The Gift (5x22)

On a whole, "The Gift" is one of the best and worst Buffy episodes ever to air. This show had everything from heart-felt drama to action and comedy to unbelievably horrific scenes. If you never watched Buffy before, you'd be able to jump right in with this finale and care about the characters. The writing was wonderful, the direction was amazing, and acting, superb. Joss Whedon did not leave out anything and even threw in some mighty nice surprises. I would definitely say you have to watch this episode more than once to get the right feel because there is so much depth and complexity that one person could not take in everything on a single watch. If the show had ended after this season, it would have gone out on the highest note possible. The only bad thing about this episode is, if you don't have any tissues nearby, you're going to be hurtin'.

Previously
It starts out as usual with "Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and I have to say that this is extremely well thought out and put together and sets the whole tone for the season finale because the scenes go all the way back to first season. All of the characters are introduced from Willow, Giles and Xander to Cordelia and Angel (good Angel and bad Angel). We are berated with significant scenes throughout the entire first season, second season, third season, fourth season, and up to the fifth season all but the finale. Each season the scenes flash by faster and faster until it's a sudden hault to the opening scene of the episode.

The Teaser
A boy is running quickly, music is intense, and suddenly he stops, realizing he's run himself into a dead end. An overpowering vampire steps into view and begins at him. Buffy then comes out of a side door, into the alley, a fight ensues ending in, of course, dust of the vampire. The boy is stunned and then comments to Buffy, "but you're just a girl." She then replies, "that's what I keep saying."

Memorable Moments:
BUFFY: (emerging from the doorway) You guys havin' a fight? 'Cause, you know, fighting's not cool.

BUFFY: Okay. Um ... how about the expression, 'vampire slayer'?
VAMP: What the hell you talkin' about?
BUFFY: Wow. Never heard that one. Okay. How about, 'Oh god, my leg, my leg'?

KID: H-how'd you do that?
BUFFY: It's what I do.
KID: But you're ... you're just a girl.
BUFFY: That's what *I* keep saying.

ACT I
Buffy returns from the side door into the magic shop where everyone is gathered. They have been discussing the ritual and plans to stop it. Buffy wants to go through the ritual again and Giles reads what we know has been read many times over. The ritual is all bad and won't end until all the blood is drained from Dawn and she's dead. Giles makes it very clear that he feels killing Dawn is better than losing the entire world to Glory's destruction. Buffy refuses any suggestions on what to do if the ritual is started and how to stop it because the only way would be to kill Dawn and Buffy won't let Dawn die for any reason and will stand in the way of anyone who tries to hurt her. Anya then tries to break the mood by being incredibly enthusiastic and encouraging everyone to come up with new ideas to stop Glory, or at least keep her occupied until it's too late to start the ritual. She comes up with the idea to use the Dragon sphere and Olaf's hammer to possibly injure or distract Glory. The only problem now is that they have no way of finding Glory and don't know where to begin looking. That's when Tara comes in with her crazy talk, saying, "I have places to be." and "Big day. Oh, it calls me! I have to be there!" Everyone shares a knowing look of what they're going to do. Next we see Dawn being held captive by the minions and Ben is actually the one in charge. Dawn can't stand to see the sight of him and yells until he changes into Glory. Glory teases Dawn about Buffy not coming and maybe if Buffy does show, it won't be to save her. She then strongly suggests Dawn change into the ceremonial gown. Dawn cries out for Buffy who is... whaling away on a punching bag. Giles comes in and expresses sympathy for Buffy but doesn't apologize for what he had suggested earlier. Buffy lets him know that if anything happens to Dawn, injury or death, then she's walking away. She quits her slayer duty once and for all. Back to the warehouse where Dawn is being kept, Glory has had her dragged out, for the ritual is about to begin. This is the first time we actually get to see what Glory has been working on all this time, it's a huge Tower built out of scrap metal, welded together by the crazy people. Dawn is now forced to begin up the stairs to the top of the tower.

Memorable Moments:
SPIKE: 'Cause it's always got to be blood.

BEN: Look, I ... I wish there was another way.
DAWN: And I wish you'd fall on your head and drown in your own barf, so ... (shrugs) I guess we're both disappointed.

Buffy: (tearfully) I just wish my mom was here

ACT II
Xander and Anya are in the basement supposedly searching for the Dragon sphere when Giles calls down to them. He remarks that time is a factor so he suggests they look faster. They get back to work and are startled by finding the buffy-bot hidden under a blanker and Anya is then frightened by finding a stuffed bunny just sitting in a box. She takes this to be an omen that the world is going to end. Xander and Anya discuss how nervous they are about the whole situation and to try to add to that Xander decides to propose to Anya. She is appalled that Xander would propose knowing that they're going to die, but he assures her that the only reason he is proposing is because he knows that the world is not going to end and they will be able to get married. Anya realizes his point of view and accents the ring. Up in the main area of the Magic Shop Buffy approaches Willow on ideas of how to get Glory on the ropes, Willow is going to be their big-gun. The only suggestion that Willow has is a spell that can reverse what Glory did to Tara and she thinks that might take something out of Glory or all of their heads might explode. Buffy is pulled away and she and Giles begin deep in discussion about things we can't see or hear, only that Xander and Anya found the Dragon sphere. Buffy then leaves to stock-up on weapons and pulls Spike along with her, to his own surprise. When they get to her house Spike is unable to enter until Buffy invites him in. This is one of the most poignant moments in the whole show because all animosity and abhorrence is put aside to fight the good fight. Spike recognizes that Buffy will never love him because he is in fact a monster, but she treats him like a man and that really means something to him. They gather all they came to get and go back to the Magic Shop where everyone is raring to go. Buffy reminds them all that if any of them go near Dawn, she'll kill them herself. They put their plan into action, having Tara lead them to the tower, as they follow close but not too close behind her. Immediately after Tara enters the crazy working world, Glory notices her and asks her what she's doing there. Willow, stepping into view, simply replies, "she's with me." Willow grabs both Glory's and Tara's heads. They all scream as blue lightning begins to flicker around them. Bright blue light appears to stream from Glory's head to Tara's. Suddenly a blast of power separates them. All three go flying in different directions. Willow crashes into a pile of wood. Glory becomes disoriented and states she needs a brain to eat because that witch put a hole in her head. Suppose I could eat yours, she says to Buffy who's standing twenty feet away with her hands clasped behind her back. Buffy dares, "Come and get it."

Memorable Moments:
BUFFY: I need you, Will. You're my big gun.
WILLOW: (alarmed) I'm your - no, I-I was never a gun. Someone else should be the gun. I, I could be a, a cudgel. Or, or a pointy stick.

XANDER: Hey, I happen to be-
SPIKE: A glorified bricklayer?
XANDER: (looks around at the others) I'm also a swell bowler.
ANYA: Has his own shoes.

SPIKE: I know you'll never love me.
Buffy pauses halfway up the stairs, turns back to look at Spike.
SPIKE: I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man. And that's something.

GLORY: You. What are you doing here?
Willow appears beside Glory.
WILLOW: She's with me.

ACT III
This act opens on Glory and Buffy in a stare-down. The Dragon sphere is what is causing Glory's temporary disorientation. Buffy throws the Dragon sphere to Glory who instinctively catches it and crushes it but before she can get out her witty remark, Buffy is on top of her punching and kicking away. The others have spread out to fight the crazies who are now guarding the steps to the tower, not letting anyone pass. Dawn, tied to the top of the tower with her toes dangling over the edge, notices Buffy and calls out to her. Willow comes to and crawls over to Tara, who has now recovered from both the brain eating and the brain restoration. Tara says, "I got so lost." They share a lovers embrace as Willow says, "I will always find you." Buffy and Glory continue at it but Glory regains her strength and knocks Buffy's block of. Wires are exposed and her body falls to the ground like dead weight. Glory is shocked to find out that the slayer is a robot. The real Buffy appears behind her knocking her across the room with Olaf's hammer. Buffy hears Dawn's cries to her and tries to get to her by going up the tower but Glory comes to and a huge fight ensues between them, both of them falling off of the tower a couple of times. They finally fall all the way to the ground and they both stand up dusting themselves off. Buffy pushes Glory away but Glory notices Buffy no longer has her hammer. "What are you gonna hit me with now?" are the only words she can get out because through the wall comes a huge wrecking ball and slams glory across the room. Buffy retrieves her hammer and goes after Glory. The rest of the fighting gang are huddled behind a wall unable to advance against the crazies and minions. Dawn is standing helpless at the top of the scaffold as Doc appears in front of her. She pleads for him to help her but to her dismay, Doc pulls a shinny knife into view making it apparent, he's not on her side.

Memorable Moments:
BUFFY: I heard it's supposed to repel you. So my guess is ... you probably shouldn't touch it, either (to Glory about the Dragon sphere)

TARA: (tearfully) Willow ... I got so lost.
WILLOW: (smiling) I found you.
Willow kisses Tara all over her face, then hugs her. They both smile happily.
WILLOW: I will always find you.

GLORY: (staring) Hey, wow, the Slayer's a robot. (looks around) Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?

BUFFY: You're not the brightest god in the heavens, are you?

GLORY: You lost your hammer, sweet cheeks. What are you gonna hit me with now?
Buffy looks at the wall.
Glory turns to the wall also, just as a huge wrecking-ball crashes through the wall and into Glory. It crashes through a second wall, deposits Glory on the other side, and swings back.
BUFFY: Whatever's handy.

XANDER: The glorified bricklayer picks up a spare.

ACT IV
The Scooby's (minus Willow and Tara) are still huddled behind the wall out of ideas on how to advance against the mob. Suddenly Spike hears Willow's voice telling him to get to Dawn, now. There's someone up there with her. The rest of the group doesn't know who Spike is talking to because only he can hear Willow talking telepathically. Spike gets up and charges out as the others stare at him in surprise. Willow puts her hand behind her without looking back. Tara puts her own hand in Willow's. The entire crowd of minions and crazies suddenly parts into two halves like the Red Sea. They all yell in surprise -- an unseen force is shoving them aside as Spike runs through. He reaches the top of the tower in seconds and he and Doc face off. Doc can't understand why Spike cares so much and Spike replies, "I made a promise to a lady." Spike underestimates Doc's power as Doc easily pushes him aside. He then falls all the way back down to the ground, smashing into a pile of wood. Glory is now on the run from Buffy as Buffy continues hit after hit with Olaf's hammer. Glory collapses to the ground and Buffy still whales away. Glory then morphs into Ben and Buffy drops the hammer. She threatens him to never come near any of them again. He gives his word and she runs off, but his word isn't good enough for Giles as he appears kneeling beside Ben. Giles reaches down and puts his hand over Ben's nose and mouth, holding them shut. Ben struggles weakly as Giles keeps him still. Giles keeps his calm expression throughout. He can do what Buffy cannot, take a human life. Buffy makes it to the top of the tower and pushes Doc to the ground with ease, but she's too late. He's already made shallow cuts to Dawn's sides. A few drops of Dawn's blood drip over the edge. In midair they meet something, and a small circle of light appears, quickly growing. Horrible awful things start to happen. Lightening strikes all around Sunnydale and weird things occur like daemons in the walls of an apartment building, crying out in pain. The ground splits and shakes like an earth quake and everyone attempts to stay calm. Buffy tries to get Dawn to run but she refuses, instead, wants to jump off the scaffold and close the portal. Buffy won't hear of it. She gets a sudden look of realization on her face. She knows what she has to do. Buffy quickly tells Dawn to tell Giles she figured it out and this is what she has to do. "Be brave", she says, "and live, for me.". She then, in slow motion, turns and runs down the scaffold, swan-dives off of it through the portal, causing it to close. The sky grows lighter as the sun tries to rise. Everyone surrounds Buffy, unable to believe she's really dead. Willow sobs in sadness, Spike wretches in pain, and Giles, Anya and Xander stare in disbelief. Dawn ascends the metal-made tower in tears. The end of the episode closes on Buffy's grave: Buffy Anne Summers. 1981-2001. Beloved Sister. Devoted Friend. "She Saved the World, A Lot."

DOC: I don't smell a soul anywhere on you. Why do you even care?
SPIKE: I made a promise to a lady.

GILES: She's a hero, you see. (Giles puts his glasses on) She's not like us.
(To Ben about Buffy)

BUFFY VOICEOVER: Dawn, the hardest thing in this world ... is to live in it.
Dawn begins to cry again.
BUFFY: Be brave. Live.
BUFFY VOICEOVER: For me.

BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS
1981-2001
BELOVED SISTER
DEVOTED FRIEND
SHE SAVED THE WORLD
A LOT