In the twenty-second and final episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, NONE OF THIS WAS WHAT I EXPECTED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
Well. That was a lot to take in, wasn’t it? THIS WAS SUCH A SATISFYING SEASON FINALE TO WATCH, EVERYONE. I just have so many things I need to talk about? Like:
– That opening. I initially thought that the two-part finale aired all at once, but I just found out that because of the Columbine shooting, this got delayed FOR TWO MONTHS. Holy god, I can’t imagine having to wait two months to see the completion of the finale. While both halves of “Graduation Day” are just one ninety minute story, I love that they do work on their own. It was such a rad moment to open the second half with such a quiet and disturbing scene. Buffy spent so much time trying to convince Faith that she needed to be more careful; after Faith killed the Deputy Mayor, Buffy was so concerned about the death of a human, and now she’s just killed someone who was at one time her friend. Not only that, but she just did it all for nothing. She doesn’t have Faith’s blood, and Angel is still going to die.
But I was more blown away by the Mayor’s reaction to the scene at Faith’s apartment. It was when I was struck by the knowledge that his affection for Faith wasn’t an act at all. He genuinely cared for her. He wanted her safe. He viewed her as his daughter. And despite that he was going to eat the graduating class of Sunnydale High, I kind of felt bad for him? DAMN IT WHAT ARE ALL THESE EMOTIONS.
– ANGEL THOUGHT WILLOW WAS BUFFY. BLESS.
– Oz’s small lines are some of my favorite. I love that when Willow comes out to admit that Angel is so delusional that he thought she was Buffy, Oz just says, “You, too?”
– Ugh, Angel admits in the midst of his sickness that he doesn’t want to leave and that he needs her. WELL, MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
– No, for real, never in the history of this show did I ever expect Angel to drink Buffy’s blood. What a shocking and overwhelming scene, made all the better by Sarah Michelle Gellar’s fantastic FACE ACTING. So much of that scene relies just on her facial expression, and she RULES FOREVER.
– I have never commented on the logistics of this vampire world, but I like that the conversion process must be mutual. A person can still have their blood sucked, but it doesn’t necessarily kill them, and it definitely does not change them. It works well for the show, and it doesn’t feel like a cop-out.
– The first scene in the hospital just destroyed me. I was on Greyhound to Cleveland when I watched this episode, and when the camera panned around from an unconscious Buffy to show the bed next door with Faith in a coma, it took every ounce of willpower not to scream, “FUCK YOU, JOSS WHEDON.” Fuck, what an absolutely gut-wrenching plot twist. Buffy didn’t kill Faith, but she is incapacitated just ten feet away. Buffy never had to give up her own blood.
– In a way, I feel like that act – giving up her own blood to Angel – relates to her behavior in “The Prom.” It’s just such a selfless thing for her to do, and I really respect her for it. I enjoy that the writers are exploring this aspect of her character.
– When the Mayor tried to suffocate Buffy, I nearly peed myself. Seriously, the man can go from likable to disgusting in five seconds. Unbelievable.
– The whole “stick around for the second act” line is just SO. FUCKING. CREEPY.
– Hey, so… the entire scene where the Scoobies meet Angel and discover what he did is really fucking awkward!
– BUFFY’S DREAM. WHAT THE FUCK. Oh my god, Faith, I miss you. How is this show going to deal with you? I thought you were dead for sure, and now you’re here, and you’re in a coma, and I just feel bad for you. Why do I have a feeling this dream sequence has some other importance I’m not seeing?
– IT’S TIME TO GET READY FOR WAR THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER
– I refuse to apologize for my love of storytelling that switches between to different sets of characters to parallel what’s going on with them. It is done so perfectly here, to contrast the preparations for war between the Mayor and the Scoobies, and it gave this episode such an epic scope.
– HOLY SHIT WESLEY AND CORDELIA ARE KISSING.
– HOLY SHIT THEY REALIZE THEY ARE NOT AT ALL ATTRACTED TO ONE ANOTHER IN THE WAY THAT THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE. THIS HAPPENED TO ME ONCE YEARS AGO. Oh god, I love this show so much.
– “We attack the Mayor with hummus.”
– “Our lives are different than other people’s.”
– Angel: SHUT THE FUCK UP. I am so irritated by you and your constant need for melodrama. First, you don’t want Buffy around. Then you want to help her. Then you don’t want to live. And now you won’t stick around to say goodbye because it’ll be “too painful.” Maybe it’s so painful because you won’t make up your goddamn mind. Can you even imagine the pain you are causing Buffy with this whole back-and-forth routine? No? SO STOP IT.
– Okay, I know that when this is over and I’ve seen every Buffy episode, it will be incredibly easy to name the start of graduation as one of the most tense moments in the entire show. I knew that the Scoobies had some sort of plan, and I loved that they involved Larry, Harmony, Jonathan, and other students in the process of setting it up. The plan itself was still a bit of a mystery to me; on top of that, I didn’t know if we’d actually get to see the Mayor have his Ascension. What if the plan involved something that would happen before his transformation started?
Once the eclipse happens, though, I was just in awe. It’s the simplest way to describe my experience. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I was seeing the Mayor transform, and I couldn’t believe this was happening in front of hundreds of people. As I’ve said before, I love science fiction or fantasy stories that acknowledge the fact that statistically, there have to be witnesses to weird shit happening. But – actually, this deserves its own little point.
– I will forever believe that one of the coolest moments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the hundred students ripping open their gowns and revealing a host of weaponry to attack the Mayor. It is perfection, and one of the most satisfying story choices imaginable. It’s a direct reference to “The Prom” in a way, only this time, Buffy has asked all the students to help her.
– PRINCIPAL SNYDER WAS KILLED BY A CREATURE THAT WASN’T A VAMPIRE. oh my god. Actually, I’m kind of sad about his death. He was kind of an unacknowledged cog in a machine, and I totally would have loved to see more of them.
– LOL WESLEY GOT PUNCHED OUT LOL
– THE VAMPIRE FIGHT. HOLY SHIT.
– Ugh, Larry’s dead, isn’t he? And so is Harmony, too. I think? Neither of them are really confirmed, but both of them don’t look too positive. SADFACES FOREVER. I LOVED LARRY.
– CORDY KILLED A VAMPIRE!!!!!!!
– “Hey! You remember this? I took it from Faith. Stuck it in her gut. Just slid in her like she was butter. You want to get it back from me, … Dick?”
– Buffy you are my favorite forever never change.
– The thing that made me the saddest? Seeing that the explosives were in the library, meaning that Giles’s collection was destroyed. Poor Giles!
– Um, so they blew up the school. THEY BLEW UP THE SCHOOL ON GRADUATION DAY. Lost all ability to can.
– I can’t get over this. SUNNYDALE HIGH WAS DESTROYED.
-Oh, of course Angel is going to Brood in the fog and smoke before disappearing. Angel was never truly worried about saying goodbye. He just needed to brood one last time.
– “Fire bad. Tree pretty.”
– Man, that last scene where they all look on at the ruins of Sunnydale High is such a huge moment to me. I was so surprised that the core group survived the Ascension because I expected so much awfulness. But that really wan’t what this was about. This was a rite of passage for them, a way for them all to move on to their future lives.
I don’t know how they’re going to pull off season four of Buffy and the first season of Angel. I’m actually pretty excited to be doing both shows at the same time as well. Tomorrow, I’ll post my predictions for the two shows, and we’ll start with a two-post day with the premieres of season four of Buffy and season one of Angel.
sweet summer child i am so unprepared