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Two days ago (yes, it did take me a full day to sort out my thoughts, before writing this review), I asked if the series finale to Buffy: The Vampire Slayer would leave me feeling as empty as ending my virginity with a Twinkie addict did (click here for all the gory details). Fortunately, I am able to answer that question with a solid "no." Unfortunately, that is about the only answer I am able to give after taking in Tuesday's finale.
I wanted to hurt when this show came to an end. I wanted tears jerked like soda at a 50's nostalgia joint. Instead, I was given a fairly good episode of the show, which made for a nearly cringe-worthy finale.
I, like so many other Buffy fans I have talked with, wanted closure. We wanted the sadness to hit us as quick and as fast as a stake through a vampire's heart. Instead, we were given an ending that created more loose-ends than it tied up. To make a horribly cruel analogy; Buffy's finale was like a child reported "missing." Let us know if our seven-year-old is alive or dead! Don't leave us forever wondering.
How quickly Angel would look at the script to this "farewell" and say that it needs "a third act."
Why did the Ubervamps become so easy to kill? Buffy, THEE #1 Slayer, was nearly killed by one earlier this year. Now Anya, Giles, and friggin' Andrew can dust 2 or 3 of them at a time? I guess if the vamps have become so weak a couple of filing cabinets can block their escape, anything's possible.
Willow performs a spell powerful enough to give all of the Slayer potentials the power of a true Slayer. Was this really the wisest course of action? Look at how bad Faith turned, after the dorky Mayor in Season 3 corrupted her. Think what someone who wasn't a complete dork could do with a Slayer who has never had a Watcher. I see visions of rampaging Slayers fighting for prayer in school and an end to First Amendment rights. Imagine what could happen if that paranoid Donald Rumsfeld got his hand on an army of these girls. Rumsfeld: The Naive Slayer Watcher. Now there's a series that could send chills down my spine.
From beneath you WHAT devours? Okay, it could be the army of ubers, but wouldn't the prophecy then be, "from beneath you they devour?" One person in the Buffy group I frequent guessed it was actually a prophecy regarding the lesbian Kennedy, and the oral sex she performed on the ever-eager Willow. ("From beneath you it devours.") Yummy! Now I get horny whenever I hear the prophecy. From "spooky" to "horny" in a matter of minutes. Thanks, guy in the Buffy group that I frequent.
Buffy's mortal wound disappeared about as fast as a stripper's underwear. Where did it go? It was the least "mortal" wound of the series. In a series of "mortal" wounds that are anything but, that's saying something.
Why would the First announce its presence before building up its army of ubers? "Coming soon: I will take over the world!" If it didn't have people blowing up the Council, and if it woulda stopped appearing to the scoobies, it could have taken over the world before the world knew what bit it. Maybe the First should have been called "the Stupid Fucking Idiotic Plot Device to String Us Along For Another Season." That name is far more fitting.
Why even give all the potentials power? They didn't really need it. Spike had everything in that amulet of his. Buffy's plan was irrelevant. The Slayer we knew as our hero over the past seven years turned out to be nothing but a, well, nothing. She was the George Bush to Spike's Karl Rove. Spike was actually the one to alter the entire world.
Why wasn't this year's Joyce appearance ever resolved? She told Dawn that Buffy wouldn't "choose her" in the end. It was left as a cliffhanger in Conversations With Dead People as to whether or not Joyce was the first, or was actually Joyce. It would be impossible for Joyce to be the First. Why? The First didn't have the power to throw crap around, appear simultaneously as a demon and as a mother, and freak the hell out of an audience (that episode was pretty damn intense). Yet another dropped plotline.
Speaking of dropped lines of plot ... WHAT EVER HAPPENED WITH ABOUT THE ONLY INTRIGUING STORY IN SEASON SIX? It was never resolved as to whether or not Buffy's life as a Slayer was simply a hallucinated world she lived inside of in an insane asylum, or was actually a life. Is this Buffy's imagination, or not? Leaving us not knowing was the biggest mistake of the entire series. Is the Angel series also part of her hallucination? What about the next spin-off series? Leaving this unresolved is such a sin, it makes me want to slap my TIVO. Stupid TIVO.
Finally, Xander's reaction to Anya's death was pathetic. No one really reacted to Spike or Anya's death. Was Joss hoping to end the show by telling us that our "heroes" over the past seven years are self-centered bastards? Don't give me that "they went into shock," crap. Everyone cried hysterically when Buffy "died" at the end of season five. Obviously these people are quick to react to a loss. This "oh well, they're dead" attitude was out of character, and Joss Whedon's worst writing for the series, ever. Both Spike and Anya deserved more than jokes about The Gap.
After these countless questions and criticisms, you're probably wondering how Buffy's finale could leave me feeling more fulfilled than my McNuggets-lovin' first "love." Well, there wasn't much to her, other than wicked-sick tits, and an artificial smile that said, "trust me." And, unlike the girl that stole my virginity, there was a lot to love about the season finale of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
My favorite moment of the entire show was just seeing Buffy smile when she was asked what she would do, now that she wasn't the "chosen" anymore. If the program was on any Disney owned station, I'm sure she woulda said she's going to "DisneyWorld." Thank heaven she didn't. That closing grin was powerful. It said a lot by saying nothing at all. I'm so happy that FOX didn't insist that the show go out with a product placement such as, "I'm going to X2."
Spike was truly a champion. It took away from his death knowing that he will be "revived" next year on Angel, but it was still a great moment, and the poor Spike character didn't know that he was going to be revived. Damn, did he have a heroic farewell.
The D&D game was hilarious. Classic comedy yanked straight out of the first three seasons. Giles playing added more to the humor. I laughed really hard throughout this entire scene. Seeing as how Anya was the only one able to sleep, and she ended up dead, maybe it says something positive about being an insomniac. Kudos to the sleep-deprived! I'm never sleeping again (although that was most likely the case, anyway).
Faith unbuckling her belt. Woods played her like the Mayor, so many years ago. It was a, well, it was a "romantic" scene for our beloved Faith.
The core group of Scoobies (Buffy, Willow, and Xander) ignoring Giles like they did the first couple of seasons was deja-vu, all over again. Yes, it was as calculated as nostalgia can get, but it worked, and I was all gooey and sobby afterward.
Dawn and Buffy's little tiff, with the mini-kick. Xander's "there's a party in my eye-socket and everyone's invited" follow-up. The entire scene worked like a Lucky Charm.
Buffy cutting off Cabel's nuts. Oh yeah. Girl Power! Roar!
Willow and the girlfriend with the pierced tongue comment. Dawn finally getting it. It's been done before, but it was more than welcome, one last time.
In the end, Joss shoulda spent less time with his Cowboys in Space series, and more on the last season of Buffy. Obviously it was that talentless Marti (hey, let me have my residual resentment! I earned it after watching all of season six.) who was giving script-approval, without even knowing where the story was going. Now Joss was left trying to clean up the mess. As hard as he tried, there were still too many unanswered questions.
After Tuesday's episode, I actually think we need a season eight. Too bad it will never come. Think how horrible the first couple of Tuesday's during next fall's television season will feel. For the first time in seven years, I won't be turning on Buffy.
If you read anything sexual into that last sentence, shame on you!
Click here for my A Farewell to Buffy: Been There, Killed That update!
All contents of The Juicy Cerebellum are copyright 1997/1998/1999/2000/2001/2002/2003 Alex Sandell/Cerebellum Inc.. I'm sure FOX probably has some trademark on the "Buffy" font, but whatever. I pat their back, they sue mine. Whoo-hoo! If you use any of this, without my permission, FOX will probably sue you.
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