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June 06 2010

(SPOILER) Title for the final Buffy Season 8 arc. Buffyfest reveals what Joss' arc will be called.

1. To emit a gleam; flash or glow: "Their tile roofs gleamed in the moon's pallid radiance" (Laura Joh Rowland).
2. To be reflected as a gleam: The sun gleamed on the water.
3. To be manifested or indicated briefly or faintly.
Or as in "Twilight's last gleaming." But Sunnydale? That's certainly intriguing. I'm dying for September!
Yeah I thought Twilight's Last Gleaming too. Or even Kobol's Last Gleaming.
Sunnydale is a more intriguing title, as far as I'm concerned. Glad they let us know what they were originally thinking.
It would certainly be interesting if they resurrect Sunnydale in the final arc.
According to Georges there's still a bit of a mystery left with the meaning of Twilight's logo (the "beautiful sunset"). "Last Gleaming" certainly seems to tie into that.
Very intrigued by the Sunnydale title. And by Rikers theory there.
Wasn't the word gleaming used in William's poetry scene in Fool for Love?
That just might be a second connection, my brain instantly went to Twilights last Gleaming from the Star Spangled Banner.
Hmm, I really think Sunnydale is an interesting choice. Too bad it was dropped.
Kobol's Last Gleaming was the first thing I thought about, Simon.
Although the Kobol reference only exists because of the Star-Spangled Banner usage.
"Twilight's Last Gleaming" was also the title of a great "we're on the verge of nuclear mutually-assured destruction" movie from the 70's, starring the inimitable Burt Lancaster as a cranky General. At least, that's what came to my mind first.
The Star-Spangled Banner was my first thought too.

I think that "Sunnydale" is a more interesting choice, especially given that the first arc was called "The Long Way Home".
^^ Good thinking, if "home" means Sunnydale. We did glimpse the crater of Sunnydale in that first arc. Buffy's been in Scotland, Tibet, and New York but none of them feel like "home".
In my first glance I read the alternate title as "Sunnydale until Joss" which also has interesting implications.
My first thought was this:
WILLIAM: Oh, quickly! I'm the very spirit of vexation. What's another word for "gleaming"? It's a perfectly perfect word as many words go but the bother is nothing rhymes, you see.

I don't think it's an accident that this word is in the title of the arc Spike is in. Though what it means, Joss only knows.
My first thought was "Gleaming the Cube", which just makes me giggle.
I would love it if they went back "home." Perhaps the sun will set once again in Sunnydale? Maybe they will rebuild it. One can hope... Also, love the call back to William's poetry.
I do love the symmetry of S8 starting with The Long Way Home and ending with Sunnydale. I think a part of me will now always think of the final arc as that, but I do love Last Gleaming.

I love things coming full circle (Buffy's hand rising out of the grave in 'Grave' was an amazing moment for me) so I hope Joss can tie things up in a way that's truly satisfying. I'm very relieved that he has 5 issues instead of the standard 4 to tell the final installment.

This though;

"Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"

Makes me think Dawn will indeed have some significance to the conclusion, as many have speculated for a while now. Her keyness has been referenced a few times and apparently Joss is exploring more of the Xander/Dawn relationship in his final arc. I've found that a bit suspicious as it's not as if he has a lot of space to wrap things up so ya gotta wonder if X/D isn't directly connected to the main plot in some way. Dawn's probably a goner :(

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-06-07 06:10 ]
Right now Dawn is the number one suspect to be dead by seasons end, so I don't think it will be her. Everyone's expecting it, so Joss won't get his surprising, tragic death scene that enrages the fans. Dawn may go out a big hero though, like Kitty in AXM.

Did we ever get a title for the Riley one-shot? Is it just going to be called Riley?
Everyone's expecting it,

They are?
I think the last gleaming, it's for the hellmouth still "shining". I'm afraid Spike sacrifice in season seven, didn't closed it totally, so now it has a "last gleaming".

I think Xander will die. This could explain why Willow would lost it again, and become "dark eyes" again, in the possible future we have seen in her special comic.

Not everybody thinks she's going to bite the bullet but a lot of people are predicting it. The earliest I ever saw it predicted was by Maggie back when Living Doll came out. I don’t have the issues handy so I can’t quote verbatim but there was a line about Dawn cracking up and scattering energy everywhere, and something along the lines of Buffy saying she loves her sister to death.

Since then people have noticed that her keyness has been brought up quite a few times throughout the season, plus she’s entered into a relationship with Xander which is practically a death sentence! And I guess this is more subjective but I also think she’s been built up as a character and has become a lot more loved on the forums, which would just make her death sadder.

One theory people had was that Dawn would die in Retreat after Buffy’s rage over X/D would cause the goddesses to attack her. That didn’t pan out but people (such as myself) still think it’s very likely she’s a goner.


It’s true that a lot of people have predicted it but it could still shock people, depending on how it was written. After all, we all know Whedon’s track record with killing off happy relationships and although we joke about it’s predictably constantly, everybody was still surprised when it happened in WatG. Even so, if people are right and there were multiple clues and foreshadowing throughout the season I’d take that over a shocker any day. I like to be able to reflect and see the build up throughout the issues :)

I still think Xander could be a target, though. The only characters who I think are really safe are Buffy, Willow (so much talk about her arc continuing in S9), Satsu and Simone (talk about them in S9) and almost certain the two vamps.
I had never thought of Dawn dying, blaze of glory or not, until "Last Gleaming" was said. This made me go to Star Spangled Banner, which made me go to Dawn's early light. Which very well could just mean Dawn's going to kick Angel's ass, or that "Twilight" is just as fictional an Angel as Dawn was a sister. Or she's gonna go back to being a big ol' ball of light (which would fit with the transformation theme she's had) or something akin and it's going to have a lot to do with the ending. But I don't think any of these are going to happen.

I think

I've been very wrong before, but it seems fitting so I use spoiler text just in case it's right and you don't want to know.
Last Gleaming: suggests the end of Twilight (Twilight's last gleaming), which indicates that Spike will indeed attempt to follow through on his promise to end "this twilight crap." This presumably means we will be getting something more in the way of mythology. It's the end of whatever it is that Twilight represents--but as of the end of Meltzer's arc, I'm still not sure how Twilight connects with the season's apparent story (slayers in a new world, unprepared for them).

Gleaming as a reference to effulgence? Win.

Gleaming as a reference to "Dawn's early light"? Worry.

Sunnydale: The long way home. Buffy said she wanted to go home. The midpoint of the season was Buffy revisiting the place in her dreams. Warren and Amy are refugees from the smoking crater Buffy left behind, and their inclusion in this season is still a bit of a mystery--what thematic purpose do they serve in the whole story? They are Sunnydale, perhaps. Spike knocked the Sunnydale sign down three times, closed the Hellmouth; is Twilight the antithesis of the Hellmouth, perhaps? And is the forgotten General Voll still camped out there?

Joss' final arc: It has a lot to explain, and I'm not even positive how much of it Joss even knows needs explaining. I still kinda can't wait.
I don't know about Amy but I'd suspected Warren was there to drive a wedge between Buffy and Willow in Anywhere But Here, make Buffy feel more guilty about hurting those around her, and be a constant reminder of Willow's darkness. In TLWY he literally stood in between Buffy and Willow and I'm kinda predicting a confrontation between these two in the final arc. There's love there but anyone else feel tension simmering under the surface? The "they are Sunnydale" explanation works very well too of course and they don't have to be antithetical either.

I like your thoughts about reflecting back on Sunny D and how After These Messages worked well as the midpoint issue to setup this idea!

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-06-07 08:18 ]
My original thought about Warren was basically that--a symbol of Willow's darkness, a clue that her darkness was going to be revisited. I feel like that's been somewhat wasted--but I guess it is relevant that Warren (&Amy) disappears after TLWH and only emerges again in the arc showcasing Future Dark Willow....

If Amy and Warren are Sunnydale, then the responsibility for what happened to them (becoming monsters) lies with the Scoobies, which fits in with their stories as well--Amy was left a rat for years while Willow was busy "not making her a rat" (though of course that was Amy's own fault in "Gingerbread"), and Warren is skinless and just barely-alive because of Willow (though of course he's also a murderer). Complicated. I'm still hoping that Joss' arc will clarify what they mean.
I still think Xander could be a target, though.

I really can't see Joss killing one of the core four. At least permanently. Joss might not view them on the same level as Buffy, but for many of the audience they are just as important as her and I think he knows that. If there was going to be no S9 then sure, nobody's safe, but would they really have a Buffy 'season' without one of the original scoobs? It will be more depressing than S8 has been.

Of course all that rationalization can be precisely why he'd kill one of them off, but I can't see personally.

Nice catch with Warren/Amy resurfacing in ToYL! I had never thought of that before but your right, it’s certainly fitting given the storyline of that arc. I agree with you that the opportunity with both of them has been a little wasted (it was probably best realised in TLWY I thought. I remember thinking they could be the next Spike & Dru) but here’s hoping Whedon can work them into Last Gleaming in a meaningful way.

I like your thoughts about the Scoobies being (partially responsible) for both of them. Amy is kinda the poster girl for how the consequences of Chosen have come back to bite the Scoobs on the arse. I had always wondered if there were a few people left in Sunnydale when it collapsed into the crater, though I never expected Amy to be one of them. It kind of fits with the general theme of the season that there’s always repercussions for your actions.


I'm not sure. In S7 it was the other writers who talked Joss out of killing Xander in Dirty Girls. Part of the reason I think his head could be on the chopping block is because he’s really come full circle from S1. He finally feels comfortable about his role in the gang, he’s got over Buffy, he got retribution for the buttmonkeyness in Buffy VS Dracula, he no longer has to pay girls to date him (kinda the opposite, actually), and he’s a respected member of the gang. He's just been portrayed so well this season that, IMO, it can easily be read that they're bringing him to a close.

That may just be my paranoia talking though. Whenever a character becomes too happy or is portrayed too positively in BtVS, I start thinking their days are numbered.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-06-07 08:42 ]
I could see him killing Giles, but I think we all (including Joss) will be holding out for a Ripper show until we're dead. Xander -- he's wanted to do that since day 1, but he already killed Wash and Doyle to get it out of his system. Willow at least lives until Fray's time, unless they're in alternate timelines. Killing Buffy doesn't last and has been done too many times. The core four just aren't for killing -- as much as their deaths would be shocking, they would not accomplish so much as their lives and taking away the people they care about, etc. Dawn, however, is marked for death. But then again, she has been ever since she arrived.

Who else is there? How is this NOT going to interfere with Angel continuity????? All I say is JUST DON'T KILL VI. It's my only rule.

I do LOVE the returning to Sunnydale angle and will be somewhat disappointed if that's not where we're headed.
In S7 it was the other writers who talked Joss out of killing Xander in Dirty Girls.

That's because it was the last season. If they were coming back for televised S9, would he have still contemplated it? Saying that, I always thought it would have been really awesome seeing Xander play the Caleb role in S7.

Xander -- he's wanted to do that since day 1, but he already killed Wash and Doyle to get it out of his system.

Wait, what? When was this info revealed?
Sorry I have a problem with being clear and with declaring theories as if they are fact.

Xander was supposed to die in the pilot, but the network wouldn't let him so he made up the Jesse character to fill that hole in the plot. Wash and Doyle are similar, Hawaiian shirt wearing Joss surrogates whom he killed in order to accomplish the same goal he wanted to with Xander's death in the pilot: to let us know you didn't know what was going to happen next, and that all characters are in real danger all the time.
That's because it was the last season. If they were coming back for televised S9, would he have still contemplated it?

No idea. But the fact he's even contemplated it in the past means he's not totally adverse to killing him off. I just wouldn’t rule it out based on a ‘No Killing the Core Four’ rule. I definitely think they're generally safer than other characters but I don't think it’s set in stone.


I've never heard about Joss wanting to kill Xander off in the pilot. The way I heard it he always intended to kill off Jesse but originally wanted to have him in the opening credits, to lull the audience into a false sense of security. The network wouldn't allow that though.
I may have my wires crossed with the Doyle thing. Yours sounds righter. It's 3am here. LOL.
I just hope they won't kill Faith
I've never heard that Xander was meant to die instead of Jesse... got anything to back that up? I'm having a little trouble believing that; while Xander's not my favourite character, I can't see a Scooby Gang of just Buffy, Willow, and Giles.
sorry guys I accidentally made that up. It was wanting to put Jesse in the main credits and kill him, then putting Doyle in the opening and having him die before the season was out, then killing Wash to let us know all bets were off -- but still, all of those things for the same reasons as I said.

As I said, it's 3am and I've been editing film all day; I'm not thinking with all my brains.
No biggie PuppetDoug!

You hear so many different stories about what "really" happened that it's easy to get your wires crossed. It happens to the best of us :)
I'm not the first one combining words like :

dawn - twilight - (and now,) last gleaming ....

I fear that either Xander or Dawn will die (end their earthly existence), since - they came together!
Somehow I feel that those images from the Fray series, where a slayer, supposedly Buffy is said to have banished all demons from earth and then to have disappeared, may take shape now in a most satisfying/dissatisfying way.
"Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?"

I think fairly early on in the comic I also thought Joss might kill off Dawn, so this fits into that theory. But at this point in time, killing off people Xander is falling in love with would be overkill, so not completely sure. Gleaming refers to light, and Dawn is a big ball of green light/energy- there has never been any explanation of what happened after Glory was killed off (if killed off she was), so does Dawn have a purpose any more? Is she still energy?

They supposedly closed the Hellmouth in Sunnydale, but what if it were reopened?
I thought of the glowy thing and Angel/Twilight. So hopefully he won't be glowing anymore.

Man, we can read so much into one little song reference, can't we?
So hopefully he won't be glowing anymore.

Is it a coincidence that Last Gleaming is an anagram of Angel Mags Lit?
Maybe they need to reopen the hellmouth to shove the demons back in from the hole in the sky.
Simon, you are the king of extreme "reading too much into stuff" comedy!! That anagram is genius!
Also, the whole turning Dawn back into a little ball of energy would kinda be a world of awesome! But if we look at the "Last Gleaming" and "Sunnydale" as the two titles, then Sunnydale is a less read into kinda title, so maybe no one dies and that's the big surprise! Maybe they changed the title just to get this reaction and it turns out they all live happily ever after?! Maybe...
Interesting that Georges' cover for #37 seems to hint a return to Sunnydale in some way, too.
I could see Giles maybe dying. I think the core 4 is now the power trio plus Dawn.
Yeah I agree. From S6 onwards I don't think Giles has ever quite been that central to the show anymore. Thy honored him in Chosen but other than that, I'd see Buffy/Xander/Willow as the main players now.
It's all about the emotional hit. I think that losing Giles would maybe hurt, but not all that much, because I think vampmogs has it right, Giles has not been essential for some time now. What would hurt Buffy most? Why, Dawn would, especially since it was not all that long ago that Buffy would have done anything, including letting the earth go to Hell, to protect her. Which suggests that it is Dawn who makes the final sacrifice, thus, closing the key to that plane of existence.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-06-07 20:57 ]

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2010-06-07 20:57 ]
If we're going on the assumption that Dawn will re-Key herself (or be re-Keyed by someone else) to stop the apocalypse, then might I throw out a potentially crazy, and possibly not well thought out theory regarding the Twilight symbol (which we are told still has not yet been fully explored)? Perhaps the little twinkle up in the corner is Dawn as a flash of green Key-like energy, with the half-circle representing...well, that's the part I'm still not sure of. A closing portal to a Hell dimension, perhaps? Feel free to make my theory work better than it currently does!

[ edited by Axed84 on 2010-06-07 20:44 ]
Giles dying would make me cry and stamp my feet, anyway.

In a reserved British sort of way.
Very interesting

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