Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
As hell-god Glory (Clare Kramer) prepares for the precise moment when she can cut Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) open and unleash pan-dimensional Armageddon, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and the Scoobies prepare for the fight of their lives. Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) advocates killing Dawn if it will prevent the Apocalypse, arguing that she isn't even really Buffy's sister. But the Slayer vows to save both the world and Dawn, who was fashioned from Buffy's own flesh and blood as the human incarnation of the ancient key that Glory needs to open the doorway back to her own dimension. Meanwhile, facing certain death, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) proposes to girlfriend Anya (Emma Caulfield) even as enchantress Willow (Alyson Hannigan) comes up with a way restore the shattered mind of her own lover, Tara (Amber Benson). Spike (James Marsters) and Buffy gather up weapons and share a tender moment. Then it's time to let poor, mad Tara lead the way to the patchwork tower of steel girders that Glory's other brain-drained victims have constructed as the stage for their mistress' descent back to hell. Arriving on the scene, Willow casts her spell, draining Tara's mind from Glory and back into Tara. Glory thus befuddled, Buffy throws everything she's got at the hell-goddess: serious punches, a mystical troll's hammer, and even a robot decoy. By the time Xander weighs in with a wrecking ball, Glory's had it. She reverts to the form of her human host, Ben (Charlie Weber), whom Giles quietly smothers in order to end Glory's threat. But atop the tower, despite the best efforts of Spike, one of Glory's minions manages to spill Dawn's blood and begin the convergence of hell and earth. As an interdimensional vortex begins to grow, unleashing demons in its wake, Dawn prepares to leap into the void and put an end to the destruction. But her sister stops her, announcing the she finally knows what the spirit of the First Slayer meant when she told Buffy her greatest gift was death. Because Dawn and Buffy share the same blood, Buffy too can close the portal. Promising Dawn she'll always love her, Buffy plunges into the vortex, which short-circuits -- dropping the Slayer's corpse onto the ground below. Buffy's tombstone serves as a solemn reminder: "Buffy Anne Summers...1981-2001...She saved the world. A lot." Originally broadcast May 22, 2001, on the WB network, "The Gift" marked episode 100 of the cult-favorite series. It was also the last new episode to premiere on the WB; beginning with the season six opener, "Bargaining, Part 1," the program moved to the rival UPN network for two additional seasons.