Sunday, May 22, 2011

Buffy, The Apocalypse Slayer

In honor of the Rapture-That-Was-Not on Saturday, I watched every season finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer while doing a bunch of chores today. If anybody knows anything about averting the Apocalypse, it's my girl Buffy Anne Summers and her assorted Scoobies. Let's take a trip down memory lane to recap the season-ending saves she made, shall we? Oh and I guess... spoiler alert? Even though the show went off the air in 2003? Well, consider yourself warned if you've never seen the show.

Season 1: "Prophecy Girl"
Big Bad: The Master
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth via an open Hellmouth.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Xander, Willow, Angel, Cordelia, Jenny Calendar
Casualties of War: None, surprisingly! Although Cordelia's boyfriend Devon and some AV kids did get eaten by The Anointed One. Oh, and Buffy died. For the first time. But just for like a minute.
Resolution: The Master got thrown through a skylight and impaled on a broken desk. Hellmouth Closed! Everybody liked Buffy's dress for the dance.
Threat Level: Moderately High. The Master was dispatched easily enough, but the gang was very inexperienced at this point in time, nor was a second season of the show secured, so their ability to succeed was more in question than usual.

Season 2: "Becoming, Part 2"
Big Bad: Angelus with an assist from Drusilla and Spike
Apocalypse Now?: Earth Sucked Into Hell via the Mouth of Acathla.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia and Oz... with an assist from Spike.
Casualties of War: Jenny Calendar, Angel, Kendra the Vampire Slayer.
Resolution: Angel got his soul back and then got sent to Hell. Joyce found out Buffy was the Slayer and freaked the eff out. Spike and Drusilla left town, as did an emotionally devastated Buffy. So sad!
Threat Level: High. Buffy was stripped of pretty much everything important to her on the way to killing Angel and saving the world. This one came at a heavy cost to the Slayer.

Season 3: "Graduation Day, Part 2"
Big Bad: The Mayor
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth as the Mayor ascends into a Giant Snake.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Oz, Angel, Wesley and the entire graduating class on Sunnydale 1999.
Casualties of War: Many of the graduating class of Sunnydale 1999, Principal Zimmerman, Sunnydale High in general.
Resolution: Mayor-Snake got blowed up, as did the school. Faith the Evil Vampire Slayer got left in a coma. Angel left town. Everybody still alive graduated High School.
Threat Level: Moderate. It took a whole civilian army, but really I don't think that giant snake stood a chance.

Season 4: "Restless"
Big Bad: The First Slayer
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth got averted in the previous episode. Season 4 broke tradition and had a trippy series of dream sequences where the source of Buffy's power got pissed off with the core Scoobies for tapping into her power to save the world.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow and Xander. Dreamy Versions of Tara, Oz, Spike, Harmony, Riley and Joyce also made appearances.
Casualties of War: None. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!
Resolution: Everyone woke up and was fine. Buffy was aware even crazier shit was about to happen. The Cheese Man made his presence known. His motives remain unclear.
Threat Level: Low. The First Slayer is hardly Freddy Krueger when it comes to dream stalking. Still, this episode is super fun.

Season 5: "The Gift"
Big Bad: Glory/Ben
Apocalypse Now?: Hell on Earth as a portal to Glory's dimension tears everything apart.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Willow, Xander, Anya, Tara, Spike and Dawn.
Casualties of War: Ben. Oh and Buffy died. For the second time.
Resolution: After an incredibly rough fight for all involved, Giles killed Glory by killing Ben. Buffy killed Joel Grey and then jumped into the already-opening dimensional portal to close it with a blood sacrifice, dying in the process. She left the world having saved it a lot.
Threat Level: Very High. It seemed like no one was gonna get out of this one alive. Everybody seemed vulnerable, but ultimately if any of the good guys had died along with Buffy, it would've dramatically lessened the feeling of her sacrifice.

Season 6: "Grave"
Big Bad: Dark Willow!!
Apocalypse Now?: Earth Burned To A Crisp thanks to Dark Willow channeling magic through a Satanic Temple.
Scoobies on Hand: Giles, Xander, Anya, Spike, Dawn
Casualties of War: None. But Tara and Warren got killed in previous episodes, so there was still a bit of a body count. Also, the Magic Shop got completely destroyed.
Resolution: Xander got Willow to calm the hell down and they shared a good cry. Buffy realized she needed to guide Dawn through the world instead of just trying to protect her from it. Spike got a soul! Whaaat??
Threat Level: Medium. Dark Willow did kill one person, and beat the crap out of several of her closest friends, but the likelihood of her actually killing them or ending the world was always remarkably of the "un" variety.

Season 7: "Chosen"
Big Bad: The First Evil!
Apocalypse Now?: The Hellmouth is getting opened again for more Hell on Earth
Scoobies on Hand: OMG, so many! Giles, Willow, Xander, Anya, Angel, Spike, Dawn, Faith, Principal Wood, Andrew, Kennedy and a million Slayerettes.
Casualties of War: OMG, so many! Anya, Spike, almost a million Slayerettes and the whole town of Sunnydale.
Resolution: Sunnydale Hellmouth is closed for business! The First Evil is Vanguished! Buffy and (most of) the gang live to slay another day! All the Potentials become actual slayers, but they have to all share one magic scythe! Buffy smiles!
Threat Level: High. It's the series finale! All bets were off! But an unhappy ending would've been kinda bogus after all this time.

So what have we learned? That the world has a history of not ending and that apocalypses usually don't come to pass no matter where they are written or foretold. You here that, 2012? Don't go acting all crazy. Buffy Summers is out there somewhere and I don't want you to hassle her when you know what the outcome is gonna be. Life goes on!!!

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