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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.

***SPOILER ALERT***

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 vampires—Parent-Teacher Day.

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.


The Usual
The Usual

Random Quotage:

Buffy, fight it. You're too good to give in, you can beat this thing. Be strong, baby, ok? I know you're afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes, but you've got people who love you. Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. We'll always be with you. You've got... a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself.
-Joyce (Normal Again)


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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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