She saved the world. A lot: The Ultimate Buffy Episode Rate- WINNER! | Page 50 | The Popjustice Forum
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She saved the world. A lot: The Ultimate Buffy Episode Rate- WINNER!

Discussion in 'TV + Film' started by rav4boy, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. I didn't even participate but I am mad at y'all for doing Once More so dirty. Worth an 11 just for Under Your Spell and I'll Never Tell.
  2. Wow, shocked but delighted this crashed out, I was sure it would win
    vague and AstronautMikeDexter like this.
  3. After my holiday in Austria, I'm back to see this through.

    Sad to see 'Once More With Feeling' go. It isn't top 3, but it should've been top 5.
    rav4boy likes this.
  4. An episode is about to miss the Top 5- and it's got two 11s!!!
    sfmartin likes this.
  5. Welcome back!
    New Flame likes this.
  6. So after the shit-storm caused by Once More, With Feeling dropping out before the Top 5, I’m wondering how this next elimination will go down, considering it has two 11s...

    No. 6- The Wish!

    This episode was actually the 3rd most nominated out of all 144, plus it kept getting high scores after the nominations were revealed- so I’m actually a little surprised to see it miss the Top 5. Though I’m also satisfied. It’s a fantastic episode, though not as top quality as some of the remaining episodes (perhaps with the exception of Graduation Day Part 2).

    Naturally, the appeal of an alternate world is a big one:

    @Shockbox : "I really enjoyed seeing the alternate world and Willow/Xander as vampires."

    @Asmgz : "A highlight of the season. A what-if-type of episode that gives texture to the character of Anya and pictures a dystopian Sunnydale, which only emphasizes what we already know: Buffy is more essential in maintaining a safer and happier world, than she gives herself credit for. A fact she will never know. Nicolas Brendan, who rarely gets enough credit, excels as bad-and-sexy vampire-Xander and vampire-Willow is introduced in this episode, laying the groundwork for another great season three episode. Didn’t mind the Masters return as well."

    @AstronautMikeDexter : "I always love alternate reality episodes in shows and this is no exception. It was great to see just how important Buffy was to Sunnydale and how different the town could be without her. It was kind of shocking to see how some things turned out. I was sad to see that Willow and Xander had died in this reality but their vampire characters were great. Even though none of it was real, it was hard to see some of our favorite characters die, like Cordelia and Buffy (again). I love that the Cleveland Hellmouth where Buffy was stationed was referenced again in the series finale."

    @unnameable : "Many TV shows do alternate universe episodes, but this one is perfection while maintaining continuity with the main storyline."

    It’s also the episode that first gave us Anya, which was a big point for some of you:

    @vague : "I think the Wishverse is just a little too over-the-top for me to buy into it completely, but this is still a great episode. Killing off Coredlia halfway through the episode is absolutely genius, and I find the big Master vs Buffy/Anya vs Giles showdown at the end of the episode incredibly enthralling. Speaking of Anya, the introduction of the single greatest character in television history earns this episode an extra point from me!"

    @New Flame : "A wild Anyanka appears! A serious contender for my precious 11. Alternative realities are always fun and the stakes and drama reach the higher regions. The sudden shift that takes Cordelia to the new reality was quite a shock. Bleak Sunnydale looks so desolate and even more depressing. Strong performance by Cordelia and just when you think she’ll be the hero in this one, Xander and Willow vamp kill her. Good choice bringing the Master back. The highlight is definitely the sequence of Giles vs Anya, Xander killing Angel, Buffy killing Xander, Oz Killing Willow and then the Master killing Buffy."

    @Hudweiser : "So many shows do a 'what could've been' episode now it almost feels passe, but at least there was a good lead-in to this one. And it gave us Anya."

    Though, sadly- and unbelievably, this became a negative point for one of you...

    @Presibrent : "I have mixed feelings about The Wish, mostly because I don’t like Anya that much. There were good parts though, like Cordelia not knowing what the hell she did, and Buffy coming in from Cleveland looking rogue. (Giles mentioned another hellmouth in Cleveland at the end of Chosen, yay continuity.) The last part of the episode where The Master turned Sunnydale into a blood smoothie factory was a bit of a kii."

    P’Nut Butter and Joe. note the grand scale of The Wish:

    @Joe. "Just fantastic, I wish it could have been a double episode because I felt like so much more could have been explored. I love how it focused so heavily on Cordy, but then she gets killed so suddenly."

    @P'NutButter : "Could have been used as the basis for a Buffy movie. Love it."

    And @DJHazey also compares it to a film (albeit a shit one): "The 'The Breaking Dawn part 2' of Buffy. It's an emotional ride watching every character we love dying left and right, until our reality is finally given back to us. Could you have had a better entrance for Anya? She definitely deserved something this huge though. I love how ironic the slaying pairs are. You've got Xander and Willow killing Cordelia after they pretty much caused this to happen in the first place. Xander actually getting to do what he has always wanted to do to Angel, Buffy getting revenge for that, Oz killing Willow, etc. etc. When I watched this the first time I was like "what in the actual fuck is happening?" It's also a bit of shock to the system when we see Cleveland-Buffy, who is more cold and's really an hour of gripping television at its finest. Let's all thank the Lord that Cordelia wasn't dumb enough to wish Buffy had never become the Slayer."

    Sadly, two of you have now lost your 11s, which I genuinely feel sorry about given what on-point commentary they have so far given this rate:

    @One Stop Candy Shop : "The best episode ever, very dystopian. It's an alternate reality, but it encapsulates pretty much everything what's so great about the early seasons."

    @sfmartin "“I wish us into bizarre-land and you guys are still together!” My favourite
    episode of the whole show from the moment it aired, and nothing topped it afterwards.
    While I know that it's not considered the best of all time, It usually appears in
    the teens of the greatest episodes, but it was always going to be my 11. It’s
    such a departure for the show and so dark and twisted, which I love! You can
    tell the actors are just loving it. It's so grim, all the characters are devoid
    of hope, but then to watch each of your favourite characters die one after the
    other, is shocking! Also, when you pay attention to who does the killing its
    wonderfully poetic. It was nice to have a return of The Master, and vamp Xander
    is the only incarnation of Xander I can actually stand, and surprisingly sexy.
    Willow too! Really quite depraved for a prime time show. Also it introduces us
    to Anya so that’s another huge plus! It was so depressing that it actually makes
    you realise just how much you love the show and the characters in their current
    incarnations (apart from Xander and Angel is far more entertaining as a puppy).
    But I longed for Buffy's pep and optimism, and bizarro Buffy was such a drag!
    So it was a relief when all returns to normal. Definitely not “bored now”."

    When I first started watching Buffy, Season 2 was airing in the UK on BBC 2 and Season 3 was airing in the US- I stupidly began reading spoilers and reviews for Season 3 on iconic Buffy websites such as Much Ado About Buffy and The Complete Buffy Episode Guide (sadly an incomplete guide but quite possibly one of the most comprehensive episode guides up to around Season 5). Which not only meant my studies took a complete nose dive and I left school at 18 with pretty crap qualifications, but that I was completely spoiled for Season 3. And the general consensus was, before I’d even watched it, that The Wish was the best Buffy episode so far- critics and fans alike LOVED it. And what’s not to love? The introduction of Anya, an awesome (and completely believable) alternative reality, and Vampire Willow. Yet to me, it doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of top quality Season 3, such as Earshot and Dopplegangland, simply because the concept of a vampire juice machine doesn’t feel all that powerful a concept. Why not just build the main dilemma around something much more simple and holistic, but ultimately more threatening- like a ceremony or an anniversary of some kind? Ooh, guess what? We have the vampire equivalent of a Starbucks! It kind of lessens the impact of the return of a pretty iconic villain.

    It’s a minor quibble, however, when you have an episode LOADED with so many classic Buffy moments. Willow torturing Angel, Buffy getting killed by The Master (thus fulfilling the prophecy), Xander and Willow killing Cordelia- it’s almost like the Best of Buffy That Never Was! What makes this episode particularly great is the insight into what Buffy would become had she never benefitted from the influence of Giles. Cold, scarred, hardened and cynical- it’s a brilliant portrayal that feels completely authentic, highlighting again just how important Buffy and Giles’ relationship was. That, plus tiny details such as cloves of garlic in lockers and the cleaner’s ominous warning to Cordelia, make this another Season 3 gem.

    Score: 294
    Average: 9.19
    Highest scorers: @One Stop Candy Shop and @sfmartin - 11
    Lowest scorer: DJHazey's Dad- 5

    Me: 9, @Maria 7, @BTG 10, @LPMA 9, @VicePresidentJocasta 9.5, @silkandskin 10, @ladylloyd 9, @SushiJoe 9, @P'NutButter 10, @Mikl C 9.5, @Shockbox 10, @Joe. 10, @One Stop Candy Shop 11, @Hudweiser 8, @Presibrent 7.5 @GhettoPrincess 10, @DJHazey 10, @New Flame 10, DJHazey's Dad: 5, DJHazey's Mom: 10, @Lost In Japan. 10, @Asmgz 10, @vague 9, @Spiderwebs 8, @playboy69 7, @sfmartin 11, @Robsolete 9.5, @Animalia 8, @kalonite 9, @unnameable 10, @JamesJupiter 9, @AstronautMikeDexter 10

    Which means our Top 5 looks like this:

    Becoming Part 2
    Graduation Day Part 2
    The Body
    The Gift
    Asmgz, vague, Robsolete and 7 others like this.
  7. The Body for the win. When Anya expresses her sorrow and frustration about Joyce's death, it gets me every time.
    rav4boy likes this.
  8. Hush or The Gift for the top spot. Graduation Day Part 2, despite being a great episode, does not deserve to be top 5.
  9. Agreed, I have certain problems with 'Becoming Part 2' and 'Graduation Day Part 2'. Any of the remaining episodes can take the crown, though I don't think 'Hush' will win.
  10. R.I.P. Season 6!


    Everyone who’s a Buffy fan seems to have a definitive list of favourite seasons- mine is never set in stone, particularly when it comes to Season 4 and Season 6. I’d always thought Season 4 was the weaker of the two, yet it definitely holds up well on repeat viewings. It also suffers somewhat from following Season 3 which, given that it was the season with the most nominations AND has such stellar episodes, could easily be held as the best season of Buffy, or at least the most consistent.

    One of Season 6’s main issues is the amount of light-weight, fuzzy episodes (e.g. All The Way, Gone, Doublemeat Palace) in a season that’s dealing with very adult themes, but also the sudden onslaught of INCREDIBLY depressing episodes (e.g. Wrecked, Dead Things, Hell’s Bells). They just don’t seem to get the balance right in Season 6. Buffy was often at its best when it was dark but peppered with hilarious lines or moments (think Innocence- “We get Cordy to go fight this guy and we all go for pizza;” Graduation Day- “The suspense is killing Angel.”). When you’ve got standard sci-fi concepts (ray guns, monsters, demon eggs) that were executed so much better in earlier seasons, in a season where Buffy is supposed to be coming to terms with an unwanted resurrection, then we have a problem.

    There’s also the heavy handed metaphors, mainly Willow’s addiction. I don’t want to dwell on the awfulness that is Willow on a high then a horrific come down in Wrecked- but it does drag the season down terribly. It would have been far more effective to simply have Willow go on a grief-stricken rampage after Tara’s death, without her becoming the camp, almost pantomime-esque junkie.

    Nevertheless, there still sparkles of brilliance. There’s the more obvious ones- all the nominated episodes- as well as less obvious moments of excellence hidden amongst all the drama and sub-par episodes (Willow’s efforts to show her undying loyalty to Buffy in All The Way – “What a bitch!”; Anya’s pathetic “You can have my coffee” in Afterlife; Anya trying desperately to curse Xander in Entropy, then preventing a wish after realising she’s hurt him in the worst way possible).

    7. Once More, With Feeling- 292; 9.13

    12. Tabula Rasa- 279.5; 8.73

    33. Normal Again- 251; 7.84

    37. Older and Far Away- 243.5; 7.61

    39. Life Serial- 242.5; 7.58

    42. Two to Go- 237.5; 7.42

    45. Seeing Red- 232.5; 7.27

    Cookie Dough episodes (ones that weren’t ‘ready’ enough for the Top 46):

    Bargaining Part 1 (5 nominations), Villains (5 nominations)

    Mock you with my monkey-pants:

    Bargaining Part 2 (1 nomination), All The Way (0), Smashed (0), Wrecked (0), Gone (1), As You Were (0)

    So- Season 5 has the most amount of episodes left- does this mean it holds the episode with the greatest amount of scores?...
    Asmgz, vague, DJHazey and 1 other person like this.
  11. Hush, The Body, The Gift and Graduation Day Part 2 are four of my top five episodes of Buffy so this is shaking up very nicely. I love Becoming Part 2 as well, but it's my only score below a 10 left so I would like to see it go next.
  12. Aww it's a shame to see my 11 fall but I'm overjoyed it made it so far. Wonderful commentary @rav4boy I was just the same foolishly addicted to spoilers from the forums and episode guides! It was a blast from the past to be reminded of those. Im rooting for The Gift now. I'm excited to see how it all plays out.
    rav4boy likes this.
  13. It was ridiculous, I'd literally dodge English Literature so I could read about the latest Season 3 episode on websites like The Buffy Cross and Stake!
    sfmartin likes this.
  14. Let's make a top 3 of Hush, The Body and The Gift. They are actually the best three episodes too which is shocking as none include Cordelia in proper terms...
    DJHazey and rav4boy like this.
  15. The Gift seems like the most deserving of the top spot for me, but I'd love it if Becoming made it somewhere in the Top 3.
  16. I agree that the only justice would be The Body, Hush, and The Gift as the Top 3.
  17. I'm fighting for Becoming. 'If you walk out of that door, don't even think about coming back'.
  18. Next elimination coming very soon- then there's a big (for this rate at least) point difference between No. 5 and No. 4...
  19. So, another season is about to fall...

    Will it be Season 2? Season 3? Or Season 4?...

    Hell no! This season's got more strength in it...

    Well, not yours, Season 3!
    No. 5- Graduation Day Part 2!

    Despite it scoring higher than Part 1, the general consensus SEEMS to be that it's the weaker episode...
    Opinion is pretty divided on whether this simply a good episode or a great one...

    @Presibrent : “Probably not as good as the first part, but still a great episode. How was a giant snake killing people at a high school graduation not national news though? Cordelia and Wesley’s kiss making things awkward between them was funny, and Buffy and Angel finally saying goodbye was such a moment. Plus, Cordelia staked her first vampire.”

    @Shockbox : “The whole class of 99 wielding flamethrowers was a bit naff and the CG demon is really dodgy but Cordelia was on her A-Game this episode. We could just write ebola on a box him.”

    @unnameable : “A brilliant season finale, and the part where her classmates recognise her for what she does is beautiful. Again, they could have stopped here and it would have made a fitting end to the show.”

    @vague : “Even though they're the season's Big Bads, Mayor Wilkins and Faith's relationship is a really sweet and interesting one, and one of my favorite little touches in the season. His distress after finding Faith's trashed apartment in the opening scene is genuinely touching, as is his reaction to a comatose Faith in the hospital. The entire graduating class removing their robes to reveal a cache of weapons and taking on the Mayor and his minions is a truly iconic. What a way to end one of the best seasons in TV history!”

    @One Stop Candy Shop : “Oh gosh, that CGI snake! Excellent way to wrap up the high school years.”

    @DJHazey : “The ending to this felt a little too expected, so I can't quite hand it a 10. A couple of other scenes come to mind instead: Buffy having to resort to letting Angel feed from her and The Mayor's attempt on Buffy's life. The latter came as a bit of a shock considering how calm The Mayor's demeanor had been up to then, but this is when you truly found out how much Faith meant to him. This was the key aspect to his ultimate demise. When Buffy distracts him with the knife he gave to Faith, you realize that his father-like love for Faith had become his downfall. Indirectly, Faith had helped to kill The Mayor. What a complete mind fuck. The Mayor also delivers a speech that really proves to be a representation of the dividing line this episode had become for the series. Everything becomes a little bit darker and less innocent from this point on.”

    @Joe. : “As far as Buffy season climaxes go, this one was hugely satisfying at the time, as everything is thrown into the basket. I do feel like this one hasn't aged as well as the others though.”

    @sfmartin : “ We’re gonna need a bigger boat” “Wow. Explosive figuratively and
    literally! So many jaw dropping gasp moments, the deaths!”

    @AstronautMikeDexter : “Another episode that was postponed in the US because of the Columbine shooting (“Earshot” being the other). This is such a great episode minus Angel not succumbing to the poisonous arrow. I’ve made it no secret that the Buffy/Angel relationship is my least favorite part of the show and the scene where Buffy allows Angel to drink her blood is gross to me because of its romantic/sexual undertones. But, the whole battle (shoddy CGI aside) was thrilling. I loved the choice to have the entire student body fight back. I was surprised by the decision to blow up the school but it was such a great move.”

    @Lost In Japan. : “The perfect culmination to the first three seasons, the high school era and the ‘High School as Hell’ metaphor. That moment when Buffy yells “now!” and leads the graduating class into battle is so, so sweet.”

    @New Flame : “Mayor’s points for that hospital scene and Buffy’s dream. Great acting by Harry Groener and it shows how unique he is as the main villain. He really loved Faith like a father. It’s horrifying to see him simply trying to suffocate Buffy. The hate is real. The actual finale was not that spectacular. The Mayor doesn’t ‘werk’ as snake demon number X and was so easily defeated.”

    It seems that the episode’s greatest strength is not the plot itself, but the way it’s used to symbolise the ending of Buffy’s high school years. She has spent so long as an outsider- never truly feeling part of something- that it’s INCREDIBLY moving to see the student body come together to fight. It’s not just the fact that it’s a huge punch-the-air, thrilling moment seeing familiar students suddenly find their nerve and fighting with fists, stakes, flaming arrows etc. It’s also the fact that people outside of the Scooby Gang are finally showing their faith in Buffy; she’s able to mobilise these people who previously thought of her as a weirdo, as well as help them find their courage and voice.

    Shame about Harmony though.

    Despite not, to me at least, living up to Part 1, there are some special moments in this episode as well, not least Buffy and Faith’s mutual dream, then Buffy waking to give Faith forgiveness (of sorts). Buffy preying on the Mayor’s human weakness, which is strangely touching in itself and truly makes him one of the show’s better villains. You’ve also got another HILARIOUS moment from Xander (come to think of it, I probably liked him the most in this season...) when he responds to Cordelia’s “Wesley- an explanation?” “Inbreeding?”

    Whether you like Buffy and Angel or not, their ending is something very special- what’s left to say? It’s heartbreaking for them both, yet they know it’s for the best. What’s left to say- nothing, because they both understand each other so well.

    The fact that such an incredible episode still isn’t the best season finale, nor even the better of two parts, speaks volumes about the quality of this show.

    Score: 295.5
    Average: 9.23

    Me: 9.5, @Maria 9, @BTG 9, @LPMA 7, @VicePresidentJocasta 10, @silkandskin 10, @ladylloyd 10, @SushiJoe 10, @P'NutButter 8.5, @Mikl C 10, @Shockbox 8, @Joe. 8, @One Stop Candy Shop 9, @Hudweiser 9, @Presibrent 9.5, @GhettoPrincess 10, @DJHazey 9, @New Flame 6.5, DJHazey's Dad: 10, DJHazey's Mom: 10, @Lost In Japan. 10, @Asmgz 9.5, @vague 10, @Spiderwebs 10, @playboy69 7, @sfmartin 10, @Robsolete 10, @Animalia 10, @kalonite 10, @unnameable 10, @JamesJupiter 8, @AstronautMikeDexter 9

    As I said earlier, the next few episodes have a fairly decent difference in points between them...
  20. Another season finale is about to crash out of the Top 5! Becoming Part 2 or The Gift?...