In my last blog, I struggled with what to say. I feel that whilst writing this one, I will struggle to stop. I love season 5. It’s one my absolute favourites.
The question is, where do I begin? The show has a strong starting point – Buffy Vs Dracula is an odd opener, but a great one. The season is full of surprises, the great unknown and this episode is that in a nutshell basically. This biggest surprise of course is the ending of the episode. The sudden appearance of Buffy’s younger sister, Dawn. This revelation left us all wondering who she was and how she got there.
The story line of a sister created and placed into the gangs lives and memories is one of brilliance! A young girl made up for ancient energy – one that can open the barriers between the different dimensions, causing hell on earth. She is sent to Buffy for protection from the beast, the hell God Glory. They’ve had all manor of creatures trying to end the world in the past, but nothing has come close to this level. By implanting memories of Dawn into the gangs heads, the monks that created her ensure her survival and a family bond.
It didn’t take long for her to feel like an ordinary character. Although she has her moments – annoying ones – we have to remember that she is kid who has to deal with having a slayer for a big sister. I can’t imagine that is an easy way to live.
I feel like for part of this season, everyone is in the place they are meant to be. Buffy, Willow and Xander are all in established relationships and are all in a much happier place than in the previous season. Giles has the Magic Box, again giving him a place in the world. They have moved on from the awkwardness and loneliness of the previous season. Unfortunately this bliss doesn’t last.
Buffy and Riley never really gave off that “meant to be” vibe… they never fit the perfect couple image. He can’t cope with the fact that he will never be Buffy’s number 1 priority and he doesn’t understand the importance of being a slayer. This pushes him away and he leaves her.
As saddening for Buffy that this is, much worse awaits her down the line. In what some people class as both the worst and greatest episode of Buffy to exist, the slayer comes home to find her Mother, Joyce dead on the couch. It The whole episode causes such heartache and misery. Of course in the long run it makes a strange kind of sense. The events that follow from that very episode to the last every episode would be much harder with a Mother in the picture, but Buffy still needs that family connection, hence the appearance of Dawn.
For years Buffy has looked for a way out. She has suffered pain and terrible losses, missed out on an ordinary teenage life and has no future but that of a slayer, which in most cases is short. She literally carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, and has to shut her friends out, so she can make the hard decisions and save the world. In another heart wrenching episode, and a brilliant season finale, Buffy sees a way out. In order to save the world she must sacrifice either Dawn, or herself. She takes a leap of faith – literally, off a tower and into a ball of pure energy – in the hope that she will both save the world, and finally find peace.
It’s a hard but brilliant season with lot’s of powerful moments, it definitely makes up for season 4!