20. Selfless (7x05)
Waffles: I love pretty much all flashback episodes. And Anya. I love Anya. And I love character episodes. Good job, episode.
Taf: Yes, really a beautifully done episode that really fleshes out a character who is often used mostly for comedic relief.
19. Hell’s Bells (6x16)
Taf: Um, except in this episode of course. This episode kicks me in the heart.
Waffles: Yeah, “sex poodle” comments aside, this is not the funniest of episodes, but boy is it a good one. It has Spike being jealous, human vs. demon in-law fights, ugly dresses, and utter emotional turmoil! What more could one want from an episode?
Taf: And I’d add that it’s built on a really solid foundation — the show does an excellent job of building up the tensions in Anya and Xander’s relationship (that they never discuss) and the insecurities on Xander’s part that make this ending for them completely believable.
18. The Wish (3x09)
Waffles: Oh look: more Anya! It is a little weird to look back at her introduction, cause her entire characterization changed by the time she became a regular, but it’s still a really good intro for her and a great episode for Cordy after “Lover’s Walk.”
Taf: And, of course, the alternate reality it paints is so compelling — a Buffy hardened by her experiences, intriguing takes on vamp!Willow and Xander, a group of White Hats fighting futilely against the darkness taking over Sunnydale. A really intriguing “what if” episode.
Waffles: Also au!Oz is my absolute favorite thing ever. Oz in general is my absolute favorite thing ever. I love Oz. Oz is great. That’s all.
17. Conversations With Dead People (7x07)
Taf: Above all, I’d say this is a beautifully crafted episode. Each thread is unique, if thematically tied, and each tells a really cool story. I’ll admit that I’m also a sucker for TV episodes structured around therapy sessions, so I love Buffy’s interactions with Holden, vampire psych major.
Waffles: Meanwhile, the Willow and Dawn plot lines make me sob like an infant. A very sad infant.
16. Helpless (3x12)
Waffles: All I ever want from this show is more of Buffy and Giles’ relationship. I just want hugs and father-figure-ing and talks and more hugs. Which this show does not have enough of, by the way. But yeah, I love this episode because it is entirely focused on that relationship and it is perfect. It’s my second favorite of Buffy’s terrible birthdays.
Taf: Plus, it begins a long and glorious tradition of Buffy telling the Watcher’s council where to stick it.
Waffles: My favorite tradition.