A bit of a low point in the series I think, the addition of a whiny teenager didn’t really add much to the series except for a whiny teenager and more sanctimonious Buffy. I think the most interesting dynamic was actually between the two sisters and their mother which makes it a shame the group didn’t last very long. Joyce’s death forces Buffy to be the grown up and make the difficult decisions, but it takes away part of the soul of the show.
Most of the storylines of the season were just more irritating than entertaining. I really liked Riley, he was an interesting character and he and Buffy worked well as a couple. The disappearance of the goofy-Xander character was considerably less depressing! Anya and Tara continue to develop in the group funnily and cutely respectively and although Spike is occasionally funny he’s not a character I ever really liked much. I liked the Magic Box as a final replacement for the library and Giles having something to do was less pathetic.
All in all there were some good character development, but nothing particularly standout about the plots for the year.
DVD Special Features
A standard collection of Buffy special features. The long season overview was interesting as ever , bringing together some of the themes of the season and touching on almost every episode. The commentary tracks seemed a bit scarcer than usual but were informative as ever, particularly Joss’ very personal discussion of The Body. The additional features on Dawn and … um… something else were apparently pretty forgetable. It would still be nice to see some more stuff from the cast.