Well, its been a couple days since my last post. Sorry guys, I needed to take a small break. Now I'm back and ready for action! On to the first episode of season 2!!
We have to deal with a lot of mopy emo this episode. This is most of the residue from last season, although we won't be entirely rid of it till the Annointed One is gone.
So, while Buffy was all confident and whatnot at the end of last season, she's all insecure and fearful at the beginning of this. She puts on this huge tough guy act, but even the other characters are seeing through it.
Ooh, nother bit of vampire lore! Consecrated ground burns them. Now, they can walk on it just fine, but digging in it poses a painful problem. I don't see what the difficulty here is: vampires rise from their graves through consecrated ground just fine, but for some reason digging in it hurts them? That doesn't really make sense, and if this is classic lore its a really obscure piece. Classic lore involves them resting in dirt from where they were buried, which chances are means that it was consecrated. See? No sense.
Now, about this ritual cooked up to revive the Master. It involves retrieving his remains, which are the bones that shouldn't have been left. It also requires those who were physically near him at the moment of his death. Now, the reason for the remains is elementary: its what is left of him, which is good to have if you're trying to bring him back. The ones close to him at time of death is just about as straightforward: they retain the residual energy of his death. That absorbed energy from his time of passing creates a link to his being, and in draining that energy via their blood back into the master, it can theoretically bring him back. Their blood and own life energy is probably also helpful.
In any case with Buffy saving her friends and then smashing the Master's remains, there should supposedly no longer be a way to bring the Master back. Here's the thing though: his remains aren't destroyed. They're just broken into more pieces. This shouldn't adversely affect the ritual at all. Now, burning the bones to ashes and scattering them to the four winds, that would be a mite more permanent. Little shaky on the magic here guys.