Later, police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances are on the scene. Wesley, on a gurney, whines about how much pain he's in. You've still got a ways to go to atone for all the pain you've put me through, buddy. He asks if someone could knock him unconscious. Where does the line form? Buffy and Xander walk by, noting that they "got off" pretty cheap, all things considered. Yeah, no one in the opening credits died. Buffy looks around, clearly seeking Angel. Xander says that Angel survived the fight. Sensing that Buffy needs to be alone, he graciously leaves. Giles comes up, and asks if she's all right. She says she's tired, and that her brain isn't functioning on the "higher levels." Too easy. She goes on that all she can handle is "fire bad, tree pretty." He congratulates her on defeating the Mayor, and hands her her diploma, saying he fished it out of the wreckage. "I'd say you earned it." I'll suspend my disbelief for the 771,843rd time to say simply, "Aw." Giles notes the "dramatic irony" and "synchronicity that borders on predestination" of the scene. Buffy: "Fire bad, tree pretty." Heh. He apologizes, and goes to check on Wesley. Turning, Buffy catches sight of Angel. They exchange a long, plaintive look. Buffy wordlessly conveys her final acceptance that he's leaving. He turns and walks off, obscured by smoke. Beautifully acted scene for Angel's final appearance as a regular.
Willow, Oz, and Xander sit on school grounds. Cordy walks up: "Well, that was the most fun you can have without having any fun." Willow likes the fact that they "kicked some demon ass," and Xander agrees. Buffy joins them, and wants to know if they're ready to leave. Willow asks if she's okay, and Buffy considers the question before answering in the affirmative. Oz tells them to take a moment to process the fact that they survived. Buffy says that it was quite a battle, but Oz says he's talking about high school. When I first heard that line, I thought it was hopelessly cheesy. But given what their high-school experience was like, maybe it wasn't so bad. Plus, I appreciate the irony that the school itself didn't survive. Or maybe I'm just making excuses because it's Oz. Sue me. Oz: "We're takin' a moment. And we're done." They walk off. The camera pans down to show a partially burned book that reads: "Sunnydale High '99: The Future Is Ours."
Aw, the Mutant Enemy monster is wearing a little graduation cap. I didn't used to hate them.