|This article is about the episode. For other uses, see Chosen.|
"Chosen", the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is the twenty-second episode of the seventh season and is the one hundred forty-fourth episode in the series. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, it originally broadcast on May 20, 2003 on UPN.
FINDING YOUR DESTINY — After finishing off Caleb and sending Angel off with thanks for the amulet he delivered, Buffy returns home to find Dawn back, despite her best efforts at shipping her off to safety. Spike confronts Buffy on her kissing of Angel and after reconciling, she is visited by the First, whose taunts give Buffy an idea of how she and her army can defeat the First's Ubervamp minions. After informing everyone of the plan to enter the Hellmouth and finish the war against the First once and for all, a sleepless night is ahead before the new day arrives.
At the conclusion of their kiss, Buffy takes a second to bask in Angel's presence before asking him why he traveled to Sunnydale. Angel tells her he has all the information on what's been happening, and knows that the First is responsible. Buffy tells him that this time it's plans are more ambitious than there were during Angel's last encounter with it as now its raising an army. Before Angel can respond, Angel is knocked out by Caleb, who survived his stab wound and is now with a black liquid dripping from his mouth and eyes.
Buffy and Caleb's fight begins anew, but Buffy is able to best him again and this time kills him for real by slicing him in two from the crotch up using the Scythe. Angel recovers ready to take on Caleb himself, but finds two fresh halves waiting for him. Angel therefore gives her the information he obtained as well an amulet intended to be worn by someone ensouled, yet more than human. He tells her he will fight alongside her, but she turns him down, and he asks for a reason why. She tells him that if she fails to stop the First, she's going to need a second front and needs and his team to organize it. Angel suggests that she actually wants him to leave because of Spike. The two discuss Spike's soul, and Buffy's feelings for him. He shows obvious jealousy and annoyance about the fact that Buffy has feelings for Spike (as well as the fact Spike has a soul, claiming that he was doing it before it was cool). Buffy in turn, annoyed by his childish and possessive attitude he has towards her, questions his maturity. Buffy refuses to confirm if she is in love with Spike and denies he is her boyfriend, but confesses that she does have deep feelings for him. When Angel warns her that the relationship would never work, Buffy brings up their own tortured romance. When Angel asks about the future, and if he has a place in it (which is basically asking if there's a chance they could ever get back together) Buffy explains, using a cookie-baking analogy, that she still doesn't know who she is or the person she's going to become and needs more time to find out. Angel agrees to leave and turns over the amulet to her, telling her he'll organize the second front and asks her to make sure he doesn't need it. As he walks into the shadows, echoing his very first appearance, Buffy tells him there might be a future for them, but it will be a long time coming, if ever. He walks off after saying "I ain't getting any older."
Back at the house, Dawn angrily kicks Buffy's leg for having Xander try to take her away from Sunnydale. Buffy grudgingly allows her to stay. Spike is in the basement, working out his anger on a punching bag with a crude drawing of Angel's face on it. Buffy arrives and sees this, causing her to be irritated, stating they someday she should put them in a room and let them fight out their problems and that she has "had enough jealous vampire crap for one night." He asks for the amulet, whose exchange he had witnessed from the shadows, and she explains that it is very powerful and meant only for a champion. She then hands it to him. Buffy tells Spike coyly that Faith still sleeps in her bedroom and she has nowhere to sleep. Spike says he doesn't want Buffy downstairs with him, because he still has his pride. When Buffy starts to walk upstairs, he says he doesn't have any pride at all when it comes to her and he says she can stay.
Later that night, Buffy finds herself unable to sleep and paces the basement as Spike sleeps. Suddenly, the First Evil appears to her in the guise of Caleb, unhappy that she killed its lieutenant but notes that there's an army of the undead waiting to rise. Once it does, and the forces of evil outnumber the good the scales will tip in the First's favor and it will become corporeal. The First then shifts into Buffy's form and taunts her, reminding her that she's the slayer, and she's alone as there is only ever one Slayer in the whole. The First disappears as Spike wakes, and Buffy tells Spike she's realized something she hadn't considered... they're going to win.
The next morning, Buffy unveils her plan to the rest of the Scoobies asking their opinion. They're all shocked at the radical sounding plan, but Giles declares it to be "bloody brilliant" allowing him and Buffy to reconcile their recent arguments. Willow is concerned since she'll be required to perform the spell required, having never done anything so powerful before. Buffy tells the plan to the Potential Slayers. Afterward, Willow expresses her concerns about using magic again to Kennedy. She says this is the most powerful magic she will have attempted and asks Kennedy to kill her if it turns bad. Faith and Robin also have a discussion while preparing the school for the battle. Wood demonstrates that he understands her defensiveness over getting emotionally involved with men and asks her to give him a chance after the battle. During the night, Buffy goes to the basement, where she apparently spends her last night with Spike.
The next morning, everyone arrives at Sunnydale High in a yellow school bus. The Potentials head to the Seal of Danzalthar in the basement while Kennedy helps Willow set up her spell in Principal Wood's office. After trying to give a farewell speech, Andrew is dragged off by Anya. Dawn leaves to set up her post with Xander, determined to see her sister again. Principal Wood leaves to wait at his post for Giles. The core four share a moment talking about going to the mall after saving the world which causes Giles to say "the earth is definitely doomed". Xander and Willow walk down the hallway with Buffy before each one peels off, leaving Buffy walking alone to the seal. She meets the Potentials, Faith, and Spike, and the Potentials and Slayers cut their hands to open the seal with their blood. They climb down the hole in the ground and come face to face with the army of Turok-Han. The Ubervamps spot Buffy, Faith, and the Potentials, and charge towards them. "Come on, Will," Buffy pleads.
Willow sits in Principal's office, the Scythe before her. While chanting a spell, she places her hands upon the weapon, and both she and the Mʔ lights up in an ethereal glow and her hair turns white, the opposite of Dark Willow. Buffy's final speech to the Potentials had revealed that Willow is channeling the essence of the Mʔ in order to activate Potentials all over the world. Defying the tradition of only one Slayer per generation, Willow's spell will raise an army strong enough to do battle with The First. As Willow performs the actual magic, Kennedy tells Willow that she is a goddess. "And you're a Slayer," Willow replies. Willow then lies on the floor, exhausted and exclaiming "That was nifty!", as Kennedy takes the Scythe to Buffy, who is deep in the fight with Faith and Spike against the army of the Turok-Han, now numbering in the thousands.
As she pauses to give orders, Buffy is stabbed through her abdomen from behind by one of the Turok-Han and falls to the ground. She passes the Scythe to Faith and asks her to hold the line. As she lies on the ground, she sees several newly activated Slayers fall, including Amanda. In the halls of the school, a few Turok-Han make it to the surface and attack the group guarding the entrances. A small group of Bringers also appear and attack. During the battle, Anya is cut down by a Bringer.
Andrew fights until he is overwhelmed. Principal Wood is brutally stabbed by a Bringer who is then killed by Giles. Xander and Dawn take on some Turok-Han who are disintegrated by sunlight when Dawn throws open a skylight window, but more follow. In the Hellmouth, the First then appears to Buffy as a mortally wounded copy of herself, taunting her. It then kneels down in front of her and mocks her attempt to stop its plans: "You pulled a nice trick. You came pretty close to smacking me down.", before asking Buffy "What more do you want?" Ordering The First to "get out of my face!" Buffy arises with renewed determination and knocks several Turok-Han off the ledge. Other Slayers are reinvigorated as well. The First disappears.
Just then, Spike's amulet consumes him in blue light and blasts a hole upward into the sky. The sunlight is channeled through the amulet and in powerful rays that begin dusting the Ubervamps. The ground begins to shake and rocks tumble. The surviving Slayers start to flee. Buffy tells Spike to do so as well, but he insists on finishing it. They share a quiet moment as the world crumbles around them. With tears in her eyes, Buffy tells Spike she loves him, to which he replies "No you don't. But thanks for saying it." He orders her to leave as he has to stay and finish the job. Buffy leaves and Spike disintegrates as the Hellmouth collapses.
On the way out of the school, the Slayers find Andrew crouched in a corner. Xander yells for Anya, but doesn't see her dead and mangled body lying nearby. Dawn pulls him out. Faith is the last onto the bus and it pulls away, with Dawn looking through back for Buffy. Buffy, in the meantime, has climbed to the roof of the school and is running along rooftops trying to outrun the enlarging crater. She leaps onto the top of the bus. Watching as the bus speeds off out of town, the entire town collapses into itself.
The ground stops shaking. Everyone gets off the bus. Xander asks Andrew about Anya's death. He comforts Xander by telling him that Anya died saving Andrew. Faith looks after a wounded Robin. While Kennedy, Vi, and a few others tend to the wounded Slayers, everyone joins Buffy as they look at the large crater which was once Sunnydale. Giles asks how this could've happened, since everyone either died or is alive and with them. Buffy answers: "Spike." Giles mentions that they should go to Cleveland as there's another Hellmouth there and lots more work to do. An exhausted Faith responds "Can I push him in?" The Scoobies look at the devastation of Sunnydale. Then, Dawn asks Buffy: "What are we going to do now?" Buffy smiles.
- In his first appearance to Buffy in Sunnydale ("Welcome to the Hellmouth"), Angel walked out of the shadows. In this, his last appearance to Buffy in Sunnydale, he backed into the shadows, as he did in his departure from the series in "Graduation Day, Part Two".
- Irritated by the jealousy between Spike and Angel, Buffy says "I should just put you two in a room so you can wrestle it out." This comes to pass in "Destiny".
- Buffy and Giles made up again after Giles betrayed her in "Lies My Parents Told Me" when Buffy assures Giles she appreciates his opinion.
- Buffy refers to her deselection as a leader in "Empty Places" with the sentences "I hate that there's evil, and that I was chosen to fight it. I wish, a whole lot of the time, that I hadn't been. I know a lot of you wish I hadn't been either."
- The red hooded cape Andrew wears while playing RPG is a part of the costume Buffy wore for Halloween in "Fear, Itself".
- The scene in which Giles, Buffy, Xander, and Willow are together in the hallway before they eventually split off into their separate parties mirrors a scene in "The Harvest", in which Buffy, Xander, and Willow ignore Giles completely, and walk off talking to each other about how Buffy could get herself kicked out of school, leaving Giles to remark to himself "the earth is doomed."
- The core four split up in the exact reverse order that they met Buffy in "Welcome to the Hellmouth", Giles whom she met last leaves first, then Willow whom she met second and Xander whom she met first is the last to part.
- Robin Wood becomes the only known principal to survive his tenure at Sunnydale High School, as opposed to Flutie's death in "The Pack" and Snyder's in "Graduation Day, Part Two".
- Potential Slayers in the world become actual Slayers, with the attendant physical strength, instincts, and visions. This is explored further in the Angel episode "Damage".
- In opposition to her fear of turning into "Dark Willow" by using such powerful magic she turns into "White Willow", showing she recovered from her magic addiction.
- When Buffy asks what the group wants to do tomorrow, Xander replies "Well, mini-golf is always the first thing that comes to mind." This is a call back to "When She Was Bad", where he suggested the same thing after destroying the very first Big Bad of the series, the Master.
- In the final scene between Spike and Buffy, she tells him "I love you." and he replies "No you don't." This is pretty much mirroring the scene in the alley in "Dead Things". to which he tells her "I love you" and she responds "No you don't."
- Buffy told Spike she loved him, echoing Cassie when she told him "She'll tell you. Someday." in episode "Help".
- Spike returns from his apparent death to be resurrected nineteen days later in the Angel episode "Conviction," and plays a major part in that series until its conclusion.
- Spike once again destroys the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign, after his arrivals in town in episodes "School Hard" and "Lovers Walk".
- Andrew's exaggerated storytelling abilities ("Storyteller", "Dirty Girls") are finally useful when he comforts Xander by saying Anya died saving his life.
- Giles mentioned the existence of a Hellmouth in Cleveland. Wishverse Giles repeated news over the phone that Cleveland was in bad condition, presumably due to demons ("The Wish").
- Seven Potentials survive the final battle, including Vi, Rona, Kennedy, Chao-Anh, and Shannon. Of the three original Potentials Giles brought to Sunnydale ("Bring on the Night"), only Kennedy survives.
- First Evil
- Rupert Giles
- Alexander Harris
- Anya Jenkins
- Faith Lehane
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Andrew Wells
- Tucker Wells (Only mentioned)
- Robin Wood
- Injured Girl
- Unidentified Indian Slayer (Chosen)
- Unidentified Japanese Slayer
- Unidentified school Slayer
- Unidentified softball Slayer
- Unidentified trailer Slayer
Organizations and titles
Weapons and objects
- The Amulet
- Bringers' knife
- Seal of Danzalthar
- Soul (Only mentioned)
- Spike's duster
Rituals and spells
- Caleb, bisected by Buffy with the Mʔ.
- One Turok-Han, dusted by Amanda.
- Three Turok-Hans, dusted by Vi.
- One Turok-Han, dusted by Buffy.
- Four Turok-Hans, dusted by Buffy with the Mʔ.
- One Turok-Han, beheaded by Giles.
- Two Turok-Hans, beheaded by Anya.
- One Turok-Han, snapped by Spike.
- Three Turok-Hans, dusted or cut in two by Faith with the Mʔ.
- Three Turok-Hans, burned by the sun, by Dawn.
- Anya Jenkins, cut in two by a Harbinger of Death.
- One Harbinger of Death, killed by Giles with a sword.
- Two Turok-Hans, dusted by Rona with the Mʔ.
- Amanda, neck snapped by a Turok-Han.
- Several Potential Slayers, killed by Turok-Hans.
- The remnant hundreds of Turok-Hans, all burned with a pure light by Spike.
- One Harbinger of Death, killed by Andrew with a sword.
- Spike, himself burned by sunlight.
Behind the scenes
- In an interview before this episode aired, writer/director Joss Whedon said: "If nobody cries... then I've definitely failed. It's really emotional — you're supposed to laugh, cry, and gasp with excitement — as well as take away a beautiful feminist message."
- Whedon acknowledges that the magic unleashed from the Mʔ in this episode is "somewhat convenient," but as a writer, it was more important for him to get to the show's message of empowerment by showing what Willow's magic and Buffy's status as the Slayer means to each of them. He also admits that the Turok-Hans in this episode are far easier to kill than in previous episodes (in which Anya noted their tough breastbones make staking them extremely difficult) because "Again, I was more interested in the showing the empowerment than I was in the continuity."
- Whedon knew he "wanted to kill somebody... brutally and suddenly and never really pay it off. I wanted a death that was a real middle-of-the-battle death — the opposite of the Spike death, perfect, noble." Emma Caulfield stated at the beginning of season 7 that this would be her last season on Buffy, even if the show was renewed for another season, and so Caulfield was happy to have Anya be the character who was killed. She is the fourth owner of the Magic Box to be killed in the series and means that every one of the "core four" has lost a significant other during the series: Willow losing Tara, Giles losing Jenny, Buffy losing Angel/Spike.
- Whedon said on the DVD commentaries for this episode that David Boreanaz was only available for 7 hours to film his scenes and that the core four would never die.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Stewart Head, and David Boreanaz are the only actors to have appeared in the first and final episodes of the series. Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase) is the only original cast member to not appear.
- According to Joss Whedon in the DVD commentary, he decided that Amanda would be the only Potential present during the RPG scene so that Sarah Hagan could get some more screen time since her character would get killed off at the climax of the episode.
- The Mutant Enemy monster is actually animated in this one (as opposed to just a paper monster walking across the screen) and growls at the viewers, in a way saying goodbye to them as well.
- The rousing battle music during the final battle between all the Slayers and the enemy is the same used on the season seven DVD title menus.
- Whedon wrote the last scene of this episode at the same time as the season opener.
- "Chosen" attracted 4.9 million viewers on its original first run. Although those numbers seem low compared to earlier seasons, it was actually one of the highest rated episodes of the season as viewership at this point in the show had diminished.
- The 30-second television ad begins with the mention of sponsor Acuvue Cam, cutting to a montage of clips from "Chosen," such as Caleb threatening, Buffy and Spike in the Hellmouth, Willow enchanted, and Buffy knocking three Turok-Hans off a cliff. It also features clips from previous episodes of the season, such as Xander lighting a match ("Get It Done"), the Hellmouth seal ("Storyteller"), and Buffy rising from the floor in ("Never Leave Me"). Throughout the ad, the voiceover utters: "The end is here… Be there when the Slayer takes her last stand. Will this be Buffy's final hour? Or her finest hour? The earth shattering series finale…" The ad concludes with a final mention of Acuvue Cam.
- The WB chose to announce that Spike would be joining the cast of Angel a week before this episode aired, a move that was criticized due to it lessening the impact of Spike's death in the Hellmouth towards the end of this episode.
- An exchange between Dawn and Vi was cut:
- Dawn: "And the Master grabbed Buffy from behind and bit her. She tried to move, but he was too strong. He fed on her blood and tossed her in the water, cackling insanely as the bubbles rose around her and she slowly drowned to death."
- Vi: "Do you have any other stories?"
- Dawn: "She gets up again. It's very romantic. Guys, you gotta stop worrying. It's Buffy. She always saves the day."
Pop culture references
- During Giles, Andrew, Amanda, and Xander's RPG session, Giles is attacked by Andrew's Trogdor the Burninator, from Homestar Runner.
- Buffy asks Angel: "Are you just going to come here and go all Dawson on me every time I have a boyfriend?", implying that Angel's jealousy over her echoes that of Dawson Leery, the lovelorn and sensitive title character of the Dawson's Creek series, which also aired on The WB.
- Spike thought the amulet he had to wear made him look like the actress Elizabeth Taylor.
- Xander refers to adopting a new look to suit his eyepatch and considers a secret agent style, referencing the comic book character Nick Fury.
- In reference to the mall's destruction, Xander lists the Gap clothing retailer, Starbucks coffeehouse chain, and Toys "R" Us toys retailer.
Goofs, bloopers & continuity errors
- When fighting, running on the buildings and on the bus Buffy has pointed shoes; when the bus stops and she jumps down from it, she is wearing different shoes; next shot she wears pointed shoes again.
- During the scene where the newly-activated Slayers are fighting the Turok-Han army, Amanda impales an ubervamp with a seemingly double-pointed wooden spear. However, it can be seen the side she impales the ubervamp with is blunt even though it can be heard from a sound-effect that it died afterwards.
- When Andrew goes to give his thank you/goodbye speech in the school hall, Anya standing on his left. She says "nobody cares you little monkey" and puts her arm around him. As they walk away, she appears on his right side with her arm still around him.
- When Spike is dreaming he says "I'm drowning in footwear." but both Netflix and Hulu's subtitles say "I'm drowning in Cool Whip."
- The episode was nominated for both a 2003 Emmy Award in the category of "Special Visual Effects for a Series", and for the 2004 Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form".
- Robert Duncan — "Recap / Angel and Buffy Kiss"
- Robert Duncan — "Finishing Off Caleb"
- Robert Duncan — "Angel Leaves"
- Robert Duncan — "The Necklace"
- Robert Duncan — "The First Visits Buffy"
- Robert Duncan — "Buffy's Plan"
- Robert Duncan — "The Chosen"
- Robert Duncan — "Willow and Kennedy"
- Robert Duncan — "The Night Before / Off to War Part 1 / the Old Gang / Off to War Part 2"
- Robert Duncan — "The Last Battle"
- Robert Duncan — "Every Girl, A Slayer"
- Robert Duncan — "Slayer Victory"
- Robert Duncan — "The Final Fight"
- Robert Duncan — "The War Against Evil"
- Armenian: "Ընտրվածները" (Chosen)
- Czech: "Vyvolená" (Chosen)
- Finnish: "Vapauden Voitto" (Victory of Freedom)
- French: "La Fin des Temps — Partie 2" (The End of Time — Part 2)
- German: "Das Ende der Zeit — Teil 2" (The End of Time — Part 2)
- Hungarian: "A Kiválasztott" (The Chosen One)
- Italian: "La Prescelta" (The Chosen One)
- Japanese: "選ばれし者" (Chosen One)
- Polish: "Wybrana" (Chosen)
- Portuguese (Brazil): "A Escolhida" (The Chosen One)
- Romanian: "Aleși" (Chosen)
- Russian: "Избранные" (Chosen)
- Spanish (Latin America): "El Elegido" (The Chosen One)
- Spanish (Spain): "La Elegida" (The Chosen One)
- The book Chosen: The One includes a novelization of this episode, along with all season 7.
- The final scene of this episode is included as an illustration for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Adult Coloring Book.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures of Willow, Buffy, Xander, Faith, and Giles were produced based on their respective appearances in this episode.
- One Deluxe action figure of Kennedy and two of Willow were produced based on this episode as well.
- Stunt woman Ming Liu portrays a newly activated Slayer in the final battle, having previously portrayed Xin Rong in "Fool For Love".
- Spike speculates that Angel wears lifts in his shoes to make himself appear taller. James Marsters would later confess to wearing lifts during his first guest appearance on Angel.
Behind the scenes
|Buffy - "OK, I'm cookie dough. I'm not done baking. I'm not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I'm gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day I turn around and realize I'm ready. I'm cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat— or enjoy warm, delicious cookie me, then... that's fine. That'll be then. When I'm done."|
|Angel - "Any thoughts on who might enjoy— Do I have to go with the cookie analogy?"|
|Buffy - "I'm not really thinking that far ahead. That's kind of the point."|
|Anya - "Oh, God. I'm terrified. I didn't think... I mean, I just figured you'd be terrified, and I would be sarcastic about it."|
|Andrew - "Picture happy things. A lake, candy canes, bunnies..."|
|Anya - "Bunnies! Floppy, hoppy, bunnies!"|
|Buffy - "Buffy: So here's the part where you make a choice: What if you could have that power... now? In every generation, one Slayer is born... because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power... should be our power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer... will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power... will have the power... can stand up, will stand up. Slayers... every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?"|
|Spike - "Gotta move, lamb. I think it's fair to say school's out for bloody summer."|
|Buffy - "Spike!"|
|Spike - "I mean it! I gotta do this."|
|Buffy - "I love you."|
|Spike - "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it. Now go! I wanna see how it ends."|
|Xander - "We saved the world."|
|Willow - "We changed the world. I can feel them, Buffy. All over. Slayers are awakening everywhere."|
|Dawn - "We'll have to find them."|
|Willow - "We will."|
|Giles - "Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale, so there's no hope of going there tomorrow."|
|Dawn - "We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side."|
|Xander - "All those shops gone. The Gap, Starbucks, Toys "R" Us. Who will remember all those landmarks unless we tell the world about them?"|
|Giles - "We have a lot of work ahead of us."|
|Faith - "Can I push him in?"|
|Willow - "You've got my vote."|
|Faith - "I just want to sleep, yo, for like a week."|
|Dawn - "I guess we all could, if we wanted to."|
|Willow - "Yeah. The First is scrunched, so... what do you think we should do, Buffy?|
|Faith - "Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?"|
|Dawn - "Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?"|