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Was the Slayer spell necessary?

nightshade

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Did the slayer spell actually do anything in the finale? If they didn't do the spell, the amulet would still have destroyed the Hellmouth, so was it necessary?
 

Puppet

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It's possible that the death toll would have been higher (maybe no one would have made it out of the cavern alive - maybe only the actual Slayers would have) but, no, I don't think it was necessary, per se. Since they didn't know that, though, it's an understandable precaution.

I think, if they'd had time to do more research on the brief Angel dropped off, they would have been able to plan around the amulet better. Maybe they could have just sent Spike into the Hellmouth on his own and thus not risked too many lives.
 

Ethan Reigns

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All over the world, potentials were being killed by bringers - that's how Season 7 opens. I fully support the idea of promoting all of them all over the world from potential to slayer and with the exception of Dana, all of them benefit and no one gets spooked by the sudden infusion of power. I like "Chosen" but I still understand the unnecessary burdens of two MacGuffins (the scythe and the medallion) and the potentials going in before the spell was cast. Since everything was abandoned in town and they had already raided the supermarket and the hospital, they could have stolen one more thing: a fuel truck. Pump in a few thousand gallons and light a match. That would be the logical way of doing things but it would have cast Buffy as "torturer of demons" and the writers knew they couldn't have that. And cutting their palms to get blood to open the Seal of Danthalzar? When they had to use their hands to hold weapons after getting them slippery with blood? There is a whole litany of writing errors of this sort, but the finale remains one of the great episodes in television.

The slayer spell gave some protection to the potentials, who would have been slaughtered if they had remained potentials and several still did die. The spell should have been completed before they went in but logic and planning was not in evidence for most of Season 7. The medallion was provided with no explanation and no idea of what it would do, so relying on an unknown device would have been even more stupid than how things actually played out.
 

katmobile

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I've thought about this and what gives the First it's opening is that the slayer line has become unstable or the forces protecting it due to Buffy dying and being resurrected or possibly revived again after being resurrected. Making every potential a slayer fixes that problem also it's symbolism of Buffy sharing her power and it's possible Angel researching the amulet would have taken too long before things destabilised and his main resources for doing so Wolfram and Hart whom no one trusts.

As for the slippery bound thing slayers heal fast.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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If the slayers had not been by him, Spike would have been killed before the amulet was fully activated.

The slayer spell also emancipates the children of Sineya, ensuring that they can't be used as puppets by creepy Illuminati people again. Buffy slowly frees herself from the overbearing tyranny of the Watcher's Council, so it makes sense that her last act on the show would be to free her sisters.

And the spell also cures Willow's problem with dark magic, allowing her to break through to some purer source of power.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I've thought about this and what gives the First it's opening is that the slayer line has become unstable or the forces protecting it due to Buffy dying and being resurrected or possibly revived again after being resurrected. Making every potential a slayer fixes that problem also it's symbolism of Buffy sharing her power and it's possible Angel researching the amulet would have taken too long before things destabilised and his main resources for doing so Wolfram and Hart whom no one trusts.

As for the slippery bound thing slayers heal fast.
The don't heal that fast.

Also, the whole "all the potentials are being slaughtered so the remaining ones are being sent to Buffy for protection" is rubbish because as we see, there are still plenty of potentials out in the world for Buffy to activate. That right there undermines the basic plot of Season 7.

Also I would think activating all the potentials would cause the slayer line to go haywire. There is only supposed to be one slayer, the reason why the slayer line didn't go haywire despite there being two slayers in Season 2 is because Buffy was revived naturally. Her death in Season 5 rest the slayer line back to there being only one. Willow's magically resurrecting Buffy upset the balance because it was an unnatural resurrection. Therefore magically creating more slayers should've made the problem even worse but Joss cared more for the "girl power" moment than the actual logic. This is the same guy who forgot that Sunnydale had docks because he wanted the town to fall into a crater. In the comics, he also forgot that Warren was dead hence why the Frst was able to take his form.

They could've also just bulldozed the school during the day to expose the seal to sunlight, meaning that the Turok Han couldn't get out of the seal without dying.. Even the nature of the hellmouth changed. In the earlier seasons, it was a weak spot between different dimensions, the energy of which drew demons and vampires to Sunnydale. In Season 7, it was just a large underground cavern full of Turok Han. If the slayers and potentials had managed to kill the Turok Han without destroying the cavern, does that mean that particular hellmouth is now harmless? Is the supposed hellmouth in Cleveland just another cavern full of Turok Han or something else?

The idea behind Season 7 regarding the potentials is somewhat interesting. It's likely the First's plan was to kill all the potentials first so that no new slayer could be called, then kill Faith, then kill Buffy (the slayer line didn't flow through Buffy after Kendra was called hence why Buffy's death didn't affect anything. Willow magically resurrecting her could've made the line flow through Buffy again as well as Faith which threw off the "balance" in the slayer line. However the execution of Season 7 is absolutely terrible. The First literally helpfully digs up the one thing that enabled Buffy to defeat it despite there being no benefit to it whatsoever. It couldn't use the scythe, and Buffy didn't even know it existed and it was encased in rock so the scoobies couldn't just nip in and get it.

It would've been better if the whole "I've got something of yours" was a dead potential. It would've justified Buffy's readiness to go in whilst also making it a bust. Even better if the scoobies had discovered the scythe was the key to victory and they were the ones that had to dig it out. It would put them in a very vulnerable position for an extended period of time but it would've also been necessary. The scoobies being chased off but Buffy saying they needed to go back would also create conflict and would've given both sides justification during the mutiny (unlike the one we got where Buffy was right and everyone else was wrong).
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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Why not just have a powerful witch harness the amulets power and just fry all the Turok Han. Not like they didn't have one of those lying around. ;) There are so many holes in the writing of the final season, where does one even begin... :oops:
 

white avenger

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First, please indulge me by letting me explain my opinion of the Slayer activation as a plot devise.

I think that the "Potentials all over the world" scene at the end of the series was a big screw up un the part of Joss and the writers. Giles had said earlier that only a "handful" of Potentials remained, and that they were ALL on their way to Sunnydale. Obviously, the girls in those final scenes weren't on their way to Sunnydale, and they didn't seem to be in danger from any Bringers, so either 1) neither the Watchers nor the First Evil had any way of knowing exactly how many Potentials there actually were in the world, and were only concerning themselves with the ones that they definitely knew about or 2) Joss decided to change the rules at the last moment and hoped that no one would notice.

If it's the former, Buffy simply acted on misinformation, believing that all the Potentials were there with her, and, therefore, were ready and willing to become Slayers, but if it's the latter, that Buffy was aware of all of the other girls throughout the world whose lives she could be changing forever, and just didn't care, then that makes her as irresponsible and downright criminally negligent as someone who tosses a dozen or so loaded shotguns into a kindergarten class and walks away, figuring everything will be okay. until someone comes along to teach the little darlings the rudiments of firearms safety.

We should have had a scene where 1) Buffy specifically asks Willow if she can limit the range of the activation spell to only affect the area in and around Sunnydale, and, when Willow says that it has to be an all out, all or nothing, she can't but limits on the spell. Then, with the world at risk, Buffy has to make the decision to go ahead, reluctantly, but because the only choice is the First Evil winning the day, or 2) there in the scene at the end, when Willow says that she can feel Slayers awakening all over the world, and Buffy, Faith, and Giles all yell, "WHAT!!!!" because, as I said above, Buffy was relying on Giles statement about the handful of girl to imply that the only Slayers were right there with her, and he just screwed up. The Watchers had managed to locate a few girls, and just thought that that was all that there were.

Now, having said that, yes, I think that the Slayer activation spell was necessary to at least partially escape the corner that Joss had painted himself into. The First Evil was too powerful, and there were just too many ubervamps for Buffy, Faith, and Spike to handle alone, with only the help of a few well meaning normal humans. This thing was far more powerful that the Mayor in Season 3, and the entire graduating class were barely able to contain its minions until Buffy could blow everything up. Even the combined power of the Slayers wouldn't have been enough if Joss hadn't resorted to the deus ex machina of having Angel pop in just long enough to drop off the magic amulet then skip back to L A with dreams of fresh baked cookies putting a spring into his step (Just think, the one time when Buffy is absolutely desperate for help, and he buys into that "second front" B S, rather that hang around lurking in the shadows, then spring in at the last moment to save the day)

Bottom line, the spell was necessary because Joss wanted to make Buffy's final battle the most epic event since the Alamo, but he wanted the heroes to win, so he had to cheat somehow, and magically creating an army at the last moment, combined with a mystical amulet, was the easiest way that he could find to get the job done.
 
B
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At the Alamo they all died 😏

AlphaFoxtrot

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No. If the Hellmouth was about to open and disgorge an Army worthy of Mordor if the Slayers didn't close it by the end of Finals, it wasn't really stated. Or Andrew was writing the Watcher's Diaries for those episodes, and decided to spend four pages explaining how they voted Buffy out of the Dorm room and fought against God and one page about everything else, or at least that's how it feels like. Like the end of the Simularion.
 

Blaze

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This is part of the reason that I dislike Chosen, although it's a great finale. I HATE the deus ex machina resolution. It's stupid and makes it seem like the whole season was pointless. They could have just sent Spike down there, bam done deal.

They should have made it so that the spell actually mattered. Or at least have the spell unleash some special powers in Buffy, or Willow. Anything to make the spell relevant.
 

white avenger

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This is part of the reason that I dislike Chosen, although it's a great finale. I HATE the deus ex machina resolution. It's stupid and makes it seem like the whole season was pointless. They could have just sent Spike down there, bam done deal.

They should have made it so that the spell actually mattered. Or at least have the spell unleash some special powers in Buffy, or Willow. Anything to make the spell relevant.
But if they had had Spike simply go down there and blast everything with his trusty amulet, imagine the uproar from the Spike hater fans.

A simpler, if less spectacular, solution to the First Evil and its army of ubervamps would have been to just roll up to the school doors. run a hose down through the portal, and pump a tanker truck full of gasoline in, toss in a lighted match, then seal off the opening with explosives, but where would the drama be in that?

Joss wanted one last epic gesture for his brainchild, and he wanted a logical way to move Spike over to "Angel" for the (unknown to him at that time) final Season. It might not be exactly the ending that at least some of the fans might have wanted, but it was what we got, and we just had to live with it.

Of course, it did serve to inspire a whole lot of fan fiction, the same as Angel's finale the next year did, so we who were less than thrilled really shouldn't complain too much.
 
B
Btvs fan
Or Buffy not doing the Slayer spell before going into the hole 🤷‍♂️

AlphaFoxtrot

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I suspect the original ending was Activated Slayers v. Ubervamps in a final battle. Then they realized, that probably wasn't going to work, they needed a reason to bring Spike over to Angel, and they had to provide a reason to bring Angel over to Buffy. They also didn't get the budget to film a final battle, because remember, Chosen was expected to be a Two-Hour Episode, but it was reduced to one so, Holy Hand Grenade was the quickest option to close the hellmouth and kill all the Ubervamps.
 

nightshade

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What if we hadn't had the scene with the potentials all over the world? Would that have been better, that at least as far as we knew, it was just the ones in Sunnydale getting activated.
 

kalike123

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Unnecessary and stupid. The thing with the girl baseball (or softball) player was so ridiculous that I got pulled out of the story to think about people who made the show slapping themselves on the back for being such cool feminists. And I rarely think about that stuff. I just watch to watch.

I did like the scene of the plain, overweight woman who gets hit grabbing/stopping the hand that beats her. It was cool & I loved it in a way I don't think has words. It was good.

But most of it was stupid and feminist-type stuff. I absolutely hated thenptotentials and most of S7, though.
 

thrasherpix

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Unnecessary and stupid. The thing with the girl baseball (or softball) player was so ridiculous that I got pulled out of the story to think about people who made the show slapping themselves on the back for being such cool feminists. And I rarely think about that stuff. I just watch to watch.

I did like the scene of the plain, overweight woman who gets hit grabbing/stopping the hand that beats her. It was cool & I loved it in a way I don't think has words. It was good.

But most of it was stupid and feminist-type stuff. I absolutely hated thenptotentials and most of S7, though.
There's a bus poster in my area that I think is unintentionally funny. It has a little boy saying he can do certain things like "jump over a building in a single bound." And is conflated with very simple things like "treat women with respect" (and as a bonus to stand up for women which is worded in a way because females can't stand up for themselves as women have to be infantilized to prevent victim blaming, all the while claiming equality, so it's not "help women" as you would an adult but "save women" like you would save a child--and this is a child himself which reminds of a a dated show from the 1960s where a man gives a little boy a gun and tells him to protect his mother :D ) This implies that treating women with respect is as impossible as super powers....cool, but not going to happen in real life anymore than he'll ever jump a building in a single bound.

It's the same problem with this ending. It at least implies women need super powers to be equal to men--and even then it will be just a few of them, because the power is in the supernatural not the natural (implying the inherent inferiority of women). Or alternately, that women should be better than men (shades of the Angel episode "She"). And I'm going to ignore the "make a choice" bit as it would seem many didn't get to make an informed choice which opens a different can of worms (and not just in relation to previous episodes) as the ones awakening all the Potentials had no reason to know they existed. I'd say as much thought was put into that ending as was put into that poster I've seen on the bus.

That said, the woman stopping that hand beating her was still pretty cool. And when it comes to season 7 I'll take what I can get.




ETA: And while I'm at it, I'll say that I think Sarah Connor or (especially) Ripley could've even taken Buffy Summers on (course remove that plot armor and so many could) and won, at least once they knew she was the Slayer, let alone a bunch of new girls with Slayer powers, because of their resolve, resourcefulness, and skill set. I don't want to get into a trap that power = violence as I think Joss Whedon does, just saying Sarah and Ripley were ordinary women who became extraordinary, not just as Anya put it, luckier than everyone else. (Come to think of it, when Joss got his hands on Ripley's character, he made her a mutant hybrid...)
 
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ILLYRIAN

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Australia must have had another version of BTVS on the television as all on this thread made sense to me.

Some here have taken Giles' comment as being the truth; how? In the episode Checkpoint, the Watcher Council tried to blackmail our slayer to do what they wanted to prove if she wanted to save the world.

Giles saying that all potentials were going to Buffy for help, how would he know? From the (turncoat) Watchers Council or from his own sources, he was only around because Buffy saw him as a friend, what about Giles siding with Woods to kill Buffy's prime helper - Spike. Giles was lucky that he was allowed to stay.

Yet wanting to know about every potential is what you expected yet when you saw a few in the, *girls who can't stand up will stand up* was ignored as girls becoming potentials/ slayers. That part in Captain Marvel was (I thought) a big thank you to Joss Whedon.

And the slayer spell, how many guys here thought Buffy and Faith could stop all the massed Legions of hell? I mean, really? Having Willow do a spell to make all potentials have the ability to save the world was a good idea and quite fitting in terms of what the last few seasons were about.

Having them not know about the potentials? Did all the potentials arrive at the same time - no, so the chances are there were more out there and some didn't know where to go. IE the baseball girl.

Then there was the Liz Taylor necklace, where it came from was not known but the end was not how the Senior Partners wanted the world to end as they wanted Angel to play a major part in the end, so sending Spike with the amulet fitted their plans quite well. And to those who say the time lines don't mesh. Did the PTB or the Senior Partners bother with minor things like that?
 

DeadlyDuo

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Some here have taken Giles' comment as being the truth; how?
The premise with the potentials was that they were being slaughtered mercilessly by Caleb and Co, so they were heading to Buffy's for protection. The baseball girl was playing baseball, she wasn't worried about being murdered. They could've handwaved it away that all the known potentials were being slaughtered and the Watchers were leaving the unknown potentials alone rather than trying to find out who they were and inadvertently leading the first to them (Buffy didn't know she was a potential until she was called as slayer) so although they're "unprotected", their anonymity is what's keeping them safe. However Giles explicitly said that the ones heading to Buffy's house were the last of the potentials, hence why we're supposed to care when one gets killed off because it's another step closer to the First eliminating the slayer line.

Although it could be argued that the potential plotline was introduced with Kendra, Season 7 does make it feel like the message of Buffy has changed. Instead of any girl having the chance of being the slayer (eg Willow, Amy, Harmony etc) with buffy being the unlucky one chosen, Season 7 turns it into only a select few can be the slayer.

If being a slayer is supposed to be a metaphor for female empowerment, then limiting it to a few (which includes the likes of Kennedy) is a bit of a kick in the teeth. Instead of any girl having the "potential" to be empowered; if you're not a designated potential, then you don't get to be empowered. Essentially Buffy is empowered but Willow isn't. Kennedy is empowered but Dawn isn't. You can do this in regards to any female character on the show and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Also the whole "Are you ready to be strong?"- We see several strong female characters throughout the show plus on Angel. Darla, Drusilla, Lilah, Cordelia, Tara, Willow, Fred etc. They might not be physically strong (except Darla and Drusilla) but they still have strength in other forms.
 

ILLYRIAN

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What was it you wrote @DeadlyDuo, Giles explicitly said that the ones heading to Buffy's house were the last of the potentials. Giles only turned up with four but how many did Willow show of to Woods in Buffy's garden, so how many more were on the way? Plus as I said, was Giles to be trusted at that point?

If being a slayer is supposed to be a metaphor for female empowerment, .. I have never thought so, Nor did Joss apparently, as the intro states about the chosen one, nothing about girl power. The power is that a little blonde girl was chosen to fight the forces of evil not some superhero in a spandex suit. So all hail to those who fought the evil not some weird looking guy like Snyder or Xander or Giles, the girls and that includes the witches were good at what they did, so good that two vampires helped them.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Giles explicitly said that the ones heading to Buffy's house were the last of the potentials. Giles only turned up with four but how many did Willow show of to Woods in Buffy's garden, so how many more were on the way? Plus as I said, was Giles to be trusted at that point?
Giles turned up with three and said others were on their way, explaining that the last surviving potentials were heading to Buffy's for protection, hence why we get hordes of girls descending on the house. Baseball girl in no way looked like she was heading to Buffy's or had just experienced a bringer trying to murder her.

If the potentials at Buffy's house are supposed to be the last, then how can there be potentials out in the world to activate? Don't forget in Season 2&3, Joss showed repeatedly that Sunnydale has docks, yet in Season 7 it's completely landlocked so it can fall into a crater. Continuity gets thrown out to suit plot, we see this at several points during the show. When writing the comics, Joss openly admitted he forgot Warren was dead (hence why the First was able to take his form) and wrote that Amy saved him at the last second.

If being a slayer is supposed to be a metaphor for female empowerment, .. I have never thought so, Nor did Joss apparently, as the intro states about the chosen one, nothing about girl power. The power is that a little blonde girl was chosen to fight the forces of evil not some superhero in a spandex suit. So all hail to those who fought the evil not some weird looking guy like Snyder or Xander or Giles, the girls and that includes the witches were good at what they did, so good that two vampires helped them.
The intro was the early seasons, that changed by the later seasons. Early seasons, any girl could've been the chosen one and Buffy was just the unlucky one, Season 7 you had to be special to have a chance at being the chosen one. Even the nature of the hellmouth changed between the early seasons and the later seasons. The climax of Chosen was all about "Girl Power", from Buffy's "Are you ready to be strong?" speech to girls being "empowered" throughout the world.

The fact remains that you only get to be "strong" and "empowered" if you were a potential. Dawn wasn't a potential, therefore she doesn't get to be strong or empowered, neither does Willow, Lilah, Cordelia, Harmony, Tara, Joyce, Darla, Drusilla, Fred, etc.
 

white avenger

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Bottom line, the spell was necessary because Joss wanted to make Buffy's final battle the most epic event since the Alamo,
Looking back at this, I think that I should clarify for those not familiar with Alamo lore. The Alamo fell, according to legend, because the defenders were simply overwhelmed by Santa Anna's far superior forces, but each and every one of those Alamo defenders became part of the legend and the glory of a small group standing up against evil when there was no real hope that they could win. That's the legend.

In point of fact, if Colonel Fannin had reinforced the Alamo garrison with his four hundred plus troops, they would most likely have been able to hold on until Houston could arrive with the bulk of the Texas army. The parallel between the battle in the hellmouth and the battle of the Alamo is that principal of a small group standing up against a much larger group. Where Buffy's fight differs is that Willow was the equivalent of Fannin's troops, and the amulet was the equivalent of Houston's army, both of which arrived in time to turn the tide in favor of the defenders.

Hope that makes it more understandable.
 
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