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That would have had a lot of conséquences. No Angel back to life means : No spin-off, no redemption for faith, no Spike in the comic because he died in "Chosen" and isn't back to life in Angel, no Spuffy in the comic, briefly less stories !
And on that note one thing I would do is while Tara is shot she doesn't die just goes unconess & that Willow still loses it but talked out of destroying everything by Tara leaving the hospital to save her .
I also like to have a esp in which Buffy takes Dawn out & you see them just acting like Sisters with no monsters getting in the way . The rest of the Cast could have tried to show they didn't need Buffy & have a really hard time with that but don't want to tell Buffy at the end of the esp .
Replying to the OPs question, I feel almost bad for admitting this, but I sometimes wish Buffy had ended with The Gift. I feel like the possibility of Spuffy that was given to viewers in S5 would have sufficed for the fanfiction authors out there. I didn't need S6 and S7 to put a bad taste in my mouth when it came to the pairing. Not to mention that those two weren't the only characters almost ruined by continuing the show on UPN.
Every passing year as a fan I start to believe more and more that The Gift was the best ending to the show. Mostly because the writing in S6 and S7 wasn't as consistant as the first five seasons.
On the other hand, I don't think the show would have had this huge following without S6 and S7. Yes, both are filled with inexcusable flaws and extremely bad writing and character assassinations, but a lot of story elements got very popular to discuss in message boards and explore in fanfiction. OMWF is a hugely beloved episode and gave Joss a lot recognition, not to mention so many shows were influenced by it like Scrubs and Psyche. Buffy's depression arc is a fan favorite at Tumblr. Dark Willow is a popular character to cosplay. Xander stopping Willow with love is a wonderful message and a very unforgettable moment. S7 Dawn is a treasure to have. Spike's character arc and development is incredibly popular among his fans and casual viewers. Selfless is the episode that made me fall in love with Anya when I used to see her as nothing but comic relief. Tara's character growth in S6. Xander's father figure status in S7 and I also love that he lost an eye even though I wish it happened earlier in the season just to see him struggle with this injury in his regular life, work and also as a Scooby fighting demons.
So, I'm kinda glad the show went on, but I also thing it wasn't as good in S6 and S7 as it was before.
I have to agree. While some of the writing in S6 & S7 wasn't as good as the previous years there was also a lot added to it that made it a lot better.
Plus the ending of Season 7 was opened ended so anything can \could happen after that.