Season 1, Episode 12 - “Prophecy Girl”
Original airdate: June 2, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 2, 2009
There’s no simpler way to put it than this: “Prophecy Girl”, the season 1 finale of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, is even better than I’d remembered.
Rarely does a season finale tie up all the loose ends of a season so perfectly -- then again, the creators of the show had to do that, because they didn’t know if this was going to be just a season finale or the series finale, so it had to stand up as the latter, in the event the show didn’t get renewed.
Let’s cover the things I love about the episode in the order they happen.
-The entire Buffy/Xander rejection scene is perfect. Xander finally confronts Buffy with his feelings for her, and Buffy rejects him flat out. First she tries to give him the “I don’t want to ruin our friendship” excuse, then, when Xander doesn’t buy it, she admits she just doesn’t like him that way. Having been on Xander’s end of the conversation (more than once), I knew exactly what he was feeling at that moment, and it sucks.
-The scene between Buffy, Giles and Angel, when Buffy finds out about the prophecy that says she’s going to die, is the first truly perfect moment of Season 1. It’s the culmination of all the dramatic moments from the entire season. When Buffy says at the end, simply, “I don’t want to die”, it comes across so sincere and so sad (major credit to Sarah Michelle Gellar for playing this as dramatic and not melodramatic).
-I adore this quote: “The part that gets me is where Buffy is the Vampire Slayer. She’s so little.” I miss Ms. Calendar.
-Pretty much every character in the show says this to her, but I feel the need to point this out: Buffy’s dress really is great.
-When Xander goes into Angel’s apartment, he says “mind if I come in”, then barges right in past Angel before Angel can respond. It’s a subtle reminder that Angel is a vampire, Xander isn’t, and Xander naturally doesn’t like him (because Angel couldn’t do the same at Xander’s home).
-I can’t express enough how much I adore the little scene where Buffy, Xander and Angel are all leaving The Master’s lair and the theme song plays in the background. It’s just so cool.
-Buffy’s sarcastic banter with The Master during their post-death fight is just really cool. It’s like dying is just what Buffy needed to clear al the angst out of her system.
There are some things about the episode that I don’t like (the hellmouth demon looks incredibly fake, for one), but they’re really just nitpicking, and this episode is too good for that. I’ve never put it one one of my top 5 lists (and justifiably so, given how good some of the episodes are in Seasons 2-5), but it is absolutely the best episode in the first season-and-a-half of the show.