Buffy/Angel shipping. Never thought about it much before, but they really were going for the storybook romance with these two. It's not something we learn about right away--it's only filled in with backstory after the fact, at a very critical time in the arc--but Angel was turned back when he was still a callow youth, loutish and untempered by love. I mean, I don't think it's every stated outright (though I could be wrong, especially since I'm not familiar with early A:tS canon), but when we see young Liam, he gives off the doofish air of a guy who has never had his heart broken. So, then fast forward, he's been a vampire for a few hundred years, and he's had his soul back for about half that time, and it's not until he sees Buffy that the strings of his heart go zing. That was his *first* love. (That's my big epiphany, by the way--I'm not too ashamed to spell it out.) Kinda wacky.
Xander's arc. Was thinking--not for the first time in this case--how sad Xander's decline is. Yeah, maturity and marriage and manpain, blah blah wondercakes. But when I think back to how he used to be in high school, all rabbity energy and motor-mouthy, I just wonder: where did all that anxious zest go? His brain was clearly firing on a million cylinders back then. He was sharp and quick to speak and he often wandered off into funny, goofy, free associative rambles--he was Joss's fictional avatar, it's clear. But he didn't seem to retain those qualities. The biggest decline came beginning in season six, I think.
Vampire vs. human strength. I was trying to convince myself of the possibility that M.E. had set up this entire hierarchy of vamps, and that even though they'd never said so in so many words, some vamps were weak enough for non-slayers to take down, and others were so strong that only a slayer was fit to kill them. But barring any arcane lore about an elevated lineage of Darwinially derived vamp royalty or "super-vamps" whose blood is more potent, the most logical progression for strength building is age (newly turned vamps = weak, old vamps = strong) and we've seen plenty of evidence that this is not the critical factor in whether or not one of the Scooby gang--or Buffy--can take a vamp down easily. So screw it. These guys are right--the continuity sucks.