TV - Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 7

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

steven harris gets to the end of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer watching task. Here are his thoughts on Season 7 whilst he finds other ways to watch Sarah Michelle Gellar...

Finally on Buffy The Vampire Slayer...

All good things come to an end. Buffy's final season sort of returns to the beginning. Dawn starts at the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High where Buffy is offered a job by the latest Principal. And oh dear, the hell mouth is kicking off again and The First Evil is determined to bring about Armageddon by phantasmagorically appearing as various stiffs from down the years. Mayor Demon Face, Warren, and Buffy herself are favourite faces for The First but a multitude of others are in the repertoire. Yes, Buffy. She died, remember. And came back. And died. And came back. And died and came back. It's her schtick.

It soon transpires that agents of The First have been killing off potential slayers around the world and also blowing up the Watcher's Council. Bad times. Willow has been recuperating from veiny, black-eyed witchiness in merry old England with Mr Giles. Good times. Pip pip. Cup o' tea. Spike is back and has a soul because he did that African cave stuff. He's good now. Except The First can trigger him to kill which is not so good is it? He beats that shit in the end and is good. Yay!

Activities after Dawn's arrival at Sunnydale High echo some of the earlier high jinks of the Scooby Gang. Jonathan and Andrew arrive back in town, Andrew being bedazzled by The First in the guise of Warren, which means Jonathan is stabbed to death early on in an attempt to open a goat-face seal and release proto-vampire creatures with the strength of ten ordinary vamps. Take ten ordinary vamps into the cemetery? No, I prefer to be drained of all my blood by one single ubervamp. As no vampire adverts have ever said.

The new school Principal turns out to be the son of a Slayer Spike once killed in New York when he looked even more like Billy Idol than Billy Idol. The potential slayers that are left start to turn up in Sunnydale so that the Summers' house turns into a boot camp for tough nut girls - and Giles thought he had it tough when he had to somehow control just Buffy and Faith? Poor lad. Pip pip. Cup o' tea.

We learn that The First appears as dead people because that's the only way Hayley Joel Osmet can see him/her/it. No, not that. Because it cannot take corporeal form until the hell mouth is wide open, the ubervamps are munching their way through necks like kids devour bogies and the skies turn to blood. Or some such doom laden antics. Andrew stops being a tool of The First and reverts to being a tool. A camp, whiny tool who is there for comic relief. Lenny Henry was too expensive.

Nobody trusts Spike but Buffy. Willow doesn't trust herself with magic but she does start to form a new relationship with one of the potentials, a feisty young woman with a ready mouth. No, not Faith, Kennedy. Ask not what your witch can do for you, ask what you can do for your witch. And then ask if you can borrow her ruby slippers.

Buffy's reliance on Spike's strengths leads to an inevitable tension between her, her long-time friends Willow and Xander and pretty much everyone else who is on the side of the good folks. When Faith shows up, all rehabilitated and even more curvesome and wowserly, the tensions spill over into a rift, the rift becomes a chasm, the chasm becomes an abyss and the abyss turns into a word meaning an even bigger divide than an abyss.

Slayers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your lives. When Caleb (played by Nathan Fillion star of Joss Whedon's next project, Firefly) shows up as The First's superbastard, Buffy's failure to overcome him in their initial tussles leads the others to revolt. She is ousted and Faith takes over leadership of the ragbag jumble of muscles and mammary glands that are the potentials.

But hey ho, despite being rejected by those whose lives she has saved time and again over the years - I'm looking at you Giles, Xander, Willow, Dawn, Anya, Andrew. Well ok, not Andrew but the others - despite being thrown out of her own home, the Buffster follows her own intuition to get hold of a magical weapon that Caleb has been trying to secure for The First. Ha ha, in your face woman-hating demonic priest type. And eventually in your ballsack and up and up and up until you have been cleaved in two. He had to split. Buffy actually says this. To Angel, that arse-haired fop who shows up to remind us of his wooden acting skills and sullen chin towards the end. And to bring a special amulet that will help in the fight against The First.

Faith's luck with leading the gang proves no better than Buffy's had been and without that Sarah Michelle Gellar girl saving them, many a potential slayer and Faith herself would be deader than tie-dye cheese cloths tops and ankle bracelets. When it comes to the last battle there is no longer any doubt that Buffy is the woman for the job.

Only she's not. And she is. Willow is at last confident enough to do some hocus-pocus on the magical weapon which will imbue every single potential Slayer forever more to have the same power as 'the chosen one'. A neat way to allow Buffy to retire to the country if she survives thus ending the series without leaving the world unprotected from ghouls and demons and vampires and 20th Century Fox. Also a neat nod to female empowerment which is a thing of Whedon's. You know this, you watch his shows and films, right?

Thousands of ubervamps are slaughtered in a killed dead way come that last battle. Spike wears the amulet and closes the hell mouth for good by destroying the whole of Sunnydale. Some people live. Some don't. Xander mourns Anya, with whom he had begun to become reconciled, but he only weeps from one eye as Caleb had already poked the other one out to prove just how mean he was. Willow's magic with the magics temporarily turned her into Gandalf but she's all better by the end and Kennedy survives too which means she'll promise to put a man on the moon by the turn of the century then murder Marilyn Monroe.

Faith could walk off into the sunset with Principal Wood if she likes. She probably doesn't. She'll probably only settle down after killing a billion more vamps and boinking a billion more people.

As for Dawn and Buffy, they are free to live normal lives if they choose. I've said this already. Giles is already worrying about a possible hell mouth in Colorado; I haven't said that already. Spike is dead but he gets resurrected in the final season of Angel.

Into every generation a chosen one is born. In my generation he's called Joss Whedon. He changed television forever. He brought horror and teen angst and sexuality and quipathons together and made a beautiful blend of Buffiness. I shall be grateful until lunchtime on 19th September 2245 at which point I shall have perfected my time machine, go back in time, write the pilot of Buffy before he does and then I shall change television forever. Muhwahahahahahaha!

Go away now. Pip pip. Cup o' tea.