25. Chosen (7x22)
Taf: So, the second half of season 7 is kind of a long slog for me. There is some really good stuff in there, but also some of my least favorite scenes (the mutiny) and a lot of grimness. That said, “Chosen” is a wonderful, wonderful finale—it’s hard won, but it’s a more optimistic ending than I would have thought possible for the show.
Waffles: Not much to add. I love this finale and it really feels like a well-deserved reward for making it through all of the sitting-in-a-house-talking-about-the-apocalypse-non-stop build up.
24. Lover’s Walk (3x08)
Waffles: So… Bad choices. But great episode. I love that Spike gets to be the one who’s actually in touch with his feelings. He gets to be all, “Well, I don’t have a soul, and technically speaking my heart doesn’t work, but I’m still better at this romance stuff than you losers,” and it makes me happy.
Taf: I really love gut punch moments—like the moment when you realize that Oz and Cordy are in the doorway. The Willow/Xander subplot in season 2 doesn’t reflect well on either of them, but it just feels so realistically teenaged and has real emotional pay-off for all the characters involved, so I can’t help but love watching the drama unfold.
23. I Only Have Eyes for You (2x19)
Taf: Speaking of gut punches.
Waffles: This episode does such a good job highlighting the most interesting aspects of Buffy and Angel(us)’ relationship this season. I mean, seriously, what an effective episode. I love the surprise gender-inversion. I love Buffy getting some of her anger out. I love Angelus’ facial expressions. I love how this is a break from all the plot-heavy stuff going on, but how it still furthers the action emotionally so well. Good job, season 2.
22. Prophecy Girl (1x12)
Waffles: This is our top season 1 episode. Which I think is fair. Season 1 can be a bit silly, but this finale really showed depth in a way other episodes hadn’t so far, and was a good indicator of the show’s promise.
Taf: It raised the stakes for the show. I defy anyone to watch Buffy tell Giles, “I’m sixteen-years-old…I don’t want to die,” and not get choked up.
21. Storyteller (7x16)
Taf: I was feeling a little bad for ranking this episode above power hitters like “Prophecy Girl” and “Chosen”, and then we re-watched it last night and now I don’t feel bad at all. I love Andrew. I love this episode. Love, love, love. In particular, I have always enjoyed unreliable narrators and as funny as it is to see Andrew’s off-beat perspective on the Scoobies and the fight against the Vampyres, it’s also really moving and affective to see him have to cut through his make believe to face up to the reality of what he’s done.
Waffles: So, I kind of want to rant about how much I love this episode, but I’ll just repeat everything Taf just said so I’ll keep it short. I love this episode for the lols and the feels. Perfect.
Taf: Also, can I just say that the show really excels at these character developing episodes (“Selfless”, “Real Me”, any other flashback heavy episode about Spike or Angel)? This one is particularly enjoyable for giving us such a different perspective on the show and its characters than we usually get.
Waffles: I’d also add that this episode is an example of the show knowing when to give us a break when we’ve been trudging through plot for too long, while still adding a lot to the arc, like “I Only Have Eyes for You.” Good stuff.