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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (1997-2000)

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Television, Cult TV, Comedy TV, Horror TV, Action, Vampires, Coming of Age , Fantasy
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

Synopses
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 1 of 6) (2000)
After a comic go-around with the original vampire playboy in season opener "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season quickly established its overriding theme: the importance of family, both biological and adoptive. Kristine Sutherland -- mostly absent from season four -- returned as Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother. More importantly, series creator Joss Whedon surprised viewers with the introduction of the Slayer's teenaged sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). Neither a long-lost sibling nor a recent adoptee, Dawn was simply dropped into the mix as if she'd always been there. As the season progressed, though, she was revealed to be The Key, an ancient force that monks had incarnated into human form, with fake memories created for everybody. The reason? So that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would protect it from Glory (Clare Kramer), a deposed god who needed it to get back to her own hellish dimension. Rather than the usual picturesque "big bad," Glory appeared to be a well-heeled beauty, albeit one with super strength and a propensity for snacking on people's sanity. As the hellgod stalked Sunnydale in expensive pumps, her minions furiously seeking the identity of The Key, Buffy had bigger problems. Doctors discovered that Joyce was suffering from brain cancer, while Dawn accidentally learned about her true origins and freaked out.

Focusing on her family and refusing to show any weakness, Buffy managed to drive boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas) away. Of course, she had a little helping hand from Spike (James Marsters), who discovered, to his horror, that he'd fallen in love with his arch-nemesis. Although repulsed by the neutered vampire's affections, Buffy slowly grew to trust him as an ally -- especially after an unexpected death left her feeling more alone than ever. Friends Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Anya (Emma Caulfield) continued to serve as Buffy's inner circle, while Tara (Amber Benson) escaped from her own repressive family to become a bona fide Scooby, reinforcing the season's familial theme. When an attack from Glory left Tara drooling and helpless, Willow struck back, testing her rapidly growing magical abilities. She failed, leading indirectly to Glory's discovery of The Key's identity. With Dawn in the hellgod's clutches and the clock ticking down to the moment when Glory could use the girl's death to break down the barriers between hell and earth, Buffy reached its 100th-episode season finale. Titled "The Gift," it summed up the season's themes of family, loss, and sacrifice and left some doubt as to the show's future. Behind the scenes, financial negotiations between the show's producers and the WB network had broken down. But upstart UPN agreed to pay top dollar for two more seasons, leaving the WB with a hole in its schedule and fans overjoyed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 2 of 6) (2000)
After a comic go-around with the original vampire playboy in season opener "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season quickly established its overriding theme: the importance of family, both biological and adoptive. Kristine Sutherland -- mostly absent from season four -- returned as Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother. More importantly, series creator Joss Whedon surprised viewers with the introduction of the Slayer's teenaged sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). Neither a long-lost sibling nor a recent adoptee, Dawn was simply dropped into the mix as if she'd always been there. As the season progressed, though, she was revealed to be The Key, an ancient force that monks had incarnated into human form, with fake memories created for everybody. The reason? So that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would protect it from Glory (Clare Kramer), a deposed god who needed it to get back to her own hellish dimension. Rather than the usual picturesque "big bad," Glory appeared to be a well-heeled beauty, albeit one with super strength and a propensity for snacking on people's sanity. As the hellgod stalked Sunnydale in expensive pumps, her minions furiously seeking the identity of The Key, Buffy had bigger problems. Doctors discovered that Joyce was suffering from brain cancer, while Dawn accidentally learned about her true origins and freaked out.

Focusing on her family and refusing to show any weakness, Buffy managed to drive boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas) away. Of course, she had a little helping hand from Spike (James Marsters), who discovered, to his horror, that he'd fallen in love with his arch-nemesis. Although repulsed by the neutered vampire's affections, Buffy slowly grew to trust him as an ally -- especially after an unexpected death left her feeling more alone than ever. Friends Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Anya (Emma Caulfield) continued to serve as Buffy's inner circle, while Tara (Amber Benson) escaped from her own repressive family to become a bona fide Scooby, reinforcing the season's familial theme. When an attack from Glory left Tara drooling and helpless, Willow struck back, testing her rapidly growing magical abilities. She failed, leading indirectly to Glory's discovery of The Key's identity. With Dawn in the hellgod's clutches and the clock ticking down to the moment when Glory could use the girl's death to break down the barriers between hell and earth, Buffy reached its 100th-episode season finale. Titled "The Gift," it summed up the season's themes of family, loss, and sacrifice and left some doubt as to the show's future. Behind the scenes, financial negotiations between the show's producers and the WB network had broken down. But upstart UPN agreed to pay top dollar for two more seasons, leaving the WB with a hole in its schedule and fans overjoyed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 3 of 6) (2000)
After a comic go-around with the original vampire playboy in season opener "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season quickly established its overriding theme: the importance of family, both biological and adoptive. Kristine Sutherland -- mostly absent from season four -- returned as Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother. More importantly, series creator Joss Whedon surprised viewers with the introduction of the Slayer's teenaged sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). Neither a long-lost sibling nor a recent adoptee, Dawn was simply dropped into the mix as if she'd always been there. As the season progressed, though, she was revealed to be The Key, an ancient force that monks had incarnated into human form, with fake memories created for everybody. The reason? So that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would protect it from Glory (Clare Kramer), a deposed god who needed it to get back to her own hellish dimension. Rather than the usual picturesque "big bad," Glory appeared to be a well-heeled beauty, albeit one with super strength and a propensity for snacking on people's sanity. As the hellgod stalked Sunnydale in expensive pumps, her minions furiously seeking the identity of The Key, Buffy had bigger problems. Doctors discovered that Joyce was suffering from brain cancer, while Dawn accidentally learned about her true origins and freaked out.

Focusing on her family and refusing to show any weakness, Buffy managed to drive boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas) away. Of course, she had a little helping hand from Spike (James Marsters), who discovered, to his horror, that he'd fallen in love with his arch-nemesis. Although repulsed by the neutered vampire's affections, Buffy slowly grew to trust him as an ally -- especially after an unexpected death left her feeling more alone than ever. Friends Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Anya (Emma Caulfield) continued to serve as Buffy's inner circle, while Tara (Amber Benson) escaped from her own repressive family to become a bona fide Scooby, reinforcing the season's familial theme. When an attack from Glory left Tara drooling and helpless, Willow struck back, testing her rapidly growing magical abilities. She failed, leading indirectly to Glory's discovery of The Key's identity. With Dawn in the hellgod's clutches and the clock ticking down to the moment when Glory could use the girl's death to break down the barriers between hell and earth, Buffy reached its 100th-episode season finale. Titled "The Gift," it summed up the season's themes of family, loss, and sacrifice and left some doubt as to the show's future. Behind the scenes, financial negotiations between the show's producers and the WB network had broken down. But upstart UPN agreed to pay top dollar for two more seasons, leaving the WB with a hole in its schedule and fans overjoyed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 4 of 6) (2000)
After a comic go-around with the original vampire playboy in season opener "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season quickly established its overriding theme: the importance of family, both biological and adoptive. Kristine Sutherland -- mostly absent from season four -- returned as Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother. More importantly, series creator Joss Whedon surprised viewers with the introduction of the Slayer's teenaged sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). Neither a long-lost sibling nor a recent adoptee, Dawn was simply dropped into the mix as if she'd always been there. As the season progressed, though, she was revealed to be The Key, an ancient force that monks had incarnated into human form, with fake memories created for everybody. The reason? So that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would protect it from Glory (Clare Kramer), a deposed god who needed it to get back to her own hellish dimension. Rather than the usual picturesque "big bad," Glory appeared to be a well-heeled beauty, albeit one with super strength and a propensity for snacking on people's sanity. As the hellgod stalked Sunnydale in expensive pumps, her minions furiously seeking the identity of The Key, Buffy had bigger problems. Doctors discovered that Joyce was suffering from brain cancer, while Dawn accidentally learned about her true origins and freaked out.

Focusing on her family and refusing to show any weakness, Buffy managed to drive boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas) away. Of course, she had a little helping hand from Spike (James Marsters), who discovered, to his horror, that he'd fallen in love with his arch-nemesis. Although repulsed by the neutered vampire's affections, Buffy slowly grew to trust him as an ally -- especially after an unexpected death left her feeling more alone than ever. Friends Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Anya (Emma Caulfield) continued to serve as Buffy's inner circle, while Tara (Amber Benson) escaped from her own repressive family to become a bona fide Scooby, reinforcing the season's familial theme. When an attack from Glory left Tara drooling and helpless, Willow struck back, testing her rapidly growing magical abilities. She failed, leading indirectly to Glory's discovery of The Key's identity. With Dawn in the hellgod's clutches and the clock ticking down to the moment when Glory could use the girl's death to break down the barriers between hell and earth, Buffy reached its 100th-episode season finale. Titled "The Gift," it summed up the season's themes of family, loss, and sacrifice and left some doubt as to the show's future. Behind the scenes, financial negotiations between the show's producers and the WB network had broken down. But upstart UPN agreed to pay top dollar for two more seasons, leaving the WB with a hole in its schedule and fans overjoyed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 5 of 6) (1997)
A wildly influential cult hit that escaped the shadow of an unsuccessful film incarnation, helped establish the teen-centric WB network, and spawned a long-running spin-off, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran for 144 episodes between March 1997 and May 2003. Approached by Fox television executives about the possibility of a series, Joss Whedon, screenwriter of the original 1992 film, saw the chance to revisit a concept he thought had been mishandled. Refashioning the jokey film back into a mixture of drama, comedy, romance, action, and horror, Whedon and his Mutant Enemy production company found a home for their show at the nascent WB. Originally airing Monday nights and then moving, with much fanfare, to Tuesdays during its second season, Buffy the Vampire Slayer quickly became a hit -- at least by the standards of its demographically targeted network. Ratings peaked in the second and third seasons, but Buffy maintained its status as critics' darling throughout its run. By the time the show moved to the UPN network for its final two seasons, it was selling like hotcakes on DVD and airing in syndicated two-hour blocks on the FX cable channel.

Plot-wise, Buffy centered on the exploits of its titular vampire slayer, a mystical "Chosen One" who found herself living in Sunnydale, CA, an idyllic small town situated atop the mouth to hell. Plucked from a vapid life of cheerleading and parties and forced by her mystic destiny to slay vampires and vanquish demons, Buffy initially viewed her superpowers as an imposition. By the end of the series, however, she had embraced her role as steely general in a never-ending war against the forces of darkness. Joined by an ever-changing array of allies known collectively as the "Scooby gang," she spent three years learning that high school is literally hell before navigating college and grown-up responsibilities in the later seasons. As the show's tangled mythology grew, Buffy's friends began to acquire magical abilities of their own -- all the better to fight each season's "Big Bad" villain. Science fiction and horror fans loved the show for its tight continuity and sustained world-building. As numerous fans and critics have pointed out, however, the supernatural trappings functioned on a deeper, metaphorical level: they mirrored the complexities of growing up, going out into the world, and accepting one's destiny.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, a former All My Children star with a daytime Emmy to her name, became a postfeminist icon on the basis of her work as Buffy Summers and her appearances in such teen horror flicks as Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer. It was Gellar's decision not to renew her contract after the seventh season that proved to be the stake in the show's heart. Thanks to Buffy and the American Pie films, co-star Alyson Hannigan, too, became a breakout star. Both actresses remained with the series for its entire run, unlike Seth Green, who served less than three seasons before movie stardom -- most notably the Austin Powers franchise -- lured him away. As for the rest of the large and ever-changing cast, few became household names despite their wealth of TV, film, and stage experience. But David Boreanaz, who portrayed Buffy's vampiric love interest in the first three seasons, soon found himself helming the spin-off Angel with co-star Charisma Carpenter along for the ride. Angel never captured the zeitgeist in the same way that its parent show had, but it did maintain a devoted cult following through five seasons on the WB before facing cancellation a year after Buffy ended. Before the final episode of Angel even aired, rumors circulated on the Internet about future spin-offs, TV movies, and the possible launch of an animated Buffy series. Only time will tell whether the "Buffyverse" achieves the same longevity as, say, Star Trek, but the ongoing wealth of spin-off novels, comic books, and other merchandise make it seem like a pretty good bet. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 6 of 6) (2000)
After a comic go-around with the original vampire playboy in season opener "Buffy vs. Dracula," Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season quickly established its overriding theme: the importance of family, both biological and adoptive. Kristine Sutherland -- mostly absent from season four -- returned as Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother. More importantly, series creator Joss Whedon surprised viewers with the introduction of the Slayer's teenaged sister, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). Neither a long-lost sibling nor a recent adoptee, Dawn was simply dropped into the mix as if she'd always been there. As the season progressed, though, she was revealed to be The Key, an ancient force that monks had incarnated into human form, with fake memories created for everybody. The reason? So that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) would protect it from Glory (Clare Kramer), a deposed god who needed it to get back to her own hellish dimension. Rather than the usual picturesque "big bad," Glory appeared to be a well-heeled beauty, albeit one with super strength and a propensity for snacking on people's sanity. As the hellgod stalked Sunnydale in expensive pumps, her minions furiously seeking the identity of The Key, Buffy had bigger problems. Doctors discovered that Joyce was suffering from brain cancer, while Dawn accidentally learned about her true origins and freaked out.

Focusing on her family and refusing to show any weakness, Buffy managed to drive boyfriend Riley (Marc Blucas) away. Of course, she had a little helping hand from Spike (James Marsters), who discovered, to his horror, that he'd fallen in love with his arch-nemesis. Although repulsed by the neutered vampire's affections, Buffy slowly grew to trust him as an ally -- especially after an unexpected death left her feeling more alone than ever. Friends Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), Willow (Alyson Hannigan), Xander (Nicholas Brendan), and Anya (Emma Caulfield) continued to serve as Buffy's inner circle, while Tara (Amber Benson) escaped from her own repressive family to become a bona fide Scooby, reinforcing the season's familial theme. When an attack from Glory left Tara drooling and helpless, Willow struck back, testing her rapidly growing magical abilities. She failed, leading indirectly to Glory's discovery of The Key's identity. With Dawn in the hellgod's clutches and the clock ticking down to the moment when Glory could use the girl's death to break down the barriers between hell and earth, Buffy reached its 100th-episode season finale. Titled "The Gift," it summed up the season's themes of family, loss, and sacrifice and left some doubt as to the show's future. Behind the scenes, financial negotiations between the show's producers and the WB network had broken down. But upstart UPN agreed to pay top dollar for two more seasons, leaving the WB with a hole in its schedule and fans overjoyed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 1 of 6) (2000)
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7.91 (115 votes)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 2 of 6) (2000)
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8.02 (105 votes)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 3 of 6) (2000)
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7.88 (104 votes)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 4 of 6) (2000)
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8.15 (101 votes)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 5 of 6) (1997)
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8.10 (103 votes)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5 (Disc 6 of 6) (2000)
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8.18 (79 votes)
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