This week’s top 5 is a little more self-indulgent than usual, but the best things to write about are always the things you enjoy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer came to an end nine years ago, but it was and still is one of my favourite television series. The show was able to incorporate different elements including science fiction, action, drama and humour which made it a one of a kind show.
WARNING Spoilers ahead
Here are my top 5 Buffy episodes:
Once More, with Feeling
The idea of a musical episode did sound strange at first, but somehow the writers of the show were able to make it work. Not all of the characters had amazing voices, but they didn’t have to. The episode was full of elaborate dance routines and humorous songs, which were not only for laughs, but they also exposed sides to some of the characters that we had not yet seen. This episode helped show that musicals were not relegated to the theatre stage and classic films, but still relevant for a younger generation to enjoy as well.
Written and directed by the show’s creator Joss Whedon, Hush is probably one of the creepiest episodes in which all the characters lose their ability to speak. Sinister beings called The Gentlemen float through Sunnydale killing people and taking their hearts. It is then discovered that The Gentlemen are responsible for the loss of the voices in town, because it is a person’s scream that can destroy them. The majority of the episode is done without any dialogue and yet it is still as interesting as any other episode.
In season 5 Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) deals with finding out her sister is really a key to another dimension, her complicated relationship with Riley and her feelings towards Spike, but it is ultimately the death of her mother that proves to be one of the most difficult things she has had to face. This haunting episode was significant because it did not follow the typical Buffy ‘formula’; there were no supernatural elements, no big fight scenes. The episode simply focused on Buffy and those around her dealing with the death of a loved one.
The end of season 5 saw something happen that shocked fans and left them wondering where the writers would go next: Buffy dies by sacrificing herself to save her sister Dawn, who was going to be sacrificed in order to open a portal to another dimension. Season finales always aim to end with a cliff hanger or a significant arc in the story, which will intrigue audiences and make them watch the following season, this one definitely did.
The news that the seventh season would be the last in the series was disappointing for many fans, so it was essential that the writers did the show and the characters justice by creating an epic final battle. The episode starts off from where the previous ended with a cameo from Buffy’s ex Angel (David Boreanaz). The ‘Scooby Gang’ and the Potential slayers prepare for the final fight against the First and a legion of Turok-Han (uber vamps). During the hard fought battle in which Anya dies, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) casts a spell to turn all the Potentials into Slayers. The fight then turns in their favour, but it is ultimately Spike who helps destroy the Hellmouth, taking the whole of Sunnydale with him. Buffy and the survivors escape just in time and although we know the First evil is not completely destroyed, it is still a victory for Buffy because she is no longer the only slayer, and the weight on her shoulders of being the only chosen one is significantly lighter.
Image courtesy of Lily Ran