When you’re a slayer of the superorganic, you grow accustomed to celebrating weird milestones. Your initially year without an apocalypse, the anniversary of the time you turned right into a cavewoguy, and yes, your deathday. On June 2, 1997, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) passed away for the incredibly first time in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Season One finale “Prophecy Girl.” That’s best, it’s been 20 years given that Buffy drowned in a shenable pool of water after being bitten and also tossed aside by the fruit punch-mouthed vampire The Master. Buffy’s Seachild One finale, the first installment in the series both written and directed by creator Joss Whedon, actually established a lot around the series and also wright here it would certainly go over the next six seasons. In enhancement to simply being a stellar episode, it’s kinda the template for what Buffy would quickly become.

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The episode kicks off with the discovery of a prophecy foreinforming the increase of the Master from his underground prichild. After initially swearing off being the Slayer, Buffy begrudgingly accepts her fate and also decides to halt the Master’s ascension (and also, if she gets done at a reasonable hour, she’ll hit up the school dance). Things don’t go the method Buffy planned and also the ancient vampire proves to be also much for Buffy to take care of. She drops under his vampiric thrall and the creepy villain whispers the horrible irony in the Slayer’s ear: if she hadn’t come, he wouldn’t have had the stamina to break complimentary of the magic holding him prisoner. He feeds on her, casts her body aside, and also measures out into the world for the initially time in centuries. No dance for Buffy.

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Except that’s not the finish of Buffy’s story. Her brooding vampire boyfriend via a soul Angel (David Boreanaz) and also her BFF Xander (Nicholas Brendon) arrive moments after her fatality and resuscitate her the old fashioned way: with CPR. Buffy’s seakid six resurrection with be a little more associated and use powerful magic. Remember how I said this was Buffy’s first death? Anyway, the revived Buffy takes the fight straight to the Master, that has actually made it as much as the skylight overlooking the Sunnydale High library. Buffy quickly gets the upperhand also and also, in the the majority of badass moment of Seachild One, she chucks the villain with the skylight. The Master drops right into the library and gets impaled by a item of broken furniture, ending his regime and leaving him lessened to nopoint however his yellowed old bones.

There are a couple of significant things this one episode sets up, both plotwise and thematically. The the majority of essential plot advance is Buffy’s death, which is something that will certainly be referenced time and also time again throughout the series. Because a brand-new Slayer is dubbed upon following the fatality of their predecessor, a brand-new Slayer (Kendra) arrives in Sunnydale in Season Two. Buffy’s resurrection is extraordinary in Slayer lore; when a Slayer dies, they’re dead. Kendra learns that the difficult method in the Seakid Two finale as soon as the ethereally menacing Drusilla slices her throat open up. Kendra’s death, in turn, summons Faith (Eliza Dushku) into the fold. A fan favorite character, Faith plays a significant role in Season Three and comes earlier throughout the series’ run (and Angel, too). Faith’s even around for the big Buffy series finale, definition that an event in the Seachild One finale (Buffy’s death) has actually effects that are felt all the way with to the series’ finish.

Buffy’s first finale likewise collection in place the legacy of defeating the Big Bad at the finish of the season. Buffy was one of the first (if not the first) display to prominently function a singular danger throughout the year. The term “Big Bad” comes from Buffy, by the means. Following the Master’s defeat, subsequent seakid finales (or penultimate episodes) would view Buffy’s Scooby Gang defeat Angelus, the Mayor, Adam, Glory, Dark Willow, and also the First. The Master, equally terrifying and flippant, set the tone that many type of of those Big Bads would follow.

Buffy’s initially death likewise has a bit of foreshadowing to Buffy’s second death in the Seakid Five finale “The Gift.” Buffy arrives at the Master’s lair because of a prophecy, and also she’s felled by a loophole (it’s the Slayer’s stamina that frees the Master). The very same thing kinda happens aget in “The Gift”; while standing above a sky portal putting demons into Sunnydale, Buffy knows that only the blood of her sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) deserve to close it. That’s the preeminence. Buffy then finds a loophole in the rule: because the monks produced Dawn using Buffy as a theme, their blood should be the very same. Buffy leaps into the portal, sacrificing herself to conserve the human being. Buffy is killed by a loophole in “Prophecy Girl” and also she then supplies a loophole to conserve the human being in “The Gift.”

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Buffy’s incredibly survival is additionally a major instance of the show’s central design template of family. Following this episode, the suggest is made over and also over aget that the Slayer has actually, traditionally, been a lonely profession. For centuries it’s just been the Slayer and her Watcher fighting the forces of darkness. Buffy readjusted all that by developing friendships through courageous world and also, more importantly, letting them help. Buffy survives her fight with the Master because Angel and also Xander discover her in time. This is a Slayer via human being watching her earlier, and this comes up consistently. Buffy initially loses versus Adam in Seakid Four bereason she turned her back on her friends, and there’s a totality episode in Seachild Five (“Checkpoint”) wherein the Scoobies have to justify their duty in the Slayer’s life to the stuffy old Watchers Council.

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“Prophecy Girl” is still a killer rewatch, two decades later. It has actually every little thing that makes Buffy special: one-liners, monsters, heartbreak, kick-ass fight scenes, and a vanquished Big Bad. Viewers didn’t recognize it when the episode aired back in 1997, however they were watching a collection come right into its very own and nail dvery own all the themes it would certainly play through for years to come. In that means, “Prophecy Girl” was hella prophetic.