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Recap / Buffy the Vampire Slayer S7E22 "Chosen"

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These endless days are finally ending in a blaze, and we are caught in the fire, the point of no return. So we will walk through the fire, and let it burn.
Walk Through The Fire, from Once More With Feeling.

Directed by Joss Whedon

Written by Whedon, Rebecca Kirshner, & Drew Z Greenberg

Buffy kills a bloody and beaten-up Caleb with the Scythe by slicing him in two from the crotch up. Angel gives Buffy an amulet intended to be worn by someone ensouled, yet more than human. He says he'll fight alongside her, but she rebuffs the offer and tells him to organize a second front with his team in case she can't beat The First. They discuss Spike, his soul, and Buffy's feelings for him; Angel shows obvious jealousy and annoyance about Buffy having feelings for Spike, while Buffy—annoyed by his childish and possessive attitude—questions his maturity ("Are you twelve?"). When Angel asks about the future, and if he has a place in it, Buffy says she still needs to grow up.

Buffy: I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking. I'm not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I'm gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I'm ready. I'm cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat m—or enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that's fine. That'll be then. When I'm done.
Angel: Any thoughts on who might enjoy—do I have to go with the cookie analogy?
Buffy: I'm not really thinking that far ahead. That's kind of the point.

As Angel walks into the shadows, Buffy tells him there might be a future for them, but it will be a long time coming, if ever. Angel's reply? "I ain't getting any older."

Back at the house, Dawn kicks Buffy's leg for having Xander try to take her away from Sunnydale in the previous episode. Spike is in the basement, working out his anger on a punching bag with a crude drawing of Angel's face on it. That sight irritates Buffy, who ponders putting the two vampires in a room and letting them fight out their problems. Spike asks for the amulet, whose exchange he had witnessed from the shadows. Buffy hands it over after she explains that it is meant only for a champion. She then tells Spike that she has nowhere to sleep, and after an initial prideful rebuttal, he invites her to stay.

Later that night, an insomnia-stricken Buffy paces the basement as Spike sleeps. As she paces, The First appears to her as Caleb, unhappy that Buffy killed him—but eager to point out how an army of the undead waits to rise from the Hellmouth and help The First become corporeal. It shifts into Buffy's form and taunts her, reminding her that she's the Slayer—the one Slayer in the whole world. The First disappears as Spike awakens, and Buffy tells Spike she's realized something she hadn't considered: they're going to win the fight.

Buffy meets with the Potentials and her other allies the next morning, unveiling her plan off-camera. Willow expresses her concerns about using magic again (especially since whatever magic she'll be using will be the most powerful magic she will have ever attempted) and asks Kennedy to kill her if it turns bad. Faith and Principal Wood have a personal discussion while preparing the school for the battle; Wood demonstrates that he understands her defensiveness over getting emotionally involved with men, but still asks her to give him a chance after the battle. During the night, Buffy goes to the basement, where she apparently spends her last night with Spike.

On the morning of the assault, Buffy and her army arrives at Sunnydale High in a yellow school bus. The Potentials head to the seal in the basement while Kennedy helps Willow set up her spell in Principal Wood's office. After trying to give a farewell speech, Andrew is dragged off by Anya. Dawn leaves to set up her post with Xander, determined to see her sister again. Principal Wood leaves to wait at his post for Giles. The original four Scoobies share a last moment with each other before the assault by...talking about going to the mall after saving the world.

Buffy: I'm having a wicked shoe craving.
Xander: Aren't you on the patch?
Willow: Those never work.
Buffy: Never.
Giles: And here I am, invisible to the eye, not having any vote.

Xander and Willow walk down the hallway with Buffy before each one leaves to handle their assignments, leaving Buffy alone as she walks to the seal, where the Potentials, Faith, and Spike are waiting. Buffy, Faith, and the Potentials cut their hands to open the seal with their blood. They climb down the hole in the ground and come face-to-face with the army of Turok-Han. The Ubervamps spot Buffy and her army before they're ready and attack. "Come on, Will," Buffy pleads.

Willow sits in Principal Woods' office, the Scythe before her. While chanting a spell, she places her hands upon the Scythe, and both she and the Scythe light up in an ethereal glow as her hair turns white. The scene then flashes back to Buffy revealing her plan: she wants to break the tradition of "only one Slayer per generation" by turning every Potential in the world into a Slayer.

Buffy: In every generation, one Slayer is born, because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule; I say "my power" should be "our power". Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of this scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power—can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?

As Willow performs the actual magic, Kennedy tells Willow that she is a goddess. "And you're a Slayer," Willow replies. Willow collapses, exhausted ("That was nifty!"), as Kennedy takes the Scythe and delivers it to Buffy...

...who is deep in the fight with her army against the army of the Turok-Han, which now numbers in the thousands. As she pauses to give orders, Buffy is stabbed through her abdomen from behind by one of the Turok-Han and falls to the ground. She passes the Scythe to Faith and asks her to hold the line. While Buffy tries to recover, she watches several of the Potentials-turned-Slayers fall, including Amanda. In the halls of the school, a few Turok-Han and a small group of Bringers make it to the surface and attack the groups guarding the entrances. During the battle, one of the Bringers kills Anya, and Andrew fights until he is overwhelmed. Another Bringer stabs Principal Wood, then dies by Giles's hand. Xander and Dawn take on a group of Turok-Han, who are disintegrated by sunlight when Dawn throws open a skylight window.

The onslaught seems relentless on all fronts, but nowhere more than in the Hellmouth, where The First appears to Buffy as a mortally-wounded copy of the Slayer.

The First: Oh, no. Ow. Mommy, this mortal wound is all...itchy.

It then kneels down in front of Buffy and mocks her attempt to stop its plans ("You pulled a nice trick; you came pretty close to smacking me down") before asking Buffy what more she wants. Buffy fires back with a angry retort—"I want you to get out of my face!"—then arises with renewed determination and knocks several Turok-Han off the ledge. Her determination helps reinvigorate the other Slayers, and as they fight, The First disappears. Right after that moment, Spike's amulet consumes him in blue light and blasts a hole upward into the sky. The amulet channels the sunlight shining through the hole, turning it into powerful rays that take out the Ubervamps. The entire cavern starts to shake, which the the surviving Slayers take as their cue to get out. Buffy tells Spike to escape, but he insists on finishing the job. They share a quiet moment as the world crumbles around them:

Buffy: I love you.
Spike: No, you don't. ...But thanks for saying it.

Buffy leaves, and soon after, Spike disintegrates as the Hellmouth collapses.

On the way out of the school, the Slayers find Andrew crouched in a corner. Xander yells for Anya, but doesn't see her dead and mangled body lying nearby; Dawn has to pull him out to the bus. Faith makes it on the bus last, and as it pulls away, Dawn looks back for Buffy—who has climbed to the roof of the school. Buffy runs along the school's rooftops in a desperate attempt to outrun the enlarging crater, then leaps onto the top of the bus at the last second. When she turns back around, she gets to watch the entire town of Sunnydale collapse into the crater.

After the ground stops shaking, everyone gets off the bus. Xander asks Andrew about Anya, and he says Anya died while protecting him, which seems to comfort Xander. Faith looks after a wounded Principal Wood, who charms her with a little bit of flirting despite his grave situation. While Kennedy, Vi, and a few others tend to the wounded Slayers, everyone else joins Buffy as she looks at the massive crater that was once Sunnydale. Giles asks how this could've happened, since everyone either died or is alive and with them. A distraught Buffy answers with one word: "Spike." Giles mentions that they should go to Cleveland, as there's another Hellmouth there—and lots more work to do. (An exhausted Faith responds, "Can I push him in?") The Scoobies lament the loss of the mall, which has ruined their post-war shopping plans.

After Dawn asks what they're going to do next, Buffy smiles as she contemplates the future ahead of her.

Chosen contains the following tropes:

  • Action Fashionista: When Angel first gives her the amulet, Buffy says she doesn't have an outfit that goes with it.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Buffy casually suggests the Scoobies engage in some Retail Therapy after they've defeated the ultimate evil.
    Giles: Well, now aren't we gonna discuss this? Save the world to go to the mall?
    Buffy: I'm having a wicked shoe craving.
    Xander: Aren't you on the patch?
    Willow: Those never work.
  • Always Someone Better: Angel gets jealous because Spike has a soul too, and is involved with Buffy. Spike is pissed because Buffy still loves Angel.
  • Analogy Backfire: Buffy tries to pass off her Angel snog as 'just saying hello.'
    Spike: Most people don't say hello with their tongues...actually, they do.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When Buffy announces that she killed Caleb, Willow's reaction is "Well, all right!".
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Buffy tells Spike as he's making a Heroic Sacrifice that she loves him too (this is the first time she's told any boyfriend she loved them since her disastrous affair with Angel). In a subversion of the trope Spike replies, "No you don't, but thanks for saying it."
  • Anyone Can Die: The finale is pretty much a War Arc come to its conclusion and, as with any war, not everyone is going to make it out alive. Among which are Anya, Mauve Shirt Amanda and Spike (though he gets better on Angel).
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Everyone knows the end is entirely nigh, and they all leave town. With a minimum of violence, even.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Angel bluntly asks if she's in love with Spike, Buffy is noticeably thrown for a moment.
  • Back for the Finale: Angel, though he doesn't stay.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Giles says Buffy's plan is...bloody brilliant.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The battle between Buffy and the Potentials against the First Evil's Uber Vamps in the center of the Hellmouth.
  • Big "OMG!": Willow gasps out "!" while turning into one.
  • Book Ends:
    • The conversation between Buffy, Xander, Giles and Willow before the final fight mirrors one at the end of "The Harvest", and that conversation is the first time that all four of them have been back to Sunnydale high since "Doomed". Likewise Angel backing away from Buffy into the shadows, as he did after their first meeting in "Welcome to the Hellmouth".
    • After that conversation, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles walk down the hall. Giles is the first to split away from Buffy, then Willow, and lastly Xander, in reverse the order in which they met in "Welcome to the Hellmouth".
    • There are certain elements of this throughout the whole season, as Buffy metaphorically goes "Back to the Beginning" and finds the origin of the Slayer Line.
  • Blood Magic: Buffy, Faith and the Potentials cut their palms to open the Seal fully, with all the implied menstrual overtones.
  • Bond One-Liner: Subverted slightly after Buffy kills Caleb by slicing him in two. When Angel asks her where he is, she replies "He had to split", then breaks into nerdish giggles.
    • Xander is fighting an ubervamp when Dawn opens a skylight, dusting it.
    Xander: We call that the Greenhouse Effect. Very dangerous— (gets tackled by a Bringer)
  • Brain Bleach: After hearing Caleb is dead, Xander suggests they all have a party in his eye-socket, squicking everyone out with the image.
  • Break the Haughty: A mildly humorous example with Wood deliberately pushing Faith's buttons to tease her, claiming he's prettier than her and critiquing her bedroom prowess, claiming to be unimpressed. Faith is clearly very taken aback and suggests going again to prove to him she's got "mad skills".
  • Brick Joke
    • In the Alternate Reality Episode "The Wish" (in which Buffy never came to Sunnydale) Giles phones up Buffy's Watcher to try and get her help. The Watcher complains that Buffy is very busy, what with Cleveland being a hotbed of demonic activity; Giles and the Watcher end up arguing over whether there's a Hellmouth in Sunnydale too. At the end of "Chosen" the Scoobies rejoice over having closed the Hellmouth, to which Giles dourly replies there's another one in Cleveland.
    • "The Harvest" finished with Giles saying, "The Earth is doomed" in response to the Scoobies less-than-serious attitude to their task. Here the Scoobies act in a similar matter, causing Giles to say, "The Earth is definitely doomed."
  • Bring My Brown Pants: As the cast march into Sunnydale High for the final battle, Xander tells the Potentials where the bathrooms are. If they don't have to go, he suggests they picture what they're about to face — an army of Ubervamps under the Hellmouth. "Better to go now." Later Ronaa regrets not taking his advice when seeing what's facing them.
  • Buffy Speak: "Splainy?" "Not much with the damseling."
  • Call-Back:
    • Buffy to Angel: "And what was the highlight of our relationship? The time you broke up with me or the time I killed you?"
    • Andrew thanking his brother Tucker for inspiring him to raise demons ("The Prom").
    • Buffy complains about Angel turning up and acting jealous whenever she has a boyfriend, which also happened with Riley Finn in "The Yoko Factor".
    • Buffy, Faith and the Potentials charge into the Hellmouth, and then a flashback to what the plan was, similar to the end of Season Five when we find out what Buffy said to Dawn just prior to jumping in "The Gift".
    • Angel can hardly believe that Buffy is involved with Spike; the last time he saw them together in "Lovers Walk", he had to restrain Buffy from staking Spike on the spot. Whereas in that same episode, Spike expressed his disbelief that Buffy and Angel were "just friends".
    • Angel leaves Sunnydale by backing into the shadows, in contrast to his first appearance that had him Emerging from the Shadows.
    • In "The Harvest", Giles' first impression of Buffy, Willow and Xander was "The Earth is doomed". Right before the Core Four go into battle, they casually talk nonsense, after which Giles excalaims that "The Earth is definitely doomed".
  • Catapult Nightmare Spike jerks awake with a shout of "I'm drowning in footwear!"
  • The Champion: Spike asks for the amulet Angel brought. Buffy explains that it has to be worn by a champion, which Spike clearly thinks isn't him. Buffy then pointedly hands the amulet to Spike.
  • The Chosen Many: Slayer Army!
  • Cock Fight: Annoyed at Angel and Spike's jealousy, Buffy tells Spike that one day she's just going to put the two of them in a room and let them wrestle it out. When Spike says that's fine with him, her eyes widen in excitement and she says "There could be oil of some kind involved..."
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Turok-Han fall victim to this. Even Dawn gets to kill one.
  • Conveniently Empty Town: Just as well the entire population of Sunnydale decided to switch off their Weirdness Censor, eh?
  • Cowardly Lion: Vi and Rona turn into Blood Knights once they gain their Slayer powers.
    Vi: (watching thousands of ubervamps charging towards her) These guys are dust.
  • Cower Power: Andrew cowers behind Anya as the battle begins, even though she'd readily agreed earlier that the opposite should happen.
    Anya: So that leaves me and the Dungeon Master in the north hall?
    Andrew: We will defend it with our very lives.
    Anya: Yes, we will defend it with his very life.
    Xander: And don't be afraid to use him as a human shield.
    Anya: Good, yes, thanks.
  • Credits Gag: The Grrr Argh! monster turns his head to snarl directly at the audience.
  • Crossover: Angel makes an appearance with the file and amulet given to him by Lilah Morgan in "Home".
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    Buffy: Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lampshaded by Anya when she says she assumed Andrew would be terrified and she'd be sarcastic about it. Turns out they're both terrified.
  • Dead Person Conversation:
    Giles: I'll go dig up my sources. Quite literally, actually, two of the people I have to talk to are dead...
  • Deus ex Machina: The amulet and the Scythe.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Joss Whedon left the question of whether Spike and Buffy have a Pre-Climax Climax deliberately vague.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Buffy taunts the First over it's inability to do anything but taunt, and suggests it adopt the name "The Taunter" instead.
  • Die Laughing: Even as he slowly burns down to the bone, Spike goes out laughing, having seen the fight through to the end.
  • Dies Wide Open: Played straight with Amanda, then subverted with Robin Wood, who's only faking to tease Faith.
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: In the Hilarious Outtakes.
    Joss Whedon: Does this series finale make my butt look big?
    Voice from off-camera: No. You make your butt look big.
    Joss Whedon: [fake crying] Waah.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In the montage of Potentials all over the world suddenly gaining Slayer powers, one girl in the process of being slapped by an Abusive Parent catches his hand and Death Glares.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Buffy tells Spike that Angel was just passing through. Spike retorts, "Oh, just popped by for a quickie then?"
    • Faith tells Wood to have a little faith. He mutters, "I think I've had my share."
  • Double Vision: Buffy vs. First!Buffy. Snark-to-Snark Combat ensues.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: As foretold by Cassie in "Help", Buffy finally says she loves Spike. Sadly, due to either having to lie to her to get her to go, or genuinely believing she was simply telling him what he wanted to hear, he says she doesn't. Still, this is the first Love Confession Buffy has made to any boyfriend since the tragic events of "Innocence" in Season 2, so even her willingness to say it means something.
  • Dying Smirk: Even as his flesh and muscle are being toasted off and the Hellmouth is crumbling around him, Spike still smirks and laughs as he crumbles to dust.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Possibly. In the montage of slayers awakening worldwide there's a brief scene of a Japanese girl standing up from a table. Satsu?
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Core Four survive the final battle, Buffy faces the prospect of a normal-ish life where she no longer has the sole burden of being the Slayer, Faith meets a decent man who challenges her cynical isolationist crap, and Spike is reincarnated in the spin-off series.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Spike walks out in disgust over how Buffy is fawning over Angel, right after which she starts extolling excuses why Angel should leave.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Spike's last words:
    Spike: I wanna see how it ends.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Xander is shouting out for Anya, but fails to see her dead body as she's lying among a pile of Bringer corpses.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Buffy coyly tells Spike that Faith is still using her bed, only for Spike to respond indignantly that she's not buying him off after having snogged Angel. "I have my pride, you know!"
    Buffy: [looks sad] I understand. [turns to walk away]
    Spike: [intercepting her] Clearly you don't, 'cause the whole "having my pride" thing was just a smokescreen.
    Buffy: [sighs with relief] Oh, thank God!
    Spike: I don't know what I would have done if you'd have gone up those stairs.
  • Fatal Attractor: Buffy finally realises this isn't her fault, and she can concentrate on herself as opposed to finding Mr. Right.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: "We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side."
  • Foreshadowing: The Angel/Spike rivalry continues in Season 5 of Angel, and the two eventually do fight it out in "Destiny" (oil is not involved).
  • Foe Cooties: Angel left Buffy so she could have normal relationships, only to find she's hooked up with his vampire rival Spike.
  • The Four Loves: The Core Four reaffirm their connection, Spike shows Unconditional Love with his Heroic Sacrifice, and the ending leaves it ambiguous whether Buffy's love for Spike is Romantic or Platonic.
  • Freudian Slip: Willow has to do some powerful magic, and tells Kennedy she might have to kill her if she turns evil. Kennedy retorts, "Bite me!" Willow says, "I will...I mean I do mean it."

  • The Glomp: Dawn hugs Buffy after she survives Sunnydale's destruction.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Which is just as well. When Angel asks where Caleb is, Buffy pointedly looks in two different places.
  • Grand Finale: As usual, the show had to top everyone else, with a triple play — destroying the Hellmouth, defeating the First Evil and its army, and permanently changing the magical rules that define who becomes a Slayer and how. And completely destroying the entire city of Sunnydale, leaving only an enormous crater.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Bangel vs. Spuffy
    Buffy: Like I haven't had enough jealous vampire crap for one night.
  • Groin Attack: To end all groin attacks — Superpowered Slayer. Scythe. Slice in half from the groin up.
    Caleb: Stupid girl. You'll never stop me. You don't have the—
    Scythe: *THWACK*
    Buffy: Who does nowadays?
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: Annoyed over their mutual jealousy, Buffy suggests putting her two vampire ex-boyfriends in a room together so they could fight out their frustrations. When Spike says that's fine with him, she adds (with a certain amount of relish), "There could be oil involved." Note that this trope is a view held by much of the show's fanbase as well.
  • Half-Truth: Two here:
    • Buffy says she needs Angel to go back to Los Angeles, to prepare a second line of defense if she can't hold the Hellmouth. Angel, however, is picking up the distinct smell of Spike, and realises she wants him out of the way to avoid confusing the issue.
    • Andrew comforts Xander by telling him that Anya died heroically saving his life, choosing not to mention that she was virtually cut in half from behind by a Bringer. Even knowing of Andrew's habit of lying and exaggerating, Xander takes comfort in knowing that Anya died for the battle.
  • Handicapped Badass: Rona fights with one arm in a cast.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: For once not played for laughs or denial. Angel wants to know if Spike is Buffy's boyfriend. Buffy says no, but then says frankly "He is in my heart."
  • Held Gaze: Spike/Buffy in the basement (Fade to Black) and during his Heroic Sacrifice. Also Buffy indulges in a brief moment of "basking" when Angel first turns up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Spike. He got better though.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Buffy's stabbed by a random ubervamp, but after some taunting from the Big Bad, dramatically rises to her feet and carries on kicking ass.
    First Evil (in the form of Buffy): That was a nice trick. You came pretty close to smacking me down. What more do you want?
    Buffy: I want get out of my face!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The First taunting Buffy about being the lone Slayer to demoralize her backfires in its face: it gives her the idea to make all the Potentials full Slayers instead.
  • Holding Hands: Buffy and Xander exchange a hand squeeze before they part ways.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Buffy's plan to even the odds in the coming battle of her gang of Potential Slayers vs. the hundreds of uber-powerful vampires lurking in the Hellmouth is to have Willow cast a spell that will upgrade them all to full Slayer status. Fine, but instead of waiting safely for a few minutes until the spell is complete and then entering the arena fully powered-up and prepared, they instead inexplicably charge into the Hellmouth and hide out on a ledge hoping not to be seen. They are immediately spotted, and have to begin the fight severely outgunned and hold the line until Willow finishes casting. They should have waited in the basement above and chopped the ubervamps as they tried to crowd through the narrow Seal but hey; Rule of Cool.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The amulet turns out to be one. It takes Spike's soul and life force and converts them into blazing sunlight, which destroys the entire Turok-Han army.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Vi is seen shouting at a wounded Rona to stay awake. The Season 8 comics show she survived.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Anya: Come on, let's go assemble the cannon fodder.
    Xander: That's not what we're calling them, sweetie.
    Anya: Not to their faces. What, am I insensitive?
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Spike exalts in the feel of his soul burning as he dies.
  • Immortal Immaturity:
    Angel: You know, I started it. The whole "having a soul". Before it was all the cool new thing.
    Buffy: Oh my god. Are you twelve?
  • Intertwined Fingers: Buffy and Spike do this even though Spike's hand has burst into flame.
  • In the Back: Anya gets sliced from behind by a Harbingers of Death's sword.
  • Ironic Echo:
    First!Buffy: Into every generation, a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world. She alone will have the strength and skill to... There's that word again! What you are, how you'll die — Alone.
  • Karma Houdini: The First. Justified because it's incorporeal.
  • Karmic Death: Caleb the Crazy Misogynist Guy gets his knackers chopped by Buffy the Feminist Icon.
  • Killed Off for Real: Anya and Amanda. Averted with Spike, who returns a few weeks later on Angel.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "You don't have the-" Buffy slices Caleb in half vertically...from bottom to top...probably counts as a Stealth Pun too in this case.
  • Lame Comeback: Subverted: Buffy doesn't give one of her trademark snappy comebacks because the First has just given her a "Eureka!" Moment.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: After her "had to split" quip, Buffy notes that she hasn't had a good pun in a while.
    Angel: That would still be the case.
    Buffy: Hey, my kill, my wordplay.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Possibly attempted by Buffy, but rebuffed by Spike. Spike is saving the day but also burning up in the sunlight. As he's dying, Buffy says she loves him. Spike responds, "No you don't, but thanks for saying it." Whether she actually meant it is subject to Wild Mass Guessing and Shrug of God, so there's that.
  • Light Is Good: Instead of the return of Dark!Willow, Willow glows and her hair turns white.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: By the finale, Willow is considerably more powerful than Buffy, and is one of the most powerful witches on earth.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: Dawn returns, after having been drugged and kidnapped so she would be out of harm's way for the final battle. Buffy ordered Xander to do it and gave her a note explaining... Dawn stops mid way through, tazers Xander and takes control of his car, driving back. When she sees Buffy Dawn punts her in the leg, which hurts the Slayer.
    Buffy: (Beat) Ow.
    Dawn: Dumbass.
    Buffy: If you get killed, I'm telling.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: Andrew tries to give a speech, but Anya curtly tells him to shut up: "Nobody cares."
  • Made of Plasticine: Anya gets sliced almost in half by a Bringer armed with a short sword.
  • Meaningful Echo: In the Season 6 episode "Dead Things", it's Buffy who replies "No you don't" to Spike's "I love you".
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Mocked by First!Buffy as Buffy lies bleeding on the ground in front of her.
    "Ow. Mommy. This mortal wound is all... itchy."
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Played With when, after kissing Angel, she returns home to see him.
    Spike: Well, you're not staying here. You can't buy me off with shiny beads and sweet talk. You got Angel breath. I'm not gonna just let you whack me back and forth like a rubber ball. I've got my pride, you know!
    Buffy: I understand. [turns to go]
    Spike: Clearly you don't, 'cause the whole "having my pride" thing was just a smokescreen.
  • Maybe Ever After:
    • Buffy tells Angel it could be years before she's ready to settle down permanently with a guy, but she does sometimes think that far ahead. Angel says he's not getting any older.
    • Faith and Wood. She seems to be giving him a chance, and at the end, when Wood "surprises" Faith by making it out alive, they appear to have progressed to being a couple. This is only in the television continuity, however; the Season 8 comics reveal that the two did enter into a relationship, though it did not last, as Faith refers to Wood as "the ex" around a year later.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: The first Ubervamp was a tough enemy even for Buffy. By the time of this episode even Anya and Dawn manage to kill some.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Spike's amulet doesn't work. Buffy is mortally wounded, Faith is down and so is Kennedy. Then suddenly they all get up again.
  • Neck Snap: Amanda's death.
  • Never Say Goodbye: Buffy calls out to Dawn as she's leaving for her allocated area. Dawn turns and says firmly, "No. Anything you say is gonna sound like good-bye." Buffy then turns to the rest of the Scoobies and engages in their usual Gallows Humor.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The First taunts Buffy over how she'll always be alone. This gives Buffy the idea of sharing her Slayer power with all the Potentials.
    • Later, it's the First taunting her again that gives Buffy the strength to finish the fight.
    First!Buffy: Ow. Mommy. This mortal wound is all... itchy. You pulled a nice trick. You came pretty close to smacking me down. What more do you want?
    Buffy: I want you to get out of my face!
  • The Nicknamer: Captain Peroxide vs. Tall, Dark and Forehead.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: Buffy gives one, instigated by the First Evil mocking her for being the lone Slayer. Buffy then has an epiphany regarding the Slayer legend given from the beginning of the series, and she decides to ignore that limitation.
    Buffy: So here's the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power, now? In every generation, one Slayer is born, because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman...(Willow) is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power...should be our power.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: It's Spike (with a sunlight reflecting amulet supplied by Wolfram and Hart) who takes care of the Uber-Vamps. Said amulet had nothing to do with Buffy or anything that had occurred during the entire season, it was brought in at the last minute from Angel.
  • Not Quite Dead: Was anyone surprised when Caleb got to his feet again?
    Buffy: many times do I have to kill you? Ballpark figure.
  • Not so Dire: Several of the gang are shown looking at a map, discussing where they're standing and what they're planning to do. It turns out that they're not planning the final battle which may well decide the fate of the world — they're playing Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Wood is not surprised that Faith doesn't. He thinks it's because she's a Slayer, but when she explains her grim view of men ogling her he teases her that he's more attractive than she is, goading and intriguing her into first trying to do him on the spot, then continuing their relationship.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Offhand Backhand: Faith after taking over the scythe from Buffy.
    Joss Whedon: (shooting script) She holds out her scythe to Faith. A moment, and Faith takes it. Stabs the guy behind her without looking at him. And then goes apeshit on the fuckers.
  • One Last Smoke: The script includes a (never filmed) scene in which Giles and Robin Wood share a "hand-rolled cigarette" before the final battle.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: After being stabbed in the guts with a sword, Buffy still masters enough Heroic Second Wind to slay a bunch of ubervamps, outrun the collapse of Sunnydale, and leap onto a moving bus.
  • Percussive Therapy: Spike pounds away at a punching bag on which he's stuck a crude drawing of a vampire with Spiky Hair.
  • Person as Verb: Angel is going all Dawson on Buffy.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Spike's amulet shoots beams of light which incinerate the attacking ubervamps and collapse Sunnydale on top of the Hellmouth.
  • Physical God: Instead of going all black-eyed and veiny as she feared, Willow turns into a White Magic goddess.
  • The Power of Legacy: Anya's death is about as meaningless as a death can be in the heat of battle, but when Xander asks Andrew how she died, he says that she died saving his life.
  • Pretender Diss: The First derides Buffy's "Wanna-slay Brigade".
  • Pseudo-Crisis: The last episode implied that Spike might fall under the First's influence due to jealousy. He just goes and works out his frustrations on a punching bag.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason Angel gets so little screentime is because they only had David Boreanaz for seven hours due to his own show being on a different network.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • Averted; Andrew is stunned that he didn't die as expected.
    • Seemingly played straight with Spike, who saves the whole world and dies... then he comes back on Angel, also averting the trope.
  • Roof Hopping: Buffy chasing the bus, with the buildings collapsing behind her as she runs.
  • Rousing Speech: Buffy gets one more for the road.
    Buffy: I hate this. I hate being here. I hate that you have to be here. I hate that there's evil, and that I was chosen to fight it. I wish, a whole lot of the time, that I hadn't been. I know a lot of you wish I hadn't been either. (Kennedy and Rona look away) But this isn't about wishes. This is about choices. I believe we can beat this evil. Not when it comes, not when its army is ready, now. Tomorrow morning I'm opening the seal. I'm going down into the hellmouth, and I'm finishing this once and for all. Right now you're asking yourself, "what makes this different? What makes us anything more than a bunch of girls being picked off one by one?" It's true none of you have the power that Faith and I do. So here's the part where you make a choice.
  • Rule of Cool: Joss has specifically cited this as the reason why all of the ubervamps suddenly start dying a lot easier than in "Bring on the Night", even when being fought by normal humans.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Buffy sharing a Friendship Moment with the Core Four, who peel off from her one by one until she walks alone... to where the Potentials are waiting.
  • Running Gag:
    • Spike knocks down the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, as he did in "School Hard" and "Lovers Walk" (also Rule of Threes).
    • Andrew complains that he has swimmer's ear to explain why he shouldn't have to swordfight the Bringers.
    • Before the Final Battle, the core Scoobies stand in the middle of the school and talk about what to do after. It quickly devolves into stereotypical teen shopping talk as Giles laments no one can hear his sage advice... harkening back to the first season, ending with Giles echoing his earlier line, "The Earth is definitely doomed.".
  • Saying Too Much:
  • Screw the War, We're Partying: Giles, Xander, Andrew and Amanda spend the night before the big battle playing Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Security Cling: Semi-averted; Buffy is eager to share her bed with Spike, platonically or otherwise, but in the middle of the night she gets up and starts pacing the basement, when the First appears.
    Buffy: Talk on. I'm not afraid of you.
    First: Then why aren't you asleep in your dead lover's arms?
  • Shaped Like Itself: Faith when talking about her Not Staying for Breakfast to Wood.
    Faith: Look, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was blowing you off the other day. I was just trying to, you know, blow you off.
  • Shout-Out: As everyone walks into Sunnydale High, Wood tells the Potentials there's one rule: "If they move, kill them." Also, in the game of D&D that Andrew is running, Giles ends up facing Trogdor the Burninator.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Buffy's brilliant comeback to First!Buffy.
    Buffy: I want get out of my face!
  • Slices, Dices, and Makes Julienne Fries: Buffy re the Scythe.
    "It slices, it dices, it makes julienne Preacher."
  • Slow Motion: The melee shot of Buffy decapitating an ubervamp while the others fight in the background.
  • Smells Sexy:
    • Angel gets jealous when he picks up the Signature Scent of Spike on Buffy.
    Buffy: You vampires. Did anybody ever tell you the whole smelling people thing's a little gross?
    • Subverted when Buffy meets up with Spike later and he immediately starts snarking about Angel. Buffy says, "Let me guess, you smelled him." Spike responds that he also used his "enhanced vampire eyeballs to watch you kissing him." Busted!
  • Staking the Loved One: Willow tells Kennedy she might have to kill her if she turns evil.
  • Storming the Castle: Buffy decides to launch a preemptive strike into the Hellmouth to eliminate the First Evil's army.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Angel lends only meager support in Buffy's final battle, despite evidence of The First Evil operating in Los Angeles (an assassin with a Bringer knife attempting to kill Faith in prison.) In his defense, though, Buffy asks him to lead a second front (presumably alongside Wes, Gunn, Fred, and Lorne) from Los Angeles in case she fails.
  • Take Up My Sword: After Buffy is injured, she passes the Scythe to Faith. When Faith is caught in a Dog Pile of Doom, she throws it to Rona who, after slaying a few ubervamps, tosses it back to Buffy after her Heroic Second Wind.
  • Talk to the Fist: Buffy rallying her troops is interrupted by her being run through with a sword from behind.
  • Tears of Blood: Caleb after getting knocked down the first time.
    Caleb: Are you ready to finish this, bitch?!
  • That Came Out Wrong: Buffy explaining why she's not ready for a permanent relationship (namely with Angel).
    Buffy: I'm cookie dough, I'm not done baking yet, I'm not done becoming whoever the hell it is I'm going to be... maybe one day I turn around and realize I'm cookies, and then if I want someone to eat me... (Beat) Er, enjoy "delicious cookie" me...
    • There's also Xander's reaction to Caleb's death:
    Xander: Hey, party in my eye socket and everyone's invited! (Beat) Sometimes I shouldn't say words.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: After Caleb clocks Angel with a cat statue, he yells at Buffy, "Are you ready to finish this, bitch?"
  • Too Much Information: Willow. Kennedy. Pierced tongue. Dawn winces, Giles looks like he's about to hurl and even Buffy struggles for a second during the speech.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All the Potentials become Slayers. The previously timid Vi is a particular example.
  • Trash the Set: On a huge scale with the entire town of Sunnydale collapsing into a huge pit.
  • The Triple:
    Angel: It's very powerful and probably very dangerous. It has a purifying power, a cleansing power; possibly scrubbing bubbles. The translation is, uh...anyway, it bestows strength to the right person who wears it.
  • Unpredictable Results: No-one knows how the amulet is going to help.
  • Villain Respect: Once the First realizes what Buffy's plan was (i.e. activating all potential Slayers), it admits this was actually a "neat trick" and came close to working (though since it's not and the Slayers are losing the battle, it's also being condescending).
  • Waking Non Sequitur: Spike wakes up shouting, "I'm drowning in Cool Whip!"
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Willow keels over from exhaustion, saying the spell was "nifty". Kennedy then runs downstairs and starts slaying at full power. "I could get used to this!"
  • We Have Reserves: The First isn't too concerned when Buffy kills Caleb for this reason.
    The First: You killed him right and proper. Terrible loss. This man was my good right arm. 'Course, it don't pain me too much; don't need an arm. Got an army.
  • Wham Episode: This is the Grand Finale, so it was definitely a big episode. Willow alters the magic of The Slayer, such that it applies to all possible (i.e. "unactivated" as well as "activated") vampire slayers in existence. The Scoobies team up to defeat the First Evil, with Spike sacrificing himself to destroy the Hellmouth (albeit all of Sunnydale as well). Anya and Amanda also die during the fight.
  • "What Now?" Ending:
    Willow: The First is scrunched, so... what do you think we should do, Buffy?
    Faith: Yeah, you're not the one and only Chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?
    Dawn: Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?
    [Buffy smiles...]
  • Where It All Began: The final epic battle takes place where the series began — Sunnydale High.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Buffy's response when a bloodied Caleb gets back up for more.
    Buffy: Okay. How many times do I have to kill you? Ballpark figure?
  • You Are in Command Now: In a more heroic, trusting changing of command than the coup a few episodes prior: when Buffy gets stabbed by a Turok-Han, Faith runs to her aid. Buffy gives her the scythe and tells her to "hold the line." Faith knows what to do and takes command. Fortunately, Buffy survives.
  • You Shall Not Pass! vs. Onrushing Army
  • You Watch Too Much X
    Angel: [handing Buffy a file] I got coverage on the whole thing. It's very gripping. It needs a third act.
    Buffy: You have to leave L.A.

"I wanna see how it ends."