Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

“The toughest factor on this world is to reside in it,” says Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) at one level in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whereas this may increasingly look like simply one other quippy one-liner from collection creator Joss Whedon, the dialogue exemplifies what made the teenager fantasy journey collection such an vital piece of storytelling. Along with that includes a wealthy mythology of characters, creatures, and magic, Buffy the Vampire Slayer examined the challenges of rising up. It’s unimaginable to consider how characters like Buffy, Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon), Oz (Seth Inexperienced), Angel (David Boreanaz), and the fan-favorite anti-hero Spike (James Marsters) developed since their debut on the collection.

Though there are lots of underrated episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and terrific crossover episodes with its sister collection Angel, the collection typically attracted essentially the most consideration throughout its season finales. The present’s ultimate episodes usually featured Buffy going through off with the season’s “huge unhealthy,” and established vital precedents throughout the characters’ emotional growth. Though some seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer have been higher than others, every season finale was in a position to take the story in an fascinating new path. Right here is each Buffy the Vampire Slayer season finale, ranked.

7 “Grave”

Season 6, Episode 22
The WB

The controversial sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer compelled Buffy to take care of extra practical points that didn’t must do with monsters or magic in any respect. As a substitute of going through off towards a brand new monstrous “huge unhealthy,” the episode “Grave” put Buffy into direct battle along with her finest good friend Willow. Though Willow’s darkish aspect had been teased as early because the third season, she lastly unleashes her villainous talents after her girlfriend Tara (Amber Benson) is killed by The Trio. Though Tara is killed previous to the finale, the choice to kill one of many present’s few overtly LGBTQ characters proved to be certainly one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s worst selections and coloured “Grave” in a adverse mild.

Whereas using Willow as a villain wasn’t essentially a foul concept, “Grave” suffers from dashing her growth. It’s comprehensible that Willow could be heartbroken by the lack of somebody she cared about, however her flip to villainy might have used extra time and growth. Moreover, using The Trio as a main antagonist felt incongruous with the present’s continuity as a result of the character Jonathan (Danny Sturdy) had been a hero in earlier seasons. “Grave” stands because the weakest Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a result of the ultimate season basically retcons its occasions by bringing Willow again to the aspect of excellent.

6 “Chosen”

Season 7, Episode 22
Picture by way of WB

If the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was responsible of taking many daring dangers that didn’t fairly repay, the ultimate season of the collection feels boring as a result of the whole lot is performed too protected. The ultimate episode of the collection, “Chosen,” options Buffy, Willow, Xander, and their allies defending Sunnyvale Excessive Faculty from a mythic pressure generally known as “The First Evil.” Buffy helps elevate a military of recent slayers to defend her previous campus, establishing herself because the chief of a brand new era of heroes. Whereas it marked the conclusion of the collection, “Chosen” helped arrange the prolonged Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe that occurred after.

Contemplating what number of daring and controversial selections have been made all through the course of the collection, returning to such a “again to fundamentals” battle between good and evil felt like a step backwards. That being stated, the episode reinforces Buffy’s energy as a pacesetter, and completes her character arc in a satisfying means. Having Buffy go on what she had realized to the following era of slayers served as a robust embodiment of the present’s feminist themes. An look by Nathan Fillion as Caleb, the embodiment of “The First Evil,” can be fairly entertaining, even when he was one of many weaker “huge bads” within the collection.

5 “Prophecy Woman”

Season 1, Episode 12

The primary season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was much less dramatic than its successors, because the characters nonetheless felt like caricatures of the heroes they might ultimately change into. Nevertheless, the finale “Prophecy Woman” modified the present without end by including actual stakes. Buffy commits her first act of self-sacrifice as she makes an attempt to forestall a vampire chief generally known as “The Grasp” (Mark Metcalf) from rising to energy. Whereas The Grasp isn’t essentially a fancy character, his objective of unleashing the Hellmouth was an efficient risk that examined Buffy and her freinds’ talents.

“Prophecy Woman” is probably not as intense as a number of the different finales, but it surely succeeded in displaying the real compassion between Buffy and her buddies. Xander and Willows’ worry of seeing Buffy die indicated that the present would have the ability to transfer in a extra mature path shifting ahead.

4 “The Reward”

Season 5, Episode 22

The fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer took the collection in a extra mature path as Buffy offers with grownup duties, together with caring for her youthful sister Daybreak (Michelle Trachtenberg). Buffy feels the burden of the world on her shoulders as she realizes that the villainous goddess Glory (Clare Kramer) and her human host Ben (Charlie Weber) intend to kill Daybreak with a view to full their evil plan.

Whereas the serialization of the fifth season made Buffy the Vampire Slayer really feel prefer it was dumping exposition at some factors, “The Reward” answered lots of the questions that have been lingering within the viewers’ minds. It additionally revealed why Daybreak had made such an surprising look initially of the season. Whereas it’s a darkish finale that isn’t as entertaining as a number of the episodes ranked above it, “The Reward” confirmed the emotion that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was able to producing.

3 “Stressed”

Season 4, Episode 22
The WB

The underrated fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featured Buffy, Xander, and Willow heading to varsity as they set their highschool days behind them. Whereas the season started to pull when it centered on a brand new villainous pressure generally known as “The Initiative,” the season finale “Stressed” instructed a totally standalone story. It was a surrealist episode that compelled Buffy and her buddies to confront their latent fears after they enter right into a shared dream, and have visions of the long run.

Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer ceaselessly made daring artistic selections, it is nonetheless unimaginable that an episode as experimental as “Stressed” aired within the pre-streaming period. Moderately than making literal shifts within the plot, “Stressed” examines how Buffy and her buddies have developed via obscure imagery and metaphors. It’s an outlier throughout the collection that feels nearer to an episode of Twin Peaks than the rest.

2 “Commencement Day: Half 2”

Season 3, Episode 22
A bunch of scholars sitting and standing at a bench on their campus

“Commencement Day: Half 2” wasn’t only a wrap on the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however a conclusion to the characters’ journey in highschool. As Buffy, Willow, and Xander put together for his or her highschool commencement ceremony, they be part of forces with the varsity’s pupil physique to defend Sunnyvale towards Mayor Richard Wilkins III (Harry Groener), who plans to unleash hell on Earth. As well as, Buffy should confront the fallen slayer Religion (Eliza Dushku), who has joined forces with the Mayor. It solely is smart that some of the consequential social occasions in Buffy’s life would coincide along with her most harmful battle but.

“Commencement Day: Half 2” does an ideal job at closing out the highschool period of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Buffy’s heroism in main the scholar physique confirmed how she had change into an inspirational hero inside her class. “Commencement Day: Half 2” additionally gave a considerate exit to the characters Angel and Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) in order that they might seem within the spinoff collection Angel. Regardless of initially being pulled from broadcast resulting from controversies about its violent content material, “Commencement Day: Half 2” ends on a extra optimistic be aware than lots of the different Buffy the Vampire Slayer season finales.

1 “Turning into: Half 2”

Season 2, Episode 22
Picture by way of WB

The second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer remodeled what was initially a enjoyable, light-hearted fantasy journey collection right into a disturbing evaluation of childhood trauma and guilt. Though the season featured many surprising moments, together with the loss of life of Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte), the stakes have been raised within the season finale “Turning into: Half 2.” Buffy is compelled to workforce up with Spike as they be part of forces to cease Angel, who has misplaced his soul and was the evil vampire “Angelus.”

Whereas Buffy had confronted ruthless villains earlier than, having to battle towards somebody that she had as soon as liked was a totally totally different problem. “Turning into: Half 2” does an ideal job at displaying how emotionally draining it’s for her to battle Angelus, as she will’t assist however keep in mind the nice person who he as soon as was. Whereas “Turning into: Half 2” is arguably essentially the most devastating episode of the collection, the surprising workforce up of Buffy and Spike added a contact of comedy that foreshadowed their eventual romance.

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