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Lisin

All Episodes Talk: Season 7

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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The first seven episodes aren't too bad, especially coming off the last four of Season 6.

But then it gets awful, waltzes a while with disastrous, and ends with a couple of last ditch attempts at barely satisfactory.

Edited by Erratic
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My favorite part of Season 7 was when Spike saved the world.  I can't help it, I love dangerous Spike. 

Okay, April Fool!  Sorry.

On the first viewing of S7, I went along for the ride and even enjoyed Nathan Fillion doing his thing while he was there; I really disliked the whole Slayer School concept, but having become hooked late in the series and then catching up feverishly via FX reruns, I wanted to see the show through to the end. I was a big fan of Whedon and company's writing and was sure the show would get better, but in S7 it kind of never did.  There were bright spots, but it seemed alternately uber-depressing and hokey.

Having had some serious time to digest the series as a whole, I think I'd have been happier if Seasons 6 and 7 never happened; Buffy sacrificing herself was good enough for me.  I'd have been happy with "She saved the world. A lot."  Cue the tears, grab the Kleenex. Of course, Dawn's fate would have been a loose end, but I wasn't very invested in Dawn.  

Just my opinion.   

Edited by harrie
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Having had some serious time to digest the series as a whole, I think I'd have been happier if Seasons 6 and 7 never happened; Buffy sacrificing herself was good enough for me.  I'd have been happy with "She saved the world. A lot."  Cue the tears, grab the Kleenex. Of course, Dawn's fate would have been a loose end, but I wasn't very invested in Dawn. 

Just my opinion.

 

I share it. I always thought that would be the perfect way to end the series and never really cared about Dawn. In my opinion the only good thing, really, to come out of season 6 was the musical episode, and the worst is what happened to Tara.

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Vote 3 for it sucks! I haven't watched for a long time but remember being so disappointed with this season. The many, many speeches and Kennedy. Just why? There were moments that were good, but not enough. I think AtS S4 was airing at the same time and I felt that was much better. I often wonder if the entire season were available to watch at once, as opposed to watching it as it aired, if that would have made it more tolerable.

Edited by Endeavour
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 I think AtS S4 was airing at the same time and I felt that was much better. I often wonder if the entire season were available to watch at once, as opposed to watching it as it aired, if that would have made it more tolerable.

On rewatch I actually liked Dawn in season 7.  Okay, that's mainly for her threatening to kill Spike, and responding to Andrew complaining about how he's alone "Then maybe you shouldn't have killed your only friend."

I still despised Andrew and his "redemption" arc.  That should have been Jonathan.  He had the ties to the gang with high school, and he was the one that in season 6 actually showed remorse for what he did.  He was the guy that wanted to be Lex Luthor, he wanted to be the super villain, but once he got a taste of that, he realized that wasn't him.  He also had that speech about how he missed everyone, and wished them the best.

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Maybe I have the timing wrong, but I think Danny Strong (Jonathan) started part-time on Gilmore Girls right around BtVS Season 7, so it's possible they couldn't work out availability/scheduling.  Or not. 

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Season 7 had the worst villains of any season. Caleb was entertaining, but The First was awful, and the ubervamps were even stupider.

To compound that problem, Season 7 had the worst heroes of any season. Buffy was long-winded and short-sighted, right up until the end. "OK, time to divvy us up into good, balanced teams. Oh, I know. Anya and Andrew versus a gang of Turok-Han." Screw you, Buffy. Giles was a complete nonentity, oh, but they could still devote an entire episode to Spike deciding to put his Fonzie jacket back on. Really? 

The best thing about S7 was Faith. Whether it was that awesome bit of confusion when she came back to town and thought Spike was a bad guy, or simply her stealing Andrew's hot pocket and him whining about it, Faith was always good television.

Honorable mention goes to Anya, as well as to her supporting entourage- Olaf, D'Hoffryn, Hafryk... perhaps even Xander. Xander and Anya dealing with one another as exes who still cared about the other one's well-being was interesting. Once Anya was dead, Xander immediately failed to convey that, so no honorable mention for him.

Honestly, as much as I agree that Jonathon's Murderer should not have been the comedy relief sidekick, the overall season was so godawful that I have to make Andrew the only other main character that I sort of enjoyed. Oh, not if I stopped and thought about his overall arc. Of course not. But at least when he was being used for comedy, he was funny. Giles was no longer smart or useful, or... relevant. Willow was no longer plucky. Spike was no longer evil, hell, he wasn't even a proper anti-villain any more. Buffy was no longer anything resembling Buffy. At least Andrew was funny.

And in fact, he brought out the funny in others as well. Dawn, when she was torturing Andrew, was funny. Willow,when she captured him, was actually a fun version of Willow again. For one scene. So if the characters who have earned their right to be there aren't pulling their own weight, someone's got to pick up the slack.

I have fond memories of stupid filler like Andrew's hot pockets and "the troll doing an Olaf impersonation", because I have so few other fond memories of S7. It was the first and only time that I ever found myself enthusiastically waiting for the finale of a show that I was addicted to- not because I wanted to see how the story ended, but simply because I wanted that hour of life back every week.

Edited by CletusMusashi
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Well said, CletusMusashi. I've never gone back for a second watch of any S7 episode, but if memory serves, your post pretty much sums up my feelings. I was more on board by the last couple episodes, but the rest of the season just felt . . . adrift.

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Oh the division of labor in the school was the stupid cherry on top of the ridiculous sundae that was season 7. Xander and Dawn makes a semblance of sense, I guess, but putting Giles and Wood together? And worse, Anya and Andrew? Really? If Whedon wanted Anya dead that badly he should have just had D'Hoffryn do it in the first place. Then again, their whole plan was insane. Buffy, Faith and Spike take the potentials down into the sealed chamber where they catch the eye of an endless supply of Turok'hon while waiting for the girls to get their powers, instead of staying up top with the seal closed. That way they could have minimized the flow of uber vamps they had to deal with until they got super charged. Speaking of which, I've always wondered, how is what Buffy and Willow did any better than what the shadow men did all those years ago? Those guys forced a girl to take demon energy and changed her without her consent. They did the same damn thing to thousands of women around the world.

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Right, thousands of superpowered women, with who knows what kind of morality and no guidance or clue what is happening to them. I mean, as a plan, it's better than apocalypse. But it was depicted as this clear Good Act. Empowering! Literally! But there is a lot of grey to that action. (Um, this might have all been addressed in the comics, but I read a few spoilers and have never been able to bring myself to read them.)

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Especially in light of Buffy's whole "here's where you make a choice" speech. Who made the choice? The two dozen girls in Buffy's house were the only ones who got a vote and even then it was all or nothing.

Regardless, I do enjoy the moment when the Potentials get their power and start kicking ass. Mostly, on rewatch, when I get to S7 I half-ass it (watching while doing housework and stuff) but I always sit down for the finale. And the episode where Buffy and Spike take the Potentials to the demon bar and then lock them in a crypt with a vamp. 

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The irony is that Buffy's plan and Willow's spell were ultimately pointless. Even if every single one of the newly empowered Slayers in the world had been teleported to the chamber and magically given all the knowledge they needed to fight they were so badly outnumbered by Turok'han and would all have died anyway. It was Spike and his magic necklace, given to Buffy by Angel, which killed them all and closed the Hellmouth. All they really did was slow the bad guys down a little bit.

Edited by KirkB
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I hated season 7 it was just ugh.

Buffy was a shell of her former awesome slayer self and Spike became the hero and Spuffy was ridiculously played up.

The Scoobies were just horrible, the Buffy and Giles relationship took a hit and that irritated me. I hated all the potentials and were hoping that they would die horribly and painfully.

But I did like the episodes "Selfless" and "Chosen" Selfless had my all time Buffy quote about loving Angel more than anything in her lifetime. And Chosen had that little hope we got that Butfy and Angel would one day end up together.

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The more time goes by, the more amazing it is that the show was allowed to go downhill as far as it did. Seasons 4, 5, and 6 all have plenty of fans, but did even the writers think Season 7 was any good? The arcs weren't even fully written. they were sort of sketched out maybe twenty-five per cent, and then instead of connecting the dots all the empty space/time was simply filled up with whatever random crap could be used to fill a scene. Sometimes the dialogue was still good enough that the filler wasn't terrible. Sometimes. But the attention to actual story-telling was nonexistent. It was just an episode here, an episode here, an episode here, until: what's that? We need a solution about what to do about the ubervamps? Um, Okay... how about we just forget that their sternums were stake-proof last week? Cool, problem solved. And now for some more random crap...

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I realized how bad season 7 was when I decided to watch the entire season again, but fast forwarded through the really bad parts... It took a whopping 45 minutes to watch the whole season.   Best scene?  Spike and Buffy in the church when she finds out he has his soul back.   Spike hanging off the cross burning  "Can we sleep now?".   And that's it.  Season 7 was so overshadowed by S4 Angel in my opinion.   I know that not everyone agrees but I thought S4 in Angel was brilliant.  (Charisma's acting being the only downer)

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It was literally overshadowed. I mean, S7 Buffy was so crappy that the only reason she or anybody else survived the season was because S4 Angel actually came rolling into town with a Deus ex Machina from not only a different show, but a different television network entirely! Every single character on "Buffy" could have fled town and Angel would still have saved the day with his magical blingblang. It wouldn't even have cost his show anything; he'd have come right back anyway, like Spike.

So the purpose of anybody besides Angel even being on the show during S7 was for Xander to get maimed, Anya to get killed, Giles to get boring, Willow to lower her standards, Andrew to mention Trogdor, Faith to steal Andrew's hot pocket, Wood to steal Faith's hot pocket, Spike to be Fonzie, Nathan Fillion to get a paycheck, and Buffy to keep us from demanding another season. Yeah, add in the handful of scenes that I actually liked and 45 minutes sounds about right.

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So the purpose of anybody besides Angel even being on the show during S7 was for Xander to get maimed, Anya to get killed, Giles to get boring, Willow to lower her standards, Andrew to mention Trogdor, Faith to steal Andrew's hot pocket, Wood to steal Faith's hot pocket, Spike to be Fonzie, Nathan Fillion to get a paycheck, and Buffy to keep us from demanding another season.

Sadly, that pretty well sums up my feelings too.

I remember being so disappointed at the time. A wasted opportunity. The callbacks they tried, like the shot of them all in the hall or in front of the school in the finale, just felt forced.

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As much as I agree that it largely sucks, I personally give S7 a bit of a pass for effort.  To me, S6 forced us to watch characters we liked become dark, miserable versions of themselves.  Buffy, Willow, even Xander.  I think that S7 tried to turn them around, back to strength, back to happiness, back to acceptance of themselves.  The execution of said effort obviously missed the mark in a big way, but I still appreciated it, and I enjoyed watching it more than I enjoyed watching them suffer S6.

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But at least S6 felt like a continuation of the same story. Mostly. I mean, yeah, the magicrack thing was pretty hamhanded, but you could airbrush Rack out of the season, put in a better-written version of Willow losing her humanity through too much magic use, and have the series pretty much go the same way. The core characters were the same as in S5, and, having them face internal demons instead of external ones wasn't a huge retcon or hijacking or anything. But season 7 cared more about Wood, Andrew, and Kennedy than it did about Xander, Willow, or Giles. And it probably cared more about Spike than about Buffy. And if they want to make things a little bit more positive after the darkness of S6, I like that idea. But... couldn't they maybe start by not making Buffy into a pushy, irresponsible bitch? How does a show known for its amazing characters and dialogue go that wrong? I mean, hell, I'd shrug off Angel saving the day or whatever if it over all mostly still felt like the same show. But instead the writers were like "What's happening with Giles? What the fuck is a Giles? Hey, you know what would be great to put in this episode though? A joke about how people in China don't speak English! Ha ha ha ha!" It was one of the biggest drop-offs in quality of a final season that I have ever witnessed. Still not as bad as "She Spies," but technically worse than "Babylon 5," simply because the writing flaws on "Buffy" were deliberate. I mean, it wasn't like they just got screwed because a bunch of older cast members quit, like on B5. They just... got bored, and wanted to play with new toys.

Edited by CletusMusashi
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I can't disagree with your points or defend all that went wrong with S7.  Especially the retconning of Slayer lore that even the writers seemed to be making up as they went along.  The "potentials", the big red scythe of Slayerdom ... I can't even.  But in the characters, even as poorly written versions of their former selves, I still see a theme of strength over weakness.  Embracing agency and taking action rather than succumbing to inner demons.  Yes, Buffy was bitchy and annoying as hell, but I'd rather see her as that then as a girl who hates herself as much as she did in S6.

I guess what it boils down to is this: if I were tied to a chair with my eyeballs taped open, and I was forced to choose my own form of torture between the very badness of both S6 or S7, I'd choose to watch S7.  Because, for me, it was less awful than watching the suffering and depression and self-abuse of S6.  Just personal preference I guess.

Edited by Earl Is Dead
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I was participating in a BtVS rewatch over on Tor.com that recently wrapped. One of their editors was also participating, I assume on his own time. He bowed out at the end of s6, he'd been so disappointed in s7. A professional editor; someone who knows good writing from bad.

We also had a 'bully' (or so it seemed to me) who really liked s7, and couldn't understand why those of us who disagreed didn't. S/he posted a couple of theories as to why, never mind what we actually posted. A lot of us, myself included, mostly just missed the campy fun of earlier seasons.

IMO, the best thing to come out of the last two seasons was Spike's redemption. Not surprising, considering he's my favorite character. Having said that, I'll actually say something good about Get It Done. Sending Spike back into the basement after his coat was a mini-Hero's Journey for him; an echo of the Hero's Journey he took to win back his soul. The HS basement held nothing for him but madness, despair, guilt and abandonment. He had to face all that, and reclaim his own Inner Darkness (represented by the coat) to be an effective warrior. It was/is about power. Buffy, Spike and Willow all had power, rooted in darkness, and the three of them had to embrace that Darkness within to win the day.

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It was literally overshadowed. I mean, S7 Buffy was so crappy that the only reason she or anybody else survived the season was because S4 Angel actually came rolling into town with a Deus ex Machina from not only a different show, but a different television network entirely! Every single character on "Buffy" could have fled town and Angel would still have saved the day with his magical blingblang. It wouldn't even have cost his show anything; he'd have come right back anyway, like Spike.

The funniest thing about that, was The First was supposed to be the ultimate evil, the toughest challenge Buffy's faced, and it got thoroughly trounced by The Senior Partners.  They were saying that The First isn't crap compared to The Senior Partners.

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The First doesn't really make any sense as an adversary anyway. It may be the first evil in the world but so what? It can't actually DO anything.

 

Season 6, for all its darkness and depressing stories, had at least one bright spot (at least so long as you didn't look at it too close), and that's Once More With Feeling. Season 7, on the other hand, had no such redeeming qualities. I can't really pick out a single episode I really liked, and there are too many bad points for me to name. I can pick one that particularly bugged me. The scythe (which wasn't even really a scythe). A weapon never mentioned before which Buffy and her friends didn't even know existed, and which would have remained inaccessible even if they did since it was buried and encased in rock. So in other words, the First decided to uncover the only weapon that could defeat its plans, and then told Buffy about it.

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Maybe because it was the first evil, it just wasn't very good at being evil? All it really understood when it came into existence was that it didn't want to be good, but the nuances of modern language weren't invented yet, and apparently it has not learned much in the ensuing millennia. So, needless to say, confusion arises.

"All right, minions! It's time to be the worst bad guys ever! So, give me all your worst ideas."

"Hey, boss, I know a great way to kill Buffy..."

"No! I said bad ideas only!"

I originally meant this as a joke, but... actually, it explains a lot.

From now on, I think this is canon for me.

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It does, actually.

 

"Sir!"

"What is it?"

"I found out about a weapon that will make the Slayer even stronger."

"What? Get it immediately. I'll go warn her."

"Yes sir."

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Kind of like the Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine. They were so obsessed with being consistantly negative that they screwed up all their communications by outlawing words like "yes."

 

Even when the Worst Evil did something competently, it would do it in the last useful way possible.

"Hey, what if we drive someone to suicide right under the Slayer's nose?'

"OK, but not Willow or Xander or Dawn. Just kill some random potential whose name nobody will even remember in a month."

"OK. What about torturing Spike?"

"Yes. Let's do it by drowning him."

 

The minions aren't chosen for usefulness either. Blind guys, a dimwitted stand-out-like-sore-thumb species of vampire that lost the evolutionary race long ago, a bunch of illusions that can't move anything, and one crazy preacher guy who might be pretty effective.. if he would just SHUT UP for five seconds! Oh, and possessed Spike. Does the Worst make him kill Buffy? Nah, it has him randomly sire a bunch of red shirt vampires for Buffy to kill if she gets bored.

Edited by CletusMusashi
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The Slayers origins are demonic. That is, the shadow men tapped into some evil force to create the Slayer line. So maybe it was actually the First, and every time it means to stop Buffy it inadvertently helps her instead.

Edited by KirkB

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When thinking about the season's few bright spots, one episode I go back to is "Conversations With Dead People." Yes, I love "Selfless," but CWDP has just as much characterization in it with more people. If the First had continued to haunt people that way, instead of taking the UberVamps and UberCampyFillion (who I love to pieces, but meh as Caleb) I think it would have been more interesting.

Then again, I haven't seen S7 in almost eight years, so my opinion may be subject to change.

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I just caught most of S7 courtesy of FX (they've since come back around to S1), and found that I disliked it even more, and disliked more about it, than I had on the first viewing.  Reading others' opinions over the years may have had some influence on that POV, but I stuck with S7 the first time around mostly to see the show to the end, not because it*  was the best thing since (fill in the blank).

 

 

*S7, not the show itself.  BTVS may well be the best thing since sliced whatever. 

Edited by harrie
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I just finished my rewatch courtesy of FX and came away liking S7 less too, @harrie .  I still prefer it to S6 personally, but only by a sliver. 

 

What stood out to me this time was just what a sad and wasted opportunity it was.  If someone at ME had been paying just a tiny bit of attention, with a little tweaking most of the ridiculous plot holes mentioned above could have been made to work(ish), not to mention writing characters we recognized.  Did they clean house on the writing staff 10 episodes in or what?

 

ETA:  Why?  Why does the blasted @ tag thingie refuse to work for me?  Damn computer gremlins.

Edited by Lisin · Reason: Fixed @ thingy harrie not Harry also punctuation screws it up sometimes :)
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nosleepforme: Sorry, the words "too much Spike" simply do not compute.

 

In Intervention, Buffy's spirit guide tells her that love will bring her to her gift. She asks, in all seriousness, if she'll be getting this gift or giving it. In that death is her gift, she both gives it (The Gift) and gets it (Chosen). I have no problem with that. Also too, Spike gets his moment of effulgence, something he's wanted for a very long time. That's the "big pay-off" for his character arc.

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Yes, but then what was the point of Buffy and Willow's plan? Empowering all the potential Slayers in the world (which, by the way, was a far worse act on a far greater scale than the shadow men who created the Slayers in the first place) wouldn't have amounted to anything at all if Angel hadn't brought the necklace and Spike hadn't worn it. Buffy wasn't the ultimate hero in her own show, Spike was.

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nosleepforme: Sorry, the words "too much Spike" simply do not compute.

 

What about the words "each and every other main character had to behave like a total moron, so that Spike could stay in the show"? Because frankly, this is exactly what happened and even if Spike were the best written character of all time (I almost managed to write that without laughing out loud), it would still not be worth it, IMO.

 

 

Buffy, Spike and Willow all had power, rooted in darkness, and the three of them had to embrace that Darkness within to win the day.

 

 

They have won the day a million times without "embracing the darkness", so this came completely out of left field, IMO. And in any event, the reason for the victory were two deus ex machina gifted to them by the Big Bad of this show and the one of another TV show, not any "darkness embracing" by anyone. Willow was 37,546 times more kick-ass in Orpheus than at any point in S7 without the need to "go dark", Buffy was defeated by the First's minions like half a dozen times and inexplicably spared, so it's not like her coldness to everyone not named Spike made her a better fighter or leader and Spike folded like a cheap suit when the First played his mind games on him and should thank his lucky stars that Wood randomly managed to disable the trigger while trying to kill Spike.

 

 

 

I realized how bad season 7 was when I decided to watch the entire season again, but fast forwarded through the really bad parts... It took a whopping 45 minutes to watch the whole season.

 

45 minutes? I reckon it would take me about 5. :)

Edited by Jack Shaftoe
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Hey, I never said I was a fan of s7, or of all the choices Joss &Co. made. I thought Buffy was incredibly foolish to leave Spike down in the HS basement as long as she did. She didn't know he was being manipulated by TFE, but she did express concern about the HS being rebuilt over the Hellmouth, and the problems that could cause. You'd think that would translate into concern for Spike as well. Despite the AR, he's been an ally. Also, he could be affected by it. The writers kept him there because that's where they wanted him, so he could pop up and help Buffy defeat whatever. Then they/she can just throw him back down into the hole when she doesn't need him anymore. Klassi.

What's more, she accepts Willow back into her home, even tho' she's still dangerous as well.

 

Don't forget, the ending of s5 is pretty contrived too. The apocalyptic stuff was some of the weakest stuff they did.

 

By doing the spell, Buffy and Willow change the status quo. They create a new "normal." It's not all sunshine and lollipops.

 

Embracing the darkness within isn't about "winning the day." It's about growing up, which is really the whole point of the whole fcking show.

Edited by Dianthus
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Embracing the darkness within isn't about "winning the day."

 

It isn't but you claimed it was necessary to win the day and I disagreed.

 

 

It's about growing up, which is really the whole point of the whole fcking show.

 

I would argue that Buffy and WIllow behaved much more like adults back in say season 2 than in season 7, i.e. long before they had embraced any darkness. In late seasons BtVS the questionable moral choices tended to boil down to either killing people or sleeping with serial killers, so I think it went way beyond simply growing up and into criminal (stupidity) territory.

 

 

Spike down in the HS basement as long as she did. She didn't know he was being manipulated by TFE, but she did express concern about the HS being rebuilt over the Hellmouth, and the problems that could cause.

 

Which by the way made no sense whatsoever. One wonders if any of the writers bothered to remember that the first Scooby base, the school library, was located precisely about the Hellmouth, with no negative effects on anybody's psyche. 

 

 

What's more, she accepts Willow back into her home, even tho' she's still dangerous as well.

 

Willow's redemption storyline was all kind of stupid, sure, but to be fair, Willow could be just as dangerous from the other side of the globe, so it's not like giving her shelter put Buffy in some great additional danger.

 

 

Don't forget, the ending of s5 is pretty contrived too.

 

True, I call "The Gift" "The One Where Joss Failed Logic 101 Forever". 

Edited by Jack Shaftoe
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Sending Spike back into the basement after his coat was a mini-Hero's Journey for him; an echo of the Hero's Journey he took to win back his soul.

Not to make it sound like I keep coming after you or anything, but I don't know what this even means. How is it possibly part of a 'hero's journey' for Spike to reclaim the coat of one of his murdered victims? Is it the equivalent of an animal pelt, something he skinned off of Nikki's corpse as a trophy? And then wore it proudly in front of the dead woman's son, *after* saying that if Wood ever so much looked at him cross-eyed again, he'd kill him? Talk about klassy.

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer
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Jack Shaftoe: I had to dig back aways, but you're right. I should have worded my earlier post differently.

Growing up isn't really a linear process, but I do think that was Whedon's intention. Also, he was channeling his own issues thru the show.

I think it was established that the Hellmouth was indeed affecting people negatively, psychically and otherwise. Amy, Marcie, Tyler....

 

LOL. Whedon's "logic does not resemble our Earth logic."

 

Cobalt Stargazer: Not to sound callous, but that was then, and this is now. Believe me, you're not the first to make this argument. Spike reclaims his coat to be the warrior Buffy needs him to be. He was very deliberately not wearing it for most of s7, probably for the very reason you mentioned.

In s6, Willow dragged her back into the fight, and Spike pushed her to keep going, when all she wanted to do was quit. She can't fight TFE and its minions and protect the Potentials all by her onesie. She needs her two strongest allies back in the fight for real. They're afraid of their power, 'cuz of what they've done with it in the past. They both need to overcome that fear.

Take a moment and try to think about what going back down into the basement means to Spike. There's nothing down there for him but madness, misery, guilt and abandonment. He goes back anyway, finds his coat, and defeats the demon. He's a warrior again. A warrior for Good.

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But if he was able to kill two Slayers before he got the coat, obviously his warrior skills don't really require it.

Writers who thought he looked handsome in it, in the other hand, apparently did require it.

Season 7 often failed to differentiate between "darkness" and the "hey, just keeping it real" form of rudeness. 

Wood has a chip on his shoulder about the bloodsucking monster that killed his mom? Wow. What do mean you don't like people killing her and parading around in her clothes while all the alleged good guys act fine with it? I thought this was America!

Even when Spike was completely evil, back in Season 2, he was perfectly capable of understanding people's emotions and adjusting his behavior accordingly. If, instead of being polite to Joyce, he had instead spent the entire visit terrorizing her, would that somehow have made him better at physically fighting Angelus?

And it doesn't help that Season 7 gave us not one but actually two completely different episodes about 'Jackets of Coolness." If you're gonna make that a big theme, at least write better scripts about it. Maybe have Faith, Andrew, and Anya break into the Smithsonian and steal the actual Fonzie leather, so that Chao An or somebody can defeat the Worst Evil by punching a jukebox and saying "Ayyyy."

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Yes, Buffy didn't ask Angel to call himself Angelus in order to be a good fighter or to wear the black leather pants he loved so much when was evil. She didn't ask Willow to dye her hair black and to put on the black contact lenses, Anya to call herself Anyanka or Xander to pretend he were still a Hyena Boy. Why? Because the show never maintained that being "dark" or "evil" somehow made you stronger. Except for Get It Done, that is.

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I've lately developed a real chip on my shoulder about "revenge is bad" stories that take the concept too far, and end up sounding like they're saying no one has any right to be upset about bad things that other people do to them. And a big part of that was that the awesome Mark Watches was in the middle of season 7 when I happened to read a couple books and watch some shows that did the same thing. Wood is treated deplorably here; it'd be one thing if Buffy just needed Spike as a soldier, but it goes beyond that into saying he's morally wrong for wanting to avenge his mother's death. One of the major reasons The Count of Monte Cristo is still considered the greatest revenge story ever is that it's able to balance this perfectly; we're able to see that the protagonist's revenge is making him a bad person as well, but at the same time Dumas never tries to make us feel ashamed of hating his targets and feeling they deserve what they get. It's really too bad Joss couldn't do the same here, as this story really had potential.

 

Boy, is the Potentials being killed off one by one the perfect visual metaphor for this season, or what?

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Robin's desire for revenge is understandable. Spike even acknowledges this by giving him a pass. Robin had his shot at it, and he failed. However, as we see with Anya's story, vengeance has its own consequences.

Robin put his desire for revenge ahead of the mission, and Buffy's focus is the mission. Still, everyone betrays her at some point, so he remains part of the group.

As for Spike, he's still a demon, even with a soul.

 

Angelus is a psychotic bastard. After 100+ years, Angel loses his soul, and his demon is free. The soul was a change imposed on him from the outside. He learned nothing and changed not a whit in all that time.

Edited by Dianthus
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Maybe I have the timing wrong, but I think Danny Strong (Jonathan) started part-time on Gilmore Girls right around BtVS Season 7, so it's possible they couldn't work out availability/scheduling.  Or not. 

 

Yeah, you're off by a year.  Gilmore Girls premiered in 2000, when BtVS was airing S5.  (And then GG took Buffy's timeslot and went up against it after the Slayer moved to UPN.)  So it was Gilmore Girls S3 that aired in 2002-2003, and Danny Strong didn't get his "Doyle McMaster" gig until the following season of GG, S4.

 

Not at all coincidentally, I'm sure, Danny got the part because his stalker, er friend, Sitcom Jane Espenson, had landed a job in Stars Hollow after putting the stake through Sunnydale.  I'm sure if Rory had still been going to Chilton (her all-girls prep school of S1-S3), Jane still would have found a way to get Danny cast…

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The sad state of Buffy as a character when she smiles her first, genuine smile since probably early S5 while basking in Angel's presence. Still hurts me to this day. 3 years of relentless no fun/hope/happiness for this character was no fun for me to watch. Add the character being twisted into someone she's not for Spuffy and the bitca development in S7...I was hoping for her permanent death. More for my sake though.

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On 11/3/2016 at 1:50 AM, Smad said:

The sad state of Buffy as a character when she smiles her first, genuine smile since probably early S5 while basking in Angel's presence. Still hurts me to this day. 3 years of relentless no fun/hope/happiness for this character was no fun for me to watch. Add the character being twisted into someone she's not for Spuffy and the bitca development in S7...I was hoping for her permanent death. More for my sake though.

Buffy really did glow and smile her first genuine smile since like season 4 when Angel showed up. And part of that I think was Sarah and her love for Angel and Buffy. I think she was just happy to have David/Angel back for the series finale. Angel was there since the beginning and it was so satisfying to see him there for the end plus we got that little confirmation IMO that they will end up together someday. 

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