Buffy, Willow, Tara, and Dawn narrowly escape from Glory, but only because she is hit by a truck. Which was actually quite awesome. Too bad she just pops right back up, but as Ben now. Ben was so cute before you knew he shared a body with the creepy God chica, Glory. Since Glory knows where Dawn-the-Key is and what she is, Buffy and the Scoobies leave Sunnydale. Not only do they leave, but they leaveÂ in an RV that Spike procures. After everyone gets over the shock of Buffy asking for Spike's help. duh he's a strong vamp dude that can't hurt the humans, they all leave town without really having any other plan.
Dawn: I think Anya's gonna try to cook. Wanna come watch the tears and recriminations?
Then, these knight-type dudes, kinda come out of nowhere. Well, we've seen their kind, and we know they are all about destroying the key, which is uncool, but still... kinda out of nowhere. And they are so old school, yo. They ride in on horses, wearing chain mail and sporting swords and other renaissance faire gear. How they manage to catch up with an RV is beyond me. I guess it's just so old and so crappy it can't go very fast. Hrmph.
They pull over at an abandoned gas station to continue the fight, then Willow breaks out her black magics to block them out. They do manage to snag the main knight guy and start questioning him. He's not terribly helpful -- kill they key, kill the key, let me kill the key. Oh, and in all this kerfuffle Giles gets wounded majorly. They are allowed to call in a doc, and they call in Ben the man-nurse. *slap da head* Eeeeediots. So, after Ben takes care of Giles, he goes all weird and "get me out of here now!", and then turns into Glory. Odd thing is no one remembers that he changes into Glory. They just think she's just there suddenly. Only person who realizes that Ben & Glory are one is Spike, but he can't even tell the rest of the Gang cuz they just keep forgetting it.
In the end, Glory wipes out all the knight guys on her way out with Dawn. Buffy goes to follow, but is delayed by Willow's energy spell. By the time it's brought down, it's too late, and Buffy can't quite deal with her failure. She plops down on the ground with a look of dazed-and-confusedness. Poor Buffy cannot get a break this season.
5x21 The Weight of the World
Despite their best efforts, Glory has succeeded in taking Dawn. This failure after so much effort proves too much for Buffy and she slips into a catatonic state. Willow must use magick to enter her mind and help her work through the trauma before it is too late to save Dawn, or the rest of the world for that matter. Once she's in Buffy's noggin, she sees her as a child on the day that Dawn is brought home as a baby. Then it shifts to her in the magic shop putting a book onto a bookshelf, looking very contemplative. It then switches to Buffy in her house, where she proceeds to smother teenage Dawn with a pillow cuz "Death is her gift", or so sayeth her spirit guide.
Buffy: I wanted it over. This is... All of this... It's too much for me. I just wanted it over. If Glory wins, then Dawn dies. And I would grieve. People would feel sorry for me. But it would be over. And I imagined what a relief it would be.
After a few go arounds of this dream/catatonia cycle, Willow starts to make headway with her. She finds out the magic shop bit is a moment Buffy had where she says she quit. She realized that everyone would be better off if everything was just over and Dawn-the-Key was gone. Death is her gift and all that. You just know she's misinterpreting that whole thing. Eventually Willow gets her out of her funky state and they go to the magic shop to get a plan going.
5x22 The Gift
Glory has Dawn, and plans to use her blood to open the portal to her home dimension, even though the portal will cause all the hell dimensions to bleed into our own. Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Anya, Tara and Spike go to confront a true Hell God with the knowledge that they may not all survive. They end up using Tara to get to Glory. She's been itching to leave for some place she has to be, so they finally let her go and follow her.
First wave is Willow with Glory, she even sticks her fingers in Glory's head and Tara's head and manages to get Tara all back to normal. This weakens glory up for round two... with Buffy. Or is it? It actually ends up being Buffybot. After Glory beheads Buffybot, the next round is with the actual Buffy. They go at it... badda-bing, badda-boom. They fall from the stairs of the tower that Dawn is chained to, then Buffy goes a-wailing on Glory until suddenly Ben shows up. She leaves Ben, then Giles comes up and doesn't provide him with the mercy that Buffy did. He suffocates him. Giles kills a man! Granted, it's for the greater good, cuz Glory just ain't gonna quit, but he kills Ben. Crucial.
Buffy runs to the top of the tower, and finds that demon dude that Dawn went to for the resurrection spell. He has started the portal opening but making shallow cuts on dawn. Buffy rescues Dawn, and then it starts to "dawn" on her that she knows how to save Dawn and the world. Dawn's blood is the same as hers. She was created from Buffy. So, she gives Dawn a heartfelt goodbye, and jumps off the tower into the portal.
Buffy: Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles ... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world ... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.
She is suspended in the portal writhing in pain, it seems. The next thing we see is the portal is closed, and Buffy is on the ground dead. The Gang is all around her and they look at her in disbelief. Willow is a mess as is expected, but the one taking it the hardest is Spike. Maybe he does truly love her.
The next thing we see is her headstone:
Buffy Anne Summers
She Saved the World