Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Angel and Buffy are still kissing in the tomb, and Spike is still watching. Buffy asks why Angel is there; he has brought her information from his colleagues (see the Angel episode “Home”). As she’s telling him that the First is raising an army, Caleb suddenly stands up and knocks Angel out with a statue. He’s ready to finish the fight with Buffy. They battle, and just as he gets the upper hand, she slices him in half with the scythe. Seconds later, Angel gets up, angry, and Buffy explains, “He had to split,” cracking herself up. In the shadows, First!Buffy tells Spike that Buffy doesn’t need him.

Angel gives Buffy an amulet and says that it will give power to “the right person who wears it.” The person is supposed to be “someone ensouled, but stronger than human. A champion,” which could be either Buffy or Angel (or, technically, Spike or Faith, though they don’t mention that). Angel says that he doesn’t think it’s safe for Buffy to wear the amulet if they don’t know what it does, and points out that she has the scythe. She tells him that she doesn’t want him around for the battle because she can’t risk him. She wants him back in L.A. in case they can’t keep the battle contained to the Hellmouth.

Angel asks if Buffy’s asking him to leave has anything to do with Spike. He wants to know if he’s her boyfriend, which seems strange to him. She tells him it’s different, since Spike now has a soul. Angel is jealous that he’s no longer unique and says that he’s “getting the brush-off for Captain Peroxide.” She mentions that their relationship wasn’t exactly perfect, then launches into an analogy: she’s cookie dough. She’s not done baking yet, but when she is, someone will be able to enjoy her. She isn’t sure who it will be or when she’ll be ready, but Angel seems willing to wait for her. Buffy returns home to find Dawn and Xander there. Dawn kicks her as revenge and Buffy allows her to stay. She tells the Scoobies that she killed Caleb with the scythe and they are glad to hear that he’s out of the way.

Buffy heads to the basement and learns that Spike knows Angel was in town. She isn’t happy to have to deal with another jealous vampire, and sees that Spike has taped an unflattering picture of Angel to his punching bag. He asks her about the amulet and tries to stake a claim to it. She says that it’s supposed to be worn by a champion, then surprises him by giving it to him. He lets her spend the night with him in his cot. In the middle of the night the First appears to her in the guise of Caleb and she stands up to him, pointing out that he’s not very dangerous if he’s non-corporeal. He tells her that when his army outnumbers humans, he “will be made flesh.” He says that no one can really help her - she’s alone, and no one else has the power she has. He morphs into Buffy, who continues to taunt the real Buffy: “Into every generation, a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world. She alone will have the strength and skill to--. There's that word again. What you are. How you'll die. Alone.” Buffy realizes that she’s right, but when Spike wakes up she tells him she’s realized something else - they’re going to win.

In Buffy’s room, the Scoobies have just heard Buffy’s plan, which is apparently just as crazy as her plan in “Graduation Day, Part 2,” because they react the same way they did then. Everyone is skeptical that her plan will work, but Giles supports her; she appreciates his input. Willow is nervous, because she plays a big role in the plan, but Buffy assures her that she has faith in her. The Scoobies split up to research, contact some help, and assemble the potentials. Buffy tells the potentials that she thinks they can win the battle, but that they need to make a choice. In the school basement, Faith and Wood discuss Buffy’s plan as they block vents to keep the Turok-Han out of the sewers. She tells him that her relationships don’t usually have more than just a physical element; he replies that there are guys in the world that she can trust. He makes a deal with her - if they survive, she will give him the chance to surprise her.

While Willow prepares for the next day’s battle, she tells Kennedy that if she starts to go evil again, she wants Kennedy to kill her. Kennedy reminds her that Buffy believes in her and tries to assure her that things will be fine. In the dining room, Giles and Xander study a map and appear to be figuring out positions for the battle. It soon becomes clear that they are playing a board game with Amanda and Andrew (who seems to be wearing Buffy’s Little Red Riding Hood cloak from “Fear, Itself”). Giles is frustrated when he realizes that he doesn’t have any power in the game. They wish they could sleep, but Xander says only crazy people could sleep right now (including Anya, who’s snoring next to him).

Bright and early the next morning, the Scoobies and potentials arrive at the high school. Faith and Spike take the potentials to the basement and Kennedy heads to Wood’s office to set things up for Willow. Giles suggests that he and Wood head for the lounge; Buffy puts Xander with Dawn to guard the atrium. Anya and Andrew are left to guard the north hall. Andrew gives a speech which includes a shout-out to his brother Tucker (see “The Prom”), but Anya interrupts him with “nobody cares, you little monkey” and drags him off. Dawn heads off and Buffy starts to say something to her, but Dawn stops her: “Anything you say is gonna sound like goodbye.”

Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles - the original Scoobies - are left alone in the hallway. They have a lighthearted conversation about their plans for the next day. Giles ends the discussion with a paraphrase of his last line from “The Harvest”: “The earth is definitely doomed.” Buffy, Xander, and Willow walk down the hall together, sharing a silent emotional moment before Buffy joins Faith, Spike, and the potentials in the basement. The Slayers and potentials cut their hands with a knife, then let their blood fall onto the seal. Parts of it sink down and create a staircase, which they all descend into the Hellmouth. They see the army of Turok-Han and try not to panic. Buffy says that everything will be fine as long as Willow does her spell before the army sees them…but it’s too late.

In Wood’s office, Willow performs her spell; she and the scythe begin to glow white. In a flashback to Buffy’s last talk with the potentials, she tells them that, if they want, they can have the same power as a Slayer without having to wait for it: “I say my power is our power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer…will be a Slayer.” As she speaks, we see a number of scenes of normally weak girls suddenly receiving power and realizing that they’re strong. A girl grabs the wrist of the man who’s about to hit her. A girl who is being bullied overpowers her attacker. A girl who was anxious about being up to bat at a softball game smiles a wicked smile, now confident that she can hit the ball. As the Turok-Han rush the potentials, Vi smiles and says firmly, “These guys are dust.” Kennedy, now also confident, sees that Willow’s hair has become white. The scythe stops glowing and her hair becomes red again. She gives the scythe to Kennedy to take to Buffy, then collapses. She grins and says, “Ha! That was nifty.”

Kennedy brings the scythe to Buffy, who uses it to kill more easily. The potentials battle the Turok-Han easily, but some of them are still able to get past them and head up into the school. In the hallway, Anya and Andrew hear them coming and Anya admits that she’s scared. Andrew tells her to think of happy things: “a lake, candy canes, bunnies.” She grows angry at the thought of her floppy-eared foes and confidently prepares to fight. Giles, Wood, Anya, and Andrew battle Turok-Han, working efficiently. Spike realizes that his amulet is beginning to do whatever it’s supposed to do. Before Buffy can react, a Turok-Han stabs her from behind and she falls to the ground.

Xander and Dawn battle Turok-Han, at one point opening a skylight to make things go faster. As Anya moves to help Andrew, she is sliced through the torso and killed. A Bringer stabs Wood and Giles catches him. Faith and the potentials pass the scythe around; Buffy is still on the ground. First!Buffy approaches her and says, “You came pretty close to smacking me down. What more do you want?” Buffy replies, “I want you…to get out of my face.” She stands and Rona throws the scythe to her. Emboldened by Buffy’s return to the battle, the potentials fight harder. However, a couple of potentials are killed, including Amanda. A blue light shoots from Spike’s amulet through the ceiling and Wood’s office. The light turns orange and shines out of the Hellmouth in different directions. The light dusts many of the Turok-Han and the ground begins to shake. Faith yells for everyone to get out as Buffy rushes over to Spike. He tells her his soul is really there. Andrew stabs a Bringer and one of the potentials pulls him out of the school as he asks, “Why?” Giles helps Wood outside and they get the potentials onto a bus. Kennedy helps Willow outside as Xander and Dawn head down the hall. Xander calls out for Anya but doesn’t see her body before Dawn pulls him outside.

Spike tells Buffy to leave but she thinks that he can go, too. He tells her he has to stay behind. She tells him she loves him; he replies that she doesn’t, but appreciates the fact that she said it. He tells her to leave again and says, “I wanna see how it ends.” The building explodes just as Faith gets outside and jumps onto the bus. Dawn looks out the window, trying to see Buffy. Buffy runs through the halls of the school as Spike laughs, slowly burning up from the light of the amulet. (Don’t worry - he’ll be back in the Angel episode “Conviction.”) Scoobies and potentials tend to the injured on the bus as Andrew wonders, “Why didn’t I die?” Dawn sees Buffy running across the rooftops of buildings which are collapsing in the destruction of the Hellmouth. She jumps towards the street and lands on top of the bus as the entire town collapses. The bus stops just outside the city.

In the final scene of the final episode of Buffy, the Slayer jumps down from the bus and is greeted by Dawn. Giles asks, “Who did this?” and Buffy replies, “Spike.” People start to get off of the bus to look at the destruction. Xander asks Andrew if he saw Anya; Andrew replies, “She was incredible. She died saving my life.” Xander says, “That’s my girl. Always doing the stupid thing.” Faith heads towards Wood, who dazedly asks if they made it. She assures him that they won and he suddenly falls silent, remaining still. She sadly reaches out to close his eyes but he coughs, then smiles at her and says, “Surprise.” Buffy, Giles, Xander, Willow, Faith, and Dawn gather outside the bus and look at the collapsed Hellmouth, which the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign falls into. Faith notes that it’s definitely gone and Giles mentions that there’s another one in Cleveland (see “The Wish”). Willow says that she can feel Slayers waking up all over the world and Dawn says that they’ll have to find them. She’s not so thrilled about the outcome of the battle when she realizes that they destroyed the mall. Giles is ready to begin the work but the others are in favor of sleeping. Willow asks Buffy what she thinks they should do. Faith says, “Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?” Dawn asks her sister, “What are we gonna do now?” Buffy looks out at the town formerly known as Sunnydale and smiles.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: No matter how many times they rebuild a school, you can still destroy it.

R.I.P.: Caleb, Anya, Amanda, Spike (sort of), the Hellmouth

GRADE: A- A much-debated ending, but I think it's very fitting.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - “Okay...how many times do I have to kill you? Ballpark figure.” - Buffy to Caleb

(Angel produces the amulet)
Buffy: “I can already tell you, I have nothing that goes with that.”
Angel: “It’s not for you.”
Buffy: “Splainy?”
Angel: “I don't know everything. It's very powerful and probably very dangerous. It has a purifying power, a cleansing power…possibly scrubbing bubbles.”

Angel: “That’s great. Everyone’s got a soul now.”
Buffy: “He’ll make a difference.”
Angel: “You know, I started it. The whole having a soul. Before it was all the cool new thing.”

Buffy: “Because - okay, I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking. I'm not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I'm gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day I turn around and realize I'm ready. I'm cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat - or enjoy warm, delicious cookie me, then...that's fine. That'll be then. When I'm done.”
Angel: “Any thoughts on who might enjoy--. Do I have to go with the cookie analogy?”

Xander: “Don't look at me. This is a Summers thing. It's all very violent.”
Buffy: (to Dawn) “If you get killed, I’m telling.”

“Hey, party in my eye socket and everyone's invited. (everyone stares at him) Sometimes I shouldn't say words.” - Xander

Spike: “”So...where's tall, dark, and forehead?”
Buffy: “Let me guess. You can smell him.”
Spike: “Yeah, that, and I also used my enhanced vampire eyeballs to watch you kissing him.”
Buffy: “It was…a hello.”
Spike: “Most people don't use their tongues to say hello. Or I guess they do, but--.”
Buffy: “There were no tongues. Besides, he's gone.”
Spike: “Oh, just popped by for a quickie, then?”
Buffy: “Good, good. I haven't had quite enough jealous vampire crap for one night.”
Spike: “He wears lifts, you know.”
Buffy: “You know, one of these days I'm just gonna put you two in a room and let you wrestle it out.”
Spike: “No problem at this end.”
Buffy: “There could be oil of some kind involved.”

“Have you ever considered a cool name? I mean, since you're incorporeal and basically powerless. How about ‘The Taunter’?” - Buffy to the First Evil as Caleb

Buffy: “What do you think?”
Xander: “That depends. Are you in any way...kidding?”

“Buffy, what you said, it - it flies in the face of everything we've ever - every generation has ever done in the fight against evil. (smiles) I think it's bloody brilliant.” - Giles

Anya: “Come on, let's go assemble the cannon fodder.”
Xander: “That's not what we're calling them, sweetie.”
Anya: “Not to their faces. What, am I insensitive?”

Faith: “Come on, you gotta have a little faith.”
Wood: “I think I've had my share, thanks.”
Faith: “Well, I trundled right into that one, didn't I?”

“Oh, please. I am so much prettier than you are.” - Wood to Faith

Kennedy: “Buffy believes in you.”
Willow: “You know, Buffy - sweet girl, not that bright.”

Xander: “Smackdown on Red Riding Hood. This could get ugly.”
Giles: “Could it possibly get uglier? I used to be a highly respected Watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily.”

Wood: “Welcome to Sunnydale High. There's no running in the halls, no yelling, no gum chewing. Apart from that, there's only one rule. If they move, kill them.”
Buffy: “Okay, potentials, in the basement. Follow Faith and Spike.”
Xander: “If you have to go to the bathroom, it's to your left. If you don't have to go to the bathroom, picture what you're about to face. Better to go now.”

Andrew: “We will defend it with our very lives.”
Anya: “Yes, we will defend it with his very life.”
Xander: “And don't be afraid to use him as a human shield.”
Anya: “Good, yes, thanks.”

Buffy: “So, what do you guys want to do tomorrow?”
Willow: “Nothing strenuous.”
Xander: “Well, mini-golf is always the first thing that comes to mind.”
Giles: “I think we can do better than that.”
Buffy: “ I was thinking about shopping. As per usual.”
Willow: “Oh! There's an Agnes B. in the new mall!”
Xander: “I could use a few items.”
Giles: “Well, now, aren't we gonna discuss this? Save the world to go to the mall?”
Buffy: “I'm having a wicked shoe craving.”
Xander: “Aren't you on the patch?”
Willow: “Those never work.”
Giles: “Here I am, invisible to the eye...”
Xander: “See, I need a new look. It's this whole eye patch thing.”
Buffy: “Oh, you could go with full black secret agent look.”
Willow: “Or the puffy shirt, pirate slash--.”
Giles: “The earth is definitely doomed. “

Faith: “Looks like the Hellmouth is officially closed for business.”
Giles: “There is another one in Cleveland. Not to spoil the moment.”

Giles: “Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale, so there's no hope of going there tomorrow.”
Dawn: “We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side.”
Xander: “All those shops gone. The Gap, Starbucks, Toys ‘R’ Us. Who will remember all those landmarks unless we tell the world about them?”

“What are we gonna do now?” - Dawn, speaking the final line of Buffy

Dawn: “And the Master grabbed Buffy from behind and bit her. She tried to move, but he was too strong. He fed on her blood and tossed her in the water, cackling insanely as the bubbles rose around her and she slowly drowned to death.”
Vi: “Do you have any other stories?” (from the original script)

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