So, with recent revelations I’d like to say something.
Joss isn’t Buffy. Buffy stands on its own. Its strengths and weaknesses are its own, not his. A lot of people put their time and energy into making that, and just because Whedon doesn’t live up to the ideals he professed doesn’t mean that Buffy didn’t.
The message given by Buffy is still valid. If you want to drop him and all his works, that’s fine. If you want to stick with them because they meant something to you, that’s fine. Don’t feel guilty.
Kendra’s death was so frustrating. There was no mourning. And I guess that makes sense, because the only person she had a real connection to was Buffy and Buffy had a lot of other things to deal with, and then we didn’t her for months so we don’t know if she mourned.
But still, she was a good character and it’s like her death had no weight other than to raise the stakes (I tried to find a way to word that that didn’t make a fucking stupid pun but I couldn’t) which they didn’t really need to do, because Jenny was already dead and Angelus is intense all on his own, and to bring Faith into the picture.
She didn’t get to have her own character development and problems, really. It was always about being a mirror to Buffy and furthering other plots/characters and that’s just unfortunate because Kendra’s got so much potential.
I love you. This is the best thing anyone has ever or will ever ask me.
All right, I have been preparing for this question for my entire life (I mean it’s only been 2 and a half years since I watched Buffy for the first time, but I’m confident that I was put on this Earth to love Buffy Summers so it’s a moot point).
I mean, my favorite Buffy Summers moments are literally the entire show because good golly gosh do I love Buffy Summers. But I’ll pick 10 5 moments/episodes/themes to excessively ramble on about. This is going to get long.
1. When Buffy saves Joyce in Helpless - Buffy Summers is a goddamn hero, okay? She can’t help but be a hero. And it’s not because she’s the Slayer. It’s because she’s Buffy. And if you put people she loves in danger, she will hunt you down and destroy you. It doesn’t matter how scared and uncertain of herself she was for the entire episode. It doesn’t matter that she’s trying to cope with Giles’s betrayal. Buffy Summers is a hero. Honestly, there’s a bunch of other examples of this throughout the show, but this is the one that immediately came to mind.
2. Puns/Sass - There’s something so satisfying about Buffy’s puns and quips and insults when she’s fighting a monster or villain. It’s like her way of saying “You’re not as scary as you think you are. You’re not special.” It’s a whole different way of fighting evil. It’s something that, once again, doesn’t come from being the Slayer, it comes from being Buffy. It just gives me so much joy.
3. All of Season 6 - Yes, there are stumbles and mistakes made, by both Buffy and the writers, and yes, it’s a difficult and dark season, but Buffy’s depression storyline matters to me so much. As a person dealing with her own mental health struggles, watching a character I love as much as Buffy struggle through her trauma post-resurrection was so important to me Seeing her push through the highs and the lows, seeing her make progress only to get sucked back down again was both painful and weirdly encouraging. I love the juxtaposition of Buffy being forced to dig out her own grave into a dark, chaotic world, where the first thing she asks is, “Is this hell?” vs her in the season finale, crawling out of a hole in the ground into bright sunlight, her sister (the person she jumped off the tower for the first time, and didn’t jump for the second time) by her side, filled with new resolution to not only not die, but also to live (and god, there is such a difference between living and not dying). Buffy’s depression might not be a perfect portrayal, and some people may find S6 to be too dark and too far a departure from the earlier seasons, but it’s one of my favorites. I will forever be grateful to the writers for having the courage to take the risk that they did with that story (even if I am also angry at them for some of their other decisions). Every moment of Season 6 just made me love Buffy Summers even more that I thought I could.
4. Prophecy Girl - Right so, brief insight into Laura’s coping mechanisms - I spent years and years repressing any and all emotions I had because I was incapable of dealing with the bad ones and my mental illnesses (my mental health is going to get brought up a lot in this whole thing). One way of dealing I had was to watch or listen to other sad things that weren’t related to me and cry about that. But I would only ever cry when I allowed myself to. If I was surprised by something sad in a tv show or something, I never cried about it because it was not during a time when I carefully prepared myself to cry about something. I was in a place where I only gave myself permission to have emotions on rare occasions. But when I watched Prophecy Girl, I cried. Literally, for the first time in years, I cried without giving myself permission to do so. And it felt so good. Like, I felt more alive than I had felt in years. I’d been in therapy for over a year, but it took watching Buffy Summers cry about being forced to go to her death at age 16 for me to reach that breakthrough. And then, she still went. She wanted to live so badly (a feeling I couldn’t relate to), but all it took was seeing how scared Willow was to make her say screw it, I have to do this. She willingly walked to her death, because she knew it was right. Because no one else could do what she could. She wouldn’t let them. And then she dies. But when she’s brought back, she immediately seeks out the Master and she quips at him. “I may be dead, but I’ll still pretty,” was the moment I fell in love with Buffy Summers. It had been building all season, and especially in this episode, but that was the moment I was totally sold on her. I goddamn love Buffy Summers so much.
5. Buffy’s final speech in The Gift - Buffy’s speech to Dawn kind of changed my life. I know some people call her sacrifice a suicide, because there was a part of her that had given up and embraced her death wish, but I don’t see it that way. When she tells Dawn to tell Giles that she’s okay and she figure it out, it feels like her moving away from her earlier “I don’t know how to live in this world.” When she talks to Dawn at the top of the tower, she’s someone who understand that there is value in life. That life is worth living, no matter how hard it gets. When I first watched Buffy, I wanted to die. I was struggling cope with my mental illnesses and I hated my own existence. And myself. But over the the previous five seasons of Buffy, I had grown to love Buffy Summers. I connected with her in ways that I couldn’t really define and that I had never experienced with any other fictional character. So when she said “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me,” I felt it. I physically felt the impact of those words. I’m not saying that suddenly my depression was cured and everything was fine. I’m still mentally ill, I still deal with it. But after watching Buffy, I was not the same person as I was before watching. For the first time in years, I actually started looking for reasons to want to live. A few months ago, I got “Be brave. Live,” tattooed on my arm, and I stare at it every day and remind myself that life is worth living. Buffy Summers saved the world a lot, but she also saved me.
I was going to do a list of ten, but honestly I’m kind of crying a lot right now because I’ve never really put all of this into words like this before and I feel emotionally exhausted. But I really, really love everything about Buffy Summers and I could literally spend the rest of my life talking about it.
TOP TEN BUFFY SUMMERS SCENES ON BTVS (I know there's obviously more than ten so don't feel bad about only *listing* ten. ;)
Oh I love this! Buffy is my favorite character OF ALL TIME, so naturally I could list most of her scenes, but I managed to narrow it down to 10…plus 5! Okay I am just that pathetic that I needed 15…and a few honorable mentions. I’m sorry! I will just put them in chronological order, because ranking them would probably kill me!
1. Prophecy Girl - Buffy’s speech to Giles “Giles. I’m sixteen years old. I don’t want to die.” We had seen Buffy grapple with the balance of being a teenager and being The Slayer, but up until this point, it hadn’t been driven home completely. This scene broke it all open. It put in perspective just how young this girl is and how she was forced to give up her childhood and now, her LIFE. An extension to this scene is the way she marches off to face The Master, despite knowing she will die and then the bad ass bantering way in which she defeats him. “You’ve got fruit punch mouth.” “I may be dead, but I’m still pretty”
2. Becoming Part II - The fight between Buffy and Joyce, “No, it doesn’t stop! It never stops! Do you think I chose to be like this? You have any idea how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs, watching TV or gossiping about boys or… God, even studying! But I have to save the world. Again.” The weight of the world is on Buffy’s shoulders, as it always is, and she is pretty much losing everything. This showdown with her mom was long overdue, and the absolute heartbreak of knowing that this young woman has to endure even more suffering to save the world is unbearable. I have to include the other pinnacle moment from this episode as a Buffy fan…when Angelus is taunting Buffy, “No weapons… no friends… no hope. Take all that away and what’s left?” and Buffy simply replies “Me.” THAT is Buffy Summers. No matter what the circumstances, she is there standing between us and the forces of darkness and nothing can break her.
3. Helpless - Buffy is being drugged by Giles on behalf of The Watchers. Throughout the episode we get a chance to see how terrifying her job is without any special abilities. The moment she marches in to save her mother from a viscous, rabid vampire, with no super powers to speak of, gives me chills. She is so scared, but she is Buffy. That means she puts aside her fear and fights. It was an incredible moment which proved that Buffy did not need super powers to be a hero. It is her heart and her mind that made her strong.
4. Earshot - The speech Buffy makes to Jonathan in the tower. It was so incredibly poignant and relevant to teenagers and all humanity, really “My life happens, on occasion, to suck beyond the telling of it…sometimes more than I can handle. And it’s not just mine. Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they’re too busy with their own. The beautiful ones, the popular ones, the guys that pick on you, everyone. If you could hear what they were feeling: the loneliness, the confusion…it looks quiet down there. It’s not. It’s deafening.” It is so profound, and it makes us all realize that we need to look beyond the surface and empathize with others and understand that we aren’t the only ones to shed tears.
5. Family - The way Buffy sticks up for Tara in this episode makes me cry every single time. Tara had just screwed up. She made a mistake that could have cost the scoobies their lives, and prior to that Buffy had already been failing to click with or really understand Tara. But she understood her in that moment. She saw a woman who was desperate to fit in and be “normal”, she saw someone who, while being different, was fighting similar demons as the rest of the scoobies. She saw a woman who was being abused by her own blood, and she stood up for her. She welcomed Tara into the family with open arms, “You want her Mr. Maclay? You can go ahead and take her. You just gotta go through me…You heard me. You want to take Tara out of here against her will? You gotta come through me.” Mr. Maclay: “You people have no right to interfere with Tara’s affairs. We are her blood kin. Who the hell are you?” Buffy replies “We’re family.” This is just so moving. Family isn’t about blood. It’s not what you’re born with. It’s what you make. Buffy is the greatest friend, and given the compassion and understanding Tara shows for Buffy when Joyce dies and when Buffy comes back from Heaven, you can really see how much this moment meant to Tara.
6. Checkpoint - The scene where Buffy confronts The Watchers Council, “I’ve had a lot of people talking at me the last few days, everyone just lining up to tell me how unimportant I am, and I finally figured out why…power. I have it. They don’t. This bothers them. Glory came to my home today…just to talk. She told me I’m a bug, I’m a flea, she could squash me in a second. Only she didn’t. She came into my home and we had what in her warped mind probably passes for a civilized conversation, Why? Because she needs something from me. Because I have power over her. You guys didn’t come all the way from England to determine whether or not I was good enough to be let back in. You came to beg me to let you back in, to give your jobs…your lives…some semblance of meaning.” Buffy coming to the realization that everyone was trying to cut her down because they were threatened and intimated by her power is amazing. She owns it so well.
7. Blood Ties - The scene in the hospital with Dawn, “It’s Summer blood. It’s just like mine. You ARE my sister.” The way Buffy assures Dawn that she IS her sister, and that she loves her, not because of her duties as The Slayer, but because of the connection she feels to her as a sister. Dawn didn’t have to start out as her family, but like with Tara, we see that origins are not something that concerns Buffy. Family is made not born.
8. Intervention - The final scene with Spike. Buffy pretends to be the bot to find out if Spike told Glory about Dawn. When she realizes he would rather die than reveal this secret, she understands for the first time that his love for her is in fact real, and she takes pity on him with the gentlest of kisses. “What you did for me and for Dawn…THAT was real. I won’t forget it.”, and she doesn’t. It is Spike that she continually trusts to protect Dawn in her absence, above all others. As a Spuffy shipper, this scene obviously is one of my favorites, but as a fan of Buffy it ranks up there too. Buffy values loyalty and with Spike she ends up finding the greatest partner in her fight. Side note: The revelation that death is Buffy’s gift and that she is so full of love that she pulls away from it are also really amazing.
10. The Gift - The whole episode really. “But you’re just a girl.” “That’s what I keep saying.” and the staunch way she fights Giles over Dawn when he dares to say Dawn is not her sister, “You’re right. She’s more than that. She’s me. The monks made her out of me. When I hold her…I feel closer to her than… It’s not just the memories they built. It’s physical. Dawn… is a part of me. The only part that I…” then later Giles says that everyone in the world will die, including Dawn, and her response is the most perfect thing, “Then the last thing she’ll see is me protecting her.”. I also really love her later speech to Giles, “I sacrificed Angel to save the world. I loved him so much, but I knew what was right. I don’t have that anymore. I don’t know how to live in this world if these are the choices, if everything gets stripped away. I don’t see the point. I just wish that…I just wish that my mom was here.” In Becoming, Buffy was able to kill Angel. It was black and white, but now the world is gray, and she is asked to kill an innocent, an innocent that she loves more than she has ever loved ANYTHING. Then of course we have the sacrifice and the speech, “"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles… tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I’m okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.” Buffy never hesitates to give her life. It’s who she is. I don;t think any scene on the series makes me cry as much as this one. The beauty that is Buffy Summers… The amount of love in her heart and the way she gives it all for the people around her… I’m going to cry now just talking about it.
11. After Life - When Buffy reveals the horrible truth to Spike, “I was happy. Wherever I was… I was happy… at peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time… didn’t mean anything. Nothing had form. But I was still me, you know? And I was warm. And I was loved. And I was finished. Complete. I - I don’t understand theology or dimensions, any of it really… but I think I was in heaven. And now I’m not. I was torn out of there. Pulled out, by my friends. Everything here is hard and bright and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch. This is Hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that. Knowing what I’ve lost. They can never know. Never.” The heartbreaking revelation that this hero who sacrificed herself was ripped out of the ultimate happiness and thrown back into her world of violence and death is just so painful, and it sets up the season and Buffy’s depression, perfectly. And of course, being Buffy, she is still trying to save her friends from the massive guilt and regret they would feel for what they did. Obviously, it really wasn’t Buffy’s time, and she recovers and finds the desire to live in the world again, but the pain of loss in this scene is just so intense.
12. Conversations with Dead People/End of Days - Getting to the root of Buffy feeling both superior and inferior, “I feel like I’m worse than anyone. Honestly, I’m beneath them. My friends, my boyfriends. I feel like I’m not worthy of their love. ‘Cause even though they love me, it doesn’t mean anything ‘cause their opinions don’t matter. They don’t know. They haven’t been through what I’ve been through. They’re not the slayer. I am. Sometimes I feel…this is awful…I feel like I’m better than them. Superior.” I always love the scenes when Buffy discusses what it means to be The Slayer and the complexities of it. I couple this one with the scene between Buffy and Faith in End of Days when Faith says “Me, by myself all the time. I’m looking at you, everything you have, and, I don’t know… jealous. Then there I am. Everybody’s looking to me, trusting me to lead them, and I’ve never felt so alone in my entire life. And that’s you ever day, isn’t it?” to which Buffy replies “I love my friends. I’m very grateful for them. But that’s the price…being a slayer.” Faith finally grasps the severity and pressure that rests with Buffy, and is such an honest scene and a great finale for their relationship.
13. Bring on the Night - The end speech…it is seriously one of the most epic scenes ever written. Buffy was beaten to a pulp, nearly killed, and she walks down those stairs and she faces the group with the most resolute conviction and strength that I have ever seen on my television screen and says ” I’m beyond tired. I’m beyond scared. I’m standing on the mouth of hell, and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it’ll choke on me. We’re not ready? They’re not ready. They think we’re gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I’m done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we’ll give ‘em one. Anyone else who wants to run, do it now. 'Cause we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on, we won’t just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them, and cut out their hearts one by one, until The First shows itself for what it really is. And I’ll kill it myself. There is only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil, and that’s us. Any questions?“ If that doesn’t make you love Buffy…if that doesn’t give you serious chills, there is something wrong with you.
14. Showtime - When Buffy faces off with the ubervamp (Chaka Khan lol) to teach the whiny potentials a lesson…it is pure genius and just SO Buffy Summers “I’m the thing that monsters have nightmares about.” All Buffy needed to find was her confidence. Whenever she sets her mind to something, she does it. It’s not about the weapons. It is all in her strength of conviction. She decided to slay the ubervamp to make a point, and she did just that. “Here endeth the lesson.”
15. Chosen - Buffy shares the power of The Slayer with all potentials. It is such a lovely and empowering moment seeing so many women finding their strength and rising up. The plan Buffy concocts and the way it is executed is so amazing. As is the way she builds the confidence of Willow and of Spike, who play key roles in the fight. The way the battle shifts according to Buffy’s state, when she is down her side starts losing. But when we see her rise up and tell the first to get out of her face, the entire game changes. Of course the moment she finally admits to herself and to Spike that she loves him, as their hands clasp in flames while she both cries and smiles is just poetry. The revelation is so true and so beautiful. And there is her smile at the very end, at the realization that she no longer has to carry the weight of the world anymore. Perfection.
So yeah, I managed to leave off a ton of scenes I love like the way Buffy chooses Xander/Willow as her friends in Welcome to the Hellmouth when she could have picked the in crowd. There is the wonderful scene in The Prom when her peers recognize her for everything she does or the way she finds her strength again in season 4’s “The Freshman”. There’s also the moments of her teaching Dawn and the potentials how to fight and the way she goes into the vineyard to face Caleb alone in Touched. Not to mention the scenes in season 7 where she champions for Spike now that he has a soul or the scenes in Wrecked/Same Time Same Place where she accepts Willow despite her magic issues, first helping her with the addiction then literally giving Willow her power to help her heal. Gosh there are just so many. This is why Buffy Summers is by far the most brilliant, amazing, loyal, strong, courageous, and complex character ever created.
“I wish you kids the best, but if you don’t mind a bit of fatherly advice, I just don’t see much of a future for you two. I don’t sense a lasting relationship. And not just because I plan to kill the both of you, but you got a bumpy road ahead.”
I’ve never done a playlist before, so I don’t really know if I’ll be any good at it. I spent a lot of time thinking this over, and I came up with a playlist I’m kinda proud of. Anyhow, this is what I took into account when creating it: music styles that I think she’d be into (mostly fem pop/rock), songs that Buffy would’ve listened to while the show was on the air, songs that Buffy would listen to nowadays, old songs that I think Buffy would listen to because I think she did, and songs that remind me of Buffy. I hope my rationale makes sense.
Never Leave Me - original basement scene - Spuffy <3
This is so much more in depth, and so much more like what I think Spuffy really is about.
SPIKE Do you have any idea what I’m capable of?
She starts to understand what he’s saying, grows somber.
BUFFY(nodding) I was in the cellar with you. I saw what you did.
SPIKE I’m not talking about the cellar. The people in the cellar
got off easy. I’m talking about me. (pause) See, you don’t know me. You only met hamstrung-Angel-Spike. You only met
conditioned-chip-Spike. (pause) You never met the real me.
BUFFY Believe me, I’m well aware what you’re capable of.
SPIKE You got off easy, too. (pause) Do you know how
much blood you can drink from a girl before she’ll die? I
do. (pause) See, the trick is, if you drink just enough… if
you damage them just enough… you can keep them alive for
weeks. (pause) You can make yourself a plaything.
Spike steps forward until the chains are taut.
SPIKE (cont’d) I used to set up shop in their houses… I used to be so good at it – I knew how to damage them just enough so that they could still cry when
I…pause) Because it wasn’t worth it if they couldn’t cry.
BUFFY Something is playing with you, Spike. This isn’t your fault. You’re not doing this.
SPIKE I already did it. It’s already done. (pause) Do you know what I used to do to girls Dawn’s age?
He rattles her.
SPIKE (cont’d) This is me, Buffy You have to kill me before I get out.
BUFFY (softly) We can keep you locked up. Give us time and we
SPIKE Have you ever stopped to think about why you can’t kill me? (pause) After everything I’ve done? To you. To the people around you. (pause) Have you ever wondered why you keep me alive? (pause) It’s not love, we both know that.
BUFFY You fought by my side. You’ve saved lives, helped –
SPIKE Don’t. Don’t do that. Don’t rationalize this into some noble act. (pause) You don’t get to do that.
He paces back and forth (as much as he can in the chains.) He falls in
and out of shadow.
SPIKE (cont’d) We both know the truth, you and I.
He falls into full shadow.
SPIKE (cont’d) You like bad men.
He begins to pace again.
SPIKE (cont’d) I don’t mean troubled men. I don’t mean brooding men. (pause) I mean, you like men who hurt you.
SPIKE You need the pain we cause you. You need the violence
inside. You need the hate. (pause) It gives you the
strength to do what you have to do. To be the
Slayer. (pause) But it’s killing you.
BUFFY You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.
SPIKE You have to let it go.
Spike RAGES at his chains.
SPIKE (cont’d) You have to kill me.(pause) I am destroying everything around you. I am killing off every piece of you that is good and pure.(pause) And in the end, after everything is gone and you have nothing else… I will come for you and I will –
BUFFY I don’t hate myself, Spike. Not
anymore. (pause) You think you have insight now because your
soul’s drenched in blood? You don’t know me.
BUFFY (cont’d) You don’t even know you.Was that you who killed those people in the cellar? Was that you who waited for those girls? Was that you who tried to rape me?
SPIKE There’s no one else –
BUFFY You’re not alive because of pain. You’re not alive because of hate. You’re alive because I saw you change. I see your penance.
SPIKE Window dressing.
Buffy gets close enough to him so that when he strains as hard as he can against his chains (as he will when he says his next lines) he’s only inches away from being able to touch her.
BUFFY There’s a man in there underneath that monster. A man
who – even when he had no soul –
SPIKE – It’s window dressing –
BUFFY – struggled to find redemption. You’re alive because I know he’s in there –