Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 5 Episode 22

The Gift

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 22, 2001 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
897 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Glory has Dawn, and plans to use her blood to open the portal to her home dimension, even though the portal will cause all the hell dimensions to bleed into our own. Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Anya, Tara and Spike go to confront a true Hell God with the knowledge that they may not all survive.moreless

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  • Here we are, another mind-bogglingly good season finale from Joss Whedon.

    Whedon managing to still pull a tearful chuckle in the midst of pure grief is astonishing. But that's the way Buffy would want people to remember her and this story of her life. I emplore all of us to live by Buffy's final words: "Be brave. Live. For
  • Season 5 has truly been amazing

    Season 5 has truly been amazing.

    BtVS began as a light comedy horror series.

    But in later seasons it has steadily evolved, dare I say matured, into an emotionally darker and psychologically sophisticated drama series.

    I'm guessing it's probably what series creator Joss Whedon wanted all along. But he probably didn't think he could get away with it in the beginning. But as the more obvious action oriented plots devices got used up in the first few seasons, he probably decided it was time to put it on the line.

    The gut-wrenching manner in which the writers approached the death of Buffy's mother and the destruction of Tara's mind for example, rivals heavyweight domestic drama series.

    The level of literacy in this series is just as amazing.

    Spike: Well. Not exactly the St. Crispin's Day speech, was it?

    Giles: We few, we happy few ...

    The two Brits quoting Henry V. Whedon and his writers know their classical literature.moreless
  • Death is not the end


    The Good;

    The final battle especially the bait and switch with the Buffybot and the Dawn/Buffy scene at the end. Also like the way Buffy casually announces to the gang she killed a vampire and they treat it like no big deal. Love the Scooby strategising session and Anya's gameshow hostess introduction of the troll hammer. Best ever Minion toadying 'Oh groovetastic one' and 'Oh sweaty naughty feelings causing one'.

    The Bad;

    Doesn't anyone notice Glory's tower? Since when was Olaf a troll 'god'? Some of the minion makeup doesn't look so good, one rather looks like Michael Myers from the Halloween series. WHY NO COMMENTARY? Especially as this could have been the last ever Buffy ep.

    Best line;

    Minion 1; This shall be our day of Glory!

    Minion 2; Nicely put!

    Minion 1; Well it just cried out to me! (takes crossbow bolt in the chest) Ugh!

    Women good/men bad;

    The guy she saves (who resembles Jonathon a lot) says she's "Just a girl". Yeah pal and the ocean is 'Just water'.


    How heartrending is it when Dawn folds her clothes up before she is to be sacrificed, like Joyce taught her? Just as Buffy wishes that Joyce was still there. Doc cuts Dawn.

    Kinky dinky;

    Xander and Anya have a world in peril quickie. Then he proposes. Anya and Xander call each other pervert.

    Captain Subtext;

    Tara's back, hooray! "I got so lost". So you can restore Glory's brainsucking. She also tells Giles 'You're a killer' before he kills Ben. Dawn asks Ben to turn into Glory as she prefers her, Glory refers to Buffy as sweetcheeks. Xander observes 'Smart chicks are so hot'. "You couldn't have figured that out in 10th grade?" asks Willow ruefully (another mark in the bi column). Xander however doubts that Willow thinks of Buffy like that but what does he know, he never noticed Tara and Willow and Spike did. Buffy once again hints that the connection between her and Dawn is deeper than just sisters, she describes it as physical and says that she is closer to Dawn than anyone (as the final scene with the Summers' blood will prove). Spike quotes Henry V, William the Bloody sensitive poet still in there somewhere.

    Guantanamo Bay;

    Giles kills Ben/Glory. The right thing to do but still ruthless as hell. Would Xander have done it if Giles hadn't? It's him who comes up with the idea in the first place. Giles proposes killing Dawn. Too much to ask of Buffy but there are millions of Dawns all over the world, sacrifice one to save them all? Buffy tells Giles that if Dawn dies the council can get someone else (Faith?). But could she ever walk away from all those other Dawns?

    Scoobies to the ER;

    All pretty banged up, I heard a rumour that season 6 would see Anya in a wheelchair but it never happened.

    Apocalypses; 6 oh yeah, here's where Angel gets his dragon

    Scoobies in bondage: Dawn for the third time

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 3

    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 16

    Giles: 10

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 8

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1


    Kills: Buffy kills one more vamp, I thought it might be her 100th for the 100th ep but just short. Does she kill Doc? He can survive being stabbed so could he survive the fall? Giles kills Ben/Glory and at least one minion as does Spike.

    Buffy: 96 vamps, 32 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human, 1 god.

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, a demon, a demon

    Anya: 1 vamp and a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 2 vamps and 2 demon

    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 3

    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3

    Recurring characters killed: 10

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce

    Sunnydale deaths;


    Total number of scoobies: 7

    Giles, Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Spike

    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

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

    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1

    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

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

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

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

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Questions and observations;

    Lovely recap of past 100 eps, especially nice to have Cordy and Angel. The vamp in the alley goes 'Oh god'? I know it's weird but I always rather liked Glory's minions. Very clever that when we see the Buffybot it's wearing the clothes we've last seen Buffy in. SMG puts on her white jumper which later turns up in 'The Grudge'. The creatures from the transformed city hall rather resemble the bugs from Aliens especially the Alien Hybrid from Alien 4 which Joss wrote.

    So what happens to the people Glory brainsucked? We know that there is a link between Glory and them, when Glory dies do they return to normal? (I remember reading one very inventive fic where Faith had been brainsucked by Glory and in the follow-up story DarkWillow cures her by brainsucking Warren before she kills him and giving Faith his mental energy. But you figure if Faith can recover from her coma Slayer healing would easily take care of it? Spike says blood is life which is what possessed Xander says in Buffy vs Dracula. Plenty of stories too where Glory enslaves the Scoobs but then things take an unexpected twist. Please note all Dawn-haters, Dawn was quite willing to commit suicide to save the world. And if Buffy's blood hadn't worked she'd have followed her off the tower, Faith would be the Slayer and the Summers girls would all be together in heaven.

    A lot of people wanted Buffy to end at this point but I don't, I don't want Buffy to die young like all the other Slayers, I want her to live a long and happy life and I don't want poor Dawn to lose the mother and sister she loves within 6 weeks of each other. But still, stonking ep, if it had ended like this it would have been ok with me.

    Marks out of 10; 10/10 for the girl who saved the world a lot (and still does)

  • Buffy Anne Summers: She saved the world. A lot.

    "This is how many apocalypses for us now?" "Six at least." "Feels like a hundred".

    Wow, 'The Gift'. Glory has Dawn, the big moment is coming and it's up to Buffy and the gang to save the world. Again.

    If I could, I would give 'The Gift' a 15 out of 10 score. It is possibly my favorite episode of Buffy and I cannot stress enough how good it is. The writing is more than perfect and the acting does not disappoint. As a matter of fact, Sarah is great and every single cast member almost made me cry. Actually, I did cry, but that's beyond the point.

    'The Gift' is a beautiful and very emotional episode with some of the best scenes of Buffy. Willow brings Tara back, the Buffybot makes it final appearance and so does Giles (as a regular cast member anyway). We also have Glory and her great Glory-like lines and of course Anya moments. It does justice to the TV show as it is its 100th episode. There is also the infamous last scene with Buffy's sacrifice and her grave and that couldn't have been better. 'The Gift' is truly a perfect episode that ends the great Season 5. Just great television.moreless
  • One of the best episodes of Buffy ever!

    Though Hush is my favorite Buffy episode, "The Gift" comes in at a close second. I love "Hush" because of its scariness, its humor and its visual creativity, but I love "The Gift" because of its emotional power. I started watching Buffy after the series ended, so I knew at the time that this episode wasn't the series finale, but it's impact on me was not diminished from this knowledge. I found the ending devastating in its beauty. That Buffy would sacrifice herself to save Dawn, her sister--who, despite Buffy's lifetime of memories, was not technically her sister--was an amazing act of love. Even more affecting to me was the reactions of all her friends, the rawness of their emotion--especially Spike, who collapsed to the ground in anguish. I love the music played at the very end of the episode, as well as what Buffy says to Dawn and how what she says is played over the scene of her jumping to her death. Another favorite part of mine is when the ruthlessness of the Ripper comes out in Giles when he kills Ben because he knows Buffy won't and because he has to in order to keep Glory from coming back. It really shows another side of Giles that is often hidden from view--his devotion to his mission at nearly any cost. And then there's her gravestone "Buffy Anne Summers 1981-2001 She saved the world a lot". Just perfect.moreless
Craig Zimmerman

Craig Zimmerman

Minion #1

Guest Star

Josh Jacobson

Josh Jacobson


Guest Star

Tom Kiesche

Tom Kiesche


Guest Star

Clare Kramer

Clare Kramer


Recurring Role

Todd Duffey

Todd Duffey


Recurring Role

Charlie Weber

Charlie Weber


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • Nitpick: The gates of the demon dimension will close when the Key's blood stops flowing, ie the Key is dead/consumed. Even if Buffy and Dawn share the same blood, Buffy's death should not stop Dawn's bleeding.

    • Goof: According to her tombstone, Buffy was born in 1981, but in the episode "I Robot, You Jane" it mentions that Buffy is born on May 6, 1979.

    • Goof: When Buffy first starts the fight with Glory, you can clearly see that it's a stunt double. You can tell this when you see BuffyBot flip Glory onto the brick pile and then proceed to try and punch her.

    • Nitpick: Why didn't real Buffy go and rescue Dawn while the BuffyBot was keeping Glory occupied? It wasn't because she wanted to stall Glory long enough, because when Dawn screams for Buffy, Buffy runs up the tower to try and save her.

    • Goof: While Tara and Willow break apart the crowd of people for Spike, you can clearly see one of the girls falling from the 'spell' start to crack up laughing as she falls on the ground.

    • Goof: After the portal opens there are several shots of the destruction it's causing. One shot is a lightning bolt hitting the road causing a car to swerve and a man in the background running funny. If you have a look at "Shadow" the snake creature's slithering down the same street with the same swerving car and in "The Gift" instead of the slithering snake there's a huge hole in the road and the funny running man.

    • Goof: When the gang are cowering from the mayhem a brick is thrown landing behind Anya's head. In the next shot it's gone.

    • Goof: There is a shot of Spike fighting two of Glory's minions followed by a long shot of exactly the same thing happening (a complete blow by blow copy).

    • Goof: When Buffy is running away from Dawn to jump into the portal, you can see that the view of the city is fake. Just as Buffy starts to run and the camera follows, you'll see that the backgrounds are completely two-dimensional and also, they are cut off at the bottom so that it looks even more fake.

    • Nitpick: Giles seemed to have recovered a little too quickly from his injuries. When he got out of hospital last episode, he seemed to be in enough pain that he couldn't even raise his arm to get his jacket on, yet here he is as fit as a fiddle.

    • Nitpick: The portal is destroying everything in every dimension, it manages to destroy some ground and City Hall, yet it fails to harm the giant tower which is the closest thing to the portal.

    • Nitpick: Anya is standing practically under the tower, so where do the bricks that she saves Xander from come from?

    • Goof: When Spike falls off the tower the stuntman's jeans are blue but when he hits the ground they are black.

    • Goof: When Buffy is giving Dawn her big speech at the end and the camera pulls away, you can see that Dawn's feet have no blood on them, but we have just seen blood all over them when the portal is about to open.

    • Goof: After Murk says "This will be our day of Glory!" you can see the padding on his chest, for when he gets shot with a crossbow.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Buffy: I'm counting on you to protect her.
      Spike: 'Til the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.

    • Giles: If the ritual starts every living creature in this and every other dimension imaginable will suffer unbearable torment and death. Including Dawn.
      Buffy: Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her.
      Giles: You'll fail. You'll die. We all will.
      Buffy: I'm sorry. I love you all, but I'm sorry.

    • Buffy: This is how many Apocalypses for us now?
      Giles: Six at least.
      Buffy: Feels like a hundred.

    • Willow: (to Buffy) We'll solve this. We will. Don't have another coma, okay?

    • Buffy: It's strange. You're not as blurry with speed as usual.
      Glory: The witch...
      Buffy: It's not her. Might be this. I heard it's supposed to repel you. So my guess is you probably shouldn't touch it, either.

    • Spike: And you are a glorified bricklayer.
      Xander: I also happen to be an excellent bowler.
      Anya: He has his own shoes.
      Spike: The gods themselves do tremble.

    • Guy: But... you're just a girl.
      Buffy: That's what I keep saying.

    • Spike: Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead.

    • Buffy: I sacrificed Angel to save the world. I loved him so much. But I knew what was right. I don't have that anymore. I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point. I just wish that... I just wish my mom was here.

    • Glory: (Glory knocks the BuffyBot's head off) Huh. Wow. The Slayer's a robot. Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?
      Buffy: Glory. (Buffy hits Glory with the hammer and sends her flying against the fence) You're not the brightest God in the heavens are you?

    • Buffy: Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles ... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world ... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.

    • Xander: Smart chicks are sooo hot. (looking fondly at Anya)
      Willow: You couldn't have figured that out in tenth grade?

    • Giles: Buffy couldn't kill you, because she's a hero. She's not like us.
      Ben: Us? (Giles suffocates him to death)

    • Ben: Look, I ... I wish there was another way.
      Dawn: And I wish you'd fall on your head and drown in your own barf, so ... I guess we're both disappointed.

    • Tara: Willow? I got so lost.
      Willow: I found you. I will always find you.

    • Buffy: We're bloody well talking about this. Tell me to kill my sister.
      Giles: She's not your sister.

  • NOTES (15)

    • The final scene in this episode won a fan poll for most memorable moment in a drama series, and was going to be featured prominently in a segment on the 60th Annual Emmy Awards program. Unfortunately, time ran short and that segment had to be cut.

    • Joss Whedon originally planned this episode to be the series finale at the beginning of season five. He knew he was going to kill off both Joyce and Buffy and didn't know how the Dawn character would be received. Midway through the season he received an offer to move the show to the UPN network. Whedon decided that there was still a lot of things he could do with the show and accepted the offer. Buffy ran for two more years on UPN after season five.

    • In the scene where Spike lands on the bricks after being thrown from the tower, stuntman Steve Tartalia landed in an awkward position and ended up having a piece of brick collide very hard against his testicles.

    • When Buffy asks Giles how many Apocalypses there were, he answers 6, but it feels like a 100. This seems appropriate, since it's the 100th Buffy episode.

    • The "Previously on..." episode recap showed scenes from the previous five seasons. Included were the original introductions to the main characters, plus when Buffy was called.

      While this recap is not on the Season 5 DVDs, you can find it as an easter egg on the Season 7 DVD set.

    • This is the second time that Buffy has officially died, but not the second time that we've seen her dead. The first was in "Nightmares", where she was turned by the Master, then in both "Prophecy Girl" and "The Wish" she was killed by the Master. This death would make four, and it could be debated as whether or not she died in "Villains", as she flat lined.

    • When Buffy asks how many Apocalypses this makes, Giles replies "Six, at least"; they are referring to the ones that were stopped in "The Harvest", "Prophecy Girl", "Becoming (2)", "The Zeppo", "Doomed", and this one.

    • The outfit that Buffy wears in this episode is the same outfit that she wears for most of the Angel episode called "I Will Remember You".

    • It was rumored that this episode was going to be a two-hour television event called "Centenary" and to feature almost every single character from previous seasons including the entire Angel cast.

    • Earlier in the season, it was rumored that the entire town of Sunnydale would be sucked into the Hellmouth in the finale. Although it has never been completely confirmed, Joss had another plan for the season. The original idea was to have Anya die in the rubble, Xander be Glory's other half (instead of Ben), Willow was going to become evil after Tara's death and join forces with Glory, and Dawn was to be bled by Evil Willow in the end, and Sunnydale was supposed to be completely destroyed by the Hellmouth.

    • Spike's invitation into Buffy's house (rescinded in "Crush") is re-issued in this episode when the two go there to gather weapons.

    • When Tara walks out of the magic shop, she yells to Giles "You are a killer!" In the end, when Glory is weakened and morphs into Ben, Giles kills him.

    • Spoiler haters in the UK had a understandable reason to complain before this episode aired, as it was nearly impossible not to be informed of what was going to happen. One national newspaper ran a "Buffy Dies" special and the normally dependable Sky One kept showing trailers with Buffy's grave, the first trailer running directly after "The Weight of the World".

    • This is the last original episode to air on the Warner Bros. Network. Because of this, the WB promoted this episode as the "series finale" and not the "season finale" since the show will air on UPN for season six.

    • Buffy's epitaph reads:
      Buffy Anne Summers
      Devoted Sister
      Beloved Friend
      She Saved the World
      A Lot


    • Willow: I could use some courage.
      This is a reference to the Wizard of Oz, with Willow being compared to the cowardly Lion.

    • Spike: Well, not exactly the St. Crispins's Day Speech, was it?
      The St. Crispins's Day Speech from William Shakespeare's play Henry V is considered one of the greatest call-to-arms speeches in English literature. Henry gives this speech before his troops attack Callais, to inspire his weakened, frightened, and outnumbered men on to battle.

    • Willow: I could use some courage (Spike offers a drink). No, the real kind.
      Dutch courage is a term for the false feeling of invulnerability experienced when drunk. Also referred to as "liquid courage."

    • Xander: Shpedoinkle!
      As the scoobies approach the site Tara is leading them to, Xander catches his first glimpse of the tower and utters "Shpedoinkle". The phrase "shpedoinkle" comes from the movie Cannibal - The Musical where it is used with no exact meaning but it is said when traumatic or exciting revelations are made.
      Cannibal - The Musical is a comedic version of the story of Alfred Packer and was written and directed by Trey Parker, one of the creators of South Park.

    • Spike: We band 'o buggered.
      Spike is hilariously mangling the quote which Giles begins reciting from the famous "St. Crispin's Day" speech in "Henry V": "We few, we happy few. We band of brothers."