July 23, 2024

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: A Graduation Day part 2 Big Battle Scene Appreciation

You know, I don’t blog about Buffy The Vampire Slayer enough, even though its one of my favorite shows of all time. I could go on about the cast and entire vibe, but you’re here for a reason.

You want to talk about one of the biggest battles in the history of the show. And arguably the most anticipated and controversial.

I’m talking about the big battle in Graduation Day Part 2. I spotted it on social media and had to talk about it.

Its also the 25th anniversary of the episode.

One of the most important points about the scene and the entire episode is that it had to be shelved because of the Columbine shooting. While tragically, we’ve had many more school shootings in the quarter century since this aired, back then it was new ground and because of students using weapons in the battle, the WB and show runners had to be sensitive to their audience.

Setting the stage, Graduation Day part I featured an ace fight between Buffy and Faith, and the former recovers after saving Angel just in time to stop The Mayor from “ascension” where he turns into an unstoppable big bad. And the mayor decides he’s going to do it during the graduation at Sunnydale High School.

We get an awesome speech montage with Buffy getting her “Scoobies” ready, while the Mayor hypes up the vamps. Then we move to the ceremony. And while, the special effects haven’t aged well (they were never that great to begin with given the budget, and show runners don’t shy from that) we get a giant serpent spawn in front of the students in caps and robes.

Then Buffy gives the signal and the students pull flamethrowers, bows, axes, and just about everything else, and start to fight back. The vampire reinforcements show up, but so does Angel in his last battle scene before his own spin off would begin the next season.

There are a couple of important moments during the fight. Cordelia kills her first bloodsucker, and Harmony gets bitten, the latter would return as an eventual vamp anti hero later the mythology.

Buffy lures, the Mayor into the library and Giles has the place rigged full of explosives. Then. Boom. The school explodes. The Mayor is killed. And Angel gets a heroic walk off into the fog.

Graduation Day Part 2 is a top ten Buffy episode for me. While the final series battle is technically bigger, the Part 1 build here had everyone hyped.

You can checkout the battle below. And if you’ve never watched Buffy, then give it a look. If you enjoy great storytelling, with some sharp humor and just the right amount of 90s style, you’re going to love it.

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