Season 5: Part 2

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar
20th Century Fox
Certificate: 15
Available now

The second half of season 5 begins with the heroine having to jump through hoops for the Watchers she no longer works for in order to get the information she needs to fight her mysterious enemy - Glory...

There are classic episodes in this box set, such as The Body but other than that the build up for the end of season five leaves us disappointed. This box set shows us a darker side of Buffy - this season doesn't leave much space for comedy which can sometimes make it too deep to cope and leave the viewer wishing for some lighter moments. But not all is doom and gloom in Sunnydale. Although a lot darker than we have been used to in the past, there are still some truly great episodes.

Crush sees Spike stuck in the middle as the women of his life all come together in one room for a showdown, and after losing all of them hilarity ensues in Intervention when Spike decides to take the easy route out and has a robot version of the slayer to keep him happy in all areas, and yes, it seems she really does. When it comes to the lighter side of the season, Spike is the man (or vampire as the case may be) to watch. His character really shines and over time he has come to be an integral part of the gang.

Still holes a plenty in the Buffy-verse however, as throughout the season we find out that Spike can still bite although he has a chip in his head, and his true feelings for Buffy should be impossible if we stick with original Buffy-lore which states that vampires are only demons in the human's body and have no emotions at all without a soul.

The epic of the season was as no one can deny - The Body. Chilling to the bone the complete episode is free of music and gives itself a haunting feel that you just cant shrug off. The most true to life episode of the sci-fi saga yet, the gang's acting, and particularly Gellar's, was pushed to its limit in covering the grief of losing Joyce and the fact that there was nothing supernatural about it made it hit home even more.

The whole season was spent working out how Glory could be defeated, and it seemed like it was impossible, but suddenly at the end of a season all it took was a few good blows with a Troll's hammer to stop the godly one in her tracks.

The newer members of the gang - Tara, Anya and Dawn all come into their element one way or another in this set. Tara and Willows relationship grows and the witches are great this season, Dawn seems to somehow be less annoying and has been accepted by all fans much quicker and easier than Riley ever was, and many were gripped as to how her story - as the Key to Glory's evil plan- would be resolved. Many thought she would be a one season character, but from the looks of things Dawn is here to stay.

When it comes to Anya there are two camps of thought. It's the same as Marmite - you either love her or hate her. The Body was a breakthrough for her, as she showed that her annoying aspects where just misunderstandings and we can see that all she has been doing is trying to cope in a world which she doesn't understand. If you don't like her after that episode its unlikely you ever will.

But when it came to the end, the 100th episode of Buffy left us feeling empty as we all had hoped and expected more, it was a blink and miss it finale to a story arc that seemed impossible to resolve mere weeks before. We leave Sunnydale with Buffy dead, but knowing full well that she will return, gives us a hope of better things to come, but deep down inside is a niggling worry that the way things are heading we may accidentally find ourselves in Pet Cemetery II territory, with Buffy the Zombie Vampire Slayer.

All in all, Buffy Season five is an enjoyable season, with a few choice moments, but it still doesn't reach the highs that we have witnessed in the past. It hasn't lost any fans, but the millions that exist know that they have seen better before.

Keri Allan