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Greatest Series Penultimate episode End of Days vs Power Play

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  • Greatest Series Penultimate episode End of Days vs Power Play

    OK so both End of Days and Power Play are the penultimate episodes of both Buffy and Angel.
    Both end with a sort of quasi cliff hanger.
    With End of Days it's Angel saving Buffy with a punch (complete with musical score) Buffy kissing him with Spike and a gloating First watching on.

    In Power Play its got Angel fighting his team, doing a glamour and setting up to kill the Black Thorn, this time with a gloating Marcus watching on (the glamour anyway) complete with score when the team all agree to join Angel on his suicide run.

    So which is the better episode and which leads into its respective series finale best

    vampmogs I always love your thoughts on various episodes and would be interested in your opinions on both
    10
    End of Days
    70.00%
    7
    Power Play
    30.00%
    3

  • #2
    Why has this been redirected ?

    Comment


    • Stoney
      Stoney commented
      Editing a comment
      Because it wasn't a discussion that was only about BtVS so I put it in the General Discussions of both shows.

  • #3
    I like both episodes, but things I love in BtVS -
    'You're a dope . . . ' Buffy/Spike scene is so wonderful, even if the rest of the episode were terrible (which it is not) this scene would make up for all of it.
    I love that Spike, even being goaded by The First, does not intervene between Buffy and Angel, which shows so much growth in his character.
    Buffy being the absolute heroine and removing the scythe from the stone.
    Kennedy being a born leader and marshalling the girls in the tunnel, and then Buffy jumping in to save them.
    Buffy defending Faith and her decisions, and not having the time or inclination to whine about how they all treated her by throwing her out of the house.
    I like the Faith and Buffy scene with the scythe, I think this is as close as the two of them ever get.
    Jaffa cake loving Giles.
    All the Anya and Andrew scenes, these two are great together. I also enjoy Dawn tasering Xander.

    There is so much good stuff in this episode.

    Power Play is also a good episode, but Drogyn's murder takes the sheen off it for me.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by Priceless View Post
      I like both episodes, but things I love in BtVS -
      'You're a dope . . . ' Buffy/Spike scene is so wonderful, even if the rest of the episode were terrible (which it is not) this scene would make up for all of it.
      I love that Spike, even being goaded by The First, does not intervene between Buffy and Angel, which shows so much growth in his character.
      Buffy being the absolute heroine and removing the scythe from the stone.
      Kennedy being a born leader and marshalling the girls in the tunnel, and then Buffy jumping in to save them.
      Buffy defending Faith and her decisions, and not having the time or inclination to whine about how they all treated her by throwing her out of the house.
      I like the Faith and Buffy scene with the scythe, I think this is as close as the two of them ever get.
      Jaffa cake loving Giles.
      All the Anya and Andrew scenes, these two are great together. I also enjoy Dawn tasering Xander.

      There is so much good stuff in this episode.

      Power Play is also a good episode, but Drogyn's murder takes the sheen off it for me.
      I don't think he was doing anything because that was the purpose of the cliff hanger to see if he would the next episode

      There is no way Buffy would have found that Scythe if they had not dug it up. Caleb was right, I don't know why The First said to let Buffy go, it just made no sense.

      As for Xander kidnappkidnapping and she then uses her magic Zapper

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

        I don't think he was doing anything because that was the purpose of the cliff hanger to see if he would the next episode

        There is no way Buffy would have found that Scythe if they had not dug it up. Caleb was right, I don't know why The First said to let Buffy go, it just made no sense.

        As for Xander kidnappkidnapping and she then uses her magic Zapper
        I'm guessing you prefer Power Play?

        For me it's not really a cliff hanger because the next time we see Spike is back at the house and the fact that he does nothing is off screen. But it could be read either way.

        I have no problem with the way Buffy finds the scythe. The First told Caleb to let Buffy go because Buffy would have killed Caleb if she'd stayed. It's why they told her about the potentials being blown up, to make her go.

        The Xander/Dawn scene makes me laugh. Just another girl Xander can't control.

        Comment


        • BtVS fan
          BtVS fan commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes Power Play for me though its feels rushed as an episode. The Blackthorn come out of no where pretty much

        • Lostsoul666
          Lostsoul666 commented
          Editing a comment
          At least the Blackthorn was made up of characters that we have seen before.

      • #6
        It's Power Play by a pretty comfortable margin for me.

        End of Days is a mess both in terms of plot and character. For a start, you have the 3 Ubervamps that come completely out of nowhere? Where did they come from? The seal is shut in Chosen and a big deal is made out of the fact of one potentially escaping again in First Date or getting past their lines of defence in the following episode? And yet nobody comments on this or even mentions the fact that 3 Ubervamps inexplicably had escaped throughout the remainder of the episode? How did they get out? Is there more of them? Why is nobody caring? etc. Then there's the string of deus ex machinas and sloppy mythology retcons with the introduction of the scythe, the Guardians and the ancient tomb all coincidentally located in Sunnydale but noticed by nobody in 7 years and then forgotten about straight after. The Guardian/Buffy scene itself feels like a massive exposition dump rather than a organic development in the story and this whole time Buffy wouldn't even have the scythe if Caleb and The First hadn't inexplicably dug it up, goaded her into finding it ("I have something of yours"), and then deliberately let her go. And no matter how many times I rewatch the Giles/Willow research scenes to this day I cannot follow their logic or reasoning for uncovering the origins of the Scythe at all.

        Character-wise, like much of S7, I have no idea why the writers chose to prioritise the scenes that they did. Rather than even address the fallout of Empty Places and Touched much less provide any kind of meaningful resolution to them we instead get scenes between Anya/Andrew (2 characters who had no relationship prior to that) or Xander taking Dawn away only for this to be immediately reversed and rendered narratively pointless. Instead of Anya/Andrew why not a Buffy/Giles scene where they address the complete breakdown over their relationship that season? Why instead of a Buffy/Xander scene talking about taking Dawn away we instead got a scene addressing kicking Buffy out in Empty Places? Why instead of a Ubervamp scene that makes no sense we instead get a Buffy/Scooby scene? etc.

        And then there's the cliffhanger of the penultimate episode of the entire series and it's setting up a silly love triangle between Buffy/Angel/Spike and teasing that Spike is going to go bad because Buffy/Angel kiss. Firstly, even the most ardent Spike haters wouldn't believe for a moment he'd betray Buffy over something so dumb so it's a hollow and farfetched cliffhanger that has no real tension of any kind. Secondly, this is the second to last episode ever of the entire show and the actual story is running on so little fumes by this point that this is what you chose to end it on? A silly love triangle that is resolved in approximately 5 minutes in the following episode? In comparison, Becoming I ended with Kendra's death, Giles kidnapped, Willow gravely injured and Buffy getting sprung by the cops. Graduation Day I ended with Buffy having knifed Faith and Faith throwing herself off a building so Angel is doomed to die. Weight of the World ended with Giles revealing to Buffy that the only way to stop Glory is to kill Dawn etc. End of Days ends, the series penultimate episode, with "that bitch" and The First taunting Spike about Buffy smooching Angel. M'kay. And the kiss itself is awkwardly staged, stilted and unbelievable and I say this as someone who overall likes Angel's return, believes Buffy isn't over Angel, and enjoyed their over overall dynamic in this episode and the next.

        I genuinely do hate being so negative. But End of Days is a culmination of all my problems with the writing in S7 wrapped up into one episode. I think Chosen is a refreshing step up from this episode but this episode always feels to me like the season collapsing onto it's knees. There's no satisfying resolution to anything that has happened and new plot points are added in at the last minute. I didn't mind the Buffy/Faith scene, the Buffy/Xander scene is nice in theory, it's refreshing to see Buffy/SMG's eyes light up and smile when she first sees Angel, and I like Anya's storyline circling back to Graduation Day but... overall I am exasperated rewatching this. It makes me depressed and unhappy at how far, IMO, the quality of the series has fallen.

        Power Play doesn't stand out to me as a particular favourite either but I have no issues with it. It feels rushed but I am very forgiving of that given how late into the season they were cancelled and had to resolve everything on short notice. Angel's descent into darkness feels believable, his moral compromises feel appropriately dark (killing Drogyn), and the ending is powerful and gives me goosebumps regardless of how I interpret it.

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        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
          It's Power Play by a pretty comfortable margin for me.

          End of Days is a mess both in terms of plot and character. For a start, you have the 3 Ubervamps that come completely out of nowhere? Where did they come from? The seal is shut in Chosen and a big deal is made out of the fact of one potentially escaping again in First Date or getting past their lines of defence in the following episode? And yet nobody comments on this or even mentions the fact that 3 Ubervamps inexplicably had escaped throughout the remainder of the episode? How did they get out? Is there more of them? Why is nobody caring? etc. Then there's the string of deus ex machinas and sloppy mythology retcons with the introduction of the scythe, the Guardians and the ancient tomb all coincidentally located in Sunnydale but noticed by nobody in 7 years and then forgotten about straight after. The Guardian/Buffy scene itself feels like a massive exposition dump rather than a organic development in the story and this whole time Buffy wouldn't even have the scythe if Caleb and The First hadn't inexplicably dug it up, goaded her into finding it ("I have something of yours"), and then deliberately let her go. And no matter how many times I rewatch the Giles/Willow research scenes to this day I cannot follow their logic or reasoning for uncovering the origins of the Scythe at all.

          Character-wise, like much of S7, I have no idea why the writers chose to prioritise the scenes that they did. Rather than even address the fallout of Empty Places and Touched much less provide any kind of meaningful resolution to them we instead get scenes between Anya/Andrew (2 characters who had no relationship prior to that) or Xander taking Dawn away only for this to be immediately reversed and rendered narratively pointless. Instead of Anya/Andrew why not a Buffy/Giles scene where they address the complete breakdown over their relationship that season? Why instead of a Buffy/Xander scene talking about taking Dawn away we instead got a scene addressing kicking Buffy out in Empty Places? Why instead of a Ubervamp scene that makes no sense we instead get a Buffy/Scooby scene? etc.

          And then there's the cliffhanger of the penultimate episode of the entire series and it's setting up a silly love triangle between Buffy/Angel/Spike and teasing that Spike is going to go bad because Buffy/Angel kiss. Firstly, even the most ardent Spike haters wouldn't believe for a moment he'd betray Buffy over something so dumb so it's a hollow and farfetched cliffhanger that has no real tension of any kind. Secondly, this is the second to last episode ever of the entire show and the actual story is running on so little fumes by this point that this is what you chose to end it on? A silly love triangle that is resolved in approximately 5 minutes in the following episode? In comparison, Becoming I ended with Kendra's death, Giles kidnapped, Willow gravely injured and Buffy getting sprung by the cops. Graduation Day I ended with Buffy having knifed Faith and Faith throwing herself off a building so Angel is doomed to die. Weight of the World ended with Giles revealing to Buffy that the only way to stop Glory is to kill Dawn etc. End of Days ends, the series penultimate episode, with "that bitch" and The First taunting Spike about Buffy smooching Angel. M'kay. And the kiss itself is awkwardly staged, stilted and unbelievable and I say this as someone who overall likes Angel's return, believes Buffy isn't over Angel, and enjoyed their over overall dynamic in this episode and the next.

          I genuinely do hate being so negative. But End of Days is a culmination of all my problems with the writing in S7 wrapped up into one episode. I think Chosen is a refreshing step up from this episode but this episode always feels to me like the season collapsing onto it's knees. There's no satisfying resolution to anything that has happened and new plot points are added in at the last minute. I didn't mind the Buffy/Faith scene, the Buffy/Xander scene is nice in theory, it's refreshing to see Buffy/SMG's eyes light up and smile when she first sees Angel, and I like Anya's storyline circling back to Graduation Day but... overall I am exasperated rewatching this. It makes me depressed and unhappy at how far, IMO, the quality of the series has fallen.

          Power Play doesn't stand out to me as a particular favourite either but I have no issues with it. It feels rushed but I am very forgiving of that given how late into the season they were cancelled and had to resolve everything on short notice. Angel's descent into darkness feels believable, his moral compromises feel appropriately dark (killing Drogyn), and the ending is powerful and gives me goosebumps regardless of how I interpret it.
          I would go even further and say the Guardian is forgotten about the second she is killed. There are loads of interior shots of the Tomb as a whole afterwards and her body is no where to be found. It literally disappeared

          Now this is just a minor thing but did she have to be white, couldn't she have been Native American, since she's meant to have been around for 1000 years of whatever it was

          Priceless End of Days felt like it was written by people who knew there jobs were finished by the next episode so they didn't really care to much

          Comment


          • Priceless
            Priceless commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh absolutely fair enough. We all like what we like.  I adore season 7 as a whole, but I know I'm in the minority.

          • Brendan
            Brendan commented
            Editing a comment
            Priceless I adore season 7 too!

        • #8
          I always find it hard to imagine that the writers were being intentionally careless about their work as it would be pretty unprofessional and risk negatively affecting their future prospects. Anyway...

          Neither episode are favourites for me in their seasons and it has been quite a while since I watched either. I agree somewhat with raised criticisms of both. The whole scythe/guardians elements feels far too suddenly dropped in. Something earlier in the season which then tied to it would have really helped strengthen that reveal. Flagging the scythe to Buffy also seems crazy and the extra ubervamps is confusing. But the shifts within the group and where issues were both readily being moved past as well as those where the awkwardness remains isn't something that has ever bothered me in S7. It felt believable for people that have started pulling apart a little and adjusting their dynamics. The strength of their ongoing connections and relationships is held true by how they do keep coming back together and it always worked for me. It has always felt like a positive of the show that they continued to let the relationships grow and adjust rather than holding them in a stasis. The combination of callbacks to their histories alongside seeing the changes they've gone through I think is a really interesting part of S7.

          Xander and Dawn works well enough for me as a lighthearted moment that shows an occasion when it is hard to move onwards but Dawn asserting herself and not being held back is a good resolution. Andrew and Anya again has elements of people moving forwards, even if it is just coming to terms with themselves and where they want to be. And both sit against the Buffy/Faith and Buffy/Spike conversations really well, where the positive shifts from where they have been is very evident. The Buffy/Faith conversation is one that I really love. And I think I do quite like Angel's appearance. The kiss always bothered me because Buffy and Angel had always been so restrained even though they both clearly still love each other, they've kept deliberate physical distance when meeting in the past. It just felt an odd moment. But The First taunting Spike about it is just a standard attempt to pick at insecurities and the triangle had always existed somewhat for Spike. Comparisons to Angel had been there around Dru in S2 and mentioned between him and Buffy before as well in S5 and S6. So it never felt new to me as it does for others. I would agree that it is an odd moment to end the episode on though.

          I haven't rewatched Power Play recently either but I really do struggle with the end of AtS 5 and I agree it feels rushed. On one hand, I really do think that seeing Angel's choices as being dark and still greatly reflecting his despondency works better. Seeing everyone else as having lost so much hope too, enough to sign up for the plan, varies in how well that works though. And Angel thinking killing Drogyn is an acceptable part of his plan for one glorious moment of defiance doesn't sit comfortably. Lying to the gang about the plan (he'd already administered the poison to kill Sebassis) and how everyone's missions pan out, just leaves me with such mixed feelings. Looked at with a negative reading of where they are I think it works well, and that sense of the fight never ending in NFA I can go with. But Angel's dishonesty and choices are really problematic. I'm not left feeling like this is where the series should be ending. I appreciate they didn't expect it, but as a final word on Angel, it's bleak. So Power Play as a lead into that greatly leaves me feeling frustrated.

          There may be more weaknesses in End of Days, but I think it is true to a heroic path more than where Angel is going in Power Play. And there are some excellent points in EoD, some brilliant scenes I love to rewatch. My preferred reading of the end of AtS, improves it for me no doubt, but it just leaves me feeling sad for the state these characters have gotten themselves into. It doesn't feel like a good direction for the characters to be wrapping up a show with. To be fair, both series ends make me feel somewhat blue as I don't want them to end, but I prefer the overall tone of how BtVS draws to a close. With those scenes of positive progression too and the more positive ties to where they started, I prefer the messages and how it makes me feel. So it has to be BtVS.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
            I always find it hard to imagine that the writers were being intentionally careless about their work as it would be pretty unprofessional and risk negatively affecting their future prospects. Anyway...

            Neither episode are favourites for me in their seasons and it has been quite a while since I watched either. I agree somewhat with raised criticisms of both. The whole scythe/guardians elements feels far too suddenly dropped in. Something earlier in the season which then tied to it would have really helped strengthen that reveal. Flagging the scythe to Buffy also seems crazy and the extra ubervamps is confusing. But the shifts within the group and where issues were both readily being moved past as well as those where the awkwardness remains isn't something that has ever bothered me in S7. It felt believable for people that have started pulling apart a little and adjusting their dynamics. The strength of their ongoing connections and relationships is held true by how they do keep coming back together and it always worked for me. It has always felt like a positive of the show that they continued to let the relationships grow and adjust rather than holding them in a stasis. The combination of callbacks to their histories alongside seeing the changes they've gone through I think is a really interesting part of S7.

            Xander and Dawn works well enough for me as a lighthearted moment that shows an occasion when it is hard to move onwards but Dawn asserting herself and not being held back is a good resolution. Andrew and Anya again has elements of people moving forwards, even if it is just coming to terms with themselves and where they want to be. And both sit against the Buffy/Faith and Buffy/Spike conversations really well, where the positive shifts from where they have been is very evident. The Buffy/Faith conversation is one that I really love. And I think I do quite like Angel's appearance. The kiss always bothered me because Buffy and Angel had always been so restrained even though they both clearly still love each other, they've kept deliberate physical distance when meeting in the past. It just felt an odd moment. But The First taunting Spike about it is just a standard attempt to pick at insecurities and the triangle had always existed somewhat for Spike. Comparisons to Angel had been there around Dru in S2 and mentioned between him and Buffy before as well in S5 and S6. So it never felt new to me as it does for others. I would agree that it is an odd moment to end the episode on though.

            I haven't rewatched Power Play recently either but I really do struggle with the end of AtS 5 and I agree it feels rushed. On one hand, I really do think that seeing Angel's choices as being dark and still greatly reflecting his despondency works better. Seeing everyone else as having lost so much hope too, enough to sign up for the plan, varies in how well that works though. And Angel thinking killing Drogyn is an acceptable part of his plan for one glorious moment of defiance doesn't sit comfortably. Lying to the gang about the plan (he'd already administered the poison to kill Sebassis) and how everyone's missions pan out, just leaves me with such mixed feelings. Looked at with a negative reading of where they are I think it works well, and that sense of the fight never ending in NFA I can go with. But Angel's dishonesty and choices are really problematic. I'm not left feeling like this is where the series should be ending. I appreciate they didn't expect it, but as a final word on Angel, it's bleak. So Power Play as a lead into that greatly leaves me feeling frustrated.

            There may be more weaknesses in End of Days, but I think it is true to a heroic path more than where Angel is going in Power Play. And there are some excellent points in EoD, some brilliant scenes I love to rewatch. My preferred reading of the end of AtS, improves it for me no doubt, but it just leaves me feeling sad for the state these characters have gotten themselves into. It doesn't feel like a good direction for the characters to be wrapping up a show with. To be fair, both series ends make me feel somewhat blue as I don't want them to end, but I prefer the overall tone of how BtVS draws to a close. With those scenes of positive progression too and the more positive ties to where they started, I prefer the messages and how it makes me feel. So it has to be BtVS.
            I don't know if it's deliberately done but they definitely don't think things through. They even admit it on the DVD commentaries. As Joss said about the Uber Vamps going from being super hard to kill to super easy "don't tell anyone" . That was a literal episode plot point only a few episodes back, now it doesn't matter. Even back in S4 it was a bit like that . David Fury admits they only spotted the flaw in Spike's plan when Spike did on the Prime Evil commentary.
            So Im guessing they wanted things a certain way for the finale and they didn't care how they got there.

            Comment


            • #10
              Power Play doesn't have the old guardian woman in a tomb that Buffy has no doubt walked by hundreds of times in the seven years that she has lived in Sunnydale, so Power Play wins by default.
              Last edited by Lostsoul666; 13-09-21, 07:38 AM.
              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

              Comment


              • #11
                Power Play for me. Not because I think it's great because I don't think it is, but because End of Days is that much of a mess. It essentially pretends the whole of the season didn't happen. I didn't mind the Guardians at all. Things popping up out of nowhere in Sunnydale was part of the game. It was everything else. Vampmogs gave some examples. The inclusion of the ubervamps made no sense. The First telling Buffy Faith and the rest were in trouble made no sense. Buffy extolling the virtues of the people that voted her out just a day prior takes some hard rationalizing. The kiss and subsequent pan-over was the forced drama cherry on top. I have a hard time buying it was all the original plan. It felt like something rapidly thrown together to make everyone happy again. It just did not feel organic at all.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by iwhale View Post
                  Power Play for me. Not because I think it's great because I don't think it is, but because End of Days is that much of a mess. It essentially pretends the whole of the season didn't happen. I didn't mind the Guardians at all. Things popping up out of nowhere in Sunnydale was part of the game. It was everything else. Vampmogs gave some examples. The inclusion of the ubervamps made no sense. The First telling Buffy Faith and the rest were in trouble made no sense. Buffy extolling the virtues of the people that voted her out just a day prior takes some hard rationalizing. The kiss and subsequent pan-over was the forced drama cherry on top. I have a hard time buying it was all the original plan. It felt like something rapidly thrown together to make everyone happy again. It just did not feel organic at all.
                  How did Buffy know where they all were to save them anywhere. The First just said they were in trouble. She hadn't given directions?

                  And why would Buffy let Xander drug and kidnapp Dawn, that makes no sense with the last year either

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post
                    I don't know if it's deliberately done but they definitely don't think things through. They even admit it on the DVD commentaries. As Joss said about the Uber Vamps going from being super hard to kill to super easy "don't tell anyone" . That was a literal episode plot point only a few episodes back, now it doesn't matter. Even back in S4 it was a bit like that . David Fury admits they only spotted the flaw in Spike's plan when Spike did on the Prime Evil commentary.
                    So Im guessing they wanted things a certain way for the finale and they didn't care how they got there.
                    Well this is it. I don't see them doing things that they didn't already do. The character journeys and notes have always been the priority. It is perhaps more frustrating when it is a series finale though and you want to feel things are drawn more tightly together. But it doesn't feel like a new 'problem', if it is one that bothers viewers.

                    iwhale Similarly, The First tipping off the white hats from gloating before their dastardly plans succeed is again not new. If it hadn't commented on Angel dying by sunrise in Amends Buffy may well not have realised he was in trouble before it had happened. And again, the scoobies brushing past fallouts and showing their care by just coming back together and getting on with it isn't new. Everything Buffy did in When She Was Bad, as an example, just doesn't matter at the end. Sometimes things get aired and we get fabulous scenes from it for sure, but not always.

                    Buffy knowing where to go is again something that happens repeatedly. She just knew where Angel would go to meet the sunrise, using the same earlier example. And Buffy would want Dawn out of the way and safe because it isn't always easy to drop previous habits and move forwards. She's mothering her, overly protecting her again, but Dawn puts a stop to it. The comfort of before is pushed back against and Dawn takes a stand. Buffy's wish to push Dawn out of the way is a really consistent behaviour and there is that apocalypse looms element where she does try to get her family clear of danger. She did it with Joyce repeatedly too.

                    Making The Circle of the Black Thorn a sudden reveal that the characters are taking out with a kamikaze plan right at the end of the series has shaky foundations to it and Angel's choices are hidden or brushed aside. Again, it is a common element of AtS, but it is as much a flaw as the elements being raised about EoD I think.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

                      How did Buffy know where they all were to save them anywhere. The First just said they were in trouble. She hadn't given directions?

                      And why would Buffy let Xander drug and kidnapp Dawn, that makes no sense with the last year either
                      Yeah, it's a mess. I guess the explanation could be she went back to the house first and was told where they were, but it doesn't add up because there was no time for that. .

                      We don't really know what exactly she told Xander about it. We only know that she wanted him and Dawn out of the fight. It does make character sense, but it's a one'n'done plot point.

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