It’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s 18th Anniversary! Share Your Favorite Episode Here
On TMS, where Buffy never dies.
Can you believe that today marks the 18th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yes, in addition to feeling old as the Hellmouth, we also feel incredibly nostalgic for one of the best, most lady-empowering, forward-thinking shows ever made. To properly pay our Buffy respects, we wanted to know – what’s your favorite episode of the Slayer?
Here’s what our TMS editors had to say (though it was impossible to choose and we all specifically avoided picking “Once More With Feeling” due to obviousness). We’ll start with our brand-new Associate Editor, Teresa!
Teresa: “Grave” (Season 6, Episode 22)
This episode is my favorite (today – ask me tomorrow, and I’ll tell you why some OTHER episode is my favorite) really because of one amazing moment. The moment when Xander, in an incredibly brave moment, appeals to Dark Willow’s emotions by reminding her of their friendship and the yellow crayon she broke in kindergarten. As Willow, full of dark magic, attack and slashes him he repeats “I love you” over and over again until he breaks through to the human Willow inside and stops her from destroying the world. It goes to show that, sure, Buffy’s about superpowered slayers and magic monsters, but true power lies in friendship and love. Such a powerful message from an amazing show.
Carolyn: “I, Robot…You, Jane.” (Season 1, Episode 8)
Fake Geek Girl Alert! I didn’t start getting into Buffy until really recently (Buffy and Big Wolf on Campus were both not allowed in my house growing up), so I have less episodes to pull from than the rest of The Mary Sue team. That being said, one of the first episodes that really solidified my love for the show has to be “I, Robot…You, Jane.” The ep reminds me so much of my own adolescence, and manages to be both really compassionate towards Willow’s feelings for her online boyfriend and super scary. It might not be the definitive episode, but it’s definitely the one that got me hooked.
Alanna: “The Body” (Season 5, Episode 16)
Yes, I know, this is a bummer of an episode. I have more cheerful (or at least more cheerful on the surface) faves, too, including “Once More With Feeling,” “Hush,” and “Something Blue.” But this is one of those episodes that I point to when people act like TV can’t be art. This episode guts you, and it does it both through the story it’s telling (obvious spoiler alert: The death of Buffy’s mom) and the sheer filmmaking of how it tells it. The first minutes are a long-shot that feels neverending as we follow Buffy through the first burst of shock in her grief; the music is striped of music; we have to grapple with the realities of Joyce’s body right along with Buffy. The only thing that breaks through the tragic humanity of it all is the vampire fight at the end that’s supposed to shock us into remembering what world this show lives in. And Anya’s monologue about all the things Joyce will never get to do again will never not destroy me. Do yourself a favor and listen to Joss Whedon’s DVD commentary of this episode, it’s a good one.
Sam: “Hush” (Season 4, Episode 10)
Don’t lie, you got a chill down your spine just from reading the title of this episode. The Gentlemen have become an iconic baddie (I see you stealin’, Moffat), and the visuals in the ep are stunning. But what makes Hush truly special is how it showcases each character (despite the fact that Riley is still around). This hour is the perfect example of how, often, actions do really speak louder than words, and each member of the Scooby gang is forced to present their true selves to the audience as they (mostly) defend those they love. Plus, you know an episode is something special when it receives an Emmy Award nomination for Writing when only seventeen of the episode’s total forty-four minute run-time contains dialogue.
What’s your favorite episode of Buffy? Let’s talk about it at length and probably cry a little in the comments! Pretend we’re all at the Bronze having whatever high-schoolers drank at the Bronze.