Same Time, Same Place
Conversations with Dead People
Never Leave Me
Bring on the Night
The Killer in Me
Get It Done
Lies My Parents Told Me
End of Days
After six long seasons, Buffy’s seventh and final 22 episode arc draws an end to an incredible era for the vampire slaying heroine. More consistency in the episodes and a big, climactic ending present the perfect send off for Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Spike’s presence this year ends his character arc in spectacular fashion and coupled with a more prolific villain in The First Evil, season seven is a decent one and the perfect end to an incredible era for Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Last year focused heavily on Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and her manipulation of magic and this year sees that focus shift to Spike (James Marsters) after his soul is returned. Something is brewing under Sunnydale, something worse than Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the gang have ever faced aptly named The First Evil. This ancient, shape shifting entity can morph into any dead person and spends most of the season taunting the gang (especially Spike), boasting about brewing an army deep in the depths of the hellmouth under the recently reconstructed Sunnydale High. As well as Spike and Buffy’s relationship being explored in more detail, this season sees the slayer take a group of potential slayers under her wing to train them for the upcoming climactic battle to decide the fate of Sunnydale. The storyline is solid and although season six is likely to overshadow this season based solely on Willow’s drastic turn to the dark side of magic, season seven is arguably more cohesive and consistent throughout its run time.
With this being the last season for Buffy, creator Joss Whedon pulls out all the stops, producing a showstopping finale worthy of finishing Buffy off on a high. Faith (Eliza Dushku) and Angel (David Boreanaz) both make an appearance this year and with spin off show Angel gaining traction, there’s a few crossover references between Season 4 of Angel and this season of Buffy that enhance the world building of the show’s universe but might be a little confusing for those unfamiliar with Angel’s characters, wondering exactly who Fred is and why Willow needs to go to LA.
The First Evil might not be the worst or most prolific villain Buffy has ever faced, its certainly the most psychological. The mental instability this causes for many of the characters is one of the highlights this year and allows for some memorable returns of deceased characters too. The set up for the finale is good and there’s a growing sense of dread and tension hanging over large chunks of this year’s story. Seeing Anya (Emma Caulfield) in a more prominent role this year helps and with her still reeling after Xander left her at the altar last year, allows for a much more emotionally charged storyline for her to work with rather than bunny-hating comedy relief. The rest of the characters are consistent too but it also feels like the right time to end Buffy. The real focus this year is Spike though and his character arc from villain through to hero is one of the best character arcs in the show.
Although I still firmly believe Buffy should have ended at the end of season 5, Joss Whedon still manages to produce two decent seasons of entertainment. Season 7 is more consistent than 6, with a strong, apocalyptic storyline woven through many of the episodes. The explosive finales that Buffy is so well known for is again the highlight here and the showstopping, explosive final episode is the perfect send off for the slayer. Season 7 certainly isn’t without its problems; the first evil is defeated a little too quickly given the time spent building up its threat and there’s a few filler episodes too. Its easy to ignore the issues though and when the credits finally roll, another great season of entertainment draws to a close. It’ll be tough for any show to beat Buffy’s important and profound impact its had on society and the entertainment industry through the years. This boundary defying supernatural show is outstanding television and will go down in history as one of the best.