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March 05 2008

(SPOILER) For the discussion of (the rest of) Buffy #12. Asides the plot arc that The New York Times revealed, some other stuff happened in this issue. Come tell us what you thought of it all. Also a big huzzah to Drew Goddard's return to Buffy.

As per usual, spoilers galore will be discussed in this thread.

I like Buffy's bed teddy!
You would. Apparently Oz came back. Was there a scene with him and Willow?
Allright... the good news is, this doesn't look like Buffy is going to be reliving her "I have sex because I hate myself" crap from Season 6.

Buffy is pretty upfront *after the fact*, and basically tells Satsu it was fun but she doesn't think it will mean anything past that, but doesn't let her leave when she tries to go back to her own room.

Probably the whackiest sequence is, immediately after Buffy and Satsu agree that it should stay just between them... Xander, Renee, Andrew, Dawn, and Willow all find out in the course of about 60 seconds.

I can't decide if that's either really funny, or just about the dorkiest device ever. On one hand, it has that Buffy-whimsical quality, like in "Triangle" when Willow wishes Buffy was there and then wishes for a million dollars. On another... a bit contrived, isn't it?

Best quote of that sequence is pretty subtle, when Xander thinks it might be a dream, and says to Renee: "No, I've had this one before. You're here. They're here. I'm just gonna go sit in the corner and wait for Willow to arrive". Why don't we get *that* dream panel?

The only person in the whole issue who seems to have a really negative reaction to this is Willow, who gives Buffy a pretty reproachful look while saying "believe me... nothing makes sense to me tonight."

The new vampire bad guys look awesome, and the set up is exactly what we expected -- they can do what Dracula does. And so Dracula's who they go to.

I'm suddenly unhappy about it, too, since... this is the storyline that *created* the No More Buttmonkey mission statement. And here we are right back into it, complete with Xander resignedly calling him "Master".

The current approach seems to be for Buffy to not know quite how she feels about this vis a vis her orientation -- the only thing she appears pretty sure of is, as they lay there, she doesn't think she's in love with Satsu. At least that's how it comes out.

Some small touches I like, Buffy owns a UC-Sunnydale hoody that she's apparently cut to midriff. I just caught Xander's other great line -- "I wasn't aware we had an alarm for this, but yes. Sound the alarm."

Also, Buffy is not in fact depressed in bed -- she's just in that sweaty mindblown, blank staring place.

Great news about this issue is that we've obviously cleared the two big Jeanty hurdles -- "talking about this for years", and "Joss, you can't do that."

Since it seems almost guaranteed at this point that Satsu will, in fact, betray Buffy right around the time Buffy decides she might love her in return, that we'll also have the "breadcrumbs" reference to 8.11 covered and the "people will remember Satsu for what she does" reference.

And, no, there was no Oz. Just Buffy's "Kissing Jessica Stein" moment and Dracula, which we already knew about.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-05 18:03 ]
Wait, KingofCretins - I'm missing something, specifically the "people will remember Satsu for what she does" reference. Is that coming from the comics or an interview? Also, couldn't it refer to the er, intimate relations? *grin*

I don't think Satsu will necessarily be the one to betray her, but that could be because I have been rooting for Buffy/Satsu forever now.
No Oz? So much for that foiler. I was looking forward to that and all.
The Buffy/Satsu betrayal thing makes sense from a storyteller perspective. How she could betray her is up in the air, but there's more than a few possibilities I can see planted around. I wouldn't want to speculate on it incase somebody hits the nail on the head and ruins it, though.
I must've missed The New York Times, because I had a blank, ridiculously wide-eyed expression for about ten minutes after seeing the first Buffy/Satsu panel. I'll go as far as saying this is the funniest issue of the series so far. Andrew's "Hi, nude Asian girl" -- as well as just about anything out of Xander's mouth -- gave me a fit.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2008-03-05 19:34 ]
*sob* *whimper* It's gonna be f*#!ing 5:30 before I can get to the comic shop. I wish I was a spoilerphobe, but it's like - there's something I know I shouldn't look at, but knowing that just guarantees that I'm gonna...
I thought this issue was absolutely brilliant, the most entertaining by far. My friend and I read it at lunch and we were both laughing out loud and hard. Hats off to Drew G. on this, and to Joss for whatever influence he may have had. It is very Jossian indeed the way he took what some of us were worried was a stunt -- Buffy sleeps with Satsu! -- and turned it into a brilliantly played-out farce. To all appearances, the bedroom scene spoiled in the New York Times this morning did NOT portend more Buffy angst or Season 6 redux. It was just Buffy finally having some sexy fun -- she's been pining for it since the first issue -- and a ton of funny after seemingly everybody in the castle discovers the short-lived secret immediately.

Great, great issue.
I finished the transcript (I do transcripts, albeit not great ones, for every issue of Season 8 and "After the Fall"), but I don't know if I'm allowed to link to them -- they are on a different message board (not mine).
This didn't play out as badly as I suspected when I first saw the preview pages but it DOES still reek of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer with absolutely no self confidence.

Some of the panels concerning the act were pretty darn funny, especially Xanders "I wasn't aware there is an alarm for this sort of thing. Yes, ring the alarm".

So all in all, I didn't hate it but I don't care for where it holds Buffy emotionally. Have never been a fan of butt monkey Xander either, FTR, if we are heading back there.
This issue was awesome! I loved the route they took with it. I enjoyed Xander's reacton "Oh, Merciful Zeus" and covers up his one eye. It was a wonderful scene altogether. I thought it was appropriate for Xander to think it was a dream, although why is Andrew in Xander's naughty dream. Andrew's "Hi, nude Asian girl" was quite neat.

I think it was obvious that Buffy was probably going to end up boinking Satsu. It was they way her arc for the first 10 issues of the comics were heading. I don't think this will be a one-time thing, but it probably won't be over the extended long term. She is in a better place than she was in season six, so I think she won't treat Satsu like she did with Spike. I think it was more of the fact she has needs, and besides Xander, Satsu was the only other person showing any interest in her. So she went there. I will have no problem with it as long as it is healthy for both her and Satsu.

But I have to I don't want to see Xander become a butt-monkey again, but I don't think we will see that. Maybe he has to say "Master" because all people who is/has been in Drac's thrall have to say it.

[ edited by crazygolfa on 2008-03-05 21:32 ]
I think the most interesting aspect of the fallout is going to be what this will do to Buffy/Willow dynamics. I see about half a dozen ways this could drive a wedge further between them.
Oh my god! Mr. Gordo the 2nd!
Posted my review over at buffyversecomics.blogspot.com

Anyone else not like the way Jeanty drew the male vamp that fought Buffy?

Also, Andrew's "Nude Asian girl" thing was the best... line... ever. (lol)
Just finished reading my copy...best issue yet! Loved the detail (ie: the cartoon characters on Buffy's underware and sweatpants)...I know Joss indicated otherwise but I'd love to see Buffy and Satsu become a couple. I agree that this adds several layers to the Buffy/Willow relationship and gives Joss the freedom to go any number of ways. Xander and Andrew were great and I loved the rapid fire exposure of Buffy and Satsu's relationship! All in all, there is nothing about this issue I didn't love! But then, what would I expect from the REAL master!?
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention two cool things. I love how things are progressing on the Xander/Renee front, and I think it's cool that Xander is flying a helicopter. He is really starting to become secret agent man.
I think it was more of the fact she has needs, and besides Xander, Satsu was the only other person showing any interest in her. So she went there.


Very well put, crazygolfa.

eta-

patxshand-I linked your review to the SU Herald.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2008-03-05 22:13 ]
Yeah, it's cool that Xander flies the helicopter and all, but it's all for nothing if he really is just the comedic outlet, the buttmonkey, *again*.

I don't think I could buy that she would just assume that, given a straight up choice between Xander and Satsu, it's obvious that she would jump genders to get laid. I mean, damn. Unless, of course, she really is using her, even if subconsciously.
When the intruders vaporized and Buffy said, "Okay. That's new" I immediately thought, "No, Dracula, remember?"

Don't know if I hate this one, but I don't love it. For starters, I have to think it would be maybe 5 or 6 minutes of an actual episode, 7 tops. I don't like waiting a whole month for a 6th or 7th of an episode, but that's the nature of this particular beast.

Substantively, I'll need to read it a few more times, but it seemed none too compelling to me. Dialogue was good-not-great.
There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets, he stays a stranger
With every move he makes, another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow.
Secret Agent Man, Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Never been a fan of Xander "master" draculian slave, but otherwise...Brilliant. Anyway. maybe we will get a surprise concerning that soon. With Joss, most things are not what they look like. Specially about cliffhangers.
Fair point, but she is noticing that Xander is spending more and more time with Renee, and she even told him to ask her out. Even if there is an lingering sparkage between Buffy and Xander, I think Buffy knows that a one-night stand or a brief fling with Xander, is probably more complicated with him than it is with Satsu.
I've always been a fan of buttmonkey Xander, but only as a single Halloween episode thing. Or maybe an inside joke reference to the episode. I don't think it's a great continuing gag.

I can't wait to see the Buffy and Willow fallout. Mostly because I think crazygolfa's analysis is correct, and I think Willow will see it that way too and be pissed.
Willow's reaction is the most intriguing. There are so many layers to that possible. Could she be pissed that she thinks Buffy is "posing", stringing along a lesbian girl who has sincere feelings for her? Could she be afraid that Buffy is just using Satsu? Could she feel a violation of some kind against herself, her own uniqueness? Could she be jealous that it wasn't her?
Okay, so that was the big, shocking, revelatory plot-twist?! I have to say, I read through the entire issue waiting for the big surprise. I had to go read the NY Times thread to figure out what I had missed.

Sorry, but the idea that a putatively straight woman might find herself sufficiently turned on to have sex with another sexy, beautiful woman who is hot for her just does not rock the universe. I don't actually like the term "experimenting" in this context, because that makes it sound much more cold-blooded than it is, but lots of people find themselves in with feelings that they didn't necessarily expect of themselves, and given the right situation acting on it, particularly when they are young and not in a committed relationship and thrown into a situation where there are others interested in them. Like college. Or being among several hundred slayers. Sexuality does not fall into 3 neatly separated categories, straight, gay, and bi. It's a continuum with everyone having some capacity to feel attracted to others of both sexes, whether they choose to acknowledge and/or act on it or not. Buffy and Satsu's encounter would have been completely par for the course in a college situation, just made perfect sense to me following up on the developments that have already occurred between them. I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

Beyond that, I though the bedroom hi-jinks were hilarious. The whole scene beginning with Xander bursting in made me think of a Marx Brothers routine. My favorite bit was Xander's, "just wait for Willow to drop in" followed by Willow dropping in. Also "I've had this dream." Gads, wouldn't it have been great to see what Nicholas Brendon would have done with that scene.

So, a pretty decent issue, but I'm still feeling a sense of let-down, waiting for the big surprise.
Two more comments:
- Notice that Willow is the most blunt and straightforward: "Why are you naked in bed with Satsu?" trumps "Hi nude asian girl" in my mind, and not just because I like Willow a bazillion times more than I like Andrew...
- Can you really fly a helicopter with just one eye? Just a random thought, but cyclops Xander not having depth perception could be an issue.
[T]he idea that a putatively straight woman might find herself sufficiently turned on to have sex with another sexy, beautiful woman who is hot for her just does not rock the universe.

Agreed. I think the surprise here is that it's Buffy, a character all of us think we know. Until last issue, when Buffy didn't definitively shut the door on Satsu, we had virtually no hint that Buffy would jump in bed with another woman, given the right circumstances. Had someone asked us a poll question before then -- Would Buffy have sex with another woman under the right circumstances? -- we might have said, yeah, possibly. But those circumstances have never been dramatized ... until now. That's the surprise. That the opportunity arose, and Buffy took it. It's the same kind of surprise I felt when Buffy kissed Spike at the end of OMWF. Had someone asked me before then, "Under the right conditions, would Buffy ever sleep with Spike?" I might have said yeah, sure. But when the hypothetically plausible becomes actual fact, it's surprising. And hugely entertaining.
KingofCretins said:

Willow's reaction is the most intriguing. There are so many layers to that possible. Could she be pissed that she thinks Buffy is "posing", stringing along a lesbian girl who has sincere feelings for her? Could she be afraid that Buffy is just using Satsu? Could she feel a violation of some kind against herself, her own uniqueness? Could she be jealous that it wasn't her?


I think it will be yes to all of those, but particularly yes to the last.

Willow loves Buffy. She always has. She was willing to risk everything to bring Buffy back, and ultimately, she lost the love of her life (Tara) because she did. Now Buffy slept with another woman. Yeah, that's gonna hurt on some level. Joss hints at that in the NYT article.

I expect Willow will be mad, and skirt around the issue until Buffy forces it, where they will have an honest and frank discussion about sexuality. In the end, they will appreciate each other just a little bit better.

Will they sleep with each other? Doubtful. That's pretty much fanfic stuff.

As for the readership reaction, remember we don't live in the 15th century. Why should sexuality be limited to one thing or the other? It's not a binary equation with one bit, on or off. I have good friends who are straight and good friends who are gay, and even those inbetween. I don't judge them as trying to be "sensationalist" because of whom they sleep with. Likewise, I don't judge Joss or Drew for writing this story line. I know them by their work, and they do not exploit their characters just to sell more airtime or more issues.

There is a familiar arc here, where Buffy is reaching out to touch someone who loves her, but still feeling alone. Satsu isn't going to be "the one," but at least she had a moment to make Buffy happy, even if just physically. In the end, I think they'll turn out to be the closest of friends (assuming Satsu doesn't die).
I expect Willow will be mad, and skirt around the issue until Buffy forces it, where they will have an honest and frank discussion about sexuality.


I doubt that very much. Willow, as I've noted above, immediately perceives exactly what's happening and asks the direct question no one else voiced. If we're talking S1-3 Willow, I'd agree with you 110%--but Willow is not who she was then.

I'm not sure that I necessarily buy the jealousy bit, either. It's a plausible possibility, but I resist interpreting everything anyone does solely in the context of their sexuality. To be a bit crude, I don't think Willow raised Buffy because she wanted to jump her any more than I think Xander stood up to Dark Willow because he wanted to jump her. People are nuanced and complex beings, and while attraction is a powerful force, it isn't the only such force. Again, just because Willow's lesbian and loves Buffy doesn't mean that love is necessarily sexual.
crazygolfa said:

I will have no problem with it as long as it is healthy for both her and Satsu.


I will reserve judgment until the whole thing is played out, but at this point I'm failing to see how this scenario can possibly be healthy for Satsu.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet are the possible implications for the vampires having stolen the scythe. Perhaps they mean to undo Willow's spell and return the world to its single-slayer status? That would be pretty interesting on a macro-verse level -- more interesting to me, anyway, than Buffy hopping into bed with Satsu for a night.
I'm guessing that Satsu is a yakuza spy... But mostly i'm cheering at how much this issue made me squirm, squeal, and bust a gut laughing. I also ran around the kitchen for a minuet singing, "butt-monkey! butt-monkey!" when I was finished.
Wow, you're right, with Butsu and the reintroduction of Drac, well mainly Butsu, the whole scythe stealing incident has completely fallen off the radar. Maybe it was done on purpose. They probably did that because the focus of the next three issues will be getting the scythe back. I think this arc will feature more of the funny. I do think the scythe has more to it than meets the eye. I could also have some hidden power than can help vampires, or the Japanese Goth Vampire Gang wants to make one slayer.
I had avoided spoilers so I WAS surprised, but not shocked, that Buffy got it on with a wonderful beautiful interesting girl who truly loved her (who can resist true love?). No one is every shocked that a Gay person would have some straight experiences, it doesn't really seem unreasonable that the reverse occasionally happens.

I loved Andrew's enjoyment of flying with Willow. I love Xander and Renee slowly developing a relationship. I loved Loved LOVED everyone walking (or falling, in Willow's case) into Buffy's bedroom! And I think it is kind of cool that Dracula has marshaled forces to take down the slayer(s), but do you think he is Twilight? At any rate I'm confident that Xander will find the will to fight off Dracula's thrall.

I'm loving the story, the dialog and the artwork.
Actually, I do think it is generally surprising/unusual when a gay person/character has a straight experience. I think the standard there is single. (e.g. if Willow slept with a guy now, there would be long threads about it)

I'm not so sure Drac is leading the Goths. I figured the scoobs went to him figuring he'd know more one way or another, but not assuming he's behind it all. What's the general feeling on this?
My theory on Dracula's involvement, from the start, has been that he was probably forced into the same kind of Faustian deal that Roden said he was -- given amnesty for cooperation in the magical purge. His duty was to teach what he knows to other vampires, and those vampires are working for Twilight either not realizing it or not knowing his real agenda. So, Drac's motivation to help would be his righteous indignation, a legend having been made a slave. I certainly hope that's the case, if only because it would make him less likely to want to use his jedi mind trick on people.

I really hope that as the events of "Antique" are dealt with, Drew will sort of retcon in a little bit of dignity for Xander in that situation -- I can deal with the idea that he was with Dracula if, rather than a helpless, impish servant he was sort of his valet, perspective on humanity, etc. And no slash, oy gevalt.
Actually, I don't think Drac is involved with the "Goth Gang", rather Xander and Renee are there to seek his help as they seem to possess some of the same powers as Drac. If Buffy suspected Drac to be involved, I'd think she'd send a much bigger force, probably including Willow and herself. Don't really think Twilight is necessarily involved either. To me Xander is merely approaching Drac due to their past relationship.
embers wrote:

do you think [Dracula] is Twilight?


Nah.

It's been speculated in the past that Xander would be the one to betray Buffy ... it'd be interesting if perhaps he's been in on something with Drac from the get-go. Under the ol' butt-monkey thrall and thus Drac's man on the inside?
That is so very intriguing, karosurly. Going with this theory--not that I'm saying it's entirely what I think--then Xander could possibly have always been under Drac's thrall, only Drac's been using it sparingly.

In any case...

I dug the issue quite a bit, and it's definitely the funniest thus far.
I just got through reading and I didn't get the feeling that Dracula was involved at all. Although he didn't seem surprised at Xander's arrival.

Of course, I'm mostly unspoiled so....

I liked this issue and I think the Buffy/Satsu scenes were very well done. There was not a thing in them to remind me of season 6.
I very much enjoyed it, especially Buffy's shyness and vulnerability with Satsu ("you did more things than me!" made me both laugh and tear up )and the whole en masse entrance into Buffy's room was funny without being meanspirited either.
(Also, I commend the lack of self-loathing, too.)

I do think this is an interesting callback to the "Great Muppety Odin, I miss the sex." of issue 1, noting Xander being the first and his lone eye. (The Xander and Dracula relationship, if retconned with "Antique" also could have some other underscoring of Xander as the heart and therefore Dracula's connection to humanity--I do wonder if there's some caring there (and I don't mean slash per se). I guess we'll see.

I am interested to see Willow's eventual take on things Buffy and Satsu and well, I can't wait to see what's next.
I'm glad Buffy's not doing the self-loathing after possibly-ill-considered sex thing again, too. That was tired before the teaser of "Wrecked" was over.

But, I don't think we should be jumping up and down in celebration about this. Here's why --

-- Buffy is Satsu's teacher in terms of Slaying and general world-saving.
-- Buffy is Satsu's commander in battle in this army, not someone who came up in the game with her like many have starting with Pike, the Scoobies, etc.
-- Buffy knows that Satsu is in love with her and that she is not in love in return.
-- That crumbling sound? That's the absolute collapse of Buffy's air of authority in the BHC once that gets out. And it will, because it always does.
-- That other crumbling sound? Satsu's sense of community with the other Slayers she lives with. Renee looked at her like she was from *Mars*, and I seriously doubt it's because she didn't know that Satsu was a lesbian.

I really hope, and soon, that we get the confrontation (because that's what appears to be there) with Willow, and the conversation with Xander (who at this point is obviously, like, Buffy's Main Dude, pace Drew Goddard's "Cloverfield") about this. I don't think either of them are going to be able to muster much in the way of "supportive". Willow has some undefined problem with this, which I listed off the possibilities of. And, I think Xander will, too, but mostly from his situation as co-grand poobah of this little concern of theirs. Although, yeah, I imagine he'll probably be a little affected by jealousy -- it's still Buffy, he's still Xander, it's as much a part of him as being able to roll your tongue or attached earlobes.

And the punchline? ABSOLUTELY NONE of these things have anything to do with Buffy and Satsu both having va-jay-jays.

I'm really glad Xander brought Renee with him to Dracula's place. It's a lot of trust in her, and also shows he's willing to let her see him at basically his most humiliating state. Doesn't Xander/Renee remind anyone of the Buffy/Xander dynamic of Season 1 and Season 2? I mean, aside from when Renee is proving (affecting, really) her geekdom. She just reminds me of Buffy as she was back then.

Another thing I've been wondering -- does the theft of the scythe and the immediate speculation by Buffy that it's to do with the spell make anyone else wonder if Joss might be thinking about rolling back the spell, either in full or in part?
And I hope there's not a major confrontation between Buffy and Willow over it. I saw enough of that seasons 6 and 7 with Xander and Buffy re:Spike.
I don't care if there is one, just that we see it. I just don't want there to be no follow-up to Willow's decided unhappiness when she fires that "Nothing makes sense to me" shot across Buffy's bow (complete with Satsu looking down like Willow was going to slap her).
I just don't want there to be no follow-up to Willow's decided unhappiness when she fires that "Nothing makes sense to me" shot across Buffy's bow (complete with Satsu looking down like Willow was going to slap her).

You know, that's one thing that I didn't care for very much. I disliked that Satsu was looking down like a puppy that did something wrong. And I disliked that it was Willow's comment that made her look that way.
Yeah, even Xander looked like that blew his hair back, that Willow said that -- it's not like he shouldn't be even *more* thrown by this, he's the one that's been with Buffy every day. This is why Willow's motives are such a mystery to me -- could she be jealous? Is she now going to be a stand-in for the almost certain feedback from parts of the gay community that's pissed off that Buffy is apparently a 'tourist', a 'LUG'?

I really want to see Kennedy react to this, too.
I liked this issue a lot. They handled the Buffy/Satsu situation very, very well. No self-loathing, as mentioned already. It was very sweet, although I think Buffy's freaked-out "This isn't what it looks like!" probably hurt Satsu. And I'm not sure what Willow's line toward the end was about. I think Satsu can handle whatever's coming, though.

Rowena had a line! And what century does Andrew sleep in?

I really like the way Georges Jeanty draws Dracula. The Renee/Xander matching outfits creeps me out a bit more every page, for some reason.

These supervamps are wicked cool villains. Touching the scythe to taunt Buffy, and then getting away? Whoa. The purple-haired vampire (or witch?) can fly? Whoa^2. This is bad.

"You could, you know... take me out."
"You want me to assassinate you!?"

Funny!
We respond to characters who act like real human beings, flaws and all. So yeah, Willow will be petty on occasion, especially if she's meant to be human. Let's not forget this is the same woman who nearly burned her world to ash, hurting and threatening her friends because she was in pain. Yeah, Willow isn't that person anymore, but neither is she an angel.

Buffy sleeping with Satsu is going to cause some pain. Sex always leads to pain in the Whedonverse.
I really like the way Georges Jeanty draws Dracula.

I did too. The make-up they used for him in the Btvs episode was really bad. He looks much better in this issue.
I don't know... I personally haven't read it yet but this thread made me very ambivalent and I don't think I'll buy this one. I guess I was never really a comics person, because I had a hard time feeling the "Buffy magic" with the comics anyways, it was kind of sporadic for me. It's not that I have any problems with sex/gender issues (I'm just 17 so not as well-versed as some of the people here seem to be) but just this isn't really the same show that I love. I feel like literally the only person in the world typing this (I'm scared Joss Whedon will somehow see this comment and come and take away my Chosen Collection for being a bad fan, lol) but is anybody else not as into the comics as they were into the show when it was on TV?
You know, he never quite lived up to the whole "rock star" aspect in the tv episode. It was funny, but he just wasn't that cool. Comic Dracula kind of looks it.
ProphecyGirl16, though I don't agree with you (I have been loving the comics), you are definitely not the only one to feel that way. Several folks here seem to.
The only issue I have with the Buffy/Satsu - er - issue, is the problems inherent in sleeping with someone under your command. As far as the remainder of the issue is concerned, I'd give both my eyeteeth to have seen this on-screen. Oh - my - gods, what that cast could have done with the "bedroom invasion" sequence.
Absolutely amazing issue. I was naturally shocked by seeing Buffy and Satsu in bed together (as were most who didn't get spoiled by NYT), but they handled it beautifully. And while I enjoyed Season Six angsty goodness (to a certain extent), I appreciate that Joss and Drew have decided to avoid the self loathing post-sex Buffy.

Andrew! It's about time. The Xander/Renee budding relationship was adorable. I like how things are slowly developing over time.

Nice introduction for Dracula; I actually just read Antique online last week and noticed the identical construction of his castle. I just hope that Xan doesn't act entirely butt-monkey-ish.
Having Nick Brendan deliver "I wasn't aware we had an alarm for this, but yes. Sound the alarm"... wow. I wonder if we can get some line readings at Paley? Or what would Aly do with the "Nothing makes sense to me tonight" line?
phantomgirl, I am also one not enthralled with the comic.

But here is a good discussion point. quantumac said "Sex always leads to pain in the Whedonverse." Ever wonder why that is? Why the hell is it sex that leads to pain? Does that even sound right? A lot of people fall in love and end up happy; so, people say, hey, in writing, that does not lead to good writing. Oh yeah? Why not? You mean a good writer is incapable of writing about normal happy relations? I guess we have to qualify what it means to be a good writer, then.

And of course, it'll be Satsu who betrays Buffy. I don't bet, but I would bet on that.
Hmm. Does the lack of Oz mean that CBR called Dracula "hairy"? He does rock the longer hair style, no lie. But that seems a bit harsh of them. ;)
No, it doesn't sound right that sex would always lead to pain. It's contrary to the natural facts, it's one of the few things about which I think Joss must be ignoring the human condition for what he thinks will make the best story. When it happened with Buffy and Angel, it was a very specific metaphor. It also turned the show into a phenomenon.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-06 04:32 ]
this isn't really the same show that I love

ProphecyGirl16, I agree with you in general, BUT this issue, of all the dozen that have been released to date, felt the most like it could have been an actual episode of the show. Like others have expressed before, I can hear the actors speaking the lines and see the action of everyone galumphing into Buffy's bedroom in my mind's eye.

And you know, I think it almost had to be this way. Since so many things were *different*, it was important that some very key things felt perfectly familiar and comfortable. I don't doubt that having Drew Goddard writing helped the feeling.
Suddenly Faith's line "Hey, I likes me some kink, but if you think I'm going downtown on this chick, you chose the wrong chosen one" takes on a whole new meaning. A very funny one, indeed. :-)
I think it's funny that Faith was always the one that people assumed was bi and she specifically said she's not into girls in her arc, and then straight as an arrow Buffy ends up sleeping with Satsu.

Great issue, though.
Loved the whole bedroom farce, particularly Xander's reaction... the whole "burning eye" bit just screamed of catching family in the act to me. I'm almost more interested to see Buffy hash things out with Dawn than with Willow. Also dug the vampire taunting Buffy by *ping* touching her scythe.

Anyone else thing that perhaps Mr. Gordo is Twilight? I'm sure he reappeared for a reason.
Went unspoiled...I'm really upset.

They stole the freakin' scythe! That's just not right.

Anyway, I thought this issue was hi-larious. All the reactions were spot on. Mr. Gordo! I didn't look closely and thought it was a bear. Wait...how did he survive the town imploding?! Is this a new, more Scottish Gordo?

I wouldn't want to ride in a helicopter with Xander flying, though. Talk about a blind spot.
*rimshot*

That one's for you, hacksaway, free of charge. ;-)
I'm so done. But hey, bonus, I know I won't be tuning in to Dollhouse now either. Thanks Joss.
We'll miss you, love4ba.
I have not read the issue yet (see you on next Thursday, Buffy #12), but it looks like the Saffy (just because Butsu sounds like a Japanese suicide ritual) thing is dealt with immediately and coolly. Good.

Also, I wanted to express how much I'm loving this season, and this coming from someone who religiously loves every single season of the TV run. I also happen to love comics, so the jump hasn't been dramatic or startling for me, but IMO there hasn't been a single moment in the comics that couldn't have been filmed when Buffy was on the air (except for budgetary reasons). When I'm reading Willow, or Xander, I'm reading Willow and Xander, not Comics Willow and Xander. And one more thing about Buffy as a character. Many fans don't recognize here anymore or feel she strayed from what she was.. but that's what she's been doing for seven seasons. Is S1 Buffy also S2 Buffy ? Is S4 Buffy also S3 Buffy ? No. She's evolving constantly, for better or worse, it's what happens when people grow up. She's at an age (24-25) when people struggle between youth and adulthood, when they change path and make choices that they wouldn't have considered before. Maybe it's because I'm her age and I'm going through a similar detached period, but I've NEVER felt closer to Buffy emotionally as I do now. I'm so in these comics. And definitely makes me more eager (if it's possible) for the Doll Age.
I think we're going to see a lot of that; people whose primary interest in the series is expressly 'shippy (consider the name, love4ba) walking away from the series... but that was going to be due to *any* 'shippy development that wasn't their own 'ship.

I think a lot of people walked into Season 8 expecting it to simply be the epilogue, a coda to the series in which loose-ends of character arcs get tied up, but without danger, without conflict, without growth or change.

I'm not happy about Buffy/Satsu as a fan of the series (because it feels a little gratuitous right now), as a fan of the Buffy character (because I feel she's abusing her position and acting in a way that isn't fair to Satsu at all -- she's going to do the "I love you, don't touch me" thing, almost certainly), and as a fan of my own 'ship (that should be Xander and Buffy, c'mon, let's get this right, ya'll)... but I knew what I was signing up for. If you aren't looking forward to each issue with a mix of excitement and dread, you may not have quite realized yet that Season 8 is "the real deal" for the Buffyverse and its characters.
I have no problems at all with Buffy's sleeping with Satsu. Others have brought up the point Buffy is abusing her authority by sleeping with someone she is mentoring but what happened in 12 doesn't feel exploitive to me.
It's a per se abuse of her position, no matter how sweet or harmless it looks at the surface. Once this gets out in the BHC, how can Buffy order one Slayer to do something dangerous that she didn't ask Satsu to do -- she's just protecting her honey. Remember the very cool scene of Satsu, Leah, and Rowena in 8.04 when Satsu very humbly said one of them should be on the mission with Buffy, and Leah gave her some encouragement? How does that scene play out of Satsu is sleeping with Buffy and the other two know it?

This is an objection I started voicing back around 8.06 in the context of Xander/Renee -- because he's basically co-executive of their organization with Buffy, because we've seen him handle administrative functions for entire organization, sending Slayers here and there, assigning them, transferring them, it would be inappropriate for him to be involved with one.

The net effect is that Buffy and Xander are each other's only ethically clean dating options within the walls -- and if that's not what they want, then they need to date outside their thing.
Just a few observations from someone who hasn't read the issue yet...

- Anyone else noticing that there there seems to be more than a little voyeurism in the Jossverse? I mean, with the whole gang walking in on Butsu in this issue, and then Xander walking in on (invisible) Buffy/Spike, a camera trained on Anya/Spike, the whole gang walking in on Angel/Eve, Angel watching Cordy/Connor, River watching Simon/Kaylee and I'm sure there's more.
As a dramatic device, coitus interruptus has a purpose, but only if used sparingly.
- I understand that people have questions, but I really hope questions about this arc and Butsu don't go on to dominate the Paley reunion.

I AM looking forward to getting this issue in a month's time- darn TFAW postage- and finding out what's so 'must see' about it. From the spoilers I've seen here today, I hope the words 'overhyped' that I've seen so far turn out to be incorrect.

ETA- Removed a spoiler-ific comment about an upcoming cover. Thanks Gossi for the heads up!

[ edited by missb on 2008-03-06 14:32 ]
Am I the only one who assumes that at least part of why Buffy pulled Satsu back toward the bed was so they could go again? I mean, to keep it secret, Satsu is still going to take a pre-dawn walk of shame either way, right?

If Buffy/Satsu questions take over the PaleyFest reunion, that's on Joss, IMO. If nothing else, and if the moderators don't just screen them all and if the Paley people don't say something, then Joss should take it on himself at the outset of the panel to say that none of them are there to talk about 8.12, that he's the only one there directly involved with it, and that it would be a waste of the opportunity to have these people together to dwell on it.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-06 14:24 ]
While I was a bit surprised initially to see Buffy and Satsu together, it makes sense in hindsight. I have no problem with it within the context of the comic.

Part of it is I treat the tv series and comic as two very different animals and I'm not that wedded to the idea that the comic is canon. The comic doesn't besmirch the tv series for me and vice versa.

That being said, I would have a MUCH harder time seeing this played out on tv. If people viewed this particular storyline with as much distaste as others felt when Buffy first banged Spike in Wrecked, I would not be surprised if they could no longer tolerate reading the comic.
I'm not that wedded to the idea that the comic is canon.


Well, it is, but you can, of course, ignore it at your whim.
I'm a B/Aer and I enjoyed the issue just fine.I'm very interested in seeing where this plot point goes.Based on what Joss said in the article,it is going to cause problems for Buffy I'm sure.I also have a feeling that Satsu has a bullseye on her head now in one way or the other.Basically I'm willing to see what Joss has planned.

And I did find everyone walking in on them in bed to be pretty funny.

The ending was great too with Dracula.
Every issue should end with Dracula, really.
That would get predictable really quickly ;)
Who cares? A series of insights into Dracula's daily life would be awesome! Next week, Dracula visits with the harpies and reflects on times past.
It could be a backup story, it just shouldn't take any of the normal 22 pages away :)
Note: not really for serious. But if Drew always writes him, then yes, a tiny bit for serious.
I was unspoiled, and all that I knew was that something shocking would happen.

Immediately after I got the comic, I opened it up and saw...the panel. And I really wanted to read it, all the way, right there, but I had errands to run before I went home; and so I spent the next hour running through all the possibilities of where this is going in my mind. Wow oh wow oh wow.

I think that Buffy and Satsu sleeping together is a mistake, because, as KingOfCretins pointed out, Buffy is an authority figure. Satsu is yet another person who is beneath her--a supplicant, a student, a lover whom Buffy doesn't quite love in return. (C.f. Riley and Spike....) Buffy is upfront, and she is honest, and I don't think that Satsu was misled, but, still, the damage may be done, in terms of Buffy's authority within the group, and Satsu's role, and dozens of other things.

As far as Willow's decidedly unsupportive reaction: wow. Wow wow wow do I want to see a conversation between her and Buffy about this. About how hard it was for Willow to come out because she was afraid about what Buffy would say, but that she still told her (and Buffy, while not unreasonable, had a knee-jerk reaction in "New Moon Rising" similar to Willow's here); that Buffy may be (from some perspectives) disrespecting the gay community by jumping into bed with someone while, pretty much, straight; and that, if Buffy was going to sleep with a woman, why not her? Willow's feelings for Buffy are complicated, and I bet that even if Willow doesn't want Buffy sexually, she'll still see Buffy's experimenting with a girl who isn't her as a rejection. How many times must Willow be rejected by a slayer--whether it's losing Xander to Buffy, or everyone to Faith, and now Buffy to Satsu?

I have more to say (Dracula!), but it'll have to wait. (Work to do, gotta run.) But wow, wow, wow.
Xander walking in on Buffy and Satsu just might be the funniest Buffy moment ever.

Bless you, Drew Goddard.
I took Willow's reaction as hurt that her closest (female) friend was in bed with a woman and Willow had no idea it was coming. That Buffy hadn't had a heart to heart with her about it - as they used to talk about everything.
She can't have known how spontaeous it was.
Fantastic issue, kudos to Joss, Drew, George et al. I read #11 and 12 together this morning, so it's all running together in my head, in a fun way.

Of course, the Buffy/Satsu thing has everybody up in arms, but hell, so much has happened!

-The scythe is gone! Obviously, those Japanese Goth Vamps know what they're doing and anything is possible. Undoing Willow's spell isn't even the least of the worst-case scenarios that could follow. I guess it would make sense to think that Satsu could be Buffy's betrayer, since she's also Japanese, but that seems a bit too obvious.

-Drac is back, LOL. This will be fun to see, although not for Xander, poor guy. Xander under Drac's thrall makes sense as the betrayer too, but again, I'm gonna guess that this is a red herring.

-Twilight Supervillain, I have an idea of who it might be, but it seems so farfetched, especially with some of the cheesy comicbook dialogue he's spouting. I think we have Betrayer Guy right here.

-Willow's reaction to Buffy/Satsu. Oh, dear. This isn't going to be pretty. There's so much emotional baggage between these two that this has to push things way up to the forefront. Can't wait to see how it plays out. Willow may have surprised herself with that reaction. But this feels so natural to me -- I've been through similar experiences in my twenties with a couple of my closest female friends.

As for the story ramifications of Buffy/Satsu, yes, it's not a wise thing to get involved with someone who works for you (or with you), but the truth is that it happens all the time. How they deal with that will be very interesting to see. I don't see Buffy trying to protect Satsu -- if anything, it's much more likely that Satsu will be in more danger because she's always going to be at the forefront of every apocalyptic sitch that comes up.

I don't need for Buffy to be in any TwuWuv ship ever again, thank you very much. I'm just happy to see her connecting with somebody, for the dramatic potential. However it turns out, it's a neccessary step. It's how people go through life and grow up. And in between, we whine about how miserable and lonely we are, LOL.

All of us bring our own baggage to these stories and while it's obviously a shock to some (and an unacceptable turn for others), I can't imagine missing this for the world. Feels like old times.
punkinpuss-It does feel like old times, doesn't it?

I love the fun of the story they're telling....but not the 'OMG NOOOOOO!' shippery part and that's coming from someone who is a 'shipper.

that Buffy may be (from some perspectives) disrespecting the gay community by jumping into bed with someone while, pretty much, straight.

WilliamTheB-"Disrespecting the gay community"?!? What a weird phrase and why would Willow even think such a thing?
The Long Way Home
Part 3 - True love's kiss - cinnamon buns
Part 4 -Satsu's Lip Gloss - cinnamon
Someone's been planning ahead
Alright, nobody has gone here, but I'm going to.

I was totally unspoiled when I read this issue yesterday. I had had a horrible day and felt really crappy about myself. Then I read this issue and felt even crappier.

In private life I don't care who people sleep with unless they are also sleeping with me...or I am interested in them sleeping with me. In fiction and in the public forum, however, I hate to see damaging stereotypes reinforced. I hate it when lesbians are constantly portrayed as angry, vindictive bitches and I hate it when all strong females are portrayed as lesbians.

I realize the comic does not say Buffy is now a lesbian, and I can see Joss making all kinds of points about labels, the fluidity of sexuality, yada yada yada. The thing is, all my life I have been dealing with the "all strong, competent women must be lesbians" cliche' and, Hey, here it is in BtVS. Willow is the strongest person there seems to be anywhere, Tara was the only one in the college group with any actual magical powers, Kennedy was the strongest potential, Satsu is the best of Buffy's group and now Buffy is going to bed with another woman and reacting with a "Wow". That does not make Buffy a lesbian or even bi-sexual, but from my end of the Kinsey scale, it does not make her straight either. (...and probably the most ironic thing is that I hate labels and this is forcing me into thinking that way more than ever.)

Of course a lot of men and women experiment, but, news flash, there really are women who are straight, know they are straight, and might even be strong and worthy to lead. I think the people that suggested that are sometimes called...hmmm...oh yeah, feminists.

Yeah, I know this post will not make friends, but I am not in the mood to care. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sleeping with the same gender or the opposite gender, I am just in a vulnerable place right now, and this just added to it. Of course I feel like a weak, incompetent idiot, I'm a straight middle-aged woman, and even Joss doesn't bother to portray unambiguously straight women as strong, competent leaders.
Now that is a good comic. Look at all the stirred up emotions!

I hate Buffy sleeping with Satsu (who loves her) & saying "This isn't what it looks like!" That is horribly immature/insecure. I hope she grows up before we see her wake up, hung over, with Giles.

The Renee/Zander dialogue "You want me to assassinate you?!" was pretty choice.

The Marx brothers salute to bawdy french farce was hilarious!

But I remain very unhappy with Buffy. See you all next month!

[ edited by nutterbudgie on 2008-03-07 02:28 ]
The more and more I think of it, I think the scythe has more mystical power than it was used for. I think the vampire gang wants it more the power it could give them than going back to the time there was only two slayers.
newcj actually brings up a tangent to a question that I almost mentioned yesterday, but was having trouble finding how to express. My tangent to her point is this: given the strong women being portrayed as lesbians point (and so often that lesbians are being portrayed or perceived as angry), do you have any fear that people will be more apt to dismiss Buffy's primary message of female empowerment as her being just another angry lesbian? That may be a rhetorical question to some people, or maybe the answer is that no one who was going to be reached by Buffy's would be lost because of this, but... I have to say it was one of my first responses (worrying about this question, that is) to the NYT spoiler article, prior to having read the issue itself.
do you have any fear that people will be more apt to dismiss Buffy's primary message of female empowerment as her being just another angry lesbian?

I guess I think about it like this: I worry that people still have the lesbian = angry assumption. It is quite frequent. I don't worry about people walking away from this flurry of press with that assumption about Buffy because it's just the latest item on the laundry list of misconceptions people have about her. She's very nuanced, and when I talk to people who didn't watch the show, sometimes they think some pretty awful things about her. And I don't mean informed negative opinions, I mean really messed up ideas of what she really represents as a female character who fights monsters.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-03-07 04:43 ]
Agreed, Sunfire, there are some weird ideas about Buffy out there, even from otherwise intelligent folks. And the angry lesbian cliche is impressively long lived. I appreciate the response as I specifically wondered whether it was even worth worrying about given the other weird notions people had about the show.
What are the other ideas they have about the show? All I know is that people dismiss show of the name or the fact it was on the WB, is why people don't like it. I can be dense at times, so I don't hear those ideas.
When I heard about the Tokyo connection I was worried that it was going to be some kind of stereotypical ode to the Japanese samurai/popular/manga culture issue. I still potentially am, but that's just me personally. I was glad to see otherwise though, at least in this issue. Satsu being a Japanese name could be just a coincidence or connected hmmm...

I was kind of disappointed at Buffy's potentially using Satsu, but I expected it to happen and it did, oh well. It's definitely not out of character for Buffy so I have nothing to complain about and it will make for great drama later on. A lot of people are complaining about Buffy's abusing her position and power. I disagree because sometimes this sort of thing happens and it's not always an abuse of power. Sometimes it is and you read about those examples in the news. Two people liking each other when one happens to be in a higher position is not an automatic example of power abuse. It is possibly an abuse of Satsu's love and a number of other things, but I didn't feel it to be an abuse of her position as Head Honcho Slayer.

I was also a little disappointed about the extra strain on the Buffy-Willow friendship. Looking forward to how that's going to play out.

Loved seeing Andrew again. More Andrew! And I'll watch cautiously for how Draccy-story plays out. Didn't mind seeing him again and probably would have minded less if I hadn't read Tales of the Vampires storyline online.

Loved this issue, very fun. The writers just keep churning it out as does Georges. I really am enjoying season 8, but then I loved season 4,6 and 7 the best of the tv show!
Whether its an outright abuse of her power as Head Honcho or not, its the sort of thing that is looked down upon and discouraged in organizations the world over and for many many good reasons. Plus, you say two people liking each other, and I think its more a case of one person being in love and one person who wants to be loved and find out that there is something to love about herself... and Buffy seems willing to use Satsu to explore whether she can find whats worth loving about herself or whatever other issues she is working out. In any case its not fair to Satsu.
I appreciate the response as I specifically wondered whether it was even worth worrying about given the other weird notions people had about the show.

Well, I can't judge what is and isn't worth worrying about. I worry about all kinds of ridiculous things. ;) Just, I'm not worried about this one. On a more serious note, I'm busy worrying people think that about me most of the time, so I think I have less of the worry left over for a fictional character.

True story: I was in OH when the state marriage amendment went down. Went to a public meeting on domestic partner benefits around the same time. It was a complex topic-- a lawsuit, several organization's policies being called out in it, people from various groups there to listen and ask questions and speak.

Tuned in to local NPR news the next morning. They gave it a few seconds. A few sentences. Like 3. Ok, that's about what I expected. What I didn't expect was the content: They said there had been a meeting, turnout had been high, and a bunch of lesbians were there and they were loud, and they sounded angry. End of story. Which struck me as quite odd, because the meeting was very different. Anyone who was there, and walked away with that, was doing some strong filtering indeed.

So, I just can't worry about the things people pick up in lousy news reports on events in fictional space, when it isn't even in the narrative to begin with. It's outside my control. I leave that to writers to address. For me, it's all too big and too real in real-world space, and I address it there. I know the narrative delivers complex characters, so I'm grateful for that, and I have to end it there. I have nothing left for the people whose notions aren't all that well informed to begin with. They'll think what they want to think about Buffy, as usual.

What are the other ideas they have about the show? All I know is that people dismiss show of the name or the fact it was on the WB, is why people don't like it. I can be dense at times, so I don't hear those ideas.

What I remember had to do with Buffy being just stereotypes mashed together in a startling way. Sometimes people say she's the opposite of feminist-- either because of the fighting or because of the femininity. Some people think she's just another girl action hero meant to attract eyes. Usually my impression is that they see either just the surface or a complete inversion of who the character is. I guess that's the sticky point-- she was meant to be an inversion of a stereotype. For people not paying attention, I think they may mistake her for that.
Zeitgeist that sort of thing is looked down upon in organisations for many organisation-serving non-reasons as well. There is no denying that Buffy is using Satsu in a terrible way.

newjc you definitely raised an interesting perspective. I appreciated reading your comments. I feel for you, many of us deal with having to fight stereotypes every moment of the day which is why we tend to love characters in Buffy, but it sometimes seems that by refusing to play to one stereotype you are inevitably playing to the stereotype of someone who doesn't follow the stereotype.

Looking to similar tv shows that have feminine-looking attractive (usually blonde) strong woman in the lead (La Femme Nikita, Alias, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Veronica Mars, Buffy) they are generally not depicted as gay in any manner and those that are are generally one of the sidekicks or one of the guests of the week.
They said there had been a meeting, turnout had been high, and a bunch of lesbians were there and they were loud, and they sounded angry. End of story.


How very odd... and disappointing.

And to what Hee was saying, there are definitely other strong females out there who identify as straight, I think newcj was specifically speaking to the depiction of strong women within Buffy proper.
This has to be short because I keep getting thrown out and losing my post.

Hee, zeitgeist is right. I am just talking about BtVS. I have seen a little of VM and none of the others.

I would love for there to be more lead characters who are lesbians, as well as more varied female characters in general. I just feel like BtVS is starting to reinforce the idea that feminism is owned by lesbian and bi-sexual women and that straight women are not really part of the equation.

As far as the dealing with stereotype thing goes, I know it should not matter, and because of that I try to ignore it when it happens. On the other hand, it is a misconception about me that has sometimes sat there being annoying simply because it is not true. I would rather have people dislike me based on truth than on fantasy, even if neither should be the basis for anyone else's judgement. To see BtVS reinforcing one of the oldest stereotypes used to keep women in their place, is truly annoying.
Buffy hasn't even been stated to be bisexual yet. Many other female posters on this site and others have talked about their own private sexual experiences with other women on at least one occasion and still view themselves as straight. Buffy can easily be the same.
I just feel like BtVS is starting to reinforce the idea that feminism is owned by lesbian and bi-sexual women and that straight women are not really part of the equation.

Sexual politics is interesting. There are people objecting to this story because they think Buffy is straight. There are people objecting to this story because they don't think Buffy should be abusing her authority. There are people objecting to this story because it's Buffy falling into her old ways - sleeping with someone because she feels emotionally disconnected. And now newcj brings up an interesting notion about an old cliche/stereotype.

But see - this is why I think the story is interesting. Because it contains all those elements. Because the story - hopefully - will explore some or all of those notions. I think the "all power women are lesbians" phallacy won't necessarily be tackled head-on, but it's an interesting take on the situation.

That said, people who say all strong women are lesbians are A) wrong and B) using the term lesbian as a pejorative term. Which makes them extra wrong.

The idea that because men (and some women) like to cast strong women as "ball busters" or "manly" as a source of ridicule doesn't really translate - in my mind - to a pervading notion that all feminism is "owned by lesbian and bi-sexual women". Even the notion that it's about bisexuality seems alluded to here simply to explain how Buffy might fit the cliche. (ie. since when are women in power accused of being "bi-sexual"? - the accusation of lesbianism always comes from weak men who simply see the sexuality divide simplistically as who will and won't sleep with them; a false notion, because most straight women won't sleep with that type of guy anyway)

I think the beginning of this story - because this is only the beginning - doesn't really reinforce this "strong women are lesbians" cliche. Because it explicitly says that Buffy hasn't suddenly turned gay. And while I think the story will be tackled from an abuse of power perspective (maybe) and how it affects Willow (most likely), in other aspects I tend to think it won't be treated as such a big deal.

BECAUSE IT ISN'T SUCH A BIG DEAL. Except when it's isolated in the New York Times (!) piece about it. Then it's simply taken out of context.

Buffy sleeping with one girl reinforces no stereotypes, except for possibly that of the meathead man who thinks all women are two beer queers and hot chicks will get it on at any opportunity for their (the men's) pleasure. But those men aren't worth their two cents.
"BECAUSE IT ISN'T SUCH A BIG DEAL. Except when it's isolated in the New York Times (!) piece about it. Then it's simply taken out of context."

Well maybe it'd have been better if DH/Joss hadn't opted to take it out of context and make it a big deal by giving the story to the NYT in the first place.
Irrelevant, helcat. That they did this doesn't change the story. The story is the story - whether Joss spoiled people via the NYT or not. (Damn you Whedon and your spoileryness!)

I sort of understand the need for the piece - to try to put the discussion in a context before it got out of hand. But the discussion got out of hand anyway. People see it as stunty or exploitative or whatever - despite Joss trying to explain why the story was written and what he hopes to get out of it.

Now the issue is out and most people have read it, it's not out of context - unless you've only read the NYT article and refuse to buy issue 12.
Man, I've always loved coming here reading the thoughts of all of you. Now, I'm not too sure I'll be coming back. There is something really depressing about a lot of what has been posted here,sorry to say.
Its a story people.More, its JOSS'S story. Relax and enjoy the ride. Some are thinking way too much on issues that don't have anything to do with what the series about. It really seems most of the negative comments have nothing to do with the merit of the writing or the value of the story itself. It really is a lot of people not liking it because it isn't going the way they projected it in their own minds. And thats really too bad. We are fans folks, not the creaters of this series, and no matter how much we love or obsess over the characters its still not our creation. Let the writers tell their story, try to keep an open mind, and let Joss steer the ship. I don't think Joss or Drew is trying to make a comment on all lesbians, or all women, for that matter.And as far as Buffy abusing her "position"-huh? She's a slayer, not head of general motors. Let the story go where it goes and judge it on its own merits, not some PC view of proper behavior or your own wishes for the path it takes.
My own opinion is this was the stongest issue so far, and thats saying something because there have been several amazing issues before this. I felt the same sense of awe and wonder the show could inspire, a feeling that very rarely any other work, be it books, film, or tv, can acheive. Yeah, I'd like it better if it was still the series, but with each issue that quibble seems less important. I'm just grateful the story is still ongoing, and that Joss is still saying meaningful things about the human condition through his vision of our intrepid slayer and the world she's/he's created. To me there really has never been anything quite like Buffy-its a modern american myth.
I don't mean to sound holier than thou, and I'm not really attacking anyone or their views. Believe me, I love anyone who calls themselves a Buffy fan, and feel a kinship with all who love this saga.But sometimes it seems the reactions of some kind of miss the point, which is and will always be the story.
Now that I've read the issue, I must say, it's just awesome!

Haven't laughed like this in a long time.

Loved the little touches, Buffy's pink pig PJs (Buffy's fave animal must be a pig) as well as her UC Sunnydale shirt, loved seeing Leah and Rewona again, Dawn sleeping in a barn full of bees (do vampires turn to bees? That's new info), Andrew's sleepwear. Ha!. Renee wearing a matching outfit like Xander -girl is obessesed- Buffy's post-sex conversation with Satsu, and everybody discovering it as well as Xander's dream. The Japanese vamps looked cool.

The best part was the Xander/Dracula meeting!!! Aww! I've read so many Xander/Spike slave fics that this scene got me in the best way.(I didn't like Antique, though.)

The drawing of characters is really good, Dracula looks better here than on the show, Xander is spot on, Buffy looked like Buffy in some panels, what we saw of Dawn through the window was good. This is the first time I didn't like how Willow was drawn, but she looked pretty after she fell into Buffy's room and noticed Buffy being naked with Satsu. Jeanity hadn't got Andrew right, though.
woofie: some folks get more into the wrangling and dissecting than others. Some get more into the moral judging than others. Although I don't think that that is necessarily coming from a "PC" place (does that term really still any meaning?), I happen to agree with nearly everything else you wrote. (Especially the part about this issue rocking. It sure did.) Let's all remember this site is a broad church and should allow every kind of Joss fan to express her or his view. And that includes criticism, of course . . . but only if it's really funny criticism.
Arriving late as usual. Just look at the fascinating comments posted on the party-room walls. Loved punkinpussís comment: ďIt's how people go through life and grow up. And in between, we whine about how miserable and lonely we are.Ē (Plus: ďI can't imagine missing this for the world. Feels like old times.Ē)

Iím delighted by the Buffy series. Iím part of the crowd who didnít read comic books before this, and the BtVS series (like the Angel series) has supplied everything Iíd hoped for from a Whedon creation. I love the detailed work, both in the writing and the drawings. Donít think anyone pointed to it last month, but that festive slayer party (in #11) splashed over two pages was detailed. Kudos to Jeanty for his beautiful work on the series. And to the writers, all of them.

I expect Whedon work to take unexpected turns. Sounds like a contradiction, but isnít. I applaud the latest unexpected turn because it fits the story, is still a surprise, and seems entirely realistic. Donít know about you, but I discovered early in young adulthood that itís fully possible to run through all the reasons not to get involved with someone (or anyone, for that matter), and even to explain those reasons to that person (who may agree that itís not a good idea to get involved), and then to do it anyway, all the while knowing thereís going to be some aftermath. Buffyís still young and a good person--and so are her friends. Theyíll work this out. And itíll be a pleasure to see how they do it. Meanwhile, French bedroom farce!
Picked up the issue from the shop today. Loved it, loved the hilarious barging in of all and everybody. I've mentioned before that I'm not used to reading comics, but the 'Please shut the door / whump' panel was almost as funny as live action would have been. Thought the whole bed scene was very sitcom.

Also picked up the latest Angel and tried to read it. Failed. I just don't get it. The Buffy comics are far easier to read. With Angel I am forced to read summaries on Wikipedia otherwise I'd have no idea what's going on.
I'm successfully living spoiler free and just read issue #12. Loved it. Laughed a lot. I knew there was some "event" in this issue and I was several pages in when I realized I'd already passed it. "Wait? Was that the event?" I wasn't totally shocked; ever since Satsu's lip gloss-thingy I've wondered if they would go there. And they did. I have no problem with Buffy and Satsu hooking up. Buffy was obviously looking to connect with someone. Hopefully Satsu doesn't get hurt but if she does, it just adds to character development for one of our slayers. I don't at all think it was a stunt or destructive season 6 Buffy. It was fun and funny and could lead to some interesting conflict. I'd assume some other slayers are hooking up, too. The "wow" page is now on my desktop. Can I get it silkscreened on a tshirt? Love it.
Oh, and I forgot...loved the three panels of the smokey-vamp after Buf says, "But I really don't like it when people touch my stuff." This? Touch. Oh well. Frakking hilarious.
I rather feel like my relationship to Joss is similiar to Xander's relationship to Dracula (only without the bugs). I read the issue and I could see where the story was headed and I could also see how certain "events" were going to play out amongst the fans.

For me, I think I just maintain my fatal optimism that these threads will all lead to something that make me go "aha!" and look back and see how vital every panel was. I finish each issue like Xander finishes this one, with a solemn "yes master" (I realize that's not his exact quote).

However, at the same time, I am really keeping my fingers crossed that Xander's "master" was just the beginning of a verbal smackdown to let Dracula know where the cards lay. Of course, this means Xander and I will travel on divergent paths (because it will be a scary day when I tell of Joss).

But that's how I will continue, blindly enjoying each episode and expecting my explanations to come when I am ready for them.
The thing I love most about this issue? Xander spots the wolves/panthers/bees at the edge of the forest and can't decide what they are. He puts it down to his bad vision. Except, of course, it's because the vamps are doing all three. I also love the title of this arc, because usually "wolves at the gate" is more of a metaphor... this whole thing was comedy gold with hints of dark on the horizon, which is what BtVS has always done best.

I don't see the problem with Buffy/Satsu. A lot of straight girls do some experimentation. Some of my best friends have tried it out and then decided that they really were straight after all. It's all part of the exploration, right? Personally, I'm just vicariously happy that Buffy finally got some action. As to the pain/reaction, it's not that women sleeping with women is bad, it's that the Scoobies are a very tight-knit group and suddenly Satsu moves in. It throws off the dynamic just as the addition of Tara did (for a while).

Now, it may be wildly stereotypical of me... but if you'll excuse me, I have to go do a spell by myself.
I just realized what a great way to get Xander through this arc without any question that he is no longer the buttmonkey in any way, shape, or form. Considering it was "Buffy vs. Dracula" that gave us the term, and "Antique" that arguably was the worst example of it, how about having Xander kill him in 8.15?

Not "just because", only if the story is one in which Dracula is at best a cooperative enemy. Only if it was tonally consistent with Angel having Lindsey taken out, for example. Not if they are actually trying to make Dracula a sympathetic character (heh, in spite of brainwashing both Buffy and Xander in the past, real mensch he is). But it would be a great way to put the buttmonkey stories of the past to an end.
I've mentioned before that I'm not used to reading comics, but the 'Please shut the door / whump' panel was almost as funny as live action would have been. Thought the whole bed scene was very sitcom.

I re-read it today and that WHUMP moment was still hilarious. And it's kind of weird just how funny it is, since watching Satsu's facial expressions is also so, so painful. But the pain+joke thing ha always been a fun Buffy strength.
The more I read it, the more I feel terrible for Satsu and feel pissed off at Buffy. A very sweet and sentimental talk afterwards doesn't change the fact that, if Satsu is in bed asking what it means, and is upset enough by the answer that she thinks she should leave, they both got into bed with different expectations. Buffy should (Parker) know (Abrams) better than (is a poophead) to do someone like that. Poor thing looked like a kicked puppy for the rest of the issue after Buffy's "it's not what it looks like".
Buffy should (Parker) know (Abrams) better than (is a poophead) to do someone like that.


I'm with you and well said ;)
I see minimal resemblance between Parker and Buffy here. Parker was shown to be a guy who picked on vulnerable freshman women and told them what they wanted to hear in order to have sex, once, and then move on. Is that really what Buffy was doing here, even remotely? The fact that they may have got into bed with "different expectations" doesn't begin to show that Buffy is guilty of something more than, at worst, misjudgment.

When/if we get more info about what might have happened immediately before that page in #12 or about what Buffy and Satus are feeling, then I might be persuaded otherwise.
Buffy herself once said it -- "every maladjust has his reasons". Parker may have had affection withheld from his parents.

I think you're underplaying the reasonable inferences we can already draw. The question about what happens tomorrow are not the questions of someone who knew climbing into bed that it was just about being lonely and/or experimenting. Feeling abruptly moved to leave the room when told that it probably wasn't going anywhere isn't the likely behavior of someone who knew what that answer was going in.

I tend to think people are more ready to defend Buffy because she's Buffy. I also suspect that there are a lot of people who would pretty much defend this in *any* context because they are gratified that Joss is going Big Idea with Buffy being 'young, and experimenting, and... open-minded'.

To me, this is a lot like the spell in "Chosen" -- Joss had a clear idea of the message of empowerment this would give and went with it, swung for the fences, and it was shortly thereafter that a more detail and subtext minded audiences started saying "wait, did they really have a choice? Didn't this just violate all those girls?"

Now, while Joss was thinking 'youth, experimentation, open-mindedness', many of us are like "uh, sex in bad faith, playing with her emotions?"

I will say this -- I am intrigued by Joss mentioning the idea that Satsu might feel she's using Buffy. Because the situation at face value lends support to that idea in the amount of zero... unless, of course, Satsu's feelings aren't what they appear to be either, and she's been cast for the role of 'closest' and 'least expected'.
Just a clarification for myself personally. When I said I agreed, my reading of the sentence was that Buffy should know better given what she went through with Parker. I didn't read that as Buffy's actions are equal to Parker's.

Feeling abruptly moved to leave the room when told that it probably wasn't going anywhere isn't the likely behavior of someone who knew what that answer was going in.


See to me its the actions of someone who knew it probably wasn't going anywhere, but still had that little glimmer of hope (waiting for a stylish and brutal Buffy heel to squash it ;)).
I will say this -- I am intrigued by Joss mentioning the idea that Satsu might feel she's using Buffy.

I totally understand why a gay woman might feel like she's using Buffy in the aftermath. They both went into it knowing that Satsu was in love and that Buffy wasn't gay (ie. it wouldn't lead to anything like a relationship). They both went into it with their eyes open, but I can see why both sides might question if they used one another's vulnerability to their advantage. Buffy had opened up to Satsu about how lonely she was - and didn't completely shut the door on the gay thing ("But you're not gay" - "Not so you'd notice"). So it's a sticky, happy, complicated situation for both.
It's a happy situation? Did you see Satsu on *every single page* after they were walked in on? When Buffy threw her under the "it's not what it looks like" bus? When Willow threw out her (rather bitchy) comment in the command center? I wasn't kidding when I said she looked like a kick puppy.

I really feel terribly for Satsu. Unless she really is the traitor (when I said that Buffy/Satsu might be the big thing for 8.12, I also said that it would almost completely convince me that Satsu would be the one to betray Buffy). If she's the traitor, I feel less terrible for her, but she'd have the most awesome character study as a possible villain.

-- very evil and never in love with Buffy, the love thing was a glamour? (then, yeah, she used Buffy)
-- went in a spy, but fell for Buffy? (again, using Buffy)
-- means Buffy no harm and is kinda nutty and thinks that selling out Buffy protects her somehow?

I think those would all be pretty awesome ways to go, and that's because I love the Satsu character. It would give Buffy a betrayal that could make her cry and let all the Scoobies (rightfully) of the hook.
Well, I give no creedence or time to the traitor thing yet because there is no evidence of it. So I don't think we should confuse the two things.

And I think it's partially a happy situation because they did enjoy themselves. I think the quote was "Oh, wow".
Looking at the page where Buffy falls out of bed again. Looking at the page where they're all in the command center.

Satsu looks too miserable for me to believe that 'happy' is really what she's going to take away from the experience.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-10 03:00 ]
Satsu looks too miserable for me to believe that 'happy' is really what she's going to take away from the experience.

It doesn't take away from the fact they had some GREAT SEX.

As to the rest, I did say it was complicated.
I think you're underplaying the reasonable inferences we can already draw


And I think you're trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Your interpretation of Satsu as merely a helpless victim in this is reduces her to nothing more than a helpless victim in this. We know almost zero about Satsu other than that she's a slayer and that she loves Buffy. Is it at all possible what's happening is something in between a blissfully happy experience for all, which I'm sure it's not, and Buffy throwing people under metaphorical buses and kicking puppies? Where's the detail and nuance now?

BTW: I'm not "more ready to defend Buffy because she's Buffy," I'm more ready to understand where she might be coming from because I've been watching/reading the character for over 7 seasons now. Satsu we've just been introduced to.

And, finally, if you really believe Joss didn't appreciate what he was doing in "detail and subtext" when he thought up the empowerment spell in "Chosen," with all its consequences, I have a bridge and several seasons of Charmed on DVD I'd like to sell you.
Do you think, had Joss really evaluated beforehand all the consent questions that the spell raised in his audience, where becoming a Slayer was in every way not any part of anybody's free choice besides Buffy's, that he would have had Buffy say it was time to make a choice and called the episode "Chosen"? That there might not have been some phlebotenous insert that would have covered it, something, I dunno, that would have allowed the power to come to those who wished it (which would have included the Sunnydale bunch, which were the ones that were plot-necessary to be Slayers at that moment)?

I might actually submit that to Paley, now that I think about it. I don't think anybody would pretend they haven't gotten into that argument at least once in the 4 and a half years since "Chosen" aired.
Ok I can't believe noone has brought this up yet. So what do we know is coming up... An entire Arc dedicated to a Japanese gang and a betrayal of sorts.
So lets look at issue 12 - The Japanese vampires attack the castle at the exact point when Buffy is otherwise busy and knew exactly where the scythe was stored. And I suppose its a massive coincidence that the very person who was keeping Buffy busy and would know where the scythe is kept happens to be a Japanese girl named Satsu... betrayal anyone?
It is of my firm belief Satsu is a mole within Buffys organisation, reporting back to her vampy Jap pals.

I suppose the only factor against this theory is that Buffy was woken by true loves kiss... so in order for Satsu's kiss to be successful (which it was), she must actually be in love with Buffy... possibly just an un-intended side effect during Satsu's mission and more Whedony layers of fun.
Well, it's definitely worth noting that the castle was attacked while Buffy was indisposed, but that doesn't put suspicion on Satsu directly -- we know Twilight watches the castle personally at least closely enough to be able to follow people from it (twice now), so he might have seen it firsthand.

I should say, I take it as a given that these vampires are, even if they don't know it, working for Twilight, like Amy and Warren were. No way random vamps get the idea to steal the Slayer scythe for the apparent purpose of reversing the spell at the same time that someone is trying to rid the world of the Slayer "master race" and all things supernatural.

If anything puts suspicion on Satsu, it's the sight of Buffy weeping, beaten on the floor. Buffy's not exactly a big crier about the physical pain. So whoever put her in that state was able to dish out both the physical and emotional punishment.
Very much enjoyed this issue, everyone traipsing in at exactly the wrong time was so Buffy that I see it as almost a little self-referential nod rather than a clichť (and it was funny so can't be bad in my book).

I sort of liked the (hopefully deliberate) ignorance on display with Xander and Renee (hint: wolves haven't roamed wild in Scotland for about 300 years, "along the moors" or otherwise ;), it felt like it might be poking a bit of self-effacing fun at the stereotypical American abroad, especially given other jokey comments along the same lines (about men wandering around with clubs etc.) - if that'd been Leah on sentry duty I think/hope Drew would've had her know something was up immediately. Or it could be Joss/Drew just ignored the facts for sake of the story which is also fine, wouldn't be the first time (or I guess it genuinely could be they don't know).

Do Orange Telecomms exist in the US and if so, do they use the same ad slogan as over here or could Drew know about it ? Cos the line "The future is bright" might've been referencing that (the slogan goes "The future's bright ... the future's Orange"), Orange being the colour of Twilight but 'bright' being kind of the opposite. Could be a nicely ambiguous clue to the Japanese shapeshifters' allegiance, could be pure coincidence - feels a bit reachy though.

One thing though, I hope (with others upthread) that we're not going to see Xander abase himself again, I think he deserves a bit of dignity, he's done more than his fair stint as butt of everyone's jokes IMO. Or maybe they're going to use it to give Renee a nice moment where she makes it clear that it doesn't matter, he's still the man she's falling for ? Anyway, seems likely that Dracula may be on Buffy's side albeit out of necessity ("my enemy's enemy is my friend" and all that) since if Twilight wins, Dracula has had it (he'd be at least banished from the human realm, if not actually killed outright).

ETAmend: s/Rowena/Leah, d'oh ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-03-10 14:53 ]
I was actually really satisfied that everyone walked in on Buffy... because the whole "Buffy compartmentalizes and keeps important things in her life secret from everybody who loves her" thing is so, so, so damn tired. And she was totally going to do it again.

Not so much, hon, not so much :)

I'm going to assume that the wolf thing was actually a botched and well-intended attempt at showing that they actually care that the story is in Scotland, and don't want it to just be an anonymous setting. But, yeah, it's not hard to wank that it was just two insular Americans up there on the rampart.

Is Renee American, I wonder? Ugh, I shouldn't try to guess her nationality; I still find her ethnicity a mystery. It really doesn't matter, except for fancasting, but it does puzzle. Her skin tone moves around a decent amount. And I can't place that earring she wears -- native American? East Indian? Pseudo-tribal african? And would that tell us anything anyway, other than that she might just think it's pretty?

I really wish they had worked in the "lead" vampire's name. We got Kumiko, the lady that jumped Willow. We got Raidon, the big dude who absconded with the scythe. But since it's the lead one that you know Buffy really wants to kick his ass, it would be great to have a name attached to him.
I'm going to assume that the wolf thing was actually a botched and well-intended attempt at showing that they actually care that the story is in Scotland, and don't want it to just be an anonymous setting.

KingofCretins, I really think that Drew came up with the title because of the metaphor, and then decided to make the metaphor literal, because it's funny.

Also, the vamps were wolves and panthers and bees, so it's not just the Scotland thing. As to Renee's ethnicity, she's either not Scottish at all or very sarcastically Scottish. Which narrows it right down, doesn't it?
I really think that Drew came up with the title because of the metaphor, and then decided to make the metaphor literal, because it's funny.

Very likely, but that has nothing to do with whether they'd know wolves don't roam in Scotland ;).

(i.e. Renee's line could as easily have been "Wolves ? In Scotland ? Better get Buffy")

I'm going to assume that the wolf thing was actually a botched and well-intended attempt at showing that they actually care that the story is in Scotland, and don't want it to just be an anonymous setting.

That's interesting. So they may have been deliberately using some people's stereotypical view of Scotland (the misty moors, castles, fey folk, wolves apparently ;) to create an impression of a realistic Scottish setting even though they know it's not actually realistic ? Sort of the "truth from lies" aspect of fiction ? Think I like that more than "We need wolves at the gate ? OK, let's just say there are wolves in Scotland" ;).

(I also wonder if they're hinting that this is a more fairytale realm than previous Buffy settings - we've had a kiss to wake the sleeping 'princess', we've had wicked 'step-sisters' in the form of Lady Savidge, there're castles, evil wolves lurking in the woods etc. Maybe as if to say, if you have to mount a last defence for magic existing in our world, then the Scottish Highlands might well be the place to do it ?)

And I just assumed that Renee was American because the Scottish/German/whatever Slayers have had "accents" of some description.
Well maybe they're just used to seeing weird things. ;)

Speaking of nationalities, I've been wondering whether Satsu was American. Just because of the WWII stigma, since people are already wondering whether she'll be the betrayer. But I suppose her name probably means that she isn't.
Saje:
Very likely, but that has nothing to do with whether they'd know wolves don't roam in Scotland ;).

I didn't, until it was mentioned on-line (hadn't actually thought about it one way or the other, either.) But, then, I live in Kentucky, and we're used to seeing lots of things that aren't supposed to be here any longer...

KoC:
And I can't place that earring she wears -- native American? East Indian? Pseudo-tribal african? And would that tell us anything anyway, other than that she might just think it's pretty?

Seems to me it's different earrings at times - looked like a feather in a few images, and a stylized leaf or blade in others.

KoC:
I really wish they had worked in the "lead" vampire's name. We got Kumiko, the lady that jumped Willow. We got Raidon, the big dude who absconded with the scythe. But since it's the lead one that you know Buffy really wants to kick his ass, it would be great to have a name attached to him.

Yeah, but then that would kill part of the fun of kicking ass and taking names. Just sayin'...
(I also wonder if they're hinting that this is a more fairytale realm than previous Buffy settings - we've had a kiss to wake the sleeping 'princess', we've had wicked 'step-sisters' in the form of Lady Savidge, there're castles, evil wolves lurking in the woods etc. Maybe as if to say, if you have to mount a last defence for magic existing in our world, then the Scottish Highlands might well be the place to do it ?)


Oh, I think that's totally intentional -- I think it's designed to really sell the idea that all of the supernatural elements in the Buffyverse are of a common thread, good or evil, all part of fantasy. That's also a reason I wondered if Joss had become a "Dark Tower" fan at some point, because this seems to follow in its way King's theme of credulity vs. rationalism -- the threat Twilight poses is the extinction of *wonder*.

I think Satsu is a Japanese citizen as well as by ethnicity -- it's the school uniform, mostly, I couldn't say for certain. One thing that made me like her from the outset is that, when I googled the name, some site told me that "satsu" was also a slang term for police officer in Japanese, which... great name for a Slayer.
I was thinking exactly the same thing KingofCretins, that Joss might be trying to weave all his (and our) mythologies together into a coherent whole in the same way that Stephen King did (and is still doing) with his Dark Tower books and the stories that've followed (from what I gather, not read much of his newer stuff), bringing his magic together so that it can be treated as a single, metaphorical entity.

I was also (only semi-seriously ;) considering that we've got Dracula, we've got a sorta 'Frankenstein' ['s monster] in the form of Warren (or maybe a resurrected Adam can fill that hole ?), we've now had a sorta Wolf-man (with an actual wolf-man in the form of Oz rumoured) - is he working his way through the Universal horror back catalogue ?

I didn't, until it was mentioned on-line (hadn't actually thought about it one way or the other, either.) But, then, I live in Kentucky ...

Yep, fair point Rowan Hawthorn, i've only a vague idea about the sort of animals that wander the wilds of Kentucky (you guys still have dragons, right ? ;) but if I was writing a story set in Kentucky with a (minor) plot point that revolved around the sort of animals you have there I might, like, google it or something, y'know ?

(and extending Drew/Joss the benefit of that doubt, i'm preferring to assume it's a deliberate choice rather than just "Hey look, I also have clay feet !" ;)
Saje:
Yep, fair point Rowan Hawthorn, i've only a vague idea about the sort of animals that wander the wilds of Kentucky (you guys still have dragons, right ? ;)

I can't tell you that, they're on the protected list. ;)

but if I was writing a story set in Kentucky with a (minor) plot point that revolved around the sort of animals you have there I might, like, google it or something, y'know ?

The ones I'm thinking of, you'd have to look under cryptozoology, 'cause according to the Wildlife Service, panthers (mountain lions) have been gone from here for over a hundred years. Somebody shoulda told the lions... :D
Absolutely loved the issue, all of it!!! It was genius!
What did I like the best - the set-up from Issue 3 "CINNAMON BUNS" - perfect foreshadow

Also, how this has become such "religious" topic on the ABC site

What a difference time makes - watched the start of "Where The Boys Are" Sunday night - the big theme was Good Girls don't do sex - and the Pretty Little Blondie "Bad Girl" that did it.
Anyone else think that Willow will go back to Oz?
I have a bridge and several seasons of Charmed on DVD I'd like to sell you.

Hey, that sounds nice-- waaaait a minute.
I thought about offering a buck-seventy-five for the whole lot - but then I came to my senses...
This was the most hilarious issue yet. I laughed out loud for a few pages. And I don't laugh out loud very often. Lots of excellent funny. Lots of excellent other stuff aswell, plot- as well as emotion- and character-wise (Buffy! Xander! Andrew! Dracula! New fascinating vamps!).
The Buffy/Satsu thing made complete sense to me. It's not even a big deal. Both characters were completely honest with eachother and completely aware of what the situation was and what the other was feeling, they were both in on it, nobody was using anybody and both were still honest and open with eachother afterward (and the look on Satsu's face when people started barging in could just as well be that of a person who just had an intimate moment interrupted by all her friends and coworkers as it could be sadness over Buffy's reaction, so I wouldn't make assumptions yet as to which one it is). Yes, there was some awkwardness, and yes it's unclear where they'll go from here (I for one look forward to finding out), but nothing wrong or even strange has occured. (Stranger things have happened in real life, and this is the frickin Buffyverse, people! The mayor turned into a huge frickin' snake and ate the principal at graduation, for crying out loud!)
And orientation-wise: There was a time when Willow enjoyed having the sex with Oz and snogging with Xander, so why can't Buffy sleep with Satsu after having had so many bad experiences with dudes? Once pain becomes a pattern, it's time to try something new, and I'm glad she did (though it may cause some interesting drama in the love-and-war department, which I very much welcome, and who knows where Satsu will go emotionally - I for one can't wait to find out). I'm also glad Joss and Drew are taking a new direction postcoitally (for Buffy and Satsu, I mean, not for themselves) rather than just repeating the self-loathing and shame of season 6 (not because season 6 was bad but because it's been done, and the constant change is part of what's made the tale of Buffy worth following for all these years and why I trust Joss and gang to tell better stories than any of you ungrateful stuck-in-the-nineties Bangel shippers out there ever could).
It'll be interesting to see where the story's going to go in the future. Buffy/Satsu-wise as well as Renťe/Xander/Dracula-wise, Willow-wise, scythe/Japan-wise, Twilight-wise (the scythe-groin thing made me suspect it's Caleb, but the chin didn't show marks of having been split in half, so who knows, it might even be Andrew what with the flying and all, but that seems a bit unlikely...and ridiculous...and why does the name make me think there might be some kind of connection to Dawn?). And future-wise.
Heh.
I love the scope of this season.

Oh, and much respect to Georges for making it all come alive so beautifully.

Season Eight just keeps getting awesomer and awesomer.
I'm not sure if it's supportable, but what if Willow was more irked seeing Satsu in bed with Buffy than she was seeing Buffy in bed with Satsu?
I'm not sure if Willow would care what Satsu did. And I'm really hoping Willow doesn't put on her angsty-pants about this, even if she was surprised about it happening.
Yeah, I'd be surprised. Apparently Willow hasn't been around very much for some time, so I wouldn't think she'd have had time to develop much of an attachment for any of the newbies. On the other hand, she recognized Satsu by name immediately after crashing through the ceiling. On the third hand(?!) she also called Renee by name while talking with Dawn, so maybe she just has a better memory for names of people she doesn't know very well than I have (of course, a brick has a better memory for people's names than I have, so maybe that's not much of a comparison...)
She is a witch, after all! Sometimes I wish I had the name-recalling magic. Sometimes I wish I was Willow... uh, did I type that out loud?
Yuh-huh. :-) And I think I should probably just keep quiet about my wishverse...
Does it have dragons ? ;)

I'm great with names, crap with faces which means whenever I walk into a room I know the names of everyone there - just not who goes with which ;).
Of course, what 'verse doesn't! And, ouch. Me, I tend to recognize everybody but have no clue what to call'em. So I tend to have a lot of conversations that go like this:
Them: "It's so good to see you, it's been ages!"
Me: "Hey, how y'doin'...?"
Them: (short pause) "Tina. Your cousin? We've lived next door for fifteen years?"
Eek...
I think people have come up with several legitimate unhappy thoughts Willow could be having, and I can't think of any of them that are patently unreasonable. If Willow's upset, she should say what's on her mind.

I figured Willow may have just met Renee, but that "No Future For You" is ostensibly set at least a few weeks after "The Long Way Home". She was still trying to defuse her half-celebrity, half-really kinda scary powerful person image with the girls.
KingofCretins:
I think people have come up with several legitimate unhappy thoughts Willow could be having, and I can't think of any of them that are patently unreasonable. If Willow's upset, she should say what's on her mind.

Yeah, but then, neither she nor Buffy ever really do until they reach their limit and blow up.
As for Willow's reaction to the Buffy/Satsu thing, it seems to me - though I'm likely to be wrong - that Willow might be slightly upset with Buffy, who she knows as heterosexual, either for seemingly taking advantage of Satsu or for not having told her best friend who happens to be openly gay about her new bicurious leanings.
I don't doubt there's at least a little of "There's one more thing we're not talking about." Which brings up another question from all the way back to the beginning of the season: Willow didn't know about Buffy's bank heist, and was curious about the equipment; now, it takes time to acquire property, acquire equipment, get it shipped in and installed, and get people trained on it: just how long has Willow been out of touch?
I can't remember the specific moments that made me think so, but the impression I got was that it's been almost the entirety of that "long year" that Buffy and Xander referred to.

I'm trying to sketch out a rough timeline between "Chosen" and "The Long Way Home" for the major characters, and it's tricky.

I tend to think that the Sunnydale people were mostly still together until July or August of 2003 setting up in Cleveland (after learning they had no haven in LA anymore) and planning on going worldwide. For some reason or another, around that time Willow and Kennedy go their own way, and, apart from the odd phonecall or rare visit, Willow is basically incommunicado after that -- living with Kennedy and doing 'magical walkabouts'.

Not sure how they got the BHC, but however they did, I suspect it was around September or so of 2003, because it feels like they've been in there for a while. To accommodate "Antique", I sort of mentally figure Xander was out on a recruiting trip and was caught by Dracula, and it was a couple months before Buffy realized something was *wrong* (since they were already setting up teams elsewhere, hadn't expected to see him) and went and got him. Thereafter, he and Buffy were everyday presences in the BHC from about January or February of 2004 until Season 8 starts in or around November of that year.

Dawn is the trickiest. Since she was finishing her sophomore year in 2003, I figure, because they were moving, she went ahead and sat for SAT early, but then applied for early graduation or her GED (possibly, however ethically questionable, with a magic assist by Willow), and started at Cal-Berkeley in the Winter term of 2004 or perhaps the summer term. That would put her "incident" around the end of summer semester or shortly into fall semester, which is why she's already been to college.
I realize that this is more of a general season 8 observation/question and maybe it's been discussed already (as I only began reading commentary here beginning with volume 11), but shouldn't Dawn, from the early attack on the castle to the present, kinda be stomping on demons and grabbing (panthery or otherwise) scythe stealing vampires out of the air using her giantiness? I can see Buffy wanting her to keep a low profile (or, er, as low as is manageable under the circumstances...) but if the wolves are at the gate, as it were, why not take advantage of her sizeable weapony potential?

Also, how many vampires must have been present for there to have been swarms of bees? It makes no sense that one vampire could transmogrify into more than one.

Also, spell check is not a friend to Buffy speak. I'm just sayin'.

[ edited by Brett on 2008-03-11 21:02 ]

[ edited by Brett on 2008-03-11 21:04 ]
Dawn did stomp around in the zombie invasion. It's possible that she was so traumatized by catching Buffy in flagrante that she wasn't much help this time around.

The bug man in season two was made up of many worms, so there is precedent for said transmogrification.
Well, of course, from the time the panther-vampire crashed through the window until Kumiko disappeared with it would have been a matter of a few seconds, at most - drop a rock from a second-story window and see how quickly it hits the ground. Not a lot of time there to register the situation and react to it before the target is out of reach even of Dawn. As to the other, her size would only be of use outside the castle; inside, she would only have been in the way - of everyone but the vampires who can turn to mist and insects.
Well, Dawn creates a narrative problem that she could be an "I win" button, and that's never good. But if you want a good reason she couldn't have helped out more in 8.12, she couldn't really get into the fight between the Slayers and the vampires because, in close quarters combat, she's just as dangerous to friend or foe. She can't go stomping or even finger-flicking indiscriminately. When she stomped on Amy, Willow and Amy had already been given a pretty wide berth (wisely) by everybody else.

As far as saving the scythe, if she wasn't on that side of the castle at that moment, not much she could do, and if she was... that exchange between Raidon and Kumiko was lightning quick -- would have taken some pretty impressive reflexes.

And all that's if she was actually in the fight and not still slack-jawed staring into her sister's room not believing what she saw.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-11 21:34 ]
Not exactly issue 12 related, but I spent most of the afternoon, re-reading the first 12 issues of Season 8. I noticed Willow can heal wounds now (or at least they inferred it in issue 4), but I'm glad that they (the writers) decided not to have Willow heal Xander's eye, which I'm sure she could. It makes what happen in "Dirty Girls" resonate even more. I wonder if Willow asked if she could do it and Xander refused, or did Xander ask and Willow said it was too far gone.
Slapstick; Sigh, I had what I thought was a really nifty idea for a farcical bedroom scene in S-7. Anya is outside Xander 's apartment and sees Harmony thru a window. She calls the gang and Buffy, Willow, and anyone else you care to include run over, weapons brandished. To find them in bed, all afterglowy.Harmony explains that she dared Xander to "find out what you're jealous of" and the whole company proceeds to bust a gut.

Saje; True, we North Americans, like Sub-Saharan Africans, live in a proximity to our larger wildlife that is inconceivable to Europeans , East Asians, or Australians *grin.

KingofCretins:I see what you're saying with Dawn and I like the theory. Better than I like my own of Buffy stashing her for senior year at an exclusive prep school near Berkeley.

crazygolfa: Xander's left eye requires more than healing. It isn't there, which would require not even just regeneration, but the equivalent of a D&D "Restoration spell." Which is just one of Resurrection's little siblings. Which Willow is debarred from.

menomegirl; Joss has never said flat-out that Tara was taken from Willow as a specific punishment for the specific offense of raising Buffy. Or is that from another thread?

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-03-13 01:16 ]

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-03-14 01:33 ]
I get that Xander wouldn't want Willow to go to a bad place to fix his eye. But I actually had this idea (you mention D&D, so it's funny that this idea is stolen from one of my friend's old Earthdawn characters) that they could give him his eye back and actually give him a very minor bit of mojo in the process: a new, magic eye giving him astral sight. Or, if you prefer, a one-eyed version of Vanessa Brewer from "Blind Date". I thought of it because I thought it was really cool that Xander was rockin' the compound bow in Season 7 and because it occured to me it'd be nice to know he had something useful to bring in a fight, even around all the Slayers, which in his case would be nothing more than sweet marksmanship.

Shut up, he's my favorite character, just trying to help him out :)

I never thought about that 'proximity to wildlife' thing, but it's true. It's nothing living in Florida to see an alligator, nothing living in various mountain areas to see a bear, a deer, a mountain lion. It never occured to me that that just wasn't true in Europe.
Especially considering that Europe also has a lot of mountainous areas and forest (depending on exactly where in Europe you are.)
What Rowan said.

I'm just guessing here but I suspect your experience of wildlife would vary somewhat between NYC and Florida, same in Europe :)
Yeah, wildlife varies a fair bit across Europe, mainland Europe does have wolves for instance as well as bears etc. Not many alligators though ;).

Thing is, Britain is a small, densely populated island (no duh ;) - it's about 10 times more densely populated than the US and 100 times more than Australia - so, unfortunately in some ways, if we want to eradicate something we can and it stays eradicated (a good thing with for instance rabies - which we don't have over here - but arguably a bad thing where wolves and other big carnivores are concerned).

Even Scotland, the least accessible and least densely populated part of the UK (it's about 2/3 the size of England but with only about a tenth the population), isn't really big enough for wolves to roam wild without coming into contact with people (much worse news for the wolves than it would be for the people).

(there's a laird that wants to reintroduce wolves onto his estate at the moment. Got nothing against the idea in principle except in Scotland we have "freedom to roam" i.e. open access to the land and he wants to build a 50 mile long 3 metre high fence to keep the wolves on his estate, preventing free access - which i'm dead set against)
Saje:
Yeah, wildlife varies a fair bit across Europe, mainland Europe does have wolves for instance as well as bears etc. Not many alligators though ;).

Wouldja like a few? :-) My wife's cousin who lives outside Ocala, FL, has a few who have taken up residence in the lake behind her place. I've offered a couple of nice recipes... ;-)

That's one thing about Kentucky: no alligators. The dragons and the black panthers probably ate'em all...
Seriously, I was just riffing on the wildlife thing, not trying to extend the discussion.

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