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Buffy "Chosen" - farewell to the Hellmouth

I guess it was too much to hope for: That the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be better than Babylon 5's "Sleeping in Light", the best final episode of any TV series, ever.

In fact, "Chosen" was rather run-of-the-mill Buffy. Sure, one or two nice lines ("Buffy? Nice girl, but not too bright", "That's my girl, always doing the stupid thing."), the usual high standard of acting, but the writing - both in terms of this episode as a standalone or as a capper to the season or series arc overall - just wasn't all it could be. Naturally it was written and directed by Joss Whedon, but it was Whedon in "craftsman" mode (ala "Graduation Day" or "Family") rather than Whedon in "auteur" mode (ala all of the really good episodes of the last three years).

In fact, this season is the first season of Buffy where the best episode was not a Whedon episode. "Conversations with Dead People" was a real kicker, one of the best of the show (although not one of the very best). Whedon didn't even write the second best episode of the series - "Selfless"

Eliot's whimper comes to mind as a perhaps overly cruel analogy - but - hey, it appears not just to me.

I expected - perhaps unfairly - a return to the first three of seasons, the show's strongest. I wanted Cordelia to come back for an appearance (what the hell happened to Charisma Carpenter anyway? She was practically non-existant in the last half-dozen Angels as well??). I wanted to see Oz again - even though I never cared for the character that much. Heck, a reappearance by Principal Snyder would have been nice too. And I wanted to see Angel play a bigger role in the final show, even though I think David Boreanaz's acting - never exactly Oscar-winning stuff to begin with - has gone to all shit in the last few years.

I was hoping for an "auteur" episode. Like "Restless" or "Sleeping in Light".

But more importantly it just wasn't the emotional climax I wanted it to be. "Chosen" lacked the rawness of "Becoming" or "Passion", the sledgehammer numbness of "The Body" or the cathartic joy of "The Prom" or "Into the Woods".

Even "The Gift" and "Grave" - each of which I was somewhat disappointed in - had better emotional climaxes. And it's the emotional involvement in the characters that have made Buffy unique.

So... it was neither groundbreaking in form, nor truly emotionally engaging... bit of a whimper, really.

Which is not to say I didn't enjoy it or that it wasn't worth watching. I just expected more.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2003 3:22 PM.

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