Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Top Buffy Episodes: #10-#6

In this installment: Finales! Anya! Alternate realities by the fistful!

10. Chosen (Season 7, Episode 22)
I initially had ranked this, the series finale of Buffy, a bit higher, but after a few day's distance, there was way too much of Angel and Principal Wood in this episode. Also, I know not every death needs to be a huge deal, but Anya was killed off rather unceremoniously; Xander didn't even really seem all that upset. Aside from that, though, this was a fitting way to end it all. Buffy achieves (relative) normality, Spike gets his hero moment, and Sunnydale eats it. I especially loved the montage that plays as women around the world achieve their Slayerdom. Maybe I was just more willing to suspend my disbelief since I knew it was the end, but I was pretty satisfied with the way it all wrapped up.

9. Tabula Rasa (Season 6, Episode 8)
"Tabula Rasa" is one of the rare Buffy episodes that achieves both hilarity and poignancy. The interplay between the amnesiac Scoobies is great fun (particularly everything that happens with Giles and Anya - she summons bunnies, he fights a skeleton, they kiss - fantastic!), but the moment when they regain their memories and Tara realizes what Willow has done is heartbreaking. And although Michelle Branch kinda sucks, "Goodbye to You" actually works quite well in this setting. This is perhaps the most well-rounded episode on this list.

8. The Wish (Season 3, Episode 9)
What would Sunnydale be like without Buffy? Pretty sucky, apparently. Even though you know it's not "reality," it's still pretty rough to watch just about every main character die. (Xander and Willow kill Cordelia, Xander kills Angel, Buffy kills Xander, Oz kills Willow, The Master kills Buffy... phew) But hooray, Giles gets to save the day! Also, we meet Anya, who would go on to be my all-time favorite character.

7. Selfless (Season 7, Episode 5)
Did I mention I love Anya? Here, we learn all about Anya's past, and it's AWESOME. My favorite part: Anya started the Russian Revolution of 1905. And we get another song! Also, Anya's fight with Buffy is one of the most satisfying in the entire series (and I was totally rooting for Anya.) It's disappointing that Anya's new-found development in this episode didn't really go anywhere; after this episode, Anya was mostly relegated to bit moments of comic relief. At least, until she got stabbed and no one really seemed to care. (Except me. I cared!)

6. Normal Again (Season 6, Episode 17)
I mentally refer to this as the Twilight Zone episode of Buffy. Although the whole "What if it's just in a dream/someone's imagination?" gimmick is fairly common, it's done so well here. It seems entirely plausible that crazy Buffy has invented an entire universe, and although we know what choice she's going to make at the end, it's a credit to Kristine Sutherland (the actress who plays Buffy's mom) that her failed attempt at regaining her daughter's sanity is so affecting and ultimately devastating. We shouldn't be rooting for her, but we are.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I totally agree about Anya. Awesome and underplayed.

Also, the word verification for this post is "cooth," which makes me giggle.