Having been hopelessly addicted to Buffy since Season 1, and having religiously watched every episode in sequence (which to date has cost me a fortune in videos and yet which has been worth every penny), I absolutely couldn't wait for Season 7. Having viewed it, I can sympathise with those viewers who found it less gripping or appealing than Seasons 2 or 3. By Season 6, Buffy is no longer a teenager and with maturity has come self-doubt, depression and a bleak view of her future - this theme continues in the early episodes of Season 7. However, as the season progresses Buffy's view on her purpose in life becomes clear once more, and she emerges as a true leader - no longer the lone warrior, who fights alongside her friends but without ever really trusting them to take control - but a leader who has the presence and abilities to bring out the very best in those around her. This is particularly evident in the character of Willow. While Sarah Michelle Gellar does a great job as Buffy, Alyson Hannigan is a truly exceptional actress who knocks the socks off her fellow cast members - no mean feat among so many talented actors. There is one particular scene which illustrates this to perfection. After Xander is injured, Willow goes to comfort him in the hospital, at first by chatting lightheartedly about his condition. She then gradually comes to a full realisation of the seriousness of the situation and begins to break down.. until finally, when Xander can bear it no more,she chokes back the tears. Alyson's reactions here are pretty damn perfect and she was not the only one crying when I watched it! I can honestly say that for true Buffy fans, this little scene alone, which lasts no more than a couple of minutes, and which does not move the plot forward particularly, is comparable to the very best of Buffy ... and that is probably the best compliment I can pay!