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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Episode Rankings -- Top 25 Favorites

My “favorites” list will have some overlap with my “best” list. Since there’s such overlap, I’ll list more “favorites”.

The top episodes are those which are both of high quality and easy to re-watch. They’re in rough order of the number of times I’ve re-watched them. Like anyone would keep an exact count of such a thing.

I’d call this list totally subjective; I can’t even pretend that it represents anything more than my own personal taste at this point in time.

  1. Once More With Feeling
  2. Becoming 1 & 2
  3. Storyteller
  4. Chosen 
  5. The Gift
  6. Fool For Love
  7. Hush
  8. Primeval
  9. Doppelgangland
  10. Pangs
  11. Touched
  12. Wild at Heart
  13. School Hard
  14. Band Candy
  15. Triangle
  16. Checkpoint
  17. Tabula Rasa
  18. Choices
  19. Phases
  20. Prophecy Girl
  21. Selfless
  22. Lover’s Walk
  23. Life Serial
  24. Lessons
  25. Beneath You
"Weakest" episodes next Thursday.


  1. Thank you for another list, Mark! I see there aren't many comments yet but please keep posting. I'm sure your readers are enjoying seeing new content from you; I know I am.

    Now that I've re-watched the series a few times, I've become more and more interested in Whedon's process and plans for the series. I recently read somewhere he had planned -- SPOILERS --

    Buffy's death as early as season two. I am really interested in learning more about how far in advance he planned the arcs for Buffy and Willow post-S5, and the overall arc for Spike, and more about his process in general. Are the DVD commentaries the best place to find this info? I watch on Netflix but maybe I should invest in the DVD set.


    1. Thanks! I do appreciate the feedback.

      It's hard to say how far in advance some points were planned. The DVD commentaries give only a few hints, mostly in outline, though they're worth watching on their own anyway.


      I can give you a few answers. Yes, he had Buffy's death planned very early. I don't know if it was as early as S2, but definitely by S3 (he told SMG at that point).

      The arc for Spike was planned early: he was a disposable "Little Bad" who was supposed to die in What's My Line. JM was so popular they kept him on, but AFAIK they didn't make any real plans for him until S4. Once they "Clockwork Oranged" him in the Intitiative, that set the basic outline for him, though they could have gone a couple of different routes even then. I don't know when they made the decision to return his soul; probably when the planned S6.

      He had Willow's Dark Phoenix arc planned quite a bit in advance. He even made a public statement in S5, once the deal with UPN was in place, that he had "evil plans" for Willow.