Buffy lives

I won’t post any spoilers about the Buffy season premiere, but I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear that (a) it revolves around Buffy’s return from death, and (b) magic is involved. We all knew that ahead of time; the question was, how would this be handled? Bringing back dead characters is a very tricky business that can undermine the credibility of any show if it’s done wrong. Dallas ran afoul of this hazard back in the ’80s. The problem wasn’t that Bobby was resurrected, but the way he came back. Declaring an entire season of the show to have been a dream was a cop-out and a cliche, and Dallas never really recovered.
So I was curious to see how Buffy would avoid the pitfalls of raising its main character from the dead. Very well, it turns out. The spell that brought her back had so many conditions and qualifications that I’m sure we’ll never see it used again: it was only possible because Buffy had been killed by mystical forces, it was extremely dangerous for the caster, its material component was a rare and irreplaceable artifact, and it has severe consequences for everyone involved (which we’ll see next week). Nicely done.

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