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Buffy Season Seven


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#1

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Posted Dec 31, 2003 @ 9:25 PM

Buffy, but because of the power she has and because she is the one and only slayer, the final call is up to her

S7 gave me a lot of sympathy with Quentin Traver's viewpont that the Slayer is just the weapon, and it needs the CoW to make the call on just how the weapon should be used.

#2

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 4:27 PM

Even though I loathe S7 a great deal with a couple of exceptions I will say there are two things about Bring On The Night that I absolutely love...

1. Anya looked adorable. I really thought either the wardrobe department and/or Emma had struck gold. I thought her hair (color/style/length), the glasses, everything, was lovely. I always thought she was pretty but after that ep. I thought she was gorgeous.

2. Dawn's attitude in the ep. When she was slapping the shit outta Andrew that was my very first I *heart* Dawn moment ever. Not to mention the Anya/Dawn interrogation and interplay wrt Andrew. The whole hot water exchange was just hilarious, and the looks & reaction they have to Buffy coming in the room have me just laughing for days.

#3

HexLover

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 5:32 PM

What you mean her anchoves song or being posable didn't give you I love Dawn moments?

ETA: I just rewatched Showtime and when Buffy is talking tp Willow psychicly her voice doesn't sound right, is that SMG talking or did someone else do the voice over?

Edited by HexLover, Jan 4, 2004 @ 12:22 PM.


#4

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 10:41 AM

[sniff]A comment from another board reminded me of Cassie Newton's actual website that they put up after Help and I decided to check it out and actually read the poems this time. And it's gone. It's just another little detail that exemplifies that Buffy really is gone. That just made me really sad again, and I thought I'd share.[/sniff]

#5

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 10:49 AM

Hexlover, I have vague recollections of that being a huge issue when people first saw the wildfeed of that ep. I think it was finally established that SMG was sick when she voiced the dubbing, so it sounded weird.

#6

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:07 PM

DaBigDave, I think you touched upon an important point about Buffy's evolution by and through S7. From s1-5, Buffy had, despite the Angel trauma, been a pretty good leader IMO. But the decisions required of her by the end of S5 broke her and the last two seasons have been about how tired she really was of the job. Viewed that way, S7 is about Buffy playing that out and finding a positive way to deal with her burden. I know there's a lot of issue about whether the Potential-Activation spell was really a good idea but as a metaphor for Buffy freeing herself by sharing the power and responsibility ( instead of killing herself or running away yet one more time) it was a nice end to her story.

I"ll have to watch S7 again to se if any of the other things that bugged me about S7 makes more sense to me now.

#7

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 7:24 PM

Something that really bugged me was the way that she kept venting her frustration on Faith. She punches Faith twice, can't understand why Faith came to help them, and tried to blame Faith because the SiTs didn't like her and said that Faith had planned this to take everything from her. And throughout all of these events Faith manages to controll herself and doesn't respond with anything stronger than an insult. So, bully for Faith.

#8

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:52 PM

I didn't see it as her venting her frustrations on Faith so much as showing that she had a lot of unresolved issues regarding Faith. The things that she seemed to fear about Faith were issues she'd had with Faith from S3, beginning with Faith seemingly taking over her friends (or at least captivating them with her stories) to Faith actually taking over her body and life in S4. Not much progression on her part since she hadn't taken the time to deal with those issues. It's not so much that she "couldn't understand" why Faith was helping them as that she initially couldn't believe that Faith had changed. You'd think Anya and Spike would have taught her to be less suspicious of people's ability to change, but IMO she was more irrational about Faith because Faith's "bad deeds" of the past more directly impacted her on a personal level. Yeah, there was the AR but for the most part, the evil that Anya and Spike had done was more abstract, on the level of "protect the general populace" rather than infringing on Buffy on such a personal level. IMO her going to talk to Faith and "share the power"/scythe with her in "End of Days" was supposed to show her progression towards accepting Faith. And yeah, bully for Faith for not rising to the bait/controlling herself. Because she *did* progress and come to terms with her issues with Buffy. She had years to do nothing but deal with her issues, sitting in jail. And they did a nice job of showing how far she'd come in the way she responded to Buffy's irrationality.

ETA: It's too bad that Faith came so late in the game and that they didn't try to explore the Faith/Willow or Faith/Xander issues more. IMO in many ways, Faith impacted the whole Scooby Gang on a far more personal level than any other "villain" in the past, except maybe Dark Willow. And even then. But then, they seemed to shy away from a lot of this kind of thing in later years - why not explore the Spike/Xander dynamic from another level and show how it's changed and not changed since S4? Why not have Spike and Willow compare notes on redemption? Show how Spike/Dawn's relationship had changed/been affected by the AR and the soul and show whether they could ever have become friends again. I know that sounds like a very Spike-centric POV but my point is that there were a number of relationships/interactions with a lot of potential for interesting development that they seemed to steer completely away from in S7. A lot of people complain that Spike "took over" in S7 (which I don't agree with) so I guess I'm saying if they were going to use him a lot, why not use him *and* the other characters to explore interesting new dynamics?

Edited by Teenes, Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:03 PM.


#9

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:22 PM

IMO she was more irrational about Faith because Faith's "bad deeds" of the past more directly impacted her on a personal level. Yeah, there was the AR but for the most part, the evil that Anya and Spike had done was more abstract

Actually, I think Buffy's feelings about the AR have a little something to do with how she treats Faith.

Throughought the series, Spike and Faith have had parallel roles in Buffy's life and I think that's true here. Namely, I think that on a certain level, Buffy is redirecting some of her Spike-anger onto Faith.

One suspects that Buffy must have some major anger and resentments toward Spike, but for various reasons she can't express them. But Buffy can express her resentments toward Faith. So she does. And I think Buffy over-reacts partly because she's pouring those other stifled resentments onto Faith. Just as in S6, she was pouring her stifled resentments onto Spike.

#10

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:56 PM

Namely, I think that on a certain level, Buffy is redirecting some of her Spike-anger onto Faith.


Huh. I didn't see that at all. Food for thought. So Buffy has been repressing her anger at Spike all season and then Faith comes along and she suddenly dumps it all on her? IMO, if that was true, we would have seen a lot more anger/resentment from her towards Spike before the soul-revelation than we saw. I just don't think they ever showed that much resentment or even that much anger from Buffy wrt to the AR except for the implied trust that Spike broke (despite her insisting that she didn't trust him), even right afterwards. I always got the impression that she sort of understood how they got there. It does rather diminish the impact of the AR on the victim in some ways, but in others, I thought that reaction was rather true to the kind of relationship the two of them had had rather than a cliched Buffy as victim reaction. Though I've never gone through that kind of experience myself and it may be unfair to call that cliche.

But I honestly don't see Buffy's reactions to Faith as overreactions on any level beyond her own unresolved issues with her (plus her own resentment/stress of the leadership role she's had to take on). IMO, if she's venting anything on Faith, it's the stress of the job. But I don't really think she is taking things out on Faith. If anything, she's using the stress of the job as an excuse to express her issues with Faith (ie, punching Faith outside the Bronze).

#11

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 10:18 PM

I just don't think they ever showed that much resentment or that much anger from Buffy wrt the AR


I personally think that was a bit of a mistake in the direction. Nonetheless it might add weight to the idea that Buffy vented a lot of the repressed anger she had over the AR onto Faith. Afterall Faith did violate Buffy, by invading her body foremost, and by manipulating Riley into sex, thereby polluting her sexual relationship with her boyfriend. There are some parallels to what Spike did.

#12

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 2:30 AM

As far as the Buffy/Faith thing goes, Buffy did piss me off with the way she treated Faith -- especially with the punching in the cemetery. However, in a general way I can understand her hostility. As others have mentioned, Buffy would have a hard time accepting Faith after the things Faith did to her, and the joy Faith (usually) took in it.

Further, considering how cold and sometimes outright bitchy Buffy had been to everyone lately, I guess it isn't odd that she wouldn't care much about restraining her feelings toward Faith. And pretty much all of her aggression towards Faith is seen pre- (and during) mutiny. After she has her big epiphany in "Touched," she seems to accept Faith a lot more.

I still hate that first punch, though.

as a metaphor for Buffy freeing herself by sharing the power and responsibility

See, the thing that I like about the empowerment spell is that it isn't just Buffy freeing herself. She's also freeing every other potential. Now, I'm sure an argument could me made to the contrary -- I know people have said before that since Buffy made them all Slayers, they'd have more trouble with demons, etc. and that the burden of Slayerhood had been forced on them.

But here's how I look at it. Rather than thinking about every individual girl, I see it as Buffy freeing The Slayer. Before, there was (stupidly) "one girl in all the world." And that girl had to carry the burden of fighting vampires and demons, and all that. And she had to do it alone. Sure, we've seen that there are obviously non-Slayer people who also fight evil. But as The Slayer, she had an unavoidable responsibility to carry that burden.

With the empowerment spell, Buffy made sure that no single girl would ever have to shoulder that burden again. Rather than fighting alone, that girl now has help. She has entire community of Slayers worldwide to fight with her. And since the burden is no longer on that one girl, whoever she may be, she can decide how involved she wants to be. She can take vacations. She can go travel the world. Now, She has a choice.

Edited by Naxus, Jan 6, 2004 @ 2:31 AM.


#13

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 5:48 AM

If Buffy was taking out her Spike issues with Faith, does that mean she was taking out her Angel issues with Anya?

Of course, I saw Buffy hitting Faith as just another example of Buffy's megalomania ...

#14

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:15 AM

If Buffy was taking out her Spike issues with Faith, does that mean she was taking out her Angel issues with Anya?


Well probably considering that she was using that experience as an example and saying, "I won't let that happen again". Plus she stabbed Anya in the same way that she stabbed Angel even though she knew that Anya wouldn't be killed by it.

#15

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 12:01 PM

If Buffy was taking out her Spike issues with Faith, does that mean she was taking out her Angel issues with Anya?

Is that sarcasm? Because I'm not sure how the S2-Angel storyline parallels in Selfless could have been made more apparent.

#16

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 12:36 PM

Of course, I saw Buffy hitting Faith as just another example of Buffy's megalomania ...


I think Buffy had a lot of legitimate reasons to be angry with Faith, and her initial reaction, while not necessarily approrpriate, was understandable an IMO not an act of megalomania. If you were to catalogue Faith's offenses against Buffy and stack them up against the punch, I'd say Faith got off pretty easy. I like Faith plenty (love her, actually - she's one of my favorite all time ME creations), but she never tried to kill my first boyfriend and then sleep with my second, assault my mother, steal my body and therefore my life, and follow that all up with a rousing game of trying to kill the first love once again. I know Faith is repenting, but Buffy isn't required to forgive her quite so easily and I think I'd punch Faith too if I'd have been in Buffy's shoes.

#17

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 12:53 PM

I agree that Buffy was taking out her First Evil issues with Faith, just as she did with other people. I also agree that it would have been nice to see more Faith interaction with Xander and Willow. By the way, it's nice that Faith and Willow were civil to each other, but you could hardly tell from their interactions on BtVS or AtS that they fantasized about killing each other the last time they met. I like the way Mutant Enemy resolved the tension between Faith and Wesley on AtS much better.

Anyway, I see the activation spell as another example of Buffy focusing on herself at the expense of the mission. Her battle plan had no chance of succeeding as she conceived it, but she went ahead because sharing the burden of slayerhood had a strong personal appeal to her.

#18

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 1:11 PM

I notice "and tried to kill my best friends" never made your list.

The thing is, if Faith was due a punch, it should've happened in the graveyard when they first got together. Buffy did not do that. She seemed cool with Faith until the bar. Not warm and friendly, not hot with anger, but cool. She's here, that's fine, but no big hugs. The punch came after an admitted but justifiable mistake, and I really don't have a read on why she did it, but I don't hook it with unresolved Spike issues.

#19

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 3:32 PM

The thing is, if Faith was due a punch, it should've happened in the graveyard when they first got together. Buffy did not do that. She seemed cool with Faith until the bar. Not warm and friendly, not hot with anger, but cool. She's here, that's fine, but no big hugs. The punch came after an admitted but justifiable mistake, and I really don't have a read on why she did it, but I don't hook it with unresolved Spike issues.


Buffy did punch Faith at the cemetary and then again at the bar, after Faith had been wailed on by the police. While I will admit that Faith kind of deserved the first punch she did not deserve the second one.

#20

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 3:37 PM

I notice "and tried to kill my best friends" never made your list


Yeah, that happens to me at least once a week. That's why I left it off the list. :)

I was referring to the graveyard punch, not the punch at the Bronze. The one at the Bronze made me more sad for Buffy than angry. She's so clearly falling apart and out of touch with reality. I think if ME had actually done something that would have made the audience (and her friends) appreciate her deteriorating mental state and subsequent irrational need to lash out - she'd have been far more sympathetic. She's so very far beyond hurthing at this point in the game that it would have been wonderful to see her pain addressed by her, her friends, Giles, etc. I'm one of those people who believes that the root of all anger is pain though, so YMMV.

Weirdly, I find I'm able to not blame Buffy but Marti Noxon. I sleep better that way.

Edited by EONdc, Jan 6, 2004 @ 3:39 PM.


#21

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 4:06 PM

She's so clearly falling apart and out of touch with reality. I think if ME had actually done something that would have made the audience (and her friends) appreciate her deteriorating mental state and subsequent irrational need to lash out - she'd have been far more sympathetic.


I'm a little confused whether you think they were clear about it or not =) but I personally think they were. IMO Buffy was clearly heavily frayed at the edges at this point, somewhat paranoid, and almost visibly forcing herself to keep going through each moment. She seems perpetually on the edge, trying to be strong but lashing out everytime her control slipped, and utterly unable to connect with anyone. I think it's interesting to contrast her sympathy with Willow in The Gift (paraphrased - "the last couple days, I've mostly been looking for ways to help Tara. I know that shouldn't be my focus" "of course it should") with her complete inability to deal with Xander's injury (including Dawn's inquiry about it). She also seems incapable of talking to anyone on any level except to talk about work and the mission. IMO she's so clearly close to breaking, so utterly on edge and visibly struggling to keep control over herself, so increasingly irrational and distant, that I find it very hard to understand the perspective that ME meant to say that she was 100% right in "Empty Places". And her lashing out at Faith and Giles, Faith in particular, IMO isn't so much her choosing to vent her frustrations at this particular target as the edges of her control fraying at some of her more emotionally weak/vulnerable spots. Her issues with Faith make it that much harder for her to maintain control around her. I think the punch outside the Bronze was completely uncalled for and completely irrational myself, but I don't think there was anything deliberate about it. Just a point where her control broke b/c Faith is still very much a sensitive spot for her that she hasn't dealt with.

I didn't much like Buffy by the end of S7 but the more I think about it, the more I have sympathy for her.

#22

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:30 PM

Re: Buffy punching Faith. Buffy doesn't seem to have any problem punching anyone strong enough to take it. She frequently punches Spike and Angel as well as Faith. I think that among physical equals she doesn't think it is much different than yelling at them.

#23

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:33 PM

I think that among physical equals she doesn't think it is much different than yelling at them.


Which is a whole new reason to find her scary.

#24

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 8:10 PM

She also seems incapable of talking to anyone on any level except to talk about work and the mission.

Faith in particular, IMO isn't so much her choosing to vent her frustrations at this particular target as the edges of her control fraying at some of her more emotionally weak/vulnerable spots

Which again, was why I'd posited that Buffy lashing out physically at Faith was, in addition to being about her lashing out at Faith, also about Buffy venting frustrations that she felt for other targets but which she was unable to deal with or vent.

By that point, Faith is symbolic of a lot of Buffy's personal frustrations, but she's also the one person Buffy feels it's "okay" for her to be venting her frustrations against. Up until the end of Empty Places when Buffy finally acknowledges that Faith is trying to help, isn't looking to betray her, and should be accepted.

Edited by DaBigDave, Jan 6, 2004 @ 8:16 PM.


#25

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 8:40 PM

I find it very hard to understand the perspective that ME meant to say that she was 100% right in "Empty Places".


I don't think they meant to say that she was 100% right. However, I think they meant to say that she was partly right, but they failed to support this (as we've already discussed at length) and ultimately rewarded her for making poor choices by giving her an unearned victory (as we've also discussed).

#26

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 10:06 PM

Is that sarcasm? Because I'm not sure how the S2-Angel storyline parallels in Selfless could have been made more apparent.


It was a rhetorical question ... the point being that Buffy shouldn't be allowed to take out her emotional issues on other people.

I know Faith is repenting, but Buffy isn't required to forgive her quite so easily and I think I'd punch Faith too if I'd have been in Buffy's shoes.


Considering that Buffy is harboring Spike, she's throwing stones in a glass house if she's holding Faith's past against her. Of course, in the case of the second time Buffy hit Faith, it probably had more to do with the fact that Faith dared to speak to Spike.

#27

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 10:50 PM

I know Faith is repenting, but Buffy isn't required to forgive her quite so easily

It does make me sad that she seems to have forgotten what Giles taught her in season 2: Forgiveness is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's given not because it's deserved, but because it's needed.

Buffy and Faith's dynamic does improve though, and I'm glad for it. Maybe it's a little Pollyanna of me, but I wanted them to end the series on good terms.

#28

MsBigPileofDust

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 5:26 AM

Here's a reminder from the BBC Buffy site:

...late night uncut repeats of season seven begin on BBC Two from Friday 16th January.



#29

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 5:32 AM

Whether ME actually MEANT to imply that Buffy was right in "Empty Places" gets eclipsed, IMHO, by the fact that she is completely vindicated by the writing. That's the problem I think ME had especially in the UPN years, execution never quite seemed to gel with intent. Saying something over and over doesn't make it true. I need to SEE it, to some extent, to believe it. Granted, a lot of that is left up to personal interpretation, but when so many others see it similarly, I have to wonder if the problem isn't with the viewers, but with the writers et al.

As for whether or not Faith might have deserved being hit, I have to agree with an earlier poster -- if Buffy is willing to (IMHO) blindly and totally defend Spike after everything that had gone on prior, she has lost any right, moral or otherwise, to complain about Faith's actions, especially prior ones, when she remains silent on Spike's. Of everyone appearing in the final season of BtVS, Faith seems to have actually atoned and made some peace with herself.

SHOWING us more of Buffy's supposed breakdown (and I say supposed not to mock anyone here, but because ME did a terrible job, IMHO, of selling that view) would have made her a sympathetic character.

I can see where ME wanted to go with Buffy's issues, but to me, they never got there, aside from playing lip service to it. While I agree with another poster, that I'd rather blame Marti/Joss/whomever, ultimately, at the end of the day, I'm left seeing these things come from Buffy's mouth and actions, and she regrettably takes the blame for them.

#30

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Posted Jan 7, 2004 @ 9:55 AM

Here's the thing.

The First never worked as a villain. Well, a little, in "CWDP", but there it's working on Willow and maybe on Dawn, never on Buffy. We don't really know what it wants, or why it thinks taking the actions it takes will get what it wants. Because the First never worked as a villain, we never really got the feeling that Buffy was exhausted, mentally, physically or emotionally because of her struggle against it. We are told that something Buffy did allows it to be here, but we never are told what. (It could be that she didn't die completely before Kendra did, which explains why the First was up and around in S3, no S2, but really, it could be something she did at Hemery for all we know.) They wrote that she was, but they never sold it. From what we are shown, she worked harder and was more personally hurt in S3, and in the midst of that, she made herself pretty and went to the Prom and smiled and joked and such. And even in that, they undercut their work. She's exhausted and emotionally separated, but she's going "Willow and Kennedy sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G" in "The Killer In Me". She's humorless and dying inside because of the pressure she's under, but she's flirting at a french restaurant with Wood in "First Date".

That's the core problem with S7. I never felt she was lashing out because of her disconnection because I never got that she was disconnected. Well, more than usual -- she's been saying "You won't understand; it's a Slayer thing" since nearly the beginning, and it has almost always come back to bite her. I got that she was seriously disconnected in S5. I got that she was in S6, in spades. Not so much in S7. She never really talked to Xander post "CWDP", but they were pretty close before, and they never show why. She stopped talking with Willow, except when they made sure in conversations with Willow that things were fine between them. She was way disconnected with Dawn, but from what I saw, that was more a problem with Dawn than with Buffy -- we never saw Buffy wanting to talk to her sister and stopping. And whatever disconnect was going on with Giles is his deal, not hers. I'm fine with the Spike aspects of "Lies", pretty much, but I fail to see what Giles was trying to do with Buffy besides distract her while Robin deals with Spike. Yes, it shows a disconnect between her and Giles, but Giles has been off in England. Of course she's a bit disconnected from someone she isn't really connected with anymore.

And because they never sell their key points leading to the finale, I never bought the finale, and go WTF? when I see Buffy smiling at the end of "Chosen". Sure, evil has been fought and defeated (with two issues on that one -- I don't see that the First's plans were really thwarted because the didn't seem to further the First's anti-Slayer goals, and the defeat of Evil was brought to you via a generous grant from Wolfram and Hart, the evil law firm from another series) and a number of other little girls are available to take up the slack, allowing her to get a good night's sleep, but the entirety of her life for the last seven years, including the grave of her mother, have been obliterated and people she cared about were killed and wounded. It would've had to been at least bittersweet.

The biggest disconnect is between the writers and what they thought they were saying and the audience and what they were showing, and it started, I think, with the villain.