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Written by Kristina

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
~ Aldous Huxley

Music has always been integral to the emotional canvas of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Honestly, who didn't cry when Buffy jumped to her death in "The Gift" while listening to "The Sacrifice"? And don't forget about "Close Your Eyes" in "Becoming." The score of BtVS has been so well written that it resonates with the show and the actors. It fits comfortably into the episodes like that pair of trusty running shoes you have that feel like a second skin. Without music, BtVS wouldn't be the same.

And in that token, music that has been featured in episodes of Buffy performed by popular artists has also fit very well with the show, especially songs performed by Sarah McLachlan. After facing down Angel, and leaving Sunnydale after the events of "Becoming", we listened to "Full of Grace." Had fans not known this song had been not been written specifically for BtVS, they might have thought otherwise, because the song resonated so strongly with the events of the last half of season two.

"The winter here's cold and bitter
It's chilled us to the bone
We haven't seen the sun for weeks
To long too far from home…"

Buffy has just experienced a gut-wrenching couple of months. Not only was she faced with the possibility of losing Angel forever (to death in "What's My Line"), but she was faced with the repercussions of what, for a normal girl, was an expression of love. She knows that she'll never have a normal life - she knew this before - but now she'll have a huge reminder of it. Because of her expression of love to her boyfriend, people died and the world almost ended. She's had to watch as the demon that looks like Angel terrorizes her friends, and herself. And all the while, she has had to hide this from her mother.

Buffy has been a long way from home - all that she knew to be certain has been turned on its head. Her friends, once supportive, now seek for her to kill the one man she loved the most. Her watcher went on a kamikaze mission to try and do what she had failed at - kill Angel. Nobody's safe - she doesn't know if she'll ever be happy again. Things have changed for her in a big way.

"I feel just like I'm sinking
And I claw for solid ground
I'm pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go…"

On the one night she needed support the most, she was denied it. Kendra and her friends were assaulted in the library, and because of Snyder, the blame was placed squarely on her shoulders. She now carries the burden of more death on her shoulders - she knew that she would carry this burden at some point - she was the Slayer after all - but how could she have ever known how close to home it would hit?

Once her mother found out about her destiny as the Chosen One, Buffy yet again was denied the support she so desperately needed. Her mother refused to let her leave - she thought that Buffy's calling wasn't real; her daughter couldn't be a warrior of such violence. In an attempt to hold onto the innocent daughter she once knew, Joyce told Buffy that if she left their home, she was to never come back.

And Buffy left without a backwards glance. She knew what she had to do - she had to kill Angel.

"If all of the strength and all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
My love…"

Gathering what strength she had, Buffy prepared to face down Angel. Along the way, she received support and advice from an unexpected source. Speaking in semi-riddles, Whistler, a demon that had once helped Angel, reminds Buffy that:

"In the end, you're always by yourself. You're all you've got. That's the point."
~ Becoming Part 2

In order to show how much she loves Angel, she needs to kill him. She needs to stop the demon from awakening Acathla and taking them all into Hell. In a way, she feels like she is betraying him - she believes there is still another way. Willow could wake up, and try the curse again, saving him. Or she could arrive in time to stop Angelus from awakening Acathla. But deep down, she knows that these scenarios won't play out. She stands between the world and its demise, again. And no matter how it plays out, she'll be on her own when it's over.

"So it's better this way, I said
having seen this place before
where everything we said and did
hurts us all the more…"

Finally, Buffy makes her way to the mansion, ready to free Giles and face down her lover. Along the way, Xander arrives. Rather than telling her the truth about Willow retrying the Ritual of Restoration, he tells Buffy that Willow said to "kick his ass." He knows that if she ever discovers the lie, she'll be hurt, because once again, those around her will have failed to support her.

Buffy has taken all the time she can to prepare herself for this showdown. It's all on the line, and it's up to her to save the world. Much like her battle with the Master, she is alone, and scared. The only difference is this - the vampire she's fighting is one she loved and fought beside before.

"It's just that we stayed, too long
In the same old sickly skin
I'm pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness I feel like letting go…"

Buffy held onto the past before this pivotal night. She always held out hope that Angel would come back to her, but he didn't. Angel was gone, and she was only able to face him down when she accepted this. An emotional sword fight ensues, and almost ends when Angelus disarms her. Concentrating, and holding onto her grace, Buffy stops Angelus' sword inches from her head. She may be fighting without her friends - but she has herself.

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?"
Buffy: "Me."
~ Becoming Part 2

But then, the unthinkable happens - the Ritual of Restoration works and Angel's soul is restored to him. And at the same time, Acathla awakens. Buffy is faced with a choice - let Angel live, and be sucked into Hell with him, or kill Angel to save the world. Buffy is a woman in love, but she is also the Slayer, and she knows what she must do.

She kisses Angel, and while his eyes are closed, she impales him with her sword and watches as he is sucked into Hell.

She stands there, staring at the empty space where Angel last stood. And it is too much for her. She can't face her friends, her mother, or even the town. She leaves Sunnydale, trying to lose herself in the big city and have the life of a normal girl - a life that she never got to have.

"If all of the strength
And all of the courage
Come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
Full of grace
My love."

Lyrics belong to Sarah McLachlan, and the song "Full of Grace" can be found on her "Surfacing" CD.


The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

Oh, please! If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock... I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. I fed off a flowerperson, and I spent the next six hours watchin' my hand move.
-Spike (School Hard)


Where to Watch:
  Amazon Instant Video
Hulu
iTunes
Netflix


Merchandise:

BtVS: The Score CD BtVS: The Score CD

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Chosen Collection (Seasons 1-7) BtVS - The Chosen Collection (Seasons 1-7)


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