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Logan's picture
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Ok, although im sure a similar thread has probably been started before, Im going to ask this anyways. Since, as we all know :( Buffy is ending very soon, I thought we could think back, and list our top 5 fav episodes, and our top most hated episodes. (Dont forget to describe the episode incase we dont know the name by heart :) )

My Top 5 Favs (Random Order)

1)Hush (with the Gentlemen)
2)One more time with feeling (The musical)
3)Becoming Part 2 (Season 2 Finale when she kills Angel, i admit it, i cried when i first saw it)
4)Amends (Season 3 appearance of the "First Evil" Very sentimental episode)
5)Fools for love (Season 5 (i think) Dru comes back to claim Spike, but he is inlove with Buffy)

Im sure im forgetting an episode I really loved, but off the top of my head its those

Most Hated Episodes

1) Season 4 Finale in the dream world...I mean WTF
2)Season 1 with the Frankenstein Monster guy
3)The Zeppo (Xander hangs out with zombies who try to blow up school)
4)Anne (Season Premier of season 3....it was boring)
5) This episode from season 7 (I wont describe in detail as spoiler, but its the one where she meets the 3 black witchdoctor people..nuff said)

Again, im sure im forgetting some horribly episode, but those are off the top of my head.

Best of the Best...

Kieran's picture

ummmm...i havent really paid any attention to buffy post-season 3...been watching eps here and there...so here r my faves and disfaves

top 5

1) Prophecy Girl (season one)...man, i was in high school @ this time and i watched it over and over again (i think its the episode ive seen the most) and i remember telling people about this show but they looked @ me like some kinda freak...so that alone qualifies it as my number one...the whole xander-angel relationship was cool way before it got tiring with xander hating him just because he was a vamp

2) When She Was Bad (season 2)...smg played the tortured pretty good

3) What's My Line Parts I and II (season 2)...yes yes i am a guy, but that skating scene between angel (who skates as bad as I and i am a freaking canadian) and buffy was way too cool and endearing...plus, i loved kiendra

4) Innocence/Torture (season 2)...2 eps...but they were my fave angelus ones, especially in torture where he kills jenny

5) Becoming Parts I and II (season 2)...come on, how tragic is it killing the one u love to save the world!!!!! :cry:

ummm, there are others especially ones with faith (she totally kicked ass) and the pack (from season 1) but i guess i didnt have any...and any angelus eps are definitely ones i watch over and over again

Worst 5

1) the musical episode...shudder (hey, i loved moulin rouge, but spike singing aint my cup of tea)

2) any episode with reilly

3) any episode with those 3 geeks

Best of the Best...

Firefly's picture

Ok...Top 5 in no particular order

1. Hush (this was bloody brilliant)
2. Once More with Feeling (just for the moment when they all realize how unhappy Buffy is alone)
3. The Body (oh god, did I cry?)
4. The Gift (again, how many tears can this show wring out of me?)
5. Uhm... the Halloween ep "Fear, Itself" as this was cool and in the end, hilarious. I laugh everytime I watch it.

(Ok, there are a ton more, but these really stand out for me. I also love Selfless from this season, but I only want to put 5 up.)

Hmmm, Worst 5

1. Hell's Bells (I almost quit watching after this episode, it pissed me off that bad.)
2. Life Serial (This was just too humiliating. Buffy going from job to job and proving incapable again and again. Please, someone save me.)
3. Doublemeat Palace (Again humiliating, and sort of predictable.)
4. Older and Far Away (This epitomizes the whiny Dawn stage which got old really fast.)
5. As You Were. (Riley was a jerk. We were glad to see him go. Don't need to see him again.)

Best of the Best...

Meredith Bell's picture

Thought I'd post this little bit of news here since it was thread related

Whedon's Top Ten

As Buffy draws to a close in America, Joss Whedon has singled out at his all time favourite ten episodes of the show. Speaking to American newspaper USA Today, Joss offered some comments about his choices too:

1. Innocence - "It's a mission-statement show, and one of the ones where I first found out what we could do."

2. Once More, With Feeling

3. Hush

4. The Body

5. Doppelgangland - "Because one Willow is certainly not enough."

6. The Wish - "Very bleak, very fun. It went to a dark place, and that's really exciting to me. That's where I live."

7. Becoming, Part II - "Buffy loses everything. Also, it had a sword fight. I love sword fighting."

8. Restless - Why? "Most people sort of shake their heads at it. It was different, but not pointless."

9. Conversations With Dead People - "I'm very fond of 'Conversations With Dead People.' I just thought structurally and tonally it was very interesting and had a lot to say. And I got to write another song."

10. Prophecy Girl - Why? "Because that was my first time, besides telling directors what to do, that I actually got to direct. And it was the first time I got to kill Buffy, and the first season ender, and it was the first time I realised I could take everything we did in the season and tie it in a bow."

Best of the Best...

Tarix Conny's picture

My favorite five?

1) The end of season 2, when angelus becomes angel, and angel goes to hell.

2) Graduation pt 1, angel getting shot by the arrow, faith knocked into a coma, etc.

3) Graduation pt 2, angel being cured, the huge battle scene, the mayor being blown into smitherines...

4) End of season 5, when buffy dies.

5) The "Once more with feeling" epi, loved it.

ok, my hates;

1) The epi when Joyce dies, in season 6. Ok very sentimental, but i didn't like it too much. Dunno why.

2) The very first epi', the harvast. It was interesting at the time, but it got boring.

3) Begining of season 2, i didn't like much.

4) + 5) any two boring epi in season 1, i don't really remember.

Best of the Best...

Jadyn's picture

Ok, I know this is a reaaaaaally long article (You wouldn't believe the time I took to lay this out properly!) but I enjoyed reading every word. It was like a nice, leisurely trip down memory lane that stirred up the desire to watch every single one of the mentioned episodes again! (Errr... Actually, I'm downloading most of these episodes now! Heh heh...) :P

Aaaaanyway, since it's thread related, I thought I'd post this up for the rest of you to browse through. While I don't exactly agree with the sequence of the writer's top 10 list, her choices of favourite episodes are very similar to mine. Take a look, see what you think. :)

End of the Buffyverse
As the slaying ends, we honor Buffy's 10 best moments!

Article dated: 13 May 2003
Written by: Kat Giantis

Beautiful, petite, fashion-conscious blondes don't normally strike fear into the heart of bad guys. But Buffy Summers has never been an ordinary girl. Beneath her endless supply of stylish yet affordable leather jackets beats the heart of a warrior -- a Chosen One, the one girl in the world who will stand against the vampires, demons and forces of darkness. She is the Slayer, and for seven TV seasons she has kicked major undead ass.

But after May 20, she will slay no more, ending an epic hero's journey that has run the gamut from action-packed fisticuffs to pun-loving comedy, bone-chilling terror and heartbreaking drama.

In the Buffyverse created by Joss Whedon, Buffy and the Scooby Gang -- computer-nerd-turned-powerful wicca Willow, everyman Xander, tell-it-like-it-is Cordelia, lycanthropic Oz, witchy Tara, former vengeance demon Anya, and librarian-cum-Watcher Giles -- fight demons of both the horned, scaly variety and the more pesky psychological kind. A monster is rarely just a monster, and in the blink of an eye, friends can become enemies, loved ones can die, and the world can nearly end -- a lot.

We're not just projecting (OK, maybe a little) when we say Buffy fans have a deep emotional connection to the series. Why? Because while the Slayer and her friends have faced off against all sorts of uber-evils, they've also coped with the pain, pleasure, passions and responsibilities of real life.

And now it's over. So in honor of a series that has meant so much to us, we've selected our 10 favorite Buffy moments. It wasn't easy; this could have been our 184 favorite moments, but time is short, and our Buffy DVD box set calls. So cuddle up with Mr. Pointy, hug Mr. Gordo, and sink your teeth into our picks for the best Buffy moments ever!


10. Buffy & Angel Kiss for the 1st Time
- Episode: "Angel" (Season 1, originally aired April 14, 1997)

What's the What
- Buffy locks lips with the mysterious Angel (whom she describes as "dark and gorgeous, in an annoying sort of way"), only to discover that her hottie honey is a 240-year-old vampire. Too bad she's already invited him into her house. The Buffster vows to take the bloodsucker down after she mistakenly believes he made a meal out of her mom.
The Defining Moment
- To save Buffy, Angel dusts Darla, his sire (that's the vamp who made him) and ex-girlfriend of a couple hundred centuries. After coming clean about his murderous past and the gypsy curse that gave him back his soul, Angel broods to Buffy, "This can't ever be anything," and insists he needs to "walk away." They share a passionate goodbye kiss, and as Buffy turns to go, we see that her silver cross, her first gift from Angel, has seared a mark into his chest.
Killer Dialogue
- Angel: For a hundred years I offered an ugly death to everyone I met, and I did it with a song in my heart.
Why It's Great
- A Slayer and a vampire in love. Talk about your dramatic irony. And nothing mirrors the pain and pining that will define Buffy and Angel's star-crossed love affair better than that cross burn so close to his heart.


9. Angel Kills Miss Calendar
Episode: "Passion" (Season 2, originally aired Feb. 24, 1998)

What's the What
- Angelus (that's the evil, soul-free version of Angel, identified by his love of leather pants and heavy black eyeliner) continues his campaign of torment against Buffy and the Scooby Gang with the shocking slaying of technopagan teacher Jenny Calendar, who was trying to make amends for her part in Angelus' return by restoring his soul.
The Defining Moment
- Hours before her death, Jenny confessed her love to Giles, who was giving her the silent treatment over the whole Angel-becoming-an-evil-killer thing. Giles returns home and is happily surprised to find an elaborate seduction scene : wine, opera, rose petals -- and Jenny dead in his bed. Angelus, hidden outside Buffy's house, savors the painful aftermath of his evening's work, watching as Buffy and Willow break down when they hear the news. In short, their overwhelming grief gives Angelus a happy.
Killer Dialogue
- Buffy [to Giles]: I'm sorry I couldn't kill him for you... for her... when I had the chance. But I think I'm finally ready... because I know now that there's nothing that's ever going to change him back to the Angel I fell in love with.
Why It's Great
- No one is safe in Whedon's world, and the death of Miss Calendar foreshadowed other shocking losses, from Buffy's mom to Willow's girlfriend, Tara. And Angelus' transformation into the Big Bad isn't limited to his homicidal tendencies: he reveals to Buffy's mom the crypt-shaking night of passion he shared with the Slayer, prompting the dreaded mother-daughter sex talk. Talk about evil.


8. Buffy's Mom Dies
Episode: "The Body" (Season 5, originally aired Feb. 27, 2001)
What's the What
- When Joyce Summers, Buffy's mom and the stabilizing force in her freaky life, dies suddenly from a brain aneurysm, the Scooby Gang rallies around the grief-stricken Slayer and her sister, Dawn.
The Defining Moment
- Giles, summoned to the house by Buffy, arrives to find Joyce on the ground. He races to her, unaware that the paramedics have declared her dead. Buffy hysterically screams, "We're not supposed to move the body!" Suddenly her face crumbles, registering horror and confusion over having called her mom "the body," and forcing the full realization that her mother is truly gone.
Killer Dialogue
- Anya: I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this, I mean I knew her and then she's, there's just a body, I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead, it's stupid, it's mortal and stupid, Xander's crying and not talking and I was having fruit punch and I thought that Joyce would never have any more fruit punch and she'd never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever and no one will explain...
Why It's Great
- Death and "natural causes" don't usually go hand in hand in Buffy's world, which is why this unblinking examination of Joyce's passing and its immediate aftermath is so agonizing. Hauntingly quiet and surreal, it marks some of Whedon's finest work as a writer-director, and sparked a viewer campaign to garner the show an Emmy (it didn't work). And while Gellar's emoting rends hearts, it's the subtle performances of the supporting players that deserve major props, including Tara urging Willow to be strong "like an Amazon" as they share a tender kiss, and 1000-year-old Anya's aching attempt to understand mortality.


7. Willow x 2
Episode: "Doppelgängland" (Season 3, originally aired Feb. 23, 1999)

What's the What
- Anya, unhappy as a teenage mortal (she's flunking math), tricks Willow into helping her cast a spell to get her powers back. But the spell goes awry, and instead brings forth a leather-clad, cleavage-baring, sexually liberated vampire version of Willow.
The Defining Moment
- After crossing paths with vamp Willow, Buffy and Xander retreat to the library, where, with Giles, they hold an impromptu memorial for their beloved friend. "She was... truly the finest of all of us," says Giles. "Way better than me," says Xander. "Much, much better," Giles agrees sadly. When Human Willow walks in on the mope-fest, Xander holds up a cross and screams, "Get back, demon!" When it has no effect, he gives it a little shake to recharge it and tries again. A touching group hug follows. Awwww.
Killer Dialogue
- Willow: It's horrible. That's me as a vampire? I mean, I'm so evil, and skanky, [softly to Buffy] and I think I'm kind of gay.
Why It's Great
- "Reliable dog geyser person" Willow realizes that being a good girl isn't such a bad thing once she sees the wake of destruction left by her evil counterpart. A seminal episode in the Willow mythology, it first illuminated her magic control issues and lesbian leanings (her doppelgänger badtouches her before heading back to her own reality).


6. The Gentlemen Come to Town
Episode: "Hush" (Season 4, originally aired Dec. 15, 1999)

What's the What
- There's a communication breakdown in Sunnydale when the fairytale frightmeisters The Gentlemen arrive looking to steal hearts (yes, literally). But first they seize everyone's voices so their victims "Can't call to mom. Can't say a word. You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard."
The Defining Moment
- Whedon packs equal parts horror and humor into 27 brilliant dialogue-free minutes, which peak as the Gentlemen first float out into silent Sunnydale, creepily accompanied by their strait-jacketed minions. Try not to gasp as Giles' girlfriend Olivia comes face-to-dentally-challenged-face with a Gentleman as she looks out the window. And try not to laugh as the oh-so-polite Gentlemen clap courteously as their leader shows off a victim's heart.
Killer Dialogue
- Willow: Buncha wanna-blessed-be's. It's just a fad. Nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack think she's a sister to the dark ones.
Why It's Great
- Sure, the Gentlemen bear a wee bit of a resemblance to the baddies in "Dark City," but that doesn't make them any less terrifying. And even in silence, Whedon never loses sight of his characters or their motivation. Among the ep's indelible moments: Willow and Tara's first witchcraft-filled steps of Sapphic self-discovery; Giles' inspired use of an overhead projector; Xander's misguided defense of Anya at Spike's expense; and Buffy and Riley's first kiss. This episode leaves us (you know it's coming!) speechless.


5. Angel Loses His Soul
Episode: "Innocence" (Season 2, originally aired Jan. 20, 1998)

What's the What
- Buffy and Angel make with the smootchies (Whedon-speak for "they do it"), which gives the melancholy vampire one true moment of happiness, a big no-no curse-wise. He loses his soul, and immediately strikes out against the things that made him feel the most human, with Buffy No. 1 on the hit list.
The Defining Moment
- After her night of undead love with Angel, Buffy wakes up alone in his bed, unaware that he's off being all evil. She returns later, only to find him cold, distant, and cruel. "Was I... was it... not good?" asks a confused, crushed Buffy. "No, you were great! Really. I thought you were a pro," sleazes Angelus, who responds to Buffy's heartfelt, "I love you," with a smarmy wink and a "Love ya too -- I'll call ya." Grrrr... aaargh!
Killer Dialogue
- Spike: You've really got a yen to hurt this girl, haven't you?
- Angel: She made me feel like a human being. That's not the kind of thing you just forgive.
Why It's Great
- Virginal Buffy sleeps with the man she loves and wakes up with a big jerk. Every woman who's ever suffered angst over the "Will he still love me tomorrow?" question can relate. But Buffy being Buffy, she still has a battle to fight, with her former honey leading the charge against her. Her broken heart can wait; her responsibilities can't. And has revenge on an ex ever been as satisfying as Buffy's Slayer-strength kick right to Angelus', um, leather pants?


4. Buffy Dies -- Twice
Episode: "Prophecy Girl" (Season 1, originally aired June 2, 1997)
Episode: "The Gift" (Season 5, originally aired May 22, 2001)

What's the What
- In "Prophecy," Buffy learns she is destined to die at the hands of the Master, who is about to bring forth Armageddon. Making matters worse? Their final showdown is scheduled for prom night.
- Four years later, and it's the end of the world -- again. In "The Gift," evil god Glory (a.k.a. She of the Unholy Perm) tries to unleash hell on Earth using Buffy's little sis Dawn, a mystical Key made by monks (just go with it) whose blood unlocks the barriers between dimensions.
The Defining Moment
- "Giles, I'm 16 years old. I don't want to die," says Buffy in her take-this-Slayer-gig-and-shove-it speech. But she has a change of heart when vampires go on a student feeding frenzy. "It wasn't our world any more," Willow tells Buffy after finding the bodies at school. "They made it theirs. And they had fun." That's all the Slayer needs to hear. She goes to meet the Master and she dies -- for all of 30 seconds. Thanks to a CPR assist from Xander, Buffy returns to this mortal coil and takes the Master down.
- In "The Gift," Dawn's blood starts the apocalypse, and only her blood can stop it. Or not. Turns out Summers blood is the key to stopping Glory. Buffy saves her sister and the world by sacrificing herself. Her gravestone succinctly wraps up the series' first five seasons: "Buffy Anne Summers, 1981-2001. Beloved sister. Devoted friend. She saved the world. A lot."
Killer Dialogue
- Buffy: Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I'll always love you. But this is the work I have to do. Tell Giles I... I figured it out. And I'm ok. 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. "The Gift".
Why It's Great
- The events of "Prophecy Girl" reverberated for seasons to come (hello, Kendra and Faith), and are a testament to how well Whedon plotted out the intricate mythology of the Buffyverse. But one death is not enough for the Slayer.
- The second time she dies, there's no season-ending "maybe-she's-still-alive" wiggle room. Sure, Buffy's sacrifice in "The Gift" set the depressing tone for the next two seasons, but her final words to Dawn are everything that is uplifting in the Buffy folklore.


3. Everybody Sings!
Episode: "Once More, With Feeling" (Season 6, Nov. 6, 2001)

What's the What
- When a mysterious zoot-suited demon named Sweet arrives in Sunnydale, its citizens begin bursting into song -- and flame. For a back-from-the-dead Buffy and the Scooby Gang, it means that all those deep, dark secrets they've been hiding from one another are about to come out -- rhymed and with musical accompaniment.
The Defining Moment
- Buffy sings to her horrified friends that they tore her out of heaven, and she implores Sweet to "Give me something to sing about," desperate for her hell on earth to end. Buffy begins a whirling dance, starts to smoke, and is seconds away from combusting when she's saved by a singing Spike: "Life's not a song / Life isn't bliss / Life is just this: It's living / You'll get along / The pain that you feel / You only can heal by living."
Killer Dialogue
- Buffy: I was always brave / And kind of righteous / Now I find I'm wavering / Crawl out of your grave / You find this fight just / Doesn't mean a thing...
- Vamp: She ain't got that swing...
- Buffy: Thanks for noticing...
Why It's Great
- Let's start with the catchy tunes, penned by the almighty Whedon (all bow down before him) and sung by a game cast with varying degrees of skill, from good (Gellar, Brendon) to great (Head, Benson).
- Most amazing, each number packs in more character development and plot advancement per word than any other episode in that season or the next: Buffy's disconnect from life; Giles' realization that he's holding Buffy back; Tara's discovery that Willow is manipulating her with magic; Xander and Anya's doubts about their impending marriage; and Buffy and Spike's passionate curtain-closing kiss. All this plus a stirring solo on the evilness of bunnies? "OMWF" totally rocks!


2. Buffy Is Given the Class Protector Award
Episode: "The Prom" (Season 3, originally aired May 11, 1999)

What's the What
- Buffy's plans for a little prom-y fun hit a couple snags: A psycho student has trained a pack of hellhounds to attack students in formal wear (the mutts aren't crazy about disco balls, either), and Angel decides to pull up, uh, stakes and leave Sunnydale, devastating Buffy by telling her, "You should have someone who can take you into the light."
The Defining Moment
- Buffy, having disposed of the devil dogs, arrives at the prom stag (but in a "kick" dress), happy that she's given her friends and classmates the night they deserve. What she doesn't expect is to be singled out during the awards presentation by a senior class that isn't as completely oblivious to her extracurricular activities as they've let on. Thanks to Buffy, the class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate in Sunnydale history, and in recognition -- and amid rousing cheers -- they present her with a glittery umbrella emblazoned with the words, "Buffy Summers, Class Protector."
Killer Dialogue
- Buffy: You guys are gonna have a prom. The kind of prom everyone should have. I will give you all a nice, fun, normal evening... if I have to kill every single person on the face of the Earth to do it.
- Xander: Yay?
Why It's Great
- "This episode stood for everything Buffy was about: the fact that she so badly wanted to be part of the other kids' lives," Gellar told Entertainment Weekly. It also perfectly encapsulates the paradox of Buffy's life: balancing her Slayer duties with her personal life. And while the three-Kleenex award presentation is the stand-out in this episode, several other scenes resonate: Cordelia's confession to Xander that she's broke; Willow comforting a devastated post-breakup Buffy ("I can't breathe, Will! I feel like I can't breathe!"); Anya's demon remembrances; and, finally, the stirring fade-out of a tux-clad Angel slow-dancing with Buffy to "Wild Horses." Sniff.


1. Buffy Kills Angel
Episode: "Becoming, Part 2" (Season 2, originally aired May 19, 1998)

What's the What
- At the conclusion of the two-part season finale, Buffy has lost everything she cares about: Kendra the Vampire Slayer is dead; Willow is in a coma; Giles is missing; she's been expelled; and her mom, after learning Buffy is the Slayer, kicks her out of the house. Then there's the small matter of Angelus' plans to awaken the demon Acathla and end the world. To paraphrase Xander: On a scale of one to 10, Buffy's day sucks.
The Defining Moment
- After a sword-clanking battle (ignore the obvious stunt doubles and you'll be fine), Buffy moves in to deal Angelus the fatal blow when Willow's spell restores his soul. Only it's too late. Acathla is open, and only Angel's blood can close it. Buffy realizes what she has to do, and shares a last tender kiss and "I love you" with Angel before gently telling him, "Close you eyes." He trustingly complies, only to have Buffy violently thrust the blade through his gut. As he's sucked into hell, he reaches out and desperately calls out to the only woman he's ever loved.
Killer Dialogue
- Buffy [to her Mom]: Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you know how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or, god, even studying. But I have to save the world. Again.
Why It's Great
- A Shakespearean tragedy with fangs and an impending apocalypse. In seconds, Buffy's greatest enemy once again becomes her true love, and yet she must kill him for the greater good. She finally understands that, ultimately, the Slayer is always alone. "That's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends. No hope. Take all that away and what's left," taunts Angelus during their climatic sword fight. Buffy's archetypal reply: "Me."


Best of the Best...

Jadyn's picture

Heh, with the show drawing to a close, everyone seems to be coming up with a list of BtVS' finest moments. Here's another list of favorite episodes...

End of Slays: Our Favorite Episodes

Article dated: 23 May 2003
Written by: Entertainment Geekly Staff

As Buffy comes to an end, we take a moment to recall some of the Slayer's finest hours.

As the final hour of Buffy approaches, we at Entertainment Geekly would like to take a few moments to remember our all-time favorite episodes. Thanks for all the memories, Buff! (We totally could have made a "Fangs for all the memories" joke here. We're just saying.)


"Becoming," Season 2

I think that's about when I started tearing up during this episode. Watch it with me again today, and I still bawl like a tiny baby (or maybe Andrew after hearing an incorrect Star Trek reference) all the way through. This ep somehow channels everything I love about Buffy and ties it together in a glorious, gut-wrenching package. You've got The Funny (Spike chatting with Joyce Summers), The Romantic (Oz and Willow), The Kick-Ass (B and A's big sword fight) and of course, The Big Moment (Buffy sends a re-souled Angel to hell). That moment, I think, has Buffy truly accepting her role as the Slayer in a way that she was never dreamed she would have to. And there's so much fascinating stuff crammed in around the edges, fully demonstrating how deep and multi-layered and epic this series had become (Xander's "Kick his ass!" is still a thought-provoking gray area for the character). There are flashbacks (check our Buffy's puffy jacket!) and magic and even a return (of sorts) for the much-missed Jenny Calendar. In the end, everything from season 2 comes together and pays off in a big, huge, earth-shattering way. All this and Max Perlich. What more could you want?

Special runner-up consideration goes to another gem from season 2, the wonderfully comedic "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." Xander and Cordelia (still one of my all-time favorite Scooby pairings) have never been better, and their prickly chemistry guides this hour to poignant, deeply funny results.

- Sarah Kuhn


"Halloween," Season 2 & "Hush," Season 4

"Halloween" is one of those genre-bending episodes that shows off Joss' skills at characterization. When everybody turns into their costumes, we get to see roles skewed and reversed without changing the fundamental nature of the individuals involved. Buffy's the helpless damsel while Xander's the commando - in their heart of hearts, Buffy's always wanted to let her guard down, and Xander's been incredibly brave in the face of supernatural horror (hey, he didn't get an eye plucked out this season because he's a chicken). Willow's shy surface matches the ghost, but man, is she hot underneath! In a sexy, intellectual manner, of course. All that's fine and good, but the thing that'll stick with me long after Buffy's over is Giles kicking the shit out of cursed costumer Ethan. Nobody expected that to lie underneath that prissy British exterior.

I'm also partial to season 4's "Hush," which contains some of my all-time favorite revelations. Once everybody in Sunnydale loses their voice and the musical soundtrack takes over, it's like watching opera, Joss Whedon style. The Gentleman are my absolute favorite bad guys; especially with their weird, floaty movements and straitjacketed sidekicks. Polite, yet eerie and evil. I like that in a villain. Memorable moments include learning that Giles can't draw and Buffy's staking gesture being taken for stroking something else long and hard.

- Jeff Chen


"The Zeppo," Season 3

Ah, Xander. In spite of your constant hilarity, your sharp observations, your keen awareness of human relationships (who told Buffy to get over herself and get after Riley? You did, my man), you're still seen as little more than just the regular Joe, the Snapper Carr of the Buffyverse. But how normal can a man be if he loses his virginity to Eliza Dushku? Not that normal, says I, and that's why I love "The Zeppo." It shows that the regular guy (the stone-cold NERD) is much more special than you could ever have imagined, and it does it with heart and humor to spare.

When it comes to sheer cleverness, I don't know if there's an episode that tops "The Zeppo." In the background, we see the Slayer and the Scoobs battling against another invasion from the Hellmouth. In the foreground, Xander cruises with zombies and saves his friends. The flip-flop of focus is a sublime device that doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves. And it's damned funny. Witness the aforementioned deflowering of Mr. Harris, as well as the hilarious glimpses of the background apocalypse. You become so invested in Xander's adventures that the sight of someone soaring through a window in the background is more of a sight gag than a sign of danger. But most of all, I love "The Zeppo" for its ultimate message: Xander's not a normal guy who's pretty great, but someone who isn't "normal" at all. He's got an inner strength that will be standing long beyond the latest apocalypse. When he stares down the bomb-wielding dead guy and manages to save Sunnydale High, it's not a celebration of the regular Joe. It's confirmation that Xander is the most super hero of all.

- Matt Springer

I too thrilled, I too wept, I too cheered, and I too ogled Alyson Hannigan in black leather, etc. etc. In all the big event episodes, I was there with you... but none of these are my favorite episode. If a gun were held to my head and I was forced to pick my absolute favorite episode, I'd pick "The Zeppo." I've always liked rooting for the underdog and there are none more underdog than Xander. Everyone else had something cool they could do - Xander, on the other hand, seemed to get hit on the head a lot. How perfect, then, to have hints of yet another impending apocalypse, which we never get to see because we're following the one person apparently too useless to participate. Xander, who's not as useless as he thought, gets to fight zombies. Zombies! I dig zombies. If Sex in the City had zombies, I'd watch it. It felt good to Xander hold his own against the undead, save the school from destruction (not that it mattered - by the end of the season, it was gone anyhow), and figure out that he had nothing to prove to Cordelia. Oh, and he got to sleep with Faith - thumbs up there, bro. In one short episode where the other characters grow not at all (and in fact, the episode makes fun of the slight ruts they've all gotten into), Xander goes from a Zeppo to a Groucho. A Harpo, at the very least.

- Chris Stewart


"Graduation Day," Season 3

I have a confession to make. I'm a Buffy season 3 convert. Sure, I'd heard about Buffy and the big season 2 confrontation with Angel, but I thought it sounded like the stupidest show ever conceived. After all, I'd seen the movie it was "based" off of - how good could it be? Luckily, I've never been more wrong. Season 3 hooked me in and played with my emotions like a vamp with a virgin. Between Angel's return, Willow's doppelganger, and Cordy's crush on Wes, I didn't know which way was up! It's because of this that "Graduation Day" will always be the pinnacle of Buffy in my mind. Not only do we get the ascension of the Mayor (possibly the best Big Bad ever), but there's also Faith and Buffy's big showdown, Willow and Oz's first (ahem) coupling, the first hints of Anya and Xander's relationship, Harmony's turning, Angel's big exodus... and so much more! Buffy is at her snarky best ("Fire bad. Tree pretty.") and the rest of the Scoobies work in such harmony that there's no need to call attention to the fact that they even are the Scoobies.

It's Buffy and the gang at the top of their game, before the uncertainties of the "real world" would start to tear at them. It's Buffy the Vampire Slayer the way that it should be - brimming with confidence, wit, humor and emotion. And that's the way that I'll always remember it.

And we're taking a moment... and we're done.

- Anthony Karcz


"Once More, With Feeling," Season 6

I'd always been an interested Buffy watcher, if not an out-and-out fan. I kept a cursory eye on the developing plot line, checking out the primetime episodes but not worrying much if I missed some. I enjoyed the various reruns at different hours of the weekend and went to a friend's house to see the season 5 finale with a lot of devoted viewers. I loved that finale. It was a perfect ending, although I also looked forward to seeing how the hell UPN would be able to pick up those pieces and bring Buffy back to life.

But when the new season came, I just couldn't get around to watching it. And then I started to see previews of a musical episode. "How lame," I thought. "They really must be struggling to keep this damn show going, I've never heard of anything so stupid." I refused to watch it when it aired, but my friend Sandra, a die-hard fan who'd seen every ep since the premiere, practically forced the tape into my hands. I grudgingly put it in... and within five minutes, was completely hooked in a way I'd never been in the past five seasons. It was clever, hilarious, poignant and completely in character. They'd not only pulled it off, but raised the bar on the series. So there you have it. My favorite Buffy episode, the one that sent my adrenaline pumping every week for every episode of season 6, is "Once More, With Feeling."


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