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Buffy 7.21: End of Days

[N.B.: In light of the final episode, "Chosen," this review feels particularly small-minded. Please forgive me. I was in a sullen mood when I wrote this...]

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

These last few episodes haven't been all I've hoped for. Things seem cobbled together with cardboard and duct tape. And the tone's been uneven lately -- "Touched" had very little humor, but "End of Days" had the mark of Jane Espenson all over it. Usually I love her humor, but I thought it was too light for the penultimate episode.

At any rate, I hope Joss pulls through with the finale, "Chosen." I wish the final episode was going to be two hours instead of just one -- we deserve that much. Instead of devoting an hour to something superfluous earlier in the season, they could have added that onto the end for a two-hour spectacular. Still, I'm trying to trust in Joss here.

Trust in Joss. Trust in Joss. Trust in Joss.

So, let's see, what happened in this ep?

We got to see Buffy vindicated. The Slayerettes are attacked by ubervamps, and then she shows up. I bet the junior slayers couldn't have felt stupider in their lives.

Willow and Giles had one last researchathon. Interesting contrast between Willow's Internet usage and Giles's book research. The tension between the tried-and-true and the modern has been with the show ever since "I Robot, You Jane."

Xander and Dawn left and then came back. Where did Dawn get a taser? I guess this means they'll be around for the final battle. Little Dawnie sure has grown up over the past seven seasons. (That's a little joke.) Brat's all woman-size.

Anya finally admitted she loves humans. I guess this means she's going to die. I figured she was a goner a long time ago, anyway, given that she meant for this season to be her last, whether or not the show was renewed. Will her death be Xander's fault? Will she die because he won't be able to see what's happening? Or will she choose to sacrifice herself? At any rate, it's a shame Anya (as well as most of the other main players) has been so underused this year. What ever happened to D'Hoffryn's minions, who were supposed to be trying to kill her back in the fall? Whoops.

Nice scene between Buffy and Spike in the Summers house. But what's up with Sarah Michelle Gellar lately? Her eyes look shot, and her upper lip looks unusually tight. Maybe they're trying to make her look all worn out.

Buffy and Faith seem to have reconciled. They've reached a middle ground. Faith has finally realized that Buffy's life isn't all super and wonderful like she thought it was. Sometimes we exaggerate the coolness of other people because it gives us something to strive for, but Faith's now seeing how similar the two of them really are, or have become. And yet... as Faith points out, the two of them weren't meant to exist as Slayers at the same time...

Then we have some contrived thing with a Guardian, a Watcher-watcher who helped forge that uberstake long ago, a weapon that nobody knew about. More duct tape and cardboard, I guess. I'm just stymied as to why everything has seemed so scattershot lately.

Then, finally, David Boreanaz appears, to the sounds of really generically crappy music. It sounded like the kind of music they play when they want to do a parody of a love scene. I've realized that this is why I thought the end of "Touched" was so goofy; Buffy came upon the uberstake to the strains of more generic music. I miss Christophe Beck.

I wish we'd been surprised by Angel's appearance. It would have been cooler if they hadn't had him in the opening list of guest stars. "Angel" watchers knew he was probably coming, but it would have been nice to be kept guessing.

I was confused for a while there, though. It didn't seem realistic that Angel would just stand back, smiling nonchalantly, letting Buffy fight Caleb. He looked evil. Was Angelus back? Was Angel was the First? I was lost. And I wasn't sure what that whole "merge" thing was. When Buffy killed Caleb, I thought maybe she'd killed the First, that was it, boom, and the following week we were going to have a completely unrelated season finale like "Restless" in season four. But, no. Unfortunately, all that confusion tempered my enjoyment.

And then they kiss (to more generic music), and... bam. Spike's there, watching them, taunted by the First.

So. This is what it's all come down to.

In every generation there is a chosen one.

Who will be Chosen?

Angel or Spike?

Buffy or Faith?

Things will be set right. Things will be resolved.

It's time for someone to be Chosen.

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