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March 14, 2003
OPINION
As We Near The End
by Daniel Erenberg

As we near the end, there is a sudden need to tie up loose ends, which got me thinking. Last week, I stated that Buffy The Vampire Slayer's casting has always been nothing short of ingenious. This week, as it came time to sit down and write about Buffy, I couldn't stop thinking about Larry Bagby III.

If you've never heard of Larry Bagby III, well, I can't blame you. He had supporting roles in a precious few season two and three episodes as Larry, was killed by the Mayor in Graduation Day Part Two, and was immediately forgotten.

However, re-watching that most brilliant of episodes, I can't help but feel my heart sink from Larry's plight. He was an interesting, layered character, like all of Buffy's supporting characters tend to be, and I was upset to see his end.

Some known characters had to die in this epic battle, so beautifully realized by Joss Whedon, and Larry was one of them.

Larry died. His character received closure. However, with just six episodes remaining in the glorious seven-year run of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I can't help but wonder. There are supporting characters out there who haven't had their loose ends tied up and probably won't in these final six.
First and foremost:

Daniel Osbourne, played by Seth Green

Seth Green's Oz has been my favorite Joss Whedon creation since "Innocence" when he wouldn't let Willow kiss him just to spite Xander. His "freeze frame" monologue was so incredibly delivered by Mr. Green that it makes my insides turn to knots to this day. I've never watched that scene without a bright-eyed smile on my face. Whenever Oz says, "Oh, I'm not gonna kiss you" and Willow replies, "But freeze frame", I almost cry tears of happiness.

The last time we saw Oz outside of the dream sequence in "Restless", he was leaving town AGAIN at the close of "New Moon Rising". Oz, as one of the most epically drawn and characterized people in the Jossverse, deserves a bit of closure before the curtains close ("on a kiss. God knows, we can tell the end is near") on Buffy forever.

Ethan Rayne, played by Robin Sachs

Ethan Rayne wasn't as good a character as some, but he's too important to Giles's back-story to never be mentioned. He's been in four episodes, the superlative "Halloween", the pretty decent "The Dark Age", the funny "Band Candy", and the interesting "A New Man".

Last we saw Ethan, he was being taken away to a secret government facility in Arizona or some such place. I just think it would be nice to get some sort of update on what he's up to. I'm sure Giles would still be wondering about him.

Amy Madison, played by Elizabeth Anne Allen

I want more Amy because her last appearance in "Get It Done" was too weak to be her last. We've been treated to good appearances by Elizabeth Anne Allen in at least one episode of every season (save for the fifth).

However, to end it with Amy halfway between redemption and hellfire, it lends absolutely no closure, which is a shame for such a complex character.

Harmony Kendall, played by Mercedes McNabb

Harmony, a character who I mention very guiltily as a favorite of mine, should return, if not in Buffy, then certainly in Angel.

I have sort of a thing for Harmony. In High School, the Harmony types always shot me down. But, after seeing Cordelia's character portrayed so honestly, I now have more sympathy for Harmony.

After her great work as a vampire in season five of Buffy (and in the Angel episode "Disharmony"), I'm curious as to why she was never brought back.

Chantarelle/Lily/Anne/Sister Mary Sunshine, played by Julia Lee

I've always been quite interested in this enigmatically mysterious character. She needs just one more appearance, or even just a mention to clear something up for me.

At the end of "Anne", Buffy leaves her with her name and says that she'll keep in touch with her to check up on how she's doing living alone.

However, this was never mentioned again. Did Buffy pimp out on her and leave her to herself alone in the City of Angels?

Let's have a mention on Buffy, or let's have her guest star on Angel next season if she wasn't already killed during the time the sun was out.

(It was brought to my attention closely following the writing of this article that Julia Lee has, in fact, appeared in an episode of Angel in season two as Anne. Nonetheless, I'd love to see a repeat appearance if, of course, she hasn't died yet).

Marcie Ross, played by Clea DuVall

For those of you who don't know, Marcie Ross was the invisible girl in the season one episode "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight". At the end of the episode, she was assigned to a class of fellow invisible people. She opens a textbook to a page that says "Chapter 11- Assassination and Infiltration".

How cool would it be to see Buffy fighting off a whole squad of invisible assassins? This is the kind of set-up that great episodes are made of.

Perhaps they could get a comic book story out of the idea. I'd love to see someone like Steve DeKnight take a crack at a four or five issue miniseries about Marcie Ross and her fellow assassins.

Devon, played by Jason Hall

I'd love a Dingoes Ate My Baby update. We haven't seen them at the Bronze for quite a bit. Did they get a new guitarist? Are they broken up?
Also, I mention him because I sort of feel bad for Jason Hall. After Seth Green left the show, his character just sort of disappeared. It's rough on an actor.

Okay. That'd be that for this. Maybe some of my dreams will come true. More likely, not.

And I'd like to close this up with a plea that I received via e-mail from a fellow Buffy fan:

Hi Dan,

I enjoy reading your reviews. I think I have a great idea on how the online
community could honor Joss in the wind down of Buffy:

We all know Joss hates spoilers. Wouldn't it be a great homage to him if
everyone on-line, at all the various boards, took a pledge to remain
spoiler-free for the rest of Buffy? Stopped visiting the spoiler websites,
stopped conjecture, stopped posting wild rumors. Just sat back and let Joss
and the M.E. folks take us for our last wild ride with Buffy.

I'm pretty much just a lurker; I look at Slayage but not much else, so I
have no idea where all the major Buffy boards are. And besides, noone would
listen to me. With your Slayage Buffy-reviewer street cred, I bet folks
would listen to you, though. Wouldn't it be fun to start a movement?

Just throwing the idea into the wind,

Cathy

Daniel Erenberg lives in a gothic-looking house in a suburb of Long Island shrouded by trees and darkness. His backyard is so overrun with shrubbery that he can't plant flowers in the soil. He's penned articles for numerous magazines (and a couple of websites for free). Currently, he's writing his first novel, entitled People That I've Long Since Forgotten. He's also written two plays, Little Room and Dystopia and a screenplay called Youth Or Consequence. He lives a fairly happy life alone and hankers constantly for the hour of eight P.M. to nine P.M. on Tuesday nights. You can contact Daniel on daniel@slayage.com.
Latest Comments

Gee...I had some cool comments to make, however .... after reading" Nearing The End", I too love Harmony. She is funny, pathetic and should show up in Los Angeles, hook up with her former gal pal CordY!!!!!

Posted by: tammy on April 29, 2003 12:38 PM

As for loose ends, I need the following things resolved:

People paying for killing people!! Willow hasn't been (legally) punished for killing Warren, nor Andrew for Jonathon. Have Sunnydale PD just forgotten?

The whole 'Buffy won't choose you' thing between Joyce and Dawn. It'll probably come up in the finale, but I just need to know if it was Joyce or The First, or i'll never sleep again.

Some Dru & Spike closure - in S5's 'Crush' she just walked out. I would love to see what she thinks of souled Spike.

Oz - I know Oz and Will had their closure in 'New Moon Rising', but so much has happened with Willow since then, and Oz was such a major character during the high-school stuff, he needs to come back for the end.

Harmony - just cos she's funny!! She hasn't been seen for years, so it'd be good to see her again, even if its just so Xander or Willow could stake her.

Angel - I DON'T want him to turn up. I know, its too late, and it's already confirmed that he's going to cross over, but I don't understand why. They've already had their closure (they've had closure loads of times!), and with everything that's going on with Spike, I can't understand why they're pushing Buffy&Spike to the background so they can re-hash Buffy&Angel. They WERE soulmates, they WERE lovers. They're not anymore. She's not that person anymore. Let it die!

Other than that, I just want an all-out, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, soul-shattering finale to top Becoming and The Gift. I want the Central Four (Buffy, Giles, Xander, Willow) to be as one like the old days, I want a couple of really surprising Scooby Deaths (pref Dawn and Anya), and an ending that ties everything up, and leaves us shouting 'Joss, we are not worthy'.

Posted by: Rob on April 20, 2003 05:24 PM

Annie, response for you. I do agree with you that this season has been much improved over season six but for me personally it' no where near as good as season five. If I had to pick my 3 personal favorites it would be season five, season three, and then this season in 3rd place. I'm also disappointed with the Buffy/Spike romance as well. There were moments in season five that could have developed into something more and by the end of the season they were friends. As much as a vampire and slayer could be given the circumstances. Sue, apparantly I'm not the only one that doesn't overlook the fact that Willow got away with murder. Everybody is so quick to bring up Spike's past deeds but I don't see anybody doing that so much with Willow. Is it because she's human they can overlook it? Unlike Spike at the time, Willow was supposed to have a sense of right and wrong. Willow is no better than Spike after what she did.
Human beings can be monsters too. I'm tired of everybody treating Spike like an outsider. Things change. As far as what happened in "Seeing Red", that's between Buffy and Spike.

Posted by: Janine on April 7, 2003 12:25 AM

The 7th season has probably been better than the 5th and 6th. Since The First creature is noncorporeal, it has made the plot-line slower to develope. There was also the moral ambiguity of Spike killing again. The Spike/Buffy romance has gone nowhere, to my disappointment. The show will end but I hope the ending preserves the history of the characters and keeps them intact even if they're never used again-- at least that way Buffy and her friends will live on in fan's minds. I don't want to see Buffy dying again.
As far as the future goes, if there is a new spin-off series, I hope it's high quality. The worse thing that could happen would be for an inferior product be put out there which gets canceled in a month. Perhaps the legend of Buffy should be left alone and let to rest, unless a good follow-up can be produced. It's tough because Eliza Dushku is doing something else next year. I guess nothing can replace Buffy and Gellar-- it's like one's 1st love. Other ideas might not work such as a show about Willow.
Fans will always have their DVDS, the reruns, web-sites, paperbacks and comics.

Posted by: Annie Banner on April 3, 2003 03:29 PM

I agree about the first 3 seasons of 'Buffy' being better than 4-7. After the 3rd season, Angel was gone, and his show never worked for me-- his show seemed to lack a premise and direction-- the plot always seems in chaos. In a way, with 'Buffy' ending, it only seems fair if 'Angel' ends as well.
In the 4th year of 'Buffy', the characters seemed out at place at college. Xander had to find excuses to show up and Giles was unemployed. It just didn't seem the same, and after a short while, the pretense of reliving the high school years was dropped, and the college was hardly even shown. By putting Buffy on a campus, it also removed her mom from the picture. I also didn't think that Riley could ever replace Angel.
In the 5th season, Joyce dies. I also wasn't that crazy about Dawn but when she was brought in, a mom character was needed even more. I felt that Glory was too strong for Buffy and it was difficult to watch Buffy get beat up. It was also a bummer to see Buffy die.
The 6th season provided some weak humor relief with the 3 Evil Geeks but this hardly relived the dark background of the season. Buffy was singing the blues about coming back to life, workng in a burger joint. The romance with Spike was disappointing because although it heated up in one way, there was no permanant bonding. Giles was gone most of the season, and there was moral ambiguity in that Willow basically got away with murder.

Posted by: Sue Walker on April 3, 2003 03:17 PM
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