The Master Rises fan edit is my exploration of Angel and Buffy as they wrestle with some complications to their relationship and are forced to confront Buffy's mortality and her sense of despair as she accepts her own death as part of her duty as the Slayer and loses control of herself in the aftermath once she is brought back to life.
Buffy helping protect Cordelia as the May Queen reminds Buffy of being the May Queen back in Los Angeles, a difficult feat for a Freshman student. She misses being the popular girl in high school who can focus on shopping, partying, boys, and fun. Instead, Buffy finds herself fated to die in The Master's escape from his subterranean prison and she goes above and beyond in her duties to not run away. Her subsequent resuscitation awakens something deep inside her that cannot be controlled or stifled.
Simply defeating The Master is not enough, either, since he almost rises up again. Buffy has a mid-life crisis of sorts and alienates her friends and Angel as she works out the impact of what her own death had on her and finally rises to the occasion to battle her demons and ultimately win.
Sarah Michelle Gellar as a performer really gets to shine in these episodes as a very complex, yet completely grounded and relatable teenage way. In some ways, she goes through the entire maturation process that takes other teenagers years, all in a few short months. Joss Whedon lucked out in getting Sarah for the role, since I am not sure if many other 18 year-old female actors at that particular moment in TV history could have pulled off so many dimensions of the character all at once. Sarah is a treasure! Download Here