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September 18 2008

(SPOILER) The shape of things to come in Buffy Season 8. Joss (and Brad) drops some hints about future plots.

I'm this about this here cause what gets put in the "extended description" gets picked in the RSS feed and I don't want to spoil our beloved LJ subscribers. Anyhow Jane is writing five issues about Oz? I thought it was less.
I really like the sound of this.
Brad Meltzer's quote is the most hopeful I've ever been so far for Buffy and Xander to actually get together.
After the 5 stand-alone(ish) episodes, the last 3 arcs are all five parters. I want to know who's going to be teaming up with Harmony if they're all two person episodes. Willow? She's not mentioned whereas all the other main folk are. Also, hopefully the Oz arc wil make people realise that Tara wasn't / isn't Willow's One True First Love On Whom All Plot Arcs Must Rest.
As much as I await the semi-backlash from the last bit of your post, Sparticus, still....hee.
Brad Meltzer's quote is the most hopeful I've ever been so far for Buffy and Xander to actually get together.

Jeanty said that, whoever it is that Xander's paired with, it's "more of a hookup [than a relationship]", so I'm not sure Xander/Buffy fans should be squeeing over the prospect. I still think it's more likely to be Dawn.

The one that will allegedly surprise people can't be Harmony, as the site claims, right? 'Cause we already know she's going to show up. It's more likely to be whoever Harmony's gonna team up with.

I'm excited about the Satsu and Kennedy issue. Should be interesting to see the spotlight on the secondary characters for a change.

[ edited by Enisy on 2008-09-18 23:04 ]
Enisy, unless he clarified and I missed, all he said at that con was "hook-up" -- he didn't elaborate whether it was long or short term.
Wasn't Jeanty asked whether Xander was going to have another relationship in Season 8, and he confirmed it, then added "Well, it's more of a hookup"? That's what I (think I) remember. (That just had to be the single VIP quote that I didn't take the time to save. Geez.)
Regarding the upcoming arc, I'm getting the impression that it could be another Bizarro World for Buffy. No more mutants Slayers?
It was bishopcruz who reported it from a convention appearance. He said Jeanty didn't specify.
Found bishopcruz's post, King. Here's what he said:

Xander still has a bit of romance coming to him this season. Though after romance, [Jeanty] kinda backed up and said it was a bit more like a hook-up. I asked who it was, he told me he couldn't say who it was.

My memory is clearly superior. ;)

[ edited by Enisy on 2008-09-18 23:22 ]
This was a tantalizing read. So, that's 20 more issues? Really? How juicy. I can't wait to have the whole season before me to reread in one fell swoop. Is a ninth season still on? Could we be that lucky?

I've been getting a Xander-Dawn feeling for a long time. Buffy and Xander? Maybe. Bring it on! I'm loving having my assumptions made to go all bendy. The shape of the romantic 'ships aren't what interest me the most, though. I'm concerned about the state of the friendships when all is said and done. That, and finding out about that little Twilight thing. That's going to be serious, huge, and profound in all arenas. It might be downright nuclear.

Sparticus, that was devilishly funny. Thanks for the snort of laughter you provided me. Good times. Can't wait to catch up with Oz again. Dear Oz.
Well, it seems a helluva odd way to describe Buffy and Xander if it's *not* 'shippy. It seems to capture precisely the kind of uncertainty many fans have felt toward the idea. It's nice to see you look for the pessimism, but this is, by far, the most 'shipper friendly writer quote about Buffy/Xander probably since Greenwalt waaaaay back on the "Reptile Boy" commentary.
I'm most excited for Jane Espenson again. I missed her in the 'verse. Also, OZ!
Lots of new info in this interview.
It's nice to see you look for the pessimism

Aw. Well, you're always nice enough to do it for me, when it comes to Spike/Buffy. ;)

Seriously, though, it does read kinda 'shippy on the surface. (Unless one assumes Meltzer was referring to Buffy and Xander's storylines individually, but still -- weird. And even before this, I had been kinda wondering whether the Xander/Dawn interaction was there to throw us off the trail re: Xander/Buffy.)

Agree with you about Jane Espenson, cookiepartier. She's one of my top 5 favourite writers in the 'verse.
The idea of Xander and Buffy together used to seem "wrong" to me, in the brother-and-sister-ew sense, but no longer. It'd be fascinating to see develop.

cookiepartier, I'm thrilled about reading Jane Espenson again, too.
Didn't Scott Allie say in the letter column for issue 17 that there were no plans for Oz in Season 8?
Did he? Well, it wouldn't be the first time VIPs have lied to protect people from spoilers... (Steven S. DeKnight: Kill Tara? Over my dead body!")
Nah, I am not biting on Sparticus' toss-away post there, 'cause it ain't the case. What does intrigue me is throwing Satsu and Kennedy together- hey, something has to get in the way of Willow's romance, and so far nothing has- in fact, major angst has been notably absent this season, even with the loss of Renee. Something has to hit Willow to get her to go dark. Meantime, I also cannot believe Harmony is the beginning of the end, as it's too obvious. As I read the last issue, and Willow's comment to her dragonlady lover, I think it could be, yes, wait for it, Tara. But probably not... so, think Anya!
So it looks like it breaks down like this for the point of view issues.

Issue 21:Harmony who sort of kicks the whole thing off

Issue 22:Buffy And Andrew

Issue 23:Xander And Dawn

Issue 24:Satsu And Kennedy

Issue 25:Giles And Faith

Does that sound about right?

It also sounds like to me that it's Harmony who exposes the existence of vampires to the world and sets that whole thing off.I wonder if Joss knew the Harmony covers for issue 21 were released?I'm sure Twilight is involved in this somehow too.
Anya and Tara are both non-mystical dead, so forever they shall stay that way. Hopefully. Though I do wish Anya would come back, she's definitely my favourite seemingly permanently dead Buffy character. Also, why was there no "Joss Killed Anya" backlash? You get the impression that people preferred Renee over her (who, while cool, was no Anya).Did I miss the backlash? Or did people not warm to her the same way they warmed to Tara (who again, while cool, was no Anya. or Oz. She might beat Angel in the ex-boy/girlfriend stakes I guess).

@Invisible Green "Didn't Scott Allie say in the letter column for issue 17 that there were no plans for Oz in Season 8?"

No, he just made a "well, we can't talk about that now" comment then quoted joss saying "well duh he's going to come back" (all quotes made up of my hazy recollections)
I think there was little backlash over Anya because A) she died in the last episode of the series, and B) Emma Caulfield had stated that she wouldn't be appearing in any continuation that was made, be it for the small or the big screen.
Yeah, sounds like Harmony is gonna be the one to "out" vampires to the world, then everyone else has to pick up the pieces.

I'm stoked about Oz getting his own arc, and hopefully stepping out from Willow's shadow.

I'm excited for the assuredly epic conclusion. Big two-page splash battles in the vein of Civil War or Secret Invasion would be awesome. I wouldn't be surprised if Angel & (remaining) crew show up for the big finish, if the entire world is going to be drawn into it.

I wonder if the "death of magic" might not actually make magic go away, but just somehow wipe everyone's knowledge of it?
2009 will be an interesting year for S8: Like I thought, the actual story will kick off from #21. It's funny that Joss doesn't know we already know that Harmony is the character who'll start it.
Maybe Harmony gets her own Tori Spelling-like reality TV show and that's what outs vampires to the world and starts off a major chain of events.

Sponsored by the makers of True Blood, of course.
I am really looking forward to the Giles and Faith issue. I just miss Giles so much! Ahhh!

Also the Kennedy and Satsu issue should be really interesting.

Also where will Willow feature in this five issues? Maybe the final issue of this arc will answer that question for us!
Vortigun said:

Also where will Willow feature in this five issues? Maybe the final issue of this arc will answer that question for us!


My heart is so crushed at the implication. Truly crushed.

Trying not to think about that, so I'll comment that when I went to Comic Con last year Joss excitedly, happily told us at his panel that Oz would definitely be back. And that was like at... issue five or something. So, not sure what Scott Allie was talking about and/or trying to keep secret.
Also, why was there no "Joss Killed Anya" backlash? You get the impression that people preferred Renee over her (who, while cool, was no Anya).Did I miss the backlash? Or did people not warm to her the same way they warmed to Tara (who again, while cool, was no Anya. -Sparticus


Incidentally, Anya's death affected me a whole lot more than Tara's. I just never liked Tara's character from the very start, while I feel that Anya's character had much more development. Hell's Bells just crushed me for the pain that Anya experienced. I'm glad you pointed out the lack of outrage, so to speak, over Anya's death, as I'd never noticed it's absence either. Perhaps it could also be that Anya fell in a moment of a final battle, where a death, while not exactly expected, certainly wasn't surprising. Tara's death was straight out of left field, shocking in its abruptness and its intrusion into a moment where such tragedy rarely occurs. I suppose people felt a sharper sting.

I would think that the writers have been setting up a Dawn & Xander hook up for several issues now, otherwise, they've been doing it just to blindside us (irritating). Perhaps to make Dawn have feelings for Xander, only for her to get pissed off when he hooks up with (hopefully not) Buffy. I'd think that Xander and Buffy hooking up is as unlikely as a Willow and Buffy hook up. Especially with Xander's role as Buffy's watcher, I feel like it's more a brother/sister relationship.
Though I am a distinct Taraphile, I was indeed outraged over Anya's death, and have said so numerous times- because she was killed almost as an afterthought, and it kept the useless Andrew alive. And because Xander never got to even properly address her loss at all.

Ya think Satsu and Kennedy could, you know, couple up?
Maybe Spike finds a way to break out of After the Fall Hell and reunites with Harmony. :)
Speaking of Spike... someone on a forum mentioned that the Buffy-Andrew team-up might lead to that long-awaited revelation about whether Buffy knows he's alive, but probably too good to be true, right?
Ooh, I am intrigued.

Buffy and Andrew...such an odd pairing. But I am down for it. And Faith/Giles?! Hell yes! So glad to see that Dynamic Duo returning. By the time their issue gets here, it will have been more than a year since last we saw either one. I'm also digging Satsu/Kennedy. It would be really cool if Spike were to be in Harmony's issue, but that may just be wishful fanboy thinking. ('Cuz who knows?! Spike might not make it out of Hell! ...He said, not believing that for an instant.)

As for Scott Allie saying there wouldn't be any Oz, he didn't just say that he couldn't talk about it, he actually said there were no plans at the moment to bring Oz in. Which came months upon months after Joss had already told us quite the opposite (and I'm pretty sure it also came after the Espenson Oz arc had already been discussed). It puzzled me, and thankfully, he was wrong.

There was definitely backlash against Anya's death. I don't agree with the backlash, but it was there. I thought it was sudden and shocking and tragic, and Xander's, "That's my girl, doing the crazy thing" breaks me every time. So I have no complaints in that arena.

And what's with all the Tara vs. Oz? Can't we take both? Willow/Oz and Willow/Tara were the two best romantic relationships in the series' history. I love 'em both!
Anya not being dead now that we don't have to rely on actor participation is highly possible. People say things like she's non-mystically dead, but she never did have a death scene, and she was left alive by D'Hoffrin (probably misspelling that) on purpose. He acts like it's a punishment, but I think he's always had as much of a soft spot as an evil demon can have for someone. He may have saved her. If so, Harmony may make a wish, she's irresponsible enough for it. She could create another alternate verse, or just wish that everyone knew about vampires so she could live a normal life. But I don't know where you guys are getting that last part from; I assume you're privy to spoilers I haven't read. Please don't confirm or deny anything for me.

I loved Tara but agree that this illusion some people have nostalgically grafted to her that she is Willow's "one true love" is preposterous, since we had a ridiculous amount of setup through what I still consider Buffy's best seasons for the Oz/Willow relationship, and rewatching the eps without week long pauses in-between, the Tara thing seems a little pushed on me now, and Kennedy seems downright rebound.

RANT: Kennedy doesn't deserve all this moaning about what Willow's may be doing with snake lady. What Willow's doing to Kennedy now is what she's been doing from the beginning of the relationship -- using her. And Kennedy knew that getting into it, and kind of forced Willow into it when Willow would have receded into herself. In that way Ken is good for her, but bad for her, because Kennedy is using Willow, too, so intent to get with a hot chick and so immature she thinks she can fix everything that's wrong. I'm interested to see what her and Satsu's issue will do. I think that's a better couple, as I'm also wondering if that will happen at the same time as a Willow/Oz reunion. Complications, yessss.... (And I'm still afraid Oz or Doyle is Twilight, but I'm also afraid Hurley is the biggest bad on Lost, so I'm just a paranoid.)
Hmm, you know, if Willow was keeping Kennedy away from Buffy for one reason before, she may have another, more interesting reason to do so now...
Wow, PuppetDoug, great deconstruction of the Willow/Kennedy relationship. Now I can have something to say when asked why I hate Kennedy instead of just, "She was the insultingly easy rebound after Tara."
I assume you're privy to spoilers I haven't read. Please don't confirm or deny anything for me.

You're in a thread entitled and marked "(SPOILER) The shape of things to come in Buffy Season 8".
A 5 issue Oz arc by Jane Espenson? Awesome. And up until now I was disappointed by Meltzer's involvement, but from the sound of this Joss knows just how to use him. We'll be getting a DC/Marvel style comics "event" set in the Buffyverse and presumably plotted and co-written by Joss. I'm actually interested now.
I'm still annoyed with Joss for killing off Anya. She was a unique character who died for little narrative impact. For years, she gave the writers the chance to put in lots of witty one-liners which really added to the show. All gone.

Tara, with all due respect, was not so unique -- there's got to be another insecure witch with a chauvinist redneck family out there somewhere -- and her death blew me clear across the room. It completely changed the story line. We'll still talking about what it means for Willow. Willow is still talking about what it means for Willow. That was, from the storytelling perspective, a good death.

I can't help thinking that, from the same perspective, Anya's death was a mistake. Think of the things you could have done with the character. Think of the puns we've missed out on. How would Renee and Anya have interacted? What would Anya have said when she found Buffy and Satsu in bed?

[ edited by scotws on 2008-09-19 10:01 ]
Anya's reaction to that would have easily been the funniest. One of the sad things about Season 8 is that we don't have a Spike / Oz / Anya / more relaxed Xander to make all the witty jokes. I mean less relaxed Xander still does a good job, and Andrew brings the good stuff, but they're almost too busy to being make the wisecracks.
This is very exciting, it's just sadden me that it will be late next year, when we get to Brad's arc.
One of the trickiest parts with longrunning shows and comics must be to find the optimum number of core characters that can be given adequate screen/page time and still keep the forward momentum, my love for Anya is deep ( she spoke/tried to speak swedish, yay ) but the Buffy story already balances close to the edge of to many characters, would there be room for more than a quick appeareance for Anya, doubt it.
Just to prove my theory wrong they will probably do something fantastic with Oz and the oneshots but the 'cast of thousands' often does seem to lead to problems, or it's just a matter of taste as usual.
I only care that Jane Espenson is writing Oz, I have no further thoughts...everything not related to this escapes my mind.
Just because Harmony is on a cover, why should we assume she has anything to do with Joss' comments about not expecting this person to bring about the end?

There's so many more people to consider.

Riley (who may or may not be Twilight)
Oz (we don't know what's been going on with him the past what? 4 years canon-wise)
Riley's wife (remember her? she can't be happy about Riley being in love with Buffy)
Andrew (his loyalty is always wavering, and now that Warren is back?)
The First (you can't really kill it)
Drusilla (where has she been hiding?)
Dana ( the psycho slayer from Angel S5...where is she anyway?)
Klem (i heard he'd be making an appearance, and he hasn't yet)
Dawn (she's still the key, still has a third magic charm lingering)
Buffy Herself ("the closest" betrayal would be her betraying herself)

there's just so much more to consider
Lets not forget...

Angel
Spike
Angelus
Buffybot
That dead english slayer who sounded like a street urchin out of an American produced Charles dickens TV show acted by an American who had never been to England
Angela
Darla (did she really turn into dust?)
Joyce
Angelica
The Sunnydale Razorback
Future Willow
Past Willow
Scary Snake Lady
Vampire Willow
Vampire Xander
Dracula
Vampire Dracula

I'm still holding out for the buffybot
Okay, gotta weigh in on the Tara talk, 'cause she's my favorite. I disagree with all those who disregard her, or hate her, or think Oz was somehow Willow's real "true" love. He wasn't. I'm sorry, but anyone with a hint of intuition knows Tara was Willow's soulmate. If there was a lovefest going on, where Tara, Oz, and Kennedy were all vying for Willow, Will's heart would always point to Tara.

I mean, come on. Willow almost destroyed the ENTIRE PLANET, including everyone she ever cared for or would care for, because Tara was taken away from her. That's grief, people.

Yes, I realize Joss originally intended for Oz to die and start the Dark Willow arc, but that's outside the story, so it's not what was written or acted.
Um, agreed! :-)
No-ones hating on Tara, I like Tara, after Anya, Tara is probably my favourite female character (Fred aside). That said, Willow clearly went Dark because she never got to tell Tara she still fancied Oz. Immense guilt == recipe for going Evil. At least, that's how I'm going to remember it, reasonable arguments appealing to canon my ass.
Hmmm... well..OZ has a 5 part arc. Oz, who really hasn't been part of the story for awhile. Oz, who may or may not blame magic for Willow being a lesbian and for him being a Werewolf... anyway. Unless he plays a big role in something, why give the dude a 5 part arc? Don't get me wrong, I love the character, but still.
Well, the return of my second favorite character (ie. vacuous, trechearous, promiscuous, good ol' Harm, and no, she's not a realtive of mine) is always cause to rejoice.

(Sidenote; We're getting into late fall of '04 by now, right? That plus the "vampires are no onger a secret" means I think I have the breaking point between S-8 and my ficverse. Of course I'm enjoying the stories, so I'll continue to buy them even tho that's a bit unethical.)

When ir ead the "viewpoint of two characters per issue" I didn't read that to mean they'd be interacting directly with each other in the respective issues, just that they'd eb the feaured ones. It could easily be doen with scene changes. Altho I hope not. Even if they don't end up, as they do in my wishful thinking, hooking up*, I'd like to see what Kennedy and Satsuko would have to talk about.

*followed by Buffy being offered a wish in a shoe store

And I do agree on Anya; she was mortally wounded but we didn't see the next 5 minutes. MAybe, before brain death, ol' D'Hoff, so she couldn't escape to a heaven-dimension, asked a friend of his to whisk her away, heal her magically, and torture her body and soul.

And as little as I liked Oz*, I'd love tos ee his arc here, lots of potential.

*because I don't much like the real-life Ozzes of the world; same reason a lot of folks didn't like Riley.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-09-19 18:13 ]
There's so many more people to consider.

My money's on Andrew.

ETA: Although I love the idea that it's Harmony and hope that pans out.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-09-19 19:24 ]
Quoth Dana5140:
Something has to hit Willow to get her to go dark.

Really? It's not possible that the Future Willow we've seen isn't a different timeline/alternate Willow? Or that she's not so much 'Dark' Willow as 'Incredibly-magickally-long-lived-tired-of-the-world-regret-ridden-slightly-insane-with-a-so-far-unrevealed-yet-ultimately-good-for-the-world-if-not-Buffy-herself-agenda' Willow?

I'd hate to have to put that on a business card though. ;-)
Yeah, I don't think Willow has to or is going to go evil.
In the future she's using vampires who are enjoying killing folk to carry out her plan, if that's not evil, that's uh... yeah.
So Harmony attempts to make it big in the entertainment industry and "outs" vampires, demons, magic and slayers in the process. As far as a "real world" possibility and not "what if" scenario, I could totally see that happening.

Harmony was always described by Joss as "Cordelia: Season 1" and we all know back then Cordy had big Hollywood ambitions (and always spoke her mind regardless of the consequences).
Heck, Cordy retained the ambitions, except she was willing to work at it.

Mercedes has claimed soem of the credit for the decision to make Harmony fundamentally not especially bright. Such "unbrightness" emans that she's not really capable of learning from experience As well as Cordelia did.

And, let's face it, this is kinda-sorta taking the easy way, with bells on. Admittedly Harmony 's not cut out to play an effective villain and vampires don't have a lot of options.

So I cna't really blame her. On the other hand, I agree that the Scoobs might feel that it's "just one more thing we don't need" to deal with vampire hunters being thought of negatively.

Of course, some vamps, like Harm, and plenty others, could turn this to advantage. But others will probably dislike the diea that they are now accepted as real. MAkes it harder to hide, and makes the "Death by neck rupture" dodge harder to pull on the cops.

I'm just hoping, however this pans out, it doesn't involve neding it with an act by a divine-level being to "re-set the world" like I understand DC and Marvel have been fond of lately.

But I'm still tickled with this. I've been wondering (since hte nd of S-6) how long before Harmony decided to make soem money by selling an article to a style magazine on how to do hair and make-up without a mirror. Boosts my ego to klnow Joss has had a similar idea.


Oh,w ell, Willow 's due (in my ficverse) to be heading off to grad school soon so it makes a convenient place for me to spin off, amybe start my Mephistopheles arc :-).
No, Sparticus, when taken in context, it's not neccessarily evil. Willow believes--or possibly believes, this might still be speculation--that she is going to erase this future from ever having happened, so any of the bad things she lets happen simply don't count to her.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2008-09-20 21:29 ]

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