The Acathla thing really is ridiculous. Sucked into Hell? They just don't think these things through do they? In which episode does it become a "hell dimension"? Are they just using "Hell" as a generic term to describe the experience? Hell, I can't stop saying it. Hell.
Hang on, if Acathla sucks the whole world into Hell, where does that leave Acathla? Standing in a void?
But things to like about this one, there are some; I love Spike as the level headed character, it's sad to see him and Dru go at the end of the episode.
Swordfight! Pretty convincing choreography, one of the best fight sequences of recent episodes.
Xander's vindictive streak, although I of course hate that he's lying to both Buffy and Willow, adds such a great dimension to his character that I love it as well. It's something that lurks under the surface, one of the things that makes him so human.
But Joyce, being also quite human, fails as a parent - you never want to say something that you're not going to be able to follow through!
The costuming is a little obvious in its themes during this and Part 1 of Becoming. The coat changes from the cheery, hopeful blue with clean confident lines to a shapeless brown number. The fight outfit is minimal (although the way she tends to stride into battle with heels always irritates me), with the silver cross displayed prominently in the v of her black shirt.
In the final scene she is in a hobo outfit that really had no place belonging in her wardrobe at all - overalls, giant jumper, brown vinyl bag from an op-shop. What were they thinking?
Buffy's leaving is pretty dumb too, sure she's lost Angel (yeah, I snivelled again) but she still has her friends. Who are ace. And she needs to say sorry for being a dumbass and leaving them while Drusilla strolls in a wreaks the joint.
However this was a really shocking way to end a season. Was it ever really done in television before this? Have, not really a dramatic cliffhanger, but a deep sense of hopelessness. But as we now know, this is so typically Joss.
Heh - Buffy's ooh if I wear a horrible brown coat and black beanie, I will look incognito! Surely not if you are the only person wearing the brown coat and black beanie and everyone else is not dressed for winter?
Being a big fan of Whistler and his interfering to push things in the direction he wants:
Buffy: What are you, just some immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil?
Whistler: (impressed) Wow. Good guess. (grins)
This episode is such a powerful and strong ending to a great season.
In the end, you're always by yourself. You're all you've got.
That's the point.
Which is sometimes the point in this show and sometimes not. Often it's about friendship and the people who have your back and how you wouldn't be able to do things without them. But then when it's the big hard crunchy decisions that are unpopular to make - those are the ones the hero must make alone, I guess. Like in this episode and in The Gift and so on.