Tuesday was the 18th anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That makes me feel old. Although, I actually did not watch the show when it initially started airing. I remember that a few of my friends were obsessed with it, but I refused to watch anything science fiction back then. However, when I got to college, FX was playing two episodes a day and I quickly got hooked while trying to avoid studying. For this anniversary, I attempted to make a list of my eight favorite episodes, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Instead, I chose my favorite episode from each season (with an extra one from season three). I, sadly, could not find clips for several of the episodes.
1. The Puppet Show
Someone is harvesting students’ organs during the talent show and Buffy suspects that it might be one classmate’s ventriloquist dummy. Giles has gotten roped into organizing the talent show by Principal Snyder. After Snyder overhears Buffy, Xander and Willow making fun of Giles, he forces them to also participate.
2. I Only Have Eyes For You
There is a ghost in the school and he is reenacting his own tragic demise through the bodies of current students and staff. Buffy does not initially sympathize with this ghosts need for forgiveness, but after getting trapped in the school and forced to reenact the story with Angelus, she starts to understand what he is feeling.
Faith has started working with the Mayor and their latest plan is to steal Angel’s soul and get Angelus to kill Buffy. Faith and Angelus lock up Buffy and are about to torture her until Buffy gets Faith to reveal all she knows about the Mayor’s plans for ascension. Angel then admits that his soul was never taken, and he and Buffy were playing Faith the whole time.
4. The Prom
After realizing that Buffy’s feelings for him are getting too serious, Angel breaks-up with her and tells her he’s leaving after they stop the Mayor’s ascension. To keep herself distracted, Buffy successfully tracks down a student who has bred hellhounds to attack the prom. When class awards are given out at the dance, the students have elected Buffy “Class Protector.”
A group of monsters called The Gentlemen steal the voices of everyone in Sunnydale so that they can cut out seven people’s hearts. Buffy and Riley are still lying to each other about their secret identities but end up having to work together to defeat The Gentlemen. Willow also starts to befriend Tara, and Xander expresses his love for Anya.
Quentin Travers and the Watcher’s Council are in town to tell Buffy what they know about Glory only after she passes a series of tests. The Knights of Byzantium are also in town to destroy the Key, which causes Buffy to realize that she is the one that holds all the power. She gives the Council an ultimatum and they reluctantly reinstate Giles as her Watcher and reveal that Glory is not a demon, but a god.
7. Once More With Feeling
Dawn has accidentally summoned a demon that causes everyone in town to randomly burst into song and dance numbers. Buffy is forced to reveal to her friends that when she died, she was not in a hell dimension as they believed, but in heaven. Tara also discovers that Willow has been altering her memory, and Giles decides to return to England.
In the series finale, Buffy and her friends must defeat The First and its army of Turok-Han. Using an ancient Slayer weapon, Willow channels its essence and activates Potential Slayers all over the world. They destroy the Hellmouth, but lose a few friends in the process.