EW How do you feel your relationship with Joss Whedon has changed over the years?
SMG Incredibly codependent in the beginning. We were kind of in this together, against the world. Everybody was so unsupportive of Joss. He had never directed anything before, he didn't know camera angles, and we had a crew that was terribly unsupportive. I remember thinking ''You jerks, you're going to be really sorry.''... [It used to be] he was here every single day, I was here every single day, and neither of us could make a move without the other. And then, when he was creating [the Fox series] Firefly, he really wasn't here at all. It's been weird. You're so used to seeing him on the set; now he's much more a presence from above.... It took a while to be able to give that up; even when Marti first came here, I would always go to Joss. Now I have confidence that I didn't have before. I have confidence in my ability to tell a visiting director, ''No, that's not right, that's not what Joss wants, that's not the show.''
EW Time for some exit interview questions. Has there always been a Buffy master plan?
SMG Joss has had certain episodes planned from the get-go. I knew Dawn was coming two years in advance.... Willow was always supposed to go bad. Willow was supposed to go bad a year before she did, but Joss loved Tara and Willow, so that story line was pushed a year.... I honestly believe his original intention was to put Buffy and Xander together. I really do believe that.
EW Favorite episode?
SMG I loved ''The Prom'' [season 3]. It stood for everything Buffy was about: the fact that she so badly wanted to be part of the other kids' lives. I think ''The Body'' [season 5, featuring the death of Buffy's mother] is pretty amazing. I loved the episode in which Buffy and Faith switched. That was one of my all-time favorites because I thought Eliza was so great. And also when Buffy realizes she has to kill Angel and she kills him and he comes back. Those are my favorites.
EW Least favorite episode?
SMG I had trouble with the one [in the sixth season] where Buffy had sex with Spike on the balcony while watching their friends. I really thought that was out of character. And I didn't like what it stood for. That was the moment that I had the most problems with.
EW You've mentioned how much you disliked the sixth season. Why was that? And how did you feel about Buffy's depression, and her sexual obsession with Spike?
SMG It wasn't who Buffy was, or why people loved her. You don't want to see that dark heroine; you don't want to see her punishing herself. You want to see her killing vampires and making quips. It didn't feel like the character that I loved.
Joss always explained that season as being about your 20s, where you're not a kid anymore, but you don't know what you want to do [with your life]. He always said that I didn't understand last year because I've always known what I wanted to do, and I didn't have that confusion, [that] dark, depressive period. But I think the heart of the show lies in the humor of the drama. I felt like Buffy's spirit was missing last year.