I've already told you how much I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's a happy high school memory. But when I got to college, I stopped watching Buffy quite so much due to the weird schedule, the switch to UPN and the fact that it got kind of weird. I started watching again with a friend in college, but I would watch the episodes she was watching which led to a haphazard fill in. So when I finally watched Season 5-7 in their entirety, things began to make sense.
FYI There are going to be spoilers now. If you want an undiluted Buffy watching experience, you should stop reading now.
Don't get me wrong; there was still a lot of weirdness and some of the weekly resolutions didn't make a lot of sense, but I finally got the overall arc. I was going to be content with an average fill in the blanks series finale, but it wasn't. Buffy's been in a lot of epic battles, and I wasn't really sure how they were going to pull off yet another one--they've done it all, right? Wrong!
Willow who hasn't been using magic that much because the ultimate evil, the First Evil, pollutes it manages to find/create a spell that imbues all the potential slayers with the actual Slayer power. There is this wonderful montage of girls all over the world discovering this power to do little things like hit the game winning homerun to fight off an abusive grown-up. It makes me wonder about the girls who are too old to be slayers. I'd like to see a slayer grandma kick the crap out of a hoodlum who's stealing her purse. Anyway... So all the girls they've collected get Slayer power and start kicking uber-vamp butt. It's pretty cool, but there are still thousands of vamps and less 50 girls so some vamps start getting through. So the civilians have to fight. Nothing too shocking except when Anya--selfish, capitalist Anya--steps in front of Andrew, the sole remaining and semi-reformed member of the evil Geek Trio, only to get slashed in half. So we have substitutionary atonement going on.
And then my theology radar really starts squeeling because Angel has given Buffy an amulet that has to be worn by a demon with a sole, but not Buffy so Spike says he'll wear it. It's his job. It's what he has to do. It turns out that this amulet channels sunlight (which kills the uber-vamps) into the cavern. It kills all the uber-vamps and completely crushs the Hellmouth so nothing ever comes out of it again. It's the ultimate salvation for the world, but it destroys Spike in the process. Spike, the most fearsome vampire who has killed 2 slayers, but he's regained his soul because he loves Buffy so much and now he saves her and the rest of the world. Spike would probably view it as his just reward. He deserved to die a thousand deaths for all the mayhem and disaster he caused, and if his death helped make the world a better place that so be it. But the one for all motif is in direct parallel to Jesus' death on the cross. It's just that Spike wasn't perfect (which by the way none of the literary figures who do this sort of thing are perfect, it just makes everything more poignant). So my vampire obsession finds its way back to my theology love and the world makes sense once again. It's so good.