I'm Rewatching 'Buffy:' A Review Of The Lackluster Season 7
So this is my last ‘Buffy’ recap and even I’m ready for them to end. Season 7 is such a weird-ass season of ‘Buffy.’ First of all, it drags like crazy. They talk about nothing for like, five episodes. I kind of hate this season. Even the dialogue doesn’t feel up to the usual snuff. Everything becomes about Spike, for some reason, and characters I cared about are given anti-climactic brush-offs. It’s very unsatisfying. The show also introduces like, 500 new characters, shoves them into Buffy’s house and then doesn’t explain anything about them except for a few.
That said, Faith comes back! We see Angel again briefly. There’s a lot of good series wrap up. But I just wasn’t into this season. There are good episodes but there’s a lot of talk and very little action or scenes to back it up. “Conversations With Dead People” is one of my favorite episodes of anything ever. I also like how The First makes a comeback, but unfortunately he/she was never as evil or scary as I wanted him/her to be. Buffy gets it right when she calls The First a “taunt.” It just seems to make people creeped out, but never actually causes that much harm — except Xander’s eyeball RIP.
Willow’s arc has been one of the best on ‘Buffy’ and maybe on all of TV. From her mousy geekiness in season 1 until the powerful, fully-realized witch she is at the end of the show, Willow has certainly grown the most.
Look, we all miss Tara and I definitely think that could have been handled better. I also really resent them replacing her with some more conventionally attractive, younger girl and then ramping up the lesbian sex scenes. (Obvious and cliche.) But Willow herself does a lot of amazing stuff in Season 7 so I forgive her.
And in the finale, when Kennedy says, “You’re a goddess,” it’s the perfect summation of Willow’s story. She is a goddess — and a powerful, amazing one at that. (Can you tell she’s my favorite character?)
I loved Anya’s arc this season — struggling with her humanity. Going from vengeance demon to human. Her fight with Buffy. All of that. So then, I have a super big problem with her death. It was so lame! And Xander’s reaction was the worst. He finds out from Andrew that she died and that her body’s in a sinkhole that used to be Sunnydale, and he makes a quip about her doing “stupid things.” UGH. It made me feel like he never really cared about her the way she cared about him, which is so, so sad. Anya was right all along. She loved him way more than he loved her. Xander, you suck.
So Spike gets to be wholly and fully redeemed this season by becoming “The Champion” and going up in flames to save everyone (except I know he’s totally alive in ‘Angel’ so….) I wish he’d stayed dead because it was a clumsy, but good enough redemption storyline. It’s a bit ruined for me knowing he appears on ‘Angel.’ His end on ‘Buffy’ is fitting. Shoulda been done there.
Look, I like Spike but why are the show’s writers acting like he’s the only character everyone cares about? He hasn’t been around as long as Xander or Willow and yet he’s like, the focus of the show’s final season and Buffy seems to think he’s SUPER important.
The only time he ends up being really integral is when he comes back from his excursion with Andrew and finds that everyone has turned on Buffy (which WTF, that was so stupid) and freaks out. He has the reaction I was looking for someone to have because Spike, I guess, is the only one left with total faith (LOL) in Buffy and her ability to save the world. That’s when I started liking him again (after the whole attempted rape thing). He’s the only one who is truly there for Buffy and she clearly needs him.
I love Andrew. Love him. This was so not what I was expecting from the character when he was first introduced but he quickly became one of my favorites. What a little weasel. He provides so much needed comedic relief and his dynamic with nearly everyone is flawless — he and Anya crack me up, he and Spike’s conversation about blooming onions was hysterical, his D&D playing with Giles and Xander was fantastic. Andrew is the best. I’m glad he survived.
And last but certainly not least, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She butts heads with Giles, takes a dictatorly approach to leadership, and closes herself off in typical Buffy-fashion. But after seven years, she’s certainly grown immensely from the beginning of the series. She’s one of the best lead, female characters in TV history because (even though it’s fantasy and sci-fi) Buffy still feels so real.
Her conversation with the vampire Holden is actually one of the best looks into Buffy’s psyche we’ve had in a few seasons. I’m not a huge fan of the “cookie dough” speech to Angel from the series finale, but I get what she was saying and I think it was appropriate. She’s spent seven years trying to find herself and define herself as a leader and within this destiny she never asked for, and she’s still young and figuring it all out. The First was wrong though. She doesn’t have to carry it alone anymore.
Her final smirk at the end of the series is much-earned. She’s no longer “the” but rather “a” Vampire Slayer, as Willow has activated all the slayers on Earth. The burden isn’t solely hers anymore. Buffy is free.
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