Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 5 E 22 The Gift




The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.

The Scoobies face off against Glory. Xander proposes to Anya. Buffy discovers the meaning of "Death is your gift".

This was the last episode to air on The WB. As a result, the WB promoted this as a series finale even though Buffy would air for another two seasons on UPN.

  • Actually a Doombot: Glory decapitates Buffy — only to be surprised that the Slayer is a robot. Then the real Buffy appears behind her wielding a great big hammer.
  • Always Save the Girl: Buffy refuses to even consider the idea of killing Dawn to stop the ritual.
    Giles: (quietly) If the ritual starts, then every living creature in this and every other dimension imaginable will suffer unbearable torment and death ... including Dawn.
    Buffy: Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her.
    Giles: You'll fail. You'll die. We all will.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Buffy kisses Dawn on the cheek before making her jump.
  • Apocalypse Maiden
  • Apologetic Attacker: Ben tries to be this to Dawn (regarding his Face-Heel Turn), but since it basically amounts to "I'm sorry, I had no choice" when it's obvious that he did, she's not interested in hearing it.
  • At Least I Admit It: Inversion. Dawn would rather have Glory here than Ben because unlike him, the Hell God isn't trying to make excuses for her actions.
  • Audible Sharpness: Doc drawing a long and nasty knife.
  • Badass Boast
    Spike: This won't take long.
    Doc: No, I don't imagine it will.
  • Batter Up: Anya, but she doesn't know how to hold it properly.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Badass Normal Xander with a wrecking ball.
  • Blood Magic: The Key's blood is used to open the portal while Buffy's blood — which is the same as Dawn's — is used to close it again.
  • Bridal Carry: Xander carries an injured Anya this way. Rule of Symbolism applies, given that he proposed marriage earlier in the episode.
  • Call Back: The opening scene where Buffy saves a boy from a vampire is a reference to the original premise of the series.
    Kid: H-how'd you do that?
    Buffy: It's what I do.
    Kid: But you're ... you're just a girl.
    Buffy: That's what I keep saying.
    • Willow and Tara Holding Hands to produce a more powerful spell, as per their first meeting in "Hush".
  • Cannon Fodder: Glory's minions use the crazy people to block the way to the stairway.
  • Cat Scare: Xander and Anya are searching the basement; Xander removes a cloth and shrieks as he suddenly finds himself facing the Buffybot. Then Anya shrieks and starts ranting at whatever sick person put a...stuffed toy rabbit in the basement.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: The Hammer of Olaf, the Dagon Sphere, and the Buffybot are all used to fight Glory.
  • The Coats Are Off: Glory takes off her sacrificial robe to fight Buffy.
  • Completely Missing the Point: According to the Parents Television Committee Buffy is one of the worst, offensive, atrocious shows on TV because Buffy gives her life to save the world, stating it was suicide. Apparently they believe she was meant to let the world be destroyed.
  • Continuity Nod: A very subtle one: Faith had predicted Buffy's death in Graduation, and in Who Are You reads the expiration date from either Buffy's or Joyce's credit card as May 2001. This episode aired on May 23rd.
  • Cool Gate
  • Courtly Love: Spike is now willing to die protecting those Buffy loves, even though he knows Buffy will never return his feelings.
  • Cowardly Lion: Willow and her jelly-belly.
  • Cue the Sun: The sunrise is the time when the portal must be opened, and at that point, Buffy finds herself standing between the sunrise at dawn, and Dawn.
  • Declaration of Protection
    Buffy: We're not all gonna make it. You know that.
    Buffy: I'm counting on you ... to protect her.
    Spike: Till the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.
  • Despair Speech: Oh, Buffy.
    Buffy: This is how many apocalypses for us now?
    Giles: Oh well, six, at least. Feels like a hundred.
    Buffy: I've always stopped them. Always won.
    Giles: Yes.
    Buffy: I sacrificed Angel to save the world. I loved him so much... but I knew. What was right. I don't have that anymore. I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world, if these are the choices, if everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point. I just wish... I just wish my mom was here. The spirit guide told me that Death is my gift. I guess that means a Slayer really is just a killer after all.
    Giles: I think you're wrong about that.
    Buffy: Doesn't matter. If Dawn dies, I'm done with it. I'm quitting.
  • Dissonant Serenity: After being forced to wear a sacrificial robe, Dawn neatly folds her clothes and leaves them on a chair. Averted moments later when Glory's minions haul her for sacrifice — Dawn starts screaming out Buffy's name.
  • Dressed To Kill: Doc changes into a suit and tie for the big event.
  • Eldritch Location: As the portal opens, a bolt of blue lightning hits a building, transforming it into an alien structure whose walls are infested with Humanoid Abominations struggling to free themselves.
  • Evil Wears Black: Glory wears black, while Buffy fights her wearing a white sweater.
  • Excuse Me Coming Through: Willow/Tara clear a path for Spike through Glory's minions and the crazies using telekinesis.
  • Fighting from the Inside:
    • Glory tells Dawn not to be too hard on Ben, as it was probably him stopping her from just killing Buffy and her family.
    • A subtle example. Tara, driven insane by Glory, suddenly slaps Willow and calls her a bitch. She then tries to have a My God, What Have I Done? moment, but can't.
  • Final Speech: Buffy whispers her final words into Dawn's ear before jumping into the portal. We hear it as a voiceover accompanying the visuals of Buffy's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge
  • Foreshadowing: For Xander knocking Glory for six with a wrecking ball.
    Xander: I'm also a swell bowler.
    Spike: The gods themselves do tremble.
    • Giles: "I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing... what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to."
  • Flashback Cut: When Buffy puts together the clues on how to close the rift.
  • Gender-Inverted Trope: The boy as helpless Victim of the Week being saved by the cute blonde.
  • Get Out: Dawn is sick of listening to Ben's excuses for his Face-Heel Turn and demands he change, shouting in a similar manner to her "Get-out-get-out-GET-OUT!" of previous episodes; "Be Glory. Be Glory. (yelling) Glory! Glory! Glory!"
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Xander asks why the Buffybot hasn't been melted down.
    Anya: Maybe Willow wanted it.
    Xander: I don't think Willow feels that way about Buffy. I mean, I know she's gone through a lot of changes, but—
    Anya: To study it.
    Xander: Right. Robotics. (embarrassed ) Science.
    Anya: [beat] Pervert.
    Xander: Other pervert.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Inverted — Giles deliberately puts on his glasses before suffocating Ben, making a point of not sparing himself the horror of what he's doing.
  • Glory Discretion Shot: Buffy pounding on a downed Glory with the hammer, again and again.
  • Grave Humor: Buffy's tombstone reads Buffy Anne Summers, beloved sister, devoted friend. She saved the world. A lot.
  • Groin Attack: A rare female example. It's hard to see due to the pace of the fight, but at one point Glory clearly punches Buffy in the groin. And yes, it hurts just as much for women, and Glory is a god... ouch.
  • Hell on Earth: Glory's departure will tear open the dimensions, causing Earth to be invaded by Eldritch Abominations.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite the derision of Spike and Giles, Anya comes up with some good ideas to fight Glory, and stays to fight instead of leaving Sunnydale like she did in "Graduation Day".
  • Held Gaze: Spike shares an Oh Crap! look with Dawn a moment before Doc pushes him off the tower.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dawn tries to throw herself off the tower so as to close the rift. Buffy stops her and goes in her place.
  • Hope Spot: Buffy has Glory on the ropes, stopping her from performing the ceremony. Then Doc appears at the top of the tower.
  • I Gave My Word
    Spike: You don't come near the girl, Doc.
    Doc: I don't smell a soul anywhere on you. Why do you even care?
    Spike: I made a promise to a lady.
  • I Am a Monster / All Love Is Unrequited: Spuffy
    Spike: I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man. And that's...
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...
    Giles: She's a hero, you see. She's not like us. (Suffocates Ben)
  • Improvised Weapon: Lampshaded
    Glory: You lost your hammer, sweet cheeks. What are you gonna hit me with now?
    (A huge wrecking-ball smashes through the wall and into Glory.)
    Buffy: Whatever's handy.
    • Spike gets clocked in the head by a brick thrown by the lunatics.
    • In the opening fight, Buffy kicks a vampire onto a pile of wooden crates which splinter under his weight, sending an improvised stake flying right into Buffy's hand.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Buffy pounds on Glory with the Hammer of Olaf again and again after she's been downed. She's a Physical God, so waiting for her to get up again is a very bad idea. Not to mention that using a Slayer's sister for a ritual Human Sacrifice is also a bad idea.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Buffy for The Not-Love Interest. "She's the only part of me that I..."
  • Liquid Courage
    Giles: Need anything?
    Willow: [staring at Glory's tower] Could use a little courage.
    [Spike's hand comes into the shot, holding a small flask in front of Willow's face].
    Willow: The real kind. But thanks.
  • Love You and Everybody
    Spike: Ah, when you [Buffy] say you love us all...
    Xander and Giles: Shut up!
  • Mad Oracle: Tara, who has been Mind Raped by Glory and reduced to a babbling childlike state, suddenly points to Giles and shouts, "You're a killer!" foretelling his murder of Ben.
  • The Magnificent: Doc called Glory "her Splendidness" and one of her minions refers to her as "Oh, Most Sweaty-Naughty-Feelings-Causing One."
  • Manly Tears: Spike spills useless buckets of salt over Buffy's ending.
  • Meaningful Echo: Buffy realises the meaning of the Spirit Guides's cryptic message in her Vision Quest. "Love will bring you to your gift. Death is your gift." Buffy feared she was only a killer, devoid of emotional attachment. But Buffy's love for others gives her the courage to sacrifice her life to save them.
    • "The hardest thing in this world is to live in it" is repeated (by Dawn) in Season 6, where Buffy finds real life more difficult to cope with than any Big Bad.
  • Milestone Celebration: This is the 100th episode. Buffy dies. That's not a good prize.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Played with via the Previously On montage.
  • Must Be Invited: Spike is quite moved when Buffy allows him back into her house.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Doc bests Spike in combat, then faces up to Buffy knife in hand, saying "This should be interesting." Buffy throws him off the tower without even breaking stride.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: After Anya figures out some good ways of attacking Glory.
    Xander: Smart chicks are soooo hot.
    Willow: You couldn't have figured that out in tenth grade?
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown/Drop the Hammer: Buffy pulls it on Glory with Olaf's hammer.
  • No Sympathy
    GLORY: You're just a mortal. You couldn't understand my pain!
    BUFFY: Then I'll just have to settle for causing it.
  • Not Quite Dead: Doc
    Spike: Doesn't a fellow stay dead when you kill him?
    Doc: Look who's talking.
  • Oh Crap!: As Giles kneels over a badly-wounded Ben.
    Giles: Can you move?
    Ben: Need a...a minute. She could've killed me.
    Giles: No, she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge, and make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that...and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us.
    Ben: "Us"?
    (Giles calmly reaches down and smothers Ben)
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A dragon flies through the rift. It's not explained what happened to it, though some have speculated it's the same one that appears in the Grand Finale of Angel.
  • Our Heroine Is Dead
  • Percussive Therapy: Buffy pounds a punching bag, knocking it off its chain.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party
  • Poisonous Friend: Giles
  • The Power of Blood: Lampshaded by Spike. It foreshadow's the ending.
    Xander: Why blood?
    Spike: Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going, makes you warm, makes you hard, makes you other than dead. 'Course it's her blood.
  • Portent of Doom: Spoofed with Anya freaking out over a stuffed bunny.
  • Pre-Climax Climax / Sex Dressed: Xander and Anya in the basement.
  • Previously On: A montage showing clips from every season, starting with "Welcome to the Hellmouth", getting faster and faster until it Smash Cuts to The Teaser.
  • Pun: Glory's minions rally to protect her tower.
    Minion 1: Stand fast! Kill anyone who dares approach! This will be our day of glory!
    Murk: Well punned.
    Minion 1: Well, it just called out to me. (crossbow bolt hits him in the chest)
  • Punch Catch: Glory reels from Willow's magic enabling the Buffybot to pound on her, but does this trope to show she's recovered just before taking off the bot's head.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Although its fighting style is slightly less impressive, the Buffybot copies Buffy's personality much better than it did after months of tweaking by Willow in Season 6.
  • Robotic Reveal / Off with Her Head!
    Glory: The Slayer's a robot? Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?
  • Rousing Speech: Averted by Buffy.
    Buffy: Hey, everybody knows their jobs. Remember, the ritual starts, we all die. And I'll kill anyone who comes near Dawn.
    Spike: Well, not exactly the St. Crispin's Day speech, was it?
    Giles: (Wryly) "We few, we happy few..."
    Spike: We band of buggered.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Buffy makes her Heroic Sacrifice at dawn.
  • Rule of Three: Dawn doesn't want to listen to Ben's excuses so she yells Glory's name three times because at least Glory accepts being evil. Ben instantly changes to Glory.
  • Save the World Climax
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Xander, upon seeing the insane contraption of Glory's tower says, "Shpedoinkle!"
  • Series Fauxnale: It was designed as a potential end to the series if it didn't get picked up by another network. Whether we should be thankful UPN stepped in has been hotly debated ever since.
  • Screaming Warrior: Spike charges into action with an almighty shout.
  • She Will Come for Me: Dawn insists that Buffy will save her. Glory points out that if Buffy comes, it may well be to kill her instead.
  • Shoot the Dog
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Willow isn't Buffy's big gun. She's a cudgel, or a pointy stick.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Suddenly Shouting: Giles is trying to get Buffy to acknowledge that killing Dawn may be necessary.
    Buffy: I don't wanna hear it. (turns away)
    Giles: I understand that—
    Buffy: (whirls back) No! No, you don't understand. We are not talking about this.
    Giles: (jumping up from the table) YES, WE BLOODY WELL ARE!
  • Super Strength: Anya suggests using the Hammer of Olaf. Spike is in the middle of saying that he tried to lift it (in "Blood Ties") and it was too heavy, when Buffy casually hefts the hammer in one hand.
  • Taking the Bullet: Anya shoves Xander out of the way of a bolt of lightning, and then gets injured by falling rubble.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice
  • Telepathy: Willow uses this to communicate during the battle.
  • Tempting Fate
    Glory: You lost your hammer, sweet cheeks. What are you gonna hit me with now?
    (A huge wrecking-ball smashes through the wall and into Glory.)
    Buffy: Whatever's handy.
  • Too Much Information: Ben tries to comfort Dawn by saying at least she'll die quick. A hobbit-minion chimes in that actually it'll be slow to encourage the maximum blood flow.
  • The Triple: "It might weaken Glory, or make her less coherent. Or it might make all our heads explode."
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Xander, Anya, Giles and Buffy are talking, and the sound cuts in on Buffy saying:
    Buffy: No... no, that's good. That could be pivotal.
    • Since they had already discussed Dagon's Sphere earlier, they're talking about using the Buffybot as a decoy. And since it's an unspoken plan, of course it works.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Anya's "pleasure moment".
  • We Need a Distraction: Several used to blindside Glory.
    • Tara is allowed to wander onto the building site. Glory recognises and goes to grab her, enabling Willow sneak up and draw Tara's mind back out of Glory.
    • The Buffybot is used to fight Glory, so Buffy can sneak up and clobber her with a big hammer.
    • Glory recognises this is all a distraction so the Scoobies can rescue Dawn, so orders her minions to protect the tower.
    • Then used by the villains — while Glory is fighting Buffy, Doc performs the sacrifice.
  • When Dimensions Collide bad things happen...
  • With This Ring: Xander proposes to Anya. At first Anya is offended, thinking Xander is only doing it because they'll be dead soon and he won't have to keep his promise. Xander says he's doing it because he thinks they'll live. Anya is touched but, clearly seeking to avoid Tempting Fate, tells him to hold onto the ring until after the battle.
  • You Are Too Late: The Scooby Gang are too late to stop Glory from opening the portal; only a Heroic Sacrifice can close it again.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Buffy is mildly surprised when the vampire she encounters doesn't know who she is. No problem.
    Buffy: You ever heard the expression, "biting off more than you can chew"? ...Okay, um, how about the expression "Vampire Slayer"?
    Vampire: What the hell are you talking about?
    Buffy: Wow. Never heard that one? Okay, how about, "Oh God, my leg, my leg?" (Breaks his leg)
    Vampire: Oh God, my leg!
  • Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal
    Glory: I need a brain to eat.
    Minion: Oh, take mine, oh groove-tastic one!
    Glory: I said a brain, you worthless dirt!