Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 7)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 7)|
Region 1 Season 7 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||September 24, 2002 –|
May 20, 2003
The seventh and final season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on September 24, 2002 on UPN and concluded its 22-episode run on May 20, 2003. It maintained its previous timeslot, airing Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET.
Season seven deals with the Potential Slayers, normal girls around the world who are candidates to succeed the Slayer upon her death.
It is revealed that Buffy's resurrection caused an instability which allows The First Evil, a spiritual entity that Buffy encountered in the third season, to begin tipping the balance between good and evil. It has inactive Potential Slayers hunted and killed by Caleb, a sinister and misogynistic preacher turned serial killer, who heads a cult called Bringers, who worship The First as a god. Inside the Hellmouth it raises an army of Turok-Han, an ancient and powerful sub species of vampire. Caleb later destroys the Watchers' Council's headquarters in London, killing many Watchers, including Quentin Travers.
Dawn begins her sophomore year at high school. Buffy gets a job at the rebuilt Sunnydale High, where she meets the new principal, Robin Wood, a vampire hunter and the son of deceased Slayer, Nikki Wood, who was killed by Spike in New York City many years ago. Buffy also reunites with Willow, who still is working through her emotional rampage in the previous season, and Spike, who earned his soul back but is temporarily driven mad by regret.
Willow begins to heal emotionally from Tara's death and finds solace with a Potential Slayer named Kennedy. They immediately start dating before Kennedy can fully understand Willow. Their relationship is strained when Willow drains a significant portion of her life force to reopen a portal for Buffy, but they soon reconcile.
Andrew Wells and Jonathan Levinson leave Mexico and return to Sunnydale after The First convinces Andrew to help open the Seal of Danzalthar, which results in the death of Jonathan. Andrew is captured by the Scoobies, who show resentment toward him, but he becomes a committed ally after The First takes Jonathan's form and tries to convince him to kill all the Potentials in the house. Andrew refuses, insisting he's good now, later admitting his guilt about how cruel his betrayal of Jonathan was and disclosing that he does not believe he will survive the forthcoming battle.
Anya and Xander break up for good after a demon named Halfrek gets her to kill a group of frat boys. Buffy and Anya fight while Willow summons D'Hoffryn, who questions Anya. Anya requests that her latest vengeance be reversed. Halfrek is killed and Anya is turned human once more.
Spike is driven mad by The First, and soon it also gains control of him for a time. The First also reveals that Spike killed Robin Wood's mother, sparking a vendetta. Robin makes an attempt on Spike's life. Ironically, this attack frees Spike from his insanity and, regaining his clarity, Spike beats Robin. Buffy finds the injured Robin in his garage and angrily shuns him for attacking Spike. Buffy finds out that Giles was part of the scheme, and becomes angry at him, but they soon make peace.
Willow helps track the Potentials in Sunnydale and a number of them, brought by Giles, take refuge in Buffy's house. Dawn at first believes herself to be a Potential, but becomes disappointed when she finds that is not the case. Xander cheers her up saying she's anything but ordinary. The now human Anya also returns to the Scooby Gang, and while she and Xander still love each other, they don't get back together.
Later, a fully reformed Faith, having been broken out of prison by Wesley to save Angel, returns to Sunnydale to help fight The First. During Faith's return, the Scoobies and the Potentials begin to question Buffy's leadership skills. Everything goes seemingly well, but when Buffy leads the Potentials to attack Caleb and the Bringers, several girls are killed and Xander loses an eye during the fight. The Scoobies and the Potentials eventually mutiny against her, electing a reluctant Faith as their new leader. Spike, however, stays loyal to Buffy and informs her that he has learned of an ancient weapon, known as the Scythe, that was designed only for the Slayer. While Buffy fights Caleb and finds the Scythe, Faith leads the Potentials on a mission in the sewers, only to find they've been tricked as a time bomb explodes. Following the explosion, several Turok-Han attack the survivors. Buffy saves the lives of the remaining Potentials, reconciles with her friends and finally makes peace with Faith.
As the Hellmouth becomes more active, nearly all humans and supernatural creatures flee Sunnydale, turning the town into a ghost town. Buffy and her friends stay behind in an effort to defeat The First. Meanwhile, Xander, at Buffy's request, takes Dawn out of Sunnydale to safety. Also, Principal Wood returns to join the cause and finally accepts Spike.
In the series finale, Dawn adamantly returns to help fight against the First. As she does so, Angel leaves Los Angeles and returns to Sunnydale with an amulet (given to him by Wolfram & Hart), which Buffy gives to Spike. Buffy finally kills Caleb by cutting him in half with the scythe. While Caleb is dead, they make their move to thwart The First's plans once and for all. The Potentials descend into the Hellmouth to fight an army of Turok-Han, while the other Scoobies hold off the few Turok-Han that escape into the halls of Sunnydale High. Willow uses a spell that activates all the Potential Slayers, granting them some Slayer powers. Anya is killed in the fight, along with some of the new Slayers. Fearing she is done for, The First returns to taunt Buffy, saying her fight is in vain. Refusing to let the world be destroyed, Buffy and her allies dig deep and begin to gain the upper hand. Spike's amulet channels the power of the sun and kills all of the Turok-Han in the Hellmouth, but Spike himself is also consumed and he sacrifices himself to defeat the enemy. Buffy tells Spike she loves him; he tells her to run. The Hellmouth collapses, and the resulting crater swallows all of Sunnydale. The survivors of the battle escape on a school bus, which Buffy catches up to after saying goodbye to Spike.
In the last scene of the series, the survivors gather on the rim of Sunnydale's crater. The Scoobies and new Slayers tend to the wounded. Xander mourns Anya's death and is consoled by Andrew. Dawn asks what their next move is and Buffy smiles.
Cast and characters
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers/The First Evil
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
- Emma Caulfield as Anya Jenkins
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers
- James Marsters as Spike/The First Evil
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
- Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells
- D. B. Woodside as Robin Wood
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
- Iyari Limon as Kennedy
- Sarah Hagan as Amanda
- Felicia Day as Vi
- Indigo as Rona
- Clara Bryant as Molly
- Adam Busch as The First Evil/Warren Mears
- Eliza Dushku as Faith
- Nathan Fillion as Caleb
- Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson/The First Evil
- Camden Toy as Turok-Han
- Kristy Wu as Chao-Ahn
- Juliet Landau as The First Evil/Drusilla
- Mary Wilcher as Shannon
- Dania Ramirez as Caridad
- David Boreanaz as Angel
- Harry Groener as The First Evil/Richard Wilkins
- Lalaine as Chloe/The First Evil
- James C. Leary as Clem
- Kali Rocha as Halfrek
- Azura Skye as Cassie Newton/The First Evil
- Kristine Sutherland as The First Evil/Joyce Summers
- Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison
- Sharon Ferguson as First Slayer
- George Hertzberg as The First Evil/Adam
- Clare Kramer as The First Evil/Glory
- Mark Metcalf as The First Evil/The Master
- Andy Umberger as D'Hoffryn
- Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers
Series creator Joss Whedon served as executive producer, and wrote two episodes – the season premiere and finale – and directed the finale as well. Marti Noxon also served as executive producer and was the showrunner, but only co-wrote one episode. Noxon was originally due to write the penultimate episode of the series, but she was already busy writing a new pilot for Fox. Jane Espenson was promoted to co-executive producer and wrote or co-wrote six episodes. Co-executive producer David Fury wrote three episodes, including directing one of them. Supervising producer Douglas Petrie was promoted to co-executive producer midseason and wrote or co-wrote four episodes, including directing one of them. Rebecca Rand Kirshner was promoted to executive story editor and wrote three episodes. Drew Z. Greenberg was promoted to story editor and wrote three episodes. The only new addition was Drew Goddard, who wrote or co-wrote five episodes.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|123||1||"Lessons"||David Solomon||Joss Whedon||September 24, 2002||7ABB01||5.0|
|Dawn finds vengeful spirits in the new Sunnydale High; Giles is rehabilitating Willow in England. Spike is living in the high school basement and going insane after being filled with guilt upon the return of his soul.|
|124||2||"Beneath You"||Nick Marck||Douglas Petrie||October 1, 2002||7ABB02||5.0|
|The gang deals with a giant underground demon; Willow prepares to return home. Spike reveals to Buffy that he has regained his soul.|
|125||3||"Same Time, Same Place"||James A. Contner||Jane Espenson||October 8, 2002||7ABB03||4.9|
|A weak and vulnerable Willow returns home but cannot find her friends in Sunnydale. At the same time, they cannot find her, but bodies are being found without skin, and the resemblance to Willow's murder of Warren alarms Buffy and Xander.|
|126||4||"Help"||Rick Rosenthal||Rebecca Rand Kirshner||October 15, 2002||7ABB04||5.0|
|Buffy becomes a counselor at Sunnydale High and meets a girl who predicts her own death. Buffy learns that sometimes, whatever you do, you can't always stop bad things from happening.|
|127||5||"Selfless"||David Solomon||Drew Goddard||October 22, 2002||7ABB05||5.0|
|Buffy deals with Anyanka after she grants a lethal wish; Anya's background story is also revealed. The two end up fighting, with Xander unsure of where his loyalties lie.|
|128||6||"Him"||Michael Gershman||Drew Z. Greenberg||November 5, 2002||7ABB06||4.6|
|The young women of Sunnydale are falling for the high school quarterback as a result of a 'magic' jacket; Xander and Spike become reluctant roommates, but try to sort out the confusion.|
|129||7||"Conversations with Dead People"||Nick Marck||Jane Espenson & Drew Goddard||November 12, 2002||7ABB07||4.8|
|Buffy, Dawn, and Willow face individual encounters with familiar faces from their past. Also, Jonathan and Andrew return to Sunnydale to unearth a mysterious symbol.|
|130||8||"Sleeper"||Alan J. Levi||David Fury & Jane Espenson||November 19, 2002||7ABB08||5.0|
|Buffy probes a series of grisly murders that may be the work of Spike.|
|131||9||"Never Leave Me"||David Solomon||Drew Goddard||November 26, 2002||7ABB09||4.8|
|The Summers' home gains two captives: Spike and Andrew.|
|132||10||"Bring on the Night"||David Grossman||Marti Noxon & Douglas Petrie||December 17, 2002||7ABB10||4.8|
|Giles arrives with three apprentice Slayers; the Scoobies research the First; Buffy fights an ancient vampire.|
|133||11||"Showtime"||Michael Grossman||David Fury||January 7, 2003||7ABB11||4.1|
|Buffy must win the confidence of Potential Slayers and kill the Ubervamp.|
|134||12||"Potential"||James A. Contner||Rebecca Rand Kirshner||January 21, 2003||7ABB12||3.6|
|Buffy and Spike establish a boot camp to prepare the Potential Slayers for combat, while a spell from Willow reveals another Potential in Sunnydale. Dawn thinks it may be her for a short while, but then the true Potential is revealed.|
|135||13||"The Killer in Me"||David Solomon||Drew Z. Greenberg||February 4, 2003||7ABB13||3.5|
|After sharing a lingering kiss with would-be Slayer Kennedy, Willow bafflingly transforms into Warren and must confront the loss of Tara. When Spike's chip begins to malfunction, he and Buffy take a trip to the Initiative stomping grounds, where they meet up with a few remaining soldiers who give her a choice of how to deal with the problem. Meanwhile, when Giles takes the Potentials on a self discovery, the rest of the gang find clues that lead them to believe Giles may be the First Evil.|
|136||14||"First Date"||David Grossman||Jane Espenson||February 11, 2003||7ABB14||4.2|
|Buffy accepts a dinner invitation from Principal Wood; Anya is jealous when Xander has a date, but it turns out to not be so innocent.|
|137||15||"Get It Done"||Douglas Petrie||Douglas Petrie||February 18, 2003||7ABB15||3.4|
|Buffy learns more about the First Slayer and the source of power.|
|138||16||"Storyteller"||Marita Grabiak||Jane Espenson||February 25, 2003||7ABB16||3.6|
|Andrew makes a documentary on the events in Sunnydale.|
|139||17||"Lies My Parents Told Me"||David Fury||David Fury & Drew Goddard||March 25, 2003||7ABB17||3.4|
|The gang investigates Spike's trigger; Principal Wood and Giles decide to eliminate Spike without Buffy's knowledge or approval, but fail. Buffy confronts them.|
|140||18||"Dirty Girls"||Michael Gershman||Drew Goddard||April 15, 2003||7ABB18||3.3|
|Faith returns to Sunnydale; a new powerful evil face appears, Caleb, a former priest who is unstoppable and works for The First; Buffy leads the troops into battle. Xander loses his eye to Caleb. Some of the Potentials are killed by Caleb.|
|141||19||"Empty Places"||James A. Contner||Drew Z. Greenberg||April 29, 2003||7ABB19||3.6|
|As the residents of Sunnydale evacuate, and the Potentials suffer many casualties, Buffy loses the trust of the group and is forced out of the house. Faith becomes the leader.|
|142||20||"Touched"||David Solomon||Rebecca Rand Kirshner||May 6, 2003||7ABB20||4.0|
|A depressed Buffy is comforted by Spike; Willow and Kennedy become intimate, as do Faith and Principal Wood. Anya and Xander rekindle their spark. The Scoobies capture and interrogate a Bringer; Faith decides on a plan, but it doesn't go smoothly.|
|143||21||"End of Days"||Marita Grabiak||Douglas Petrie & Jane Espenson||May 13, 2003||7ABB21||4.1|
|Buffy finds a battleaxe in the cave and faces off with Caleb; an old ally returns to Sunnydale to help.|
|144||22||"Chosen"||Joss Whedon||Joss Whedon||May 20, 2003||7ABB22||4.9|
|Buffy talks to Angel about the future. Buffy and the Scooby Gang devise a plan to launch an all-out assault against the First. They all descend on the Hellmouth, as Willow uses a spell on the battleaxe to turn the Potential Slayers into actual Slayers and they engage in a vicious battle against thousands of Ubervamps. Spike uses the amulet Angel brought from L.A. and brings about the end of Sunnydale, and the Hellmouth. Willow becomes a goddess, Buffy is able to escape the crumbling Hellmouth and reunites with the gang.|
Crossovers with Angel
In "Lies My Parents Told Me", Willow (Alyson Hannigan) receives a call from Fred. She leaves immediately and goes to L.A. without telling why. Willow appears in the Angel episode "Orpheus" to re-ensoul Angel (David Boreanaz) as she previously did before in "Becoming". After successfully re-ensouling Angel, she brings Faith (Eliza Dushku) back with her to Sunnydale to help in the fight against The First Evil.
In the Angel season four finale, "Home", Angel receives an amulet from Wolfram & Hart which is important to the final battle in Sunnydale. Angel goes to Sunnydale in the penultimate episode "End of Days" and also appears in the series finale "Chosen". Angel gives Buffy the amulet (which is later worn by Spike in the final battle) and offers his help, but Buffy declines as she needs him to be the second front if they fail. Buffy and Angel share one final moment in a graveyard where they discuss a possible future.
In the fifth and final season of Angel, Spike is resurrected (after his death in "Chosen") by the magical amulet. Spike becomes a main character in the final season. Harmony Kendall (Mercedes McNab) also becomes a main character in the final season. Buffy recurring character Andrew Wells (Tom Lenk) appears in two episodes ("Damage" and "The Girl in Question") in the final season of Angel, revealed to be a Watcher-in-training. Andrew states in "Damage" that Xander is in Africa, Willow and Kennedy are in Brazil, Buffy and Dawn are in Rome, and everyone else is in England.
The series received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series for "Chosen". While, "Chosen" won for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Television Series at the Visual Effects Society Awards.
The seventh season averaged 4.1 million viewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave season seven a score of 80% with an average rating of 8.33 out of 10 based on 20 reviews with a critics consensus stating, "Seldom subtle, always subversive, Buffy ends the way it began: a funny, weird show that packs a punch and a whole lot of feeling."
Canonical comic book continuation
In late 2006, series creator Joss Whedon announced that a canonical comic book continuation of the series would be written. The comic book, titled Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, is published by Dark Horse Comics; and the first issue (written by Whedon), titled "The Long Way Home" was released on March 14, 2007.
The storyline picks up after the end of the final episode with the Scooby Gang in Europe and Buffy in charge of all the new Slayers. Most of the characters from the television series appear in the comic book series.
Out of the 40 issues of Season Eight, Whedon wrote 17 issues and oversaw all other issues as "executive producer". Other Buffy television writers that have written issues include Jane Espenson (6 issues), Drew Goddard (4 issues), Steven S. DeKnight (1 issue), Drew Z. Greenberg (1 issue) and Doug Petrie (1 issue).
The comic book series continued with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine in September 2011, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten in March 2014, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eleven in November 2016, and concluded with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Twelve in June 2018.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Seventh Season was released on DVD in region 1 on November 16, 2004 and in region 2 on April 5, 2004. The DVD includes all 22 episodes on 6 discs presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio (region 1) and in anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio (region 2 and 4). Special features on the DVD include seven commentary tracks—"Lessons" by writer Joss Whedon and director David Solomon; Conversations with Dead People" by writers Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard, director Nick Marck, and actors Danny Strong and Tom Lenk; "Selfless" by writer Drew Goddard and director David Solomon; "The Killer in Me" by writer Drew Z. Greenberg and director David Solomon; "Lies My Parents Told Me" by co-writer/director David Fury, co-writer Drew Goddard, and actors James Marsters and D. B. Woodside; "Dirty Girls" by writer Drew Goddard and actor Nicholas Brendon; and "Chosen" by writer and director Joss Whedon. Featurettes include, "Buffy: It's Always Been About the Fans", which details the fandom of the series; "Buffy 101: Studying the Slayer" showcases interviews with television critics and scholars discussing the themes of show; "Generation S" showcases interviews with the "Slayerettes" introduced in the season; "The Last Sundown" has Joss Whedon list his favorite episodes and comments on the show; "Buffy wraps" features interviews with cast and crew at the series wrap party; and "Season 7 Overview – Buffy: Full Circle", a 30-minute featurette where cast and crew members discuss the season. Also included are series outtakes and DVD-ROM content.
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