Dead Undeads - 221
Dead Flashbacks - 9
Giles Unconscious - 14
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 19
Buffy Breaks a Door - 22
Evil Reveal - 42
Unevil Reveal - 17
Shenanigans Called - 119
Apocalypse Called - 7
Season Five Stats (including comparison to previous season):
Dead Humans - 45 (+22)
Dead Undeads - 42 (+1)
Dead Flashbacks - 2 (+2)
Giles Unconscious - 2 (+2)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 6 (+4)
Buffy Breaks a Door - 3 (-1)
Evil Reveal - 1 (-4)
Unevil Reveal - 3 (+2)
Shenanigans Called - 25 (+5)
Apocalypse Called - 1 (=)
While the ratio of Dead Undeads vs Dead Humans still lands us overall on Yay Team Scoobies, Season Five on its own sees more dead humans than dead undeads (credit for this imbalance should probably go to Glory's massacre of the Knights Who Say Key). In the meanwhile, Giles did well, cleaning his glasses six times this season. And it's good to know our Shenanigan game is strong, with a 5 point increase on last season. Season Five did, at least, improve its game - Season Four saw no exponential growth in the stats, whereas here only Buffy's door-breaking and Evil Reveals went down.
Zelda's Thoughts:So generally I really like Season Five. I think Buffy's arc is fantastic, and extraordinarily well-acted by SMG. I like the arc of the family of the Scoobies - over the season we see a better integration of both Tara and Anya into the group, which becomes especially important when Joyce, the matriarch, dies - it becomes a death that touches all of them, though to different degrees. On the quality of The Body alone, Season Five must be special.
That being said, it has its weaknesses. While I like the idea of Glory as a villain - a feminine Cordelia-esque snark, and distinctly nothing like the previous Big Bads of the Master, Angelus, the Mayor, lame-os Adam and Walsh, or even Faith. But in execution Glory is weakened by a mediocre performer (as is Ben - it's no heartbreak to find out he's attached to Glory, because I didn't care about him in the first place). And then there's Dawn. Another cool idea, one which threatened massive shark-jumping, but actually managed to be pretty effective. But as we know, MT annoys me a lot, so I have trouble investing in her much. Next season will be a chore where she's concerned.
But back to family. One of the things Buffy does best is - even if over the season the Scoobies may divide a bit, may be at odds - they all recognize their strength as a unit working together. This has been increasingly true with each finale, most markedly in Seasons Three and Four. Here we see the Scoobies' individual contributions being pivotal in fighting off the apocalypse - Willow (and then Tara) weaken Glory, Xander whacks her with a wrecking ball, Anya had the brilliance in the first place to use the Dagon Sphere and the Buffybot, Giles fucking smothers Ben, and Spike ... well, unfortunately, Spike fails in his part of the mission, but he was supposed to protect Dawn while all this other stuff was going on. His failure is significant in terms of his own character arc - he's been on a slow path to improvement, trying to make himself worthy of his love for Buffy, with a lot of creeptastic layovers along the way. And while his dedication to Buffy and, by extension, Dawn, is strong, he's still not fully part of the mission, or the Scoobies.
And then, of course, Joss kills Buffy. wtf, Joss? Two seasons to go! Full steam ahead, Depression Season!
I love season 5. It's one of my favorites. While season 4 separated everyone, season 5 brought everyone back together. Sure, sometimes that meant big tragedies like Joyce's unfortunate demise - but this season, it felt like the group of old with wonderful additions.
I never had a big problem with Glory or Dawn's actors. I always thought Dawn acted as she was created, a bratty little sister. And I always thought Glory was a fun, crazy villain. I also like the villainous arc of the season. I felt Glory and in particular, the Scoobies interactions with Glory flowed well throughout the season. There were constant things to find out and ultimately defeat. We saw, we fought, we discovered, we protected, we ran, we had no hope, we dared to hope and then we defeated. And I say 'we' because it felt like we were all on this journey. And that's what this season ultimately felt like, a journey.