Original airdate: May 19, 1998
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 23, 2009
This episode is truly a crowning achievement in writing. Every line is flawless. Every action is of critical importance to wrapping up Season 2 and laying the groundwork for future seasons.
At the 36-minute mark of the episode, there’s an exchange between Buffy and Angelus that really sums up the first 2 seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Angelus: “So that’s everything, huh. No weapons. No friends. No hope. Take all that away, and what’s left.”I’ve seen it more than 20 times and I still get chills.
But more than chills, this episode is about tears. I’m secure enough to admit that I’ve cried when the final few minutes of this episode plays out. What amazes me is how often during the episode there are tear-inducing moments. The scene with Buffy and Joyce, after Joyce discovers Buffy’s secret and they have their big argument which leads to Buffy running away, is probably the best example of this.
I also love the chill I get when Buffy and Whistler are talking about how to use the sword against Angelus, and Buffy says she’ll be ready to use it, because she’s got nothing left to lose. After she walks away, Whistler says, “Wrong, kid. You’ve got one more thing.” Just awesome.
As for the final 7 minutes of the episode, after Willow restores Angel’s soul, I can’t really do them justice. I still have a hard time watching it, because it’s so sad. From the moment Angel says “Buffy” (moments after his soul is restored), everything else is just heart-wrenching.
I’m not sure the creators of this episode could have picked a better song to play over the final scenes than Sarah McLachlan’s “Full of Grace”. These 3 minutes of aftermath are by far the saddest 3 minutes of the entire series, even more so than Buffy’s death in “The Gift”.
I didn’t watch the series back when it was originally on, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. I’m not sure I could have dealt with having that ending to an episode and not getting a follow up for 4 months.
“Close your eyes” - Buffy, to Angel, right before killing him.
(notably, it’s the same thing Darla says to Angel, right before turning him, in the first part of this episode)