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September 07 2010

(SPOILER) interview with Georges Jeanty at Dragon*Con 2010. Some spoilers about what to expect from #39 (the issue that's been mentioned by both Scott Allie and Jeanty as where some major stuff happens). The "Buffy Season 8: Looking Back" panel can also be viewed in its entirety HERE.

She really has become a part of my everyday life.

YES! I feel that Georges. <3
I love the guy - he inspires so much enthusiasm by just talking about his work. He is very charismatic.

But, Jeez, what's so bad coming in 39 that Georges was floored ?
Great interview! I love how passionate he is about Buffy.
Nevermind "floored", apparently it also "upset" him.
Great interview and yeah,sounds like some badness is coming in issue 39.I'm trying to think what will get everyone so upset.The last episode of the series that I think did that across the board was Seeing Red.

Issue 40 sounds like it will be like Restless,Home and After The Fall #17.Sort of a coda and setup for what's coming next.
And that Scott Allie knew it would "upset" him so they held it back until Georges got the script to work on.

The hype building around #39 is getting intense.
My guess is character death and my money is on Dawn.
I'm trying to think what will get everyone so upset.

The cover for #38 is suggestive in a very sad way. If all magic ends, what happens to the little sister made by magic?
I know the fandom will have a collective cheer if Dawn dies, but I won't.
I wondering if Dawn dies in #38 and what will greatly upset everyone is Xander related.Didn't Scott say a while back that next to Buffy,Xander had the next biggest arc in season 8?
I know a lot of people (myself included!) who will be very upset if Dawn dies.
Dawn's actually one of the only characters I can stand in Season 8. I will hate it if she dies. because it would be So very predictable and incredibly cliched for one of Xander's girlfriends to die. There's Cordy, Anya, Renee, even random characters like Ampata!
This is the real reason Buffy and Xander can never get together--they both have the kiss of death. Only Riley survived out of all their significant others (sure, Angel and Spike were resurrected...) and considering he was getting suckjobs from vamps, his not dying wasn't for lack of trying. ;-)
I'll be very sad if Dawn dies. Happily I'm pretty much always wrong about what happens next.

I wondering if Dawn dies in #38 and what will greatly upset everyone is Xander related.

I could see him betraying Buffy to protect Dawn. Probably the only reason he ever could. Takes loyalty to break his loyalty, so to speak. And he really is the only person left she'd never suspect it from.
Buh. Yeah, from a story tellin' point of view I reckon you may have it, Sunfire.
Woah, this is one thread I wish I hadn't wandered into.

I don't know about anyone else but I would be very upset if Dawn dies.

Um ... wait. I've been going around thinking I didn't care at all about these comics.



I really don't care.

I just don't want Dawn to die.

*la la la*
Awww, I love Dawnie, too. He's so adorable.
I've thought it would be Xander since the "the least expected" comment and Willow was shortly after very much expected. I also never thought Angel was Twilight because that would be insane. Really, base no bets nor upset on my musings.
I'm actually really nervous about this. I'll try not to think about it.
I suppose we could all start singing... *la la la* I can't hear you!
That would help. Really.
I'm thinking it's one, maybe two major character deaths, and Xander betraying Buffy. For character deaths I'm going to go with Dawn and possibly Giles. I also will not rule out a canonical kill of either Angel or Spike. If you want to be coldly calculating about it, the ONLY story Joss really couldn't tell with full emotional impact about Spike or Angel while IDW had a license for them would be their finish. It's not likely, no, but it's possible, and it would be the absolutely NERDRAGEOMGWTFBBQ11ELEVEN!1 of all time ever in the Buffyverse.

Xander is also plausible as a character to kill off... but I doubt it. He's been Buffy's rock and biggest supporter all season. Well, all series. But definitely this season. She's lost the people she's needed and relied on before, that's been done. I think the most emotional power they can take out of that would be for him to turn on her.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-08 01:45 ]
I think what will be upsetting will not be so much who dies, but rather who kills them.
Depends on who and also why. I could see them having Angel, for instance, kill Dawn and ultimately undermine Buffy's devotion. Folks like me who've already pretty much written Angel off as completely evil could buy that, and the people who are going to pretty much go with whatever Angel does will find a way to feel okay about it.

But Buffy can't kill her sister -- not out of anger, not out of perceived necessity, not for anything, or she is done as a hero, done as an icon, done as a property. Dark Horse would have to put Season 9 out as their free comic day book. Unless Dawn herself is somehow the big bad and Buffy still just collapses in a heap of tears afterward, it can't be done.

In fact, if Buffy actually kills any one of her own people without them actually being the villain... she's done.
this also really goes back to the theories from long ago where people were drawing similarities between DAWN and TWILIGHT; sunrise and sunset, a beautiful sunset, etc...
I did just think of a twist though... if Dawn were the villain here, and Buffy learns it and ends up killing her, and Xander pulls a "Prodigal" and comes in at the exact wrong moment and then turns on Buffy... crying Jeanty?
It's not like anyone's never conveniently walked in on anyone else at exactly the wrong moment in S8 either, is it?
Buffy couldn't kill Dawn on purpose. Giles would definitely risk it, if that was the cost of saving the world. Maybe Xander just makes sure that isn't an option.

Or maybe Willow is unwilling to live without magic. Or Giles is willing to do anything to save the world as he sees it. Who knows, but conjecture is fun.
I'd be surprised if she actually dies ... seems like they'd have tried to hide the cover, because if she does die, in a permanent kind of way, it's a really major spoiler.

I'm hoping she's got a hero moment coming up, though: I mean, there's the obvious connection between the words "twilight" and "dawn" that so many people have pointed out. And besides that, we've now got a pissed-off "baby universe" causing problems. And what is it Dawn used to be? A key to an alternate dimension. What if she could open (or be used to open) any universe--not just Glory's?

Even if it's not that, I'd like to see her save the world this time. Everyone else has done it already ... so it's kind of her turn. And seriously, how can you not have Dawn defeat Twilight? It only seems reasonable.

Anyway, I might be okay with her dying if it's in a really heroic world-saving way. But I'm rooting for the world-saving without the death.
She wasn't opening up to *just* Glory's dimension in "The Gift", it was all of them. That was made explicit more than a couple times between "Spiral" and "The Gift". But it would still be a huge retcon to make her being the Key relevant* because they were also very explicit that it was a one time, one place, one shot deal.

*My own theory is that it might be relevant, but only because she gets killed, and the fact that she was the Key will make her somehow unresurrectable in a scenario where Buffy gets to use the Seed to recreate reality. Learning that Buffy gets to basically be the creator of the universe but can't put Dawn back but that Buffy is still going to do it drives him to turn against her and rob Buffy of world-shaping power by destroying the Seed (giving us the image we see in 8.10).
From 'Lies My Parents Told Me' (taken from

Don't kill him yet.

What? Why not?

Because I'm asking you not to. (Buffy rolls her eyes, then rolls off the vampire; they begin fighting again) Would you let this vampire live if he began saving the world?

Sure. (punches the vampire in the face) Seems like a nice enough guy.


No problem.

My name's Richard.

Hi, Rich. (punches the vampire again, knocking him down) Giles, we had this conversation when I told you that I wouldn't sacrifice Dawn to stop Glory from destroying the world.

Ah, yes, but things are different, aren't they? After what you've been through, faced with the same choice now, (paces) you'd let her die.

If I had save the world. Yes.
Yeah, I remember. Like Zoe says... "talking ain't doing". Buffy's position in "The Gift" was much more heroic, much more legendary. In "Lies My Parents Told Me", she's just another ham-and-egger, just mundane. If Buffy actually believes and carries out that sentiment about Dawn, she's done as a hero, and deserves every inch of the foretold beatdown, IMO.
Part 2 Of Georges Jeanty Dragon Con interview.

Buffy Season 8:Looking Back panel from Dragon Con 2010 With Scott Allie and Georges Jeanty.


Part 2 of the Panel.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-09-08 04:02 ]
Thanks for posting those.
"The most important thing about death isn't who's who kills them". -- Dark Willow, Time of Your Life #4
Is it at all possible that Buffy will be permanently crippled or otherwise changed? Character death seems more likely, it shocking? I mean, at this point we're practically used to it.
Buffy loosing her uber-powers and discovering that she also no longer a Slayer? Possible. Not sure they would go into S9 with her being just a human - but possible.
I've changed the link to where both vids can be viewed one after another.
Thanks, Simon. Also, I edited the description to include the link to all the videos of the panel that Buffyfantic linked us too. There are 8 videos of the panel in entirety. Haven't watched beyond the first two, but they should be interesting.
Buffy having to give it a go as purely human would actually be pretty interesting, IMO. I doubt they'd do it, but I could buy into it. Assuming the rest are Slayers, it would be an interesting dynamic to see whether she would -- for instance -- be willing to take back their powers to obtain her own. Or, another for instance, Faith volunteered to give up her own to Buffy (since she seems to really just want out, which is less what Buffy actually wants than what she just talks about wanting), and Buffy became the "real" Slayer again.

Of course, I also considered the similar reveal in "After the Fall" to be the most brilliant, game-changing, daring character development they'd ever pulled in the Buffyverse... until of course it wasn't. Oh well.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-08 18:11 ]
Just finished watching the panel videos.

Some personal highlights for me (yes, there are plenty of spoilers, but if you're reading this thread, you can't be a huffy 'phobe about it):
1. SlayAlive got a shout out! Emmie too!
2. We'll learn more about the "force" that helped drive the cosmic sex. Basically the force that threw in the glow whammy.
3. Sounds like more Giles and Faith in S9.
4. If you haven't already heard... both Angel and Spike didn't time travel. Sounds like we're going to have to read the IDW books to understand what happened to them. Well, no surprise, and honestly, no news there.
5. Apparently there are some theories out there re: the Seed of Wonder being laid by Buffy as the result of the space frakkin. Really? Well, that's been debunked. Thank Hera.
6. Re: Buffy's superpowers: Allie said "Things will continue to evolve and change", and Jeanty said " her powers are the result of what's going on, so all of this will come to a resolution, so you can assume that her powers will come to a resolution as well".
7. They are NOT going to retcon the Fray universe! Allie said: "not going to cancel out Fray... that world is still our future".
8. There'll be more conversation between Buffy and Spike in the near future. I think specifically #37.
9. Giles and Faith will have a great moment in Spike's ship, possibly also in #37. And Giles will apparently have a few chances to shine in the upcoming issues.
10. A bunch of Dollhouse comics out in Spring 2011.
*perks up*

Like I said on BuffyForums earlier... the "Giles/Faith" construction is definitely what people may like to hear, but is almost certainly not what Scott said. He mercifully Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrotted that notion into the ground back when people asked it in anticipation of 8.24. I have a hard time seeing them going there given how not 12 issues ago the editor -- who has known where this story was going all season -- reacted to the idea like it was crazy.
Allie was speaking about the Faith/Giles dynamic that couldn't properly be explored within the confines of S8. So taken in that context, his "that'll definitely be rectified in S9" sounds like we would be getting some more of them in the future.
So yeah, I can see how he may have shot down any hopes of much more Faith/Giles dynamic in S8, I don't remember him ever saying that anything else to do with those characters was off the table too.

ETA: When did Scott do this: "He mercifully Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrotted that notion into the ground back when people asked it in anticipation of 8.24."? More specifically, where?

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-09-08 19:59 ]
I'm not making it up; he was asked about them before 8.24 came out in a Q&A -- i.e. "Faith/Giles", with the slash there to signify the obvious -- and reacted as though the person asking had been wearing a cat on his head, which in turn was wearing a fez. Point being, Scott saying there will be of Faith and Giles doesn't mean there will be... Faith/Giles.

Which, to my mild amusement, when merged into a 'ship name sounds more than a little bit like the word "fails". Heh.

I'm trying to run down a link to the interview in which he commented.

EDIT: Can't find an Allie answer from a published Q&A, but did find a quote from Emmie based on a specific question to him prior to the issue being released --

I doubt this will put a kabosh on the opened doors of Faith/Giles 'shipper love (something I'd never heard of til this interview), but I've been told that the hook-up is definitely, absolutely 100% not happening in #24 from DH Editor Scott Allie. So all those who were fans of it might need to find refuge in fanfiction for the Faith/Giles sex/romance/what-have-you possibilities. It's not happening in canon - "it ain't there."

later comment

He was very emphatic about it not happening. There was also a bit of a 'hamnoo?' quality to his response. He seemed really shocked by the speculation in a 'where the hizzy did that come from?' way.

"There's not even a suggestion of that in the comic."

She was following up, if I recall, on an interview with Jim Krueger where a misinterpeted answer spawned a small but determined fanbase to appear overnight.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-08 20:19 ]
Accidental and villain-caused deaths can still cause recriminations amongst the good guys, and perhaps betrayals.

The Key: it was specified it could only be used at specific locations and times, but nothing except dialogue (not based directly on research apparently) said anything about Dawn ceasing to be The Key.

My problem with Fray is it makes the Buffyverse closed-ended, I guess. Like "Epitaph 1" good as it was, killed my real interest in Dollhouse. Plus I hate GrayWillow.

I feel bad for a lot of you folks who are going to hate this.
The first word we got -- which I tend to think, when talking about beginning of a new season exposition, when the "rules" are getting announced -- on Dawn's status after "The Gift" included her qualifying "... or if I am, I don't open anything anymore". I think that is the relevant fact here. I would not only be surprised, but also extremely disappointed from a continuity standpoint, if they tried to retcon on that and say that she could only do the whole Key thing at one time and place... except for this one other time and place!

My read on her status as the "Key" being relevant is that if her nature as a product of applied phlebotinum means that any world redesigning or resetting that could be done with the Seed (powered by the same kind of applied phlebotinum?) would mean Dawn would die, or could not be restored if she was killed. That's what I'm guessing sets up Xander turning against Buffy.
I'm a big Giles-Faith enthusiast. If it is to be strictly platonic, then fine. But Giles' expression when he looks at her and says 'five by five' along with the reference to Steed and Peel (which as Wiki will tell you had a sexual subtext) means there's subtext. Maybe it's unintentional as was (apparently) the Faith/Buffy subtext. But as Joss reportedly said in response to the latter, it may not have been intended, but yeah, there it is in the text. As with all subtext, readers are free to read it or not read it.

Glad, in any case, that those two will get more attention going forward, whatever form it takes.

The Master isn't dead, bones smashed to talcum powder notwithstanding. Against the backdrop of that, Dawn's assumption about her key status has approximately zero weight about what Joss can or cannot do with that status in the story going forward. Her keyness has been mentioned twice in season 8, along with one mention of the fact that she's not quite real. #25 has a lot of key subtext. Keyness doesn't have to be a part of the remainder of the story. I'm not saying it will be. But I reject the claim that it cannot be part of the story. Given how little weight is attached to established facts, there should be none attached to a fact that was presented as an 'opinion' and therefore intrinsically available to revision. The characters can be wrong about it if the writers need for the keyness to matter. The point of the statement in season 6 is to say that keyness isn't immediately relevant to the story going forward. And it wasn't. Doesn't mean it can't be relevant now.
Xander had the "Joyce is hot" subtext more than once (which, bottom line, is all the "No Future For You" subtext was -- "Faith is hot"), doesn't mean that would have ever gone anywhere.

Maggie, it wasn't just like Dawn was the only person who said that -- Glory said it, her henchpeople said it, General Forehead Guy said it. Reminding us in "Bargaining" was just a quick and important way to say "Dawn isn't a weekly target for demons that want to go to a different dimension". And, yeah, after ALL that, it would be a retcon to just have all of them be wrong about it.

Even if you don't agree with my theory, it's at least a way for Dawn's origin to matter to the story without having to revise that origin. It at least sounds like they have some plan for the Master based on this egg, doesn't mean they have to go bananas and have a retcon free for all.
So my theory, based on the comics and extracted from a number of the insightful comments in this thread, goes as follows:

The Seed in Sunnydale enables both the opening to Twilight and somehow the Master's continued existence (possibly by opening another doorway to a dimension where he still lives). It can only do so as long as Dawn lives, as her Key energy (which it might have somehow been able to connect to during her transformations) is essential to helping nurture the connections to other dimensions required by Twilight. Once Buffy finds out, and it becomes clear that she is leaning towards killing Dawn for the same reasons that she left Twilight (namely, the welfare of the world and most of the people she loves is more important than her parochial conerns), Xander betrays Buffy and runs away with her to the Master's protection.

How this plays out, I'm not sure. Having Buffy kill Dawn to save the world would be too much a re-run of Season 2, I think. My ideal scenario (if the rest of my speculation is right), instead, is that Buffy fights her way to where the Master is keeping Xander and Dawn, kills the Master, but can't bring herself to kill Xander or Dawn. Instead, Angel, Spike, Willow, or some combination thereof kill one or both of them. There are good dramatic and plot related reasons for it to be any of those three, though I think Angel or Willow are better choices than Spike in that they fit more with the way the characters are portrayed over the course of the season.

Does this make me happy? Not really - I like all of these characters and don't relish the thought of them killing each other. However, this scenario would be very Jossian - one hell of a dramatic climax that sets up a great deal of conflict between the characters in the final issue/next season, particularly if Willow kills Dawn but doesn't kill Xander.

Oh, and by the way, I think if Buffy does end up killing a friend to save the world, I think she ought to be lauded for it. Buffy was never more heroic than when she killed Angel in Season 2. Giles was wrong in the Gift - her unwillingness to kill Ben or Dawn was not heroic, but rather an unacceptable abdication of her responsibility to every other single living human being and creature who could have been tortured and killed by Glory's plan. Real heroes understand they have to make painful personal sacrifices for everyone else - the essence of being a hero is taking on great risk and making enormous sacrifices for a higher cause. This is something Angel has always understood, and I think Buffy fully came to terms with by the end of Season 7 (one of the things I like about that much-maligned season).
Just to clarify, when I say "Faith/Giles" dynamic, I wasn't talking about a ship. As in I didn't mean that the Faith/Giles ship would sail next year. All I meant is that the Faith AND Giles (platonic) dynamic will probably be explored in S9.

So, if your initial protest, KoC, was about the ship, then yes, I agree that Scott said nothing of that kind in the panel discussion.
I diametrically disagree with everything you said about what was and was not heroic about "The Gift". Giles was absolutely right about the distinction. Buffy killing Angel to close Acathla in Season 2 wasn't quite the same as what could plausibly surface in Season 8. And, what's more, *because* we saw it in Season 2 we can take even further certainly that nothing *will* arise in Season 8 that will be basically the same.

In Season 2, killing Angel to close Acathla is the same as flipping a switch to turn off a light. He was the cause of the required result. If Buffy gets into a position where she just kills a friend because they are between her and a completely ambiguous objective (as for example... how she killed Future Dark Willow) -- let alone a result for which their death is the direct cause -- it could never be justified.

Wenxina, yeah, I was talking about the romantic angle that isn't there. That's what I meant by him not saying "Faith/Giles" -- I meant he literally didn't say "Faith-slash-Giles" with the connotation that usually goes with it.
I'll respond point-by-point, starting with the issues about heroism and then the plot point:

I diametrically disagree with everything you said about what was and was not heroic about "The Gift". Giles was absolutely right about the distinction.

I'm curious as to what your argument for that is. On our normal understanding of heroism, what makes someone heroic is that they take on great personal risk for greater cause. Putting oneself at risk necessarily puts those close to us at risk because our welfare is integrally tied to theirs. Ergo, part of being a hero is putting the welfare of those close to us at risk for the greater good.

I'll be less abstract. Who do we think of as real-life heroes? Firefighters who run into burning buildings, soldiers who fight in just wars, doctors that treat diseases in the third world, lawyers who sacrifice lucrative careers to fight for the rights of the dispossessed, etc. What's common to each of those people? They each help a greater cause *at the expense* of those close to them. A dead firefighter can't provide for her family anymore, and same with a dead soldier. However, we say they're heroic because they put the greater causes they fight for ahead of such personal concerns. Likewise with the doctor and lawyer - both could make much more money in private practice, but instead choose to sacrifice that money, which could provide a comfortable life for their families, to do something good.

Heroes must place the welfare of the many over themselves and the few they care about. It's part of the definition of what it means to be a hero. Buffy is a hero when she does this. What makes her an extraordinary hero is that she manages to remain close to the people around her while being so wholely self-sacrificing, and often times uses this closeness to help motivate her heroism. In S5, those two ended up conflicting, which is part of what made The Gift such a dramatic episode.

killing Angel to close Acathla is the same as flipping a switch to turn off a light. He was the cause of the required result.

Nonsense. Angelus was responsible for turning on Acathla. Angel never would have. Holding one responsible for the other's behavior, given how time and time again the writers have gone out of their way to make it clear that those are separate people (to the point of having them fight each other for control of the body in AtS S4, for God's sake!), killing Angel once Buffy *knew* he was no longer Angelus to stop Acathla is exactly the same as killing Dawn to stop Glory. In both cases, the innocent person's death is required to prevent future bad consequences. There's a reason Buffy says in S5 that "I couldn't do that now" when talking about killing Angel, and it's because she views it as the same situation as the one she found herself in.

If Buffy gets into a position where she just kills a friend because they are between her and a completely ambiguous objective (as for example... how she killed Future Dark Willow) -- let alone a result for which their death is the direct cause -- it could never be justified.

I'm not sure I understand what you're arguing here. In the scenario I layed out, the objective isn't ambiguous - it's preventing demons from overrunning Earth and killing everyone on it. That everyone, by the way, would include Dawn/Xander, so Buffy choosing not to kill them by her own hand still means they die anyway.

Surely you can't be arguing that intentionally killing innocent people is never, ever justified regardless of the reason for which those people are killed. That's been well-recognized as a very hard if not impossible position to defend in moral philosophy for quite some time now, in part because of counterexamples like "either you kill one person or you let that person die along with the rest of the world."

Onto plot...

That's more, *because* we saw it in Season 2 we can take even further certainly that nothing *will* arise in Season 8 that will be basically the same.

Nope - the welfare of the few Buffy cares about versus the many has been a theme in not one, but three seasons and their finales - S2, S5, and S7. In each case, Joss puts a new twist on the idea that Buffy may have to sacrifice someone she loves in the name of the greater good. The new twist I'm predicting in S8 is that, unlike S5, Buffy intends to do the right thing, but unlike S2, she can't go through with it. Instead, someone else does it for her. It's a new way of grappling with an issue that has been front-and-center in the show for a long time, at least since Lie to Me. That's *exactly* the sort of thing in line with Joss' previous history - a new spin on an old situation that results in someone dear to our hearts dying and conflict between the characters.

[ edited by goingtowork on 2010-09-08 22:05 ]
What is the difference between killing Ben, who housed Glory, and killing Angel, who housed Angelus?
The Faith/Giles dynamic has a lot of subtext to back it up. And I'll say this--Spike and Buffy had a lot of subtext in their early dynamic, too. The subtext of which led to Whedon going 'duh, Spike's always been in love with Buffy'. So there's no need to knock the subtext.

Right now, it's not about a romantic or sexual relationship. That doesn't mean that fans who see the subtext are imagining things that are impossible in the future. They see a potential connection there.

I mostly doubt Faith and Giles will actually become an item in an obvious way, but that doesn't mean I've 100% ruled out the possibility. As Giles said about Buffy and Spike in Season 7, "There's a connection. You rely on him. He relies on you." And Spike and Buffy are so much more than just good friends (i.e. I don't sleep wrapped up in my good friend's arms two nights in a row).

Faith and Giles are close now. And they'll be getting some great interaction in the next issue. I say, cool.

I'll be honest, I don't see what your discourse on people sacrificing their own safety or comfort to do heroic things has to do with what I said, or what Giles said, for that matter. Regardless of what motivates them, greater good, individual gratification, those firefighters... we would think far less of them, for instance, if in desperation or for the greater good, they felt obliged to use the freshly skinned pelts of human bystanders to smother the flames they were fighting.

What I, and what Giles, was talking about is how the rejection of consequentialism is definitively heroic. The convenience and efficiency of killing Ben to deal with an abstract threat was not justification for the act. And, I don't think Giles ever changed his mind on that -- even in the over-referenced scene in "Lies My Parents Told Me", did he suggest to Buffy that acting more like a general, or more consequentialist, would make her more heroic? No. Almost the opposite. He was almost doing a Buffyverse a approximation of the Judi Dench "sometimes you need a bigger evil" speech from The Chronicles of Riddick.

As to Acathla, I think you are misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about Angel being morally responsible for Acathla (I do, however, completely reject the idea of a metaphysical, two person distinction between Angel and Angelus, I consider it non-textual fanon, in fact, but since it's not the basis for my argument, not gonna discuss the point here -- start a thread on BF if you want to give it a whirl). I'm saying that there is a causal connection between killing Angel, and turning off Acathla. Angel clicks, Acathla whirrs. That is very much textual both in terms of the exposition and in terms of it being what actually happens; there is a linear, causal relationship between killing Angel and stopping Acathla.

I can easily distinguish this from Glory -- Glory is the perfect example of an abstract threat. She was defeated; she wasn't even fighting back anymore when Ben emerged. Buffy's own reasoning -- as well as Giles -- as well as Ben's -- all acknowledged the same premise: it was at least metaphysically possible that Glory could cease to attack them. There was not a linear cause and effect between Glory existing and Glory destroying them. Glory could have gone off into a depressive funk, Glory could have killed herself, Glory could have decided to send Dawn a new BMW as an apology gift. Metaphysically, and morally, it is of a far different character to kill Ben because Glory might be a threat than to kill Angel because Acathla will devour the world.

When I reference them having done this in Season 2, my point from a plot perspective is that it's highly unlikely that they'll retread the ground of having metaphysical certainty attached to Buffy having to kill a friend to prevent all this overrunning demon business. Certainly nothing has foreshadowed that -- if Buffy killing FDW was foreshadowing any part of this arc, then it's the opposite, since there was no clear certainty that required Willow die in order for Buffy to return. My point about the ambiguity ties back to killing FDW as an example; Buffy didn't even understand what she was fighting for at that point, just that she had to go forward ("Do you even know why they send you?" / "Do you know what a Slayer is?"... "Do you?" / "You have no idea what you are... what's to come... you haven't even begun"). She couldn't have been on more morally flimsy ground when deciding that that portal back to her time -- over any question of the reason she is being obstructed, over any consequence that may result from going or not going -- was so worth going into that she had to execute her friend to go through it.

Do I think that intentionally killing an innocent is worth doing to save the world? Not really. Certainly not implicitly as you seem to feel it is, like it's a no brainer. I'd have to spend serious time contemplating this question -- "does the world deserve better than to be saved in such filthy ways?"


Subtext is what it is. Physical attraction, clearly discernible, is subtext, than there are few if any combinations of characters that *lack* for subtext. Xander/Joyce, Xander/Jenny, Willow/Anya (it did get a bit sexy, didn't it?), Willow and every boyfriend Buffy's had, etc. My position from the start has just been that... that ambient subtext, if you will, has never been such that really validates suspecting a relationship is about to spring up. Hell, Willow/Anya got the most obviously lampshaded example in "Same Time, Same Place", they didn't go get it on.

Does that rule it out? No. But what is really ruled out at this point? I will say, given Scott's reaction at the time, if it were to suddenly come up, it must surely have been a late addition, probably initiated by the original speculation and put in as, well, fanservice, albeit to relatively few fans given the discussion at the time.

I love Faith and Giles as a dynamic duo -- I'm as happy as anyone that they'll revisit their story, as you know I consider "No Future For You" the best arc of the season so far. But they can, and so far, have been interesting without being romantic. If anything, I think a scene between them might focus on the fact that Giles has revealed he's had his hands all over this "war" despite what he told Faith.
Dana5140: As long as he observes certain conditions, Angel can keep angelus down and avoid too much guilt himself.

Ben cannot keep GLory down in any real way and he is himself a killer with no legitimate motivations.
If anything, I think a scene between them might focus on the fact that Giles has revealed he's had his hands all over this "war" despite what he told Faith.

This is absolutely what I expect their interaction to be. I just think the nuance of how they interact informs more than just the plot and there's room to find spaces in the story to enjoy with your own reading.
Goingtowork...thanks for the ride down memory lane, I enjoyed it quite a lot.
Honestly, although Buffy made the claim that she would and could sacrifice Dawn in season 7, to save the world, I just can't imagine her actually doing it.
From my perspective, the point of her conversation with Giles, just before she dies in the gift, was that sacrificing Angel came at a price, one that she could not pay again. Of all the things that could have possibly hung Buffy up through out the seasons, it was nothing other than her sacrificing Angel for the world that does it, and we see that even after her death in The Gift, she is still hanging onto the horror of it in season 7.

For Buffy it is easier to sacrifice herself than those she loves, which also makes her a pretty big hero.

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