One - Just how awesome is it that BTVS/AtS is still being discussed?!
Pretty fu**in' awesome, I'd say!
But for this post: http://whedonesque.livejournal.com/6228869.html
I kinda hate "best of"/ "worst of" questions - because it is so personal and arbitrary, but obviously I'm also attracted to these questions - or I wouldn't be posting.
So, completely dependent on me - Is this the best of Buffy? No. Is it awesome? Hell, yes!
This could have been a "look at us and how clever we are" episode, but it isn't! It addresses the very core of BTVS: i.e. How Buffy's resurrection has affected everyone. How Buffy is dealing. How much she hates/resents/loathes herself for hating her friends for interfering in her fate.
It forces all of the characters to sing about their feelings about what is going on ... but it doesn't allow them to skate away with an episode reset at the end -- and this could easily be a place where Joss, Marti, et. al. could have easily. In fact, during the episode promos, I thought this exact thing. I thought that everyone would learn where Buffy had been and then very conveniently forget and that this episode would ultimately be empty ... THANK YOU, EVERYONE.
Nothing pisses me off more than when something really *important* happens, just to then sweep it under the carpet because it's inconvenient. Whedon tends to avoid this [I'm including "The Wish" ... the POINT was 'no one learns anything']. I would sort of include ST: Voyager's "Time and Again", because there were no lasting impacts - BTVS avoided this by revealing that Buffy was in Heaven ... and everyone remembered.
Why I don't hate "The Wish" for the same is because... well, actually I'm not completely sure. It just felt ... appropriate... that no one would learn anything, since Cordy was killed half-way through the episode and ergo COULDN'T learn anything -- and of all the characters, she (maybe a case could be made for Anya) would be the only one who would have a reason to remember a lesson.
So... favorite? I'm not even going to try.
But, I love this episode.