At the factory, the action goes half-speed as an ovary starts wailing, drowning out the sound from the fighting. Cue up my tears -- I think this is one of the five most powerful scenes ever on this show. Xander takes a swing at Buffy, but she blocks it and stakes him, turning away before he combusts. I love that bit of direction -- it really emphasizes how poignant it is that none of them knew what they were missing. Across the room, Willow, who may or may not have seen Xander die, tries to rejoin the fight, but is grabbed by Larry and Oz. They pull her toward the sharp wooden protrusion. Oz throws her into it, and with a shocked, and possibly even saddened, look, she turns to dust. Buffy's foot connects with a vamp, and then she turns to stare at the Master. He comes down from the stage, and they push people and vamps alike out of the way to get to each other.
Anyanka still holds Giles. The stone in the pendant glows a bright green. Giles manages to grab it and backhand her in the face.
Buffy and the Master engage each other.
Giles puts the pendant on the table and grabs a marble paperweight. Anyanka rasps, "You trusting fool! How do you know the other world is any better than this?" Giles, his voice breaking: "Because it has to be."
The Master stuns Buffy with a punch to the face, and quickly grabs her.
Giles raises the marble paperweight up high. Anyanka: "No!"
The Master puts a hand and an arm around Buffy's head.
Giles's arm descends.
The Master snaps Buffy's neck.
The marble smashes the stone.
The Master gives an in-your-face look. Buffy's corpse falls away. Fade to white.
Back in the original reality, Cordy wishes Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. Anya turns. "Done." Only it's Anya, not Anyanka. Cordy brightens. "That would be cool!" I love that line -- it takes me right out of the misery of the previous scene. Cordy rattles off a few more wishes, and Anya, increasingly frustrated, keeps saying, "Done!" Hee. Music kicks up as we see Buffy, Xander, and Willow chatting and laughing. The end.
I know you all must be scared that this is the second A+ I've given a Marti Noxon episode. What can I say? She could really write back then. This was a brilliant twist on It's A Wonderful Life. Maybe I'll confine my bitching about her to Season Sux. Sigh.