Bubonic Plague at fanforum captured my feelings on the stinking pile of crap known as the BTVS series finale perfectly. Below is her wonderful post.
My problems with the finale are pretty numerous.
I must say that the one aspect of the story that I do like is Spike's death. I think the amulet is very much a deus ex machina, but I can't really conceive of anything that wouldn't have been at this point. It's a pretty sad commentary, and just goes to show that Joss really didn't have any of this planned. He thought an army of Ubervamps would look cool, and then had to find some way to easily get rid of them. But wait...I was trying to say what I liked.
Basically, Spike's soul saved the world. And while Angel or Faith or Buffy could have done the same, they didn't. It was his choice to get a soul that allowed him to even be in the position where he could make this decision, and that, in itself, makes him unique. For Buffy, Angel, or Faith, it would have been just a sacrifice, but it's more than that for Spike. It's salvation. He saved himself through love, and that love allowed him to save everyone else. A "creature of the night" had enough light within himself , literally and metaphorically, to change everything. He was always looking for it, that glow or radiance or effulgence, and he finally got it. And it belonged to him, not to anyone else.
Sorry, I'll put a cap on the spray cheese and get with the griping.
Spike's death, of course, immediately leads us to the final scene, in which Xander and Willow and everyone else are congratulating themselves about saving the world and changing the world. Umm, no you didn't. Spike did. I fail to see how Willow's girl-orgasm spell made any difference in that battle, and Xander did squat.
We have the "heroine" is standing around smiling, thinking of all the opportunities open to her now that she is finally rid of her uniqueness. I guess being a "normal girl" was really what she wanted all along. Nothing here about accepting one's individuality, or learning that the things that make one feel freakish can turn out to be special. Assimilate, kiddies!
I always liked the "one girl in all the world" concept, because everyone wants to feel that he or she can be the one person to make a difference in something. However, that's been negated in favor of a bunch of girl power hokum, and talk about shopping. Really empowring there. Oh, I see what Whedon was going for, it's more of the "everyone has the power" bit. But that message was established long ago, and I think this damages that concept instead of amplifying it. It's not as though everyone in the world is getting this revelation, just a few teenage girls, and the ultimate end of it is to show that the title character is free from her responsibilities.
The message I am coming out of this with is that the true heroes aren't the ones we assumed. That the alleged "heroes" of seven years are just a bunch of shallow, self-centered, callous jerkoffs who lucked into looking like heroes, and continue to take the credit when the real heroes are dead.
Anya didn't get the power-orgasm, but she died saving a life. And Spike's incredible inner light kept the world from ending. The rest of them can only continue with their pathetic existences of frappuccino-drinking and searching for sales on pumps because of people like that. Buffy used to be a person like that, one who made a difference. Now she's a parasite.
Amen, sister. I have never been so disappointed in a fictious show in my entire life. I hate Joss Whedon forever.