Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another TV review, today I’ll be reviewing the 7th and final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So after this crazy ride of going through seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 I am ready to finish this thing. It is ridiculous that it has taken me this long to finally finish this show and review, I mean I’ve been watching this show for practically TWO YEARS! I think it is about time I get it done. 😛 Minor spoilers follow…
As usual, we follow the life of Buffy Summers; young lady by day, vampire slayer by night. As part of the “Scooby Gang” they take on the supernatural happenings that go on in Sunnydale.
The show continues to have episodic stories, but also has story arches that continue over the course of the season that relate to things that have happened in the past, but have are also currently happening too.
Story-wise this season deals with the destructive fallout from season six, but also presents a whole new form of obstacles for Buffy and company to tackle. I read online that season 7 was about bringing the show back to its roots and that’s definitely felt with the reintroduction of Sunnydale High School, Buffy being the center of attention as the Slayer, the focus on the Hellmouth, the First finally coming into play and a focus on the core group (Buffy, Willow and Xander). It feels incredibly nostalgic, but also new a fresh because of the new characters and scenarios which inhabit this season. A lot of sacrifices and death and you can’t help but feel for everyone involved, and that’s especially true for Buffy who carries the fate of everyone on her shoulders, most make all the decisions and live with the consequences whether they are be good or bad. There’s a genuine feeling of dread and despair thanks to all the talk and mind games of the First, death and overwhelming situations that Buffy and company have to overcome whether it be successful or otherwise. Its like there’s a cloud of depression hanging over the characters, more so than anything that’s come before and while there are moments humour, it isn’t as frequent as it was before. Everything feels like its come full circle with certain questions finally getting answers or story elements that took place several seasons back finally getting coming to pass now.
My issues with this season are minor but notable. The overall tone is a little on the dark side and desolate side and while that is necessary because of what was happening, it just wasn’t as fun to watch. There isn’t as much humour as before and some of the stories weren’t as impressive as previous seasons. And finally the inclusion of certain new characters just pissed me off, they weren’t Riley levels of bad, but they got close.
Episode highlights include:
- Beneath You
- Same Time, Same Place
- Him (personal favourite)
- Bring on the Night
- The Killer in Me
- Get It Done (personal favourite)
- The Lies My Parents Told Me
- Dirty Girls (personal favourite)
- Empty Places
- End of Days (personal favourite)
- Chosen (personal favourite)
When it comes to the cast, the once the main original cast members do such great jobs and some deliver some of their best work in the series and because of the First, there are opportunities to certain characters current and old in really interesting lights. Also is all about giving speeches, Buffy gives an awesome speech, so does Xander, and Anya, and good few other people and they are really well-written and well-acted too.
So let’s start with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers. This season presents us with a much more seasoned and matured individual who is brave and smart, but also slightly more tough and is aware of the dangers that lie ahead. SMG again does a wonderful job in this role adding layers to an already great character by still giving us all the light-hearted and humourous material we’ve come to expect from Buffy, but also giving us different shades of the character whether they are more aggressive or assertive. Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg once again does a lovely job in her role, while Willow’s not nearly as significant as she was last season, she has plenty to do and her moments with Buffy and Xander, and taking on magical-based activity are good too. Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris still does a great job, Xander is once again highlighted as the heart of the group and is a character full of courage, heart and commitment to his friends and the cause that Buffy is fighting for. Brendon really does well and has some really powerful scenes. Also Xander gives a great pep talk to Dawn about being special/important even when you’re not the main protagonist, it was one of the most beautiful and memorable moment of the series for me.
Michelle Trachtenberg was also pretty good as Dawn Summers, as I stated beforehand, I haven’t always been Dawn’s biggest fan, however I have been warming up to her and this season her character wasn’t in the spotlight as much and I preferred that, she has her moments of importance but overall doesn’t take up too much time in the main stories. James Marsters as Spike, was and always will be a badass. Spike is still humourous, charming and mean, but he’s also caring, troubled and tragic. There are so many layers to this man, he has more courage and heart then most of the characters will ever know and only a handful of people see it. Marsters just excels at his material and proves time after time why he is one of the quintessential characters of this show. Emma Caulfield as also does a good job as Anya, still sarcastic, blunt and funny, but also useful and she has good moments of heroism and drama with Xander. And even though he’s not around as much, Anthony Stewart Head is still the man as Rupert Giles, even though his character was a little at odds with Buffy, he still provides moments of insight, humour and awesomeness.
Now let’s talk about everyone else. Firstly there’s Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells, I did enjoy Andrew for his pop culture references and silly behaviour, but at the same time the guy was such a wimp and had no respect from the others that it made me dislike him a lot too. D. B. Woodside as Principal Robin Wood, at first I thought he was too nice to not be suspicious, but is turns out that he was a good guy after all with an interesting backstory and a few cool moments to make him a likeable character. As for the Potentials, there’s only a few I choose to acknowledge; Iyari Limon as Kennedy who was the most developed of the new girls and while I liked her headstrong nature, it also annoyed me on occasions and I’m kind of in two minds about her relationship with Willow as well. Sarah Hagan was my favourite as Amanda, she was cute and delightful, and I also liked seeing Felicia Day as Vi too. I have to give this season major props for not only bringing back Eliza Dushku as Faith, she was one of my favourite characters from this show and to see her sassy, sexy and laid back personality being brought back into the fold was much appreciated and Dushku was lovely. But, having NATHAN FILLION as Caleb, that just rocked my world. Anyone who knows me knows how much of fanboy I am when it comes to Fillion, and since I watched Joss Whedon’s shows backwards I had no idea that he was in this, so to see him show up was like the best thing ever. Caleb has such a way with words, he’s calm and collected and full of style, but he’s also crazy, absurdly powerful and scary, and Fillion does such a great job, he’s a likeable douchebag that does really evil things haha.
So to conclude season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great send off to a great TV show. It is like a culmination of everything that has transpired coming together in an epic, drama and emotional manner. The characters have never been stronger or more engaging, the themes have impact, the loss hurts and the triumphs are wonderful. In the final episode there’s a sense of nostalgia, humour and heartbreak during and after the show ends, but I think that’s how you’re supposed to feel, and while this season wasn’t my favourite, it definitely ends on a high.