You only live twice. Or so they say. Does this mean that Buffy, already drowned at the end of season one, won't be back for a third outing? No chance.
That said, even the most cynical fan must have felt a tug at the heart strings when Buffy accepted that death was her gift and took the plunge off Glory's tower.
Although a far more traditional episode than Joss Whedon's previous effort, The Body, The Gift was nonetheless a breathtaking mix of stunning fight sequences and high emotion from a man still very much in control of his creation.
Five years and 100 episodes on from its humble beginnings as a mid-season replacement Buffy still rocks. Who would have thought it?
Of course she's coming back. She's on contract with the studio.
So, at last it comes - the death of Buffy. And thank the powers that be that the show shook off the slow pace that’s dogged the end of the season up to now.
From the hectic, Buffy’s-life-flashing-before-our-eyes pre-credits sequence to the final, fatal, sacrifice, The Gift does what Buffy’s always done best - kick ass whilst keeping you just that little bit of balance.
This episode is packed with emotional punch - Xander proposing to Anya, the return of Tara’s sanity, Giles’ cold practicality in murdering Ben, and of course Buffy’s dive to death. It’s also a highly enjoyable fight-fest - and who wasn’t fooled by the Buffy-bot?
I don’t mind admitting that a little tear ran down my cheek when Buffy realised that death, after all, was her gift. And another one when Spike broke down over her corpse. After a fragmentary season, Joss pulled it all together into another triumph.