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The Dime
I don't think I was ever so much full of wonder for Buffy as I was after watching the Season 4 finale. It's not the most emotionally powerful, or even that dynamic. But it is an excellently presented world; beautiful, touching, and humorous dreams. So much possibility. So much revealed and veiled at the same time. If anything, Restless is the episode that marks the high point of my imagination of potential.

Sadly, it also marks the slow spiral downward for me. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of episodes in the following three seasons that I love dearly. The Body, Once More With Feeling, Tabula Rasa, Willow's Season Six ending arc. But the seasons themselves, not my favorites. And the potential died. The glorious possibilities brought forth from Restless were no more.

Tara, my beautiful Tara, is such a force in the dreams. Chosen to speak for those who cannot. At this point, we still do not know her secrets. She could be anything. Everything. I loved her mystery. Family was a bit, huge disappointment, and a betrayal of Restless in my view.

The First Slayer, her creation, her existence. It brought up more issues of history, of legacy. Who was she? Where does the Slayer gain her power from? There are hints that it comes from demons themselves, that the Slayer is some kind of demon. A few more vague hints infect other seasons. But then, when it comes down to it? Get it Done, Season Seven, one episode, the Slayer is made by a rather well-dressed group of ancient sorcerers. I have plenty of opinions of Season Seven, but in this regard, the whole season should have been about this knowledge, not just one quick episode and then nothing.

I know it's ridiculous to talk so seriously about a tv show, but I do feel passionate about this one. And of course, the creators/writers/directors have more of a decision in the direction of the show than I do. Living up to my imagination of potential is a nigh impossible task. Yet I can't help but feel that the writers really dropped the ball on these two issues. Tara should have been more, which doesn't mean take away her simple, earthy charm. The First Slayer should have been something better than that. Why a woman?

So ends the rant for tonight.

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You inspire the rant in others, friend

Having never seen Seasons 6 or 7, and waiting with bated breath for Season 6 to come out on DVD, I can tell you that I thought the end of Season 5 seemed appropriate for the series as a whole.

As far as Tara goes, there's never been much done with the demon-blooded in the Buffyverse (if they're not full-on demons). Angel has Doyle, Connor, Cordelia, and an assortment of season irregulars to explore the identity of those caught between the human and demon worlds - Buffy just kind of lets the identity stagnate. Tara is also the ultimate foil for every other human on Buffy - she's the most down-to-earth, and least powerful (except for Xander, really).

I'm also disappointed by the almost complete ignorance in Buffy of The Powers That Be (or, "The Powers That Screw You"). What is their role in the creation of the Slayer line and the Watchers Council? Angel also addresses the problems of how good and evil are less binary than they are presented in Buffy - which allows depth to characters that are more than just "dark", they're human.

PS - I think this kind of ranting about a TV show is acceptable when the TV show can succeed in its own arena as art. In my opinion, it's like critiquing theater productions.

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