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End of Days

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 7, Episode 21
721 EndOfDays1
Air date May 13, 2003
Written by Jane Espenson
Douglas Petrie
Directed by Marita Grabiak
Episode Guide
previous
"Touched"
Angel
"Home"
next
"Chosen"
Cast
Starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Emma Caulfield Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg Dawn
James Marsters Spike
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Special Guest Starring
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Eliza Dushku Faith
Nathan Fillion Caleb
Guest Starring
David Boreanaz Angel
Tom Lenk Andrew
Sarah Hagan Amanda
Iyari Limon Kennedy
Christine Healy Guardian
Co Starring
Felicia Day Vi
Dania Ramirez Caridad
Lisa Ann Cabasa Injured Girl
Uncredited
Kristy Wu Chao-Ahn
Erik Betts Uber-Vamp #1

"End of Days" is the twenty-first episode of the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the one hundred forty-third episode altogether. It was written by Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie and directed by Marita Grabiak. It originally broadcast on May 13, 2003.

The stage is set for the final battle with The First.

Synopsis

Buffy effortlessly pulls the Scythe from the stone, leaving Caleb amazed. He is willing to fight her, though probably outmatched now that she has the Scythe. But The First (as Buffy) tells him to let Buffy go, and tells her that she will have to hurry to save her friends in the sewer.

Back at the Summers' residence, Andrew has just acquired food, while Dawn, Willow, Xander, and Anya return, having been looking for Buffy only to come across an empty house. Giles informs them that Faith and the others have not returned.

721 EndOfDays

Giles: The scythe is a symbol of death. Let's see where these pagans buried their dead.

The Potential Slayers who survived the bomb blast—Kennedy, Amanda, Vi, Rona, and Caridad among others—start dragging the unconscious Faith and their other wounded towards the surface when they are ambushed by three Turok-Han vamps. Kennedy assumes command. All hope seems lost, though, until Buffy shows up with her new weapon and rescues them, killing all three Turok-Han. Back at her house, the Potentials and Scoobies immediately declare Buffy the leader again.

Willow and Giles immediately look for references to the Scythe on the Internet. During their research, Willow confesses to Giles that she is not sure if she can do real heavy magic, even if she must. They find symbols that suggest a connection to scythes and Ancient Egypt.

At Buffy's insistence, a reluctant Xander renders Dawn unconscious with chloroform and drives off with her, away from Sunnydale for safety. When Dawn wakes up, she gives him a shock with a taser and then drives them back.

721 EndOfDays3

The Shadow Men... became the Watchers. And the watchers watched the slayers. But we were watching them."

Buffy and Faith make up. Faith admits to Buffy that she was jealous of her friends, and lets it slip that she and Principal Wood have had sex. They both reflect upon how lonely they are as Slayers, and that they are the only ones in the group who truly understand what it feels like to be a Slayer. Buffy then has a personal discussion with Spike, in which they admit how much they feel for each other.

Andrew and Anya head to the hospital to retrieve supplies for the wounded, and have a heart-to-heart about humanity's desire to fight for good. They also have a wheelchair fight.

Following the Egyptian lead, Buffy takes the Scythe to a small pyramid that she discovers right outside one of the gates of the same cemetery that she has patrolled for the past six years. Inside, a woman who claims she is part of a secret female order that has watched the Watchers since ancient times tells her that the Scythe is a powerful weapon forged for the final battle. Suddenly, Caleb shows up from behind the woman, kills her, and almost has Buffy bested when Angel steps in to save her. However, Buffy insists on fighting Caleb alone and slices his abdomen with the scythe. Caleb laughs for a moment, then changes expression and falls.

Buffy gives Angel a welcome kiss. Unbeknownst to them, Spike is hiding in the shadows with The First by his side. "That bitch", it tells him.

Continuity

  • The concept of the Scythe was previously and originally created for Joss Whedon's comic series Fray. The weapon was given more exposure to the Buffyverse when Whedon then included it in the television series.
  • The Scoobies and Potentials welcome Buffy back as the group's undisputed leader when Faith's decisions lead the Potentials into a trap. However, no one observes that Buffy's original plan to take the Potentials with her would also have likely led to numerous fatalities and injuries; Buffy relied upon her Slayer speed and abilities to survive the confrontation. Nor does anyone remark upon the fact that Buffy's intuition happened to be correct, but that at the time there was no evidence to back her up.
  • Spike does not appear until midway through the episode as when he woke up and found that Buffy had gone the sun had already risen and he had to wait until nightfall before leaving the house he had found her in.
  • Anya recalls the events of Graduation Day, Part One when she fled before the battle, and demonstrates how she has grown as a human by explaining why she has chosen to stay around since.
  • Although when the audience hears Sarah Michelle Gellar's voice-over when Dawn is reading Buffy's letter she reads, "This isn't the place for either of you." The letter itself actually reads, "This isn't the place for either of you right now," but the last two words of the sentence were edited out due to time restrictions. In her letter Buffy tells Dawn 'everything I do is for you'. Both Dawn and Xander, anyway, will fight their fight very bravely and efficiently in final Sunnydale battle.
  • This episode is a crossover with the Angel episode "Home", in which Angel learns of the Apocalypse Buffy is facing and comes to help, arriving just in time to save her from Caleb. However, Angel's outfit when he arrives in Sunnydale is different than the one he was wearing when he left L.A.
  • When Dawn and Xander are in the car looking for her crossbow, she mentions that she doesn't leave it around ever since an incident with Miss Kitty Fantastico, Willow and Tara's cat, which has not been seen since the end of the fifth season.
  • At the end of the last episode when opening the box the bomb counter was on 8 and ticked down to 5 before Faith yells "Get down!", at the beginning of this episode when the box is opened the counter is already on 5 and ticking down, the bomb goes off instantly when Faith yells, meaning the girls have no time to actually get down.
  • When Buffy faces Caleb, portrayed by Nathan Fillion, Angel asks if this is something that she has to take care of on her own, and Buffy replies, "It really is." Nathan Fillion goes on to play Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon's Firefly. During one of the final scenes in the episode "War Stories", Mal's second-in-command Zoe Washburne says, "This is something the captain has to do on his own" — only Mal yells, "No, it really isn't!"
  • Buffy holds no grudges against the others for kicking her out. Instead she tells Xander how important his friendship is to her and Dawn in her letter that she loves her.
  • When Xander says "Besides, if you die, I'll just bring you back to life. That's what I do," he's alluding to Prophecy Girl and Bargaining.
  • When Anya and Andrew are in the hospital, Andrew says Anya might survive, but he won't. In actuality, in Chosen, Anya dies and Andrew survives.

Body Count

  • Two unidentified Potentials killed by explosion
  • Unidentified Potential, killed by a Turok-Han vampire
  • Three Turok-Han vampires, dusted by Buffy with the Scythe
  • Guardian woman, killed by Caleb

Behind the Scenes

Production

  • Marti Noxon was originally due to write this episode. However, she was already working on a pilot for the Fox television network, Still Life, and was unavailable to do so. As a result, Espenson and Petrie, the next two writers with the most seniority on the show, co-wrote this episode.

Broadcast

  • The DVD version of this episode is actually missing a scene. Since the Region 1 DVDs do not contain the "Previously on..." segments, the editor made a goof in cutting out the actual scene that included seeing the girls being blasted right before cutting to Buffy grabbing the Scythe. The other region DVDs contain this scene.

Deleted Scenes

  • This line was cut:
Willow: "It doesn't have any markings. Would it be so hard to include a little sticker? 'Hello. My name is Blank of the Blankthuselah, consult operating instruction before wielding'."

Pop Culture References

  • Spike congratulates Buffy for finding "the Holy Grail... Or the Holy Hand Grenade". This is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which features the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch".
  • Upon seeing the Scythe Giles tells Buffy “It's obviously mystical in origin” to which Buffy replies “I figured that one out when I King Arthured it out of the stone”, referring to the sword Arthur pulled from the stone (not to be confused with Excalibur, which was given to him by the Lady of the Lake). Actually, the Lady of the Lake gave Excalibur to Uther Pendragon (Arthur and Morgaine's father), who thrust it into a rock. In the myth, it's the same sword.
  • Buffy mentions that the scythe has a Luxor Casino theme.
  • Anya banters with Andrew about killing a large monster by detonating an oxygen tank in its mouth, such as in Jaws.

Music

International titles

  • German: Das Ende der Zeit - Teil 1 (The End of Time - Part 1)

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • When the Potentials are backing away from the third Turok-Han, you can see a Potential being grabbed by a Turok-Han. In the next scene, you see the same Turok-Han jump down and grab the same Potential. 
  • During Buffy's fight with the Turok-Han, right after the last Turok-Han hits Buffy, the actor's blue underpants can be seen as the vampire lands.
  • Buffy did not know about the plans the Scoobies had made under Faith's leadership, but she seems to have no problem finding her friends to help them out after the explosion. Anyway, the mental link Buffy and Faith have, being both Slayers (for bad or for good) surely gives Buffy a hint about where Faith is and if in danger.
  • The guardian claimed that the scythe was forged centuries ago in secrecy and kept it hidden from the Shadow Men, yet the Shadow Men lived thousands of years ago.

Quotes

Dawn - "I told you, I don't leave crossbows around all willy-nilly. Not since that time with Miss Kitty Fantastico."
Spike - "Found the holy grail. Or the holy hand grenade, or whatever the hell that is."
Xander - "I just always thought that I would ... I would be there with you ... you know, for the end."
Buffy - "Hey."
Xander - "Well, not that this is the end."
Buffy - "Thanks a lot."
Xander - "No, no, no. By the end, I meant, uh ... a heroic, uplifting way. See, I'm still optimistic. You're just thrown off a little by this gritty-looking eye patch."
Buffy - "I know what you meant."
Xander - "I should be at your side. That's all I'm saying."
Buffy - "You will be. You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I made it this far. I trust you with my life. That's why I need you to do this for me."
Xander - "OK."
Buffy - "Also, you can't shoot a bow and arrow anymore, and every time you pick up a sword, I worry that you're gonna break one of our good lamps."
Xander - "Hey ..."
Buffy - "Don't look at me. You're the one who said I'm gonna die."
Xander - "I never said you were gonna die. I—I implied that you were gonna die. It's totally different."
Buffy - "Yeah, OK. Sure."
Xander - "Besides, if you die, I'll just bring you back to life. That's what I do."
Caleb - [preparing to kill Buffy] "I was hoping it would be this way."
Angel - "Hey!" [Caleb turns around and is punched in the face by Angel, knocking him out for a moment. Angel helps a shocked Buffy up] "I never was much for preachers."
Angel - [watching Buffy fight] "God I missed watching this."
Andrew - "I think I'd like to finish out as one of those lame humans trying to do what's right."
Anya - [Sighs] "Yeah."
Andrew - "So ... wheel chair fight?"

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