This is it, the final episode ever! And while season 7's "back to basics" approach (and the addition of Drew Goddard to the writing staff) delivered some very strong stand-alone episodes, it also felt creatively malnourished. There were a lot of good ideas, but few great ones and the hodgepodge of competing storylines failed to coalesce into a remarkable whole. (The Big Bad was lame. The land of 1,000 Slayers didn't do much. We could go on.)
But "Chosen," which had a larger budget and grander scale, delivered -- big time -- with Buffy and the Potentials battling an army of primitive vampires and Spike giving his life for the good of the world. (He'd be back just a few months later on "Angel," but, hey.)
One of the most powerful images of the series was also its last; after Sunnydale was completely destroyed, the survivors looked to Buffy for guidance. And finally, after all the battles, a smile slowly creeps across her face.