From Beneath You It Devours

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2005

in Uncategorized

It’s about power.  The final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer brings the series full circle as Buffy returns to Sunnydale High School, old faces return, and the Scooby Gang gathers all their forces to deal with The First!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 7
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This is it folks, the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and what a season!  Season Seven goes back to the beginning and returns many familiar faces including a great villain from the Season Three episode Amends.  Okay, for one last time, let’s take a look…

It’s not about right, not about wrong,
it’s about power

Returns are a big theme in Season Seven.  Spike (James Marsters) has returned to Sunnydale after being reinsouled and is living in the basement of the new high school where Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) has begun her freshman year.  The First returns to Sunnydale to declare war on Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the entire Slayer line including all the girls who potentially might be chosen as the next Slayer.  Both Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Giles (Anthony Stuart Head) will return from England to join the fight.  Jonathan (Danny Strong) and Andrew (Tom Lenk) will return from hiding out in Mexico.  Even Faith (Eliza Dushku) and Angel (David Boreanaz) will show up to lend their support to the final battle.  Buffy and the gang band together with the potential slayers as they fight off The First which is impossible to destroy and has legions of followers under its command including Ubervampires and potentially Spike himself.  The biggest battle of the series will take place as the army of the chosen lines up against the First Evil.

The First is one of the most interesting villains of the series because it can be stopped, but never defeated.  Although incoporeal it appears as any person who has died, including Buffy herself.  One nice thing is that we get to see some of the old Buffy villains used as guises of The First including Warren (Adam Busch), The Master (Mark Metcalf), Glory (Clare Kramer), Drusilla (Juliet Landau), the Mayor (Harry Groener), and Adam (George Hertzberg).  The first has an army of Bringers, the Ubervamp (Erik Betts), a crazy Spike who has been triggered to go off at precisely the right moment, and a preacher (Nathan Fillion) who very much dislikes young girls.

The Scooby Gang

The season arc will take us back to the beginning, returning us to the mission statement of the series – It’s about Power.  The final arc gives us loads to watch and cheer about, even if some of the potential Slayers get annoyingly whiney.  One of my favorite moments of the series is Xander’s (Nicholas Brendon) speech to Dawn in the final minutes of Potential about the role of those who aren’t chosen.  Other great moments aplenty, here are a few…

Converstations with Dead People

Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Jonathan and Andrew, and Spike all have their own stories that do not intersect, but have something in common.  Each of our characters is put in a situation where they discover something frightening that may or may not be true.  Dawn is visited by Joyce (Kristine Sutherland), Buffy meets a vampire she went to high school with, Willow discusses Tara with a friend of Dawn’s who has recently died (Azura Skye), Andrew talks with Warren, and a lovely but unlucky lady has the misfortune of meeting The First controlled Spike.  Great episode, and only one of two that the title is actually aired at the beginning of the show.

Ubervamp

Never Leave Me / Bring on the Night/ Showtime

This is the arc that brings back Giles and the potential slayers to Sunnydale, has the gang realize the enemy they are up against, reveals the final fate of the Watcher’s Council, and introduces the character of the Ubervamp as one of The First’s weapons.  The final battle between the Ubervamp and Buffy at the construction site works on so many levels, and hey, anytime you can throw in a Thunderdome reference, that’s pretty cool too.

Lies My Parents Told Me

Great storytelling as Giles and the gang explore Spike’s mind to difuse the trigger in his brain and free him of The First’s control.  We get flashbacks to the Spike and Drusilla relationship as well as Spike’s killing of his second Slayer in New York who is Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) mother.  Giles and Wood decide to go behind Buffy’s back and kill off Spike which creates some heated tension and a break in the Slayer / Watcher relationship.  As Buffy tells Wood after he fails, she doesn’t have time for vendettas “the mission is what matters.”

The Plan

Chosen

This is it, the finale of Buffy and damn does she go out with a bang!  Awesome episode as Whedon reaches back on all the Buffy mythos and finds a way to give us something completely new yet fall perfectly in line with the show’s mission statement and the theme of the season.  Also of interest to fans of the Whedonverse, all three stars of Whedon’s three shows appear in this episode: Gellar, Boreanaz, and Fillion.

The final package of Buffy includes commentary for seven episodes including Whedon’s take on the series finale Chosen.  Also included is a DVD-ROM demon guide, a look at the Buffy fans, outtakes, and the final season overview.  We also get a short featurette of Whedon waxing nostalgic about the show intercut with clips of his favorite ten episodes, a featurette on the Slayer potentials, and a sneak peek at the wrap party.  My favorite extra is Buffy 101: Studying the Slayer a critical look at the series, it’s accomplishments, and the lasting effects of Buffy.  A nice farewell set to make your collection complete.

I love this show and was disappointed to see it end, but the way it went out was awesome!  Season Seven does justice to the series by returning to the original themes of the show and giving us new and interesting stories.  The extras make this a must have for Buffy fans.  The show is neatly wrapped up, yet there are always more stories to be told.  Will we ever see these characters again?  Who knows; I’m just thankful I’ve got seven seasons of Buffy DVD to watch whenever I want to see and remember how good television can be.

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