Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 7 Episode 21

End of Days

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 13, 2003 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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  • "End of Days" is not at all awful and is certainly watchable, but it's also quite a disappointment.

    There's no other way to say it. We're at the end of what's my favorite television show and we have to sit through a bunch of unwieldy exposition about an overly convenient plot device thrown into the story at the last second? Come on guys! You're better than this! Remember in my review of "Empty Places" how I related the end of the show to a flickering candle? Well, the candle's getting dim again.

    This is a plot-heavy episode with a falsely billed epic title. One particular scene really sticks in my mind when I think about it: Willow and Giles doing booooring research on the scythe. It's a whole lot of meandering, exposition, and last-minute revelations that really cheapen the stakes of everything going on. And that's how I feel about the episode as a whole. Now with that said, there's still a handful of quality scenes worth cheering about that still give the episode a sense of purpose and quality.

    The scythe itself represents a mistake on the part of the writing staff. When Buffy tells us that this scythe is all they have going for them, I can only respond with "huh?" The timing and appearance of the scythe is incredibly contrived and forced. When the writers throw in a plot device and/or item specifically meant to get the protagonist out of a tricky situation, something's definitely gone wrong. Although I'm a fan of how the scythe is used as a metaphor in "Chosen", it doesn't wash away how it reeks of convenience and lazy plotting here.

    A conversation between Buffy and Xander represents another problem that shows up in "End of How did things so quickly become alright between Buffy, Willow, Xander, and the rest of the group? I'd expect a lot more hostility there despite Faith's failed mission. Buffy makes jokes to Xander and gives him a speech about how much she needs him, yet it all just feels off to me. Earlier Willow cracks a silly joke that Buffy smiles to. I don't feel like these reactions have been earned after what just happened. It's like the writers ran out of time and have jumped right into oh-shit-the-series-is-almost-over mode. It just doesn't feel right to me. One bit of self reflection we get is from Willow in terms of whether she can perform magic under pressure, but even this is ground that was already covered in "Get it Done".

    The primary problem of the episode is really solidified by the long-winded expository scene between Buffy and the Guardian in the Pagan Temple. For one, why does Buffy instantly trust this lady with the scythe? Secondly, what's with all the nonsense about all the ancient groups watching other ancient groups? Buffy's confusion is palpable. Why only now is all this information coming to light? It's actually kind of amazing that in all that talking, we didn't learn anything relevant. She talked a lot and confirmed that the Shadow Men eventually formed the Watcher's Council, but beyond that interesting tidbit it pretty much felt like a lot of filler to me. This is the second to last episode of a great show! It pains me to have any moment of screen time wasted like it is in several places here in "End of

    Now, fortunately, there are several things the episode does right. One scene that rubs off as much more successful is between Buffy and Faith. Buffy correctly informs Faith that the deaths the group incurred were not her fault. Faith also gets introspective and finally begins to understand Buffy and her burden. It's easy to be jealous or criticize someone from the outside, but it's not so easy when you're in their shoes and have to do that job. Even though Faith had all those people supporting her, she felt alone as ever before. Faith then tells Buffy, "and that's you. Every Buffy solemnly responds, "I love my friends. I'm very grateful for them. But that's the price of being a

    Another scene that works for me is the reunion of Buffy and Spike after their special evening together in "Touched". After some fun word play between them and a clear avoidance of discussing what they shared the other night, Buffy insists they discuss it. Spike's reaction is nothing short of amazing. He says, very rawly, "Last night was... God, I'm such a jerk. I can't do this ... it was the best night of my life. If you poke fun at me, you bloody well better well use that 'cause I couldn't bear it. It may not mean that much to you but-" Buffy jumps in and whispers, "I just told you it Spike, not completely convinced that she was there with him yet, directly asks her "Yeah, I hear you say it but- I've lived for soddin' ever, Buffy. I've done everything. I've done things with you I can't spell. But I've never been close to anyone, least of all you. Until last night. All I did was hold you, watch you sleep, and it was the best night of my life. So yeah, I'm terrified. ... Were you there with me?" Buffy honestly says, "I

    When Spike pries a little further to figure out what this means for them, Buffy has a very human response: "I don't Some may feel this comment is a cop-out, but I personally feel it is the most honest response that Buffy could have given. But what is clear is that the two of them definitely love each other. It's what they do next about it that is left open-ended as the series rolls to a close. What a journey for both Buffy and Spike.

    Although it's hard to pick a favorite scene in the episode between the stand-outs, I might have to pick Andrew and Anya at the hospital. We sadly haven't seen much attention devoted to Anya's jouney to find herself in the aftermath of the brilliant "Selfless", but this conversation directly picks up that thread. Although it's not as much as I had hoped for, I'm still thrilled we got closure to this character thread -- it's more than most shows would give us. Andrew asks the very pertinent question of why Anya doesn't just leave town and run away. What's different?

    Anya points out that she took off before. What's changed is that "Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. But now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of and I guess I just realized how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. ... And they have no purpose that unites them so they just drift around blundering through life until they die, which they know is coming yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting but they do. They never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting

    Sometimes Anya really surprises me with how insightful and touching she can be. It's cool to see Andrew continuing that self reflection that awoke in him after "Storyteller". And then... there's the wheelchair fight. This is what Whedon shows do best: have a genuinely serious moment, and then follow it up with a hefty chuckle to help sink in that warm feeling and connection to the characters. Wonderful.

    So that all pretty much sums up what "End of Days" is about. It's a plot-heavy outing that does boast a few great character scenes, but overall isn't sure of what it's trying to do. As the penultimate episode of the entire series, it's extremely lacking. The last thing I wanted is long-winded exposition scenes this close to the end. Thankfully Buffy, Spike, Faith, and Andrew save this one and make it a worthwhile watch. "Touched" aside, I just expected more out of the final group of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fortunately, "Chosen" gives us a fairly satisfying conclusion to it all, flaws and all.
  • What's past is prologue


    The Good;

    Even the most ardent Spuffer must cheer at the sight of Angel's return.

    The Bad;

    The First says once the Hellmouth has opened it will enter all humanity. But wasn't it already there? DB's name in the opening credits, will they ever learn?

    Best line;

    Faith; "Thank god we're hot chicks with superpowers!"

    Buffy; "Takes the edge off"

    although I also like;

    Caleb; (indicating the scythe) "Unless you can prise that out of solid rock" (Buffy effortlessly does just that) "Darn!"

    Women good/men bad;

    The Guardians have been looking out for Slayer all this time, protecting them from the male domination of the Watcher's Council (who in fairness do have female members?). Whilst it's fine for Angel to help Buffy out in her final battle with Caleb it's important that she defeats him herself, Buffy isn't the damsel who needs to be rescued, she's the heroine and she beats him on her own terms.


    Anya has the possibly the worst bedside manner ever. Also the poor potential being ripped apart by the Turok-Han and the Guardian's neck being broken.

    Kinky dinky;

    Willow comments that 'Scythe matters'. Do we count Caleb and the First as sex? Faith comments that Wood doesn't lack for stamina. Spike says that he and Buffy have done things he 'Can't even spell'.

    Captain Subtext;

    Buffy seems more than a little upset that Faith has bedded Wood. Buffy remarks to Spike that she doesn't need him to be defensive and send mixed signals because 'I have Faith for that'.

    Apocalypses; 7,

    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 9

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 3

    Dawn; 4

    Spike; 4

    Scoobies knocked out: Faith by the explosion, Dawn by Xander then Xander by Dawn

    Buffy: 23

    Giles: 12

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 17

    Will: 10

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 4

    Wes: 1


    Dawn; 7

    Tara; 1

    Spike; 3

    Kennedy; 1

    Kills: 3 Turok-Han for Buffy

    Buffy: 128 vamps, 62 demons, 6 monsters, 10 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 8 vamps, 2 demons, 3 humans/1 god.

    Will: 6 vamps + 3 demons +1 fawn+1 human.

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 19 vamps, 6 demons, 4 humans.

    Xander: 6 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon, 2 humans

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 11 vamps and 7 demons+1 human

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon

    Dawn; 1 vamp + 1 demon

    Kennedy; 3 humans+1 vampire

    Amanda; 1 vampire

    Woods; 5 vamps and 2 demons

    Vi; 1 human

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 4

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Spike; 1

    Wood; 1

    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 6

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 4

    Tara; 1


    Spike; 1

    Anya; 2

    Andrew; 1

    Recurring characters killed: 17, alas Miss Kitty Fantastico, we knew her. No wonder Dawn warned Kennedy about messing about with crossbows!

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce, Katrina, Tara, Quentin Travers, Chloe, Molly, Miss Kitty, Jonathon

    Sunnydale deaths; 3 potentials gone although none are recurring characters


    Total number of scoobies: 35 or so.

    Xander, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Anya, Spike, Giles, Kennedy, Vi, Rhona, Amanda, Chao-Anh, Wood, Andrew, Faith plus an indeterminate number of potentials.

    Xander demon magnet: 6(7?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya, Lissa (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Buffy; 1

    Tara; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 3 possible, Dracula+RJ+Shadowmen's demon(?)

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:4 ;Xander, Riley, Bullwhip guy and Wood.

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 3;Oz, Tara and Kennedy

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; 2 Buffy and Anya

    Anya; 2 Spike and Xander

    Kennedy; 1 Willow

    Wood; 1 Faith

    Dawn in peril; 14

    Dawn the bashful virgin; 9

    What the fanficcers thought;

    Common theme in fic is that no matter what befalls the Slayers the Guardians are there to save them. Also when Buffy and Faith finally kiss and make up they do a lot more than just talk.

    Questions and observations;

    Spike mentions The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch which Monty Python's Arthurian Knights used to finish off the killer rabbit. Bet Anya's a fan! Kennedy is quite the leader with Faith down for the count. For a little while you wonder if Xander is actually going to go evil, little looks and things he says like 'Guess so' when the others suggest going to help Faith. I wonder if the whole kidnap Dawn sequence was filmed out of series, that we were supposed to think he had turned evil? Anya comments that she never makes reckless wishes, certainly not with D'Hoffryn out to get her. Buffy says that she loves her friends but ultimately has to stay alone. Faith ventures that she and Buffy always clash because there's only meant to be one Slayer at any one time.

    Wouldn't Xander want to take Anya with him if he's splitting town? The First as Joyce told Dawn when the end came Buffy wouldn't choose her and in a sense that's what happens here.

    Spike says he's never been close to anyone, presumably not even Dru but then he didn't have a soul, he could only love 'Quite well'.

    In her letter to Dawn Buffy tells her that 'Everything I do is for you', Dawn is the reason for the entire Buffyverse. For a moment at the end you think Spike is going to turn into Iago as he watches Buffy with Angel whilst being goaded by The First as Buffy (just as you thought Wes might in WITW when he sees Gunn and Fred). Is this where Spike finally realises that there's no future for him and Buffy? Despite all they mean to each other?

    Marks out of 10; 9/10 would get that for Angel showing up alone!

    Oh my god, this is nearly it, after 143 eps I'm nearly there, one more ep to go. Bottle of Bollinger Champagne waiting in the fridge which I shall drink as I watch it. Tonight's the night.

  • The Penultimate episode.

    This episode puts Buffy back in charge back and with a weapon better than ever. Before she comes back, she gets the most powerful weapon that she has ever had, the scythe, or M?. With this it also gives Buffy her first instance of Caleb being afraid of something. This episode also shows that Faith is starting to know how alone Buffy actually feels, even though she is surrounded by people who love her, which will give Faith a reason to stay with Buffy and the Slayer Organization in Buffy Season 8. But with all of the factual statements made, This is a great episode that shows what Buffy The Vampire Slayer is all about.
  • End of Days

    End of Days was a perfect episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really enjoyed watching this episode. Willow and Giles try to discover the origins of the weapon discovered by Buffy, while she finds answers of her own. I thought the story of this episode was interesting and very important to the season as a whole. I like Anya and Andrew's little trip to the hospital. These two have been growing closer which is interesting. I also think it was cool how The First merges with Caleb. I wonder if it can experience physical form through this. Unfortunately for Caleb, Buffy is a true Hero and defeats him. I can't wait to see how the season and the series ends!!!!!!!
  • "They're lame morons for fighting, but they do" - Anya

    Queen Arthur, er, I mean Buffy prised the scythe from solid rock and even Caleb is impressed. But the big showdown between the two is delayed because first Buffy has to save Faith and reunite with the gang. An injured Deputy Slayer means the girls have to think for and organise themselves, with Kennedy's desire to be in control for once working in their favour as they fight their way out of the vineyard against a bunch of Camden Toy-alikes. Fortunately, Buffy's new toy is very Turok Han unfriendly. The mission is what matters, and Buffy makes no recriminations towards the Potentials but she does take time out to try to reconnect with her friends; in a lovely scene with Xander she tells him: "You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I've made it this far. I trust you with my life", as she asks him to, well, effectively break Dawn's trust and chloroform and kidnap her. Unfortunately, Dawn has other ideas, and a taser. With the "When it's bad, Buffy won't choose you" in her mind, Dawn is determined to be there at The End. Pity Miss Kitty Fantastico can't be there too, huh, Dawn?

    Buffy lets William in a little; after he tells her that the previous episode was the best night of his life, she tells him she was there with him and admits that he gave her strength. This is the emotional bond they never had when they were 'dating'. Of course the scene is only there as a set up to the final scene when we wonder if Buffy's smoochies with Angel will turn William back into Spike and to the dark side.

    Buffy also bonds with Faith, who acknowledges her mistake in taking the Slayerettes back to the vineyard by giving the scythe back to Buffy although she badly wants to keep it: "It feels like....it's mine". She accepts she is the second slayer. Buffy accepts Faith's relationship (such as it is) with Buffy's ex-boss/ex-potential lover. Faith admits that she's "never felt so alone in my entire life" and finally Buffy has someone to share the Slayer burden with rather than fight over. Thank god(dess) they're "hot chicks with superpowers", right? The final solution is once again hinted at as Faith says: "There's only supposed to be one" - we've known for a long time that Buffy is a subverter of paradigms. Maybe there's only supposed to be one Slayer, but since when has Buffy done what she is supposed to?

    Meanwhile Willow and Giles also hint at what will happen in the finale. We saw Buffy reject becoming part demon in Get It Done (and we see what happens when a human merges with an evil thing as Caleb sexes it up with The First ), and in this scene Giles asks Willow if she's willing to go black eyed and veiny to save the world. Answer: "Honestly, I don't know". But we know that you can't fight bad with bad – Willow will be an instrumental part of the final battle but it will be through good and not evil.

    Two people who Buffy has turned to the light side are Anya and Andrew who do a cute bonding session in the hospital. Anya has finally accepted that she admires humanity in her usual Anya manner - which needs to be quoted in full:

    Well, I guess I was kinda new to being around humans before. But now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of and… I guess I just realized how amazingly screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. And they have no purpose that unites them so they just drift around blundering through life until they die… which they know is coming yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane… and yet here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting but they do. They never… they never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting too.

    Andrew, the coward, also speaks of his desire to fight the good fight – Buffy's essential goodness, rather than vengeance or violence, has changed them. The Guardian tells Buffy that "You already have weapons" – these are some of the people that Buffy has transformed through her influence (and will transform in the next ep through white magicks).

    Back in the trad. setting of the graveyard, Buffy wanders into a crypt she hasn't seen before in her seven years of patrolling and walks into the worst scene in the series, meeting Tilda Swinton who has "been waiting" for her - yeah, for 142 episodes. So it turns out there's a feminist collective who've been watching the Watchers all this time (but not in England where the council was, and not actually doing anything. Ever), the gentle feminine pagans (the scythe is pre-Christian) to Caleb's religious misogynist intolerance. I do hate changes in mythology at the last moment. Still, she lasts as long as Caleb as, after he's dispatched the Guardian, he is sliced to (almost) death with a little help from the scythe and a fat vampire who fortunately is willing to stand back and let Buffy do the slicing and – for all the Bangel shippers - gets to snog the Slayer for the very last time, whilst Spike and the FE glower behind the curtain.
  • Buffy finds a new powerful weapon and takes on Caleb in a final battle.

    Why must evil always parish? Anyways, I really like this episode. As a matter of fact, I liked it better than the series finale. In this episode we see Angel show up, Buffy get an all powerful slayer weapon, and Caleb die. The ax is really cool looking. One thing that really bothers me is that Angel showed up right when Buffy was about to be killed and punches Caleb, now the thing that bothers me about it is that Caleb stays down for a while. How can Angel's punch be that strong? I mean, Caleb is all powerful and to be knocked down by a sucker punch was kinda unbelievable especially when Buffy had been hitting him with everything she had and he barely went down. It also kinda bothers me cause Caleb was one of my favorite characters and to almost have Buffy dead and Angel shows up to save the day. Buffy kissing Angel kinda made me feel bad for Spike cause no matter what he does she'll always love Angel more. Overall it was a great episode, I do wish Caleb hadn't been killed.
  • It will all be over soon.

    So this is it. One more episode and it's over. The semi-final episode continues the long and amazing battle of Buffy against the First. It was great seeing Caleb so defenseless. The scythe that Buffy picked up was just what she needed to get her strength (physical and emotial) back.

    So she's back in the gang. I couldn't wait for this to happen. Andrew and Anya bonded while looking for the medication. At least someone had fun before the apocalypse. Xander tried to drive Dawn and himself away by Buffy's order, but it's pretty clear Dawn wants to be there to fight along with her sister. And I understand Dawn's decision.

    The final battle of Buffy and Caleb was very interesting, and that woman that Buffy talked to at the end was a nice surprise. But not as nice as Angel. He finally returned. It was nice to see him back. Buffy isn't complete without him. And now Caleb is dead. But wait... what is Spike's reaction going to be whilst seeing Buffy and Angel kissing? One more to go...
  • The one before the final.

    It's so sad that this is one of the last Bufyf episodes ever but it was a great one. Finally Angel comes back to see Buffy! that was a big shock. Now the final episode is upon us and Buffy has a seriously big fight on her hands and the chance that she may loose. I like this episode as well because finally Buffy gets to be the leader again. I have loved all of season 7 and i really like how the writers have writeen the last few episodes of the season. This episode was well written and a good carry on fromt he previous one, this episode is a great way to lead to the final. But i think Chosen is fantastic.
  • Better than Chosen...

    ...but just by a little bit. Note that this review may not be 100% accurate as I have not seen this episode in awhile.
    Great episode, especially for the seventh season, which was not really my favorite, but still good. I liked how it gave a great lead in for next episode, the finale. I really, really liked Angel coming back at the very end too. I also enjoyed the fight scenes with Caleb (Nathan Fillion rocks) and more planning for the impending apocolypse. Dun, dun, dun. Of ocurse Andrew was funny as always. I forget if this is the episode wher Faith steals his hot pocket. I don't think it is, but it was only a few episodes before then.
  • i loved this episode....

    this episode was awsome and i wish i could see it again so that i can remember what had happen on that episode i also wish that it would come back on so that i can watch the entire seasons all over again and i would never get tired of watching the shows... i could watch all the episodes all night and everyday and i could stay up all night and watch it... even my mom would watch it because she loved the show and would like it to come back on also so that we can watch the rest of the seasons...
  • The Sycthe

    Along with a shiny new weapon once again Buffy and Spike have a seriously great moment with each other. They have this great conversation where Buffy finally admitts, thank god, that she more the "feels" for Spike as she put it in the past. She has some serious feelings for him, at the very least. Thank goodness the girl finally told him because I swear if they had left them so up in the air and all that with the series ending I would have been uber-pissed. But there scene together is so great, really meaningful in a way I guess though not a lot is said. Oh, and some other stuff happens.

    Once again, I'm a big Buffy Spike together kinda gal...as long as it's not all nasty like in season 6. I should say I'm a big Buffy Spike together and nasty kinda gal.
  • Wraps up the plost to leave room for a kick ass series finale

    All the little things throughout the season are wrapped up in a way that doesn't feel like they are wrapping up. The are very natural and unforced both with the writting and acting.

    Willow and Giles together again!

    Anya and Andrew the Human characters, realized their point in the whole battle.

    Xander and Dawn, who've been close since Buffy became friends with Xander!

    Buffy, finding more purpose about the Slayer, the Guardian.

    And The First's last attempt to use Spike.

    All work out wonderfully in the grand scheme of the series. And David coming back is amazing (god I wish I could be Buffy for that kiss!).
  • For the penultimate episode, was expecting something bit more amazing

    Pretty standard episode I thoughtfor the 2nd to last ever episode did think it would be more exciting but there was some koool moments.most penultimate episode they all ended on some kl cliffhanger, becoming-buffy on the run, grad day-faith stabbed etc this "cliffhanger" was a tad anti climax part from the return of angel with "that ****" line i was likecoz the next episode they never carried it onso wudve been better if they had a spike and first story where it was going to try and get him on firsts side but ahh well \\\'chosen\\\' was awesome
  • With only two episodes to go. I think the episode could have been a little better, but it wasn't disapointing. Angel apears at the end of it which was cool.

    End Of Days

    With only two episodes to go the show increased even more. It was greatly written though it still wasn't that memorable. It's pretty much an episode you kind of forget after watching the show's finale. At the end Angel comes back and Buffy kills Caleb with her new axe...or does she?

    Cut to where Touched ended and Caleb sees Buffy with the axe and he doesn't think she can take it out but she does without trying.

    the credits start

    Caleb wants her to give it to him but she sees that he is backing away and The first tells him to let him go. And The first tells Buffy that Faith go boom and Buffy runs away. Cut to the explosion and Amanda stands up and the others stand up as well. The girls who survived can't find Faith, they find her but she is out and something is in there. They find a place and they all see it and then another comes. Cut to Andrew with some potentials and the three arrive and they couldn't find Buffy. Giles tells the rest that the others aren't back yet and something went wrong. They grab one girl adn kill her. Kennedy attacks one and it grabs her but then comes Buffy to the rescue and she kills those vamps with that thing with easiness. She tells them to get the others.

    The girls come home and Buffy says it's not Faith's fault and she doesn't know if she's back. Buffy goes to Faith and she is still out. Buffy has the thing and she says she knew it belonged to her. Cut to Andrew and Anya helping some girls and a girl is scared. Andrew says he is going to the hospital and he tells her that she is coming with her. Cut to Xander and Buffy and he is sad about something and he says that he doesn't need her to protect him but he can still fight but she says hat she needs someone that she can count on and he says he thought he would be there until the end. Xander says he wants to be on Buffy's side and she says she trusts him with her life and that's why she needs him to do this with her.

    Cut to Willow and Giles trying to find about the axe but they cannot find anything. Willow doesn't want to tap into the axe because she is too afraid of becoming dark again. Cut to Dawn in the car and they make fun of Xander's eye. Then Dawn goes in the front seat and he puts her to sleep and takes her into the car and drives away with her. Cut to Caleb throwing with wine and he is very upset. The First says that Caleb's strength is going and she wants to do it to make him stronger and The first goes into Caleb.

    Cut to Buffy and Faith and she has the axe and she feels the power. Faith thinks that it was her fault and she says it wasn't and that people die. Buffy says that war is about stupid death. Faith says that her life she has felt lonely and that she was jealous of Buffy but now being as Buffy she has never felt so alone. Buffy says that being a slayer is a price to feel alone. Buffy says that everyone is alone but being a slayer is something nobody else can feel it. Cut to Spike coming in and he sees Buffy and he sees her axe and he knows that she is back. Then he tries to try to go out but she tells him that of what he did gave her strength and he says he felt terrified last night. Spike says that what they had was his best night of his life. Spike says he has never been close to anyone until last night and he only hold her and watched her go to sleep and that was his best night of his life. Spike says it doesn't have to mean anything.

    Cut to Anya and Andrew in the hospital. They begin to pack up some stuff and he says it's gonna be bad. Anya said she went away an apocalypse before but she is staying this time because even though human’s are screwed-up and that they fight for something that matters and that they never quit. Andrew says that Anya might survive because she has been here for thousand years but he doesn't think he will be ok. Cut to Buffy going to the cemetery and she fins a place where she goes under. Buffy finds a woman and she comes out and she says she has been waiting and she sees she found the weapon. The woman says that she looks good for her age and she has been waiting. She says that she was one of those that put the axe in the rock. She says that they are guardians and she says that the weapon is hers and that the end is near but then Caleb snaps her neck and he didn't heard if she said the end was near or here.

    Cut to a car driving away and Dawn wakes up and he gives her a note that Buffy left her. And Buffy reads it but then she grabs something and electrocutes Xander and makes him sleep and turns the car around. Cut to Buffy and Caleb fighting and he hits her. They both fight and she almost kills him but he fights back and almost defeats her. Then Caleb tries to kill her but Angel arrives and knocks him out. They tell each other they look good and Buffy grabs the axe and they continue fighting. Buffy then sticks the axe in Caleb and he falls while laughing. Then Angel and Buffy kiss and Spike is watching and the first says 'That Bitch'.

    Black Out
    Best episode quotes:

    Caleb: Now, before you go hurting yourself with that thing, why don't you do yourself a courtesy and hand it over now?
    Buffy: Yeah? You want it?
    Caleb: You don't even know what you got there.
    Buffy: I know you're backing away.
    Caleb: You think wielding some 2-sided doo-dad's gonna make a difference?
    Buffy/The First: Let her go, Caleb. I said let her go.
    Caleb: If I let her go, she slices me open with that thing.
    Buffy/The First: No, she doesn't. She hasn't got time. She has friends. And her friends are in trouble. Faith go boom.
    Caleb: I'm not letting her out of here with that thing.
    Buffy/The First: Sure you are. Then you'll come back for it later...when she's got her back turned.

    Buffy: I think it's maybe some kind of scythe. The only thing I know for sure is it made Caleb back off in a hurry.
    Willow: So it's true. Scythe matters.
    Giles: And, ignoring that, I'd just like to point out this is really quite ingenious.
    Buffy: Kills strong bodies 3 ways.
    Willow: And you say you sense something when you hold it?
    Buffy: Not much, but it's strong. And I knew it belonged to me. I just knew it.
    Giles: In addition to being ancient, it's clearly mystical.
    Buffy: Yeah, I figured that one out when I King Arthured it out of the stone.
    Willow: So maybe it's like some kind of traditional slayer weapon.
    Giles: I can't imagine how something like this could exist without my having heard of it.
    Buffy: Well, the good guys are not traditionally known for their communication skills.
    Giles: Right. Um... any chance that it might be something other than a tool for killing things?
    Buffy: The First's guys clearly wanted it out of that stone. It's not just a tool. It's important. We need to find out whatever we can. Who made it, when, why? Does it have a name? I don't know, a credit report? Just find out fast.
    Giles: We'll start work immediately.
    Willow: Yeah, don't worry, Buff. We'll find out everything there is to know.
    Buffy: Good, because right now, that thing's all we've got going for us.

    Andrew: I liked the real bandages better. These bed sheets are awfully festive. Ecch!
    Anya: Yeah. They're gonna look like mortally wounded Easter baskets.
    Potential: What?
    Anya: Aw.
    Andrew: H-hey! We're supposed to use that to sterilize wounds. Mr. Giles said.
    Anya: Come on, what does it really matter?
    Andrew: Hmm. Good point.
    Anya: Giles knows his single malt antiseptics.
    Andrew: Blech. Everything's horrible.
    Anya: Yup. Many of these girls will die. Slaughterhouse is what it is.
    Potential: What?
    Anya: Oh...trying to talk will just kill you sooner.
    Andrew: We need supplies, and not just bandages and junk. These-these girls need stitches and painkillers.
    Anya: Yeah, well, I could use a cookie, but I'm not making reckless wishes.
    Andrew: No, no. We can do it. The hospital. It's gotta be all abandoned like the grocery store. Supplies just lying around for the taking. I'm going in.
    Anya: You are?
    Andrew: And you're coming with me.
    Anya: I am?
    Andrew: Well, I think you should drive 'cause that scotch made me a little dizzy.
    Anya: OK. I'll get Kennedy to watch the girls. She's tough. Imminent death won't bother her.
    Potential: What?

    Buffy: You got it?
    Xander: Wait. I'm not to the "got it" place yet. I'm still in the neighborhood of "you've gotta be kidding".
    Buffy: You know it's for the good.
    Xander: I don't. Buffy, do you get that? If I do this, that's it for me for this fight. I feel like you're putting me out to pasture.
    Buffy: Of course I'm not putting you out to pasture. What does that even mean?
    Xander: Well, you know, it's like, uh... when a cow gets old and loses an eye, or its ability to be milked, the farmer takes it and puts it in a different pasture so it won't have to... fight...with the priests. Look, I don't need you to protect me.
    Buffy: I'm not.
    Xander: I got hurt, but I'm not done. I can still fight.
    Buffy: I know. That's why I need you to do this. Xander, I need someone that I can count on no matter what happens.
    Xander: I just always thought that I would... I would be there with you... you know, for the end.
    Buffy: Hey.
    Xander: Well, not that this is the end.
    Buffy: Thanks a lot.
    Xander: No, no, no. By the end, I meant, uh... a heroic, uplifting way. See, I'm still optimistic. You're just thrown off a little by this gritty-looking eye patch.
    Buffy: I know what you meant.
    Xander: I should be at your side. That's all I'm saying.
    Buffy: You will be. You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I made it this far. I trust you with my life. That's why I need you to do this for me.
    Xander: OK.
    Buffy: Also, you can't shoot a bow and arrow anymore, and every time you pick up a sword, I worry that you're gonna break one of our good lamps.
    Xander: Hey
    Buffy: Don't look at me. You're the one who said I'm gonna die.
    Xander: I never said you were gonna die. I-I implied that you were gonna die. It's totally different.
    Buffy: Yeah, OK. Sure.
    Xander: Besides, if you die, I'll just bring you back to life. That's what I do.

    Dawn: Xander, my crossbow is not out here. I told you, I don't leave crossbows around all willy-nilly. Not since that time with Miss Kitty Fantastico.
    Xander: Hey, did you know I have to take a driving test every year now?
    Dawn: Because you're old?
    Xander: No, because of my eye. It's a whole state law. They don't trust my depth perception anymore.
    Dawn: That sucks.
    Xander: And you know what's even worse? All the stupid "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" jokes. "Hey, Xander, so no more fun and games, huh?"
    Dawn: Giles was just having fun with you.
    Xander: That's not the point. It's an obvious joke. It'd be like someone calling me a cyclops.
    Dawn: Oh. OK, so not that funny.
    Xander: I mean, uh... give me some "eye of the beholder" jokes. You know? Or, uh... some "eye for an eye" jokes. Or maybe even a post-modern "I, Claudius" joke, you know? It's about standards, Dawnie.
    Dawn: I know.
    Xander: Just, uh, be creative.

    Buffy/The First: Not that I care personally, but you are wasting a lot of robust, full-bodied merlot.
    Caleb: Why did you let her go? You know I can take her in a fight.
    Buffy/The First: We'll get her. Calm down.
    Caleb: I'm calm. You should see me when I get angry.
    Buffy/The First: She's powerful right now. And you're weak.
    Caleb: You know, all of a sudden, I'm getting less calm.
    Buffy/The First: Face it. Your strength is waning. It has been quite some time since we've... merged.
    Caleb: Maybe you're right. OK, let's do it.
    Buffy/The First: Boy, you sure know how to romance a girl. No flowers, no dinner, no tour of the rectory. Just, "OK, I'm ready. Let's do it." Help me. My knees are weak.
    Caleb: Watch what you say now. You're starting to sound like her. This is a sacred experience for me.
    Buffy/The First: And for me as well. Look, when this is all over, and our armies spring forth, and our will sweeps the world, I will be able to enter every man, woman, and child on this Earth, just as I enter you.
    Caleb: Are you trying to make me jealous?
    Buffy/The First: I'm trying to make you a God.
    Caleb: I am thy humble servant. And I am ready to serve thee.

    Buffy: You feel it too, don't you?
    Faith: Damn. And damn, that's something.
    Buffy: I know.
    Faith: It's old. It's strong, and it feels like... like it's mine. I guess that means it's yours.
    Buffy: It belongs to the slayer.
    Faith: Slayer in charge, which, I'm guessing, is you.
    Buffy: I honestly don't know. Does it matter?
    Faith: It never mattered to me. Somebody has to lead. Let's vote for Chao-Ahn. It's harder to lead people into a deathtrap if you don't speak English.
    Buffy: It wasn't your fault.
    Faith: I'm really not looking for forgiveness.
    Buffy: You're not?
    Faith: What do you want me to say? I blew it.
    Buffy: You didn't blow it.
    Faith: Tell that to
    Buffy: People die. You lead them into battle, they're gonna die. It doesn't matter how ready you are or how smart you are. War is about death. Needless, stupid death.
    Faith: So, here's the laugh riot. My whole life I've been a loner.
    Buffy: That's the funny part? Did I miss something?
    Faith: I'm trying to
    Buffy: Sorry. Sorry. Go.
    Faith: No ties, no buddies, no relationships that lasted longer than... well, Robin lasted pretty long. Boy's got stamina.
    Buffy: Principal Wood? And you? And in my-
    Faith: Don't tell me you two got wriggly.
    Buffy: No. No. No, no. We're just good friends. Or mortal enemies, depending on which day of the-
    was that the funny part?
    Faith: OK. The point. Me, by myself all the time. I'm looking at you, everything you have, and, I don't know, jealous. Then there I am. Everybody's looking to me, trusting me to lead them, and I've never felt so alone in my entire life.
    Buffy: Yeah.
    Faith: And that's you every day, isn't it?
    Buffy: I love my friends. I'm very grateful for them. But that's the price. Being a slayer.
    Faith: There's only supposed to be one. Maybe that's why you and I can never get along. We're not supposed to exist together.
    Buffy: Also, you went evil and were killing people.
    Faith: Good point. Also a factor.
    Buffy: But you're right. I mean, I... I guess everyone's alone. But being a slayer? There's a burden we can't share.
    Faith: And no one else can feel it. Thank God we're hot chicks with superpowers.
    Buffy: Takes the edge off.
    Faith: Comforting.
    Buffy: Mm-hmm.

    Spike: Honey, you're home.
    Buffy: Yeah.
    Spike: And you did it. Fulfilled your mission. Found the Holy Grail. Or the Holy Hand Grenade, or whatever the hell that is.
    Buffy: Right now we're going with scythe. You like?
    Spike: Well, pointy and wooden is not exactly the look I wanna know better, but it does have flair. Can see why a girl would ditch a fella for one of these.
    Buffy: I'm sorry about that.
    Spike: It doesn't matter. You're back in the bosom. All's forgiven. And, uh, last night...was just a glitch. A bit of cold comfort from the cellar dweller. Let's don't make a thing out of it.
    Buffy: Great. I have work to do.
    Spike: Oh, yeah. Another solo mission, of course.
    Buffy: Yeah, it is.
    Spike: That's fine. You don't have to get shirty about it.
    Buffy: I'm not shirty. And what is shirty? That's not even a word.
    Spike: All right. All right. Big secret mission. It's fine.
    Buffy: It's not a secret. Well, I mean, it is, but that's the point of the mission. Find out the secret. This thing was forged by- I don't even know. I mean, something about... a tomb on unconsecrated ground. That's what I have to do. I need to find out what this is and why I have it.
    Spike: And that's the thing the preacher man was so anxious to keep out of your mitts?
    Buffy: That it is.
    Spike: Well, maybe I'll swing by the vineyard when you go, make sure he's sitting tight.
    Buffy: Great.
    Spike: OK.
    Buffy: You're a dope.
    Spike: I'm a what?
    Buffy: You're a dope. And a bonehead. And you're shirty.
    Spike: Have you gone completely carrot-top?
    Buffy: Do you see this? This may actually help me fight my war. This might be the key to everything. And the reason I'm holding it is because of you. Because of the strength that you gave me last night. Look, I am tired of defensiveness and weird, mixed signals. You know, I have Faith for that. Let's just get to the truth here, OK? I don't know how you felt about last night, but I will not- Terrified.
    Buffy: Of what?
    Spike: Last night was... God, I'm such a jerk. I can't do this.
    Buffy: Spike...
    Spike: It was the best night of my life. If you poke fun at me, you bloody well better use that, 'cause I couldn't bear it. It may not mean that much to you, but-
    Buffy: I just told you it did.
    Spike: Yeah...I hear you say it, but... I've lived for soddin' ever, Buffy. I've done everything. Done things with you I can't spell, but... I've never... been close... to anyone. Least of all, you. 'Til last night. All I did was... hold you, watch you sleep. And it was the best night of my life. So, yeah... I'm... terrified.
    Buffy: You don't have to be.
    Spike: Were you there with me?
    Buffy: I was.
    Spike: What does that mean?
    Buffy: I don't know. Does it have to mean something?
    Spike: No. Not right now.
    Buffy: Maybe when...
    Spike: No. Let's just leave it.
    Buffy: OK.
    Spike: We'll go be heroes.

    Andrew: Ooh. This one has oxygen tanks.
    Anya: They'd only be useful if something big was attacking, and then we could shove one down their throat and blow 'em up like Roy Scheider did with that shark in Jaws. What?
    Andrew: You are the perfect woman.
    Anya: I've often thought so. Wanna rob?
    Andrew: Let's rob. Oh, cool. Gauze and alcohol... tape and, oh, sutures, if we want to get stitchy with it. Oh, and there's a... box of ointment here. I used one of these on a rash once.
    Anya: Oh. Show me.
    Andrew: Well, it-it's healed up, but it was red and crusty with these little itchy places.
    Anya: Show me the box full of ointments, you little freak. And get cotton packing for the big wounds.
    Andrew: It's gonna be bad, isn't it?
    Anya: Yeah.
    Andrew: So how come you're here? I mean, you could just go. Right?
    Anya: Yeah. I did once before.
    Andrew: Before what?
    Anya: Well...there was this other apocalypse... this one time, and... well, I took off. But this time, I don't...I don't know.
    Andrew: Well...what's different?
    Anya: Well...I guess I was...kinda new to bein' around humans before. But now I've... seen a lot more, gotten to know people... seen what they're capable of, and... I guess I just realized...how amazingly screwed-up they all are. I mean really, really screwed-up in a monumental fashion.
    Andrew: Oh.
    Anya: And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die...which they...they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane. And yet, here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting, but they do. They never... never quit. So I guess I will keep fighting, too.
    Andrew: That was kind of beautiful. You...you love humans.
    Anya: I do not.
    Andrew: Yes, you do. You loooove them
    Anya: Stop it! I don't love them! And I'll kill you if you tell anybody.
    Andrew: I won't tell anybody. Won't get a chance to, anyway.
    Anya: I don't know. You might survive.
    Andrew: No, you might survive. You know how to handle a weapon, and you've been in this world for, like, a thousand years. I'm not so... I don't think I'll be OK. I'm cool with it. I think I'd like to...finish out as one of those... lame humans tryin' to do what's right.
    Anya: Yeah.
    Andrew: So...wheelchair fight?

    Guardian: I'd forgotten. I'd forgotten how young you would be. Comes from the waiting. Mind plays tricks. I see you've found our weapon.
    Buffy: Who are you?
    Guardian: One of many. Well...time was. Now I'm alone in the world.
    Buffy: So what are you? Some kind of ghost?
    Guardian: Nope. I'm as real as you are. Just...well... let me put it this way- I look good for my age. I've been waiting. You pulled it out of the rock. I was one of those who put it in there.
    Buffy: What is it?
    Guardian: A weapon. A scythe. Forged in secrecy for one like you who- I'm sorry. What's your name?
    Buffy: Buffy.
    Guardian: No, really. We forged it in secrecy and kept it hidden from the Shadow Men, who-
    Buffy: Yeah. Met those guys. Didn't really care too much for 'em.
    Guardian: Ahh, yes. Then you know. And they became the watchers. And the watchers watched the slayers. But we were watching them.
    Buffy: Oh! So you're like... what are you?
    Guardian: Guardians. Women who want to help and protect you. We forged this centuries ago, halfway around the world.
    Buffy: Hence, the Luxor Casino theme.
    Guardian: Forged there, it was put to use right here...to kill the last pure demon that walked upon the Earth. The rest were already driven under. And then there were men here, and then there were monks. And then there was a town, and now there was you. And the scythe remained hidden.
    Buffy: I don't understand. How is it possible that we didn't know any of this?
    Guardian: We hid, too. We had to until now. We're the last surprise.
    Buffy: Does this mean I can win?
    Guardian: That is really up to you. This is a powerful weapon.
    Buffy: Yeah.
    Guardian: But you already have weapons.
    Buffy: Oh.
    Guardian: Use it wisely and perhaps you can beat back the rising dark. One way or another, it can only mean an end is truly near.
    Caleb: I'm sorry. I didn't catch that last part on account of her neck snapping and all. Did she say the end is near... or here?

    Caleb: Ha ha ha ha! You're not slipping out of this fight, girl. Can't you see? You can't stop me. I can just keep going back for more. It's like being reborn. You know, I gave you ample warning. Told you not to interfere, but you chose not to heed. I was kind of hoping it'd go this way.
    Angel: Hey! I was never much for preachers.
    Buffy: Angel.
    Angel: You look good.
    Buffy: You look timely. And also good.
    Angel: Heard maybe you needed a hand. Ah, one of those things you have to finish yourself.
    Buffy: Really kinda is.
    Angel: You are so gonna lose. God, I missed watching this.
    Buffy: See? Under control.
    Angel: Well...at least you could tell me you're glad to see me.

    Story: 9
    Acting: 10
    Writing: 10
    Picture: 10
    Gripping: 9
    My Rank: 9
    Total: 9.5
  • Prequel to the series finale. Good character interaction.

    This episode was a great set-up for the finale, except for the introduction of a new character who dies only five minutes after she is introduced. THe character of the guardian does a good job as a plot device to move the story along, but we the viewers are never told how long she has been around or why she is the only one of her group to have lasted as long as she did. Also if her group forged the ultimate weapon for a slayer, then why did she not tell Buffy its name?
    Aside from the guardian, this episode also shows the defeat of Caleb and the brief return of Angel to aid Buffy.