Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3, Episode 22

Graduation Day: Part 2 (13 Jul. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,204 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

On Ascension Day, Buffy and her friends prepare for the ultimate battle as they face off against the mayor and a hoard of vampires.

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Title: Graduation Day: Part 2 (13 Jul 1999)

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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Larry Blaisdell (as Larry Bagby III)
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Storyline

Now mortally wounded Faith has thrown herself on a truck so Buffy can't bring her blood to Angel, she proves her love for him by insisting he drinks his medicine, slayer blood, from her neck, even if she has to beat him till his vampire instinct takes over long enough. He does pull away before she's drained and carries her, unconscious, to hospital for a human blood transfusion. The mayor brought Faith in at the same ward; already healed Angel stops his attempt to smother Buffy, who soon feels 'ready for war' herself. Both camps make attack plans. Wesley has returned to help fight the ascension against the council's will, asks Cordelia to follow him to England in case they prevail, sealed with kissing but the chemistry doesn't kick in; Willow and Seth are accomplished, matched kissers, Angel confirms his intention to leave after a victory stands. The next morning is the graduation ceremony, with the mayor's guest speech about graduating as ascension, till a solar eclipse starts his ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Action | Drama | Fantasy

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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13 July 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the Season 3 DVD, Joss Whedon reveals that since Charisma Carpenter was leaving Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) to transfer to the spin-off Angel (1999), she asked if Cordelia could kill a vampire during the final battle. She got her wish. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the eclipse during the Mayor's speech, Buffy removes her graduation hat twice, once in the wide shot (her blond hair is visible among the heads), and again in the close-up with Willow. See more »

Quotes

Xander: [to Angel] Well, it's just good to know that when the chips are down and things look grim, you'll feed off the girl who loves you to save your own ass.
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Connections

Referenced in Angel: City of... (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

Season 3 Review
17 February 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

*This is a review of season 3 as a whole. The rating above is for the season finale as opposed to the season as a whole.

If season 2 saw this series building on its first season's few strengths and evolving into a smart, effective, and genuinely intelligent piece of genre programming, then season 3 is Buffy on overdrive, as nearly every episode delights the viewer in its unpretentious and expert handling of the characters, their relationships, and the plot.

Honestly, the story lines on this series are, superficially speaking, fantasy soap-opera story lines. The romances on the series, the good-turns-bad twists etc. are pretty standard material, but the way the writers write out the story is completely unpretentious, smart, witty, and different. The acting is top-notch and really brings the writing to life. I mean, The Mayor could've turned out horribly, and though not exactly menacing (little is on this series), The Mayor is a wonderfully rich, funny, creepy, and well-drawn villain who serves as the base for most of this season's ridiculously entertaining episodes.

In Season 3 Buffy finally got rid of the moronic monster of the week episodes which plagued its first two seasons. These formulaic episodes, in which some ugly monster was fought off by the core cast and eventually killed, really dragged down the quality of the otherwise fantastic second season. Luckily, in season 3, these 'independent' episodes take after series classics like "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" in the place of garbage like "Bad Eggs" and "Inca Mummy Girl", in that they are linked to the psychological or physical state of the characters, and in the case of "Band Candy", another fantastic episode, is loosely connected to the season story-arc. So while Season 3 has its fair share of episodes not exactly crucial to the story-arc, they are done in a far more evolved and intelligent form than the simple 'gang fights monster' format (the mediocre "Gingerbread" being the exception). These episodes take fascinating concepts and execute them with real style.

Buffy Season 3 sees natural development of the characters leading up to the only reasonable end points for them as we reach the end of the season. New characters, Faith and Wesley being the ones that survive beyond this season, are terrific and are more than convenient plot devices.

I thought the best episodes this season were:

"Band Candy"- clever and hilarious pretty much describe this one.

"Lovers Walk"- an ingeniously written episode which sees the return of a lovesick Spike. Character interaction at its finest. A potentially moronic and soapy scene where two characters suffer betrayal is executed brilliantly and works as fine drama.

"The Zeppo"- The series at the peak of its comedic prowess. Xander is an irresistible character.

"Doppelgangland"- I'm actually not too crazy about Joss Whedon in general. Even some of his episodes for Buffy (usually his most praised work) have struck me as seriously flawed bits of writing. Every so often though, he'll come through with one hell of a script. He did it in season 2 with Innocence and Becoming Part 2, and he's done it here.

"Graduation Day: Part 2"- The big season finale works precisely because it doesn't feel like one. Brilliant stuff.

Season 3 is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable seasons of genre television I have ever seen. It is exceptionally well-written stuff, there's just no denying that.

Season 3 Avg. Rating from all episodes: 8.23/10, a much more consistent season than its immediate predecessor and a truly outstanding bit of television in general.


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