When you’re a slayer the the supernatural, you thrive accustomed to celebrating weird milestones. Your very first year without an apocalypse, the anniversary of the moment you turned right into a cavewoman, and yes, her deathday. ~ above June 2, 1997, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) died for the very first time in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Season One finale “Prophecy Girl.” That’s right, it’s been 20 years since Buffy drowning in a shallow pool of water after gift bitten and tossed next by the fruit punch-mouthed vampire The Master. Buffy’s Season One finale, the very first installment in the series both written and also directed by creator Joss Whedon, actually developed a lot around the collection and where it would go over the next six seasons. In addition to simply being a stellar episode, it’s kinda the design template for what Buffy would shortly become.

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The illustration kicks off with the exploration of a prophecy foretelling the climb of the understand from his secret prison. After originally swearing turn off being the Slayer, Buffy begrudgingly accepts her fate and decides to halt the Master’s ascension (and, if she it s okay done at a reasonable hour, she’ll hit increase the college dance). Things don’t go the method Buffy planned and the old vampire proves to be too much for Buffy to handle. She drops under his vampiric thrall and the creepy villain whispers the dreadful irony in the Slayer’s ear: if she hadn’t come, the wouldn’t have had the stamin to break free of the magic holding the prisoner. That feeds top top her, casts she body aside, and steps out into the human being for the very first time in centuries. No dance for Buffy.

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Except that’s not the end of Buffy’s story. Her brooding vampire boyfriend through a heart Angel (David Boreanaz) and also her BFF Xander (Nicholas Brendon) come moments after her death and also resuscitate her the old fashioned way: v CPR. Buffy’s season six resurrection with be a bit an ext involved and utilize an effective magic. Remember exactly how I stated this to be Buffy’s first death? Anyway, the revitalized Buffy bring away the fight directly to the Master, who has made that as much as the skylight overlooking the Sunnydale High library. Buffy easily gets the upperhand and, in the many badass minute of Season One, she chucks the villain v the skylight. The Master drops into the library and gets impaled through a item of broken furniture, ending his reign and leaving him decreased to nothing but his yellowed old bones.

There are a couple of major things this one illustration sets up, both plotwise and thematically. The most vital plot advance is Buffy’s death, i m sorry is something that will certainly be referenced time and time again transparent the series. Due to the fact that a new Slayer is referred to as upon complying with the fatality of their predecessor, a brand-new Slayer (Kendra) come in Sunnydale in Season Two. Buffy’s resurrection is unmatched in Slayer lore; as soon as a Slayer dies, they’re dead. Kendra learns the the hard means in the Season two finale when the ethereally menacing Drusilla slices her neck open. Kendra’s death, in turn, summons belief (Eliza Dushku) into the fold. A pan favorite character, faith plays a significant role in Season Three and also comes back throughout the series’ run (and Angel, too). Faith’s even roughly for the big Buffy collection finale, an interpretation that an event in the Season One finale (Buffy’s death) has actually ramifications that room felt all the means through come the series’ end.

Buffy’s very first finale also set in location the legacy of defeating the big Bad in ~ the end of the season. Buffy was among the first (if not the first) display to prominently function a singular danger throughout the year. The ax “Big Bad” comes from Buffy, by the way. Following the Master’s defeat, succeeding season finales (or penultimate episodes) would see Buffy’s Scooby gang defeat Angelus, the Mayor, Adam, Glory, Dark Willow, and the First. The Master, same terrifying and flippant, collection the tone that plenty of of those huge Bads would follow.

Buffy’s first death also includes a little of foreshadowing come Buffy’s 2nd death in the Season 5 finale “The Gift.” Buffy come at the Master’s lair due to the fact that of a prophecy, and also she’s felled by a loophole (it’s the Slayer’s stamin that frees the Master). The very same thing kinda wake up again in “The Gift”; if standing over a sky portal pouring demons right into Sunnydale, Buffy knows that just the blood of she sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) deserve to close it. That’s the rule. Buffy then finds a loophole in the rule: since the monks created Dawn utilizing Buffy together a template, your blood have to be the same. Buffy leaps right into the portal, sacrificing it s her to conserve the world. Buffy is eliminated by a loophole in “Prophecy Girl” and also she then provides a loophole to save the world in “The Gift.”

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Buffy’s an extremely survival is additionally a significant example that the show’s main theme of family. Complying with this episode, the suggest is make over and over again that the Slayer has, traditionally, been a lonely profession. Because that centuries it’s just been the Slayer and also her Watcher fighting the forces of darkness. Buffy readjusted all the by forming friendships through courageous human being and, an ext importantly, letting castle help. Buffy survives her battle with the Master because Angel and Xander discover her in time. This is a Slayer with civilization watching her back, and this come up repeatedly. Buffy initially loses versus Adam in Season Four because she turn her earlier on her friends, and also there’s a whole episode in Season five (“Checkpoint”) wherein the Scoobies have to justify their duty in the Slayer’s life come the stuffy old Watchers Council.

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“Prophecy Girl” is still a killer rewatch, twenty years later. That has everything that makes Buffy special: one-liners, monsters, heartbreak, kick-ass fight scenes, and a vanquished big Bad. Viewers didn’t know it as soon as the episode aired ago in 1997, however they were watching a collection come right into its own and also nail down all the themes it would certainly play with for years to come. In the way, “Prophecy Girl” was hella prophetic.