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Join Comixology Unlimited to read BtVS comics — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Joss' Comments on the Season 5 Finale

SPOILER WARNING: This contains serious spoilers for the season five finale, "The Gift." If you haven't seen the season five finale, STOP READING NOW.

This is a collection of Joss' comments and explanations regarding the aforementioned topic. Some are excerpts from interviews, and some are from his posts at the Bronze (the old official site's posting board). Such posts were obtained from the The Bronze VIP Posting Board Archives.

At the Bronze
May 23, 2001

on my way to bed. I've never been so tired. (lie.) We did it. Feeling good. Killed the girl. Girl comin' back. A good thing? Nothing is simple in this life. My actors and writers and crew are unbelievable. I'm lucky to be this kind of tired. Thanks all of you for your comments and opinions, even the ones I hated. UPN will be a good home for us. 'Cause the show won't change -- except inasmuch as it's always changing. Next year is going to be intense. INTENSE. And the musical... the musical... could be the worst hour of TV ever made, but you won't be able to say we didn't go there. I'll post sometime soon, wherever the bronze may be.

Need the sleep.

Love the tired.

Somewhat more coherent now. Just want to say again, finally, definitively, and in LIVING color that BUFFY WILL BE BACK NEXT SEASON STARRING Sarah Michelle GELLAR (of television's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer")on UPN, TUESDAYS at 8:00.

How will we bring her back? With great difficulty, of course. And pain and confusion. Will it be cheezy? I don't think so. (I've loved some of the theories here on how it might be done.) The fact is, we've had most of next season planned before we ever shot this ep. Same writers you know, same actors you love, same crappy little warehouse we've been shooting in for five years... Different network. But we've never been controlled by the network -- WB was great about that, UPN has already shown they will be too. The only difference is that Marti will share exec prod credit with me, and it's about time she did. I'm in charge.

Okay, that's a lie. The STORY is in charge, the story that keeps on speaking to me, that says there is much more to tell about all these characters. An ensemble this brilliant could easily carry the show even without the Slayer -- but the fact is, even though she reached some beauty closure, Buffy's story isn't over. When it is, I'll know. And we'll stop. Til then, have faith. (not faith the character -- she's making movies and stuff.) And to answer a few other inevitable questions:

Yes I am the real "Delusions of Grandeur". Er, I mean....

Yes Buffy will be black. (Er... damn.)

It's none of your damn business what kind of underwear I'm wearing, but please don't tell Kai.

This has been a public nuisance announcement.

Kisses, j.
Gotta go to work (yes, still working on Buffy, no rest for the goat-smitten.) Just wanted to say thanks to all the people who keep coming on and reassuring people the show isn't over. Got to get the word out.

And a bigass thanks to the fans who took out that sweet ad in the Hollywood Reporter. All the writers were talking about it (well, not ALL the writers, just Buffy and Angel writers, West Wing writers were probably talking about government and stuff, but that's cool too.)

Thanks. Soon to see you.

---still actually me, j.
TV Guide Online — "The Plot to Resurrect Buffy "
May 24, 2001

TVGO: First off, is Buffy really dead?
Whedon: Yes. She's rotting in her grave even as we speak.

TVGO: But Sarah's coming back?
Whedon: Yes.

TVGO: You can understand how some people might be confused...
Whedon: Yes.

TVGO: Are you worried about alienating viewers by bringing her back from the dead? I mean, we saw the tombstone.
Whedon: Yes, I'm always worried about that. The point is, you have to take it seriously and pay it homage and make it as hard and strange for the people in the show as it is for the audience to accept. Then you earn it.

TVGO: If you bring Buffy back, then why couldn't you also bring back Joyce?
Whedon: You could, but we'll explain why.

TVGO: What's the craziest Buffy resurrection scenario you've heard in the last 48 hours?
Whedon: Buffy shows up in an alternate universe, but I don't think that's a good idea.

TVGO: You already know how this will be resolved, then?
Whedon: We've had next season planned out for a long time — before we even knew we were changing networks.

TVGO: Do you think, in retrospect, it's a little confusing? First Buffy leaves the WB, and now Buffy is dead. Some fans are wondering if the show is over.
Whedon: It's our job this summer to make people aware that Buffy — starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy — is coming back on UPN next fall. And I'm just gonna keep saying it to everybody I meet and every chance I get, and UPN is going to start advertising it today. We'll get the word out.

TVGO: Do you think the WB purposely added that farewell message at the end of the episode to further confuse people?
Whedon: You know, it was sort of incredibly classy and slightly underhanded. The whole "Series Finale" thing has been a little cheesy, but actually, I was pretty touched when I saw the message. The fact of the matter is they didn't say, "Goodbye. It's over." They said, "Thank you." So, at the end of the day, I thought that was kind of nice.

TVGO: If and when the day comes that Sarah leaves the show, would you retitle it Dawn the Vampire Slayer?
Whedon: What I would do with it is hard to say, but that's certainly a show I'd watch. Michelle [Trachtenberg] is a powerhouse. I have the best ensemble that I could ever hope to work with. It could happen, but if it did, it wouldn't be for years because Sarah's coming back.

TVGO: Did anyone else die during the climax? Anya looked like she was in pretty bad shape.
Whedon: She's OK, she made it.

TVGO: What was up with Giles killing Ben? Is that going to be the beginning of a trend?
Whedon: No, that's just the thing he had to do. And you know, Giles will be recurring next year instead of a regular because [Anthony Stewart Head is] going to live in England. We're working on a BBC [spinoff] show for [that character]. So, it's a side of Giles you're more likely to see on his show than you are on Buffy. But, it's not like he's going to become an evil killer or anything.

TVGO: Does Ben's death mean Glory is dead too?
Whedon: Yeah, it does.

TVGO: Whose voice was telling Spike to go rescue Dawn? It was a very Star Wars-type moment.
Whedon: It was Willow... Just yet another example of how Willow's power is increasing.

TVGO: Given that Buffy's death factored into Angel's finale, won't you have to kick off the season with some type of WB/UPN crossover?
Whedon: No, I really won't. And I'm not entirely sure that either network would want to. Not that Angel won't be dealing with the idea of Buffy's death and her rebirth, but the fact is, he's on his own now. He's at the big scary network by himself and he's going to have other very pressing matters to deal with.

TVGO: So you won't pick up Angel next fall where the season finale left off?
Whedon: No. Like we usually do, it will be a few months later.

TVGO: Do you know the date of Buffy's two-hour premiere?
Whedon: I don't know the date. I believe we're looking at early October, but nothing's been set.

TVGO: Will Amber Benson (Tara) be added to the opening credits next season?
Whedon: No, Amber's going to stay at a recurring status. But she will, like this year, be in most of the shows.

TVGO: Any other cast changes on Buffy?
Whedon: Apart from Giles becoming a recurring character? No.

Orlando Sentinel
May 24, 2001

Buffy is dead.

At least that's the impression with which viewers of WB's Buffy The Vampire Slayer were left Tuesday night. The WB's fade-to-black season finale had our heroine tossing herself from a tower to save her sister, Dawn, a k a The Key (Don't ask). Then we saw her limp body and tombstone: SHE SAVED THE WORLD A LOT.

Savvy fans know it was just the finale on WB -- the show, and star Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), are moving to UPN for a two-hour premiere in early October. It's a sure thing.

Still, series creator Joss Whedon wasn't exactly lifting spirits Wednesday:

Question: Is Dead Buffy actually a robot?

Whedon: Um, no. Dead Buffy's a Buffy. But a dead one.

Question: What the heck was Buffy thinking?

Whedon: I can see my house from here?

Question: Shouldn't Buffy have been more splattery after her fall?

Whedon: She wouldn't splat because she's stronger than your average bear. Anyhow -- ewwww. We wanted a pretty corpse.

Question: You have left people grieving, man. How can you live with yourself?

Whedon: Good. That's what I live to do. You think Charles Dickens said `Oh, let Little Nell live'? "

Question: Will Buffy/Angel crossovers be possible? (Whedon also created WB's Angel.)

Whedon: I have a brilliant non-crossover plan.

Question: Can Angel make it without love-of-his-vampire-life Buffy?

Whedon: Yes, although he will be dealing with the repercussions and emotions about Buffy's death and rebirth.

Question: What? Her rebirth?

Whedon: On UPN.

Question: Aw, man. . . . Say, do you need another writer?

Whedon: Uh, no.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette — "Is Buffy Dead?"
May 24, 2001

IS BUFFY DEAD? Tuesday's season finale was quite a shocker, as Buffy sacrificed herself to save the world. Taking a cue from Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in "Alien 3," Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) did a swan dive off a tower, fulfilling the prophecy of the first Slayer, who only a few weeks ago told her, "Death is your gift."

It was a spectacular hour of television filled with red herrings (Xander looked as if he was marked for death the minute he proposed marriage to Anya), action, humor and, ultimately, love, as Buffy took the place of her sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg, an excellent addition to the cast), dying in order to turn back the forces of evil.

Of course, Buffy's death raises the question: What happens when the show moves from The WB to UPN this fall? Did UPN buy damaged goods, a Buffy-less "Buffy"?

Even UPN executives aren't that dumb.

"I warned them Buffy would be slightly dead," said Joss Whedon, the show's creator who wrote and directed this week's episode. "They were actually really excited, because rebirth is kind of the theme they're going for; they want to re-create the image of their network. It's very fitting Buffy would be coming back from the dead."

Whedon said it won't be an alternate-universe Buffy who is resurrected, it will be the same ol' Buffy. Mostly.

"Obviously some things you don't mess with and some things you constantly mess with. Our show is all about change and growth and living life and all it puts you through, but she's going to be Buffy. I like Buffy," Whedon said. "I'm not saying it will be smooth, go well and be exactly the way you remember her, but it will be Buffy."

And yes, Buffy, as played by Gellar, will be in the first episode of the series when it premieres on UPN.

As for crossovers with "Angel," Whedon said none are planned, although after this week's episode where Angel found out Buffy died, her death will be mentioned.

"We have a spectacular non-crossover planned, and I will not explain what that means," Whedon said cryptically.

He's threatening to do a musical episode of "Buffy" next season, and, as always, "Buffy" will fight a "big bad" evil presence and there will be an overriding theme for the year.

"The theme for next season is growing up and entering the grown-up world, dealing with jobs, being engaged, other problems," Whedon said.

Willow and Tara will remain in college, but not Buffy.

"She's dead," he said. "She's not enrolled next year."


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