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Barnes & Noble -Season 5
The 2000-01 season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was tumultuous, bringing change not only to the roster of characters but also to the show's basic story line. In this season, the responsibilities Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar has as a Slayer exact more of a toll on her personal life, and the twin themes of love and loss are explored with surprising seriousness. Now she's a sophomore at UC Sunnydale, which continues to be the scene of clashes between feisty demons and feistier humans. Little sister Dawn Michelle Trachtenberg becomes a more active cast member, and romantic interest Riley Finn Marc Blucas exits mid-year with nary a word to his former companions. Also this season, Clare Kramer enters the series as Glory, a comely yet gruesome goddess who will eventually affect Buffy's fate. In the season opener, Buffy tangles with none other than Dracula himself, a shape-shifting vampire with powers far beyond those of her typical adversaries. A multi-episode story arc focuses on the mysterious illness contracted by Buffy's mother, Joyce Kristine Sutherland, whose eventual death devastates the Summers girls. The much-touted season finale -- also the series' 100th episode -- puts Sunnydale at the center of an apocalyptic struggle that climaxes with the unthinkable. Series creator and chief writer Joss Whedon does some of his finest work in these 22 installments, which give plenty of time to supporting Scooby Gang characters Xander Nicholas Brendon, Willow Alyson Hannigan, Anya Emma Caulfield, and Spike James Marsters. They build to an effective, emotionally wrenching close to the series' run on the WB network to be continued on UPN, and no Buffy fan can afford to be without them.