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"Since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."
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October 14 2010

(SPOILER) Buffy Season 8 #38 6-page preview. Courtesy of CBR.

Hmmm...not loving the flaming lion, even if it is Connor somehow. The exposition is looking really heavy, but hey, it's joss and the last two issues have been great, so I'll definitely be picking it up.
Oh crap! Don't do it, Angel. Please!
not loving the flaming lion, even if it is Connor somehow

Uh. Connor?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-10-14 18:15 ]
Wow, the end of the preview really leaves us with the same "Is Dawn gonna die" question. Although this makes think even more that she is safe, because that would be giving way too much in the preview.

Oh, and its weird to see the Scoobies hanging out with the Master. I kept waiting for Giles to brew a pot of tea or something.

[ edited by Jelly on 2010-10-14 18:24 ]
Yay for Angel fighting the lion-thingy, even if I suspect they'll unfortunately have him change his mind for as far as we can tell no apparent reason!

Boo for stupid non-explanation of how the Master is alive and somehow nonsensically tying that in to why he looks funny!

Boo for another Dawn fakeout!(?)

So yeah, I really liked it.
you have to be the most extreme literalist of all time, and also not see the part where he refers to Buffy as his mom, to think the Lion is Connor
the art is looking really great I must say.
I liked the acknowledgment that the plot is confusing. )"This guy is really challenged by the major plot points." "He's not the only one." Heh.) And I'm pretty sure Dawn's not dead, at least not here (though she might die all over again later, just when it looks like she's safe. Wouldn't surprise me).

Still bummed about Angel's characterization, though: seems like we're getting more confirmation that he had no secret plan or hidden agenda, he really actually would have stayed in the new Twilight-world except for Buffy's choice.

Which makes about as much sense to me as the Boyd-reveal at the end of Dollhouse, and is similarly damaging my enjoyment of the story. (And I'm okay with him going dark, or even outright evil--as long as his motivations make sense.)
Maybe the Master's back, the way Dracula kept coming back. He's so famous, he can't die. Like a Fable. And does he really look weird, or is he just an illustration, rather than an actor in makeup? I quit the comic after the sex issue for three reasons: I can't make it to a comic book shop. It was lame. I'm afraid of the end. Is it worth seeking out?
CaptainB: No. Absolutely not. It only brings pain - addictive pain because characters you love are being made to do absurd things, but still pain.
Mmmmm. Epic. I like.
I liked the last issue, CaptainB (among other things, it was great to see Spike); but my attitude toward the plot as a whole has been somewhere between ambivalence and oh-my-GOD-is-this-a-joke?! ever since the space sex.

That said I'm still buying the issues. Partly out of a small hope that it will all halfway make sense by the end, but mostly because I've been with the season since the beginning and there's so little left I might as well stick with it to the end.
The Master - "I wouldn't worded like that" - saying that he knew he was enslaved by the Seed and looking straight to Buffy - am I major plot point challenged or they want to tell us that The Master killing Buffy in Prophecy Girl was trying to save the world?
If this whole Angel debacle isn't properly explained by the end of season 8, I think I might be out for season 9.

Is the new Angel series that's coming out next year going to take place pre- or post-season 8? Because that might be a way things could be fixed...
anca - didn't pick that up, but that would be interesting.
Oooo I like anca's idea.
"anca - didn't pick that up, but that would be interesting. "

But that would require the use of logic in this, and so far thats been thin on the ground imo.
I'm pretty much OK with exposition - I think it was sorely lacking until this final arc. And I'm also confused - is the lion thingy actually the Twilight universe embodied (can that even happen?), or just some creature that lives in the dimension?

Also, does this imply that the Master has been alive hiding out with the seed since Buffy killed him 7 or 8 years ago, or is this a recent development?
That's the best Angel Jeanty has done so far. And even though it's setting up the betrayal, I'm loving all the Scooby group shots. The one with them in the V behind Buffy is awesome.

What I got from this preview:

-Dawn is officially off the death watch.

-Spike continues to be awesome. Especially when he is written by someone who knows how to write him. I was worried it would immediately revert back to S6/7 Spike, but so far it hasn't so I'm happy.

-I think I totally get Angel now. Couple of things still need to be explained, but for me I can happily fanwank a plausible answer. They've still done a terrible job of providing any context with his actions, but... *shrug*

But I still don't have the faintest clue of whats going on. What's Buffy's mission? Protect the Seed? How is that emotionally compelling for Buffy? Still not seeing the full resonance.
Andrew seems to have picked up mean fighting skills! He seems faster, stronger, and 82% more manly. Faith seems the have the scythe above ground, but in the alt cover, Buffy is holding it. So hopefully it means that the rest of the troops will come down and lend a hand!

Anca, I also like the idea that the Master was trying to protect the world in Season 1, but that's quite the call back.

Picked up #37 today, rather late, but I just want to comment on how Georges draws Spike: He does it really, really well. Perhaps his best character.
Raise your hand if HUH?
"this guy is really challenged by the major plot points" "he's not the only one" HA! Loved that.

Maybe Dawn's really dead. And the "surprise" is Xander going off, trying to turn it all back. We're all expecting it to be a fake out and maybe that's why it's included into the preview. Poor Dawnie, anyway.

[ edited by nyrk on 2010-10-14 19:16 ]
Argh. So, we have so far : Fray world - no magic, demons banished via opened portal, no Slayers and no memory of the Slayer army. But eventually the magic starts seeping back. Meaning the connection was not broken completely or it can be restored? Because in S8 so far this kind of outcome does not look possible - it is either everything gets sucked into a trash disposal by removing the Seed - but then what will happen to the Twilight demons? Won't they get sucked in there as well? - or if the Seed is destroyed all is preserved but witches loose their magic ( is it that bad?). Head hurts. It does not look like even uber-Buffy can protect the darned thing though... They might be forced to crack it to prevent it from being taken.
I'm trying to retcon how this fits in with the Order of Aurelis.
The fact that Angel was willing to forsake the world in #35 has been bugging me ever since the issue. To me it seemed the most OOC moment for him. The only reason I could see Angel having for leaving behind this world is if he had lost everything that ever meant anything to him - complete despair. That led me to thinking about the vision of the future he had in 'After the Fall' - the one which shows the outcome of the Shanshu prophecy - Angel standing on a mountain of dead bodies. I'm just wondering now whether that was the world/time Angel gets whisked away from at the beginning of #36? Maybe that could help to explain Angel's motivations in #35?
Lots of interesting stuff in this preview.The Master stuff is the most interesting to me.
@rocknjosie - You're right, just reread it and Connor would make no sense lol I don't know how I missed that.
"It was Buffy who set it all in motion when she activated the other Slayers" -- Huh?
I have a friend who has never seen Angel, but watched all of Buffy. I let her borrow Season 8 last week, and she read through it and didn't seem to have any problems with Angel at all. Even as far as the TV show goes, Angel's development hasn't really been seen in Buffy. He wants to do what's right even if it's difficult or painful or people disagree with him, he loves (apparently only) Buffy and wants to do what will be best for her, and he's big with the fighting. Do you guys think any of Angel's Season 4-7 actions were OOC?
I'm loving all of this. I really don't follow the arguments that things don't make sense. It all seems perfectly fine to me. I also think it's a bit strange that something is out of character, especially with Joss at the helm. After all, these are his characters, he decides what is in character for them and what isn't.

I anxiously await the issue!
No offense to your friend, pulzer, but she's not really in a good position to assess Angel having not seen his show. It's not like Buffy and Angel are magically distinct continuities - they clearly and explicitly intertwine. Thus, Angel's "4-7" behavior also includes his Angel "1-4" behavior, and all the attendant character development that's radically inconsistent with his current behavior. Assessing Angel's behavior in this fashion would require one to, say, accept Wesley's appearance as an effete tool of the Watcher's Council in S8 despite 1. the fact that he's dead and 2. the fact that he is SO not that person anymore post-Angel.

In fact, one of the best things about Angel the show was that it showed what Angel's really like when he's not being all-puppy doggy around Buffy. The fact that S8 reverted him to "react to Buffy" mode is one of things that's so fucking annoying about it.
Besides issue #35 (in which it was the whole point of the issue), I don't think Angel has reverted back to a "react to Buffy" mode at all in S8. How exactly is he reacting to Buffy?

The main problem I have with Angel's portrayal in S8 is the complete lack of anyone from AtS even been mentioned. Where the bloody hell is the Fang Gang in all this? I get that DH doesn't want to feature them while they are still with IDW, but I don't see why they couldn't even mention what happened to them in one of Angel's internal dialogue or something. Seems weird. The potential answer to the question of where they are could go a long way in helping to understand his actions now.
Well, if all of this makes sense than either Whistler and the PtB's are the Bad Guys - or they let the rogue power out again - or ... And Master is a good guy ? Huh? If all of this is Buffy's 'reward' for activating the other Slayers... I say it is an overkill. And basically Angel was manipulated by something that she called into existence - although it does not mean he is not to blame for being an idiot. I have to say it is very much resembling the Angel S4 plot - and not in the best way. The verse has shifted towards its darker side, it seems, and became more of Angel the show verse, as the BtVs season plots were never this dark and twisted.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-14 20:13 ]
I really wish that I could understand and/or like this narrative as much as some of you guys, but I feel rather lost reading the last five or so issues. Maybe I'm not used to the comic format, as Buffy was the first comic I ever read and the only real superhero-type comic. I'm kind of equating Season Eight to Season Four of AtS (although S8 started stronger) - it just kind of gets all jumbled up in the PTB and the Universe causing weird things to happen (Cordy/Jasmine) to fulfill certain end results that were never hinted at before this season (unless you make the case that this is a throughline to the Fray universe but, even so, complicated much?).

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying parts of these last issues very much, and I think the dialogue is nicely done, and I'm very interested to see where it leads. But I can't help but hope that it is all leading to a reboot similar to how AtS S4 ended - with a fresh start for S9. I love the proposed format for S9 and I will definitely keep reading, no matter what happens, though. :-)

EDIT: I think I was on the same wavelength as the previous poster re: S4, although I did not see this entry before I posted mine, haha.

[ edited by BethS on 2010-10-14 20:25 ]
Wouldn't it be cool if the last issue had Buffy back in the institution surrounded by her doctor and Joyce and Hank?

Sooo...say we learn Connor, Gunn, Kate, Gwen, Nina (anyone else in Angel's life that I'm forgetting? I haven't kept up with the Angel comics) are all dead. Would that make Angel's actions make more sense?
Beth S - as far as "reboot" do you mean get undoing the spell that activated all the new slayers? I feel like that would not only undo what I saw as a fantastic ending for the TV series, but also cause a lot of problems for the new slayers a la Buffy in Helpless.
It would undo all the good this show has done. But then, that's what I already think has happened.
Guess we should all be glad that lion isn't orange wax.
I don't keep up with Angel either, after S6; Conner and Gunn are dead?

(Wesley is still dead, right? I know everybody seems to come back to life in the Whedon-verse, but I honestly thought Wesley was going to stay dead...)
Guess we should all be glad that lion isn't orange wax.

Smooshed-face universe!
tharpdevenport - To the best of my knowledge, Wesley is dead, but Gunn and Connor are still alive. But a year(ish?) has passed between Aftermath and Season 8. I was just wondering if people thought that Angel choosing Twilight over this universe would make more sense if everyone he cared about was gone. I don't think it would make any difference, it still seems very much like something Angel wouldn't do.
Pulzer - no definitely not anything specific like that. My feeling about "Home" in AtS S4 was that they were taking it back to more of a group focus, without as much PTB mumbo jumbo and spiraling character arcs. The memory altering spell effectively let the group have a little fun again without all the bad memories - I'm not saying that this is what should happen in Buffy, I just like the idea of bringing it back to the core group, working through their day-to-day lives while fighting evil. And, no, I don't think they should go back to high school or anything. :-) Actually, I think ultimately I'm yearning for something a bit simpler that I don't have to feel like a dummy for not understanding.
At some point after issue 36 I thought Angel was flipped back from an alternative timeline where EVERYBODY was dead - not just his loved ones. Now I am not certain that was not a trick either.
BethS - Ok, I'm completely for that idea! I miss the Scoobies just being themselves. And I'd also like for things to make more sense. I'm so over this whole being confused thing.

Dorotea - was Angel only shown that alternate timeline, or was he actually living there? If he's actually from that time, is there another Angel running around this universe somewhere? (haha, again with the me-being-confused thing)
pulzer, I seem to recall Scott Allie saying that this Angel doesn't hail from the future, and the Fang Gang aren't dead in the current IDW canon...

[ edited by Enisy on 2010-10-14 21:06 ]
I just like the idea of bringing it back to the core group, working through their day-to-day lives while fighting evil.

Oh god I agree. I love the craziness of S8, but man do I miss the gang just hanging out in a cemetery keeping Buffy company while she pounds on some poor vampire's face.
Correction : SA said that Angel did not time travel - i.e. that there are no alt copies of him running around. The timeline reset in both AtF and IWRY did not involve time travel either. The timeline was simply swallowed by the PtBs or by W&H.

Now I assume he was possibly hallucinating.

[ edited by dorotea on 2010-10-14 21:11 ]
I like the acknowledgement that the plot is too confusing, cause that is still what I'm taking home from these comics and even this preview... a general huh?-sense.
Also, does this imply that the Master has been alive hiding out with the seed since Buffy killed him 7 or 8 years ago, or is this a recent development?

Recent development. To quote the Master himself: "Death is nothing to the Seed. It restored me when Twilight chose Angelus."

As for Angel's motivation in all this: it makes a whole lot more sense if you assume that he thought the Twilight prophecy was inevitable. No way to fight it or change it; only to make the best of it. That's canon, by the way: see the 'Riley' oneshot and his dialogue with Whistler.
Guess we should all be glad that lion isn't orange wax.

At least it wouldn't talk, 'cause it doesn't have a larynx.
As for Angel's motivation in all this: it makes a whole lot more sense if you assume that he thought the Twilight prophecy was inevitable. No way to fight it or change it; only to make the best of it.

For me is hard to accept it; it's like a doctor deciding to euthanize the patient without inform him about the cancer diagnostic.
Twilight-Kitty not so cute now...
If you knew the world was going to end, would it be okay to run through a hospital smothering babies? Not so much. But that is essentially the same track as arguing that Angel's in the clear killing or manipulating whoever he thinks he needs to because he thinks they are all dead anyway. No justification at all, in other words.

It's funny, but it's very similar to what Sarah Connor says in T2 when she takes her psychiatrist hostage and he says he doesn't think he'd kill her -- she counters that she knows he knows she thinks everybody's already dead. But notice... she wasn't arguing that she would be justified, she was trying to play on the man's belief that she was insane and therefore willing to kill him. Not a ringing endorsement for trying to use that line of reasoning, straight-faced, to defend Angel.
The analogy lacks an important premise: the idea of the greater good. To be more exact, it would be saying that it would be better to run through a hospital smothering babies, if it would somehow prevent something worse from happening. Like if one of the 30 newborns of the day would usher in the apocalypse.

But hey, I'm really not that invested in trying to justify what Angel's done. He's done horrible things before in the name of the greater good, and this time is not really that different to me, other than in terms of magnitude.
Wenxina, you are giving Angel credit for a non-textual objective -- because it is textual that he had no notion of preventing anything. He was just agreeing with the worthiness of getting himself and Buffy set up to replace the whole world on its way out. There is no greater good to be served there, no matter how hard you squint at it. Besides, where was Angel out there trying to prevent anybody from ushering in an apocalypse? That would be necessary to support your counter-analogy. Instead, Angel was explicitly fomenting an apocalypse and establishing himself and Buffy as a new Adam and Eve. And he didn't waver from that for one second until AFTER Buffy said no.
Textually, it's uncertain if Angel actually knew that bringing about Twilight would actually usher in the apocalypse.
In #35, he was just as surprised to see that the world was going to hell.
Isn't everyone forgetting something?

The Shanshu Prophecy reveals that a vampire with a soul will play a major role in the Apocalypse (for good or for evil) and receive a reward ("shanshu") for his efforts.

I know there was a line in issue 36 that said Twilight made the Shanshu look like child's play (or something to that effect), but looking at everything that's happening in the comics it seems very much like Twilight meets the requirements of that prophecy.

Does anyone have a link to that two page spread in AtF #12? EDIT TheBuffy Wikia has it. And, reading in more detail, it makes me wonder if Wesley's interpretation of the prophecy was wrong. Funny thing, prophecies.

[ edited by GooberMan on 2010-10-15 00:42 ]
First reaction to this preview:

- Twilight-universe somehow being personified by a flaming lion is lame. Not to mention the whole flaming lion thing in itself seems lame to begin with. But then, we've had a talking hamburger (which I actually liked), kitten poker and (a true low) a literal lone shark, so the show certainly has done lame before.

- The Master... what the heck? Could he be any less like The Master from season one, who was one of the more straight played villains the show has ever had. In fact, the way he was played always made him slightly funny (certainly given the quirky vampire crew around him), but I don't recognize this campy version, cracking lame jokes. Right now he reads more like Dracula than anyone else. Do not like.

- Minor point, but the quick retcon of the origin of The Master's strange face is - there's that word again - lame. I always rather liked the assumption that a vampire's features change as they age, which was backed up by the deformed Kakistos in the show's established mythology. As far as I'm concerned didn't need explaining and it certainly didn't need explaining in a lame fashion.

- Am loving Spike in this comic as the voice of sanity and usual wit. Which is weird, because he's almost never the voice of sanity. Just goes to show how weird everyone else is acting. I'm liking Spike a lot in this comic. He's probably my favorite right now - along with Dawn and Xander. Which, for me, is new. He's usually not my top pick for a favorite character (not that I dislike Spike, by the way).

- The whole Twilight arc... it's inherently silly. Which is fine, we've had silly story arcs before. But I'm still not feeling the threat (apart from the huge, over-the-top, epic-ness of everything, which actually served to remove me rather than engage - I think I preferred television budget sizes stories) and I am still not emotionally engaged in the arc. Which is a shame, because - apart from S4 and S7, as far as I'm concerned - those emotional ties have always been a major strength of the show. Maybe I'd feel it a bit more if what Buffy and Angel have been doing, was explained a bit better from a character stand point. Right now I feel a bit removed from them, because they haven't been themselves (which was thankfully admitted by Buffy last issue) and their actions haven't been making much sense.
So Angel just thought that he and Buffy would begin a new universe and...our old one would be just fine? I guess that does sound more in character for him.
Uhhh, I don't think that the origin of The Master's face has been retconned. It was just Buffy cracking a joke. Chill.

Edit: And additionally, The Master has ALWAYS had one-liners of his own. Prophecy Girl:

Master: Yes! YES! Shake, Earth! This is a sign! We are in the final days! My time has come! Glory! GLORY!

The quake is over as quickly as it started. The Master looks over at Collin.

Master: Whadaya think? 5.1?

In these six or seven pages, I think he's been characterized pretty consistently with his portrayal in the show.

[ edited by Waterkeeper511 on 2010-10-15 01:52 ]
Yeah, the words "cheesy" and "campy" practically defined the Master in Season One...

As for KoC's baby-smothering analogy, a better one would be: The world's going to end within the next year; a bunch of scientists are building a rocketship that will be able to take a small group of people to a new world and ensure the human race survives. But to build the spacecraft, they have to divert electrical power away from a maternity ward with lots of babies in incubators.

It's Angel's decision: let the scientists take the power so the human race wll live on, or stop them so that the babies will survive for another year and then die horribly along with everybody else?
All this conversation from those few very confusing preview pages? Wow.
Another non-textual objective -- unless the small number is "the inventor and his ex-girlfriend he wants to get back with", that is. Any plan on Angel's part to bring anyone other than himself and Buffy into that new reality is not from the text. What's text was his total indifference to anybody else's life but theirs.

I've never understood how Angel not having known about the apocalypse is supposed to help him. Didn't you just say that it was okay for him to do what he did because he was preventing something worse? If he didn't know that there was such a thing that was coming, even that defense is gone.
I don't quite understand the baby analogy. Buffy and Angel's space-sex caused Twilight, right? So it's like Angel's smuggling babies, and then running off to launch the nuke that's going to destroy the rest of the world anyway.

Edit: And also what KingOfCretins said

[ edited by pulzer on 2010-10-15 03:43 ]
All I know is I finally have a theory as to the nature of the betrayal, and I think who will do the betraying. But I'm usually wrong.
Any plan on Angel's part to bring anyone other than himself and Buffy into that new reality is not from the text.

Is it actually in the text that that was any part of his plan? Or was it more like when it happened he grabbed at the opportunity?

What's text was his total indifference to anybody else's life but theirs.

He does say to Buffy in #35 that they'll be able to help her friends right?

I've never understood how Angel not having known about the apocalypse is supposed to help him. Didn't you just say that it was okay for him to do what he did because he was preventing something worse? If he didn't know that there was such a thing that was coming, even that defense is gone.

But which apocalypse did he know or not know about? Maybe trying to prevent one, he caused the other (Twilight) to activate.

Just musing...
It seems to me that motivation keeps getting confused with justification. Everytime someone tries to explain why Angel had a motivation to do what he did and he's not just acting wacky for the sake of the plot (something I am not entirely convinced of yet, btw), somebody else jumps up all outraged that it doesn't justify what he did. But saying that he had a reason that was good enough *for him* it's not like saying he was *right*. Sometimes it feels like one side says "the sky is blue" and the other replies that, no, "the sky is high".
Good point, nyrk.
Buffy and Angel's space-sex caused Twilight, right?

For me, this is as believable as the monks creation of Dawn causing Twilight, or Buffy's decision to have a coffee one morning causing Twilight, or ... etc. In other words, this is just another smokescreen created for us by manipulating powers, such as Power That Be, The First, The Cheese Man, or that "crazy" Joss guy.
Uhhh, I don't think that the origin of The Master's face has been retconned. It was just Buffy cracking a joke. Chill.

Waterkeeper511, I'm not sure why I'd (I assume you're talking to me) have to "chill" because I made a comment in this comments thread, but ignoring that, I'd agree that it's entirely possible that it's just a joke. Like I said, it's a minor point.

And additionally, The Master has ALWAYS had one-liners of his own.

Yeah, the words "cheesy" and "campy" practically defined the Master in Season One...

I'm neither saying that The Master never had one-liners and I'm also not denying that he was cheesy, Waterkeeper511 and stormwreath. But I agree that I could've articulated my objection to the way he was written a bit better, as it's actually more nuanced.

The quote that Waterkeeper511 pulls up is certainly a perfect example of The Master in S1. He's pompous, larger than life, hamming it up and cracks the occasional joke, but it never diminishes him from an in universe perspective, it just 'breaks' his over-the-top-ness and gives us a knowing wink.

In this case, The Master's standing around, making conversation. He says things like "I sort of thought he'd show" as a soft aside to his earlier comment or the semi insulted soft "my face?". He's being insecure or, if not, than at least he's being self-deprecating in his humor. It's certainly Buffyesque, and many other characters on the show repeatedly talk like that, but not The Master.

It's a bit like if Captain Hammer suddenly cracked a philosophically insightful joke and someone else replies 'but he's always funny!' So I know it's a subtle point, and I agree that I didn't explain it all that well (I wrongly asssumed his OoC was obvious), but the end result is that this reads nothing to me like The Master I remember from S1.
To be fair, we only saw The Master in what, six episodes? And most of those were strictly limited to a scene or two interacting with his minions and mwahahaing underground. It's the first time we've ever really seen him interact when he's not grandstanding or in the middle of some sort of scheme.

One thing I always regretted about Season One being so short is it didn't give us a lot of time to see the Master develop over a season like we did with the other Big Bads. I think part of the reason why Mayor Wilkins or Glory are so (relatively) popular is because we did see that growth.
We did see The Master again in S3's 'The Wish', though it was an AU version, but yes, I basically agree Matt7325. That doesn't mean that we don't "know" who that character is, though. Take my previous example of Captain Hammer cracking a philosophically insightful joke. We saw that character for much less time than we did The Master, yet it's still obvious that that'd be OoC for him.

The Master has always struck me as a more (over-the-top) 'straight up' evil character. Much more than the Mayor - who showed a lot of humanity - or Glory, who was certainly evil, but also had a lot of human traits. This made him more one note than later Big Bads, sure, but I still have a soft spot for the guy in all his hammy glory ;).
Spike is awesome. Don't care how much of a beating Angel takes, for me Angel and redemption don't mix anymore. I hope kitty-kat wins.

The Master? Don't quite understand what his whole plan was with this new info we've gotten. Dawn getting hurt, no suprise there, she shouldn't have been there in the first place. We just got the possible "restoring" bit so odds are Xander will go to the Master for help. This season has already seriously changed his perception of certain vampires. Dracula and The Master aren't bad guys. Angel is. And Spike? Well he's the same old Spike.
Oh, that's an interesting thought, Vergil. I could see Dawn being dead and Xander allying with the Master to Seed her back to life. I don't think that'll count as the big betrayal though.
No way in the world is Dawn dying. DH is purposely playing that card over and over again.

GVH: The Master has always been pretty snarky, and I thought that all of this was in character for him.
Actually, I think Dawn dying might be just what Buffy needs to enable her to break the seed. She wouldn't do it if it destroyed Dawn, but if Dawn is already dead she would.
GVH, I only said to chill 'cuz I tend to see a lot of people become upset very easily in all of these season 8 threads, and I thought you were genuinely upset over this apparent retcon that doesn't even matter. I actually didn't see that you wrote "This is a minor point, but..." -- sorry. =P

I guess I'm the one that has to chill, haha. I always expect the worst from everyone when people talk about season 8.
All I know is I finally have a theory as to the nature of the betrayal, and I think who will do the betraying. But I'm usually wrong.

I kind of like being wrong that way, it's fun to speculate but also fun to be surprised in the end. I like reading other people's theories too. Hmm there could be a thread over at .org for that. If there isn't already.
Matt7325, actually The Master was in eleven episodes. Although one was The First posing as the master, two were alternate universe versions, and one was a flashback.

Yeah, putting two and two together out of two major things that happened in this preview (The Master telling us that the Seed revived him--heck, if an urn and a spell and multiple vamp dust can resurrect Buffy and Darla, respectively, why not an all-powerful seed ?), I also had the thought that the Seed could be used to resurrect Dawn (or heal her life-threatening injuries, if they only go that far). Then again, we're assuming a lot in speculating that the Seed could be used as a tool. It brought The Master back, meaning it has a will of its own (or is a force of nature that can't be harnessed). There's no guarantee that it can be used, just an implication that it can be destroyed, so far.

Simon said:
I'm trying to retcon how this fits in with the Order of Aurelis.

What do you mean ? Like how this new info about the Master (and his strings potentially having been pulled even before being recently resurrected) fits with his and his group's portrayal in Season 1 ? Or are you talking more main-character-centric, like what this all means for the line of Master-Darla-Angel-Drusilla-Spike ?

Re: overall Master motivations
The Master was just trying to get unstuck, his main driving character arc is that he wanted to be free, in "Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest" (by having his vessel or whatever--it was Luke, but I forget how The Master referred to him--feed on the right night to empower him to break through the invisible barrier that somehow stuck him down there. Actually, that kinda never made sense, how an earthquake would physically trap him underground, even with pathways leading out--though I always just assumed, "invisible Hellmouth-created, for some reason"--so maybe the excuse of "Seed magic!" makes slightly more sense than what we were given in Season 1). I dunno if I buy that he was instead trying to stop Buffy from destroying the world. The vamps of his Order seemed pretty focused on just chaos and replacing humans as the dominant species (and when he tried to get out again in "Prophecy Girl", this was again on display and stressed), though I suppose they'd still want a world beneath their feet in which to run amok in.

If it's just that the Seed was pulling the Master's strings in the same way that Twilight pulled Angel's...fine, I guess, it's an acceptable retcon/addition of Buffyverse background info. Hope Joss is making some grand point about destiny/being fate's bitch in that case though. Maybe the erasing of magic from Earth (for the most part, until Fray at least) will be making much the same statement as Russel T. Davies' The Second Coming mini-series/2-part film, about freeing ourselves from the meddlesome annoyance of God/gods, demons, and their free-will-sapping/control-freak prophecies/edicts. An atheist manifesto within a rather theist-friendly creation of Joss'.

Dana5140 said, re: reversing the "Chosen" spell:
"It would undo all the good this show has done. But then, that's what I already think has happened."

C'mon, you know that's not true. You're one of the ones here sometimes stressing how little of the TV fandom actually are aware of or bothered to pick up or stick with the comics. For the vast majority of the people in the world that experienced Buffy on TV/DVD, the comics don't undo anything, because they're not aware of them or don't care about them. The comics also fail to undo any of the show's influence on pop culture, women on TV, character-emphasized storytelling (though BtVS doesn't wear any of those crowns alone, plenty of other amazing TV shows past and present). I think this post of yours was simply spurred on by your extreme frustration with the comics. That sucks for you, it's too bad, but does it really take away everything the show gave you in terms of entertainment value, emotional investment, all the worthwhile discussion it provided, etc ? Lotsa folks are simply ignoring the developments it the comics. After Season 8 is finished, maybe you'll be able to do that as well. Still the tinge of disappointment over Joss' attempt at a continuation of the 'verse, but the show as it stood will always be there.

You've been saying that the comics probably aren't aimed at your age group (often saying they're aimed at kids too, which sounds inaccurate to me, since more 20-somethings and up are buying comics these days and the bulk of them, even the superhero material, has matured [somewhat] accordingly). It's a bit of a head-stratcher, because for one, there're other admitted 50+ folks on here reading the comics, and the comic is from the same creative forces who brought us the TV series and there's little reason to believe they've changed their tactics (officially, The WB originally had Buffy aimed at men in its first season, but changed to the coveted young adult women demographic when they saw it catching on huge in that area. But that's just for the execs, Joss doesn't have to make group-specific-aimed entertainment. There's definitely a lot of what he likes in the TV series and in the comic though. Lotsa suspenseful, comedic, character-heavy supernatural storytelling with obvious comic book, horror, fantasy, and sci-fi influences). I think the demographics of this book really have little to do with being age-related (it feels pretty all-ages, though not for children) and more to do with genre preferences, and the levels of geekdom/genre-zanyness any given reader is prone to enjoy. The comic has been lacking in the level of character exploration that the TV series enjoyed though, everyone who cares to call attention to it seems to see that. The comic is more plot-driven, but I don't think it's entirely plot-driven, just sharing more space with the character-motivated storytelling than was evident in the show.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-10-15 20:22 ]
Looking at Twilight's dialogue for a sec, when it says that Buffy rejected it for lack of conflict (whether it's correct or not about her decision-making), is it saying that it thinks Buffy needs conflict in her life ? Is the statement more meta, about the audience or society in general ? In terms of the audience, that watching Buffy and Angel live in Twilight would be extremely boring/story over ? And that with people (not that this is any new revelation), that some or most of us overcomplicate our lives ?

"The queen is dead, long live me."

The whole "queen is dead/long live the queen" line at this point, in the Buffyverse at least, is referring to old world/new world (Earth, or this reality, vs. Twilight), right ? Or, as weird as this might be, could we assume from how Twilight inserts itself into the saying that Twilight is female ? That way they can still bring all this nuttyness back around to girl power, heh.

Angel's has two children now of undetermined species.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-10-15 20:30 ]
Kris' last comment just made me realise exactly what has been bothering me about the whole Twilight/new universe situation.

Twilight wants to replace what already exists with itself, right? And it wants to accomplish this by destroying the Seed. Fair enough, except that as far as I'm aware the Seed only created the demon infested planet that eventually became Earth, not the entire universe. If the Seed is destroyed then apparently the world goes with it but that wouldn't necessarily destroy the rest of the universe, meaning that Twilight would still coexist with another... erm... existence? Unless I've missed something.

Well, still got three more issues for that to be explained, I guess.
Doesn't sound like Twilight wants to destroy the Seed. In fact, he (Evil!Kitty has a mane, so I'll go with "he") wants Angel to bring him the Seed. He calls the Seed his soul. Which goes back to the Master's line in #37 about Buffy creating a soulless universe, and how it wasn't worthy of the Seed.
The new universe wants to take the Seed (corkless bottle), which would destroy the old universe and make the new universe some kind of magical awesome. Destroying the Seed where it is (break the cork) is an option for protecting the old universe since it prevents removal and destruction, but the cost is the end of magic. The third option is everything staying just like it is but that is boring (corked bottle).

[ edited by Sunfire on 2010-10-15 21:32 ]
Oops, my bad! Should have said "If the Seed is removed then apparently the world goes with it", rather than "destroyed". Mixing them up meant that I didn't explain what it is that is bothering me all that well. I absolutely agree with both of your explanations concerning why Twilight wants the Seed. I'm just still not sure that it's entirely clear exactly what Twilight is.

I mean, if it's a universe then "the queen is dead/long live the queen" would suggest that it wants to replace our universe, right? But then other times it's referred to as a world that wants to replace our world (as Aluwyn suggested to Willow).

So basically, which is it? If it's a universe then to be the new "queen" it would have to destroy the whole current universe, which removing the Seed alone would not accomplish. If it's a world then getting the Seed would do the trick and remove Earth, but then why is everyone going on about Twilight being a new universe?

That all sounded a lot clearer in my head...
Highlander--yeah, I've been thinking for a while that maybe they should've just gone with "planet", 'cause it's very unclear what all this cosmic creating and destroying means.** Twilight as a planet that would take Earth's place/space. Write a new world (Buffy & Angel accomplished that), then copy/paste over Earth. It sounds more confusing and makes the story seem just a bit too big for its britches when we're dealing in whole universes and/or realities being created and destroyed. The Buffyverse frequently deals in different dimensions (not necessarily alternate-Earths, Sliders-style, not more "Wish"-verses, just different realms or whatever, like Pylea, Quor'toth, that of the Spider demons who worshipped Jasmine, maybe Glory and her hell-god siblings', and the world-withough-shrimp), it rarely talked about planets and universes (or realities) during the TV shows.

I'm not sure what dimensions are within the Buffyverse. Are Pylea and Quor'toth their own physical planets somewhere out there in a different solar system, or pocket dimensions existing within or sideways from Earth ? I know Joss' strength isn't world-building, so I don't expect answers to this stuff in the Buffyverse, but it'd help when gauging the stakes when they're aiming big in stories like Season 8's.

**Oh look, it's like the problem we had with Lost Season 6--an ill-defined threat, in that case, the prospect of the Smoke Monster somehow making it off the island and getting to the mainland. They never told us what that would mean for the world, so the audience was never sure how much weight to give that threat. So when the main characters managed to stop it from happening, it was like, "ummm...whew? Wait, was I supposed to be really worried ? What exactly could Smokey have done ? It wasn't even portrayed as unstoppable, all you need are some sonic fences to box it in". Buffy Season 8 is, at least in part, suffering from the same plot issue--at least here, we know the stakes are that humanity and a bunch of good demons will probably die if the process of Twilight becoming a fully realized reality completes, but we don't have a clear understanding of what it means for all of existence. But maybe that doesn't matter, it's more about Buffy and the other main characters, and the planet and its inhabitants that they've sworn to protect, not the rest of the universe's fate (in which case, yeah--why make the universe a part of this storyline in the first place ? The threat is larger than it needs to be and the plot is all the more vague and complicated because of it).

[ edited by Kris on 2010-10-15 22:12 ]
Kris, I've always taken dimensions as being pocket realities within the fabric of a given universe. Using Marvel as an example, Limbo would be another dimension, existing with the 616 reality, rather than a What If? style alternate reality, if you see what I mean? The demon dimensions in Buffy and Angel are, in my mind at least, the same as Limbo in the MU. Another reason why the nature of Twilight is slightly difficult to understand, at least in terms of being a "universe".

I totally agree that it would have made a lot more sense to have referred to Twilight as simply being a new world, right from the start. Having Buffy and Angel screw a planet into existence is no more unlikely than having them create a new reality. In actual fact, it sounds a little bit more plausible and certainly easier for the average reader to get their head around.

Regarding Lost, I always believed that the danger to the world was the fact that Smokey had to destroy the Island in order to leave, rather than anything he might do after he had escaped. The destruction of the Island itself was the issue. Whatever Smokey might do afterwards was beside the point.
My impression was that the words universe and dimension were being used kind of interchangeably. Aluwyn says if the Seed's destroyed, Willow can no longer come see her at all: her dimension will still exist, but Willow won't be able to access it. She seems sad for Willow, but not remotely worried about a threat to herself/her own reality.

Based on that, I'd guess that if Twilight replaces our "universe," that means that the Twilight-world exists instead of Earth (and maybe comes with its own galaxy/universe to replace ours?), but *doesn't* have any effect on other dimensions (Pylea, Glory's dimension, Quartoth, whatever).
"My impression was that the words universe and dimension were being used kind of interchangeably."

You may be right, erendis. There is certainly a lack of consistency when it comes to the reader having to imagine what Twilight actually is, even in the way it describes itself.

I suppose the best idea is going to be to wait and see how the story unfolds. Hopefully the last few issues will clarify the details. We shall see, no doubt.
Before people start saying the Seed is like the Cork analogy in Lost season 6 episode 3 (?) - I don't believe Joss has seen Lost.
No idea about whether Joss has seen Lost or not, gossi, but I wouldn't worry either way. The cork/bottle analogy wasn't exactly unique to that show either. I've seen it used in similar ways several times over the years. Suggesting that Joss stole the idea from Lost is pretty much like saying that he stole the idea of vampires from Bram Stoker.
The third option is everything staying just like it is but that is boring (corked bottle)

And yet that option is precisely what everyone says they are there to accomplish. Everyone is saying to protect the seed. Which sort of points in the direction of the betrayal, I'd think.
GVH, I agree that the "My face?" line is a little OoC, though I can fanwank it by imagining him saying it slightly over-the-top, mock-offended. That seems like the kind of joke he'd make to me. The other one fits, though, with, "I kind of thought he'd show." Though I am, again, perhaps reading it with a little more confidence on the Master's part than was intended.

I'm cautiously optimistic that this Angel stuff will be justified--so far, it seems clear that he's at least been given the impression that he's been living in a post-apocalyptic world, now I just need more explanation and some reasoning for why he thought this was his only course of action to prevent it, or whatever. But I definitely have echoes of Boyd ringing in my ears that are causing me some doubt and worry.

Most of all, though, this is making me wanna do a rewatch of the show. God, for how much I tell people, "bear through season one it gets great later on," I really do love that season as well.
Perhaps Twilight represents the god of the universe that Buffy and Angel shagged into existence. This universe has its own goddess referred to by Twilight as the Queen, whose rule Twilight wants to usurp by obtaining the Seed of Wonder. The concept of gods ruling a universe/dimension is not new in the Whedonverse; Glory, for example, was one of three supreme beings that ruled a hell dimension before she got booted into our universe.
I always thought the Master to be incredibly vain so the "my face" line seemed somewhat apt.

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