Author's Notes:

First of all, thanks to everybody who has read my stories.

In this chapter I just wanted to elaborate on the reasons I made my seasons the way they were and the decisions behind it.

I had everybody move to Cleveland for the obvious reason of there being a Hellmouth there. During the first two episodes, I had to show what the characters were doing during Angel Season 5 and After the Fall, so I had them split off to different locations during that time until Buffy decided to round them up again (It is mentioned on "Angel" that certain characters were in different locations at that time, like Xander is mentioned to be in Africa, so that's why I had him sent there, to fit into the continuity). The first episode pretty much shows what had happened to them in between "Chosen" and the end of The Fall. I had decided that Eliza Dushku and Tom Lenk should be promoted to regulars because Faith was LONG overdue to be a central character and Andrew had a big role in this season, so it made sense to have him in every episode as well. Emma Caulfield, Michelle Trachtenberg, and James Marsters were cut out as regulars because Anya and Spike had died in "Chosen", and Spike was already a regular on "Angel" in my Season 7. As for Dawn, the official reason is that since Andrew had revealed in Angel Season 5 that Dawn would have been in school in Rome at the time, I had her stay there during the season. {{SPOILER HERE: The unofficial reason is that I wanted an excuse to get rid of her without killing her (yet).}}

Episode three was meant to bring closure to the Xander/Anya chapter of the Buffy universe by bringing back Vengeance demons and D'Hoffryn. The episode (had it been a real episode written by me and produced by the Buffy writers) would have been a comedic/nostalgic/sad story about how the Vengeance demon was sent to cause havoc on the group, and Xander's realization of what was happening, his one-to-one talk with D'Hoffryn, and both of them finally accepting Anya's death felt extremely necessary to round off both Anya's character and her relationship with Xander. The mutual truce was so that everyone can be sure that they would never have to deal with Vengeance demons again.

Episode four was created for two reasons: To start off the potential for a Buffy/Xander romance, and to have an episode with not one, but TWO actors from Firefly participate in an episode of Buffy. Knowing the plot would involve a decent male character and a seductive (slightly insane) female character, Sean Maher (Simon), and Christina Hendricks (YoSafBridge) seemed perfect casting picks were this episode really made. Since Xander's Buffy crush seemed to have died out around Season 4, I had to think of a way to have Xander's emotions aroused again and to do it without Buffy intending to have it happen.

Episode five, having Giles be gone a while, then returning to tell of an adventure he had had on his own involving his intelligence seemed like a fun stand-alone episode.

In episodes six and seven, Buffy and Xander come to realize that they think they have fallen for each other. I couldn't have them become a couple right there, because it would have been way too soon to be believable and they had to work their way toward it and see if their feelings weren't just for comfort after their respective lovers died two years earlier. And having Andrew act as a psychiatrist to them made sense (He did it before in "Storyteller", after all), then having the revelation of Spike telling him that his brother Tucker had broken out of rehab and was tracking Buffy down would have made this a great episode. Tucker coming back was the first thing about the new season that I'd wanted to do with it, especially since he was originally supposed to be part of The Trio, and since he was last seen in his basement during "The Prom", I was sure that people would have wondered what had happened to him. Well, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that he had been sent away to be rehabilitated, and after seven years, he was bound to be released by then.

Episode eight was interesting because it would have focused heavily on two previously minor characters: Tucker Wells and Clem. I knew Tucker had to find his way to Buffy somehow, so how would he know where to look? Naturally, he goes back to Sunnydale and finds that the town had collapsed. I decided the person he meets there would be Clem because everybody seems to love Clem and I wanted to give him an indirect role in the flow of the season. He's an innocent guy and has no idea who Tucker is and is just trying be helpful to him by telling him what he thinks (And going to Sunnydale's crater to mourn Spike just seems like something Clem would do). And Andrew's conflicting thoughts about Tucker and his relationship with him would have been good to see onscreen.

In episode nine, Dracula crosses over from his time in my Angel Season 7 and confronts Buffy for a final faceoff. And just like before, he gets wailed on both physically and emotionally by Buffy and Xander respectively. Also, Dracula would have been a good excuse to let Xander cut loose about his feelings, resulting in everyone suspecting something may be up with him, causing Andrew to confess his secret knowledge of Buffy and Xander's emotional confusion.

Now, episodes ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen were probably the ones I am most glad worked out in the season. A parallel universe! "The Wish" was an alternate universe, meaning the same characters with different outcomes. This universe is basically the opposite of the real one: people who are good are bad, bad people are good, some dead characters are alive and some living characters are dead. It was great to imagine a possible universe and to have some of the characters sent there by Tucker. I tried to have the parallel characters be similar to the characters they are switched with and yet retain some of their original traits: Parallel Buffy-The Master, Parallel Xander-Pre-chipped Spike, Parallel Glory-Buffy, Parallel Caleb-Giles, Parallel The Master-Angel, etc. Then referencing past villains in the parallel world who weren't in the real universe, like Principal Snyder in The Mayor's role, Cordleia as a Glory-like god, Riley as an Adam-like cyborg, and having Warren, Andrew, and Jonathan be The Three (who weren't mentioned much after their deaths in Season 1) was great to come up with. Spike and Illyria crossing over to help Andrew with Tucker was mostly leading up to their inclusion in Season 9. And having them help rescue Buffy and the others with only Andrew knowing about it was also meant to lead up to a pivotal revelation in Season 9.

Episodes fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen were mostly just filler episodes, but having Andrew trained to fight better was something I'd always imagined Andrew would want, especially as the Big Bad seems to be his own brother.

Episode seventeen brings back Amy once more, attempting to screw with Willow again. I know that the dark magic addiction thing was done in Season Six, but this time, Willow, through her development between then and now, refuses it on her own and sends Amy packing for good. Amy needed a better send off than she was given in "The Killer in Me".

Episode eighteen is based off of a one-shot story I had done about Xander witnessing a universe in which he didn't exist. I looked at all the episodes from Season One and envisioned them without Xander and what would happen. It makes Xander (and everyone else) appreciate him more. The episode itself (which can be seen in narrative format on this site under the same title) is pretty much self-explanatory.

Episode nineteen starts off the journey of the REAL Big Bads of the season: the Parallel Scooby Gang. Tucker summons them all, then is chased away and forced to turn himself in to avoid being killed by the parallels (or threatened to be flayed alive like Warren, which would have been funny to see Tucker's face during that fake threat by Willow, who we know would realistically never kill anyone again).

Episode Twenty was an interesting idea, having the evil Parallel Giles offer to switch sides. If any of you have read my story "Black Mirror", you would know that Parallel Giles was basically a punching bag for the others, so having him decide to switch sides seemed a realistic thing for him to do. Plus, imagine Buffy working with TWO Giles'.

Episodes twenty one and twenty two round out the season in a big way. The parallel versions of Buffy, Xander, and Willow round up and army of vampires and fight against Buffy and her portion of the army of Slayers (she couldn't house a whole army, plus it was revealed that everybody had been scattered earlier). Having Willow defeat her parallel self was, in a sense, another way of her overcoming and defeating her dark side. Then having Parallel Giles sacrifice himself to kill Parallel Buffy and saving the real Buffy would have been a really powerful moment of redemption for him (he finally gets his revenge on the leader who had neglected him). Then having Giles be worried about his evil self being good and his fears that he might not be would have been an interesting callback to his days as Ripper and him wondering if he could end up going back that way was something interesting to play at. Faith's statement that Giles must be such a good person that even his parallel self had decency would have been a big moment for Giles and a real bonding moment for him and Faith that leads up to their future relationship (more in Season 9). Having Buffy finally decide to give her and Xander "A shot" shows that they still aren't sure about themselves, but are willing to test it, while Andrew's feelings about Tucker will continue to dog him throughout Season 9.

Well, there you have it. To read more on the methods behind my madness, see Season 9 for the conclusion (Read the season first if you haven't yet).