep my opinion about Caleb.

    Altough I consider him a really scary villain, I feel a lack of background story. How come a human is that strong? And why nobody investigates about him? I find Caleb very similar in this aspect to Maggie Walsh and, to a lesser extente, to Mr Trick: they were amazing but never fully developed.

    And one more thing to ask related to your CONS. You ere asking what was Caleb doing down there in the Pagan Temple. I would also add what was Spike doing down there???

    That said, I keep my opinion that I love S7 and the series as a whole!

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  23. [Note: Anne posted this comment on November 4, 2009.]

    I love your reviews! You are always so smart, and awesome in answering them that I think….

    I love you.

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  24. [Note: Sunburn posted this comment on December 2, 2009.]

    Ha! Great points about the Firsts, Tash.

    I think the kiss is awful, but I am starting to think that perhaps it wasn’t so out of character for Buffy. After all, her age group is the most likely to be unfaithful, and theoretically she wasn’t even in a relationship with Spike. I see it as a betrayal because I love what she had with Spike, but not necessarily out of character; what we’ve seen of her behaviour in romantic relationships suggests she can be just as ruthless and occasionally self-centred as the next person.

    Angel’s smirk and general air of smug entitlement is pretty insufferable though. Boo, hiss, etc.

    Like

  25. [Note: Nathan.Taurus posted this comment on January 8, 2010.]

    Agree with your comment of how did Caleb get into the Pagan Temple from where the guardian woman came out of and also how in the hellmouth did Buffy, and especially Angel, not realise Spike was there. He had to come down the stairs also.

    The hospital scene was funny, as was Dawn realising what Kennedy and her tongue stud meant….similar to Willow realising the meaning of the song, “I Touch Myself” in ‘Lie to Me’. The guardian thinking Buffy was joking about her name.

    The First in the form of Buffy joking with Caleb over his attitude to merging was also good. But as this is the penultimate episode of the series and with the title it just didn’t deliver like it should have. Still deserves an 80 in my book.

    Like

  26. [Note: Elbie posted this comment on August 11, 2010.]

    I’m going to disagree with the people crying out-of-character for Buffy and/or Angel:

    They have both gone through seriously trying and tragic times in their lives and it’s very normal for people’s emotions to go a little whack. When people unexpectedly see someone they love(d) or care(d) about, there’s usually a great big hug, maybe some girly shrieking… For Buffy and Angel, a kiss seems about right. And I see it as just that – Buffy explained it perfectly. It was a very dramatic and emotional “hello” but I don’t think it was Buffy being unfaithful to her relationship with Spike.

    Another point, in seasons one to three of BtVS, Buffy and Angel sort of found their life’s purpose in each other. Buffy was all cute outfits and boys and stuff until she found something deeper and more meaningful to her mission in Angel. And ensouled Angel was all grumpy and moody before realizing that his un-life could hold meaning if he fought alongside the slayer. Their lives have kind of gone to shit lately and just as Spike gave Buffy a bit of confidence in Touched, Buffy and Angel give each other that purpose and the same feelings that they had in the first few seasons.

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  27. [Note: Jason posted this comment on September 19, 2010.]

    It’s a sad thing to witness the collapse of a season. I actually enjoyed the first two thirds of S7. But then Caleb, and a hokey axe, some poor writing, characters acting out of character, and a dopey cliche-ridden First sank the ship. In this episode, for me, all these bad elements really came together.

    Well, Buffy, we’ll always have S1-S6.

    Like

  28. [Note: James posted this comment on October 31, 2010.]

    Thought I’d share my pros and cons.

    Pros

    – I LOVE Caleb. Nathan Fillion plays him so well, not to mention for a big bad, he’s given some of the show’s best lines (“I didn’t hear that on account of her neck snapping, did she say the end is near…or here?”). His women-hating sensibilities make him the perfect last big bad for Buffy, a show that has always been about female empowerment.

    – The fight scenes between Buffy and Caleb never fail to impress. This is an area where the show has got back on form after some truly awful fight scenes in Season 6 (most of them actually, including the slow, clunky one between Buffy and Willow).

    – Andrew/Anya’s scene is brilliant. Although I object to having Andrew be a big part of season 6, let alone season 7.

    – SMG looks beautiful in this episode, and for most of Season 7 actually, whereas she began to look very old/mumsy in Seasons 5 & 6.

    Cons

    – I can’t believe nobody mentioned the scene where Xander and Dawn are looking for the crossbow in the car. It’s PAINFULLY unfunny, badly written and terribly acted. Xander’s little quips about the eye are so clunky and it just doesn’t work. Not to mention Dawn’s hideous fake laughter and Xander saying “cyclops” (seriously is there some deeper meaning to cyclops which makes it funnier?). It’s a case of bad acting/writing of a type of scene that the show used to do so well. Having said than, Anthony Steward Head is still the only actor in the show to ever laugh convincingly.

    – I agree, the way the Scoobs all smoosh back together straight away is ridiculous, and the scene with Willow and Giles researching is indeed boring.

    – The end of the episode. The reveal of Spike watching and the “that bitch” line. It felt like a mid-season episode end, where, given more time, the consequences of the Buffy/Spike Buffy/Angel relationships could have come to a head together. Angel could have reacted about Spuffy, fought with Spike, hell they all could have fought each other briefly… It could have been a really interesting/funny long scene, but obviously at this point they didn’t have time. So you get random moment with no payoff. It was an ill-timed mislead suggesting Spike was almost going to turn his back on Buffy, go to the bad side or something equally uninteresting.

    – With that in mind, even when Angel came back, for what should have been his and Buffy’s moment, there is still Spike. Their short, romantic reunion that fans had waited years to see was interlocked with an irrelevant and ‘faux ominous’ shot of Spike that was never picked up on afterwards. Another example of the writers obsession with Spike and how his presence had to be felt in almost every aspect of the show. Not short of sucking up screen time from/influencing scenes between Buffy and Xander/Willow/Giles/Faith, he had to now do it with Angel.

    – After Angel said “I missed watching this” what I expected and what should have happened was Buffy wailing on him in a spectacular one-sided fashion. This was her one last one on one fight, it was implied at that point Buffy was going to go to town on Caleb, but he just starts to beat on her again until she gets a lucky break. I would have even preferred for Angel to join her in smacking him down for a while and THEN letting her finish him off. It would have been nice to see them both in battle again. As it was Angel came back to save Buffy, then watch her get the crapped kicked out of her a little more, and then for her to get a lucky blow.

    – Why didn’t they have the Close Your Eyes score music over the BAngel kiss? It would have been far more emotional and a far more fitting moment given its history in the show.

    – Why was SMG’s stunt woman very obviously the one kissing David Boreanaz in one of the shots? Is kissing too dangerous for Sarah all of a sudden?

    Like

  29. [Note: John posted this comment on January 14, 2011.]

    I was really disappointed with how much weaker the Ubervamps began to get with this episode. Buffy murderizing them with the scythe I can buy, that makes perfect sense, but Kennedy, athletic normal human with training Kennedy, knocking one on the ground? I just don’t buy it.

    I really, really wish they had made the Hellmouth filled with something other than Ubervamps; an army of ancient (but no stronger than normal) vampires or random demons would have served to give the First credible and dangerous minions without forcing horrific inconsistency in regards to Ubervamp strength.

    I actually liked the fact that the end of Empty Places and Buffy’s exile was largely ignored; I tend to regard that as a completely OOC moment so I’m glad that they basically pretended it didn’t happen in this episode. This close to the end of the series I would much rather see the Scoobies interacting as friends rather than falling apart at the seams for the fifteenth time.

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  30. [Note: vpv posted this comment on January 15, 2011.]

    Doesn’t anyone find it odd, that the woman in the pagan temple asks “No, really?”, when Buffy tells her her name?

    Is it perhaps the same as the first slayer’s? Or is this explained somewhere?

    Like

  31. [Note: Dimitri posted this comment on January 16, 2011.]

    vpv , I think it’s just for the fun of it. I mean, wouldn’t you be like, what kind of name is Buffy?

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  32. [Note: CoyoteBuffyFan posted this comment on January 24, 2011.]

    The beginning part with the Potentials is the only part that I like Kennedy in the whole season. Those girls needed a leader at that moment and she stepped up. Her problem before that is that she didn’t know when she wasn’t the smartest/toughest one in the room and to shut up and let other people lead. That’s one of the traits of a good leader and non-annoying person.

    When Buffy busted in to save those girls I always say a little “Hell yeah!” in my head and curse out all the stupid people who kicked her out.

    I have to say that Buffy was very gracious in coming back. I would have had a lot more resentment. She just let everyone off the hook. Kudos to her.

    My favorite part in the whole episode was Anya’s speech about why she is staying and what she thinks of humans. (I wrote this before I read the review and see it is your favorite part too MikeJer!) So sad about what happens to her next episode but it was great to see her evolution. From running from the apocalypse to staying and fighting. Great scene (especially ending with the wheelchair fight).

    The moment between Buffy and Spike when they talk to each other about what happend in Touched is very sweet. But it takes away from it a little to know that she’ll be kissing Angel just a little while later. I like Spike and Buffy together but I’ll always believe that Angel is her one and only true love. She will love others, but never like she will love Angel.

    I totally buy the kiss between them. She isn’t in a relationship with Spike, regardless of their feelings. And she knows she isn’t going to have a relationship with Angel and in fact, she may never see him again.

    One more note since we aare just about near the end of Caleb — I love Nathan Fillion. His character might have been one dimensional, but what a fabulous dimension it is because of him.

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  33. [Note: Conor posted this comment on April 1, 2011.]

    Totally agree with you about the scythe and the Guardian lady, mikejer. Hello, covenient plot devices! I must have zoned out during the explanation as to what exactly the scythe is, because I still don’t fully get it. And the Watchers who watch the Watchers idea was just so last minute and unnecessary that I can only groan when I hear the old woman’s confusing explanation. All in all, pretty poorly handled.

    As for the gang being best buddies once more, none of them know who’s gonna survive the upcoming battle (if indeed any of them do), so it’s best to let bygones be bygones.

    Like

  34. [Note: Zarz posted this comment on May 8, 2011.]

    About the ongoing confusion about whether Joyce from CWDP is the First Evil or not: There has not been an instance in this show when the dead have communicated with people, except in ghost form, so there is no reason to think that Joyce suddenly has the ability to come down from Heaven. I’m fairly certain that that was the First Evil. However, remember also that the First Evil seems to generally tell the truth. So saying “she won’t choose you,” may have been said with evil intent, but it was still true, as has been shown by Buffy saying that, should she have the choice again between saving the entire world and saving her sister, she would choose the world. It can also be expanded to Buffy’s attitude towards all her friends and potentials at this point, where she places the good of the whole world over the people she is closest too.

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  35. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    I completely disagree with the people crying out-of-character for Buffy/Angel. Just a few episodes ago, Buffy herself stated quite clearly:

    “I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything I had to be with (him)? I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life.”

    Yup. That “anything” includes Spike. how interesting to see people with selective memory here!

    Like

  36. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    Loved, not love, cotwarrior. That makes total sense considering that was her very first serious romance and the feelings were all new to her at the time. Buffy’s grown a lot since then.

    Like

  37. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    @RunawayMarbles.

    1. the setting of becoming 2 is only Angel’s blood can close the vortex but in the Gift both Buffy’s and Dawn’s blood can do so.

    2. did you forget the “drink me” moment in Graduation Day 2?

    @MikeJer

    Your argument is reasonable, although I doubt she’s grown out of the feeling for Angel. The way she said those words and the several encounters she and Angel had since S3 made me think she never did.

    Mike, I don’t want to argue too much since this is quite subjective and can easily turn emotional. Just want to say I really enjoyed your reviews and I am happy that this forum is still alive.

    BTW, do you know when the reviews for Angel S4/5 will be completed? I look forward to reading those, especially AtS S5.

    Like

  38. [Note: SpikeFan posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    @cotwarrior.

    In order to not get into the tedious, overplayed melodrama that is the Spike vs. Buffy debate I’ll just say this. Angel yes always remains in a portion of Buffy’s heart, but the thing is she moved on. He was her first love and what she needed at that particular time. If we recall the reason she said your above quote was not to rehash her old flame, but to prove that desperate times call for desperate measures and in order to save the world and all be a part of being the slayer is sacrifice.

    Of course, you do not think that she has grown out of that feeling which makes sense, but for the sake of the show she had to, she had to have character development and her relationship with Angel was stuck in high school, and in two different solar systems of the Whedonverse.

    Furthermore, I think that at this point in the season and series, it was a time to tie up loose ends and that is why Angel’s cameo served an importance as closure. Also at this pointust s I think it is important to note Buffy’s love for Spike, no matter how strong of a shipper you are, one may their tender moments really saved this season.

    Big Fan @MikeJer

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  39. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    @cotwarrior: The last time we saw Buffy show any kind of romantic interest in Angel before the very end (which is what is in contention) is in “Forever” in which she had just lost her mom and was looking more for immediate comfort from an old flame than anything that resembled “true love,” at least to me. I’d also like to point to their off screen meeting around early B6/A3 where both parties returned to their cities with comfort food. That meeting didn’t seem like sunshine and roses to me. 😉

    On a bit of a related tangent, it’s arguable what “true love” or a “soul mate” even is. Is it purely romantic/biological feelings towards a person? Or is it something that runs deeper than that — something that includes a love of the other person intellectually and perhaps spiritually as well? I never got the impression that Buffy’s love of Angel ran very deep — it seemed mostly that of a high school girl’s first serious infatuation, imo, of course. 🙂

    Like

  40. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    Oh, I forgot to respond to your Angel question. The answer depends on the community. While I will, indeed, be reviewing a handful of Angel episodes hopefully starting soon, most of the remaining reviews are to be completed by others in the community. But there’s been a nice trickle of reviews over there, so keep an eye out on the news page/feed.

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  41. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 24, 2011.]

    @SpikeFan: I typed up my response before I saw your reply. Even with that I don’t see anything directed at me in your comment, one that I largely agree with. I’m grateful that you’re a fan though! 😀

    Like

  42. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on May 25, 2011.]

    @MikeJer

    “…it seemed mostly that of a high school girl’s first serious infatuation…”

    WHAT?! As much as I like your reviews, here I have to completely disagree. first, I had a major crush with a girl in high school. Later when I think about it, I usually have a smile and feel some sweetness. But I would never say something like “I loved her more than I will ever love anything in this life.”

    second, SMG’s acting showed me that this is definitely not the case.

    frankly, I am rather surprised I am a Bangel fan myself, since Spike’s character development in Buffy was far better than Angel and I liked Spike more in Buffy. I only started to love the Angel character in the episode Sanctuary and later in Epiphany. I guess the main reason is that of the 3 relationships Buffy had in the show, SMG’s acting with Angel was the most natural, devoted, and believable. I can explain in detail but this will require a much longer post. probably later.

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  43. [Note: MikeJer posted this comment on May 25, 2011.]

    Well, let me put it this way, I agree with you that Buffy “loved” Angel with all her heart at that time in her life, at least by her definition of love. Because it was a first love, though, the emotions tended to run a lot hotter than most more mature loves do, which doesn’t make it better, at least in my eyes. Buffy’s comment in “Selfless” is about how she felt at that time in her life, and I have no doubt that she’s right in saying she will never love someone with that amount of intensity again. But that doesn’t change the fact that that “love” was a blind, mostly biological simple love, and not a mature, sustaining intellectual and spiritual love. There’s a big difference between the two groups, at least for me.

    In Season 7 everything is different, and I don’t see much evidence to support the idea that she still loves him that much now, let alone that there’s a basis for a mature relationship. I think she still cares for him and that he has a special place in her heart, but that she’s moved on. Her relationship with Spike in Season 7 is something much more mature, adult, and sustainable than what she had with Angel. The Angel kind of love is simplistic and generally doesn’t last, hence why I referred to it as a “serious infatuation” (my phrase, not Buffy’s).

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  44. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on May 25, 2011.]

    @MikeJer

    Great Answer! Clear logic and relative objective observations. Exactly what I was looking for in a nice discussion. I do beg to differ from you in a few important points. But I want to clarify my positions first.

    1. I am ultimately a fan of Buffy the character and SMG’s acting.

    2. My ultimate wish is Buffy’s happiness, which, unfortunately, is almost unattainable in the Whedonverse, with her being the epitome of a tragic hero.

    Now the problems I have with your logic:

    1. “mature, sustaining intellectual and spiritual love:” I agree that this will be the most ideal love. but I do not believe that she and Spike are there. Spike is still very obsessed with her. Spike’s support for her in Touched felt like blind belief since Buffy’s being sacked was at least partially her own fault.

    2. Buffy’s reactions in Chosen after Spike’s “death” was rather stoic. Buffy is not an introvert and SMG can perform intense and contagious emotions, which is apparently lacking here. and why did Spike reacts to her “I love you” with “No, you don’t, but thanks for saying that?” I am not convinced that they are there.

    3. “The Angel kind of love is simplistic and generally doesn’t last.” Hey no need to demean one thing because you like the other better! The Angel relationship did not last because of insurmountable EXTERNAL obstacle, not because of (internal) character/personality conflicts. They managed it without any sensual reward for most of season 3. (spiritual love?) You can see how it can be rekindled immediately once the obstacle is gone (IWRY).

    I like the open-ended ending in Chosen. I agree with you the cookie dough speech is rather nice, conveying the fact that she is still growing as a person. I actually hope that she will no longer be a slayer but just a regular person. Come on! She has saved the world a lot, and probably it is time to pursue peace of mind and happiness, which will probably always be elusive to a slayer.

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  45. [Note: RunawayMarbles posted this comment on May 25, 2011.]

    I dont’ think it can be rekindled instantly. The Buffy that loved Angel was pretty idealistic, more innocent, and young. The older Buffy, that’s had her mom die, that’s been to heaven and back, that died for Dawn (and when I mentioned that she would give up Angel to save the world but not Dawn, I’d like to point out that she siad she woudln’t sacrifice Dawn BEFORE she knew her blood wouldn’t work. Rewatch the beginning of the episode,) and that’s been through all the hells of seasons four through seven?

    I can’t see her getting back together with Angel. There’s a big difference between an eighteen year old and a twenty two year old, especially with everything that’s happened. She’s changed, Angel’s changed, and there’ll probably always be an attraction, but it’s never going to be what it was. And it shouldn’t be. I think what she’s built with Spike is based more on who they are as people.

    Angel was created to be the love interest, but he didn’t have much personality outside that.

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  46. [Note: debisib posted this comment on June 2, 2011.]

    id just like to point out that in the last season of angel, when angel and spike go to find buffy in rome, shes already moved on to the immortal… less than a year later. So, pbviously Buffy’s intentions to move on had been there for quite a while, and that speech she gave to angel about cookie dough, seems almost like she was letting him down easily. Andrew said it, she moved on, you should too.

    So, of course everyone holds a torch for their first flame forever, even if its just dimly lit. But, I dont think she had any real intentions of making it work with Angel again, maybe not ever.

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  47. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on June 3, 2011.]

    The “Buffy” in Rome was one of three decoys used to confuse the enemies of the slayers. BtVS continues as a comic series (Season 8). Not surprisingly, there is another apocalypse. And yes, both Angel and Spike enter the plot later, both in a rather surprising way.

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  48. [Note: debisib posted this comment on June 3, 2011.]

    ok… so at the risk of sounding oblivious (i havent read the comics)…

    Buffy was never actually dating the immortal?

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  49. [Note: cotwarrior posted this comment on June 3, 2011.]

    nope… the Immortal thing was actually invented by Andrew, who did some research and thought it a hilarious idea! and we got to know why in “the Girl in Question.”

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  50. [Note: fray-adjacent posted this comment on August 18, 2011.]

    I feel like a big dork for writing a comment about this, but I love when Buffy tells Spike that “shirty … isn’t even a word.” Because she’s always inventing new words by adding y’s to nouns. That makes me laugh sooooooo hard.

    OK, to add a bit of substance to the comment — I actually like the Buffy/Xander scene. While Buffy telling Xander that he’s her strength is a little weird after “Empty Places”, in the context of the conversation it makes sense. 1, Xander himself might not be Buffy’s strength, but the entire series has shown us that her friends as a whole are. Remembering that how much strength she forges through her relationships, through human connection, is part of how she gets to her plan in “Chosen”, and it’s part of the insight that she (re)gained from her night with Spike. 2, Buffy’s asking Xander to take Dawn and leave town, to run away and leave the rest to fight, probably to the death (remember that it was only later that she realizes that they’re “gonna win”). She’s trying to convince him to go AND she doesn’t want a bad goodbye. It makes it easy to believe they’d both overlook recent events and try act in the spirit of their years-long friendship.

    Another scene I love in this episode is the Xander/Dawn ones. Yeah, the taser might not have been such a good idea (though I love that she carries one), but everything else about those scenes is great stuff.

    Agreed on the Buffy/Faith, Buffy/Spike, and Anya/Andrew scenes. Character gold.

    Overall, some really bad exposition scenes (made much worse because what they’re exposing isn’t all that sensible) but even more great character scenes.

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  51. [Note: serenissima posted this comment on November 9, 2011.]

    I completely agree with Mike that what Spike and Buffy have is more or less ‘built to last’ while what she shared with Angel was an infatuation… puppy love, if you will. And while that first love does always burn brightest, it also flames out the hardest, and I think that’s what happened here.

    To use Buffy’s words ‘I loved him more than anything, blah blah’ doesnt really mean much, either, because A. she’s clearly recounting how she felt at that moment in time, not presently, and B. at said moment in time, EVERYTHING feels like ‘the world.’ It’s all so intense at that age; just look at Dawn seasons 5 and 6. Crying in the bathroom just because a guy thinks she’s a freak or stealing for attention. High school is Hell and Hell is a teenage girl and all that, right?

    I also think that Buffy knew (and Bangel fans know, deep down lol) that that type of love isn’t REALLY real, based on her words to Spike when he says they should just get together because their feelings are so bright hot and passionate or whatever he said and she tells him those are the ones that just consume and leave nothing left. (I’m paraphrasing of course lol.) I think it’s easier for fans to root for Bangel because it’s dark and mysterious and swooning and romantic, which is great fodder for tv romance but doesnt ever pan out well in the real world, which is what we were launched into with Season 6.

    Spike found a place in Buffy’s real life outside of scribbles in notebooks. He found a place in her heart, body, mind, and soul; in her home, with her family, with her friends. He took care of her and she took care of him. Angel never even came close.

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  52. [Note: x factor posted this comment on December 29, 2011.]

    This episode highlights the utter ridiculousness of the “Buffy suddenly feels alone after 7 years” storyline that we are supposed to buy. Almost the very next scene after Buffy talks about how “alone” she is, she is telling Xander how he is her strength, how she couldnt have made it this far without him, how she trusts him with her life. Could the writers be any more mixed up about this season’s themes? After seven years of leading the Scoobies, of assuming that burden, Buffy all of a sudden in year seven feels this burden? She is older now, presumably more mature not less, and better equipped to handle this burden…yet she suddenly has a problem with it, it suddenly weighs on her, when she had no problems with it in high school??

    And Buffy isnt stupid. Her comments to Xander reflect her awareness of the fact that without them, she would have been dead for good before she finished her first year at Sunnydale. So how exactly does this make her “alone”? The scoobies entrust Buffy with their lives, but as she rightly points out to Xander, she in turn is able to trust them with HER life and the life of Dawn.

    None of this makes any sense to me, and speaks to the writers desperately trying to cobble together contrived forced storylines to fill up the episodes for this season.

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  53. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on December 29, 2011.]

    x factor: It is laid on pretty think at the end of this season but the theme has been around since the beginning. In ‘Out of Mind, Out of Sight’ in season 1, Cordelia tells Buffy that she feels alone even when she is surrounded by her friends because they don’t really know her. In ‘Earshot’ Buffy tells Jonathon about everybody hiding their pain and really being alone to themselves. Even “Firely” had the line about “everybody dies alone.” The writers use it too much this season, though.

    -Giles pointing out that he should have known about the scythe. True. Just like the Seal the audience should have had word on it in books seasons ago so the evidence was there.

    -“A burden we can’t share.” Wait for it.

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  54. [Note: Nobody posted this comment on January 21, 2012.]

    Okay, I have to admit that I’m a big fan of the scythe. Sure, they could have provided hints about it earlier, but really I didn’t think it was a deus ex machina. The first clue of its existence came in Dirty Girls, which is four episodes from the finale. I like to look at this in movie terms. Five episodes is about one and a half movies. So I guess what I’m saying is, if the last five episodes were a movie, the scythe would have basically been hinted at since the beginning, making the discovery of the weapon perfectly credible and not just pulled out of thin air. I think the reason people don’t like the scythe is because when the season is looked at like one reeeeally long movie, then yes, it is strange. But I think the writers did a good job with it. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but I personally loved the scythe.

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  55. [Note: Helen posted this comment on March 6, 2012.]

    Even though I’m a Spuffy fan, I didn’t mind Angel’s presence. In the last episodes of Buffy, it was almost mandatory that he show up since he was a huge part of Buffy’s life in the earlier seasons, and the producers needed to throw Bangel fans a bone. However, I hated their kiss and the smug way Angel acted both in this and the next episode. In “Forever”, there was a great Buffy and Angel reunion that was mature, in-character and actually fit with the plot. Their kiss in that episode was one of the few times I appreciated the Bangel ship post season 2. However, their kiss in End of Days did not fit at all. Everything about it was cheesy, out-of-place, completely out of character, and made to appeal to the Bangel fanbase. Fanservice is a huge part of the show, and I usually wouldn’t complain since it let Spike and Faith survive. However, after what both of the characters had been through at this point in the series, the kiss was completely awkward. I agree with Mike- a hug would have been much better, and maybe a brief kiss goodbye later.

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  56. [Note: Lewis posted this comment on April 12, 2012.]

    I’m quite surprised you’ve rated this episode so low. For me (and you it seems), the season derailed itself after a fantastic 10-episode run, but from ‘Storyteller’ to ‘Dirty Girls’ and then this, the quality for me was way back up.

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  57. [Note: Deva posted this comment on May 12, 2012.]

    Buffy and Angel kiss was completely realistic. It has always been made clear that they have a special ki.d oflove and always will but the tragedy of Angel’s curse means that they can’t be together.

    I can’t say if Buffy ever loved Spike. It never really rang true to me that she felt as strongly for him as he did for her. I think she depended on him a lot but I don’t know if that is truely love.

    Angel is the one that Buffy wanted and could never really have. The kiss was simply to show that the love between them would never die and fade simply because they couldn’t be together. Buffy has loved Angel from day one and probably always will and vice versa.

    How could they ever have closure when they were torn apart and forced to let each other go?

    If I’m being honest, Spike was always the vamp I prefered because he was so dry and sarcastic and funny but Angel was so obviously Buffy’s number 1. I doubt she could have ever loved someone like she loved him and her post Angel relationship (including the one with Spike) makes this clear.

    The end scene of Chosen where she tells Spike she loves him and then doesn’t deny it when he calls her on her lie tells us everything we need to know. Spike and Angel have always been in competition with one another and Spike knows the truth.

    It will always be Angel.

    And that is why Buffy and Angel’s story is such a tragedy and why Spike deserved so much better than Buffy.

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  58. [Note: Xavier posted this comment on May 18, 2012.]

    Aw Anya! You just gotta love her.. and the way she says her speech with such meaning makes her character’s death that much tragic. Definitely loved the wheelchair fight! And Andrew too.. They’re so hilarious!

    I agree that the whole Guardian plotline was kinda messy. Also, Angel did seem out of place the entire time he was there. All he did was smirk! And the kiss.. eh I wasn’t a big Bangel fan. Poor Spike 😦

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  59. [Note: Ryan ONeil posted this comment on May 21, 2012.]

    John(33): Those Uber-vamps were probably starving; the First’s first one had to be fed before it posed the threat that it did

    Dimitri(35): What’s wrong with “Buffy”???

    lolol

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  60. [Note: Helen posted this comment on May 21, 2012.]

    I feel that Buffy will always still love Angel, but less because of the person he is and more because of what he represents. She fell in love with him as an idealized figure, and for him it was the same. Even if Angel was shanshued with the curse lifted, I still don’t feel like they could have had a real future together. They just aren’t that compatible for the long term- the sweeping romance is great in small doses, but really, what else brings them together? I enjoyed Bangel for the first two seasons because it fit with the show and Buffy’s character, and the whole Angelus arc was great. Past that, their relationship didn’t work- season three showed that with all the romantic angst that made many of us happy to see Angel leave at the end. They are less of characters when they are together- each is trying to please the other, and we lose something with that. On BtVS, Angel was usually only interesting when he was not with Buffy or when he was evil.

    Buffy kisses him because she wants what he represents- a return to simpler times when she had her “one true love” by her side. With the evolution of her character though, I believe she grew to love Spike in a completely different way- she fell for him as a person, not as an ideal. No matter how much she wishes it wasn’t, her romance with Angel is done at this point, even though they still have sparks. She fell for him as a naive teenager and has grown since then, and he was able to become his own character without her. Either way, team Angel or team Spike, this scene could have been a whole lot better. DB is out of character and it just seems so fake. They could have at least used the Buffy/Angel theme rather than the epic music that they put in.

    I just has a s7 marathon this weekend, and realized that Buffy got at least one pseudo-apology for the Empty Places fiasco. Amanda says how the explosion was their punishment for following Faith (and kicking Buffy out of the house, although thats left unsaid), and Kennedy seems to agree. If only Buffy’s actual friends could have done the same!

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  61. [Note: Rob W. posted this comment on August 10, 2012.]

    Oh yeah, Giles, that scythe is clearly ancient. Ancient like 1987.

    Wow, I’m on a bad negative comment streak. Really though, once we get to this episode things brighten up for me. I’ll be sad to see the story end at the mouth of the crater, but then Buffy and the Scoobies always get reincarnated back to Welcome to the Hellmouth. It’s a little shallow there, but struggling through the last half of S7 always makes that a little easier to take.

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  62. [Note: CassieNewton posted this comment on November 23, 2012.]

    I completely agree with what Ursus (3.) said about the terrible deux ex machina plot handling. The ep still had tons of memorable moments and dialogue.+ Anya/Andrew interaction was hilarious (“You are the perfect woman”- “I often thought so.” Anya’s emotional moment Andrew’s “You love humans, you loooove..” The First’s “That Bitch!” Dawn tasering Xander Buffy/Xander kitchen scene Angel’s “You look great”- Sarah does look amazing in that scene Buffy’s “I can already tell you, I have nothing that goes with that”

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  63. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on December 16, 2012.]

    -The Guardian woman talking about the history of the scythe was supposed to be informative but it just left me even more confused.

    -For seven years Buffy has essentially been passing by that pyramid tomb and all the while the Guardian has been waiting. Yeah, I can but that. Oh wait, no I can’t.

    -Angel’s return just because it is the series finale cheapened it. I am happy to see him again but it wasn’t needed.

    -Kaylee has “shiny” so Spike has “shirty”.

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  64. [Note: Waverley posted this comment on January 28, 2013.]

    Just watched this again and it definitely has a bit of a rough diamond feel to it for me. There are some absolutely fantastic scenes in there but the shine is taken off a little by some of the clumsier parts.I agree with Mike’s review that the plotting with the sycthe felt a bit contrived. Although, I have the feeling that it wasn’t the sycthe being used as a get of of jail card for the writers so much as it was that Joss Whedon just really wanted to put it in there, to link up with the Fray comics. I’m sure they could have used another means for Willow to cast her spell – for example the ‘unnatural’ existence of two slayers in Buffy and Faith could have given them some window to share the power further, or the rupture caused by Buffy being brought back to life (which, as we heard from Belljoxa’s Eye, allowed The First to make its move) could have also allowed for futher encroachments on the natural order of things, i.e. Willow’s spell. The former would have been great, I think, as a way of bringing closure to Buffy and Faith’s relationship while the latter would have meant the Belljoxa’s Eye episode wasn’t so irritatingly pointless. The biggest difficulty with the sycthe in this episode is, as Mike says, the exposition we get in the temple. It just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t really tell us anything. All very confusing.The low point of the ep for me though it the cheesy music played as the camera zooms up to Angel on his entrance. Angel appearing is in itself a huge deal with a lot of emotional resonance so it doesn’t need to be overplayed with melodramatic music, which even runs the risk of making the scene seem laughable.Nevertheless, there is a huge amount to admire here. The fight with Caleb, the Buffy/Angel Buffy/Spike Buffy/Faith scenes, Andrew and Anya, Anya’s bedside manner with the injured slayers. All brilliant. But the absolute gem of this episode for me is Buffy dropping into the sewers and cleaning house, saving the potentials from the Übervamps. Coming as this does after Buffy got kicked out, it has a real Return of the Hero feel to it. I feel like cheering every time I see it and there is a genuine risk of me standing up, pointing at the TV and saying something ridiculous like ‘You’re God-damn right! Nobody beats Buffy!’ this may well be my favourite action sequence of the entire series.So, yeah, heavily troubled in places and enough so to keep it out of the top scoring range, since the story crafting leaves a lot to be desired. But some excellent moments redeem the episode for me. I’d score it as a B+

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  65. [Note: Daniel posted this comment on February 13, 2013.]

    I feel like cheering every time I see it and there is a genuine risk of me standing up, pointing at the TV and saying something ridiculous like ‘You’re God-damn right! Nobody beats Buffy!’ this may well be my favourite action sequence of the entire series.

    I’m with you, Waverley! I love love love that sequence, as well as every other fight scene the scythe is incorporated into. The slowmo shot of Buffy decapitating one of the ubervamps in Chosen is my favourite of the series. I can completely accept the contrived nature in which the scythe is introduced because it’s just so damn pretty, and Sarah Michelle Gellar looks epic wielding that thing.

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  66. [Note: Dave posted this comment on February 21, 2013.]

    I find it odd Dawn convenatily has a taser and how does the car not crash and Dawn is able to drive it even though she is in the paasanger seat. Also where did the 4 Torak han come from since the seal had been closed due to Andrew

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  67. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 28, 2013.]

    I agree with most of what you said, but this episode gives many slaps in the face of characters and viewers.

    It’s nice to see our favorite characters getting along, but there’s no resolution to the conflict. Buffy should have apologized as much as the scoobies and Giles should have apologized. It would have been nice to see them acknowledge their respective mistakes instead of seeing the Guardian.

    The discussion between Buffy and Faith is good, but Buffy said it herself, she let people slip, she didn’t let them enter. And it wasn’t about being the slayer, it’s about her personality. Yes, being a slayer is a big burden, but she has shared her burden for 5 years (season 6 is different) and this speech denies the usefulness of the scoobies. She wouldn’t be here without them (and I’m not talking about the resurrection). Here, the situation is different because they have to care about the Potentials: it’s being in charge that makes you feel lonely, it’s not being the slayer. Woods will tell Faith in Chosen: I thought it was a more defensive, isolationist slayer crap. The watchers have isolated the slayers in the past. But Buffy and Faith in particular have isolated themselves from the world but not entirely because they are slayers.

    It was nice for Angel to have an appearance, but the kiss ? After all the build-up with Spike and all the history with Cordelia, I found it very disrespectful. Actually, it’s not the kiss in itself, it the fact that it comes out of nowhere and feels so contrived. It’s not about a Spuffy/Bangel (who invented these ridiculous abreviations ?!!!) war either, it’s just out of place.

    Anyway, I never understood the war… Angel and Spike are two different persons who have meaning in Buffy’s life at different times with a very different approach: it’s life. The first was passionate, adolescent, burning and destructive. The second was platonic, adult and supportive. The first was creepy (an old man stalking and hitting on a teenager), didn’t have real substance but it was “true love”; most of all, because of the curse, it couldn’t end or go on. The second emerges after a destructive relation and needs serious new foundations before it can go anywhere. The common denominator is that they both find a meaning in life because of Buffy (fight the good fight). It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, they were what Buffy needed at certain times of her life. That’s why I didn’t mind the “cookie dough” speech. It’s not popular because of the context in which it’s said but it makes sense. Buffy is still very young, she’s learning from her experiences and her heart is large enough to contain the memories of both. So should ours :).

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  68. [Note: Waverley posted this comment on March 28, 2013.]

    Excellent comment. I agree with almost all of this. Although I would add that the cheesy music which accompanied Angel’s appearence on-screen was the biggest downer of that scene for me. Simply seeing him would have been powerful enough – the show has earned that with its character development and attention to its own history. The daft music made would should have been an emotion-packed moment pretty laughable.

    I think the kiss was probably just thrown in there to provide some episode-level conflict between Spike and Buffy. I think they could have handled it better though. Spike’s relationship with Abuffy had gone beyonf physical in S7. If they had shown Angel and Buffy having a similar emotional connection, that would have been an even bigger threat. But instead they went for the shortcut cheesy kiss.

    Also agree with the opinion on the cookie dough speech. I don’t get why it bothers people so much. It’s probably a redundant analogy for something fairly straightforward. But it is nevertheless a fitting analogy, and they type of thing Buffy would say.

    Ah well, you could debate S7 forever. We probably will 😉

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  69. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    The kiss between Buffy and Angel never seemed contrived to me. There were always a big emotion going on in their moments together after he left (“Forever”, that episode of Angel where time goes back). I’m not a Bangel or a Spuffy neither (lol) but I can see Angel is the first love of Buffy and will always be. The fact they couldn’t stay together doesn’t mean they don’t feel strongly about each other anymore. I find the kiss a powerful reminder of that.

    I don’t like the argument “Angel is a pedophile” (I know that’s not what you wrote, but I hear that a lot). Sure he is much older, but that’s a metaphor. When we see them in season 1, we’re supposed to be seeing a highschool girl in love with an 18 years old guy. Adolescents in love with vampires have been depicted before – it’s another metaphor, of sexual awakening and searching for identity. I don’t think we should take it literally. In the same way, I think the argument “Spike only loves mature Buffy” makes no sense. We learn he was obsessed by Buffy since he arrived in Sunnydale (in S2). And before this obsession turned to true love it was a vicious feeling.

    Regarding the “cookie dough speech”, it bugs me for another reason. S7 shows us a humorless speechy chief-in-command Buffy – and we have to suffer to like her. Then in the last episode we are just asked to meet old Buffy. Like that last joke before the battle, when she’s talking about going to the mall to buy shoes if she survives. Well, I miss that kind of attitude but you can’t just pretend good old Buffy was always there, as if last half of S7 was just a bad dream. The cookie dough speech feels the same to me: it’s the kind of speech she used to do (you know, when she was fighting apocalypse and dying and still had a sense of humor) but now I just don’t buy it anymore.

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  70. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    Well, even if it’s used as a metaphor, I can’t help the feeling of wrongness, especially the stalking part. It stems from personal experience and also as a mother, so I can see why it wouldn’t bother everybody but to me, it brings shivers down my spine, the same way it did with the rape attempt.

    I’m just noticing that you say: you can’t just pretend good old Buffy was always here. That’s exactly what I’m saying about the kiss, even if their love was intense and pure, their relation stopped years ago. I could understand the comfort kiss in “The Body”, it was very believable but not here. Actually, I was glad to see Angel, but I expected closure, not a “what if”: because of the curse, they can never be together. I expected a healthy acknowledgement that they would always be important to one another in their separate lives.

    About your argument about Spike, I was making comparisons between “soulful them”. Of course soulless Spike was obsessed with Buffy from the start and his love for her was twisted. But his love when soulful is true to the core, he loves a grown up Buffy, accepting her worst and her best. Same thing for Buffy, she never loved Spike before, she had conflicted feelings. The love she has with soulful Spike goes beyond physical attraction, it’s about mutual respect and acceptance, but not necessarily the “marital type”.

    Also, in the first half of S7, we see Buffy as she has truly become as a woman: humorous, loving, responsible. Then, she loses her connections because of the burden of a war, it doesn’t mean that the Buffy we saw in start of S7 isn’t there anymore, she just buried those emotions. She lost herself for a while but with the prospect of a future and with her friends around her, I don’t find it out of character at all to have her talking about going to the mall. On the contrary, for me, it means that despite the ordeals, life will go on and she will live it if she’s still alive.

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  71. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    I hope you don’t feel I’m minimizing the problem of stalking, I can absolutely share your concern. But Angel doesn’t strike me as a stalker; Angelus does. When did Angel (not Angelus) stalked Buffy? It’s true Angel is always showing up out of nowhere in S1, but normally he’s protecting or warning Buffy. Should he have been more responsible and stay away from her, imagining they could not have a future together? Perhaps but we’re talking about love.

    What I intended to say is that I always thought ridiculous when people depict Angel as a vicious satyr opposed to Spike as a respectful lover who had waited until she was a young woman… (That argument confounds many things, including Spike having or not soul). But I didn’t say you wrote that.

    About the kiss: let’s not forget it’s the end of the world, so kissing your first and still-loved boyfriend doesn’t feel so wrong to me. But I agree that the hole jealous-situation doesn’t work and, me too, I would have preferred that Buffy and Angel talked about issues not resolved between them.

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  72. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    Thanks for your answer Gon, again, it would be nice for us to go open a topic in the forum to further our discussion, because if there are characters worth talking about, it’s those two :).

    As I said once, I have a tendency to defend the hated characters and find the flaws in those that always get free passes. It’s a big shortcoming of mine (but I’m aware of it and try to overcome it… or not :p).

    I try to be objective and I am not a “Spike worshiper”. I never defended his bad behaviors, but I give credit when I think it’s due. Same goes for Angel.

    I agree with your second paragraph. Actually, Angel irked me at the start of the relation, but I never thought of him as a vicious satyr, just a really unhealthy manner to make himself known. However, if I remember correctly, he watches her from a distance for a long time before she discovers him, he follows her in dark alleys, he went to Buffy’s room unannounced or to watch her sleep before he was soulless, and I call it stalking, even if for noble reasons. Once they started the relation, it was ok with me. But in the same spirit of your example of opposition, I often read that soulful Spike is a terrible person compared to Angel. I will forgive those who never watched Angel. But those who did watch, well, we certainly didn’t watch the same show, because Angel is sometimes a champion and sometimes… quite the opposite. In short, Spike is not an angel, Angel is not a saint, but they both have wonderful and scary qualities.

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  73. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    Thanks to you, Arachnea. I’m sorry, I tried to access the forum but wasn’t capable of that. Anyway, I just wanted to add I think we see a lot of ourselves in the way we analyze the show and the characters. My main interest in the series is the idea of growing and becoming self-conscious by facing fears and adversities along friends (that’s one of the reasons I prefer the adolescence years). Buffy romantic relationships interest me in this context and so naturally I think the story with Angel is more effective.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do like Spike’s character a lot. But I do think he took a lot of space in S7 (you don’t agree with this, as you said some posts ago). Honestly, I can see how soulful Spike is a better match for mature Buffy than Willow and Xander. But I would have preferred to see Buffy, Willow & Xander reaching a new stage of their friendship in S7, instead of growing apart. I realize now my problem with that scene where Buffy talks about going to the mall is also connected to that: I no longer believe she will do that with them.

    You can read here http://www.salon.com/2003/05/13/spike_buffy/ what I think is an interesting article. It defends that the prominence of Spike changed the “BtVS” message, shifting the focus of the series from the uncool characters to the cool ones. I don’t agree totally with this article but I agree with some of it. It also helped me understand why I was so uncomfortable about S7, a season where I find very disturbing notes of bullying that contradict the original message of the show (I wrote about that in my comments to “Bring on the night” and “Get it Done”).

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  74. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    I’ve seen that article but their claims never made much sense to me.

    One thing though, on Angel’s age: I really don’t think he was ever supposed to be/look like an 18-year-old. As Angelus he travels the world with Darla and the others very much looking and acting and being seen like an adult, not a teenager. Joyce, when she doesn’t know who he is yet, mistrusts him and thinks he looks too old for Buffy, who claims he is in college. It seems most likely that he was at least in his early twenties when he was turned.

    This also fits the whole metaphor thing: Angel is meant to represent an older, considerably more mature and experienced kind of boyfriend. Attractive to 16-year-old Buffy, yes, but it does make the relationship a somewhat unequal one. That’s why he has so much power to hurt her when he turns evil. (Or on the level of the metaphor: when it turns out he isn’t who he claimed to be.)

    If you ignore the supernatural part (and I agree that you should when analysing it on this level) it’s not a huge age difference, but it’s a significant one and I think it should be taken into account when examining the relationship between Buffy and Angel.

    Oh, and I like your point on the cookie-dough speech. I hadn’t considered it from that angle before.

    (On the forum: we had a -lot- of spammers a while back so now you have to wait a bit after signing up for Mike to approve your account. It’s a bit of a hassle, but worth the effort. Do join if you feel so inclined. More discussion is always great.)

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  75. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    I understand your point of view for the first two paragraphs. (You should ask MikeJer why you can’t access the forum, but until then, I’ll answer here.)

    For the last paragraph, I’m sorry but I’ll have to firmly disagree with you, but you already know that ;-). In response to this article about Spike, refer to my comment for S7 review.

    Spike may look like the “cool guy” but he’s not. He’s been a misfit all his life and unlife and the only 3 persons who have accepted him were his mother, Drusilla and Buffy. He was laughed at when William, he was belittled by Angel when a vampire, he was laughed at and scorned when “chipped”, he was used by the First when soulful, plus never accepted by the whole group. What’s cool in it ? His pathetic attempts to try to be/look cool all his life and unlife ? To me, he fitted perfectly the long line of misfits in the show, and I’m not listing this to say “poor Spike”, I’m just establishing facts to say that Spike is a long way from cool.

    Like you said, the show is about growing up. To me, it doesn’t stop at the end of adolescence. We never stop to grow up, in that effect, Spike has grown up, especially in S7. The same for the rest of them, entering adulthood is a very important part in constructing oneself and the show never lost its “mission”.

    About the bullying, I remember a certain human demon bartender being beaten or bullied to get information (some demons and vampires suffered that fate too). And in the cases you mention, I agree about Kennedy, but to me, it was a parallel to show how Kennedy revels in her new power as opposite to Buffy who is struggling with it. In the case of Andrew, I agree it was not appropriate, but it was not torture: Dawn slaps Andrew to see if he’s awake and, about the hot water, we see on Anya and Dawn’s face that they know it’s not appropriate. In both instances, I never got the impression that the writers tried to say: hey look, bullying is the right thing to do.

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  76. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 29, 2013.]

    “If you ignore the supernatural part (and I agree that you should when analyzing it on this level)”

    You’re absolutely right and I know I should. But I remember how horrified I was when I watched the show for the first time, so that memory stayed stuck with me and I can’t seem to get rid of it. So I apologize, I know I am far too literal about it. I like your explanation, it’s definitely more objective than mine.

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  77. [Note: Gon posted this comment on March 30, 2013.]

    Thanks, Iguana and Arachnea. I’ll try to join the forum but will also try to clarify what I wrote (in a brief way because this has more to do with the series than with “End of Days”).

    About Angel. I can understand what you say but I didn’t feel it like that. In TV, the meaning you give to scenes depend of how you react to what you see. In S1, I saw Angel as the materialization of a teenage girl’s dream: a dark, beautiful, mysterious older guy who pays attention to you and eventually falls in love for you. That’s why I never saw him as a stalker. The original idea, I believe, was for Buffy to have this infatuation for the vampire but to end up with Xander. But SMG and DB looked good on screen on and S2 they decided to go all along with the couple.

    About Spike. It’s true what Arachnea wrote about Spike’s character – retrospectively. But when we meet Spike back in S2, he is a fascinating and arrogant big bad (S2). Is Spike cool? Of course he is! You can be a total misfit and still be perceived as cool (I can think of a lot of examples but I’ll just name James Dean). It’s the way you look, the way you talk, the way it feels. You can’t compare S2 Spike with S2 Wander and S2 Willow, can you? Since the first scene, Spike is cool. Even when he becomes a comic relief (S3, S4, part of S5), he’ll always keep that aura Xander so well described in “Intervention”. Everyone finds Spike fascinating. I even had an erotic dream with Spike once 🙂

    Now, this is the point where I agree with the article in question: it is clear to me that BtVS characters are way cooler in the BtVS “adult years” (S5-S7) than in “adolescence years” (S1-S3); and I believe the success of Spike has something to do with that. So, yes, I believe the original concept of the series has changed because new models (cooler models) got more and more popular between the audience.

    About bullying. I’ll keep every word I wrote for Kennedy (despite my disastrous English syntax). I’ll accept to be corrected about the term “torture” for Andrew – but I’ll stick to the term bullying. Again, the meaning you give to scenes depends of how you react to what you see. I’ll give an example.

    There’s a scene in S7 where Anya and Xander (Xander, of all people!) are having a lot of fun frightening Andrew and pretending they’re going to beat the crap out of him in a closed room; then Buffy appears, they say something to her as “everything’s ok” and she just leaves, with nonchalance. Now, how can you react this scene? You might think “they’re just trying to make a big bad confess, that’s ok” or “they’re using their force to intimidate a weaker guy, that’s wrong”. The show offers many levels of interpretation. Personally, the second impression prevails to me, given the past messages of “BtVS”.

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  78. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on March 30, 2013.]

    The interesting bit about Angel is that both sides of it are true.

    He -is- what many teenage girls dream about. He is the romantic, mysterious, attentive attractive older guy who only has eyes for you, who is both sophisticated and intellectual and tough and brave. And yet his behaviour is also that of a stalker.

    See: Becoming part 1 for the most obvious incident. This is the guy who followed her from another town and had been spying on her for months, finding out all he could before he came up and introduced himself. Throughout season 1 he’s following Buffy around and spying on everyone and only occasionally being helpful. He’s not dangerous at that point and his intentions are good, but later it escalates because he loses his soul. If we ignore the supernatural aspects for a moment, we see someone who starts out as a stalker, then tries his hand at an actual relationship, but then reverts to his earlier behaviour when things take a turn for the worse, only this time he’s actually dangerous.

    Both these sides fit with the teenage-love metaphor, only they’re made far more extreme and explicit because of the supernatural element.

    As for the bullying… well, Andrew remains a barely repentant murderer and accessory to murder and attempted rape without a moral bone in his body, so I honestly can’t feel sorry for him. Andrew is not some harmless nerdy guy who’s the victim of prejudice and injustice. He’s a bloody menace to society who should be locked up and be on the receiving end of some thorough psych-evaluations to determine whether anything can be done about his complete absence of a moral compass.

    Agreed on Kennedy though. Even if her behaviour makes sense considering what kind of a person she is, the scoobies should have stopped her or at least addressed her actions, especially after that girl commits suicide. That’s the part in all this that makes me the most uncomfortable: the fact that nobody comments on what caused that girl to kill herself except Buffy who gives a “She was weak and stupid” speech. Yeah… way to go, hero.

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  79. [Note: Arachnea posted this comment on March 30, 2013.]

    I forgot to mention that, even though I understand why there is such a scene, I of course also agree that Kennedy was obnoxious with Chloe and it should have been addressed.

    About bullying: what I was trying to say with the example of that bartender (don’t remember his name, season 3 and 4), Buffy often goes to him, punches him or threatens him to get information. He’s not the paragon of morality, but he didn’t deserve such a treatment. Yet, no one seems to have a problem with it because it’s not in season 7. More over, I completely agree with Iguana, Andrew is not a poor guy that they pick on. He looks like a poor little thing, but he’s not. To me, what Anya and Xander do is use a strategy. I see Buffy unconcerned because she trusts Xander. So, while I loathe true bullying (innocents being picked on, beaten or threatened for the fun of it), I don’t have a problem with the good cop/bad cop with no intent to hurt applied to a unrepentant murderer: it’s an interrogation, they don’t do it for fun, they need vital information.

    About the “cool” factor, I have a lot to say about it, so I will wait for you in the forum to answer 🙂

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  80. [Note: Mott1 posted this comment on April 23, 2013.]

    I agree that the episode is at times contrived, with shocks thrown in for the hell of it (like Caleb just turning up at the end ), and yet the scenes with Buffy-Spike and Andrew-Anya are among my favourites, making this, to my surprise, probably my favourite episode of s7. Surprising in that it’s clearly just a ‘calm before the end of season storm’ episode! I would also state that Giles is actually a little LESS annoying in this episode than in many in s7 IMO, where his constant hectoring of Buffy to be a ‘general’ (and siding against her in group arguments ) doesn’t really fit with his previous close, ‘fatherly’ role. Not that much time had passed since s6, surely!

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  81. [Note: Spuffy4eva posted this comment on January 21, 2014.]

    “But what is clear is that the two of them definitely love each other.”
    Yay! Someone agrees with me.

    “Why did Buffy need to kiss Angel? Wouldn’t a warm hug suffice? I know Whedon’s trying to pander to all the various fans, but after what her and Spike have shared ever so recently, I don’t think an insta-kiss for Angel was really appropiate. Then again, they had to leave us ‘wondering’ about whether Spike will go into a murderous rage after seeing them kiss! Sigh. At least Whedon doesn’t stoop as low as actually persuing that obviously stupid route in “Chosen” [7×22].”
    Mmm-hmm. Maybe she just got off on the fight, as per usual, or was really shocked. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that she isn’t in love with Spike except on Spike’s part in the next episode. But yes, I was only pleased with this episode because of Spike and Buffy’s reunion.

    Like

  82. [Note: Spuffy4eva posted this comment on January 21, 2014.]

    Great reviews, I agree with all your ideas. Thanks and keep it up with whatever you decide to do next(Friends please…)!

    Like

  83. [Note: Emery posted this comment on April 2, 2014.]

    Love your review, as alwayss!

    You very accurately noted all that was wrong with this episode, at first, when I saw Buffy and Xander bonding, I’d kinda let it slip that only recently he was involved in kicking her out of the house and stuff thanks to my nostalgia, just seeing Buffy and Xander be all cutesy and talking about the latest apocalypse was totally hilarious, heartwarming and kinda made me forget all about the huugee gaping plot hole. But then I read your review and got totally upset, this TV show deserves better, it is hands down one of the most creative, fun, agonizing, interesting, great tv shows I’ve seen and the ending being so rushed just pissed me off. They could’ve taken their time with it, briefly explained a few plot-holes and spared us from all the pointless scenes like the one where Caleb and The First were talking, and the Potentials escaping that place. Still, I’ve seen worse finales, so i won’t hold it against them.

    The ending made me want to break my own head, like WHAT THE HELL? I wanted to see Angel on Buffy one last time, I was excited to see him, too, but then the random kiss happened. So, while I agree I have no idea what Caleb was doing there (probably sipping martinis, as Mike put it, haha.) I can imagine and believe it was in-character for Spike to be there, he’s ALWAYS there for Buffy, and just because she says she has to do something on her own doesn’t mean he’s going to let her, he probably followed her there to back her up in case things got messy, it’s one of the things I love about Spike–how he’s always tried to help, even when he wasn’t ensouled (remember the whole Glory thing?) so yeah, it’s possible for him to be there, especially when I remember the emphasis on her ‘solo mission’ during their convo earlier in the episode. I am part of the fandom that agrees this was just to throw a bone to the Bangel fans, the kiss came out of nowhere, it was pointless and this isn’t the same Buffy and Angel from season 1-3, these are two completely different people, who have gone through so much more and are supposed to be more mature, okay, maybe the act was pure instinct–which I believe is totally in character considering how dependent these two were on each other in the earlier seasons of BTVS, but then I think of poor Coma-tized (i know, it ain’t a word) Cordy who Angel claimed to love (He meant to say ‘the woman I love’ in one of the AtS episodes if you’ve noticed) but what drives me even more crazy? Spike. How many more ways are there for Buffy to rip this guy’s heart out? She’s said PLENTY of awful things to him that he’s just waved off, and done plenty of awful things to him too, which were all believable and even sometimes (dare I say) necessary. However, after all they’ve been through here, after their ‘special night’, you’d think she’d actually think twice before frenching her ex boyfriend who just pops out at the right time, in the right place, very cheesily (as someone above mentioned), without any reason. Everytime I think of that scene it physically pains me, which is the major thing that dissapoints me in the episode. It must’ve been so hurtful for Spike, I mean after everything, you know?

    Maybe this is just my opinion, since I’ve always found Bangel very boring compared to Spuffy. Oh, well.

    Other than that, i LOVE LOVE LOVEDDDD the Buffy-Faith interaction, anyone else love it when she says, “I am tired of defensiveness, and weird mixed signals, you know, I have Faith for that!” Haha. And the Anya-Andrew scene was priceless, Xander and Buffy (despite the plot hole) were a delight, too. And ofcourse the highlight of the episode–the “best night of my life” speech, thanks to James and Sarah’s undeniable chemistry.

    Like

  84. [Note: Writebastard posted this comment on April 11, 2014.]

    I’ve been doing my nearly-annual rewatch and reading these fab reviews as I go along, but this is the first thing I felt compelled to say here.

    Which is dumb.

    Anyway: it has always bugged me that the ancient mystical weapon that dates back to ancient Egypt – you know, the Bronze Age – was chromed and appeared to have red-anodized bits on it. I mean, yeah, mystical and magical and shiny, but I’ve always thought it was a lousy piece of prop work. Like they had it made at a shop that did custom motorcycle parts.

    Bugged me in 2003.

    Bugs me now.

    Like

  85. [Note: Joy posted this comment on April 12, 2014.]

    I totally agree. That ultra-modern “ancient” scythe has always bugged the dickens out of me, too. It should have been dirty, worn-looking old bronze.

    Like

  86. [Note: Elizabeth A posted this comment on June 6, 2014.]

    I hated that Buffy kissed Angel and poor Spike saw it. What a slap in the face after everything they’ve been through recently. Spike was the only one who came to look for her after getting thrown out of the house, the beautiful uplifting speech in “Touched,” holding each other all night long. It meant a lot to Spike to be able to hold her like that, especially since SHE was the one who asked him to stay with her and on the bed holding her.

    Like

  87. [Note: SnoopyWoodstock posted this comment on June 6, 2014.]

    I wonder how Buffy would have felt if Spike and Faith had been caught kissing when she saw them in the basement looking very comfortable and flirty.

    Like

  88. [Note: Cas4ever posted this comment on June 30, 2014.]

    I don’t know why on god’s green earth, I wasted time reading this reviews as they are totally biased whenever Angel or David Boreanaz are concerned it makes just plain mad. Early on it was all about Spike, what a wonderful relationship he had with Buffy, please makes me want to heave! From the writers to the actors it has been stated that their relationship was not good and unhealthy but what bothers me the most it’s how Angel and Buffy’s relationship is constantly bashed. Fine don’t like it thats a matter of opinion and to answer why Buffy had to instant Kiss Angel when she saw him it’s plain and simple it’s because ANGEL is the her soulmate, love of her life, the other half of her. Nothing will ever compare to him nor will she ever love anyone like she loves him, their love transcends everything! On a side note David might not had been the best actor in the beginning but even before S1 ended he was rocking it and knocking out of the park with his performance, SMG stated Buffy worked in part because of him so give credit when due. I like Spike but he belongs with Dru, in the end he stayed with Angel because those two had real chemistry 🙂

    Like

  89. [Note: benny posted this comment on June 11, 2015.]

    just curious about something…. there’s a scene when the scoobies returned after trying to find out where the buffy is, and after Andrew say something like “keeping the morale up”, there’s some strange stare shared between the scoobies… I’m not really sure what’s that stare means…. but that stare means something, right ?

    Like

  90. [Note: blueraptor posted this comment on July 12, 2015.]

    “scared girls” is just a stupid state…. Listen to them doesn’t mean follow their opinions….they thought that Buffy thinking to do battle in the same style in “dirty girls”… any good plan will never be good enough to a bunch of scared girls…

    Like

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