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Another day, another apocalypse

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' goes out with a bang

By Andy Walton

Buffy and Angel reunite -- briefly -- in the final episode of
Buffy and Angel reunite -- briefly -- in the final episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

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CNN's David Daniel looks at 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' as it ends its seven-year run (May 20)
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Editor's note: This article reveals significant plot points for the final episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Readers who have recorded the show for later viewing and fans from areas where the show has not yet aired might wish to read our spoiler-free preview article instead.

(CNN) -- How do you bring closure to a story line in which the lead heroine has already died twice?

That was the challenge facing Joss Whedon and his team Tuesday in the final episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The critically acclaimed show ended its seven-year run by averting yet another apocalypse and defeating the First Evil, an elemental force of nature that amassed an army of "uber-vampires" to take over the Earth.

Plot lines hinted at in the penultimate episode -- the return of Buffy's vampire ex-boyfriend Angel, the jealousy of vampire boyfriend Spike, and evil preacher Caleb's stubborn refusal to die -- were dispatched in the first few minutes. When The First taunts Buffy, telling her she'll die alone, she hatches an audacious plan to storm the vampire army on its own turf.

In this, the last hour of the series, Buffy rewrites the "one girl in all the world" myth central to the other 143. With the help of a mystical superweapon and the powerful but skittish witch Willow, she makes all of the "potentials" -- slayers in training, or awaiting training -- full-fledged butt-kicking superheroes like her.

But it is Spike, the bad boy who has spent the season seeking redemption, who saves the world in the end. With the help of a bauble conveniently dropped off by Angel, he becomes a conduit for sunlight -- incinerating the ubervamp army and himself.

The Hellmouth -- the mystical portal that serves as a demon magnet -- collapses, taking the town of Sunnydale with it in a CGI-intensive mad dash.

With the Hellmouth gone and a worldwide army of slayers waiting for orders, Buffy is freed from the destiny that has been her burden. When asked how she'll cope with being just another girl, her only answer is a wry smile.

What is next for the Buffyverse, as fans dubbed the show's fictional world, is equally murky. The finale rewrote the show's premise, so fan speculation on spinoff series and possible movies is starting from scratch.

And Spike -- last seen as a collapsing column of ash -- is scheduled to appear in the fall on the spinoff series "Angel," which should be interesting. Buffyverse heroes never say die -- not even the dead ones.

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