A True Hero
“The Gift” was supposed to be the series finale, until it was picked up by another network for an additional two seasons (Wikipedia). Because it was meant to be the last episode ever, it sums up a lot of the ongoing issues faced in the previous seasons. The two scenes that I found to be most important in this episode was the first scene when Buffy fought off a vampire, and the last scenes when Giles explains why Buffy is a hero, and when Buffy sacrifices herself.
In the first scene after Buffy fights off the vampire, she is asked, “how’d you do that?” to which Buffy responds, “It’s what I do.” (Season 5, Episode 22). He then tells her “you’re just a girl,” and Buffy responds, “that’s what I keep saying” (Season 5, Episode 22). This scene is crucial because it shows Buffy’s attitude towards her role as the slayer. At first I thought this comment was meant to be an attack against Buffy, meaning that as a woman she couldn’t handle fighting and protecting others. However, when I thought about it further, I realized that the boy was praising Buffy for what she had done to protect him: Buffy, a skinny and short young woman fought off and killed a large and demonic creature without any help.
The last few scenes of this episode show why Buffy is a true hero. After she beats down Glory, she leaves Ben (the body in which Glory emerges) alive instead of killing him. Giles comes along after Buffy and explains to Ben why Buffy is a hero: she couldn’t take a human life (Season 5, Episode 22). Giles proceeds to kill Ben, ensuring that Glory would be unable to reemerge. Most importantly, when Buffy realizes that she is able to stop the destruction with either her or Dawn’s death, she throws herself into the portal, sacrificing her life to save the world. Buffy is a true hero, and gives the ultimate gift of sacrifice for the good of the world.