• Follow us


Every Season Finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel, Ranked

The season finale is one of television's most challenging beasts. Any finale worth its salt has to not only be a faithful representative to the season's prior episodes, but also go above and beyond, abound with excitement, revelations, and juicy twists. These days, with often over a year in between many seasons, finales are expected to end on a cliffhanger enthralling enough for the viewer to return.

RELATED: 21 Things Only True Fans Know About Angel And Buffy The Vampire Slayer

There's extra pressure on shows with cult followings. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff show Angel have leagues of fans. Surely Joss Whedon, iconic showrunner, has perfected the recipe for the season finale, right? Mix equal parts epic final battle and groundbreaking character development, sprinkle in some Whedonisms, garnish with a cliffhanger and presto! Works every time, right?

Not exactly. There are some Buffy and Angel finales that left viewers cold. But on the other hand, when Whedon and his team nailed it, they knocked it out of the cemetery. Some of these finales are true masterpieces of television. Which finales ascended and which would be best left to perish in the Hellmouth? Here is Every Season Finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Ranked.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now advertising 12 Angel Season 2: There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

Pylea the hell dimension was all kinds of fun. It introduced the viewer to fan favorite Fred, showed a glimpse of Lorne's home life, and Cordelia was crowned queen. Basically, Pylea was like a trip to a theme park: all kinds of fun, but you don't want to stay there forever. You also certainly don't want to set your season finales there. This episode feels like a really solid filler piece, complete with ridiculous title. Also, no finale should feature talking heads, figurative or literal.

RELATED: The Cast Of Angel: Where Are They Now?

Ultimately, the bulk of this episode, spent in Pylea, was just killing time until the gang returned to L.A., at which point Willow informed Angel of Buffy's death. This is hardly revelatory as anyone who watched the Buffy finale already knew already. Angel Season 2 may have been solid, but this finale has a serious case of the sophomore jinx.

11 Buffy Season 6: Grave

The best Buffy finales are known for their legendary smackdowns between the Scooby Gang and the Big Bad. That, among a cornucopia of other reasons, is what makes Season 6 so problematic. There is no Big Bad. Any seasoned fan has likely participated in the debate over whether it was the Trio or Dark Willow.

RELATED: 5 Times Willow Saved The Buffyverse (And 5 Times She Put Everyone In Danger)

According to cast and crew neither are correct—life is Season 6's Big Bad. Eye roll. For those adamant that it was Dark Willow, the "final battle"—if you can call it that—certainly points to that argument. But for the love of Sunnydale, shouldn't Buffy, aka the Slayer, be involved in the final battle? Instead she was trapped in a hole with Dawn while Xander saved the world by blubbering about yellow crayons. Okay okay, that was really sweet...unlike the rest of this season finale.

advertising 10 Buffy Season 7: Chosen

If season finales are difficult to pull off, series finales are near impossible. How to best encapsulate years and years of a beloved show and leave the viewer satisfied? Many a stellar show have died on this hill. Buffy is one of them. Is "Chosen" terrible? Not at all. But is it a good representation of the show's previous TV excellence? Alas, no.

RELATED: 10 Boyfriends On Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ranked Worst To Best

On the positive side, the final battle was top notch. Willow's spell turning every Potential into a Slayer was all kinds of badass, proof that she's the show's best character. The final shot of the whole episode was perfection. But there's also the problem of all these random Potentials running around, hogging screen time—an unfortunate throughline for the entire season. Then we have Buffy's awkward, forced love confession to Spike, which he rejects, making the viewer wonder why we needed it in the first place. Also, way too much time is chewed up by Buffy and Angel blathering on about relationships, complete with trite food metaphor. If Buffy is cookies, than this finale is half-baked.

9 Angel Season 3: Tomorrow

Any season finale that leaves the protagonist in dire straits is a surefire way to get viewers to tune in next season. "Tomorrow" definitely delivers, as the events leading up to Angel's grim fate are just as thrilling.

RELATED: 14 Couples That Hurt Angel (And 6 That Saved It)

The "will they or won't they?" romance plot is a TV staple. Overdone, yes, but almost always effective. How heartbreaking was it that Angel and Cordelia were this close to getting to be together? Sadly, with the unique circumstances of their world, it just wasn't meant to be. It was a stroke of TV brilliance watching the two would-be lovers getting farther and farther away from each other as Cordelia ascends to a higher plane and Angel sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Even to the Angel-Cordelia naysayers who believe they're just a poor man's version of Angel and Buffy, nobody can deny that "Tomorrow" was riveting.

advertising 8 Buffy Season 4: Restless

This is unlike any season finale...ever. A surreal dream episode? Who could pull that off? Joss Whedon, duh. It may be unconventional, but this episode actually works. Season 4 is far and away Buffy's weakest. Adam the Big Bad was a total snoozer, making it A-okay to vanquish him in the season's penultimate episode. Season 4 was also sorely lacking in character development of the core four.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

That's what makes "Restless" such a delight. The viewer really gets to delve deep into the minds of the show's beloved characters as their dreams expose their longings and fears. In less capable hands, "Restless" could have been a piece of pretentious dreck, but with Whedon steering the ship, even the moments that couldn't be explained felt emotionally poignant. Except of course for the Cheese Man. "Restless" didn't do much to gear the viewer up for the next season but if anything, it was a celebration that Season 4 was over.

7 Angel Season 4: Home

What is it with Joss Whedon and shoddy Season 4s? Angel's was loathed even more than Buffy's. Cordelia sleeps with Angel's teenage son and gives birth to a demon woman? What the Hellmouth? While "Home" had viewers wondering where this premium TV quality has been hiding all season, they were happy to snap up this gem.

RELATED: Angel: The 15 Most Important Episodes

It seemed like Angel Investigations made a deal with the devil when they agreed to take over Wolfram & Hart, priming viewers for the next and final season. While Cordelia would be sorely missed by fans, Connor definitely wouldn't be. Fans may have been happy to see him get a normal family, but they were likely happier to get him off their TV screens.

advertising 6 Buffy Season 1: Prophecy Girl

As groundbreaking a show as Buffy was, its roots were rather humble. It struggled to find its footing throughout the entirety of Season 1, finally doing so in its season finale. Sarah Michelle Gellar was acting gold as Buffy and her reaction to the prophecy of her death easily should have won her an Emmy.

RELATED: The Most Powerful Vampires In Buffy

For viewers who considered tapping out of the show after tolerating Season 1, hope was restored. Bonus points to the hilarious scene when Cordelia gets to the library safely by driving her car through the school.  Buffy came back to life right along with its titular character.

5 Angel Season 1: To Shanshu in L.A.

Unlike Buffy, Angel found its groove right out of the gate. Admittedly, it took until Wesley's arrival for the show to take off, but Season 1 really soared. "To Shanshu in L.A." was a total coming out party for Cordelia. She had her character-defining and evolving moments on Buffy, but this marked her most significant shift on either series.

RELATED: 10 Times Cordelia Was The Most Important Character On Buffy The Vampire Slayer And Angel

After narrowly missing death's door with the pain of her visions, Cordelia swore to henceforth do her solemn best to rescue people from danger and pain. She completely shed her selfish cheerleader skin and became an even stronger character. Then there's that nail-biting cliffhanger which saw the return of Darla. For a show about a vampire, this finale didn't suck.

4 Angel: Season 5: Not Fade Away

Buffy may be considered a superior show, but Angel is definitely stronger in terms of beginning and ending. "Not Fade Away" is a powerhouse of a series finale. Season 5 overall was a breath of fresh, undead air, especially with the integration of Spike. He, along with every main character, was in top fighting form.

RELATED: David Boreanaz Hints At New Angel Project For 20th Anniversary

It helped not having a bevvy of superfluous characters—ahem, Buffy. Wesley's death, and pseudo-reunion with Fred, was one of the most tear-jerking moments of the season. And then there's that last scene. Fighting evil is a job that can never truly be completed, so as Angel put it, "Let's go to work."

3 Buffy Season 2: Becoming, Part 2

No Buffy fan's heart fully healed after this gut-wrenching season finale. Both Big Bad and romantic storylines were expertly interwoven as Buffy found herself having to battle Angelus in a gripping sword fight that would make Game of Thrones proud.

RELATED: 10 Most Heartbreaking Buffy Episodes

And Buffy having to sacrifice Angel to save the world just as she got him back? It's not fair! She couldn't even go back home because her mom kicked her out, and she was kinda wanted for murder. Talk about a season finale that left the viewer's stomach in knots. "Where is Buffy going to go...and how am I going to get through four months of not knowing?"

advertising 2 Buffy Season 5: The Gift

How to guarantee the most dramatic season finale ever? Kill off your protagonist, of course. Buffy sacrifices herself for the good of the world. Talk about a cliffhanger. No fan could properly enjoy their summer as they were dying to know if and how Buffy would continue without Buffy.

RELATED: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: 10 Most Tragic Deaths, Ranked

Besides Buffy's heroic leap, "The Gift" was jam-packed with adrenaline, start to finish. Every Scooby had their moment in the spotlight as they fought against Glory, hell goddess and best Big Bad ever. Even Xander, the glorified bricklayer, had his stand-up-and-cheer moment when he hit Glory with a wrecking ball. But as valiant as they were, the Scoobies couldn't save everyone. Death really was Buffy's gift. She saved the world. A lot.

1 Buffy Season 3: Graduation Day, Part 2

Whoever thought Graduation Day was boring didn't go to school on the Hellmouth. For the first three seasons, Buffy's central theme was "high school is hell". The show taught us that to get through it, we have to band together...and that's exactly what happened. The Mayor was Buffy's most formidable Big Bad to date. Just her and the Scoobies weren't enough to defeat him. Buffy recruited the entire graduating class to fight off the Mayor and his cronies. Jolts of adrenaline coursed through the veins of the viewer as vampires' jaws dropped when they saw students armed to the teeth and ready for battle. Nerds and jocks, wallflowers and cheerleaders all put aside their differences to stick it to the vamps who ran their town for way too long.

The biggest question of all was what would happen after graduation. Would the show continue the high school hell theme? Buffy answered this question articulately by blowing the school to smithereens. She and the Scoobies defeated the Mayor. But more importantly, they survived high school. And it was a hell of a battle.

NEXT: Flash Actress Wants To Play Buffy In The Reboot


Tags: buffy the vampire slayer, angel

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio Mix With Manson Family 2019-05-21 11:57:02Quentin Tarantino's next film also stars Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant

‘Booksmart’ Review: The Revenge-of-the-Femi-Nerds Comedy We Deserve 2019-05-21 09:30:58Olivia Wilde's directorial debut reinvents — and reinvigorates — the raunch-com with this hilarious, heartfelt story of two brainiacs cut

The Crawley Family Prepares for a Royal Visit 2019-05-21 09:27:15New film is in theaters September 20th

Watch the Rowdy, Restricted Trailer for ‘Booksmart’ 2019-05-20 17:14:14Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever star in new comedy out May 24th

Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘Fine’ After ‘Crazed Fan’ Dropkick Attack 2019-05-18 13:53:14"I thought I was just jostled by the crowd, which happens a lot. I only realized I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you," actor says

‘The Souvenir’: How a Filmmaker Turned Her Memories 2019-05-18 12:38:05British filmmaker Joanna Hogg, her longtime friend Tilda Swinton and star Honor Swinton Byrne open up about recreating a real romantic relationship th

Trailers of the Week: ‘Maleficent 2,’ ‘Midsommar,’ New 2019-05-18 08:00:18From an early look at Angelina Jolie getting wicked one more time to a peek at what could be the scariest horror movie of the year

‘The Souvenir’ Review: A Filmmaker Looks Back and 2019-05-16 14:21:28Joanna Hogg's autobiographical recreation of a relationship gives a young actor a breakout role and redefines the notion of "personal" filmmaking

See Ali Wong in Hilarious Trailer for Netflix 2019-05-16 12:33:48Wong, Randall Park star in film as former teenage flames

In Praise of ‘John Wick,’ The Last Great 2019-05-16 11:23:16How a B-movie star vehicle has, over three "chapters," transformed itself into an action-cinema connoisseur's dream come true

Trailers of the Week: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ 2019-05-11 09:00:53From first looks at the conclusion to Stephen King's epic to a sneak peek of HBO's take on a groundbreaking superhero story

‘Charlie Says’ Review: The Manson Family Women, Reclaimed 2019-05-10 17:48:16The story of the murder spree that ended the Sixties gets told from a female perspective — and that makes all the difference


CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (2019) TV Teaser Trailers 2019-05-20 14:46:35  Crisis on Infinite Earths Teaser Trailers 2-3 This year’s The CW‘s Arrowverse crossover, entitled Crisis on Infinite Earths, has re

JETT (2019) TV Show Trailer: Carla Gugino is 2019-05-20 12:55:58  Jett Trailer Cinemax and Sebastian Gutierrez‘s Jett (2019) TV show trailer has been released and stars Carla Gugino, Giancarlo Esposito,

WESTWORLD: Season 3 Teaser Trailer: Aaron Paul is 2019-05-20 08:00:33  Westworld Season 3 Trailer HBO‘s Westworld: Season 3 TV show trailer has been released and stars Aaron Paul, Evan Rachel Wood, Lena Waith

HIS DARK MATERIALS (2019) TV Show Trailer 2: 2019-05-20 07:00:43  His Dark Materials Trailer 2 The second TV show trailer has been released for His Dark Materials (2019) for HBO and BBC. The first TV show trai

STAR WARS SC 38 REIMAGINED (2019) Short Scene: 2019-05-19 11:28:58  Star Wars SC 38 Reimagined Short Scene and Reaction Video FXitinPost and Christopher Clements‘ Star Wars Sc 38 Reimagined (2019) short sc

GAME OF THRONES: Season 8, Episode 6 Series 2019-05-18 11:31:37  Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Series Finale Prediction Video The Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 6 TV show trailer has been released as

ANGEL HAS FALLEN (2019) Movie Trailer: Gerard Butler 2019-05-17 16:24:53  Angel Has Fallen Trailer Ric Roman Waugh‘s Angel Has Fallen (2019) movie trailer stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith,

Film Casting: STOWAWAY, GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE, Robert Pattinson is 2019-05-17 14:20:17  Stowaway, Gunpowder Milkshake, The Batman, and more Film Casting News Stowaway, Gunpowder Milkshake, The Batman, and more movies have made rece

JUDY (2019) Teaser Trailer: Renée Zellweger is Judy 2019-05-12 09:49:29  Judy Trailer Rupert Goold‘s Judy (2019) teaser trailer has been released by Roadside Attractions and stars Renee Zellweger, Jessie Buckle

BIG LITTLE LIES: Season 2 TV Show Trailer 2019-05-12 08:49:32  Big Little Lies Season 2 Trailer 2 The second TV show trailer for Big Little Lies: Season 2 has been released by HBO and stars Reese Witherspoo

THE 100: Season 6, Episode 3: The Children 2019-05-11 14:17:25  The 100 The Children of Gabriel Trailer The CW‘s The 100: Season 6, Episode 3: The Children of Gabriel TV show trailer and the official p

I AM MOTHER (2019) Movie Trailer: Hilary Swank 2019-05-10 18:28:10  I Am Mother Trailer Netflix and Grant Sputore‘s I Am Mother (2019) movie trailer has been released and stars Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard,

NYT > Movies

Watch the ‘Downton Abbey’ Trailer, Now With Royalty 2019-05-21 09:04:53Nearly the entire cast has assembled for the movie, due in September. Only Lily James is conspicuously absent.

‘The Tomorrow Man’ Review: Love Among the Neuroses 2019-05-21 07:00:00Blythe Danner and John Lithgow strain to elevate this twee late-life romance.

The Week in Arts: Renée Zellweger as a 2019-05-20 10:03:42“Mac Beth” actors wear school uniforms, Julia Michaels is at Bowery Ballroom, and Honor Swinton Byrne appears in “The Souvenir.&rdqu

As ‘Rocketman’ Prepares to Take Off, Hollywood Holds 2019-05-19 18:45:22Depending on ticket sales, the R-rated musical fantasia about Elton John could have ripple effects for its star, its studio and the wider film industr

‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ Puts Keanu Reeves Back 2019-05-19 14:49:55The R-rated thriller was No. 1 in North America with $57 million in ticket sales, by far a series best. Two other new wide-release movies flopped.

Inside the Five Best ‘John Wick’ Action Scenes 2019-05-19 12:00:13We asked the director how the franchise’s greatest sequences came to be. His answers involved phrases like “theater of pain.”

Machiko Kyo, Star of ‘Rashomon’ and Other Films, 2019-05-19 00:53:43Ms. Kyo, whose dedication to her craft left Akira Kurosawa “speechless,” rose to fame during an extraordinarily creative period in Japanes

A Dog’s Box-Office Journey 2019-05-17 22:50:10With “A Dog’s Journey” and “John Wick: Chapter 3” in theaters, we look at how well canine stars contribute to ticket sal

Reporter’s Notebook: Mel Gibson’s ‘Rothchild’ Movie? There Are 2019-05-17 18:07:27The Cannes Film Festival is also a marketplace where merchants flaunt movies that haven’t been made yet, in the hope of drawing media attention

Anatomy of a Scene: Watch Keanu Reeves Fight 2019-05-17 17:06:17The director Chad Stahelski discusses how an extended action sequence came together.

Watch Elton John and Taron Egerton Launch ‘Rocketman’ 2019-05-17 14:23:36The “Kingsman” actor was by John’s side at the Cannes premiere of the musical biopic, then joined the singer onstage for a number.

‘Photograph’ Review: A Rom-Com Walks the Streets of 2019-05-17 13:01:00A man and woman pretend to be a couple because of cultural pressure, and wind up falling for each other. It’s familiar, but compelling nonethele

L.A. Times - Movie News

‘The Farewell’ director Lulu Wang to receive Sundance 2019-05-21 11:00:00Sundance Institute will fete “The Farewell” filmmaker Lulu Wang as the recipient of its 2019 Vanguard Award. The honor is slated for June

Blythe Danner and John Lithgow find love late 2019-05-21 09:00:00If there’s one thing we’ve learned from movies and TV in recent years, it’s this: There is no age limit to falling in love. A romant

‘John Wick 4’ gets a 2021 release date 2019-05-20 22:05:00John Wick will be back. On Monday, Lionsgate revealed that “John Wick: Chapter 4” is scheduled to hit theaters May 21, 2021. The news was

How Leyna Bloom became the first transgender actress 2019-05-19 15:10:00Leyna Bloom turned up at the Port Authority bus terminal at 17 with one red suitcase and nowhere to put it. She’d saved up a little money workin

‘John Wick 3’ dethrones ‘Avengers: Endgame’ at weekend 2019-05-19 14:10:00It had to happen eventually, and Keanu Reeves was the man to do it. Lionsgate's "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum" stole the top spot at the

Cannes: Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’ is a 2019-05-19 13:00:00In the eight years since Terrence Malick won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for “The Tree of Life,” his magisterial drama about childhood&

Pedro Almodóvar’s deeply personal ‘Pain and Glory’ could 2019-05-18 18:05:00“This is the game,” Pedro Almodóvar says, his eyes positively twinkling as I apologize about asking an obvious question. “You

Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain and Glory’ hands the Cannes 2019-05-18 16:40:00Times critic Justin Chang is filing regular dispatches from the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 14-25 in France. The final image of P

How the ‘John Wick 3’ team and an 2019-05-18 09:00:00In his 25-plus years in the film industry, stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski has seen every variation of fight sequence imaginable. So with each

Anjelica Huston’s magical movie life, from ‘Prizzi’s Honor’ 2019-05-17 15:20:00Anjelica Huston admits it’s hard to get her out of the house these days. “I’m very attached to my animals and my life,” said t

Reviews for ‘Maria,’ ‘The Meanest Man in Texas’ 2019-05-17 13:45:00'Maria' Drenched in rather noticeable, digitally created blood splashes, the simply titled “Maria,” from Filipino director Pedring A. Lo

‘Rocketman’ star Taron Egerton: Don’t compare us to 2019-05-17 13:25:00Less than 24 hours after “Rocketman” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, the Elton John musical is already generating comparisons to &l

CinemaBlend Latest Content

The Important Role Monarch Will Play In Godzilla: 2019-05-21 20:40:14Monarch has been the main connective tissue in the MonsterVerse, and its importance is growing for Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Keanu Reeves Really Tried Not To Imitate Buzz 2019-05-21 20:03:53The John Wick actor couldn't bare being a plastic imitation of the iconic Toy Story character.

Avengers: Endgame And Infinity War Shot A Whopping 2019-05-21 18:41:03And you thought three hours was long...

Upcoming Star Wars Movies: List Of Titles And 2019-05-21 17:33:57We have many years ahead of new and different Star Wars titles hitting the big screen. But what exactly are those projects? How long do we have to wai

Seth Rogen Has A Hard Time Doing Press 2019-05-21 17:33:56No one wants to live in a world with a less than completely genuine Seth Rogen laugh either.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood 2019-05-21 17:23:50Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and people's reactions are pouring in.

Fans Will Have To Wait A Long Time 2019-05-21 16:55:40Mark your calendars, folks!

Is Detective Pikachu Already Getting A Sequel? 2019-05-21 16:41:12The film starring Ryan Reynolds has only been out a week and a half, but it is possible that further Pokémon filled detective stories are alrea

Fanmade Godzilla Art Shows How Much He’s Grown 2019-05-21 15:46:39They grow up sooo fast!!

Zazie Beetz Says Deadpool 2 And Joker Sets 2019-05-21 15:44:03Sounds about right.

Watch Tom Holland Go Full Love Actually Ahead 2019-05-21 14:58:33Peter Parker has taken inspiration from The Empire Strikes Back and Alien in his battles; will he take a cue (card) from Love Actually to woo MJ?

New DVD And Blu-ray Releases Coming In May 2019-05-21 14:50:10It’s finally May and rather than pelt you with Justin Timberlake memes, we’re bringing you the full list of the best and the brightest hom

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.