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September 20 2010

(SPOILER) Preview for Buffy #37. This issue will be out on October 6th.

Oy, first Lost borrows the First from Buffy, now Buffy borrows the cork from Lost. I kind of wish there'd be a season without an apocalypse. i thought the new human/vampire/slayer dynamics were enough, but will withhold judgment until the end, there's still time to get back to that.
Holy crap, I loved that! Why? Because it was 5 pages of them just talking to each other. It was mostly lame-o exposition, but still. Spike was great. The Xander/Dawn stuff was good but felt to much like the Xander/Anya proposal in The Gift.

Re: The cork reference. I'm pretty sure Giles himself used that same "cork in a wine bottle" metaphor in describing the Hellmouth at one point during S1.
A cork? LOST, anyone?

Also, Dawn and Xander happy? With plans for their future? I'm afraid... :S
Seven pages... that's gotta be a record. And so disgustingly good. Though... alarm bells for Dawn and Xander. Two references in 7 pages. First, about Dawn being the Key. Next, with Xander asking Dawn to move in with him. Yes... this is going south real quick... or not. Could be a surprise "or not".

ETA: Okay, 6. Realized that the cover counted for a page. Still... record?

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-09-20 17:45 ]
Some good stuff in the preview. I'm still skeptical about what's going on, but I have faith that Joss will not disappoint.

About the Dawn/Xander scene. Making plans for the future? Doesn't bode well for Dawn. And Spike-"Nobody said it was except me right now to your face." LOL'd.
Finally a little Xander/Dawn that lasts for more than a panel...I heart them so much.

"I speak Fyarl"-- HA!
I love Buffy and Spike interaction. Hell I just love characters interacting with each other. More talking. Less fighting.
Yes,Dawn is as good as dead after reading her interactiuon with Xander here.Feels like Wes/Fred in AHITW all over again.Preview pages were good.So is The Master the Seed of Wonders protector?
Who is the guy with the moustache?
I really hope they don't kill Dawn. She hasn't had a great arc this season, and it'd be lame to keep repeating the "kill Xander's girlfriend" device. Joss is better than that. I think he's teasing her death on purpose to make us think this.
The guy with mustache is probably the nameless General. Master is probably the protector of the seed. So, do all demons speak Fyarl?

Why having created the new baby-Universe is equalized with removing the cork? was not the Seed supposed to be there all along and unrelated to the space-sex? Unless the Seed is removed from Earth and planted into the new baby-verse.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-09-20 18:06 ]
Simon,the guy with the moustache is the General.
So good! I think that removing the cork and chucking it into the baby-universe will suck all the magic (and demons) out of earth and into baby-universe. Now, what will happen to magic users or people connected to magic remains to be seen. Hi-jinks will probably ensue.
I loved the scenes with Buffy and Spike, and that's the first time I can genuinely say that since Season 5. They're funny together again! I've missed that.

Dawn and Xander together are so sweet and adorable. They're doomed.
Wondering what is happening to Willow? Magic sickness?
This whole setup for Dawn to die....kind of makes me worried about Xander. And good thought with the "throw the cork into the baby-verse" idea. Are we still expecting this to lead to the Fray-future?
So I'm guessing the "protector" of the Seed is either the Hellmouth itself, working as like a 'shield' so that no one could get to the Seed, and Buffy has to re-open it somehow, like by changing history. Or it has something to do with the Scythe.

I think all the Dawn foreshadowing is a massive misdirect. At the top of my dead list now is Xander. Something bad... is gonna happen to him. :(
Spike and Buffy rule, love the easy back and forth banter.
Xander and Dawn were cute but ofcourse doesn't bode well for Dawn, i'm hoping Joss is going for a misdirect but we already have a cover that strongly suggests this is the route they are taking.
Still dislike Angel "the hero"-bit, i want there to be serious consequences for his actions.
No way Dawn is dying. Joss isn't lame enough to pull the "kill Xander's girlfriend" thing again. He's playing with the trope now. It's why the cover was put out early, it's why the article teased Dawn's death. No way it's going to happen.
This is so, so, so much less bad than the previous three issues. In fact, it actually seems pretty good.

1) Seed of wonder -- source of all magic. I think most of us figured that, at least those of use who've read Xanth novels and figured there must be something. So, the essential plan is not nearly as complicated as it might have been (which is good) -- the plan is a Buffyverse game of tower defense in the ruins of Sunnydale to protect this seed, because the seed keeps the world a nice, familiar species of demon-ridden and prevents nastier, worse, and more*, and they are going there to fend off zerging demons. Check, got it, like it.

*Raises a bunch of metaphysical question over whether this is "reality vs. reality" or just "dimension vs. dimension", where I consider the latter to be included in the former, and also what distinctions there are from Dawn as the Key. Could be important later, I have a theory about that could make me eat crow served by Maggie, but I don't know.

2) I've said repeatedly I need a clearer indication from a POV character that Buffy is off her rocker or Angel is evil for me to believe Joss has these concepts in mind, and we batted .500 -- I was so relieved to have Spike treating the whole "helpless to the Universe" yadda yadda as being just as ridiculous as it sounded at the time and for Buffy to finally looked genuinly abashed on the subject (and not the 8.36 reaction, which played as maybe being just about post-partem depression about her new universe).

3) Angel... shut up, Angel. Another whole pallet of bleach got poured on him with yet another intentionally-Superman-evocative image. That Slayer is in an urban setting, so will probably accept his help, probably unaware that he was (what would you say "Retreat" was in story time, 2-3 days before? Less?) very recently ordering the slaughter of Slayers who'd taken shelter with Oz. Sigh. Sometimes even Joss just might not get it.

4) Xander and Dawn... I'm in. I'm there. I 'ship them. I will always probably [i]slightly[/i] prefer Buffy/Xander and will certainly never be actually unhappy if they happen, but this is a relationship that, like Xander/Anya, if they stick with I'll be happy. They are phenomenal, and they want out. It's so lovely.

But it also foreshadows bad things. Season 8 has played most foreshadowing very straight. But want foreshadowing of Xander as being likely to betray Buffy? Check out 8.10 again --


In the next image, though, we see Willow look away, unable to face Buffy.

WILLOW: Any more than I have.

The scene changes. We’re not seeing a vision, but just a flashback, a memory of Willow’s. In it, we see a young woman with narrow eyes and a pony tail, pointing accusingly at Willow. It’s KENNEDY, one of the Slayers to survive Sunnydale and Willow’s girlfriend.

KENNEDY: How can I not think it?

WILLOW: That I’m *ashamed* of you?

KENNEDY: You keep me away from Buffy. Out of her circle. And you’re not that subtle about it.


That scene goes on to explain that Willow thought it was a betrayal to keep Kennedy away, but ultimately was doing so because she was convinced that being around Buffy would get Kennedy killed and that Willow would hold Buffy responsible for it.

And now we have Xander bringing up the subject of getting... well, away from Buffy. Out of her circle. They weren't subtle about it. But if hasn't moved fast enough... see where I'm going there?

A lot of fast moving thoughts based on by far the most entertaining and promising issue preview we've gotten since 8.33.
No, the "kill Xander's girlfriend" thing is indeed too old and tired.

Joss is going to kill Xander. Precisely because there's a million reasons why he can't and won't.
I'm sorry, this is unrelated, but I just had to share it with someone. I work at a District Attorney's office full of old people who are generally not that exciting. Today, however, I overheard a conversation in another office that made me so incredibly happy but then immediately crushed my spirit and made me want to die. It went like this:

Person #1: "My daughter started watching this show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had never seen it, but once I caught a few episodes, I really got into it and have now seen almost all of them on Netflix. It's really good."

My internal monologue (MIM): "That is so AWESOME! There is good in the world! Sunshine! Puppies!"

Person #2: "Yeah, so have you seen the Twilight series?"

MIM: "I JUST WANT TO DIE."

Person #1: "Well, I've read the first one. Pretty good."

MIM: "PLEASE JUST LET ME DIE."
I agree with patxshand. I have trouble imagining Joss doing this yet again. Killing a character? Sure, he does that over and over, but I don't mind. People die. Especially in crazily violent and dangerous places like the 'verses Joss creates for his fiction. But killing off another happy couple and yet another one of Xander's girlfriends? Not likely.

I'm still on the fence with this. I loved the character interaction, but the mythology still sounds terribly silly to me - in line with the inherent silliness in glowy space sex. A slight disappointment, as I was expecting these issues to slowly start subverting the silliness. Could still happen, though. Plus, it's not the first time the Buffyverse has strayed into silly (Big bad with a floppy drive in chest? Check. Demons playing poker for kittens? Check. A literal lone shark? Check. Etcetera.).

I do always dislike it, though, when the show strays into silly-ville, as - for me - it clashes with the seriousness with which it handles the character's emotional journeys and the life-and-death situations. I don't mind characters being funny, and laughing out loud, only to swallow back tears seconds later, but I dislike the completely, not-taking-their-own-reality-seriously silly. But I've gotten over it before and if the emotional truth of the story comes through like I'm expecting it to, I'll probably get over it again.
I think killing Xander would be an exceptional mistake -- one reason being I would have successfully called it before this season was in double digits. Can't be a more obvious target to go after. If there's a trope that's come up MORE often than Xander losing a girlfriend, it's Buffy losing her emotional support system at a critical moment in a season. Seriously, that happens about as often as a vampire dusting. Taking Xander away from Buffy like that would be the most obvious way to do it again, since she is emotionally dependent on him, in-love-ish with him, protective of him, etc. AND he's the guy who actually seems to do most of the running of her organization. There is literally nobody more obvious and boringly predictable for Joss to go after.

Another reason, less significant to some, but I really do think that there is some vital function served by having a male central character under the age of 50, and since the vampires are both over that by an order of magnitude, and Andrew is more recurring character than anything... Xander is pretty much the whole franchise for that niche. The audience needs it's "person who is like me" access points, which Xander and Willow always were from the start. If anything, Willow's transition into super-powered being makes her more expendable in that capacity, since there is still Dawn to fill the role of "normal young woman that the audience can identify with".

Smartest play, though, would still be for Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Dawn -- the new "core four", IMO, since the start of Season 7, glamour shot with Giles in "Chosen" notwithstanding -- intact. They are the moneymaker, they are why people stay fascinated and keep coming back, IMO.
In other words, you'd be enraged if Xander got killed... I just ticked the odds on him dying up a few points. :(
Well, killing Xander would be inverting the trope in a way. Play up the possibility that the girlfriend will kick it (I'm betting that Joss is well aware of the "Xander's girlfriends all end up dead" cliche), then off Xander instead.

If "boring/predictable" is the argument against Xander's death, I think the "emotional resonance" card trumps it. If Xander dies, it'll be a death that's felt by the fandom. The guy's been around since the very beginning of the series, so it would hurt.
And hey, if Joss was out killing people just because it had shock value, he would be a poorer writer for it.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-09-20 19:36 ]
A few quick thoughts:

1. The transition from Buffy and Spike talking (and her saying "The Universe set us up!" to Dawn and Xander talking was awkward. There was no sense that this was the end of Buffy/Spike's conversation. And you know what--Joss does transitions well. I'm betting that there's a page missing in this preview, the same way there was in Wolves at the Gate when the preview skipped over the Buffy/Satsu sexin'. There's something big being saved for the issue itself, I reckon. Of course, I could be wrong.

2. The cork as a reference to Lost: second one in a row, after the Oceanic plane/dog stuff in 36. I think it's an acknowledgement that the plotty stuff is going overboard, but considering that the Seed of Wonder is a metaphor for storytelling that's okay. (I guess the cork was in Lost too, but...eh....)

3. Love that Buffy and Spike are comfortable with each other now, but still snarking. Love that he calls her on it. Love that she calls him on the lameness of the cork thing.

4. I really, really hope we're being misled about Dawn/Xander. Joss surely knows by now what we expect of him? Dawn's fear about the bugs might have some meaning, now that we see it's not just a throwaway joke. And I hope the mislead isn't Xander's death. Please let these crazy kids be all right. Well, a crazy kid and her older, creature-of-the-day boyfriend.

5. I love how Angel swoops in and is a hero, and then splashes blood over all the people he saved, absent-mindedly. He still doesn't seem entirely sensitive to the concerns of lowly humans, even as he's saving them.

6. Fiyarl reference: Giles' dark side might come into play.

7. What's going on with Willow and that portal-thing opening above Spike's head?

Pretty excited.

ETA: There's no first page, either. (The one with the title, and the first panel?)

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-09-20 20:26 ]
I wouldn't be enraged... my enrage (heh, the imagery here is very World of Warcraft) is set almost completely around whether or not they just handwave everything they did to set up Twilight as a villain with "oh, but it was Angel, it was okay" -- I compared it on BuffyForums to Angel being Stanley in this Embassy Suites commercial.

Killing off Xander would be more like... have you seen "A Life Less Ordinary" with Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz? There's a running gag in that movie where McGregor is pitching his idea for a trashy beach read novel. He gets about 20 words into the pitch, and every time, whoever he's telling just cuts him off and tells him exactly how it's going to end. That's how I'd feel about Xander being killed off in Season 8. It is, in fact, something I called as being obvious and predictable back before we'd even gotten to 8.10. It would be every bit the same as Joss having gone ahead with "Time of Your Life" being a Buffy-Fray buddy cop movie where they team up.
So much love for the Spike/Buffy and Xander/Dawn scenes. Long time coming.
What about the text of issues #1-9 made you predict Xander's death?
Pat, the first block was Buffy identifying him as her main tie to normalcy and emotional stability in 8.01 -- she still has her watcher. She does lose that more often than Xander has girlfriends killed off. Then there is him doing a very mild Dante from "Clerks" on the subject of duty ("I'm not even supposed to BE HERE today!"). Then there is the 8.02 dream which, whether it might have meant something else or not, does show the guy's head go flying off. Then there is the "oh look, we will in fact kill characters this season" with Ethan.

The capper was the first tease of masked villain and betrayal we get with 8.09. By the end of that issue, I declared that killing Xander or turning him evil would be about the most obvious place for any of this to go.

Enisy, both scenes were very agreeable.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-09-20 19:54 ]
KoC, really now! It's almost enough to urge me towards a full reread and a reunion with the fandom. -- I say "almost" because I'm not yet ready to forgive the highers-up for the hammy space-frakking and the protagonists' moral debasement. Have a hug while I'm here, though! *hugs* :)
Long time coming indeed, Enisy. :)
Well, thanks and *hug*. I was just lamenting to myself how many really good contributors from earlier in the season discussions seem to have just... lost interest, even with no grandiose "That's IT, I'm OUT (Dawn, you're in charge?)". Yourself being one, and I can think of a few on BF that I wish were still posting. I think Joss may actually be able to pull this one out. His best case scenario is that spacefrakking turns into just the same sort of collective facepalm that "Empty Places" was.
Actually, as much as I was in denial about possible Xander death, this preview tipped the scale for me. It is too much. One of the watchers will die - and the whole 'keyness' thing is being overplayed as a teaser. On the positive side though, if Xander does not die - then Dawn probably won't either. They still have a chance of becoming Buffyverse Victor - Sierra.
Runs in to hug Enisy.
Odd that you mention Victor-Sierra... I said a week or so ago about the Dawn misdirect that they could be setting up the very (Dollhouse "Epitaph Two" SPOILER)

I just don't think that's what Joss should do on the basis of... again. Obvious. Look at this very actual conversation that can spell out the exact details of how such a thing could happen, and I think it becomes clear just how obvious it would be.
Don't you guys think Dawn and Xander look very good as the potential betrayers (assuming it's actually two people)? Dawn's the closest (by blood) and Xander's the most unexpected.
What does look ominous is the General dude overhearing X/D - and we know he still plans something, and Amy mentioned they want everybody killed. Maybe we are supposed to think that gen. would offer Xander a deal of a sort on behalf of 'humanity'. I think it is a red herring though.
I don't buy it, just because the general has absolutely nothing to bargain with. And while I suppose the general still has a plan, I doubt it. I don't see anything sinister in his expression. I just think it's there for the voyeuristic poignance, the way we say Andrew crying watching Xander and Anya talk in "Storyteller".
I think I might have missed where it was officially posted that there will be a betrayal? In any case, I am going to go with the idea that Kennedy is the betrayer. She caught wind of Willow's dabbling with the snake lady and works with Amy to bring about chaos. It's a stretch but it may also explain why Willow ended up in that tortured state in Fray's universe - Buffy has to kill Kennedy to save the world.

On another note, the gang is going back to Sunnydale to protect the seed? Who are they fighting against? Just other dimension demons or is the real big bad not apparent yet? I'm thinking that Twangel was the little bad ala Faith & Professor Walsh and the big bad is yet to be revealed?
Giles' expression at the end is very ominous looking.
WilliamtheB - great call on the Fyarl-Giles reference. I couldn't recall where we'd seen Fyarl demons until you'd mentioned it. It can't be a coincidence that Spike knew Fyarl. Also, I expect Ethan to become relevant again in some sort of capacity in this issue, just a hunch.
Supposedly the gang is going to SunnyD ( which Buffy calls SuckyDale) to 'stop it all' - i.e. the world destruction. How is this supposed to work with the Seed is not clear. According to Spike the Seed should be kept from the hands of the outta-space demons - who want to put their hands on it. It sort of implies that the Earthly demons would be allies - because according to Spike - the Seed is the 'cork' that keeps magic alive and demons rooted on Earth and that's why they are not sucked back to whence they originally came from.
Xander and Spike talked. To each other!!! And Xander looked hotter when he was talking with Spike than when he was talking with Dawn. :)

Talks about Xander's possible death hurts my heart.

*hugs Enisy*
ok, so correct me if im wrong but this is what im getting..
this "seed" is keeping the earth where and how it is, and if the seed is removed or say.. broken (like in issue 10, where buffy is wearing the exact same outfit and the seed is broken) the world will go into chaos, no magic, but spike hinted that the earth itself would die. and the angel/buffy sex opened up demon dimensions and the demons want to destroy the seed to go back to where they came from, which spike also briefly stated, but the demons already here dont want that to happen. as far as the dawn thing goes, i think she will betray buffy, robin said in issue 10, betrayl by the closest,the most unexpected, i think she may do it to end magic but not realize what she is actually doing.

just brainstorming here, any thoughts?
In an article I was reading about The Avengers, they made the point that Whedon often uses tropes over and over again (whcih is, I guess, why it becomes a trope)- and we know that the main trope he uses is the death of the innocent and beloved person. This seems to show Dawn in danger, which is why it won't be her. It could be Xander, but even there that is too easily predictable. I hope I am wrong. In my mind, Willow is in most danger here. Which would, in the end, again be predictable and playing to trope.
If Kennedy is the death and also the betrayer, you get two over-used tropes for the price of one; Dead Love Interest plus Evil Dead Lesbian. I figure in this economy even Joss has to cut back.
Wow, such great preview pages!

I love how Buffy is all business here. Spike is as snarky as ever, but that's in character too. Buffy stinks, Buffy and Angel are dumb....sour grapes, dude, stop trying to measure your penis against Angel. It's beneath you now, I'd hope. Although since he already had to comment on his "sizable package", I guess it's not....nice to see that Joss can make Angel and Spike both as petty as children when it comes to Buffy.

Also love how they are so careful to show that Buffy comes out of the shower fully dressed. There is still steam from the bathroom, but she's fully dressed, not in a towel or robe. Very careful about not making this scene intimate. Even with the way Buffy sits on the chair across from him and not on his bed.

Yay, for Buffy realizing that the destruction of the universe was the plan of the universe. Love how even though she chose to be with Angel, it was the consequences that were unforeseen.

Dawn/Xander is still sweet, but something bad is coming for them, for sure.

Also love Angel getting back into the fight for good the way we know he can.

So excited for this issue.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-09-21 00:50 ]
"the destruction of the universe was the plan of the universe". Yeah, and I too love fanfic written by 12 year-olds. "even thought she chose to be with Angel, it was the consequences that were unforseen". Yeah, 'cause it probably slipped her mind that the last time she f**ked him, people died.

[ edited by baxter on 2010-09-21 00:56 ]
If Dawn does die I hope it is in a noble way, sacrificing herself for the world like Buffy did in the gift.
Yeah, and I too love fanfic written by 12 year-olds.


Joss is a 12 year old fanfic writer? I get that not everyone will like it, but I long ago accepted that the different medium would mean different kinds of storytelling and dialogue, etc, so I guess I'm just no longer bothered by it. I enjoy the comics for what they are, which is not the show.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-09-21 01:17 ]
lmblack21 and baxter, if you have anything more to say to one another, or that's shipping-derived, take it elsewhere.
LOVED the intimacy between Buffy and Spike. She's finally back to herself, and finally sounding like Buffy, so it's great to see her back to the good old snarking with Spike that they're so great at together.

[ edited by eilowyn on 2010-09-21 01:34 ]

[ edited by eilowyn on 2010-09-21 01:34 ]
lmblack21 and baxter, if you have anything more to say to one another, or that's shipping-derived, take it elsewhere.


Copy that!

I do hope we aren't going to see Giles as the betrayer. I just noticed myself that Buffy is wearing the "betrayal scene" clothes and since I love the Giles/Buffy bond, when it's good and strong, I worry. But he looks concerned and almost guilt stricken for not realizing what was happening and we have his previous information that he was looking for a way to kill a God - Buffy - so again, I worry.

Also creepy that the general - who looks like he's imprisoned - is listening in to Xander and Dawn's conversation. I hope he dies soon.

Once again we still have not enough information but we have intriguing bits. I love how Xander is the one pointing out that Spike speaking "Fyarl" doesn't explain how he came by all of this knowledge. Also interesting that Spike breezed past that point. It seemed like there was a special emphasis on Xander's "How do you know what - the demons - want." "The demons" is bolded.

And then there's this mysterious "protector" that we don't have any info on either and that makes me wonder if the "protector" is tied into the betrayal.

Very interesting stuff here.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-09-21 01:51 ]
There was a moment in The Long Way Home #1, a simple dialogue scene between Buffy and Xander, where I just got a warm feeling because it was so Buffy. I felt that again. I may be a Bangel person, but damn I love Spike.
Too many deus ex machinas here- an egg we never knew about guarded by a protector we have never heard of and so on- and a Spike who shows up with all the answers just when needed 37 issues into the series. Reminds me sort of the Guardian women from S7 of Buffy- where did that come from, was what I originally thought back then. And what I am thinking now.
Noticed three more things:

1) Xander's observation that he's not usually a fan of giant bugs. He has some experience with that, no?

2) I love Angel's "Can I give you a hand?" to a bunch of people who aren't speaking English. Combined with the blood we're still seeing a huge gap between Angel's presentation of himself as the hero and what he's actually doing. Though to be fair--it is very good that he killed that monster and saved those slayers.

3) Spike's dramatically throwing away the cork in his demo to Xander. Hee. He'll have to go pick that up later, won't he?

EDIT: Latinandgreek, good catch about Ethan! I hadn't even thought of his involvement in "A New Man".

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-09-21 02:32 ]
Corks , eh? Bottles. Lost.

Who exactly borrowed from whom?

------------- The Harvest--------------

Giles: This is what we know. Some sixty years ago, a very old, very powerful vampire came to this shore, not just to feed.

Buffy: He came 'cause this town's a mystical who's it.

Giles: Yes. The Spanish who first settled here called it 'Boca del Infierno'. Roughly translated, 'Hellmouth'. It's a sort of, um, portal between this reality and the next. This vampire hopes to open it.

Buffy: Bring the demons back.

Xander: End of the world.

Willow: But he blew it! Or, I mean, there was an earthquake that swallowed half the town, and him, too.

Giles: You see, opening dimensional portals is a tricky business. Odds are he got himself stuck, rather like a, uh, cork in a bottle.

Xander: And this Harvest thing is to get him out.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-09-21 03:08 ]
Love the season 1 connection. Thanks for the dialogue, dorotea.
As for "intimacy" in Buffy's only real scene, I already made the best comparison -- at the very least, it's designed to tease sexual tension the way that the Hatch shower scenes were in Season 2 of "Lost". The next time I read or see any fiction in which a member of the opposite sex uses someone else's shower while they are in the next room that doesn't suggest at least some degree of intimacy or sexual tension... it will be the first time.

Am I the only one who took the implication that the "protector", rather than a total unknown, was Buffy herself? In "Get It Done", we heard her referred to as "the Hellmouth's last guardian". This reference is made non-specific to her being the Slayer, so the fact that she might have been the first Slayer to protect the Hellmouth is irrelevant. The implication can be read that she is one of a long and ongoing chain of champions who have protected that place, who have been the fulcrum, the attractor for all the demonic energy that seeps in around that "cork". That protector, like a lightning rod, discharges that energy, all that evil, safely.

By destroying Sunnydale and leaving it behind, she left it unprotected. The spell as the source of all their problems is a red herring.
That implies the Hellmouth and the Seed are the same, or connected somehow. Which i don't think theres any evidence for yet. And the Hellmouth was destroyed in Chosen, or at least closed right?
>>Am I the only one who took the implication that the "protector", rather than a total unknown, was Buffy herself?

Yes, I think so far you are the one and only.

Master was 'stuck like a cork in a bottle' - Seed is a 'cork in a bottle'. Hmm?
The Master has been there since the 1930s, the Seed has been there since the beginning of the world in the Buffyverse. I don't need a calculator. Whereas in Buffy's case, it's already baked into the potential lore that she's one in a chain of protectors of the Hellmouth. The Hellmouth is also the mouth of the proverbial bottle, after all.
WilliamTheB, to be fair, it says that the dialogue is translated from Japanese, and since English is a required class in most Japanese schools, I'm sure many of the Nihonjin there understand him. =P

Not to mention Japanese uses a plethora of English words/phrases as it is.
As for "intimacy" in Buffy's only real scene, I already made the best comparison -- at the very least, it's designed to tease sexual tension the way that the Hatch shower scenes were in Season 2 of "Lost".


Except they aren't comparable at all. In the hatch shower scene, Kate came out wet and wrapped in nothing but a towel while Jack was there and there was sexy, flirty banter while he couldn't help but check her out. Nothing at all like that happened in this scene - Buffy came out of a steamy bathroom already fully clothed. Of course, it's all subjective but I can't agree at all with your comparison of the two scenes and I stand by my view of it, for me.

Dorotea, wonderful observation, thanks for that quote from season 1!!! Very nice callback.

Not sure why there is - from some folks anyway - a determination to see Angel as bad and obviously doing something evil even in a scene where he is SAVING the slayers from the monster. It's not like he went and dumped buckets of blood on them. He killed the monster, the head fell, blood splattered. I'd call that an inevitable consequence of killing a monster in close proximity to other characters - blood and gore gets splashed around. But again, tomato, tomahto, I like that scene with Angel very much.
Like I said... the next time it is a moment completely devoid of intimacy and sexual tension will be the first. This was not that time. Woman in wet clothes, man lying in unmade bed; it's innuendo-laden imagery, even when there is no immediate intimacy.

I don't think they see Angel as doing something "evil" in that scene... just ridiculous, preposterous. It's very... well, it's very Captain Hammer, isn't it? The "can I lend a hand?" that leaves unspoken the "... helping you clean up the mess I am directly responsible for, like it's your job but I'd just like to help you do it?", followed by offhandedly discarded a severed head that splashes blood on the people he's saving? Do you think if that Slayer had known that not a day or two earlier, that very helping hand was ordering her unpowered sisters assaulted by a military force, she'd have appreciated his assistance? It's that he's so cavalier, that he can come in quipping like he's a sight for sore eyes, that makes it so silly.
Like I said... the next time it is a moment completely devoid of intimacy and sexual tension will be the first. This was not that time.



Lol...well not for you. For me, yes, it very much WAS so. Buffy wasn't wearing wet clothes. And she and HE were all business. So again, different opinions on the same scene. That's cool. I'm happy with how I see it.
I had no doubt you would be.
I had no doubt you would be.


Well I'm glad neither of us is surprising the other then. *g*
KingofCretins: Don't forget how Angel asks if he can lend a hand *IN ENGLISH* to the slayers communicating in Japanese. You're so right about it being Captain Hammer-esque.

"You almost killed her!"
"I remember it differently."
As it was shown in the series Angel speaks many languages - despite his lack of higher education. He might as well understand Japanese but not be able to reply in it.
Too many deus ex machinas here- an egg we never knew about guarded by a protector we have never heard of and so on- and a Spike who shows up with all the answers just when needed 37 issues into the series. Reminds me sort of the Guardian women from S7 of Buffy- where did that come from, was what I originally thought back then. And what I am thinking now.


An egg we never knew about in detail but which has been foreshadowed as important since it's appearance in Anywhere But Here. Spike showing up with all the answers, but with enough hints that he's holding back something that might be important. Okay, if the egg has been the source of the problems for the series, the reason why the world is out of whack, how is that deus ex machina? How have the gods come down to solve all the problems of the mortals? Seems to me, the egg is causing problems, not magically fixing them, so it's premature to ring that deus-ex-machina bell.

And just 'cause I think the complaint is a bit ironic, when has there been a season that didn't have a deus ex machina?

Just off the top of my head:

+ Prophecy Girl: Buffy fulfills the letter of the prophecy not the spirit--when she rises stronger than ever and easily defeats the Master. But let's not forget that the prophecy is discovered in that very same episode. Just in time for the finale! Phew!

+ Becoming: Kendra magically arrives with blessed sword, the very weapon needed to destroy Acathla. But hey, let's not forget that Angel suddenly gets a yen for destroying the world in the very same episode and the destruction of the world happens at the same time. Oh, and who can forget Whistler, both deus ex machina in how he set Angel on his path and also the author insert.

+ Primeval: The deus ex machina of magically stumbling upon a spell that will create an uber!Buffy.

+ The Gift: Buffy's blood works the same as Dawn's in closing the portal. Which... doesn't really make sense. The way this doesn't make sense is even remarked upon by Anya in Potential.

+ Grave: Giles magically appears just in the nick of time to face off against Willow. He descends from Britain with god-like magical powers which he injects into Willow to help her feel the pain of humanity. Oh, and don't forget Willow magically stumbling upon a church which she channels the earth's energy through to destroy the world.

+ Chosen: Um, can we get more deus with that machina, please? The Guardians, the Scythe, the spell to empower all the Slayers.

I see this complaint about deus ex machina a lot and I'm over here wondering how one is even a fan of the Buffyverse when deus ex machina is a hallmark of thes how. This device was used all the time.

Phlebotinum And Deus Ex Machina is the name of the Buffyverse game. Party on, Buffyverse. Party on.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-09-21 04:43 ]
I love Captain Hammer. "I feel pain. I think this is what pain feels like."

Some of Emmie's quotes of Joss about DC vs. Marvel on Buffy forum actually goes to that point. Pain is central to our ability to be human -- and a lot of what's off about Angel can be attributed to the fact that he hasn't felt a blow in a very long time.

I love the Angel page -- him coming in all hero-like. Can I lend a hand. As if he had nothing to do with what's going on. I'd say I was surprised that Joss is skewering the hero as much as he is -- but I think everyone in season 8 is living out a fantasy of one sort or another -- and this one is Angel's.

King, the obvious question about Buffy and the shower is not why she has her clothes on, but why she's taking a shower in Spike's personal bathroom, and why the scene between them takes place in Spike's bedroom. If I'm trying to show business only between these two characters, I write the scene elsewhere. But I'm not a writer, so what do I know. It'll be interesting to read the pages that lead from #36 to Buffy coming out of Spike's shower with that smile on her face. Maybe she won a hand at kitten poker and is feeling chuffed with herself.
It'll be interesting to read the pages that lead from #36 to Buffy coming out of Spike's shower with that smile on her face. Maybe she won a hand at kitten poker and is feeling chuffed with herself.


Yes, kitten poker. That's totally what happens. :D
I'll smile too, if I haven't seen running hot water in a long time. I mean, Oz's place in Tibet didn't exactly look like it was the Four Seasons. And hey, perhaps it was the only shower on the ship... can't imagine giant bugs needing to take a shower, or even wanting to for that matter. :)
Spike probably insisted that she wash off the Angel-reek.
I love kitten poker so much. That's all I've got to say. *fans self* ;-)
Dirty dirty Emmie. :P
Whether or not it echoes the Lost's hatch scene, the inherent intimacy is in the setting and in the comfort Buffy and Spike display in each other's presence. This is the first time Buffy actually appears relaxed since her return from Twilight, and she and Spike get back to expositiony chatting as if they never were apart.

And I personally think Satsu was in on the kitten poker game. Or at least in my perfect imaginary world she was, because I'm dying for Spike and Satsu to meet and become BFFs. And maybe the general is put out that he wasn't allowed to play? That's why we had the random panel of him listening to Dawn and Xander - the "camera" checked back in on him to see what he was up to since he couldn't play with the cool kids.

Yeah. I shouldn't do conjecture often.

Edit: I just got Emmie's subtext, and now I think I proposed a threesome with Buffy, Spike and Satsu that the random general wanted in on? See? I don't do conjecture (or sexual puns) very well at all!

[ edited by eilowyn on 2010-09-21 05:07 ]
I'm late to the party on this one, but I for one hope they keep Xander very much alive. I just don't like the concept of the guy who supports everyone, keeps people "up", suffered through a string of relationship sour endings, and perservered though being the only one without any powers being rewarded with death for his troubles.

Here's the thing, I really don't need someone to die to have an emotional experience. One of the most deeply emotional things I think Whedon ever did was the Wesley betrayal and it was horribly effective because in his own way, Wes was completely correct ans suffered horribly for it on both ends. Find more of those moments. That gets me. "I killed someone so you should cry" really hasn't worked for me the last three times he's done it. I don't mean this to be contrarian, I just honestly felt very little.

And I'm not going to touch the kitten poker comments... ;)
I'll smile too, if I haven't seen running hot water in a long time. I mean, Oz's place in Tibet didn't exactly look like it was the Four Seasons. And hey, perhaps it was the only shower on the ship... can't imagine giant bugs needing to take a shower, or even wanting to for that matter. :)


Ding, ding, ding! I think we have a winner. ;)

I agree completely.

Whether or not it echoes the Lost's hatch scene, the inherent intimacy is in the setting and in the comfort Buffy and Spike display in each other's presence. This is the first time Buffy actually appears relaxed since her return from Twilight, and she and Spike get back to expositiony chatting as if they never were apart.


Oh I totally agree that Buffy and Spike are comfortable with each other. Not sure I agree that she seems relaxed, except momentarily, probably again the effects of a hot shower - she looks tense and worried cause, universe destroying badness.
It's gonna be a long two weeks until we get the pages for the kitten poker scene. Torture!
And even Spike listed the Angel-reek after all that demon viscera. Good grief, you could still see it on her pages after she torpedoed through that monster-- I was practically holding my nose just looking at her.

This would usually fall into the "But when do the characters ever go to the bathroom?" category of insignificant mysteries. But no! This series actually addresses the stench and shows that Buffy went seeking a shower! I am full of chuckles and a little misty-eyed. Please Joss, don't stop writing before I die.
This would usually fall into the "But when do the characters ever go to the bathroom?" category of insignificant mysteries. But no! This series actually addresses the stench and shows that Buffy went seeking a shower! I am full of chuckles and a little misty-eyed.


Hee! I'm a little misty eyed myself....
Wow ... good stuff. Just when I think the season's an unredeemable mess, we get scenes like this and I remember why I love these characters so much. (Spike, it's about time you came back--I've missed you more than I realized.)

Interesting that Buffy mentions Dawn being a Key--and says it in the present tense. After last issue, I thought Dawn being the/a Key would be relevant before the season ended; looks like that might be the case. (Unless of course this is a giant misdirect.) At this point, I'd guess her keyness will be relevant, but that she won't die (because, as everyone's said, it's just too obvious).

Not sure what to think about the betrayal: Xander would fit closest and most unexpected, I think. So, possibly, would Spike--he was definitely closest to her in season 7, and they seem to be falling back into their s7 patterns quickly here. And, as noted before, he seems to be hiding something. I don't think he's going to be the bad guy--that would make the kind of sense that isn't--but he might be willing to do something that would deeply hurt Buffy in order to save the world.

Maybe he's going to use Buffy & co. to get to the Seed, claiming that they're going to protect it--but then break it, thus destroying magic or whatever?

On the other hand, he's been out of the picture most of the season, so for the long-forshadowed betrayal to really have emotional resonance, it would probably have to be someone else. Someone who's been around all season. So Xander is probably more likely.
I forget, do we know who the Prince is? And is Buffy still meant to protect him?
Thank you Dorotea for bringing the season 1 dialog to help bridge the gap in what we know and what we want to know.
Things I loved just from this tiny preview...

Looks like the scoobies are going to all be in the same panel for a sit down discussion, which has been a long time coming, imo.

Although if this were live, I would find the Xander/Dawn scenes icky, I like them in the comic, you can forget how young she seems in comparrison to him and he seems so into her. So go Xander!

Spike speaking some crazy language was kinda lol funny, I guess he had to know the information somehow...

Angel helping the girls was a super nice touch, for anyone who was wondering if he was really out shooting kids in the face or slaughtering people for the fun of it.

Buffy's defense of both her and Angel was also a nice treat.

The bathing scene...would there be more than one bathroom with a shower on a ship like this? Do bugs also take showers? Not sure. I didn't find one thing suggestive about this scene but everyone reads something different into it. What I figured would be shown, more than any sexual tones, is a heartfelt...glad you aren't dead from Buffy to Spike. Coming off of Chosen, they seem pretty business like to me. Won't be long now to find out.

IN conclusion, I really enjoyed these preview pages and can't wait to see what happens next.
I'll smile too, if I haven't seen running hot water in a long time. I mean, Oz's place in Tibet didn't exactly look like it was the Four Seasons. And hey, perhaps it was the only shower on the ship... can't imagine giant bugs needing to take a shower, or even wanting to for that matter. :)
Spike probably insisted that she wash off the Angel-reek.


Indeed. That smiling to herself smile is exactly an 'oh what a relief I don't stink anymore smile'. Could be, my instincts about what Jeanty means by expressions could well be off.

What people are forgetting is that the writers choose where to show the characters, and the writers chose to show Buffy taking a shower in Spike's cabin. 'Tis all I'm saying. These arguments so often require that we imagine that the writers are just doing a documentary of what the characters would naturally be doing, and that's not the game. For some reason, they've got Buffy talking to Spike in his bedroom. With him on a bed that had been made last we saw it, which is presently unmade. With him lounging about in a pose that I, at least, don't strike with folks I view as business only types. Nor is Buffy reacting as though he should be striking a pose suitable for business only.

Interesting sets of choices all. I have no idea what they mean. But again, they aren't there because Allie and Whedon tape recorded what Buffy and Spike were doing. They are there because Allie and Whedon chose to put them there. And that's why King is right to say that there's at least a whiff of innuendo hanging over the piece.

I find it interesting that they got back to total comfort with each other so quickly. I really wouldn't have seen that coming, but there it is on the page.

Erendis - I think the lack of plot connection is the strongest argument against Spike being used for malignant purposes here. So I agree with your conclusion. Spike hasn't been mentioned all season long. Maybe the writers are giving us Spike and Buffy in a total comfort zone with each other to give some emotional oomph to a betrayal -- but I can't make out how it'd fit into a season in which Spike's really not been around. We'll see. I rather suspect that Spike's role is similar to Faith's -- to be a contrast mirror to the lead. Note that the totally comfortable conversation between Buffy and Spike happens in a scene that has the bed stashed in the corner the way it was in Surprise. The compare and contrast is invited.
WilliamTheB, to be fair, it says that the dialogue is translated from Japanese, and since English is a required class in most Japanese schools, I'm sure many of the Nihonjin there understand him. =P

Not to mention Japanese uses a plethora of English words/phrases as it is.
-Waterkeeper511

Good point. I think it's still funny: Angel caused these demons, offers help in a Superman-esque way, while expecting that everyone will understand his English regardless of what language he hears them speaking. And he doesn't seem to notice that they will get splattered with blood. The whole package reads as "oblivious" to me.
I find it interesting that they got back to total comfort with each other so quickly. I really wouldn't have seen that coming, but there it is on the page.

This. Buffy finally lets down her guard around Spike, who only just reappeared, instantly. They're so comfortable with each other they can hang out in a bedroom together and just chat - great way to get the exposition out of the way, btw. This is intimacy on an entirely different, deeper level, and I'll take that over a bad porno any day.
I don't know why some are so suprised that Buffy would feel comfortable with Spike, last time she saw him they were very very close friends. Unless Buffy has amnesia, being at least comfortable in his presence seems spot on normal to me...way better than her initial reaction to him, which was agitated.

Eilowwyn says...This is intimacy on an entirely different, deeper level, and I'll take that over a bad porno any day.

I can't say too much on this comment as baiting shipping remarks aren't allowed here in the first place but I will say that the "porno day" was anything but bad for me. As a fan, I appreciated the moment.
Maggie,

What people are forgetting is that the writers choose where to show the characters, and the writers chose to show Buffy taking a shower in Spike's cabin. 'Tis all I'm saying.

Exactly. Everybody knows that a bedroom is a very private and intimate space and this has been emphasised in the Buffyverse plenty of times. For instance, Amnesia!Cordy deduced that her and Angel really must have been close because he had no problem walking into her bedroom without knocking. In S6 Tara tells Willow... “Hey, Will, this is me. It doesn't all have to be "good" and "fine." This is the room where you don't have to be brave.” etc.

A writer could have chosen any number of locations for Buffy and Spike to have a discussion but they chose the bedroom. It's significant and totally intentional. And, yes, Joss would have totally known what it looked like having Spike lounge around on his bed and Buffy take a shower. That's so not how two people behave who are strictly discussing "business." You'll note that when Xander and Dawn want to discuss getting an apartment together they find a secluded place for privacy. That’s what couples do, and that’s what Buffy and Spike did when they removed themselves from the group.

I also have to agree with everyone who said that Angel was portrayed as being fairly obnoxious in that scene with the slayers. It was very reminiscent of Captain Hammer when Angel sprayed all the slayers with blood and guts. I think Joss was depicting him as both reckless and arrogant and not really noble or heroic. Points for effort, though.

I really loved this preview and I thought both the writing and the art was top notch. The Xander/Dawn scene was adorable and sweet and I'm really liking that couple. It surprised me at first that Xander's talking about moving away from the slayers but after everything that's happened I can see why he'd like to part ways. I don't think Xander has any animosity towards Buffy but I do think he might be thinking "I really don't need this right now" and this is his more mature way of dealing with those feelings (instead of yelling at her). And things really have been quite crowded so I can understand if he wants them both to have more privacy.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-09-21 10:02 ]
Oh dear, what a load of old nonsense this is. :(

I'm a Spike fan and even he can't disguise the fact that this whole daft 'plot' reads like a reject Lost script. *sigh*

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-09-21 09:54 ]
No comment on Willow collapsing?
I hope she's alright?
Well, that's a first for me. Never seen a comment of mine being used for pro-shipping before. Shoulda known better.
As for Willow collapsing... another flash from the future? These flashes tend to involve collapsing, as seen in #31.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-09-21 12:36 ]
The test for whether or not the scene between Buffy and Spike is innuendo-laden and suggestive is really simple. You, the reader, are in a committed relationship with Buffy or Spike as suits your interest. You come into that scene with the exact same point of view from the preview and have absolutely no context.

If you think the normal reaction would be to be perfectly comfortable, not to raise so much as an eyebrow, then there is nothing suggestive about the scene at all.

If you think this is, at the very least, exactly the type of scene that usually sets up the It's Not What It Looks Like scene, then it is by definition suggestive... of what it looks like.

I'm glad I nailed the Captain Hammer comparison -- it's better than the Superman one. If Captain Hammer is Joss' wrong-minded commentary on Superman, that's a Dr. Horrible problem. If I can discuss Angel as a parallel to Captain Hammer and not as a commentary on Superman directly, I can avoid a lot of distracting analysis of Superman :)

Now what we need are some photoshopped "These... aren't the hammer" art with a smirking Angel talking to maybe Xander or something (yes, Spike would be too obvious there) :)
I love Buffy and Spike interaction. Hell I just love characters interacting with each other. More talking. Less fighting.
eddy | September 20, 17:48 CET


Amen. And .... if that actually happened (the 'more talking, less fighting'), I'd probably start actually buying the comics (well, ordering them, from where I live) and reading them, rather than just perusing the previews and getting the rest from the comments threads.

Still dislike Angel "the hero"-bit, i want there to be serious consequences for his actions.
Vergil | September 20, 18:23 CET


I so agree. Angel has never been one of my favorite characters, even on his own show, but he deserves better than this. I find it hard to believe that there wont be a major reckoning for him. Letting him off the hook this easily, with basically no consequences, is so out of character. For Joss as a writer, as well as for Angel's entire arc in the Buffyverse.

Maybe she won a hand at kitten poker and is feeling chuffed with herself.
Maggie | September 21, 04:45 CET

And the award for saying a lot by saying a little goes to ...... ;)


I'm not into speculation, but I would be shocked if Joss killed off one of the remaining core Scoobies. Or that he would once again visit "Xander's girlfriend dies" territory. Maybe this time there will be a "fate worse than death", for a main character.
I can think of several examples of how that could happen.
Like hey, having your soul burned to a crisp by the infection of your body by a primordial being? :)
I think Angel's plot is going somewhere interesting. I read his intervention as being somewhat obnoxious and callous as well, despite the obvious heroism of the act. I think that's intended as a metaphor or microcosm of his seasonal arc - namely, acting towards a right end isn't enough to ensure that we're doing the right thing in any particular moment. I expect some big event/internal revelation for Angel a la "Reprise/Epiphany" at the end of the season. And something horrible will happen to him.

By the way, the more I think about it, the more I think that Angel's season long behavior is becoming increasingly defensible as the new issues come out. And now on that controversial note...


P.S. The Buffy/Spike scene was the first thing in the comics I've read that felt true to the show. It was amazing.
You have me really curious, wenxina...what was it you didn't like about Angel? Asked in a non-judgemental way, of course. I just like hearing different opinions.

Anyway, I'm still gonna be ticked if they kill Giles. I'd rather it be Xander or Dawn...and I kinda think it will be one of the two. I could go with the idea of Giles doing a 'betrayal' if he thinks Buffy has gone too far and has to be stopped, to do the right thing, though.
But we're told that the betrayer's aim is to "protect the seed" - would Giles really do that? It seems to me that he'd be the most forceful advocate still around Buffy for destroying it at any cost.
Wait... when did I ever say I didn't like Angel? If it's about my quip above, it was in response to Shey's statement that there were fates worse than death. And the first one that came to mind was Fred's incinerated soul.
I have never stated a dislike for Angel, nor do I dislike him.
The Angel page kinda reminds me of Doyle's warning in season 1 City Of where he said if Angel didn't connect with the people he saved then he would see them as beneath him, is this what has happened? He lost his connection? And this felt kinda fun to read, seriously loving this since the reveal, brought the humour back!! Can't wait til 10 days after everyone else gets it so I can get it!!
I'll be on a research cruise when this comes out, so I'm gonna be waaaay behind. Hoping for net connection on the ship, but I'm not holding my breath.
But we're told that the betrayer's aim is to "protect the seed"

Where was this?
BlueSkies - Thank you for catching that because I certainly did not. And it's also probably the most singularly problematic part of his character. Not that its entirely his fault, as I think it's been covered, if Buffy has tendency to get the deus ex machina treatment to get what she needs, Angel tends to get the deus ex machina treatment in order to remove him as far from his mission as possible.

This was actually one of my problems with NFA (although everyone loved it and I was in a massive minority) was just how empty a gesture it was (that also got Wesley and Gunn [technically] killed). And that was in no small part attributable to the fact that he couldn't save or work with people directly anymore.
"Back in Sunnydale everyone is fighting for their lives against a horde of demons, and someone close to Buffy joins forces with a villain from the past to strive for a common goal--protect the seed." from Solicitation for #38.

http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/16-674/Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-38-Last-Gleaming-part-3-Georges-Jeanty-cover

Now that I think about it, the villain just might be Master.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-09-21 17:56 ]
Oh right, thanks. I forgot about the solicitation. I didn't interpret that to mean the betrayal but I can see that. I took the villain from the past to mean The Master but I'm not clear on loyalties and the seed. From what Spike said in the preview I'm not seeing an up side to destroying the seed.
Yes, it is not clear if destroying the Seed is such a good idea, it is also not clear if protecting it is a good idea. Protector might as well be Master, but it also sounds as if the Earth's native demons ( and Master is the 'local' guy) would not like the new demons to get their hands on the Seed. Why would either party of demons be 'good guys' is not clear. I might see Buffy suddenly deciding to destroy the Seed though - if she decides that getting rid of all magic would purge the Earth of all demons at once. Then whoever decides to stand against her would need to join forces with the Master - if Master is indeed the Protector. Hence we will have a curious case of Master being the 'good guy' vs Buffy's bad.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-09-21 19:27 ]
GilesQueen- I am not wenxina, but truth is I never cared for Angel either as a character or as a show. It just never involved me; perhpas it was its conceit, that it reflected a more adult perspective than did Buffy and its core metaphors were radically different. To me, Buffy's core metaphor was originally "high school is hell." Angel's seemed to be "corporate life is hellish and demonic." The latter is too close to real life for me, and too much of the program had too much shading- evil could never be defeated and the idea of "If nothing we do matters, than all that matters is what we do" never really moved me. None of these characters were really heroic- by design, I understand, but I had no one to identify with, like I did in Buffy.
I might see Buffy suddenly deciding to destroy the Seed though - if she decides that getting rid of all magic would purge the Earth of all demons at once.

If the scene in #10 is a flash forward, and not something shown to mislead her, it seems she will lose a fight to someone who betrays her and destroys the seed. I think destroying the seed is a nuclear option-- no more demons on earth, and the new universe's monsters don't get it either, but also no more slayers, witches, and maybe no more Dawn. Maybe no more Earth, even.
>> The new universe's demons is such a sudden subject - whence do they come from? there were none inside Twilight. The baby verses come with their own demons in a package? And why all of a sudden would they want to lay their hands on the old Verse's Seed? To destroy it so their verse is primal?
Dana, that's really interesting....I've always been MORE interested in AtS for precisely the reasons you weren't.

However, I do see the core metaphor of the show as slightly wider...'life's a battle with no reward, but that's no excuse to not keep fighting'. And the flaws and failures of the Fang Gang seemed to represent my own problems writ large (and metaphorical, obviously...never had an ex return from the dead with syphilis)
Which is why this is so fascinating a fandom, Alex. I have never made it past the middle of S3 in Angel. I just lose interest. I can watch Buffy over and over again, but I cannot watch Angel at all. It is my least favorite Joss how, even less than DH, which I actively disliked; Angel just had nothing at all to offer me and left apathetic at best, while at least DH had issues to get all het up about.
And season 3's my favourite! :)

This preview looks pretty good....though not sure about Spike's clothes. The colours are weird.
I agree with the idea that the Spike/Buffy conversation has a certain level of intimacy, as well as Angel seeming a bit oblivious here. I'm hoping we have a payoff to the latter before the season's out.
wait, hang on, I'm having a bad idea here...ahem. What if Dawn is the betrayer, i'm sure this has been mentioned before, but if destroying the seed ends this terrible battle, then what if Dawn betrays Buffy to destroy the seed and in the process knowingly kills herself?! This has probably been mentioned before, but it just hit me now, like what happened to Willow in the preview, literally off my feet(I'm stretched across the couch, so technically accurate!)
This ... just does not sit well with me. It's like I'm dating crazy wild mood swings all over again. When will this made sense?

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