This one is for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. I promised this a month ago, wrote most of the post, then promptly forgot about it. But I thought it might be fun to unleash on a freebie day like Labor Day.
As I was rewatching Buffy this summer, I realized that there are some fantastic episodes. Unlike most shows, there are specific episodes you can pick out distinct from the overarching storylines. I expect this list has been made by many people and I expect you all will debate me on my choices. But these are my favorites (VERY Season 5 and 6 heavy because I like those best and I just watched those). Many, many spoilers follow.
Becoming (Part 2) – Season 2
I chose this episode purely for the final moments between Angel and Buffy. As I repeatedly tell Ben when he fails to grasp the amazingness that is this show: Angel gets his soul back and she has to kill him anyway. How tragic is that?
The Body – Season 5
Possibly the one of the greatest single episodes of television ever. This is the episode after Joyce’s death. Buffy and the others, who fight vampires and demons every day, have to deal with a natural death for the first time. A very real and gritty look at grief. Completely heart-shattering. Just try to watch it without sobbing.
The Gift – Season 5
Again, try not to sob at the end of this episode as Buffy realizes what she has to do and sacrifices herself for Dawn. We may all hate Dawn but this is true sisterly love.
Once More With Feeling – Season 6
Not only is there singing and dancing, but this episode really advances the storyline. The moment that they all realize she was in heaven and they took her away from it (the look on Willow’s face) – SO good. I own the soundtrack and listen to it often.
Tabula Rasa – Season 6
I always get excited for Once More With Feeling and then I watch the next episode and remember how much I love it as well. All of the characters forget who they are which makes for some amusing assumptions (Spike thinks Giles is his father; Giles thinks Anya is his fiance; Xander and Willow think they are a couple).
Smashed – Season 6
Just like I added Becoming purely for the Angel/Buffy scene, this one makes the list for the Buffy/Spike action. I love Spike more than a normal person should love a fictional character (until I remember the scene in Buffy’s bathroom – why must he be ruined for me like that?). I love this culmination of the Buffy-Spike relationship (even if she’s is horrible to him and he is pathetic for returning every time).
[And yes, these last three episodes all air in that order in Season 6. Have I mentioned that I love Season 6.]
Normal Again – Season 6
This is the episode where Buffy hallucinates that she is a patient in a mental hospital and everything since she arrived in Sunnydale is a fantasy. Or is it the other way around? Therein lies the beauty of this one.
Chosen – Season 7
Just a really good finale.
Honorable Mention: I Will Remember You – Angel Season 1
This is actually an episode of Angel but any Buffy fan should watch it. Buffy and Angel get their happy ending for a brief moment before Angel must give it all up to save the world. And Angel is the only one who knows that happiness ever existed.
Please note, I intentionally left Hush off of this list. I know most people would include it but it creeps the hell out of me and I can’t watch it alone.
So how did I do? What gems did I miss? How similar would your list look?