Season 7 Buffy Predictions / Re-Watching ‘The Zeppo’ and ‘Graduation Day, Part II’

Hello, Buffy fans! I REFUSE TO LET THIS SHOW GO, AND I WILL DRAG THIS OUT AS LONG AS I WANT. That way, I can stay in total denial that Mark Watches Buffy is over. It’s not over until I say it is over.

I wanted to first go over my predictions for season 7 before we talk about two episodes I re-watched yesterday! Here’s what I thought would happen in season 7.

  • Willow will either have spent the summer in some type of rehab for witches, or we’ll see her in rehab in the season premiere. HOLY SHIT, TOTALLY SPOT ON YESSSSS. 1/1
  • Buffy will begin taking Dawn out on patrols. I’m off to a good start. 2/2
  • Spike will return to Sunnydale. All right, this RULES. I AM SO ON POINT. 3/3
  • Spike will have a relationship with Anya for a while. IN HINDSIGHT, this is a terrible prediction. Why would Spike get his soul back for Buffy and then return to Sunnydale to start a relationship with Anya? I’m taking away points. 0/4
  • Willow will fall for someone this season. WELL. I was right, but meh? 1/5
  • Giles will get a job somewhere that’s not the Magic Box. Silly me, thinking that the show would acknowledge that Giles needs to have some source of income! 1/6
  • The Magic Box will be permanently closed. Oh! I got this one! 2/7
  • We will see Jonathan and Andrew once, just to find out what happened to them. NOPE. NOOOO. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. 2/8
  • Xander will still foster feelings towards Anya for the remainder of the show. And the remainder of his life because I am going to cry now. 3/9
  • None of the Scoobies will die by the end of the show. Yes, this is an absurd prediction because EVERYONE DIES on this show, but I think just once, there won’t be a major death. Shut up, Mark. Just shut up. -1,000,000/10
  • I seriously don’t know who the Big Bad could be! They’ve already had one of the Scoobies as the main villain, so I say this final season’s Big Bad is a new villain we’ve never met. YOU HAD ONE JOB, MARK. ONE JOB. AND YOU FUCKED IT UP. -10,000,000,000/11
  • The problem with these predictions is that I feel like season six wrapped up so much that it left me with no real storylines that I think might crossover into season seven, so… I’m unprepared? This is like cheating. No points. -10,000,000,000/12
  • I will sob like a newborn during the series finale. Okay, I did tear up multiple times, but it wasn’t until like THREE DAYS LATER that I openly cried about the finale, and that was more because I was writing something and I just thought about the show and Anya and Buffy’s smile and it totally broke me. -infinity forever. 

OH god. Will I ever recover?

Possibly, but for the moment, let’s talk about the two episodes that I was commissioned to watch for Jayne!

The Zeppo

Oh god, what a perfect episode for me to watch after the finale. It’s a great reminder not only how funny this show can be, but that I used to dislike Xander so much, and he grew up before my eyes. Obviously, character development is my thing, so this episode in particular hits a lot of my emotional buttons.

It was hard to watch “The Zeppo” and not think of “Sokka’s Master,” the episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender that addresses Sokka’s similar state. I appreciate both shows for bringing up the “normal” characters who live amongst those with powers. In the case of “The Zeppo,” Xander’s usefulness is brought to the forefront by the contrast to what the rest of the Scoobies are doing. While they’re saving the world from yet another apocalypse, no one knows that Xander saved all their lives, too. I’m so happy the show never once addressed this moment again, at least in the sense of letting the Scoobies learn what Xander did for them. It’s a nice bit of continuity, intended or not, because it preserves the fact that Xander never once sought out credit for what he did.

And you know, I just plain forgot so much of what I’ve seen. I didn’t remember that Faith and Xander had had sex. I loved seeing Cordelia and Oz again, and it was strange being back at Sunnydale High, the original source of so much supernatural activity. This show really did explore the troubles of going to high school in a unique, engaging way, and “The Zeppo” is proof of that. Sure, it’s about Xander’s role in the Scoobies, but I also think it’s about how hard some of us might try to fit in and how that desperation can lead us to be quite foolish.

Graduation Day, Part II

Given that I’d just watched “The Zeppo,” I did laugh at all the melodrama between Buffy and Angel. Their relationship was so damn tumultuous! It truly was for the best that they split up. Still, the contrast between this episode and the humorous subplot in “The Zeppo” was hard to ignore. But that was what I expected from these two, and I admit that their tension is what makes me enjoy their interactions, even all the way through the end of the show. Would Angel’s appearance in “Chosen” be nearly as funny if it weren’t for his jealous vampire nonsense?

“Graduation Day, Part II” is my second favorite season finale, coming behind “The Gift.” It’s intense, it’s funny, it’s empowering, and it is entertaining from beginning to end. I’d never seen a villain like Mayor Wilkins, and I don’t think I ever will. Even though Glory is my favorite Big Bad, I’ll never stop enjoying the Mayor. He is unsettling in his purity, and his relationship with Faith helped make season three another favorite of mine.

So while I have had issues with the last two seasons of Buffy, I still largely liked them. I never reached a point where I felt tired of watching the show or that I wasn’t engaged anymore. But watching this season finale got me appreciating just how consistently good this show had been at one time. Buffy is a strange show, but that’s part of its appeal. It’s always been somewhat serialized, but Joss and company were willing to break even from their own traditions to give us a good story. AND GODDAMN, HOW GREAT IS THE STORY HERE? Cordelia dusts her first vampire, which directly leads into her story on Angel. Wesley is pretty much useless, and then I think of him being all stubbly and morally ambiguous and my heart HURTS FOREVER. Even Angel isn’t the same character he’ll later become on his own show. I know there’s a great deal of foreshadowing that’s intentional in the Buffyverse, but even if some of it is incidental, I still enjoy it. UGH HARMONY. SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT YOU, TOO.

I imagine that someday in the future, I’ll get nostalgic about this show, but for now, a lot of my feelings are still fresh. (And some wounds are particularly raw. UGH CORDELIA AND ANYA AND TARA UGH.) But it’s so great not waiting forever to revisit some classic moment. I’ve been commissioned to watch “Restless,” so I’ll have a mini-review/discussion post up for that later this week. You can commission me to watch any episode of this show, and I’ll make a discussion post for them all! I should begin “The Chosen” on Mark Reads in the next week as well, so the Buffy party isn’t stopping any time soon.


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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