Slain by Buffy Slain by Buffy


Buffy is the high-water mark of vampirology, and everything after it is just 'post-Buffy'
- Mark Kermode

Buffy is over. But's she not dead, don't worry.So Buffy the Vampires Slayer has finished. It terms of a TV series, it succeeded unusually well, managing to please most of its fans most of the time and to create the almost unheard of successful spin-off series. But that doesn't really interest me; whether or not the viewing figures risen or fallen doesn't always correlate with how good a TV show is. Some people would say it does, but only inversely.

I doubt there will be a film, or an offspring series. As a story, Buffy has ended succinctly and with a device of complete genius. Throughout this final season, and throughout the series, the questions have always been posed: "What is evil?", "Where does it come from?" and "Can we get rid of it?". Season 7 answered second question; evil is everywhere. While the First was a manifestation of evil, it wasn't the cause of evil. It couldn't, in the end, be got rid of. The First was intangible, incorporeal. It was a psychological being, as much a metaphor as a creature. It couldn't be eradicated. Rather, it could only be put in a position where it no longer had the upper hand. A balance is restored in the world.

But the season, nor the show, has never been really about 'Evil'. What this season, and the show, has been about is the process of becoming an adult, of the 'growing up' Joss is always talking about. The show has followed one character, Buffy, through the irresponsibility and selfishness of adolescence, to self-sacrifice, and finally to humility and cooperation. When Buffy returned from the grave after having sacrificed herself in 'The Gift', she hadn't finished her journey. She still set herself apart from others, and she still considered herself to be 'special' and, therefore, in a sense 'better'. In doubting her own right to lead, and in putting her trust totally in her friends (Willow and Spike in particular), Buffy had truly grown up. In sharing her power over all the other potentials she saves the world by co-operation, co-existence. She's no longer the special Chosen One, she's just One of many. In giving strength to so many women in the world, the show ties up its feminist strand; no longer is the world to be saved by a girl chosen by men from thousands of years ago, but instead it's to be saved by women, with power given to them by women. It's literal empowerment.

There's no doubt that the series really has ended. Not because the fight has been won. The ending of the show makes it clear that this is not a fight that can be won, but rather an ongoing battle where the odds can be tipped, or at least evened. The series has ended because Buffy's growth has, in a way, come full circle; she's passed through the period of turbulence in her life. She's now a grown woman.

So what next? Well, whatever happens, it will be post-Buffy.


back to top back to main buffy page
Bookmark this page
Slain by Buffy