About:

Title: Buffy S6.E21 “Two to Go” + Buffy S6E22 “Grave”
Released: 2002

Drinks Taken: 32
Vamps Dusted: 0

 

Follow the whole rewatch here!

Last week, Kandis walked us through what I believe are the two darkest episodes of the entire series. Sure, it gets really super dark this week, too, but it’s mostly just wrapping up the pain and devastation sown in last week’s episode (and throughout the rest of Season 6 which, let’s be clear, has been a VERY ROUGH WATCH).

So let’s drink to a bit of brightness: that yellow crayon.

Buffy eagerly watching a pitcher of beer being poured into her glass.

The Buffy Season Six Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

A vamp is dusted
A scene takes place in a cemetery
Giles adjusts his glasses
Willow misuses magic
Tara gets upset at Willow misusing magic
Anya or Xander mention being engaged or their wedding
Spike and Buffy are the epitome of Bad Romance
Warren, specifically, is the worst

Drink twice every time:

There’s an extremely outdated pop culture reference
A vampire is invited into a house
There’s a callback to previous season shenanigans
Dawn steals something
Buffy emotes existential dread
The “Trio” makes a pop culture reference
You really miss Giles

What say you we wrap up Season 6?

Dark Willow with lightning zapping out of her hands

6.21 “Two To Go”

The episode picks up exactly where last week‘s left off: Warren’s been flayed, Willow’s Dark AF, Scoobs are scared. Anya, Xander and Buff are in the woods looking at Warren’s stinky skinless corpse when it occurs to them that they need to protect Jonathan and Andrew from the same fate. Anya teleports off to the jail, Buffy uses her super-speed to go after her, and Xander’s like, “Uhm, okay, I guess I’ll just walk?” It’s a recurring theme throughout this episode and next that Xander really wants to help because Willow’s his oldest friend, and while it might, at first, seem a bit pathetic in light of all of the demon/Slayer/witchy prowess flying over his head, we’ll soon see (spoiler!) that his good old-fashioned human friendship is what saves the day.

At the jail cell, Anya shows up and tries to make Andrew and Jonathan understand that they are in VERY bad trouble. Jonathan, always the best of The Trio, is beginning to understand, but Andrew spends most of the episode in the most pitiful sort of denial – starting with the fact that he refuses to believe Warren abandoned them to be arrested, and instead thinks they’re being tested. Wrong on both counts, dummy! Anya instead blithely informs them that Warren is now of the Dead and Skinless Persuasion, and listen, there are a lot of things Willow does over the next two hours that I will lament, but I promise you to never feel anything but sheer gratification that Warren died a painful death. A cop shows up to try to get Anya to leave, and she’s like, “MORTAL, this shit is beyond you,” and proceeds to prove it in a v chill way.

Anya poofs through a jail door to prove she's a demon.

As Anya has portended, Willow soon shows up to mind-bust her way into the jail cell, and is about to abscond with Jonathan and Andrew (whom Andrew hopefully refers to as “The Duo,” and I will go ahead and call them that for brevity’s sake), but Buffy gets to them first. Xander shows up in a purloined cop car, and they all take to the roads, with a screamy, black-eyed Willow hot on their tail by commandeering an 18-wheeler, from its roof, with her magicks. It’s dramatic. But she starts to drain herself a bit and collapses on top of the truck in time for the Scoobs + Duo to make their escape.

Meanwhile, we cut to Dawn and Clem in Spike’s crypt, with Clem trying to entertain Dawn via potato chip taste test (CLEM! You could babysit me anytime), and Dawn bullying him into letting her “help.” She, as you might guess, does not help. The rest of the Scoobs are back at the Magic Shop, trying to work on a protection spell to keep The Duo safe – more to protect what remains of Willow’s soul than the Duo’s stupid bodies – while Dawn eventually convinces Clem to take her to Rack’s latest lair, where she does, in fact, run into Willow. Willow’s just drained all of the magic out of a newly dead Rack, and I’m sorry, but I’m still not mad at it – but here’s where Willow finally starts to cross my own personal line, by threatening to turn Dawn back into The Key and making that poor little teen cry. Buffy shows up and tries to convince Willow that there’s so much to live for in this world, but unfortunately Willow’s been following along with our Season 6 recaps, and provides a LOT of anecdotal evidence that Buffy doesn’t actually value this world for shit. On that note, Willow zaps them all back to the Magic Shop, where the real showdown takes place.

First, Anya and Xander have a bit of a reckoning – she calls him out on his relationship cowardice, but also confirms she cannot/will not kill him, and he acknowledges an enormous amount of guilt for his part in this disaster (by not preventing Tara’s death after Warren raised the gun) and, less so, his accountability in the catastrophe that was his relationship with Anya. They have less time to reconcile than is ideal when Willow, Buffy and Dawn suddenly appear, and Anya hides around a corner silently doing a spell to weaken Willow’s powers. It’s a good thing, too, because Willow’s giving it her all to try and magically murder The Duo, and then gives herself super strength to fight Buffy.

Seeing Willow’s new Slayer strength, Xander, Dawn and The Duo escape, and Andrew then tries to escape their escape, but Jonathan forces them both to own up to what they did. If they live through this, they’re going to do their time. Amen. 

Back at the Magic Shop, Willow and Buffy have a HELL of a fight, honestly an all-timer. It’s very exciting, until Willow discovers the spell-casting Anya, knocks her unconscious, and is about to get the upper hand in her fight with Buffy, crowing about how much power she has and how no one can beat her – when (*trumpets sound*) Giles shows up! He magically knocks her to the floor, and we head to credits.

Oh wait, also – it’s really hard to care about this in light of everything else that’s going on this week, and especially in light of what he did last week, but Spike beats some fire-fisted jock in the first stage of his multi-pronged mysterious “test.”

How many times do I have to take a drink?

18

Vamps Dusted

0

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

Andrew, whining like the tiniest, dumbest baby at his looming Willow execution: “But we didn’t do anything!” Jonathan, like a real adult human: “Yes, we did. We signed on, we teamed up, we wanted to see where our plans would take us. Well, take a look.”

Aww, Clem

I love his babysitting approach! “I can be a real boredom buster, just give me a chance!” And Dawn’s pretty cute back, tbh. New spinoff fave!

Giles For Life

Giles shows up in the nick of time to battle Dark Willow
Dark Willow: “It’s about the power. And there’s no one in the world who has the power to stop me now.” Giles: “I’d like to test that theory.”

What! An! Entrance!

Xander holds Willow as she cries after almost destroying the world.

6.22 “Grave”

Buffy is, as you might expect, overwhelmed with joy and relief to see Giles, and Willow is, predictably, a spoiled, sarcastic teenager about it. She’s still really smarting about the “rank, arrogant amateur” comment, and then she somehow goes even blacker-eyed and throatier-voiced and says, “Well, buckle up, Rupert, because I’ve gone pro.” But Giles has borrowed some mega powers from a very potent coven near him in England (the same coven clued him into the Willow threat in the first place), and he manages to bind Willow with a glowing green ring – a “stasis spell.” He tells a bound Willow, gently, “I’m very sorry about Tara,” and it breaks my heart, and then Giles, Buffy and Anya have a moment to breathe, and they have the loveliest, most moving reunion hug. Oh Giles, we missed you.

Anya’s keeping an eye on Willow while Buffy takes Giles to the training room to debrief him on all of the enormous bummers that have occurred since his departure: Xander left Anya at the alter, Dawn’s a klepto, and Buffy’s sleeping with Spike. This last bit elicits a ten-minute guffaw out of Giles, and oh my god, have I mentioned yet how much I’ve missed him? Buffy finally cracks up, as well, and they continue laughing through most of the rest of their conversation, a perfect little bit of Giles therapy for Buff, and it’s this beautiful, brilliant moment of levity that the show has sorely needed. But, no good thing lasts forever, and Willow manages to mind-manipulate Anya into freeing her, and then she and Giles embark on another epic battle, one that leaves Anya unconscious, the Magic Shop in shambles, and Giles very weak. Willow gets tired of Buffy stepping in to defend Giles, so she sends a fireball through the roof to find Xander, Dawn and the Duo and kill them all, and Buffy has no choice but to run after it to save them, leaving Giles to Willow. Willow drains him of all of the coven’s borrowed power, and suddenly she’s the most powerful witch that has ever existed. But by gaining that power, she loses her newfound nihilism, and suddenly she can feel all of the pain and emotion in the world. It’s too much, and she decides to end the planet rather than let this much pain continue. “You poor bastards,” she tells us. “Your suffering has to end.” She floats her way out of the Magic Shop, determined to eat the world.

Meanwhile, Xander, Dawn and The Duo are running in circles, and it’s a good thing Xander has such a redemptive scene at the end of the episode, because here he’s just a self-pitying baby who throws in Dawn’s face that Spike almost raped her sister just to make a point. Ugh. They’ve made it to the cemetery when the fireball almost takes them all out, but Buffy shows up just in time to push everyone out of the way of disaster. Xander’s knocked unconscious, Buffy and Dawn are stuck inside a deep crypt and can’t get out, and Jonathan rethinks his exit strategy and decides he and Andrew should run, so they do. Buffy and Dawn have a quick aside where Dawn calls Buffy on being too overprotective about all of the wrong things, and it seems to make a dent. FINALLY.

Anya wakes up to find the Magic Shop nearly destroyed and Giles dying (guys, I can’t let you think Giles dies. It would be too awful. I have to go ahead and tell you that he doesn’t die). He tells her that Willow’s about to destroy the world, and no super-strength or supernatural power can stop her. She teleports into the crypt to give the scoop to Buffy: Willow is uncovering an old Satanic temple (with her mind) and rebuilding it on a bluff. She will imbue the temple’s effigy with all her power and use it to end the world. Buffy’s trying to fight her way out of the crypt, but Willow magics a bunch of dirt-zombies to fight Buffy so she can’t distract Willow, and Buffy tells Dawn that they’re coming too fast, she can’t stop them – and asks Dawn to help her. Dawn says, “I’ve got your back,” and it’s great! She totally holds her own, too.

Dawn and Buffy wield swords back to back like badasses

Willow’s getting pretty close to ending the world when Xander shows up and stands in the way of her zaps. She’s furious, and tries to get him to move, but he refuses. He loves her. Back at the Magic Shop, Giles smiles and says, “There. It’s not over.” And then one of my favorite scenes of all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer takes place.

Gosh, that’s some good television. Giles, suddenly, sits up, feeling much better, and he tells Anya that this was his plan all along – he knew Willow would try to drain him of the coven’s powers, but unlike Willow’s dark vengeance magic, the coven’s magic “tapped into the spark of humanity she had left. Helped her to feel again. Gave Xander the opportunity to reach her.” Anya is surprised and moved to hear that Xander is the one who saved the world this time. We’re all surprised, Anya. But I gotta say: it’s pretty nice. 

Meanwhile, in the crypt, it’s clear that the apocalypse is over, and Buffy starts sobbing with gratitude. She tells Dawn she’s so sorry for all of the depressing shit that happened in Season 6, and I will also accept that apology, thank you. Dawn tells her it’s okay, and Buffy says, “It hasn’t been okay. But it’s gonna be now. I see it.” She wants to live again, to see her friends happy again, to see the beautiful and powerful woman Dawn’s going to grow into. 

The episode ends with a montage: Buffy and Dawn climbing out of the grave, Anya helping Giles out of the ruins of the Magic Shop, Xander still holding a sobbing Willow, Jonathan and Andrew hitchhiking out of town with a trucker.

And Spike has successfully completed all of his trials. He asks for what he wants, to be what he once was, to be able to hurt the Slayer, and instead he gets his soul back. Credits!!!

How many times do I have to take a drink?

14

Vamps Dusted

0

Giles For Life

Giles shows up and Buffy is overwhelmed with joy, as is Anya
Giles, to Buffy: “You cut your hair.” Buffy hugs him.

The Truest Thing Anybody Said This Week

“Well, feeling sorry for yourself isn’t helping either, Xander, okay?” Go Dawny! She’s really growing on me.

Apocalypse of the Week

Whoever thought it would be a Scoob that brought about this show’s nearest-miss apocalypse? 

Scooby Gang Feels

Forever and ever.

Xander hugs Willow and tells her he loves her as her hair goes from black to red, magic draining away.
Xander: “I love you, Willow.”

That’s it for this week, and that’s it for Season 6! How do you guys feel about the season as a whole, now that we’re at the end of it? It’s so, so tough to watch, but all of it results in a really phenomenal conclusion. I think the S6 finale is one of the best, but damn, was it a lot of work to get here.

Bringing us into the relative peace of Season 7 is Stephanie. Meet her here next Wednesday morning as she covers “Lessons” and “Beneath You”! 

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.