That was engraved on Buffy Summers’ tombstone at the end of season five.
Watching Supernatural’s first few episodes made me miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer a lot, so I watched parts of some classic episodes and re-read portions of the supplemental Watcher’s Guides and Monster Book. There truly isn’t any show like it--Angel’s a spinoff that nicely built its own mythology, but the pathos are different--and the heroine’s growth engrossingly developed in chaos-filled stages. Her rogues’ gallery brims with dozens of villains that tested her--and her team’s--mettle. Here are some of my fave Big and Not-So-Big Bads that appeared between 1997 and 2003, in no order whatsoever. And no, I don’t really like the Mayor:
1. Angelus- Soulless vampire Angel is one of the series’ cruelest villains.
3. Caleb- The First’s top henchman tore through Buffy’s Slayer squad easily and mercilessly.
4. Anyanka- Scorned immortal Anya’s reality-altering powers, and later confrontation with the Slayer, made her an interesting foe.
5. Spike- The perpetually lovesick vamp slew Slayers in the past and plagued Buffy and the gang with his duplicity and weird obsessions.
6. Drusilla- Nuts and deadly, Spike’s ex wreaked havoc with her unpredictability, savagery and eerie mind powers.
7. Adam- The freakish, Frankenstein’s Monster-esque creature was calculating and formidable.
8. Dracula- The legend turned has-been proved powerful, but not enough to beat Buffy. He’s a character that nonetheless fit nicely into the mythology.
9. The First- Borrowing forms of the deceased, the astral being caused serious trouble for the do-gooders repeatedly.
10. Faith- The once-traitorous Slayer reformed, but her previous clashes with Buffy were intense and heartbreaking.
11. The Gentlemen- The voice-stealing, heart-collecting bogeymen were a creepy bunch.
12. Ethan Rayne- He’s an annoying trickster, a reminder of what Giles could’ve been had he embraced another path.
13. Sweet- Smooth and groovy, the entity caused Sunnydalers to break into song and dance in “Once More With Feeling.”
15. Glorificus- The gender-bending god had superior strength and speed, and was an imposing presence despite his/her human-looking mortal shell.