Last time on Buffy, Spike thought he was being more interesting than he was and kept butting in with his stupid quest for chiplessness. Also, Willow was evil and badass and then GILES! SQUEEEE GILES!!! Wow, Willow's "I've turned pro" moment was so cool-looking. I also loved her response to "I'm here to help you": a very earnest "Thanks, but I can kill a couple o' geeks all by myself." Anticlimactic binding spell is anticlimactic and should be broken quickly, but I do love that Giles's first non-battle-related comment was turning to Buffy and saying, "You cut your hair." I swear, I'm still like the guardian of this new hairdo of hers. And then she hugs Giles and it's so sweet. Finally
she hugs him when I want her to. Awwww, and Anya comes up, wanting in on the hug, and offers a hesitant, "I'm blond!" Giles accepts this as her entry to the group hug. So cute! And now Giles must talk at the floating Willow. Oh Giles, ILU so very much! Buffy finishes her long list of troubles with "and I've been sleeping with Spike," then looks rather shocked at what the writers made her say, since that's been over for awhile now. Giles's response? Laughter. I <3 him. Whoa, Willow is pulling some Jedi mind tricks on Anya right now. Is her will weakened by the pull of the vengeance? Hee, and Giles and Buffy are still cracking up, now about Buffy's psychotic break. Of course they must get somber again, but so much happiness watching Giles laugh. I respect Buffy's line of questioning about why she was brought back from the grave - she actually says, "It was my time, Giles. Someone would've taken my place. So why?" I mean, it's not like he's gonna have the answer, but it's exactly the right question. Ugh - I know, Willow's killed a person so "if" (when) she survives, she'll be changed, yadda yadda, but that "person" was Warren...that takes the horror down several notches, IMO.
Ohhhhhhh my God, Xander, oh my God. Holy crap, man. Holy CRAP, how did THAT just slip out?? Dawn: "If Spike were here, he'd fight." Xander: "Yeah, if he weren't too busy trying to rape your sister!" ASDFGHJKL;LKJHVBRVUNNCKL MENTAL FILTER MAN WHERE IS YOURS. Whoa, dude - it didn't
just slip out? You seriously thought that the way you ought to tell Dawn about this was to toss it out in the middle of street-walking banter? That...um...okay. Are we setting up Spike to be "useful" in the final battle since Xander said leaving town was the only useful thing he ever did? Because if so, I'll be very mad that Dawn found out he tried to rape her sister and then got reinforcement for the "he's a good guy deep down" idea immediately afterward. That kind of juxtaposition is just sick. Giles is throwing down some cold, hard sense right now. Tara would not be happy to see Willow hurting the people who care about her. Our villain's still very quippy: "Fly, my pretty, fly! See what I did there?" Now how the heck are we supposed to believe that Buffy will be able to outrun that fireball? Alyson Hannigan's definitely a better actress than Glory's actress, which isn't saying much, so "That was rude" as a response to interrupting her violence felt much less forced. However, the violence in question was banging Giles between the ceiling and floor, so no me gusta
. Oh no, now she's draining Giles! No, Willow, he's not like the icky man! It's not okay this time! At least she only pulled the coven's magic from him, rather than killing him like she did the icky man.
I like that feeling everyone and thus feeling everyone's pain, rather than bringing Willow down and leaving her in a sobbing heap on the floor, has made her even worse by
bringing her empathy back: "Oh, you poor b@stards! Your suffering has to end!" A fun, interesting choice tossed in with so many weak ones. And of course Buffy manages to outrun a flying fireball. Not asking how. Ugh, the ungrateful morons run away (Jonathan: "Mexico, huh?") while Xander lies unconscious and Dawn and Buffy are in a deep dark pit. I am SO GLAD Buffy tackled them out of the way rather than going straight for her loved ones.
No, Giles! Listen to Anya and force yourself not to be dying, man! Y'know, normally, I'd be like, "Dawn, stop making the attempted rape of your sister all about you," and I still partially am, but she does have a point about how she brought her to his place after that happened. That was astonishingly reckless, especially since it was done in the name of "protection." Wait, so Willow can just randomly hop off to a Satanic temple to destroy the world despite practicing Wicca and not knowing a thing about Satanism? How's that supposed to work? It is pretty cool seeing her raise it from the ground, though. No! Anya, don't say that! If Giles doesn't have a lot of time left, that means he was brought back from England just to die painfully, and that would be a whole new level of wanky awful treatment of my favorites' mortality.
Dawn finally gets to fight alongside Buffy, against freaky tree root people that Willow made to invoke the "I brought you here, so I'll put you back" thing. Character growth and whatnot. She has zero experience and no Slayer strength or magic, though, so I have a hard time believing she really has her sister's back. I'm thinking Buffy decided, "Oh, what the hell, I can't keep beating things away from her forever and I might as well humor her in our last moments on earth," and that's why she asked her to "help" her while handing her that dagger. And here comes the other member of the cast who's frequently had to deal with feeling less powerful than the rest, and who's been moping about not being able to do anything for the last three episodes. Since no supernatural power can stop Willow now, it stands to reason that ordinary Xander, her childhood best friend, would be the answer. Aw, look, Dawn's killed her first abomination from the underworld. Once Buffy gets over the shock, I'm sure she'll wish she had a camera. What is it with this show and men being hurt while repeatedly telling a woman that they love her? This is a much more impactful iteration of it, though. The power of love saves the day! And even though I'm bringing up a cliche there, I think this scene was very well done. Whatever else Alyson Hannigan does, I'll respect her for the fact that she never bothers with the pretty cry, and I think that the image of Willow and Xander huddled on the ground together as he holds her and whispers "I love you" one last time and she sobs the protruding veins and hair dye away is a very strong one.
HOORAY! I join in Anya's happy declaration of "Giles! You're not dead!" I seriously just made a high pitched gasp/shriek about it. Aw, Buffy wants to show Dawn the world rather than protect her from it, and I can't keep "A Whole New World" from Aladdin
from jumping into my head in response to that. Is seeing a trucker eye the morons suggestively supposed to make us think they're being punished? Ugh. You do think that, don't you? I liked it better when you weren't trying. And now we jump to Spike, after Buffy brings Dawn to a pretty hillside but has no magic carpet to put her on. HA! SWEET! My "wouldn't this be nice" speculation actually happened! The demon that's been testing Spike is all, okay, you've passed, so here's YOUR SOUL BACK, FOOL. Gravelly-voiced demon, you're alright by me.
That was quite a season. Whew.