Original Air Date: May 22, 2001
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
Vampires Slain = 1
In the back of Giles' shop a rageful Buffy wails on a punching bag as Giles walks in. He tells her that he loves Dawn but he's sworn to protect this world and that means saying and doing things that other people cannot. Buffy tells him that if he tries to hurt Dawn she'll stop him and he knows it. Buffy tells him that she's always stopped apocalypses and she'd even sacrificed Angel to save the world despite her love for him, but she doesn't have that power anymore and she doesn't know how to live in this world where everything is stripped away from her. If Dawn dies, she plans to quit.
It's now close to the ritual time and Dawn is brought to the top of a huge metal tower and tied by the wrists to metal posts. Meanwhile Xander and Anya discover Spike's sex-bot as well as the Dagon's sphere in the basement. Xander then proposes marriage to Anya who tells him to give her the ring after they stop the end of the world. At the shop Willow tells Buffy that she's figured a way to reverse Glory's power on Tara but that she needs to be close to the two of them to do it. Buffy goes to her house with Spoke to gather weapons and she invites him in. They're aware that not all of them are going to make it.
The gang gathers and Tara leads them to Glory's location. Willow follows Tara in and once Glory finds Tara, Willow sticks her fingers int their brains and restores Tara's sanity to her. Buffy then appears before a Glory that is slightly out of it. Buffy throws the Dagon's sphere at her which is causing her to feel weird but Glory destroys it. Buffy then launches several brutal kicks and punches on Glory. The rest of the gang jumps in and fights her minions. Glory then punches Buffy's head clear off her body, exposing wires where her head used to be. It was actually Spike's robot but Glory thinks the Slayer was a robot until the real Buffy slams her with Olaf's hammer from behind. Hearing Dawn's screams, Buffy races up the tower fighting Glory the whole way. Unfortunately they fall off but Xander attacks Glory with a huge wrecking ball. Buffy then starts wailing on Glory with the hammer. Meanwhile at the top of the tower Doc appears with a knife before Dawn. Seeing a man up there with Dawn, Willow tells Spike telepathically to get up to the tower immediately while Tara and Willow clear the path magically for him. At the top Doc attacks Spike who valiantly tries to stop him but is thrown off the tower and lands safely below. Buffy is still beating on Glory when she turns into Ben. Buffy runs off, not able to kill a human. Giles appears before Ben and tells him that Buffy is a hero and not like them. Giles then suffocates Ben to death, destroying Glory as well.
Buffy reaches the top of the tower just as Doc has cut Dawn with shallow cuts from his knife. Buffy throws Doc off the tower but it's too late and the portal is opening, sending enormous demons into the realm of earth. Dawn tells Buffy that she will stop the ritual by sacrificing herself and jumping into the portal. Dawn realizes that she has to do this but Buffy won't let her. Buffy remembers that Dawn was made out of her and that they share the same blood. Then something clicks and Buffy realizes that her death will be the gift to close the portal. Dawn realizes what Buffy's thinking and doesn't want to let her. Buffy then whispers to Dawn that she will always love her and to tell her friends that she figure out what her gift was, then kisses her and runs for the end of the tower, diving off into the swirling white portal, closing it. Her friends find her unmoving and presumably dead at the bottom of the tower. They all break down crying for her and the sacrifice she made. It ends with a shot of Buffy's gravestone.
Buffy Anne Summers
1981 - 2001
She saved the world.
Anthony Stewart Head