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June 05 2008

(SPOILER) IGN Reviews Buffy #15. A mostly favorable review of the conclusion to Wolves at the Gate.

A nice review, but he totally missed the mark on the end of the Buffy/Satsu relationship. "Lackadaisical"? I couldn't disagree more. I thought it was handled with grace and maturity; I can't think of a better conclusion.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2008-06-05 15:34 ]
Howdy, I do love IGN reviews, if you go to www.yourfaceisanadvert.com they do Buffy season 8 and Angel reviews each month.
Sad to have to say it, but I thought Renee's death was cheap (Yes, I know we saw it happen last issue, but I was waiting for the last-minute plot twist save). All the time people who were saying all along, she's a love interest so she's doomed because that's Joss's standard MO, I was telling myself, no, no, no, he wouldn't do something that would be so hackneyed at this point, surely he's going to build this character and we're going to see this become a real relationship with depth - well I was wrong, and those of you who know who you are were right.

Somebody referred to Renee as a Star Trek "red shirt" character, and that is exactly how she now feels to me, and I am disgusted by it. Unless this turns out be part of a storyline that really, really makes this death incredibly significant, it could be the event that just completely pushes me off the edge of caring about the comic series at all. I will go on buying and reading them, but it's not really "Buffy" to me anymore. It's just another comic book series with characters of the same name as the show.

That said, I can't help speculating - is Renee's death the event that could push Xander into being the one who will betray Buffy? Maybe mysterious Twilight is a Xander from the future who has come back to wipe out magic because it has caused him so much loss over his life.
I agree with the review and barboo's comments about Renee. While I love the season 8 comics, I am reminded why the show needed to end at season 7. Sad to say but it's true.
pumpkinhead_121 - they, being you and Claire. At least cop to the self-link :)
Well, at least it wasn't a headliner, zeitgeist. ;)

What kids will do these days...

barboo & RazorBlade, have you received/read #15 yet? From what was gathered in the other thread on this topic (yesterday, I think?), Renee's death did get the justice it needed to suit the story; there are reports that this is a major turn for Xander in terms of growth. I know you want more, but from what I've heard, it's there.
barboo & RazorBlade, have you received/read #15 yet?

More closely than you read my comments on it.
barboo; While my attitude is much the same, I see this as actually more indication that it *is* a continuation of the show.
I actually find myself agreeing with barboo and with newcj on the thread below this one reviewing the comic. And if it ends up being Xander who betrays Buffy- though I suspect it will be Willow- well, that sucks. As does it being Willow.
newcj:

However, IMO, with Willow's comment about needing to take care of her "sister," she is drawing an "us and them" line with herself and Satsu on one side and Buffy on the other. The implication is that Satsu is her "sister" and Buffy is not. This subplot could actually have to do with the divisiveness among women in the feminist and gay rights movements that is based on sexual preference.


Now isn't the idea that it could be about the divisiveness among politically active women sounding better and better? (God, I hope so. Those of you for whom it isn't, do not need to tell me how to find your fanfic. I'm just fine not knowing. ;-) )


Well, I agree with the speculations and ponderings newcj posted in the other thread. If that was what you were getting at, barboo & Dana5140, then I'm sorry but I didn't see the relations. The posts here read more "negative" in some way, while newcj's seems to have the nitpik points of worry.

In terms of Star Trek reddies, I think Renee was above that.

The slayer who was murdered and displayed for all of Tokyo= Red Shirt.

Renee? She was more like a special guest with a star player (Picard love interest, Riker's twin, Tasha Yar...). Her death didn't disgust me, nor did it reduce her importance to me as a character (didn't drop to Red Shirt Status). She was honored, remembered, and moved the plot on.

And, with DaddyCatALSO, it seems to be more of what Buffy relationships appeared to me back in the day.
*waits for newcj to come to this thread and prove her wrong about his/her point and for the bashing to ensue*

*definately in the minority on this thread*
I actually find myself agreeing with ... newcj

Dana5140 | June 05, 22:08 CET


Be careful Dana, if you say that too often the universe may hear you and turn inside out or something. It just ain't natural. ;-)

newcj's seems to have the nitpik points of worry

I understand the words, but not the meaning of this. However, since you said

Well, I agree with the speculations and ponderings newcj posted in the other thread.

I'm going to go with the idea that it means something good. ;-)

*waits for newcj to come to this thread

I'm coming, I'm coming. (Lets child eat pretzels for dinner and ignores work in order to post. ;-) )

and prove her wrong about his/her point and for the bashing to ensue*

Good grief, I hope there is no bashing. I hate when that happens.

Honestly I don't know how my post will fit your expectations. I can see your point about a featured player rather than a red shirt, but it does not make it better for me because what bothers me about Renee's death, was the timing and the feeling that being Xander's girlfriend and then dying was the only reason for her character's existence in the story.

For me, the whole thing where they are finally together and she dies immediately afterward is just getting old. I thought it was done well with Jenny and with Angel and with Joyce and with Tara. (I didn't care much for it with Fred, because I felt like the timing had no finesse, but I chalked it up to the looming cancellation.) Each of those characters and relationships was well established. Each death was done a little differently. Each character had a purpose other than being someone's girlfriend/boyfriend until she/he was killed...except maybe Angel now that I think about it. (Hmmm. Weird.) This just screams that Renee was there as the disposable girlfriend to push Xander into whatever they want him to do. What other purpose did she really serve in the story?

The way I am looking at it, it does not matter how upset everyone gets about the death. After all, Kirk got very upset about the poor red shirts (Remember the one who was crushed after being turned into a dried out polyhedron?) and it was used to add to the whole weight of command thing. Unfortunately it was still done to death, predictable and cheap. I feel the same way about all the girlfriends who were trotted out for an episode or so and then died tragically.

I used to joke that the Scoobies were like well written Cartwrights from Bonanza. All a woman had to do was be looked at with interest by one of those Cartwright boys and she was dead by the end of the episode. If a Scoobie was in love with you, you were doomed, but I always loved the fact that those characters were integral parts of the story and were there for more than just a reason for the Scoobies to grieve.

Did I bash? I don't want to bash. ;-)

[ edited by newcj on 2008-06-06 00:45 ]
No Trekker but unfortunately that's one episode I saw...

As for betrayals, they're meant to be lousy.
No Trekker but unfortunately that's one episode I saw...

Hee hee.

OT: There is a moment in that one, when the crew has all been turned into those things and they are lying all over the corridors. When one of my friends and I watched it as kids, my friend kept saying "Don't just leave them on the floor! Pick them up and put them somewhere where they won't get stepped on!" When I recently inflicted child abuse by introducing my son to the show, (just kidding)and we watched that episode all these decades later I still found myself expecting, "Oops! Damn. Do we know who a just squished, Spock?" :-D
*exhales*

Hrm. Bashing may have been a bit too strong. I just didn't think the way the thread was going that I would be able to present a different view to be discussed. I was wrong. *marks notch on keyboard*

RE: Star Trek. Sorry folks. I grew up with TNG. Who's Kirk?

RE: Renee. Hmmm. *thinks of some way to argue discuss newcj's point*

Alright, what about the importance factor of Xander? I was pushing the argument that Renee's death will allow Xander to grow, but what about the perception she carves of Xander? Renee's the voice of Xander's wzardness. She won't permit "manservant" talk of Dracula, views him as a commanding leader, and I'd like to think that these views passed on to both Dracula & Buffy. When she dies, Xander is not left to hang. His companions (Drac & Buff) are there to support him and don't make light-talk of his grief.

Anya didn't give Xander the credit he has earned. Yeah, she loved him (& rightly so!) but she always talked down to him when comparing him to Buffy. He was never good enough.

Renee did the opposite. She showed that Xander was just as important as Buffy in running the slayer crew. It may not have been all of her doing, but through her eyes we see the level of respect has improved between Xander & Buffy & the rest of the slayers.

So, how's that counter?
Uh, so Renee is the little woman there to build up her man and make him feel good about himself before they kill her?

Not helping for me...maybe getting worse.

Seriously though, how is that different from what I said about her. Her only function was to be Xander's girlfriend and die.

Who's Kirk?

Kirk was a Captain in the military back in the 60's but he decided to go into law enforcement and eventually got his law degree. He seems to be doing quite well in that field; won some awards and such. Oh yes, he is also doing some motivational speaking concerning online negotiating. ;-)
Hrm. Bashing may have been a bit too strong.


It was. Don't use terms like that just because people have different opinions.
So what does a character have to do before they're "allowed" to die?
Renee character's was nice to people and showed Xander love - the latter being about as significant a thing that anyone can do.
Newcj said:



what bothers me about Renee's death, was the timing and the feeling that being Xander's girlfriend and then dying was the only reason for her character's existence in the story.


I was concerned as anyone that the ending of the last issue transformed Renee from a potentially interesting new character into a redshirt of love but the way her death was treated in issue 4 convinced me otherwise.

By giving her a voice in her own death I felt they made it *her* tragedy not Xander’s and they also succeded in reminding us that Renee wasn’t just Xander’s new love interest but a Slayer whose first thought was to rejoin the fight and a young woman given the confidence to stand up and try to make a difference in the world being tragically cut down before she was ready. Her death affects Xander but the script doesn’t follow the standard ‘woman in refrigerator’ pattern of acting as a spur to manly vengeance. That part I loved – he gets to do the honourable thing but honour is a pile of dusty bones, she’s still dead.

My impression was also that storywise her death wasn’t just about its effect on Xander, it also related back to Aiko’s and Chain ‘Buffy’s. Empowerment isn’t just about girls brimming with confidence and connection, it’s also about them having the power to take risks and die for causes.
My thoughts are similar to yours hayes62.

Think about how affecting Renee's voice was in that moment. I didn't realise how much I'd come to like the character until I found myself shedding a few tears as I read that opening page. I never considered her in any way as being lesser to Xander. I didn't see her as an extension or enhancement. She was a character in her own right. Actually, if you look at it it's the most humane and emotional story that's cropped out of the season so far (and as everyone's battling out on another thread over the 8.18 Jo Chen cover, I think it's important to point that out. While I'm on that, talk about jumping the gun, let's see what's in the issue before flaking out.). The most subtle too. Death is always gonna be prominant in BtVS; it's part and course. I don't think of her death as cheap in any way. Of course it's going to drive on the plot. That's a good thing. Otherwise what are we reading for? I think a lot of people would be happier with a comic retelling of the existing show rather than moving it on. I feel like there's a lot of people stubbornly crossing their arms and mouthing off. If you don't like it, you don't like it. Fair play. Some of us really do. Everyone's valid to an opinion.

I'm with you UnpluggedCrazy on the Buffy/Satsu conclusion. Has there been any other time we've seen a relationship end in such a mature and pleasant note on Buffy?

Finally, Dawnzilla and Mecha-Dawn. 1 - why wouldn't you use a giant if you had them on your team and were about to go into war. 2 - we get a couple of chuckles out of the reference. 3 - the blunt way Mecha-Dawn imitated Dawn and her reaction leads us a little more into her story and problems. I'm waiting patiently for her gigantism to be dealt with and resolved. Comic is a different medium and (obviously) it uses different techniques to tell a story. We can't have the same exposition and conversation that we did in the TV series. I'm enjoying how the story is being told. Here we have something different, new and fresh.

An aside - my local comic store owner was chuckling at me as I've been branching out in my weekly buys. He didn't expect me to have such good taste 'cause I was a Buffy/Angel fan.
"I think a lot of people would be happier with a comic retelling of the existing show rather than moving it on.

I have not read anyone saying they wanted a comic retelling of the existing show. Actually, what some of us who have not been happy with the comics have been saying is, enough with the parade of old characters from the show, lets have something new.

I didn't dislike Renee, or the fact that she was new, I disliked the timing of her death because it seemed formulaic.

"I feel like there's a lot of people stubbornly crossing their arms and mouthing off. If you don't like it, you don't like it. Fair play. Some of us really do. Everyone's valid to an opinion."

What is your definition of “mouthing off” and could you give an example?

Personally I don’t see this idea that those of us who don’t like the comic are just being stubborn or don’t want the story to progress being supported in the posts I have read. The idea that the problem could be that many of us just are not connecting to the medium, seems valid, however.

Most people seem to love the comics and that is great. I don’t know comics in general so I don’t know if the way the story is playing out is normal for the medium and if that is the problem. I am guessing that in comics, events are supposed to be super big and logic is not supposed to enter into things at all. That is what I am getting as S8 gets more outlandish.

Yes, you can point to outlandish things happening in the series, but it was on the down low or reported differently to the general public. Part of the theme was that these things are explained away by people who don’t want to know. (As that started to break down in S7, it bothered some people.) When the slayers went to Tokyo, they obviously went to an alternate dimension where there are no Japanese police and no one notices giant people and robots…the Godzilla dimension perhaps, only without the police who were always running through the streets getting squished.

I love a good metaphor but it has to be integrated into a story that makes sense.
I am guessing that in comics, events are supposed to be super big and logic is not supposed to enter into things at all.


You guess incorrectly, two more and you're out! ;) I feel that the pacing of the comic has been somewhat off, but I am very much enjoying it. Joss' issues (heresy, I know!) in particular have been a tad choppy, but I'm sure he'll master it in no time. It is possible to tell smoothly flowing character driven arcs in comics, I promise you.
I always found it odd that Glory's minion-tower didn't attract more attention in Sunnydale. I think one of the pros of a monthly format is that I have time to think over the themes and arcs more between issues. One of the cons is that I have more time to think about things that are off, like Renee's casual remark about wolves being common in Scotland.
Is Renee Scottish? Its possible for characters to be wrong about things and it is not necessarily a sign that the creator doesn't know something. Of course, he may not ;) Maybe he just kept watching the nature preserve episodes of Monarch of the Glen?
No, she didn't seem to be. But she seemed to spend a lot of time watching the moor, and she said it's common to see wolves there. So I'm saying-- I think the pace of comics allows my more nitpicky things more time to percolate. It's not the writers' fault. It's just a trade-off of pace.
So what if the "wolves" have been reconning? Is that not possible? The extra time helps one nitpick or fanwank, as I just demonstrated ;) Stop hitting me, Sunfire, it hurts where the tape was!
See, this is where you have to accept that the Buffyverse simply isn't meant to be an accurate potrayal of the real world. I obviously picked up on the wolves in Scotland thing as well but what is true for our world doesn't have to be true for the Buffyverse, right? I mean, far as I know vampires aren't all that common in Los Angeles here either, but we never question that. ;)

Obviously, two different levels of the same issue there but the main point is that whenever I see a "fact" about a fictional world that doesn't gel with what is true for reality I just consider it another part of the fiction of that specific story. In the Buffyverse, wolves are common in Scotland. That's just how it is.
Ok, trying to get my 50 cents in (hey it's inflation), before this thread slips below the surface.

For me, the whole thing where they are finally together and she dies immediately afterward is just getting old. I thought it was done well with Jenny and with Angel and with Joyce and with Tara. (I didn't care much for it with Fred

Exactly. And you left off Xander and Anya. It's gotten old and formulaic. Btw, I don't remember far back enough to the actual plots of Bonanza (all I remember of the show is the music), but if you want to talk about television-love-interest-death-syndrome , Ryker in Star Trek TNG is your boy. Picard's love interests often survived and just left the ship, but Ryker man, he had the touch of death - or in one case, having one's brain scrambled to better fit in with society. Interesting that he did finally end up with Troi, who had those emotional/mental empathic powers. I wonder...

But anyway back on-topic, something else that has bothered me about this arc is the way Xander was rebooted to butt-monkey status. Yes, I get that he had to be shown that way in order for us to appreciate how far he has now progressed beyond it, just as Faith had to go back to her misunderstood bad girl persona, so that we could see her transcend that and find her new purpose in helping other troubled young women. I think it worked well enough in that arc that I was willing to buy into it. I don't buy into in this one. Xander had moved too far beyond that by the time the show ended. Seeing him played that way again is as though we saw Angel 5th season Wesley acting like BtVS 3rd season Wesley. At some point when characters have moved on, you have to accept that they have changed.

Finally, and related to the butt-monkey business, I am disturbed by the whole Dracula/Xander bonding thing. Even given that Andrew's summary was his own twisted interpretation, there is that suggestion of some sort of affection between the two. There was a big discussion some time back about how violence against men is treated differently in the Buffyverse than violence against women. I didn't agree with the argument that this necessarily a bad thing for reasons I gave in that thread, but I do think it is worth looking at how characters are treated through the lens of gender. What Dracula did to Xander was abusive. He violated his mind, and his sense of self, just as Glory did to Tara ("violated" being the word Tara uses to describe it herself), and enslaved him. If there were a female character who had been treated that way, and then voluntarily WENT BACK to the being who had done that to her and "bonded" with them, a lot of us would be screaming - me foremost among them - about how sick that would be. I think the same standard should apply here. The idea that Xander would have gone to Dracula who abused him, in order to be comforted over his grief for Anya, and that his friends would allow that, and that this is played for laughs I think is disturbing.
Or the wolves have been scouting vamps all along. Interesting points about buttmonkey Xander. It is rather appalling if I think too much about it.
newcj said:

When the slayers went to Tokyo, they obviously went to an alternate dimension where there are no Japanese police and no one notices giant people and robots…the Godzilla dimension perhaps, only without the police who were always running through the streets getting squished.

I love a good metaphor but it has to be integrated into a story that makes sense.
newcj | June 06, 15:22 CET


When I think about it, the police of Sunnydale were pretty sparse too. The firefighters were on call (Season 4 building burning, Graduation Day in Season 3) than the police. It's also openly stated in episodes like Gingerbread. Strange things happen that people ignore, nothing gets done by the authorities, and it is accepted.

When the police were brought it, it was never to aide the situation, only to make it worse. Just to further emphasize the difference between the Slayer and their own rules of conduct (Faith killing the Deputy, Buffy being blamed for Kendra, the police after Willow S6, the agitation of the police & the attack on Faith in Season 7). They are not shown in a positive light; in fact, they can be seen to intefere with Buffy's affairs. This is also seen in Season 8 with the military. Granted, the head guy is in with Twilight, and we don't know if they're the "good" or the "bad" side, but they are the antagonist to Buffy's plans.

So, Tokyo police not being on scene when Dawn smashes through town? Not really a surprise. We already know that they would be a hinderance to the vampire/giant/slayer/witch fight, and if it's not the story the writer wants to tell, he or she just won't.

Examples? Where were the police when Buffy shot off that rocket launcher in the mall? Or the skinned body at Xander's construction site in Season 7? And the fraternity masacre? No police reported the car wreck scene with Willow & Dawn. Pizza delivery boys go missing at the factory with Conquistos & Mr. Trick (Season 2? 3?), but no search warrants of the such. Or how about the potential masacre at school with Jonathan & the rifle? I didn't see any police lock up the lunch lady.

My point is that unless they are needed for the story, the police aren't used. It's the Buffyverse acceptance.
Or the wolves have been scouting vamps all along.

Those vamps did know an awful lot. These vamps knew about the Scythe and the spell, but I expect word has spread about that among demons. More if interest is that they were prepared to deal with Dawn. I'm not saying Giant Dawn is easy to hide, but she is remotely located and post-Sunnydale development. I'm surprised at Scotland's continued failure to notice her, but that kind of information gathering is really impressive for vampires based in Japan. They knew hew well enough to make the robot a ridiculous caricature of her.

I expect it all means they were very resourceful (which we knew) and working with someone else, though.
korkster:
My point is that unless they are needed for the story, the police aren't used. It's the Buffyverse acceptance.

It's most civilian-action-hero-story acceptance (if the police were shown as being as efficient as they are on, oh, police dramas, those civilian-action-heroes wouldn't actually have much of a story. But, then, that's another one of those inconvenient points...)
korkster Tokyo is a different deal from Sunnydale. Sunnydale was set-up as a place where those things were not payed attention to or they were covered up. It was discussed and alluded to many times during the seasons. Later on, vampires being part of life in LA was just a reflection of reality. Even so, they never had a girl's corpse hanging off a building during rush hour with the crowds looking at it, no police presence, Buffy able to just walk in and take over like she is the acknowledged sheriff in town, and no reprecussions. The mythology was just the opposite.

That bothered me a lot and totally pulled me out of the story. When Giant Dawn then went stomping through and then Mechadawn went stomping through a downtown-like area in the middle of the day, it built on that feeling and made me feel like they were going overboard. It made me really sorry that they had no restrictions. Restrictions can be good.

"You guess incorrectly, two more and you're out! ;)"

Yikes! In what time frame? Is there a reset at some point? What are the rules? Yikes!


"So what if the "wolves" have been reconning? Is that not possible? The extra time helps one nitpick or fanwank, as I just demonstrated ;) Stop hitting me, Sunfire, it hurts where the tape was!
zeitgeist | June 06, 16:14 CET "


I don't really see it as a fanwank. The fact that she says she has been seeing wolves on the moors, when there are no wolves in Scotland, and then vampires diguised as wolve attack the place makes it seem like they are saying that the vamps have been watching the place for a while and maybe if someone had reported it and/or done some research, they would have known what was happening sooner.

Or maybe it was a happy literary accident. ;-)
Newcj - clearly, I should hold my tongue when in a bad mood (work being the major bummer that it was today) as I don't explain things all that well while flustered. I also tend to make glib remarks like insinuating petulance, so apologies for being crass. I will never be a politician :). I don't have a problem with anyone who is not connecting to the medium. I'm not always on it's side either. So I'm going to readdress some points (apologies in advance for the length) as you deserve fuller explanation and also in the hope of a little forgiveness. Please?!?! *Bats eyelashes*.

My problem is not with people who have contributed valuably and provided constructive criticism. Your dislike of Renee's death, for instance, due to reasons of it being formulaic, I'm with you on. But I also still see more to the character than turning up and dying - if you see my point. Also, emotional punch was certainly packed so I'm not too annoyed by the event.

On the huffy child imagery (trust me it was a really bad day), I just find it disheartening when people are quick to dismiss the issues based on one piece of information. The Jo Chen artwork that was released today has people saying that they will stop buying the comics. That's quite literally judging a book by it's cover, no? I realize that the problem is down to the spectacle and gimmickry on show. However, the issue could be a revelation. Then again, it may not. We've not seen it. We can't possibly know. I think the artwork's great and pretty much confusing. It is most definitely intriguing. I'll hold my judgement 'til I see it. So, this was some ongoing built up frustration that I let loose in the wrong place.

It just takes me back to some of the negative comments following the Buffy/Satsu relationship prior to the issue being on the shelves. I find it encouraging that a lot of people wanted to wait and see what the content would be before condemning it, even though they had concerns. It looks like it's a coin flip to see where most people stand now, few people remain undecided. Others, however, were so outraged that they said they didn't think it was in character and wouldn't read it.

This leads me onto the 'retelling' comment. There really is no forgiving this one. It was to make a point more than anything else. It was to do with the fact that characters develop and change and they need the situation to dictate that. So death, formulaic as it may be, will (hopefully) take us someplace new. Also, it brings up a couple of questions: are people not engaging with the characters as well as they once did and is it just down to the medium not expressing things fully/well or because they really think that these are not the same characters they know and love?

Hopefully that clears my ranting up a little. I was wanting to push the 'everyone's valid to an opinion' point a little more because I, 100% (as Sonic Youth once sang), believe that. I'm also hoping I haven't dug myself a deeper hole :)

Oh and on the wolves - they should have just gone with lots of red deer, there's loads of them over here (in the land of Scots) because we don't have any wolves... though deer are less threatening. Ummm angry red squirrels? Ferocious wildcats? ;)
newcj said:

I don't really see it as a fanwank. The fact that she says she has been seeing wolves on the moors, when there are no wolves in Scotland, and then vampires diguised as wolve attack the place makes it seem like they are saying that the vamps have been watching the place for a while and maybe if someone had reported it and/or done some research, they would have known what was happening sooner.

Or maybe it was a happy literary accident. ;-)


I like you explanation. I hadn't thought of it before, but your's seems to make a lot more sense on how they knew the slayers, scythe, & Dawn.

Re: Renee. Well, as Tara worried about in Season 5, it seems very hard to break into that hard-core Scoobie group, and maybe the characters aren't sure they want to be a part of it. I know I'm grasping for straws, but I haven't received #15 yet. But from 1-14, I never really saw Renee as "Xander's love interest". But that's just me. Satsu & Renee seem to stand out in their own right as characters, and maybe that's why our heroes are attracted to them, not the other way around. But again, me.

Re: Police. Well, Sunnydale was a special town in the Buffyverse and we never got to see much of the outside world due to it, but that's the point of Season 8, right? For Buffy to face the world & her choices? What if Tokyo this entire time has been the movie-Tokyo we love & know? I know if I'm asked where Godzilla was from, I'd say Tokyo. It's city is centered with that myth & movie, so I'd say it's home here in Buffy land.
Newcj - clearly, I should hold my tongue when in a bad mood (work being the major bummer that it was today) as I don't explain things all that well while flustered. I also tend to make glib remarks like insinuating petulance, so apologies for being crass. I will never be a politician :).

No problem. As they say, "Friends don't let friends post mad." Too bad posting is such a solitary sort of business. It would keep us out of trouble if we had friends nearby to say, "Reread and edit!"just before we hit post. Maybe one of our computer wiz folks could invent a computerized friend to help us with that. ;-)

I am too sleepy to post coherently at this point so I am just going to stumble on to bed...
As to what Renee was or wasn't, I'm reminded by a quote from a character in Fritz Leiber's The Wanderer; "I am, but that's not all I am." And despite the actual word choice in my paragraph below, this is not a response to any one post or position, just a "frinstance."

Just because she was supportive of Xander in a way that some viewers felt Anya wasn't (and soem others might not) doesn't mean she wasn't any number of other things to the story. And just because she was any one of those other things doesn't mean et bloody cetera.

As to the Buffyverse being a parallell world insetad of our world with monsters and magic added, a good possibility. One where the Hartnell epsiodes of Dr Who are available for purchase, the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You" was released years earlier, and where wolves still run wild (re-wilding perhaps?) in Scotland. And where the Japanese are used to, oh heck, I forget the word for giant monsters, I think.

That can work. In SM Stirling's Conquistador the hero and his pal, the familiar-viewpoint characters, discover a secret about a mega-corporation and its gate to an alternate dimension. But Stirling makes clear up front that the world they come from is itself an alternate history from ours.

Just one more thing; I guess, adding this case to what we've seen before with "Angelparkerrileyspike," Buffy really likes it on the bottom.

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