[music| Elbow - Grounds for Divorce ]
So yeah, I'm still on a Buffy kick. This time I bring you an animated picspam!
Buffy may be an awesome show in many, many, many ways, but for me, it's the weepy moments that really make you stop and think HEY, THIS SHOW MAKES MY LIFE. Murder, betrayal, tragedy and loss - our show is stuffed full of it! So, I thought it was about time we all depressed ourselves a little, and took the time to appreciate some of Buffy's most heart-wrenching, soul destroying moments! Bear in mind that I'm in no way trying to say that is a comprehensive list - so yeah, I know there's quite a few I've left out!
You may have to wait a few moments for the animations to load, apologies for that! Otherwise, enjoy! Okay, let's start at the beginning...
"I don't wanna die."
season one, episode twelve - "Prophecy Girl"
Buffy: So that's it, huh? I remember the drill, one slayer dies, the next ones called. I wonder who she is. Will you train her? Or will they send someone else?
Giles: Buffy... I
Buffy: Does it say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt?
Buffy: [Angel walks towards her] Don't touch me! Were you even gonna tell me?
Giles: I was hoping I wouldn't have to, that there was some way around it.
Buffy: I've got a way around it. I quit.
Angel: It's not that simple.
Buffy: I'm making it that simple. I quit! I resign! I'm fired! You can find someone else to stop The Master from taking over.
Giles: I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the signs indicate...
Buffy: [interrupts] Signs? Read me the signs! Tell me my fortune! You're so useful, sitting here with all your books! You're really a lot of help!
Giles: No I don't suppose I am.
Angel: I know this is hard.
Buffy: What do you know about this? You're never gonna die!
Angel: Do you think I want anything to happen to you? Do you think I could stand it? We just gotta figure out a way...
Buffy: [interrupts] I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention!
Giles: Buffy if The Master rises...
Buffy: [interrupts] I don't care! I don't care. Giles I'm 16 years old, I don't wanna die.
For me, this was the moment I officially became Joss Whedon's willing love slave. All of a sudden, this show wasn't just about high school, cheesy rubber monsters and quick one-liners. Suddenly, this was about a sixteen year old girl facing a very real and (seemingly) very certain death, before her life has even begun. Buffy decides to quit the night job and let the world burn around her - and the kicker? We don't care. At least, I know I didn't. The vulnerability in Buffy's eyes is so painful, that at that point I think I'd rather have watched Sunnydale disappear into a big, steaming, apocalypsey hole than send an innocent schoolgirl to her death.
Angel tortures Buffy
season two, episode fourteen - "Innocence"
Angelus: It was a good time. It doesn't mean like we have to make a big deal.
Buffy: It is a big deal.
Angelus: It's what? Bells ringing, fireworks, a dulcet choir of pretty little birdies? Come on, Buffy. It's not like I've never been there before.
Buffy: Don't touch me.
Angelus: I should've known you wouldn't be able to handle it.
Buffy: Angel! I love you.
Angelus: Love you, too.
Angelus: I'll call you.
Yeah, so we'd been curious. Let's face it, we were dying to see just how evil Angelus would turn out to be. In this scene, we got our first taste of his handiwork - and it almost physically hurts to watch. Though we hate to admit it, the guy was a genius. He knew exactly what would destroy Buffy (not to mention us) and made it look completely effortless. To see Buffy looking so vulnerable, so completely rejected...well, it's enough to make anyone lose faith in eternal love.
Giles discovers Jenny
season two, episode seventeen - "Passion"
Angelus: [narrating] It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank... without passion, we'd be truly dead.
Giles: In my years as... Watcher...I've buried too many people. But Jenny was the first I've loved.
For me, this is the first time on the show that we catch a glimpse of pure, unadulterated evil. It gave us all the warm fuzzies to watch Giles fall in love, and Jenny Calendar was one of the first minor characters to appear on the show that was actually charming, endearing, and all those other nice things. When Angelus chased her through the halls of Sunnydale High and brought her to a horrible, neck-snappy end, I was heartbroken. But nothing could have prepared me for what Angelus had in store for poor Giles. You know how it goes - the candles, the music, the roses...and the nasty surprise upstairs. The only thing worse than the look on Giles' face was the sheer pointlessness of it all. Angelus murdered Jenny, and he had fun.
Buffy kills Angel
season two, episode twenty-two - "Becoming, Part Two"
Angel: [Angelus has just turned back into Angel] Buffy? What's going on? Where are we? I-I don't remember.
Angel: You're hurt. Oh, Buffy...God. I...I feel like I haven't seen you in months. Oh, my God, everything's so muddled. I...Oh. Oh, Buffy...What's happening?
Buffy: Shh. Don't worry about it.
Buffy: I love you.
Angel: I love you.
Buffy: Close your eyes.
This scene surely holds the record for Widest Range of Emotions Ever Felt by an Audience During a Single Exchange: Ugh, kill the evil bastard, Buffy! Omg, he's Angel again - the relief! Oh, but wait...there's that whole thing with the...and the...OH NO, she's going to have to...wait, NOOOOO! I'm sure you'll all agree - part of what made this scene so heartbreaking was the beautifully tragic music, which tbh I could listen to all day. Everything about that moment was just so completely unfair - which, you know - story of Buffy's life, I guess.
season five, episode sixteen - "The Body"
Buffy: (putting her hand on Joyce) She's cold.
911 Operator: (pause) The body's cold?
Buffy: No, my mom! Sh-should I make her warm?
There's just no way this moment wasn't going to make it into this list. There's plenty of heart-wrenching moments throughout this show, but this one is by far the most shocking. Joss went and did the unthinkable here, and I for one never saw it coming. There's just some things you unconsciously cling to when watching a show - there's some things you rely on, and Joyce just always being there was one of them. Everything about this episode was just a little too real for comfort - Buffy focusing on the numbers of the telephone, playing out a miracle rescue in her head - these are things we all do, right? We were forced to follow Buffy through this horrific ordeal and, like her, it took me a long time to truly believe that Joyce was gone.
Anya asks why
season five, episode sixteen - "The Body"
Anya: (crying) But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's, there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And, and Xander's crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why. (She puts her hand over her face, crying.)
As if I wasn't crying enough already with this freaking episode! For me, this speech from Anya is the most upsetting thing about 'The Body'. If Joyce's death hadn't quite sunk in by this point, Anya just made it heartbreakingly real. This is why Anya has always been by far my favourite character - to put it simply, she says what we're all thinking - even if we don't always know we're thinking it. Death is inexplicable, uncomprehensible, and to hear Anya voice these frustrations in the most simple, almost beautiful way...it's just too painful.
season five, episode seventeen - "Forever"
Buffy: Dawn, I've been working, I've been busy because I have to...I have to do these things, 'cause...'cause when I stop...then she's really gone. And I'm trying, Dawn, I am really trying to take care of things. But I don't even know what I'm doing! Mom always knew.
Dawn: Nobody's asking you to be mom!
Buffy: Well who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you even thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? Who's gonna take care of us? I didn't mean to push you away, I didn't. I just, I couldn't let you see me...Oh god, Dawny. I don't know what we're gonna do. I'm scared!
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that this underrated scene is possibly, for me, the saddest moment in the entire series. Yep, I went there! I just...I literally cannot watch this moment. This is when we're forced to face the grim reality - Buffy and Dawn are orphans, and Buffy is barely out of childhood herself. When Buffy breaks down and says tearfully "who's going to take care of us?"...I lose it. And if that wasn't bad enough, it's not long before we hear the lurching footsteps of Zombie!Joyce approaching the front door. The hope that rises in Buffy's eyes is too much to bear as she hears a knock at the door, only for Dawn to tear the photograph in half and cause whatever was left of Joyce to disappear into the night. Buffy almost had some reincarnation of her mother back in her hands, only to have her snatched away again. As Buffy and Dawn break down and fall sobbing to the floor, I pretty much follow suit.
Willow is too late
season five, episode nineteen - "Tough Love"
Glory: Think about it. You think your hand hurts? Imagine what you'd feel with my fingers wiggling in your brain. It doesn't kill you. What it does is make you feel like you're in a noisy, little dark room, naked and ashamed. And there are things in the dark that need to hurt you, because you're bad. Little pinching things that go in your ears, and crawl on the inside of your skull. And you know that if the noise of the crawling would stop, that you could remember how to get out...but you never, ever will.
See now, we all seem to forget about this soul-destroying moment, because of course we all know that Tara gets her brain back later on. This scene never gets enough credit! Let's face it, we all know that the sight of Willow crying is the most heartbreaking thing we could ever be subjected to on this show, and this moment is particularly gut-wrenching. Willow and Tara had been having a few petty, insignificant squabbles, and in just a few short seconds Glory put everything into perspective for them in the cruelest way possible. The worst thing? Willow was just too late. A few seconds more, and she might have had a chance to save her. Instead, she was forced to watch the essence of the person she loved more than anything in the world snatched away before her eyes. Dude, Glory really was a bitch.
season five, episode twenty-two - "The Gift"
Buffy: Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles...tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world...is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.
Yes, Buffy's death was heartbreaking. But to be honest, more than the whole sadness thing, I was mostly overwhelmed with pride at what she'd done. The soul-destroying part of this scene was having to watch the reactions to her death, as her friends tried to comprehend the fact that she was gone. Of course, the kicker was the whole Willow-crying thing again - her face is just devastating - and it was really sad to see Anya so upset, as it's one of the first times we see her caring about someone other than herself! But what really stung was Spike's reaction, amirite? He was so completely broken, I couldn't even stand to look at him.
"I think I was in heaven."
season six, episode three - "After Life"
Buffy: I was happy. Wherever I was...I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything. Nothing had form. But I was still me, you know? And I was warm, and I was loved, and I was finished. Complete. I - I don't understand theology or dimensions, any of it really...but I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there, pulled out, by my friends. Everything here is hard and bright and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch, this is Hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that, knowing what I've lost. They can never know. Never.
Yeah, okay - this is one of the more subtly heart-wrenching moments on the list, but I still maintain that it's one of the saddest. After Buffy has just gathered her friends together to thank them for bringing her back, we discover the real reason she's been so down and distant. She's spent the last few months in heaven, happily floating away up there until her friends dragged her down again. One of the most poignant things about this moment is that she chooses to reveal all this to Spike, of all people.
Anya is left at the altar
season six, episode sixteen - "Hells Bells"
Anya: (As Xander wanders the streets in the rain, she recites a final version of her vows) I, Anya, want to marry you, Xander, because...I love you, and I'll always love you. And, before I knew you, I was like a completely different person. N-not even a person, really. And I'd seen what love could do to people, and it was...hurt, and sadness. Alone was better. And then, suddenly, there was you! And-and you knew me. You saw me. And it was this...thing. You make me feel safe and warm, so, I...get it now. I finally get love, Xander! I really do.
Aaw, Anya :( Well, this is what Joss does, right? We toil through the episode as feuds and demons do everything they can to get in the way of Anya's big day - and then finally, when everything is defeated, we wait patiently for our happy ending. But noooo, Joss sits there twizzling his evil moustache and rubbing his villainous hands together, and he's all MWA HA HA, YOU'LL BE LUCKY. Instead, Anya loses everything - her boyfriend, her dreams, her faith in love. And she doesn't even have to say anything - it's all completely incapsulated in the expression on her face as she walks down the aisle, alone.
The death of Tara
season six, episode nineteen - "Seeing Red"
Tara: Your shirt...
Never ever ever have two short words led to so much pain. This episode had been going awesome - Buffy won another round with the geek squad, and Willow and Tara finally worked out their differences and were more deeply in love than ever. I guess we should have known better than to get too comfortable :/ Two gunshots, and it was all over, and we're devastated to discover that no amount of magic will bring Tara back - she's really gone. Unfortunately, as we know, it was a little more difficult for Willow to accept that, and it was all downhill from there.
season six, episode twenty-two - "Grave"
Xander: First day of kindergarten you cried 'cause you broke the yellow crayon and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far; ending the world, not a terrific notion, but the thing is, yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaking Willow, and I love scary, veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. You wanna kill the world, you start with me. I've earned that.
Woo and yay, Xander saved the day! So why are we all on the floor sobbing our guts out? Oh right, because if Willow's sad, we're all sad. In those final moments, as she loses her power and starts fruitlessly hitting her best friend, you can actually pinpoint the moment when Tara's death finally hits her. She's lost the love of her life, and no amount of world-ending is going to change that. And as we watch her transform back from scary-veiny Willow into crayon-breaking Willow, it's hard to understand how the gentle Willow we know and love could possibly be made to deal with something like that, no matter how many nerds she might have flayed alive.
Things get serious
season seven, episode nineteen - "Empty Places"
Xander: I might need a parrot.
Xander: Well, to go with the eye patch, to really complete the look. I think I still have that costume from Halloween.
Willow: Yeah, and don't underestimate the impact of a peg leg. Maybe the hospital can hook you up with a nice one. Maybe they have a 2-body-parts for the price of one kind of deal.
Xander: Oh, you know what the best part is? No one will ever make me watch Jaws 3-D again.
Willow: Yeah...and you'll never have to...(she breaks down crying)
Xander: Oh, Willow...please don't.
Okay, I changed my mind. This is the saddest moment in the whole series. I'm telling you guys, go back and watch this moment! Xander has been permanently scarred, and suddenly things just aren't funny anymore. It's so horrifically awkward to watch these two best friends try to resume their normal, lighthearted joking, when the tragedy of the situation is just too much for Willow to ignore. She literally breaks down in the middle of a joke, but poor Xander just isn't ready to face the reality of what's happened to him. The fact that he has to beg Willow to keep him happy and distracted is just so upsetting - when Xander loses the funny, you know things have gone seriously wrong.
Spike the champion
season seven, episode twenty-two - "Chosen"
Buffy: I love you.
Spike: No, you don't. But thanks for saying it.
We'd all been waiting so long for Spike to finally get the respect he deserved - it's just a shame he had to explode in a giant ball of fire to finally earn that :( It wasn't just that he fought for the goodies, or even that he burned himself up to save the world. The moment that really showed me how much he'd grown as a character was the 'I love you' exchange with Buffy. He knew Buffy didn't love him, but that was okay. It's just so sad that he never managed to win her love, you know? Aaw, it may have been the finale, but it was tough to let Spike go :(
Aaand there we go! It's time to go make milkshakes or eat a gallon of ice cream or whatever, go cheer yourselves up!
- A huge thankyou to Screencap Paradise and Freeze Frame for the screencaps.
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