Is Buffy Dead?

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Rob Owen

Tuesday’s season finale was quite a shocker, as Buffy sacrificed herself to save the world. Taking a cue from Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in “Alien 3,” Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) did a swan dive off a tower, fulfilling the prophecy of the first Slayer, who only a few weeks ago told her, “Death is your gift.”
It was a spectacular hour of television filled with red herrings (Xander looked as if he was marked for death the minute he proposed marriage to Anya), action, humor and, ultimately, love, as Buffy took the place of her sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg, an excellent addition to the cast), dying in order to turn back the forces of evil.

Of course, Buffy’s death raises the question: What happens when the show moves from The WB to UPN this fall? Did UPN buy damaged goods, a Buffy-less “Buffy”?

Even UPN executives aren’t that dumb.

“I warned them Buffy would be slightly dead,” said Joss Whedon, the show’s creator who wrote and directed this week’s episode. “They were actually really excited, because rebirth is kind of the theme they’re going for; they want to re-create the image of their network. It’s very fitting Buffy would be coming back from the dead.”

Whedon said it won’t be an alternate-universe Buffy who is resurrected, it will be the same ol’ Buffy. Mostly.

“Obviously some things you don’t mess with and some things you constantly mess with. Our show is all about change and growth and living life and all it puts you through, but she’s going to be Buffy. I like Buffy,” Whedon said. “I’m not saying it will be smooth, go well and be exactly the way you remember her, but it will be Buffy.”

And yes, Buffy, as played by Gellar, will be in the first episode of the series when it premieres on UPN.

As for crossovers with “Angel,” Whedon said none are planned, although after this week’s episode where Angel found out Buffy died, her death will be mentioned.

“We have a spectacular non-crossover planned, and I will not explain what that means,” Whedon said cryptically.

He’s threatening to do a musical episode of “Buffy” next season, and, as always, “Buffy” will fight a “big bad” evil presence and there will be an overriding theme for the year.

“The theme for next season is growing up and entering the grown-up world, dealing with jobs, being engaged, other problems,” Whedon said.

Willow and Tara will remain in college, but not Buffy.

“She’s dead,” he said. “She’s not enrolled next year.”