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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Missed opportunities in season seven

By Fred Topel

Friday 1 August 2003, by Webmaster

was happy with the series finale of Buffy. It wrapped up everything we needed, but left open plenty of possibilities for the future. But not possibilities that it’s like "Oh my God, I’ll die if I don’t know..." just good stuff, like the empowering of all females.

I was a tad disappointed that nobody more significant died. I mean, we knew Anya had no purpose anymore. She was basically waiting to die throughout the whole season. Kind of a surprise that Andrew lived. I thought maybe Willow would die after completing the spell. I’m glad Buffy didn’t die again. That would’ve been lame. Spike deserved to finally be the hero, after all he’s been through. And since we know the full cast of next year’s Angel, we can sleep well this summer knowing everything will turn out okay for Spike too. But shortly after I switched over to 24 (that’s a whole nother issue), I started thinking about all the threads that never really went anywhere this season. When I saw the season seven premiere, it changed my life. I saw Spike go mad, Buffy start training Dawn to go down a similar path, and all the possibilities of a new Sunnydale high.

Well, Spike just stopped being crazy when he went upstairs, Dawn never did anything with her training (nothing significant to any episode plot - she was just one of the background fighters) and there was maybe one episode where students of the high school started acting weird. It made me start thinking that the writers knew the end, but they didn’t know or care how to get there.

I mean, we were left with most episodes filled with long speeches of Buffy yelling at the slayers in training about how they’d have to get in shape and sacrifice for the final battle. Well, they did, but that’s all they did. What about the 20-odd episode in between?

Again, I liked the finale, but I was way more into last year’s finale. Buffy fighting Willow, Giles coming back, that was some gripping stuff. This was just a fitting end to the series, but after a way weak year.

Just imagine if they had really fulfilled the potential of this season. Imagine episodes where Dawn becomes a strong fighter and faces off against some of Buffy’s decisions. Imagine episodes where Buffy had to see a new generation of high school students relive some of her old mistakes. Imagine Conversations with Dead People starring Amber Benson as the false image of Tara. That would have made a lot more sense (otherwise, I loved that episode, second best of the season after the premiere).

And Spike. So, they found Spike’s trigger in a mildly interesting historical episode. Couldn’t there have been more to that? Spend a few episodes on Spike toiling with a soul, succumbing repeatedly to this trigger from his past, and then having to do something a little more dramatic than beating up Principal Wood to overcome it. I will say I’m glad the Spike/Wood rivalry didn’t last long. That was lame. "My name is Robin Wood. You killed my mother. Prepare to Die."

Oh, and if Anya had actually spent time dealing with losing her demon powers a second time, her character might have done more than just waiting to die all year. And how about Andrew? He murders Jonathan and then plays Mr. Innocent the rest of the year? Willow killed the one who deserved it and got all sorts of scorn. Why not let Andrew grow into a real threat? That was the more likely arc of his character.

I know I won’t win people over to my support of the depth of season six. And really, the only reason I’m complaining is to cash in on everyone’s interest in reading more and more Buffy articles in the following weeks. But, I often claimed that any episode of Buffy was better than most of the theatrical features I sit through, and I still stand by that. I just wish the whole last season could have upheld that tradition the way the premiere, Conversations… and the finale did.

1 Message

  • > Missed opportunities in season seven

    11 May 2005 18:57, by Pinfeathers

    I agree with your article and I believe that there were missed opportunities in every season after the fourth. The first four years were pretty good, The fifth season was so depressing and even when people are having sorrow in thier lives there is still bits of happiness. But in season five and six there was yust one sorrow after another and it was just getting so lame. Why did Giles have to go anyway and when he did why not send another watcher? And if Giles was getting payed to watch the Slayer then she should get the money seeing that she becomes both slayer and her own watcher so to speak. And Wllow being the good friend she was should have gotten a job to help out also . And Spike and Angel are in theory Dead things that smell and feel cold to the touch and they should have kept Buffy with Riley at least he was warm blooded and she wants a normal life. And the bull with Xander and Anya , why did they break them up when they were the only couple who were making it work ? so silly.. And I never did miss Cordeilia when she left she was so Boring—and mean . and Oz was just another blood sucker really, just warm blooded . And Tara was so wonderful and a sweet person so naturally they wiped her out can’t have any one good that makes sence right ? I never thought that Buffy would ever get with it and stop whinning but again she is a young girl that never had any true happiness for very long . And getting rid of Mom I believe was stupid she was an anchor in the Show and to Buffy .. And that curse thing with Angel was going on to long and if Cordeilia found a way why can’t Angel - right ? I’m very disapointed with this show and will never watch it past season four ever again that is when it should have ended and season thee had to much Angel garbage in it ..And JW was not thinking for sure he messed up his own tv series


    Angel was ok till third season, They should have done more with Connor he was the series best bet and he was just a(MALE VAMP SLAYER))AS far as I’m concerned - the fouth and fifth seasons were so terrible it was painful to watch for sure— it really did go down badly. To much prophecy grap and not enough references to Sunnydale ..And Cordeilia looked worse and worse as each lame season came and went and when she got killed off I was sooo! happy ...

    Thank you Pinfeathers