Scifi.com "Bargaining" Review
by Kathie Huddleston
Last season, Buffy (Gellar) and Scoobies took on their greatest
challenge yet when they went up against not just another
demon, but a god. In the ultimate cliffhanger, Buffy made the
decision to sacrifice her own life to save her sister, Dawn
(Michelle Trachtenberg), and the entire world.
As the sixth-season, two-hour premiere
"Bargaining" begins, the gang takes on a couple of
vampires in a graveyard. The vamps give them a
tough time, maybe more than they can handle.
That is, until Buffy arrives. However, Buffy's fighting style isn't
quite what it used to be, and she can't take them out alone. Of
course, Buffy is not really Buffy, she's the Buffy Bot. Willow
promises everyone she'll fix the Buffy Bot's programming.
When Buffy died three months earlier, the Scoobies buried her in
the woods to keep anyone or anything from finding out Sunnydale
was Slayerless. Willow and Tara have taken over Dawn's
parental needs, while the Buffy Bot has managed to help keep up
the illusion. But now the Bot faces a challenge tougher than
Since Buffy died, nothing seems to be quite right for the Scoobies.
Giles has told everyone he's leaving Sunnydale, only he can't quite
seem to go. Anya is having issues with both Xander's decision to
keep their marriage plans private until more time has passed, and
with Giles, who is a little too good at not leaving for her taste,
especially considering she's going to be in charge of The Magic
Box when he finally does go. And Spike is as sullen as he is
fiercely protective of Dawn. However, what's really bothering the
Scoobies is that everyone is still dealing with Buffy's death and the
incredible challenges that it brings for them in every way.
But there is a plan. Willow isn't ready to accept that Buffy is
gone. Buffy didn't not die a natural death. Mystical energy killed
her, and Willow worries for her very soul. The Scoobies have
agreed to help Willow with a very dangerous spell that might just
bring the Slayer back to them. But time is running out. When a
lowlife vampire discovers the Buffy Bot is a robot, it's open
season on Sunnydale.
A classic series comes of age
There will come a time, years from
now, when people elevate Buffy the
Vampire Slayer to the status of a
classic. It won't just be thought of as
one of the best fantasy shows ever, it
will be considered one of the best
series of all time, regardless of genre.
It was surprising when word first
went out that Buffy might move from
The WB. Then UPN outbid The WB
and everyone else to capture the
prize. The network wasted no time in wooing the cast with gifts
and wooing fans by placing the series in its regular Tuesday night
timeslot. Of course, Angel was gone as a companion show, and
according to creator Joss Whedon, the crossovers are history.
The good news for fans is that, judging by the series premiere,
"Bargaining," Buffy is better than ever. The cast is in fine form,
with every character getting a moment to shine by showing grief.
The moments are subtle and tragic, and as with so much of the
show's writing, they have a truth about them. But that's not the
only thing that makes this series great. Buffy is funny, exciting and
very powerful when all is said and done.
Creator Whedon and his team took on the ultimate challenge of
killing off their main character, which left them in the position of
having to figure out a way to bring her back. Whedon promised
that it wasn't all just a bad dream, and that Buffy is rotting in her
grave. Well, Whedon is a man of his word, and "Bargaining"
offers the perfect solution to his dilemma. The way Buffy is
brought back will not be a tremendous surprise. What is surprising
however is that it's done so well.
Better yet, it's only the beginning. The only true complaint to offer
regarding "Bargaining" is that the episode is not complete. There
will be more story to come, quite likely affecting the entire season.
Judging from what Whedon has done in the past, fans know they
can trust him and that everything in the Buffy universe has a cost.
And undoubtedly the price of bringing the Slayer back to life will
not be cheap.