Byjamie gerber/September 3, 2022 8:30 pm. Husa
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"was based on the idea that the pretty blonde who usually dies at the start of horror movies finally has the power to strike back. She may have looked like another blonde damsel in distress, but Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) didn't run from the demons in the alley - she killed them. In a narrative more reserved for men, Buffy is the only girl in the world capable of saving him.
I remember discovering "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and falling in love with a TV show for the first time. It wasn't just about witty dialogue, monstrous metaphors or unforgettable characters. One of the things that resonated with me the most was that the heroine of "Buffy" was a teenager, just like me. Sure, she had to bear the brunt of her unenviable fate, but she also had to survive high school. Most of us would agree that hell is an apt parallel. While not everything about the show's feminism remains in 2022, especially in light ofwhat happened behind the scenes- at the time, there was nothing like it on TV.
It seems fitting that a show as revolutionary as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" would subvert expectations in its series finale. "Buffy" spent its entire career deconstructing the Chosen trope, before finally destroying it completely with "Chosen". What exactly happened and what does it all mean?
Of the chosen for all
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has always been something of a rebel in terms of how she approached her duties as a Huntress and fighting this final battle was no exception. Why should there be "one girl in all the world"? When Buffy drew the stone sword (or rock scythe, as the case may be), she regained a portion of her hidden power for generations. It's a power he happily chooses to share.
Being the Huntress wasn't Buffy's choice. It was a destiny imposed on her. It's not just that the show comes with an early expiration date. It's also how lonely and isolated it is to be the Chosen One.later seasonsshe dealt with it even more, but over the course of the series, Buffy was forced to make one impossible decision after another, whether it be killing the love of her life, fighting her closest friend, or even sacrificing herself to save the world. A few episodes before the end, when everyone turns against Buffy, Anya (Emma Caulfield) points out that Slayer is always the one in charge, regardless of the fact that she never obtained any of her abilities. Buffy may not have asked for this, but Faith's (Eliza Dushku) journey proves that being given this power doesn't automatically make you a hero; we'll talk about that later.
Much of Season 7 focuses on Buffy's flaws, but who wouldn't give in to such tremendous pressure? Buffy never wanted anything more than to be a normal girl. That's part of what's so beautiful about the end. Buffy's burden, when shared, becomes a gift. Not only does she destroy the notion of a Chosen One by allowing all potentials to become killers in their own right, but she metaphorically empowers all girls everywhere.
Buffy is cookie dough
A notable aspect of "Chosen" is the way it deals with the series' eternal love triangle - or, in this case, not at all. Since he went to Los Angeles toyour own spin offthere were a handful ofAngel(David Boreanaz) on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", but as the shows ended up on different networks, Buffy's last encounter with her old boyfriend took place off-screen. Her return is a beautiful appearance, but it's also worth noting that she didn't really need Angel's help, although the amulet he leaves her is quite useful.
Buffy gives him her now-famous cookie dough speech, explaining that she's "not done baking". It's an important moment, because while she admits that Spike, who just got his soul back, is in her heart, Buffy also recognizes that she's young and has no idea what the future holds. She realizes that it's okay not knowing who she is yet. Buffy doesn't need to have it all figured out, and she certainly doesn't need to decide which immortal suitor she's ready to spend her life with at age 22. Ultimately, Buffy chooses herself.
Another interesting narrative decision is Spike's ambiguity (James Marsters) and Buffy's last night before the big battle. They had already reconciled with Buffy's kiss with Angel and she had given him the amulet, showing how much she believes in him. That last night is then a fade to black with no explanation of what is going on between them. We know they comforted each other, but the exact nature of that comfort is always up for debate.
Buffy's grand plan wouldn't have been possible without the immense power of Willow (Alyson Hannigan). Season 7 basically ditches the clumsy metaphor of magic as an addiction, instead choosing to double down on your abilities. It's understandable, as this rather brilliant tactic needed Willow to be in control, but it's still a strange experience when you rewatch the series knowing you'd go from being a magic junkie to someone who could use her to save the day. Anyone struggling with addiction will tell you that that's not how it works.
The metaphor is woven into the very DNA.from "Buffy". It's just that most of them are more skillfully built. Though weighty, the metaphor works in Season 6, but completely falls apart in Season 7. I can put that complaint to rest because it's lovely to see Willow fully embrace her power and find a way to reconcile with who she wants her to be. who he became. Furthermore, the idea is so unexpected that viewers never even imagined it, despite everything we knew about multiple Slayers existing at once. Potentials received a lot of hate from fans, but everything was building up to this.
While we're on the subject of another killer, Willow, Spike, Anya, and Andrew (Tom Lenk) aren't the only characters that needed redeeming in the series finale. After periods of atonement in prison, during which everyone but Angel has forgotten about her, Faith (Eliza Dushku) also finds absolution. Even her longtime feud with Buffy ends when the two women finally realize they understand each other on a fundamental level. Buffy losing control to Faith in "Empty Places" is a difficult moment, but this experience has them coming together like never before.
Spike's Heroic Sacrifice
Spike's soul may have been "a little worse for lack of use", but with the amulet's help, he was able to wipe out Turok-Han's army and ultimately cause Hellmouth to collapse. In her last moments, Buffy told him what she'd wanted to hear for years: that she loved him. "No, you don't," he replied, "but thanks for saying so." She obviously loved him, even if it wasn't the way he loved her. Buffy's face says it, but her words comfort him anyway.
It took me a while to warm up to Spike and Buffy, but by Season 7 I believed, not necessarily that these two were meant to be together romantically, but that Spike had grown into someone worthy of Buffy's love, despitethe terrible things he didwhen I was a soulless monster. I fully understand that her redemption wasn't for all "Buffy" fans, but it worked for me. Her sacrifice, however, was marred by the already-made announcement that Marsters would appear in "Angel" season 5.
Speaking of "Angel," it's interesting to consider the amulet and its ramifications in the broader context of the Buffyverse. He gave it to Angel Wolfram & Hart, the evil law firm he feuded with for years. They probably intended for Angel to use it, so they took it off the board until they decided to put it back. Lindsey later threw a wrench into his gears anyway, and while it's unclear what exactly his plans were, Big Bad isn't handing out such a powerful weapon magnanimously. Maybe it didn't really matter who wore the amulet anyway. Whether it was Spike or Angel, the First would still be defeated, leaving the world wide open for Wolfram & Hart to continue their own long-lasting apocalypse.
Who lives, who dies, who tells their story
There are some heartbreaking scenes in "Chosen," but one of the most heartbreaking moments at the end is one that happens so fast that no one has time to shed a tear: Anya's death. It was a swift and brutal death for a beloved character that had been around since season three. The former demon of vengeance spends his final moments helping the Scoobies, specifically fighting side-by-side with Andrew. His death always seemed unnecessary, though maybe that was the point. After all, how many random and seemingly meaningless life losses occur in battle? Andrew tells Xander (Nicholas Brendon) that Anya lost her life saving his, capping off his own arc with a final mythic story, this time to ease someone else's pain, not that Xander has a chance to have one.
Many potentials lose their lives in this final battle, including Amanda (Sarah Hagan), but many others, like Rona (Indigo), Vi (Felicia Day) and Kennedy (Iyari Limon) survive. Whether viewers really care about their life or not is another story to begin with. Realizing she could no longer protect Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), Buffy had no choice but to let her sister follow her into battle. Dawn has always been a controversial figure, but she grew up quite a bit towards the end of the series and Buffy really needed her to make it out alive for the ending to work. Robin (D.B. Woodside) is close to death, but he surprises Faith, as he promised he would, by being okay. He pity that's all the history we have between the two.
'Earth is definitely doomed'
There's also an amusing throwback to season one, when Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) says, "The Earth is definitely doomed" in response to the gang's cocky attitude towards the impending apocalypse. One of the most important aspects of "Chosen" is the way it brings the main four together. The focus returns to Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles, characters who were always there for each other and who, despite their rough patch in Season 7, got back together.
Buffy has always wanted nothing more than to be a regular girl without the weight of the world resting firmly on her shoulders. Now that burden is not hers alone. Buffy is no longer the Chosen One, because that no longer exists. "Buffy" was populated by many different types of strong female characters, but as the show shattered its own myths, it also vastly expanded that definition. We all have the strength within us to slay our own demons, if not literally then certainly metaphorically. This is a gift that Buffy shares with women everywhere, both on the show and with those watching at home. She is perhaps happier at the end of the series than ever before.
The final shot of Buffy's smile is that of a woman whose destiny has finally become her own. We may not be getting"Buffy Vampire Hunters" Reboot, but at least "Chosen" ended the original series on a high note.