Yeah one of the core themes that Joss wanted to return to was the trinity of Buffy, Xander, and Willow. I think the entire season revolves around these three to varying degrees of course. Each one of them goes through something different. Xander suffers tragedy again only to get happiness with Dawn (something that at first I didn't like but came to accept and enjoy). One of my favorite moments of the season is when Xander and Buffy finally have a heart to heart about their feelings for one another. I thought FINALLY!!!