Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 10-6.

Here it is, the start of the top ten. A quick note to be made here is that I didn’t miss number 8. Number 7, “Graduation Day” is a two-part episode, and thus is a tie. It is both number 7 and 8 on the list, or, 7a and b. If I were only doing a Top Ten, then I’d probably just rank it as one episode, but since this is a Top 25, I figured that they should take their own spots on the list as a tie. To see what ranked 15-11, click HERE.

#10 “Conversations with Dead People”
Episode 129 – Season 7
Featured Performers: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris, Emma Caulfied as Anya, Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers, James Marsters as Spike, and Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg.
Recurring Performer(s): Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson, Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells, Adam Busch as Warren Meers/The First, Azura Skye as Cassie Newton/The First, Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers/The First
Guest Star(s): Jonathan M. Woodward as Holden “Webs” Webster, Stacey Scowley as Young Woman, Angie Hart as Singer
The four storiesWriter(s): Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Marti Noxon and Joss Whedon
Director: Nick Marck
Synopsis in 50 words or less: Buffy fights a former classmate-turned-psych-major-turned-vampire who psycho-analyses her insecurities while they battle; Willow is confronted by the apparent ghost of Cassie, claiming to speak for Tara; Dawn battles a poltergeist at home; Andrew and Jonathan return from Mexico to find trouble at Sunnydale High.
Why it’s on the list: An astounding episode that features 4.5 separate stories that (save for an unanswered phone call) don’t intersect, yet all build to a climax with the same intensity and dread. By the end of this episode, the evil that had been bubbling through the first six episodes of the season had announced its presence, but left behind even more questions than it had before. The episode had a different tone and feel than every other episode in the series, starting with the opening sequence featuring the title, date and time and a song (written by Joss Whedon) that began and ended the episode. In between, it gives a bit of everything, from Buffy’s cute discussion with vampire “Webs” (played by Jonathan M. Woodward, who will show up in Angel as Knox), the geeky-hilariousness of Andrew and Jonathan, the sadness of Willow and Cassie, Dawn’s terrifying night alone, and the shocking conclusion of Spike feeding on the young woman at the end. As an added bonus, the dialogue in the episode is chock-full of references to past episodes. Sadly, this is the only episode in the series history in which Xander does not appear. Also, Willow’s scene would have been better had they been able to get Amber Benson back to play Tara, instead of having “Cassie” speak for her.
Snappy quote:
Holden: Oh, my God!
Buffy: Oh, your God what?
Holden: Oh, well, you know, not my God, because I defy him and all of his works, but…Does he exist? Is there word on that, by the way?
Buffy: Nothing solid.

#9 “The Wish”
Episode 43 – Season 3
Featured Performers: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris, Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, David Boreanz as Angel, Seth Green as Oz, and Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles.Willow and Xander feed on Cordelia as Giles watches
Recurring Performer(s): Mark Metcalf as The Master, Emma Caulfield as Anyanka, Larry Bagby III as Larry Blaisdell, Mercedes McNab as Harmony Kendall, Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson
Guest Star(s): Nathan Anderson as John Lee, Nicole Bilderback as Cordette #1, Mariah O’Brien as Nancy, Gary Imhoff as Teacher, Robert Covarrubias as Janitor
Writer(s): Marti Noxon
Director: David Greenwalt
Synopsis in 50 words or less: After catching Xander and Willow kissing, Cordelia is left heartbroken and ostracised. While bonding with a new girl, Anya, she wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. Anyaka the demon grants the wish, creating a Sunnydale much worse than the one we know.
Why it’s on the list: It’s both a fun and a dark episode. It’s fun because the alternate universe allows us to see different versions of the characters we love, allowing the actors to have some fun. Xander and Willow were vampires, Giles, Oz and Larry were vampire fighters, Angel was The Master’s prisoner (The Master rose in Buffy’s absence), and Buffy is a joyless Slayer based out of Cleveland. Sunnydale had been overrun with vampires and The Master had a plan to revolutionise the way vampires fed on humans. By the end of the episode, before Giles was able to reverse the spell, Xander and Willow kill Cordelia, Xander kills Angel, Buffy kills Xander, Oz kills Willow, and The Master kills Buffy.
Snappy quote:
Buffy: You take an awful lot on faith here, Jeeves.

#7 “Graduation Day” parts 1 & 2
Episodes 55/56 – Season 3Buffy vs Faith
Featured Performers: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris, Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, David Boreanz as Angel, Seth Green as Oz, and Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles.
Recurring Performer(s): Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers, Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkens III, Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Emma Caulfied as Anya, Larry Bagby III as Larry Blaisdell, Mercedes McNab as Harmony Kendall, Ethan Erickson as Percy West, Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson, James Lurie as Mr. Miller, Eliza Dushku as Faith, Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
Guest Star(s): Hal Robinson as Dr. Hal Robinson, Tom Bellin as Dr. Gold
Writer(s): Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon
Synopsis in 100 words or less: As the gang desperately attempt to find a way to defeat the Mayor, Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow. The only cure for the poison is to drain the blood of a Slayer, leading to a fight to the death between Buffy and Faith. Failing to capture the defeated Faith, Buffy instead had Angel drink from her. After recovering with a blood transfusion, Buffy and company enlist the entire senior class to defeat the Mayor at graduation.The gang say goodbye to High School
Why it’s on the list: The one-on-one battle between Buffy and Faith would have qualified this for the list on its own, but other than that, this season ending two-parter was chock full of memorable scenes. Here’s a few: Giles stabs the Mayor with a fencing foil, Willow and Oz sleep together, Buffy quits the Watcher’s Council, Angel feeds on Buffy, Cordelia and Wesley share possibly the worst kiss in television history—ending their flirtation, Angel leaves the show, Harmony is turned into a vampire, Larry dies, Principal Snyder is eaten by The Mayor, and the gang blow up Sunnydale High. School’s out forever.
Snappy quote:
Oz: Guys, take a moment to deal with this. We survived.
Buffy: It was a hell of a battle.
Oz: Not the battle. High school.

#6 “Restless”
Episode 78 – Season 4
Featured Performers: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris, Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Marc Blucas as Riley Finn, James Marsters as Spike, and Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles.
Recurring Performer(s): Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers, Amber Benson as Tara Maclay, Mercedes McNab as Harmony, Phina Oruche as Olivia, George Hertzberg as Adam, Emma Caulfied as Anya, Seth Green as Oz, Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
Guest Star(s): David Wells as The Cheese Man, Michael Harney as Xander’s father, Sharon Ferguson as The First Slayer
Spike poses for picturesWriter(s): Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon
Synopsis in 50 words or less: After combining their essences with the Slayer to defeat Adam, the gang (Giles, Xander, Willow, and Buffy) relax at Buffy’s house to watch videos. They quickly fall asleep, and are attacked in their dreams by the spirit of the First Slayer.
Why it’s on the list: Possibly the most brilliant and original piece of gobbledygook the show has ever produced. Each of the dream sequences, from Willow and the school play, to Xander’s Apocalypse Nowish reunion with Principal Snyder, to Giles’ exposition song, work on so many levels. As funny as they are creepy, along with a lot of foreshadowing that one can only appreciate after watching the whole series then coming back. Here’s a few: the black satchel Buffy finds in The Initiative (the one with the grey mud in it) is the same black satchel Principal Wood will give her in season seven (it was his mother’s). At the beginning of Buffy’s dream, the clock reads 7:30, a reference to the dream Buffy had in “Graduation Day” part two, when Faith mentions “counting down from seven-three-oh”, which itself was the number of days until Buffy would die at the end of season five. And, of course, Tara’s quote: “be back before Dawn”, an obvious reference to the next season. When it first aired, this episode just seemed like brilliant nonsense. Now, we know better.
Snappy quote:
Xander: Sometimes I think about two women doing a spell… and then I do a spell by myself.

Click HERE to continue on to #5-1.

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11 thoughts on “Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 10-6.

  1. Pingback: Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numbers 15-11. « Critically Speaking

  2. Pingback: Top 25 Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Top Five. « Critically Speaking

  3. Pingback: hbo's oz

  4. Wanted to mention that among the great moments in Graduation Day, you missed my absolute favorite: The Mayor’s grief-stricken attack on the comatose Buffy. The actor’s performance in that scene is amazing.

      • I love the Mayor, and would probably also put him right behind S2 Angel, but there’s a big gap between them and the rest of the group, huh? The show was bookended by two villains who didn’t really get to spread their wings, in The Master and The First Evil. Adam was a joke (though a fun one if you like comic-book-y stories), and Dark Willow, while awesome, didn’t get much screen time. And then…

        …okay, actually, Glory’s pretty awesome too. She can go right up there with the main two, in my book. (As yet unpublished. And unwritten. And ungood.)

        • What about the nerds?! I like the idea of the nerds as villains because they are not supernatural – just seriously misguided (which obviously was the point). And although he was only in a handful of episodes, I also thought Nathan Fillion as Caleb was excellent. Drusilla was wonderfully touched, and of course I love the on again-off again “bad boy” nature of Spike. Angel as a “bad boy” was never as convincing to me, but his transformation was certainly very startling and the emotional impact it had on the season was tremendous. Adam was pretty lame, the Master too under-developed as you say (although he had some wonderful moments! “Opps…you have something in your eye”), and the First Evil too…ambiguous? Dark Willow was pretty badass, but definitely not my favorite. In fact my favorite part about Willow being a villain was when Xander brought her back from “the dark side” – so heartbreaking. Glory was also extremely badass (and a bit touched, like Drusilla), but again, my favorite part about the villain-arc in season 5 was not so much what happened with Glory, but what happened to the other characters as a result of her (e.g. Spike withstanding her torture, Tara losing her senses/Willow’s first use of serious black magic, Buffy’s sacrifice, etc.). That pretty much leaves the Mayor – an absolutely terrifying villain for the express purpose that 99% of the time he is not (seemingly) scary or powerful. All that being said, who is my favorite Buffy villain? Pfft, I have no idea. Lol.

  5. I love Buffy the vampire slayer it was my fav show tell angel came along then angel was my fav and know bones is my fav t.v show. So good luck 2 ya David boreanaz and Sarah Michelle gellar and the rest of the crew. Hope u have many more shows and movies.

    • Omg I love David boreanaz he is the best of the best he is my ideal. Lol I kidding but I do like him cuz he is a really good actor and Sarah michelle gellar 2 they are like soul mates I think but they wheeee just acting, but in real life I think they have a good friendship like dr. Temperence Brennan on bones with booth . <3 love u all

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