Buffy Season 7 Review

Hello and welcome to the second annual Buffy Season Review, freely adapted from similar Star Trek models. It's split into 2 parts this year: Part 1) I'll re-review all 22 episodes of this season and change my marks if the episode hasn't aged well or if I was just too harsh first time (note: I only reviewed up to 7.6 this year so the first score will be what I probably would have given it at the time - yeah, I know it's not fair but screw it). I'm also going to use decimal points as I don't see many episodes changing that greatly; Part 2) This will be my character analysis and looking at what worked and what didn't, plus my awards for the season and a general wrap up of the series as a whole. Onwards!

Part 1

Episode Reviews

  • Lessons 7.1 (4/5): Quite a good opener to the Season and a welcome return to light and humour. The junior Scoobys never actually came to anything which was a shame, but the ending was very cool with The First morphing into past big bads. Probably the only real time it looked a serious threat. Stay's the same - 4/5

  • Beneath You 7.2 (4/5): Spike returns and all the baggage that goes with him. Another good episode as Spike try's to reinvent himself but is still broken glass inside. The final shot of him resting on the cross as his body burns is very effective. Raised slightly - 4.2/5

  • Same Time, Same Place 7.3 (3/5): Willow returns but the the scoobies can't see her. An alright episode with some nice touches (Xander with the yellow crayon story and Dawn frozen are rather good), plus the monster is actually quite creepy. But there are a loy of slow moments that drag the episode down. Down slightly - 2.7/5

  • Help 7.4 (3/5): A student only has a week to live. Not a bad episode and yet another story that seems similar to early seasons, which isn't a bad thing. Enjoyable enough. Stays the same - 3/5

  • Selfless 7.5 (4/5): Anya's origin episode. Rather similar in style to FOOL FOR LOVE, this is probably the only episode ever devoted to Anya. It's quite funny in parts, but I'm not a huge fan of her really so it tends to lose something 2nd time around. Down a lot - 3/5

  • Him 7.6 (4/5): A fun episode that brings back memories of 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered'. There were a few episodes like this that made me nostalgic for early seasons. Good fun, but maybe not quite as brilliant as I thought. Down a bit - 3.8/4

  • Conversations With Dead People 7.7 (5/5): Excellent episode that gives most of the characters a chance to shine (apart from Xander unfortunately). Some really effective pacing and directing make this one a winner. Stays the same - 5/5

  • Sleeper 7.8 (4/5): Return of Giles as Spike starts killing again. Watching the scoobys trying to work out if Spike is really evil or just being used is fun to watch. This starts The First Evil story arc that would continue until the end. A great cliffhanger as well, though sort of a cheap resolution later in the season. Down ever so slightly - 3.9/5

  • Never Leave Me 7.9 (3/5): Andrew effectively becomes one of the Scoobies and it really works. Since the writers have decided to stop using Xander as the funny man, Andrew becomes the real comedy star of the season. The Ubervampire appears here for the first time and is incredibly stronger then his cousins who appear in the finale. Up slightly - 3.3/5

  • Bring On The Night 7.10 (3/5): Giles appears at Buffys house with 3 potential slayers and the Season story arc really gets rolling. Buffy gets beat up and gives a rather long winded speech as the end. It's good but seems quite slow in parts. Down a bit - 2.8/5

  • Showtime 7.11 (3/5): Buffy fights the Ubervamp again, beats it and gives a longwinded speech at the end. Basically an exact replay of the last episode but slightly better since Spike is rescued and I liked the Anya/Giles combo. Stays the same - 3/5

  • Potential 7.12 (4/5): Is Dawn a slayer? Well, no. But she believes she is for a while. Yet another not great Dawn episode which is a shame as I like the character when she's not whining. What saves this episode though is the Brilliant speech by Xander. The highlight of the season for his character and very emotional. The Dawn/Xander scene is still great but the rest is so so. Down a bit - 3.5/5

  • The Killer In Me 7.13 (3/5): The Willow/Kennedy relationship starts to roll here. I've never had a problem with Kennedy and quite like the pairing. Seeing Willow/Warren be sensitive and worried is a neat twist and is quite cool to watch. Up quite a bit - 3.6/5

  • First Date 7.14 (3/5): The fact that Wood is the son of the Slayer Spike killed is actually quite a good twist. The red herring that Giles was the First isn't. For it to work you have to accept that NO ONE has seen Giles touch anything since he came back. Nah, I'm not buying it. The Xander story is kind of cheap as well. Down slightly- 2.8/5

  • Get It Done 7.15 (3/5): The origin of The Slayer Line, but it's not very good. I didn't expect a lecture with Powerpoint graphics but more info would have been nice. It tries to be 'Restless' but doesn't make it. Good cliffhanger though. Stays the same - 3/5

  • Storyteller 7.16 (5/5): A really good episode devoted to Andrew that manages to be humorous and also lets Andrew grow as a character. Still fun to watch. Stays the same - 5/5

  • Lies My Parents Told Me 7.17 (4/5): Giles betraying Buffy is rather out of character really and Spikes flashbacks aren't quite as good as I remembered. Down a bit. - 3.7/5

  • Dirty Girls 7.18 (3/5): Return of Faith - yay! Introduction of Caleb - Huh? Not a huge fan of Caleb and coming in so late in the season is a mistake. Xander getting his eye poked out just seems a shock tactic and simply to give Xander something to do. Down slightly - 2.8/5

  • Empty Places 7.19 (3/5): Buffy gets depressed and the gang turn on her. Seen it before and not very entertaining. Faith taking the Potentials to the Bronze is good fun though. Stays the same - 3/5

  • Touched 7.20 (4/5): Good episode. The Buffy/Spike scenes are gentle, the return of the Mayor is a nice touch and a real cliffhanger. Stays the same - 4/5

  • End Of Days 7.21 (3/5): I'm still not sure about the scythe (which looks like an axe BTW), but the return of the Real Buffy is welcome after the cold personality that's been on display for most of the season. Angel appearing at the end is great from a fan POV. down slightly - 2.8/5

  • Chosen 7.22 (4/5): And here it is then. The series finale and the first written/directed episode from Joss since the musical (I think). So did it live up to the billing? Yeah, just. Negatives first: The amulet that Angel gave Buffy - Where'd that come from?; The scythe that is all powerful - where'd that come from (I know, a rock. I need more to go on here kids.); The First - what exactly happened here? Why did it have thousands of Ubervamps waiting down below. Why not free them straight away?. Turning all the potentials into Slayers? - seemed WAY too easy for me. The positives: Man, Joss knows these charcters and they sounded like themselves. The quiet scenes of the first half (especially Giles who actually seemed like Giles for a change) were great to watch. Seeing Angel back in Sunnydale was fun too, though Faith seemed kindof forgotten about really. The 2nd half action was very Lord of the Rings and the escape from Sunnydale as the whole town was swallowed up was...Epic. Anya's death was shocking and quite violent but it was a good decision. Spikes sacrifice, while slightly devalued since he's going to Angel, is still very emotional and satisfying. And the final shot of Buffy smiling, but not speaking. Great stuff. Was it the best finale ever? Well, no. In ranking order the best is still S2,S4,S3,S1,S7,S5,S6. So it was good, but not my favourite ever. As a series finale it was quite a good cap, especially considering how many are piss poor (yeah, I'm looking at you Ally McBeal). It may get better a few years from now, but right now it's staying the same - 4/5.

So, the final scores are as follows: When I first reviewed the episodes, the scores added up to 79 out of a possible 110. Looking back over them, my revised scores are 77.9 out of 110. A drop of 1.1 isn't bad for a second viewing of 22 episodes. For the record an average season would be 66/110, so the Season as a whole scored well higher than that.


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Copyright 2001 - 2002 David McNulty