The seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer originally aired on UPN from September 24, 2002 to May 20, 2003, premiering earlier, but ending later, than the fourth season of Angel. It was the last Buffy season before the series continuation in comic form.
As Buffy accompanies Dawn on her first day at the new Sunnydale High, Giles continues Willow’s magic education in England. But while Buffy is surprised to be offered a guidance counselor job, Willow is shocked to experience a horrific future vision of the Hellmouth. Willow returns to Sunnydale and Giles soon follows with word that the Watcher’s Council has been destroyed. Determined to make one last stand, Buffy and her allies gather for the upcoming battle, yet nothing can prepare them for the First and his robed Bringers, who are killing all the Potential Slayers — and anyone else who gets in their way.
Buffy’s final season revolved around the First Evil, which can appear in the incorporeal form of any dead person. It is more determined than when it tried to convince Angel to kill Buffy and commit suicide in Season Three. A number of young girls who are Potential Slayers are gathered by Giles with the help of seers after the Watchers Council is destroyed. They live in fear of the Bringers, mute wielders of deadly swords who have been killing Potentials around the world. Much of the story takes place at the newly reconstructed Sunnydale High School, bringing the series and its characters back to their roots: the Hellmouth.
Spike now lives with the remorse of a soul. He begins the season driven insane by the First and secluding himself in the school basement. The First also develops a hypnotic trigger for him allowing him to hurt people again. He has both his chip and trigger removed eventually.
It is revealed that the army of feral, primitive vampires known as Turok-Han are much more powerful and violent than the part-human variety. The First Evil attempts to use the imbalance created by Buffy’s return to amass an army of vampires in the Hellmouth. When that army outnumbers humans on Earth, the First Evil would take corporeal form.
In the end, Buffy brings the war to the Hellmouth itself. Willow invokes a magical spell that activates all potential Slayers in the world. With her army of girls now endowed with full Slayer power, they manage to contain the army of vampires long enough for a powerful amulet worn by Spike to take effect. It vaporizes the Hellmouth and sacrifices Spike in the process. However, the vampire returns in the Buffy spin-off Angel, absorbed by the amulet. During the battle, Anya is killed by a Bringer. The empty town of Sunnydale is sucked into a huge crater. “The Hellmouth is officially closed for business,” and Buffy is no longer one girl in all the world.
The main antagonist of this season was the First Evil.
In order of character appearances:
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers (22/22)
- Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers (22/22)
- James Marsters as Spike (22/22)
- Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg (22/22)
- Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris (21/22) (Does not appear in "Conversations with Dead People")
- Emma Caulfield as Anya Jenkins (19/22) (Does not appear in "Help", "Conversations with Dead People]]" and "Dirty Girls")
In order of character appearances:
- Tom Lenk as Andrew Wells (15/22)
- D. B. Woodside as Robin Wood (14/22)
- Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles (13/22)
- Iyari Limon as Kennedy (13/22)
- Sarah Hagan as Amanda (10/22)
- Indigo as Rona (8/22)
- Felicia Day as Vi (8/22)
- Clara Bryant as Molly (7/22)
- Kristy Wu as Chao-Ahn (6/22)
- Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane (5/22)
- Adam Busch as Warren Mears (5/22)
- Nathan Fillion as Caleb (5/22)
- Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson (4/22)
- Camden Toy as Ubervamp (4/22)
- Juliet Landau as Drusilla (3/22)
- Mary Wilcher as Shannon (3/22)
- Kali Rocha as Halfrek (2/22)
- Harry Groener as Richard Wilkins (2/22)
- Azura Skye as Cassie Newton (2/22)
- Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers (2/22)
- Lalaine Vargas as Chloe (2/22)
- James C. Leary as Clem (2/22)
- K. D. Aubert as Nikki Wood (2/22)
- David Boreanaz as Angel (2/22)
- Amanda Fuller as Eve (2/22)
- Mark Metcalf as The Master (1/22)
- George Hertzberg as Adam (1/22)
- Clare Kramer as Glory (1/22)
- Abraham Benrubi as Olaf the Troll (1/22)
- Andy Umberger as D'Hoffryn (1/22)
- Harris Yulin as Quentin Travers (1/22)
- Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison (1/22)
- Sharon Ferguson as Primitive (1/22)
- Joss Whedon has discussed about this season: “We had a few things in mind with season seven. One, everybody was tired of being depressed, including us. Two, this was the last season. Three, let’s get back to where we started. Let’s go back to the beginning. Not the word, not the bang, but the real beginning. And the real beginning is girl power. The real beginning is what does it mean to be a Slayer? And not to feel guilty about the power, but having seen the dark side of it, to find the light again. To explore the idea of the Slayer fully and perhaps to see a very grown up and romantic and confusing relationship that isn’t about power, but is actually genuinely beautiful between two people in the form of Buffy and Spike. I feel that I wrote the perfect ending for the show and wrapped everything up exactly the way it should be. We wanted to hit the final chord of a beautiful symphony. That, unfortunately, was in season five. So with season seven, I sort of had to shut the door on the idea that this was the last episode a little bit, because the weight of that was crushing me. I was terrified. But I so very specifically knew what I needed to say and what I needed to have happen. That was all in there. But when you get into actually writing it, you’re just, like, ‘Oh, God, it’s not good enough.’ Then you’re, like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to chill,’ because it’s unbearable pressure. You want the last episode to mean something that no other episode has. And it is large. It was so hard to shoot. So we went out with a bang and hopefully an emotional one.”
- ↑ Ed Gross, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer Turns 20: Joss Whedon Looks Back". Empire, March 09, 2017.