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November 03 2010

(SPOILER) For the discussion of Buffy #38. It's the third part of the 'Last Gleaming' arc.

Buffyfest have their review up and a full spoiler summery of the issue.I mean they reveal everything.

http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2010/11/buffy-38-review-spoilers.html

So Angel is possesed by the lion monster/Twilight.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-11-03 15:45 ]
So... Joss repeats the Angel-vs-Angelus trick? Like Angelus, Twilighted Angel has a different face and a different identity.
So tired of that.
God that summery sounds absolutly lame. Joss, have you lost your touch completly with this verse or what? :(
Angel being close again to Buffy: another "glowing" development?

It might fit with Future Dark Willow - "it's important who kills THEM". Maybe Willow kills both Angel and Buffy.

Nah,
I really don't have an inkling of what's going to happen next. I think everyone is going to screw everyone over, basically.
So I had a theory bubbling after 37, and 38 seems to have reinforced it fully:
Willow's going to become the Seed, or at least take on its powers. It would explain why she survives to the Fray-era, and why magicks exploded out of her when Buffy stabbed her.
So yea, Willow's gonna be the Seed. Calling it officially now.

Also, liked the issue a lot right up till the Angel reveal. It'll be interesting to play out though.
Oh, and Willow's the betrayal it seems. "Closest, most unexpected". Dunno about closest but, and work with me here, because she was Buffy's first guess, she fell off the expectations list right after. Therefore she's the most unexpected now, because she's essentially been refuted as the betrayer already.
Yep, so it's the cop-out route with Angel. Character's not ruined because he's been possessed, which deflates a lot of the tension his actions have created. Some possibility based on the fact that we couldn't see when he was possessed under the mask, but still.

I do think the developments with Xander and Willow are intriguing, though.
Well it doesn't get him a get out of jail free card really, does it? We don't know that everything up until now is pure thrall. He made a choice at some point to put on the mask, didn't he? So there's still plenty of blame to go around. He's, at least in part, responsible for his own possession, I think.
Do you think Angel's current possession is saying that he was clearly possessed the whole time he was doing the Twilight thing? I didn't think that was the intent, I think the previous Twilight stuff is still on Angel's hands.... but these new events are out of his control.

Ah, bitsy, you got to my point first lol.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-11-03 17:57 ]
Angel made a deal with the Devil, so to speak (and I don't literally mean Devil as in Satan), and when he decided to back out of it, he found out that he couldn't. So Angel will have to carry a lot more guilt for what will transpire in the next two issues.
Okay, I'm just going to come out and say it. I thought the dead Dawn psych-out page turn was hilarious.

So what if the same jokes work on me every time? I'll laugh if I want. You're not my mom.
So has anyone read the issue yet?
I gave up on not reading and did. Now I am sort of laughing at all the hype. Still, I find the plot and the dialog a slight improvement over 37.
The plot stuff is interesting, but I'm stuck by some resonance between #37 and #38 which I believe signifies the significance of this battle and provides the necessary framework for the plot.

In Issue 37, Buffy and Spike go down into the Hellmouth side by side to find the Seed, are surprised by the Master who then hits Buffy, Spike moves to attack and Spike gets slapped down.

In Issue 38, Buffy and Spike go up to the mouth of hell to confront the demons*, are surprised by Angel who then hits Buffy, Spike moves to attack and gets slapped down.

(*Buffy and Spike are literally standing in the opening--Spike standing on the edge of the shadows where he can still fight. They're guarding the dark place together. It's an interesting inversion: Buffy used to fight to keep the demons in the hellmouth, now she's fighting to keep the demons out which reminds me a bit of "Doomed" when the danger again was the demons getting into the hellmouth to end the world.)

The Master/Angel parallels are strong here. Both are being possessed and Buffy/Spike are opposing them as the figures of free will.

I think it's pretty obvious Xander is being set up to be the one who breaks the seed. So while Destiny/possession (Angel) is battling Free Will (primarily Buffy, but also Spike), Humanity (Xander) is going to slip inside and break the seed.

The Continuum of Possession

Destiny <---------------------------------------------------------------> Free Will

The Master, Angel, Willow <--------------- Buffy ---------------> Spike, Xander, Giles, Dawn



Buffy is the figure in the middle. She's a figure of Destiny as the Slayer, but also a figure who upsets Destiny. Angel, is a figure of prophecy, but he's the tragic figure who's often portrayed as a puppet of greater powers (as shown in Smiletime). Angel doesn't get off the hook though because just as he chose to join Wolfram & Hart, he also chose to ally himself with Twilight. Buffy felt the same influence and pull of Destiny, but her connections to the world pulled her back to safety when she heard Xander's call (which again begs the question what happened to Angel's ties to the world that would make him so susceptible? Connor? Cordy and Wes are dead).

This chart I posted above is where the characters now stand. Being in the middle ground is about being in a position of compromise where you can make the choice to buy into destiny and turn over your free will. Angel started in the middle ground when Twilight started whispering to him of destiny, and as the season progressed, he inched further and further over to the side of destiny, but only because he exercised his free will and chose to succumb to destiny (Angel isn't whitewashed fully--he's a dangerous puppet because he chose to be duped). Spike's firmly in the Free Will side and when he arrives, he pulls Buffy back from falling into Destiny and grounds her Free Will. Xander is another figure of Free Will. He's fighting because he chooses to fight, to help Buffy. And now he's probably going to be choosing to save humanity. Buffy can't be the one to fight the Seed because these two forces of Destiny (old world, new world) are opposing each other. She's caught in between. Only Free Will figures can cut through the mess and fight Destiny. Xander and possibly Spike are going to be crucial to Free Will winning over Destiny/possession.

This story isn't about possession taking over people. It's about people making bad choices that allow them to become puppets, about becoming so enamored with power (Willow's desire for magic) and self-image are what lead people to make bad choices, to make a deal with the devil. Willow's desire for magical power brings her under control of the Seed. Angel's desire to be the one who saves the world--to be the savior--is what makes him susceptible to Twilight's whispers--Angel's ego is flattered at being the only vampire with a soul, at being special, at being chosen by the Powers That Be even as he's wary of it.

Angel's a puppet now because he chose to buy into the lies--he allowed himself to be taken over. Just as Willow chose to protect the seed and is allowing herself to be taken over. Just as the Master chose the Seed and is allowing himself to be taken over.

Power corrupts and, as shown in "The Chain", this desire for power (strength, fame, being the savior) comes from within. Willow and Angel desire to be special heroes and that's why they're becoming puppets.

Free Will is battling Destiny (both old world and new). Who's gonna win the day?

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-11-03 19:18 ]
Hey Emmie. The first and third paragraphs after the chart are virtually identical. Was that intentional?
Lol. Yeah, nobody's really said anything about the issue yet, have we?

It's pretty good, but it's frustrating in the same way the last few issues have been too: we haven't really learned anything. Willow's forming Team Red with the Master and the Seed, but we knew what she wanted already. One line that might be key: "Maybe we can use it to make the world better, Buffy." Great idea, Boromir. She does seem to be fusing with the Seed, and at the least, will not easily back down from her need to keep it where it is.

Buffy wants to kill the Master, which I found refreshing though of little importance to the plot. Buffy hates evil more than she loves power. Go, girl! And the explanation that her powers are sapped by being close to the Seed, while the Master's are magnified, is helpful.

It looks like the weapon that "can kill a god" that Giles was searching for was actually the Seed, so I'm not sure why the Scythe was pictured when he first mentioned it. I'm still kind of drifting toward a scenario in which Giles has Faith use the Scythe on the Griffin, just as a lab experiment. Anyway, Buffy seems to understand and forgive that Giles would kill her and Angel for the sake of the world. Her guilt, for once, makes a lot of sense when she talks about the casualties of sharing the power. "It's what we do." Great line to have with Angel as a backdrop.

Everyone (here) seems to be agreed that Angel's appearance is evidence that he's fully under Twilight's control, but I'm not entirely sure. At the end, all that's left of the brain-fry effects is bloodshot eyes and a sickly pallor. He might have some control left. If he does, that Seed's getting smashed.

To be honest I thought the character who showed the most interesting progression was the General. It's the first time I've ever actually listened to him, and if I were Xander, I know I'd be questioning my loyalties. If he does, that Seed's getting smashed.

If that Seed gets smashed, I worry for Dawn. She's on Team Green.

Spike kind of reminds me of Desire from Sandman. How many times in one issue can one character light a cigarette? (Okay, it was only twice. But it's so trademark. Makes me grin.)

The cover for #39 is drop-dead gorgeous. I'm looking forward to the next issue I'm looking forward to be the one I can look forward to finding answers in.
I have the issue and there are a lot of very interesting things happening.
Questions that I have after reading...

How can Giles help and where is he going, since he can't do it there.
The bit where Buffy tells him that he could stay was heart-breaking for me.
When Spike pushes Giles out of the scene and off on his way, why does Spike have a green glowing thingy around his hand?

When the bug says that Spike is nothing more than a Queen Bee worker is that in reference to Buffy or the Lion thing that says it is the Queen?

What's up with Spike and the chain smoking? When the Earth is ending, Smoke and do not stop! lol.

WTH is up with Willow? Maybe it's just me but she seems to have lost her mind here. Could be just me but it seems as if destroying the seed isn't such a bad thing.

Thoughts about this issue...Angel, poor Angel. If having an evil demon inside you that wants to destroy the world isn't bad enough, now he has to deal with being possessed by Twilight.
I need a very good reason why Whitsler mislead Angel OR I need to see why Buffy is the bad guy now. Buffy says that she started this whole thing by doing the activation spell (And we all knew there would be consequences) and Twilight has maintained that it falls to him to "fix" this mess...that means Buffy is the problem.
It would be hard to forget that Buffy had no choice in performing the activation spell or the whole world would have died in season 7. Why the balance shift that season? Because Buffy came back from the dead and shifted the balance. If this whole season has been to set up all the reasons that Buffy has to die? Well, I can't even form words for how I feel about that.

The good in this issue? Angel isn't responsible for what he is doing. The bad? What is Angel going to have to do that Joss felt he needed to pull another Angelus on us? Meaning, at the end of this, Angel will feel hoards of guilt and sorrow but won't really be responsible for any of it. Again, poor Angel.
Thanks, Xi! I've been reformatting and trying to reorganize my thoughts and I'd forgotten to delete that paragraph when I moved it.

Angel is responsible for what he's doing in the sense that his character flaws led to him sacrificing his free will to become a possessed figure of destiny. Buffy successfully resisted (with the help of her friends and Spike), Angel failed.

Angel is at fault, but it's a tragedy that happened because he was isolated when Twilight began working on him. Buffy had her friends to ground her. Angel is popped in through a portal and separated from his human connections that would help save him.

It's like Cordy and Jasmine in that Cordy bought into this belief that she was being chosen for a higher purpose because she was that noble and good and heroic. She was seduced by Skip and Jasmine, then used.

It's classic. Using a character's tragic flaw against them so that they willingly compromise their free will and become a puppet figure. The Devil doesn't steal your soul, he convinces you to sell it.

I disagree that the possession plot is a copout. Angel doesn't get off scot-free. He chose this, but it's also a story of people being duped.

Dollhouse SPOILERS (highlight to view):


Angle's responsible for his character traits that allow him to be duped by the Twilight world. He's responsible for his character flaws, for being egotistical and for desiring so badly to be special and to be a hero (saving the world means he's good, right? If he saves everyone maybe he's redeemed?) that he becomes a puppet.

Angel is made a slave because of who he is, not because of a power compelling him outright. He was seduced and manipulated, but he wasn't taken over. He had to buy the ticket before he went on the Twilight ride. Angel bought it--hook, line and sinker. Twilight manipulates Angel through Angel's desire to save the world, his desire to be redeemed, his desire to be to do what's ultimately right even if it means doing awful things. By appealing to Angel's heroism and his notorious character flaws, Twilight seduces Angel into becoming Destiny's Bitch.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-11-03 19:31 ]
I really couldn't disagree more Emmie and I'd like to know what you are basing that claim on? Examples from the text rather than metaphor would be nice, if you don't mind?

This isn't over yet but it appears from a story stand point, and I just mean what is actually in the story opposed to meta, it appears as if Angel has been tricked by Whitsler a PTB OR Whitsler was right and this was the only way to get this done.
it appears as if Angel has been tricked by Whitsler a PTB OR Whistler was right and this was the only way to get this done.

Cheryl, I'm saying the same thing basically. But when a person is tricked, it's because they let themselves be tricked. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

Angel's been fooled by destiny before. That's why he's partly responsible. Because his character flaws are what lead him to working with Twilight. He should know better than to believe in higher powers and destiny's promises. But he buys into the lies because of character flaws and unique circumstances.

Angel wasn't taken over against his will in the beginning--he made a choice. We see that possession wasn't inevitable because Buffy fought off Twilight's influence. It's flat-out wrong to say Angel was destined to fully lose control of himself. Buffy proves it wasn't a fait accompli. Angel is susceptible to Twilight because Angel's always fighting to keep from becoming Destiny's Bitch, to keep from losing control (Smiletime anyone?). He loses himself to Twilight because he's alone. Because Cordy is dead. Because Wes is dead. Because Connor isn't here (Connor is important in that Connor is absent when Twilight sucks Angel through a portal). Angel is isolated from all human connection, that which grounds him and keeps him from becoming a monster (first Doyle in the pilot and later Wes in "To Shanshu in LA" drive home that human connection is essential to Angel's mission--he must stay in touch or he'll be lost and become a monster). Angel is a cautionary tale for Buffy--this is what happens when you lose your connection to humanity.

This story doesn't ignore Angel's history on AtS. It's using the AtS mythos to show what would happen if Angel were disconnected from humanity when a great power tried to manipulate him. Angel is weak enough to give in to Twilight because he was isolated.

Angel's fall is a tragedy of his own making: a devil (or a bird or a dog) whispers in his ear and Angel chooses to listen.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-11-03 20:01 ]
This is all making a kind of sense that's ... not. The issue sounds like it's very hectic. I get that the seed is like Slayer kryptonite and that it's got some people enthralled but I'm very confused.

Could someone simple it up for me please?

Also, if I see someone say "poor Angel" again, I might be ill.
The plot of this issue is fairly straightforward, I think.

Angel fights Miss Kitty Twilight, loses the battle, and consequently becomes a puppet (he loses his free will to destiny). Buffy, Spike, Giles, Xander, Dawn and Willow are down below in the Hellmouth chatting it up with the Master. Willow stops Buffy from killing the Master, saying they must ally with the Protector of the Seed since they have the same goal. Dawn gets hurt by some demons and Xander takes her above ground to get some medical treatment, where the eavesdropping General we saw in the last issue tells Xander that his friends are trying to protect the Seed when they should be trying to destroy it, that Xander's friends aren't working with humanity's interests at heart.

Meanwhile, Buffy, Willow, the Master, Spike, and Giles go to the room where the Seed is being kept. In close proximity, The Master becomes more fiercely protective and, viewing Buffy as a threat, he attacks Buffy. Also, close proximity to the Seed zaps Buffy's superpowers. Willow joins forces with the Master to protect the seed, becoming possessed herself by the magic and influence. Buffy, Spike and Giles go up the Hellmouth to fight off the demons and keep the Seed safe. Giles says he won't be much good fighting (he can't keep up), so he leaves Buffy and Spike to fight. Then Angel arrives, killing a massive demon, only to then attack Buffy.
Not sure I like it when Willow starts "Seeing Red". It didn't end well last time.

Personally, I think Willow should have picked Tara as a guide instead of "Snake lady" (i.e. Aluwyn). Tara was always intuitive and would have found another way of dealing with the seed.

Instead, Aluwyn has put Willow on a path to fuse with the seed (at least it looks like that), and probably because Aluwyn wants more than what's in Willow's skirt.

Above all, a guide should be trustworthy. Aluwyn isn't.
I agree with cheryl.

Pauvre Angel. *smirk* How's that?
Taaroko: *raspberry*

Thanks, Emmie. That sounds like a lot to happen in one issue. :)

Aluwyn has put Willow on a path to fuse with the seed (at least it looks like that), and probably because Aluwyn wants more than what's in Willow's skirt.

Above all, a guide should be trustworthy. Aluwyn isn't.


I agree with that.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-11-03 20:42 ]
If the general principle underlying the "Angel is responsible" interpretation is that people must always be held responsible when they are duped because they choose to be tricked, then it seems to be an astonishingly weak argument. It suggests for example, that everyone hurt by the financial crisis or Bernie Madoff's scam were responsible for the fact that big banks and Madoff tricked them. That's nonsense, of course, because you can't expect ordinary people to have the incredibly detailed understanding of the financial industry necessary to prove those two wrong.

Likewise, you can't expect Angel to believe that Whistler, who had previously been assigned by the PtB to help him, had all of a sudden done a 180. Angel made the right choice given the information available to him, which is the only standard we can use to judge the quality of the decision made at the time. And if that's the case, and possession was an inevitable consequence of first choice, then really nothing that has happened can be fairly blamed on Angel.

Now, dramatically I think that's a cop-out, and it's a huge structural problem with the comic. But like I've been saying for a while now, the end result was always going to be a cop-out or ruining Angel by having him act so totally OOC as to destroy any meaningful continuity in the Buffyverse. I'll take the lesser of two evils without releasing my ability to say "the comics suck!"

EDIT: Cheryl, loved your comment about all of this showing Buffy ought to have died. That, if it's what we're building towards, actually is interesting - not fully redeeming, but really interesting.

[ edited by goingtowork on 2010-11-03 20:55 ]
No charm - check
No spookiness - check
No humor (Sorry the Dawn thing just didn't tickle me) - check
No sex appeal - check
No character developement (I just don't see magical transformation as character development) - check
I ask: what strange evil came over season eight? Did it start in Season seven? Why do I still give a hang? Still somewhere it still hurts that it had to end this way. It tastes kinda chalky. I have this deep yearning for Spike and Drusilla to walk in and say,"So what do you do for fun in this universe"?
Also agree with goingtowork. A lot.
Angel himself says that the last guy who listened to a talking dog was the Son of Sam. He knows better than to listen but he listens anyway. He's Eve (explicit analogy drawn in #34). He got seduced because the snake knew how to seduce him. Eve wanted to blame the snake, but that's pretty lame. I say it's likewise lame to let Angel off. But I fearlessly forecast that he'll have a pretty good tribe of fans also whining about how he was duped and it wasn't his fault and poor Angel he's always being forced by circumstances beyond his control to murder, mind rape, sell out, or destroy the world. What's a poor hero to do? The big questions is how many issues of brooding does he have to log before he's up and running as the big champion again.
Now, Maggie, certainly you can't be hanging your argumentative hat on one of Angel's jokes. There are some pretty damn obvious differences between the Son of Sam and this situation, like the fact that magic is real in the Buffyverse and hence a talking dog isn't necessarily a symptom of insanity. Or that Angel had witnessed the chaos created by Buffy's slayer revolution firsthand in S5 and so could see why people would try to go after her. Or that the Son of Sam didn't have the closest thing to a real life (ahem) angel, Whistler, telling him that he was right. Given what he could have possibly been expected to know, this was the right call.

Also, I don't think the snake case is parallel (it's closer to the financial investment case), but even still I'm not sure Eve did the wrong thing there. God's a big bully not letting people know essential truths about the world - why shouldn't she eat the apple? Why trust God if he's clearly keeping secrets? Anyway, to persuade me, you'd have to come up with a better, more parallel case.

Much as I want to, I'm not going to respond in kind to the ad hominem bits about what I think motivates the fans inclined to bash Angel. I'd like to think we're above that here.
Maggie was not bashing Angel.
Maggie was aiming at his fans, true. Which makes it better how?
Goingtowork...

Then I won't comment on all the thinly veiled insults directed at the fans of Angel who don't see him as evil incarnate. Although it does get tiresome.

Clarification...I was NOT saying that Buffy should have died, in fact, that would be horrible beyond reason but it seems the story is trying to tell us that Buffy is in the wrong here and should not have performed the spell, thus shifting the balance worse than it was in season 7. I don't have an answer for saving Buffy if that turns out to be the case but I sure hope Joss does. :(
Goingtowork -

love it or hate it, but Angel exists in the zone of special moral standards. No matter what he does, writers always find excuses for him. He always does it for the greater good. And when he does something especially outrageous, then it's not him who does it - it's "the other". Angelus. Twilight. So, while everybody else will have real consequences post season 8, Angel will get redeemed by sexy brooding, most likely shirtless.
I have my copy now.Buffyfest did a good summery.The only thing I'll add is that I'm more convinced now that Giles is a dead man.Buffy's last scene with him in the issue had a goodbye feel to it from Giles.IMO

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2010-11-03 22:10 ]
I don't think I was talking about what motivates Angel fans. I was saying that they were going to do exactly what they're doing: say that none of the bad things he does are his fault, and that he's got extenuating circumstances. In this case, the specific claim is that he was 'duped' and it's not his fault for being duped. And my reply is he was seduced. And the seducee always bears some responsibility for that. For the person making the justification it seems, well, justified. For the person saying that it's insufficient, the justification sounds self-serving and like an abdication of responsbility. So it goes.

If it makes you feel better, Buffy did the same thing last issue. "It wasn't our fault! We were set up!" That's exactly the same as Eve saying "The snake made me do it!". Human nature as old as the hills. Some times the excuses are even good ones. In the case of Angel, his fans obviously think so. Others of us are left wondering just how it is that a character can do as many truly horrific things as Angel does and has always done and have so many folks lining up to explain it all away. In other words, there are disagreements about the story. Shocking, I know.

ETA: Whether or not Eve did the right thing is irrelevant to my point. She thought she did something that she needed to excuse - and she did so by blaming the snake. If she really thought it was a good idea, she'd have owned it herself and argued about why she was right instead of blaming the snake for misleading her. So your point about agreeing with the snake is beside the point.

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-11-03 22:12 ]

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-11-03 22:15 ]
I enjoyed the return of father-figure Giles. That was nice. I sure hope it's not goodbye.

Now, here's something I found interesting: Spike starts speaking in "Twilight font" just before Angel's appearance at the end. What's that about? I took another look at the final four panels. Are these what they appear to be? In the first of these, Spike, still in Twilight font, shouts: "Angelus!" In the second, Angel waps Spike to the ground. Then comes a close-up reaction shot from Buffy saying, "No." Final panel: What would appear to be Angel looking at Buffy and saying, "Twilight." But is he really looking at Buffy? Could he be looking at Spike and calling him Twilight? (But then, why would the Griffin say that Angel is Twilight?)

[ edited by 1starbuckstown on 2010-11-03 22:13 ]
Spike wasn't speaking in Twilight font, he was speaking in growly vampface font.
dorotea-Maggie wasn't talking about the fans. She was saying something about the writers.

eta-I see she's already clarified that. Never mind.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-11-03 22:27 ]
Taaroko, I think you're right. Not sure why vampface requires its own font. On the show, I don't recall vampires' voices changing when in vampface mode (they growled sometimes, but their speaking voices were the same).
Yes, I meant that the font was used to emphasize that he was speaking in a growl, which would be difficult to convey through images alone. Hence "growly vampface font".
The vampface font ( I believe) is somewhat of SA's personal beloved thingies ( I have my thing - you have your thing - this kind of things). He mentioned it a few times in Q/A's or interviews when talking about Twilight-font. Apparently DH sticks to its vampire-font tradition. I would have preferred they stuck to their promises about S8 plot instead...

..love it or hate it, but Angel exists in the zone of special moral standards. No matter what he does, writers always find excuses for him.


Angel's the ONLY one that fans do that for? The writers? Cause I can think of others....like Spike. Killed a bunch of people in season 7 but hey, he was possessed by The First (who he was not strong enough to fight off like Angel was in season 3) so it wasn't his fault. Or Willow who tried to end the world but it was done in grief and no punishment for her.

Angel lost his soul in season 2 through NO fault of his own and yet it's Angel who gets sent to hell for 100 years. Holtz is killed in season 3 of Angel, Connor is duped into believing Angel did it so Angel spends months of torture at the bottom of the ocean.

Angel pays. Angel ALWAYS pays - both when it is his fault and more depressingly, when it's NOT. He's just like Buffy in that regard. Other characters do bad things but get away with it (see Spike in season 3, 4, 5, 6) (or get a soul so they can't be held responsible anymore), or go away to England to learn from an amazing bunch of wiccans, but that is not what happens to Angel and I doubt it's what will happen to Angel this time either.


I don't think I was talking about what motivates Angel fans.


You might understand people's confusion when you phrase is as a snarky "Angel's tribe of fans will be WHINING", etc, etc. Just saying.
To be fair, the 'whining' is still not about your motivations. But point taken that it was an edgy word to use to describe what you all are doing. My bad.
As the comics get towards the end of season 8, I have really enjoyed trying to guess what is/will happen, because it's a fun puzzle, and everyone has such good insights. But the point of Buffy, to me, has never been the Big Bad plots and such- it's been the characters and character development, and I think most people agree that that's what makes the show (and JW as a writer) special. So while I think this whole Twilight business is ridiculous, I don't necessarily mind that. Lots of Buffy plots/episodes have been pretty silly IMO (and that goes triple for AtS) but totally redeemed by their resonance emotionally and impact for the characters we love.

So this issue is a bummer for me. I mean, I'm interested in what's going to happen, but almost the whole issue was just exposition-y plot stuff (with the possible exception of Giles and Buffy's conversation, but that was so veiled and mysterious that any resonance it had will only be clear later, I think) and it didn't do much for me. It just made me want to get on with it and see next month's without feeling like I got much of anything this month. Meh. :(

I don't think Giles will die- I think he's off to do something (???) that will save the day at the crucial moment. Personally.

I think that Xander will break the seed, or at least try.

Question- people are debating whether the seed will get broken or not. Does that mean that people consider the glimpse of the future in, um, the one where we saw the seed broken (greatest betrayal, etc) a possible as opposed to actual future? I thought it was a known known! Willow says "that was just a possible future" about TOYL but no one ever said the betrayal stuff was maybe not real that I can remember. And until now, no one here has been talking about it that way...

Boy I just keep talking, don't I? Sorry.

Emmie, I like your analysis. Thanks.
Once again I ask, repeating the insulting word into another poster's face helps to maintain the peace on the board how, Maggie?
lmblack21, you are awesome.
Angel lost his soul in season 2 through NO fault of his own and yet it's Angel who gets sent to hell for 100 years. Holtz is killed in season 3 of Angel, Connor is duped into believing Angel did it so Angel spends months of torture at the bottom of the ocean.

YES. That's exactly what I mean. Writers always take precautions to separate Angel from his evil doppelgangers. Angelus and Twilight are the bad guys. Angel always is the good guy.
You know if people have problems with each other, they should kindly leaving the moderating to the moderators instead of perpetuating the problem. Because when I see posters calling out each other I tend to get very annoyed.

And fyi talking criticially of fans of characters is not something I look favourably upon here. It doesn't tend to end well.
aphasia ,

I am not sure why the debate is even going for whether the Seed will be broken or not - I have not noticed it. It is pretty much a given to me that it 'will' get broken. Same as it is pretty much a given to me that after the flash-forwards at the end of issue 34 the Fray future is inevitable and ( as it was confirmed a few times in the interviews) we are slowly edging towards it. Dark Willow instrumented it after all... and it is going to happen - but not in S8. In S8 they break the Seed - and in S9 the effort (IMHO) of the guilty party would be to repair the damage somehow.
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[ edited by Simon on 2010-11-03 23:13 ]
YES. That's exactly what I mean. Writers always take precautions to separate Angel from his evil doppelgangers. Angelus and Twilight are the bad guys. Angel always is the good guy.

It's not the writers, though, it's the characters who separate him (here it's Buffy who calls him Twilight). I don't think the story demands that any reader see Angel as separate from his evil doppelgangers. Rather, we have characters in the story lying to themselves about it and the story also allows us to lie to ourselves.

Offering an illusion with a seedy underbelly isn't about playing it safe, but about presenting the character of Angel as shone through a lens. The story challenges you to see past the illusion.

I think that's commendable. The story is asking you to think. It's not patronizing the reader by spelling it all out. It's a complex ambiguity that demands critical thinking.
lmblack21, you are awesome.


Hee! Thanks. I just take exception to the idea that all tribes-people (*snerk*) in the fanclub of Angel think and act alike. Or that Angel gets off easy when he never does.

YES. That's exactly what I mean. Writers always take precautions to separate Angel from his evil doppelgangers. Angelus and Twilight are the bad guys. Angel always is the good guy.


To whom though? Angel doesn't think so. TPTB don't think so. The Scooby gang doesn't think so. (Arguably, the only ones who do see it are Buffy and the Fang Gang and even that's only "sometimes".) And Angel - the good guy - is still always the one who suffers, so I can't see it as the writers thinking it's so either. Because again, it's Angel who suffers in a hell dimension, Angel who loses his son, Angel who gets dropped to the bottom of the ocean.....

While others who actually DO bad things and don't have the dichotomy of Angel/Angelus get NO punishment, which, to me, is WORSE. And my point was mainly that it's not just Angel that does bad things and has a convenient excuse for it, which is why I pointed out Spike killing people in season 7 while under the influence of The First. I find that particularly interesting in light of the discussion by some that it was through Angel's weaknesses that he went down a path that led to him being possessed by Twilight and not being strong enough to fight off the influence. Perhaps Angel is not the only character who has weak moments like that. Spike does too. Cordy does - ala Jasmine. Xander has done bad things while possessed - hyena Xander. Having a convenient excuse for bad behavior is not new or uniquely attributed to Angel. That is my main point. And even when Angel has that convenient excuse, he still always pays which DOES tend to be unique to him. Fair or not.
This is such a bad book.
I thought you had given it up?
Dana, any chance you could be more specific or more constructive in your criticism? I'd like to hear your perspective, but I'll be honest, I dismiss the negative noise when it mostly amounts to "sucks sucks dear god this sucks". :p

I've certainly put in my hours in critiquing the story and pointing out problems, so I'm open to hearing the con point of view. If you're willing, I'd like to actually understand how you reached your "such a bad book" conclusion based on reading this issue (or reading the comments here).
It's a complex ambiguity that demands critical thinking.

Oooooh, good point! That's what made me love Ats so much.
Not to go all political on us here, but I'm reminded of the mudslinging ads making the rounds in the past weeks leading up to the elections yesterday. When you're reading a story, you aren't meant to take everything at face value or gospel truth. Is the source reliable? Are the characters perhaps misguided in their reading of another character? Is the story playing unreliable narrator (i.e. being told through a character's pov)?

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-11-03 23:42 ]
This is such a great story.
Luc, Spike's S7 arc and Cordelia's S4 arc were actually excellent cautionary tales as to why a whole season shouldn't hinge on a possession storyline. I wish Joss and co. could learn from past mistakes. :\
Well, considering Dollhouse, I think possession tales are on Whedon's mind as of late.
Having a convenient excuse for bad behavior is not new or uniquely attributed to Angel. That is my main point. And even when Angel has that convenient excuse, he still always pays which DOES tend to be unique to him. Fair or not.


Yes, having a convenient excuse for bad behavior is not new or uniquely attributed to Angel.

But having evil doppelgangers to blame for the character's evil acts is uniquely Angel's trait. And writers have established it from the very beginning of his journey. Angelus killed Jenny and tried to end the world - Angel paid by being sexy and shirtless in chains for about 10 minutes of screentime.

That is my main point.

I don't think the story demands that any reader see Angel as separate from his evil doppelgangers. Rather, we have characters in the story lying to themselves about it and the story also allows us to lie to ourselves.


Season 3 definitely demanded us to believe that Angel and Angelus were separate entities.

I really, really hope that I'm wrong about season 8, but it looks like Angel gets an absolution from his actions in #39 in advance.

But we'll see.

[ edited by Moscow Watcher on 2010-11-03 23:59 ]
"Angelus killed Jenny and tried to end the world - Angel paid by being sexy and shirtless in chains for about 10 minutes of screentime."

And, you know, being stabbed by the person he loved more than anything. Which sent him to hell. For 100 years.

Sexy and shirtless indeed.
Luc, Spike's S7 arc and Cordelia's S4 arc were actually excellent cautionary tales as to why a whole season shouldn't hinge on a possession storyline. I wish Joss and co. could learn from past mistakes. :\


Oh Lord, do I agree with you here. Nice to see you. :-)


And, you know, being stabbed by the person he loved more than anything. Which sent him to hell. For 100 years.

Sexy and shirtless indeed.


Word.

Although I am laughing at the idea that he only felt guilty or was punished for a mere 10 minutes. I mean, 100 years is certainly more than 10 minutes....

Now if we were talking about other characters and 10 minutes of guilt, I'd agree, but not Angel.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-11-03 23:56 ]
If people want to talk about Buffy & Angel in general, there are other places to do so. This is actually a Buffy #38 discussion thread and it would be nice to see posters talk about it. Because the last thing I want is posters to feel like they can't chat about it because we're sidetracked into general discussion.
And, you know, being stabbed by the person he loved more than anything. Which sent him to hell. For 100 years.


Except that 100 years in hell were pretty much cheapened by him staying absolutely the same broody hero and eye candy.

But that's beyond the point. The point is that the audience is supposed to think that Angel is not guilty of Angelus crimes. I think the same applies to Twilight crimes. Angel always has a doppelganger to blame.
Sorry, Simon, it's a thing. ;)

I do think this issue has further upped the possibility of Xander being the ACTUAL betrayer while Angel is the obvious "flashy" distraction pseudo betrayer. Because he still fits as the "most unexpected" in light of all that has come before.

I'm also more convinced that Giles is the one likely to die this time around.

Angel being possessed by Twilight has also made me think more and more that he is the prince that needs to be saved as those allusions have been all over the place as well. My hope is that he'll be able to fight off the thrall of Twilight on his own but that's a small hope in light of the way Joss tends to do things.
Luc: Nice to see you, too! *hugs* I'm kinda grateful that Joss keeps giving us things to unite over (from Angel/Buffy/Spike threesomes to ill-conceived plotlines). ;)

As to Buffy #38: I've enjoyed reading interpretations that sift through the chaotic story for parallels and metaphors and subtext (like Maggie's and Emmie's). I'm worried, however, that the next issue will place them firmly in the realm of "fanwanking", and we'll be left with your run-of-the-mill possession story...

*lurklurklurks*

[ edited by Enisy on 2010-11-04 00:27 ]
Luc: Nice to see you, too! *hugs* I'm kinda grateful that Joss keeps giving us things to unite over (from Angel/Buffy/Spike threesomes to ill-conceived plotlines). ;)


*hugs back*

Yeah, Whedon fandom refugees. ;-)

I'm worried, however, that the next issue will place them firmly in the realm of "fanwanking", and we'll be left with your run-of-the-mill possession story...


I tend to believe it's pretty much "what you see is what you get". Fans always have larger than life ideas about the themes/metaphors/meanings of what's going on. I remember a thousand different theories about storylines and arcs from season 6 and 7 and none of them were right. Sure, if you look at it *this way*, maybe you can see it but really.....

Twilight has just replaced "Angelus" in terms of what Angel will feel guilty about. There are allusions to Becoming but season 2 is not the only season I see a redux of themes coming back into play with the comics. Joss is tossing ideas from season 1 (the Master), season 6 (Dark Willow) and season 7 (creating the slayer army, Buffy/Satsu for Buffy/Spike), EVERY season (Buffy's isolation), etc, etc, etc and mixing them into a 4 year arc and I still don't know what the point is.

And there are only 2 issues left.
Yep. I think it's exactly as you say.

[ edited by Enisy on 2010-11-04 00:38 ]
"what you see is what you get"

Oh hey, philosophy for life there. Since all experience is filtered through individual experience, so what we get is derived from what we 'see'/live/experience.

. Fans always have larger than life ideas about the themes/metaphors/meanings of what's going on. I remember a thousand different theories about storylines and arcs from season 6 and 7 and none of them were right.

Oh come now, you're talking like you think there's actually a "right" answer (and privileging your judgment at the same time). That kinda disproves your point because there is no "right" answer in literature.

There's authorial intent and there's reader's response and the truth lies where you will it. There is no right, there's only reason.

I think it's fair to point out that analysis of resonance in the text is not the same thing as theories of future events. There certainly were a lot of theories for Season 6 and 7 that were poor predictions. But analysis of metaphor/themes/symbolism for a story that we've read 95% of... the text has meaning in and of itself and that meaning is informed by the reader's perspective.

There is no universal truth nor is there a right answer to a story. We interact with stories because it's a conversation, not a lecture.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-11-04 00:48 ]
I think it's kind of dismissive to say "what you see is what you get" though. I mean, wasn't the original conception of the series about the metaphor of 'high school is hell'? I think metaphorical readings of the text are entirely appropriate.

I don't think the message is going to end up being that creating the Slayer army was bad.... I just think that not exploring what such an action would mean to the world (both its pros and cons) would be kind of a cop-out.

Xander is being set up as the betrayer most definitely, but what I don't like about that is that it seems like character regression for him. It just reminds me of his whole "Willow said to kick his ass" thing, and I had thought he had outgrown that impulsive protectory, kind of misogynistic role. On top of that, Dawn being hurt as the result of the betrayal kind of icks me out because Dawn is a fully realized character too! Seems like a decision they could make together or something? I don't like the vibe of 'Xander's got to protect the girl!' that I'm getting from it.

Oh, Emmie talked about the metaphor stuff way more eloquently than I.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-11-04 00:51 ]
I get where you're coming from, Emmie, but the number of people who "see" the subtext, the parallels and the allegories has really thinned out as of late, so I can only assume the execution is getting worse.

Here's hoping that the last two issues will surprise me.
This is a fine story, but I could not see our actors telling it in the ealry and mid 2000s. The characters and story just don't seem right for that verse.

My big predicition: Xander dies. Why? 1.) He found love with Dawn, which is a bit like pointing a gun at your head in Whedonverse. 2.) We know Willow goes bad, and I can't imagine anything more badness inspiring than having her be responsible (directly or indirectly) for Xander's death. 3.) He seems set up to decide the fate of the seed - which means it is the least likely thing for him to succeed in doing in a Joss story.

My general predicition: Buffy and Twilight-Angel fight. Xander trys to destroy the seed. Tara and Anya make an appearance (they both died in Sunnydale - so why not?). Willow kills Xander (directly or indirectly) to protect the seed.
Dark Willow. Willow, Angel, Buffy - three way (fight, you perves). Buffy destroys the seed and Willow is swallowed by something to reappear next season as the big bad. Angel recovers, but blames self for something and wanders off.

[ edited by jgsugden on 2010-11-04 00:59 ]
It doesn't seem that way to me. The people who were writing about subtext, parallels and allegories in Season 8 are still doing it (myself, maggie, stormwreath, aycheb, even atp_onm sometimes). The people who aren't, still aren't. A lot of commentators have dropped out, but (as I understand it) largely because they don't like the execution of the plot and character development, not the literary structure.

I think exhaustion after a four year marathon has finally set in. I went to my comic book store but I was kinda not as jazzed 'cause I'm just ready for resolution. I was happy to discover there was a lot to puzzle over in the story, but honestly, I wasn't looking for it. I wasn't straining to find it; it's just how my mind works--I see in patterns, parallels and symbolism.
I don't see Xander's potential betrayal as a callback to Season 2. I'd like to think he's grown into a reasonable human being who would at least listen to the General's argument (assuming the General actually has one). Also, Dawn's injury and his attachment to her puts him in a place to think of someone other than himself. I would also posit that while Xander was fairly petty when it came to Buffy's love-life in Season 2 he was also concerned for Willow's well-being.
I get where you're coming from, Emmie, but the number of people who "see" the subtext, the parallels and the allegories has really thinned out as of late, so I can only assume the execution is getting worse.


Well for me, it's not even seeing subtext, it's how does one interpret it? Because I agree that there is not just one way to look at something but I'll be damned if plenty of people haven't been dismissed (see Maggie's post above about whining Angel fans who all see it the same way) for seeing it the way THEY do and not the way others do.

Some people see extraordinary depth to it all, plenty of people do NOT. Some see a subversion of B/A some see a subversion of B/S or B/X.

You can infer all kinds of things from the text based on our own individual biases and personal experiences, and supported by even the faintest whiff of subtext but that doesn't make the text deep, imo. It only makes the thoughts that fans put into it deep.
I'm a big believer in different interpretations (heck, I studied theater at the university), but some readings are more corroborated by the canon than others. The Buffy/Faith sexual subtext is more salient than -- for example -- Warren's gun as a metaphor for a bouquet.

How this applies to Season 8: when the plot or character development is all over the place and the authorial intent seems simplistic and straightforward, then the more intricate interpretations have less ground to stand on, at least in my eyes. I'm not certain if that is what we can expect from Season 8 in the future, but that's what I meant when I said that certain interpretations may be cinched as "fanwanking" once the next issue comes out.

ETA: Luc probably put it better than me, especially with the last couple of sentences.

[ edited by Enisy on 2010-11-04 01:26 ]
How this applies to Season 8: when the plot or character development is all over the place and the authorial intent seems simplistic and straightforward, then the more intricate interpretations have less ground to stand on, at least in my eyes. I'm not certain if that is what we can expect from Season 8 in the future, but that's what I meant when I said that certain interpretations may be cinched as "fanwanking" once the next issue comes out.


Yes. This. Very well put. It's hard to ignore the canon text in favor of subtext when all subtext is subjective.

Edited to add,it's like old times with you! ;-)

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-11-04 01:27 ]
I’m with everybody who says the possession is still Angel’s fault. The issue opens with the line “You really thought you were going to get off that easy?” with a shot of Angel lying on his back. What do people think the writers meant by that? This is the consequence of siding with Twilight.

Angel protests that “There will be no Twilight” and the Griffin responds that “There ALREADY IS. It’s you.” Pay close attention to how it phrases that line. It’s not saying Angel will be Twilight once it possesses him, it’s saying that Angel became that already. That’s meant to be the dramatic punch of the line.

The only reason Angel gets possessed by Twilight is because he agreed to do its bidding. He tried to abandon this all at the last minute but it caught up with him. It doesn’t try and possess Buffy because she flat out rejected it and returned to her friends. Whereas, Angel put on a mask and “posed” as a super villain for over a year after making a pact with the devil. Remember what Angel said to Lilah back in AtS S3? “Thing about a game face, Lilah, you wear it long enough, it stops being something you can put on and take off.” At what point did Angel stop pretending to be a villain and actually became one? Sure, he had good intentions and never planned to end the world, but he sacrificed people, “tortured” Buffy, plotted Gigi’s death etc. He actually DID those things. That’s why the Griffin chooses to possess him and that’s why he’s hardly getting away with any of what he’s done.

I haven't read the rest of the issue yet but from the summaries I have read it sounds like Xander will be the big shocking betrayal in 8.39. IMO, the Buffy/Angel/Willow conflict will be the big flashy distraction before Xander slips in at the last minute and does something huge. They were all given reasons to side against Buffy in this issue but he’s the only character who wasn’t possessed/placed under a thrall so I think he’s going to be the big heart wrenching moment next issue.

I don't know how Giles fits into all of this but it does look very bad for him. For a while now I've been saying that Xander will die but I'm torn. Maybe they both die?

And I disagree that character development has been “all over the place” in S8. I focus more on Buffy than any other character and I do a lot of re-reads and I think her arc has been written quite well this season.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-11-04 01:35 ]
I feel like we're talking about the same thing, but approaching it from different angles. I mean, yes, I've read lots of meta about Season 8 that I dismiss as unsupported by the text. That's always going to be the case.

I agree with what you said, Enisy. Which leaves me wondering what were we disagreeing about then?

"What you see is what you get" is true enough except that what one sees can be very, very different from what another person sees, but both views can be equally well supported by the text. What's Maggie's favorite word for a dense text with multiple legitimate interpretations? Think, Brain. Think.
I don't know that we were necessarily disagreeing about anything, except maybe indirectly, vis a vis my agreement with Luc? Anyway, I just wanted to make my views a bit clearer. XD

[ edited by Enisy on 2010-11-04 01:50 ]
Bingo, William!

Sometimes the exchange of ideas feels like a neverending debate of opposing ideas that it's almost disconcerting to be in agreement. XD
I got the word polysemic from the great candleanfeather and have dedicated my life to spreading it around!

Nice post, vamps. I wonder if Jeanty's framing of it this morning as poor Angel being a puppet again isn't what set people to worrying that this is what's going to happen. But you're right, the text makes that unlikely.

It seems to me that if people find interesting things in the comics and want to write about it, they should be allowed to do so. Folks who find that writing uninteresting should just skip it. Not sure why we need to fuss about the evils of fanwanking.

Luc, any chance we could drop the vendetta this century? I said I was sorry. I'll say it again. I am sorry. Not sure what more a girl can do.
Angel protests that “There will be no Twilight” and the Griffin responds that “There ALREADY IS. It’s you.” Pay close attention to how it phrases that line. It’s not saying Angel will be Twilight once it possesses him, it’s saying that Angel became that already. That’s meant to be the dramatic punch of the line.


Playing the devil's advocate here - but the scene can be interpreted as Kitty Twilight lying to shake Angel's morals.

Ambiguity, thy name is Joss.
I don't see why it'd bother, though? If it's going to possess him anyway then it really doesn't need to get Angel to buy into what it's saying anymore. The damage has already been done. It seems more like the Kitty is just telling Angel how it is and is [literally] knocking some sense into him.

I'm not saying it's not possible to interpret it differently but I think the scene carries a lot more dramatic weight if the Griffin is delivering some home truths. So I tend to think that’s what Joss would have been going for when he wrote it. Basically, -- "There will be no Twilight? Dude, you ARE the Twilight!" DUN, DUN, DUN :)

Luc, any chance we could drop the vendetta this century? I said I was sorry. I'll say it again. I am sorry. Not sure what more a girl can do.


Wasn't holding a vendetta, merely pointing out something that was problematic to me and which wasn't coming solely from you. Also didn't see an apology before so if I missed it my bad. I shall consider it dropped.
Ehm, weighing in on all this I just want to say; I think Angel will kill Xander. You want something to really make him bad/guilty/betrayalguy? This is it. Xander goes to the seed during the huge fight,Angel accidently or otherwise kills him. I just think that if everyone is worried about a whitewash and no punishment and Buffy forgiving him then this is the best way to punish all he has done. Also, I'd love to see that happen if we're looking at a redux of season 2, it would be quite the turn around...
And Angel killing Xander is punishing Angel how? Methinks that would be punishing to, oh, let's say Xander (and Dawn, and Buffy, and Willow and every other character who cares about Xander).
Well that's the thing, Angel spent so much time caring about acceptance that if he killed the most sincere Scooby at this point it would pretty much ruin his character for all of them, tarnished beyond redemption. Punishing Angel is always a guilt thing, he always tries to make up for it, but doing something of that magnitude would essentially wreck any chance he had at becoming a hero after killing the least corrupt hero of them all. Killing Angel is like a gift for him. Always figured Xander would die and Willow doing it is too much of a stretch for me right now, even after all that has happened.
Personally I've been hesitant to say much on the last couple of issues because we are at crunch time now: we are being set up, and I expect Joss to knock us down in issue 40. That is to say, I expect everything we assume will happen won't happen. And I think that what does happen will tie together all kinds of details and threads that had begun over the last two years.

Or maybe I'll be disappointed. But I'm not going anticipate disappointment.

Ehm, weighing in on all this I just want to say; I think Angel will kill Xander. You want something to really make him bad/guilty/betrayalguy? This is it. Xander goes to the seed during the huge fight,Angel accidently or otherwise kills him. I just think that if everyone is worried about a whitewash and no punishment and Buffy forgiving him then this is the best way to punish all he has done. Also, I'd love to see that happen if we're looking at a redux of season 2, it would be quite the turn around...


I can see it, but (and I haven't gone for hyperbole once during this whole arc...at least I don't think I have) I really hope not because THAT would cause me to stop caring immediately. Whedon would effectively kill in one stroke two of the most interesting stories I enjoy. There are others that I enjoy as well, but poisoning the one and ending the other exceeds my story enjoyment tolerances by quite a bit.

Truthfully, if there's a need to kill people, I could deal with a little more pruning of the supernatural ranks. It's getting to the point that I have to think to remember all of them. I'd leave your normals alone.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-11-04 04:13 ]
Luc....wonderful way to showcase all the ways that Angel has never been the guy to get off the hook for anything. I knew the post was you before I ever saw your name, so kudos to pulling it all together. I just feel so bad for Angel and we don't even know what he will be forced to do. I honestly don't know why Joss makes him suffer so much. Angel isn't destiny's bitch he is cursed, something Joss like to remind us of ALL the time.

I am honestly not sure that I could continue with the verse if Joss kills Giles for good the way he killed Wesley. Probably not. :(
ok..help people, i have a few Q's!
so..the twilight prophecy was about the strongest slayer, (becasue of what she did in chosen) and a vampire (selected because of his and buffys love) creating a new dimension, like evolution, and by doing so the seed was supposed to be destroyed so twilight could be in complete power? and the powers they were given were part of the plan to get buffy and angel wherethey needed to be for it to happen? if giles knew a possibility of it, why didnt he at least say.. "hey dont have sex with angel or the world is doomed." ? just trying to piece it all together before the finale. and whats willows reasoning in whatever shes doing to the seed?
Cheryl, I am so with you on "please don't kill Giles!" That would probably send me over the edge that s6 and 7's absence of him brought me to.

Like azzers above you said in response to my potential punishing all sides ending, trimming the supernatural fat would be much more pleasant. So Giles should not be harmed, neither should Xander in that case, so who's left?

Dawn was saved just there, but does that mean we can afford to become comfortable with the situation? The General was more than happy to stitch her up, but why?! Use her to blackmail Xander into betrayal? Dawn shaped ticking time bomb? Would Dawn become the betrayer and die!?!?
and dont forget people!! Giles is headed to the Bronze...
Thanks for that reminder aedan4818, now I am gonna be edge of that cliff til next month.
Oh and in response to your ques, Giles didn't know much about the Twilight thing so he couldn't have assumed that B&A boning would cause such a crazy thing to happen. As far as I know anyway...
There is however another guy who actually *knew* all about the Twilight prophecy at least a few months before the boinking and only showed after the fact...
thanks BlueSkies and was i kinda on track with the other stuff? about why twilight chose them?
I think so, but I'm kinda in the same vague area as you, it's too foggy for me to make out any others, but I'm sure there are loads!
Dorotea, that's a great point! He was always the one who showed up too late to gloat about knowing what would happen without helping in the first place!
Anyone else notice how sock puppet Angel backhanded Spike out of the cave and into the sunlight?
Taaroko, yeah... that was almost... gratifying. Jeanty was musing about how much sunlight a vamp can sustain without actually bursting into flames in his Q/A's too.
There is however another guy who actually *knew* all about the Twilight prophecy at least a few months before the boinking and only showed after the fact...

A few months? Yeah, no. There's no textual evidence to support Spike dawdling. We only see him beginning to research the Twilight phenomena then it skips forward to him finding Buffy et al in #35. There's no telling when he actually got all the pieces to fit together and how long it then took him to track Buffy down.

But clearly Spike's the bad guy in this because wishing makes it so. ;-)
So skipping over the snark and back to the pondering, Angel did deal quite the hefty blow into sunlight, wonder how Spike will get out of that one. but also, someone upthread mentioned his green glow when Giles was leaving...is there more to him than what we suspect? Will the sun not effect him and all of a sudden he is mr. betrayal?
You put words into other people mouth all the time. Why dawdling with info equates with badness is beyond me. It was a delaying tactic true , but maybe there were reasons.
I kind of also assume that Spike was not in Buffy's dimension for a bit (considering the bug crew, and ship), so contact wouldn't have been exactly easy.
Well, if Spike's not actually the bad guy, at least we can hope he fries into a crisp between now and the next issue. It's not enough that he's irrelevant to the plot and that Buffy hearts Angel the most. We've got to grind that creep into dust and spit on his ashes too.
Er, Spike came out of that 'other' dimension at about the time of Harmony's peak of fame and clearly 'before' the peak events of the Retreat, because Andrew was making these hasty phone calls all through the Tibetan events. He had had a few months of research when he at least suspected 'that would be Angel then', yet he did not direct his ship to the Slayer location right away. That much was implied by Buffy herself.
I completely forgot that dorotea! Sorry, my bad.

Guess I still feel like Spike was just putting things together, now that I just reread the scene. Since all of the Twilight stuff has been uber mysterious, I'm just postulating that he may not have realized that the Buffster couldn't resist the boinky Twilight sex powers. But really, it's all kind of vague. Spike's motivations, I mean.

[ edited by Cazador on 2010-11-04 05:29 ]
Hey, leave shipping at the door please, especially when trying to push it into other people's posts. spike is to me what Dawn and Kennedy were to others; annoying and unnecessary. That is all.(I actually liked them)

Dorotea, I was of the same mind that he had an incling for a long time and didn't bother to share his info. I mean at the slightest sign of an earthquake Buffy was running to assmeble the gang, having an idea what was going on and leaving it there then arriving after everything went to hell is just odd.
I believe Spike's 'green glow' is a comic book stylized thingie of the point of contact to show that he's hitting Giles. Like *bam* *POW* etc. I really don't think it signifies anything.
I don't know what in the world is up with Spike if anything. The scene where he blows off Xanders questions was a little suspect and it is a little bit suspect that it took him so long to appear or that he can barely manage to stop smoking long enough to get into a conversation with anyone...IDK...and yeah, he appears to have something coming off his hand while he shoves Giles away. Even with all that, it seems pretty unlikely that he is all out evil...but then adding in Georges answer about Spike being as good as he can be? Again, I just don't know what to think.
Oh okay, thanks aphasia! Guess it's not quite as red eyed as the others. So how much time can he spend in the sun? Was it direct sunlight? We saw in Angel that he could walk a little in the morning light(I beleive that was actually a techical issue of the filming process) but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Timers at the ready!

And you know it kinda would suck if there was another surprise new super powered character introduced, or another switch in characterisation at all. So let's just assume that he's in character...at least until next month!
Spike was shown *starting* his research at the time of #21. By the beginning of Retreat, Buffy & co. were cloaking themselves with magic and could not be found. If you might recall, they were hiding and trying to not be found. So what sort of work do we have to do in order to make it seem like something 'weird' is up with Spike? (1) Assume that he figured out everything pretty much the moment he started his research; (2) Assume he busts through the magic cloak and figures out (through ESP) how to call Andrew; (3) Waits to do anything because he secretly wants Buffy and Angel to get uand destroy the world, (4) an agenda which he must have hatched up upon arrival in this dimension, since it's pretty clear he was caught offguard by being pulled into it.

Yeah, I can see why you all see something suspicious there. It's obvious now that I think about it. And the part where he lets himself get knocked around by the master and Angel, and nearly gets himself burned up by Willow and Angel -- masterful planning to get everyone's guard down.

I can't wait for the big unmasking to happen along with all the explanation of his motives in the next to last issue of the entire season. I look forward to marvelling at Joss's ability to spend an entire season pretending that the true big bad had no relevance to the story or to any of the major characters in the story so he could spring this upon us at the last minute.
I wouldn't worry about Spike going crispy. He's got plenty of time to regain consciousness and roll over, and missing his chance for it would be a pretty crappy way to kill or permanently scar a character.

Although I wish I knew if they were going to do anything with him other than exposition. Is all the fighting from this point on just going to be Buffy vs. Angel, Slayers vs. Demon Horde? Maybe Spike can kill Warren and/or Amy. I think we'd all feel pretty good about that.

Edit: I really wouldn't worry about Spike being the real Big Bad. Is anyone actually saying that?

[ edited by Kairos on 2010-11-04 06:10 ]
The thing I noticed about Spike this month? How many times his character was connected to fire. He tells Willow that he's allergic to being set on fire (while being set on fire), explains to Buffy why he's staying in the shadows, and is smoking or lighting a cigarette in just about every panel in which he's not fighting a demon. And then gets thrown out of the cave and into the sunlight almost off-handedly.

Maybe Spike will die. And maybe what will actually really piss people off (as something apparently did with Geroges) is that we've already witnessed his death scene.

(And to clarify, I have absolutely no preference between Angel and Spike. I think both characters are interesting to read/watch.)

I also think Xander could die at the hands of Willow. But I don't think it would be something she does with intent. I think she'd get lost in the magic and accidentally throw a powerful spell his way. It seems very Joss (especially when one remembers Wesley's arc)... strip away as much as possible from a character, then give them something fantastic, and then give them devastating tragedy. He can't do it with Dawn, because it would be too many dead Xander girlfriends... but I could see it happening to Xander.

Edit: Kairos, just saw your post. Heheh, didn't mean to post something so opposite right after yours. :) But I think it would be an interesting way for Spike's death to happen and certainly a way to differentiate it from his death in Chosen. I just have a very vivid image in my mind of the first panel of #39 being a tight shot of dust on the ground outside the cave. And then Buffy kicking Angel's ass in very many ways.



[ edited by Knuckleball on 2010-11-04 06:15 ]

[ edited by Knuckleball on 2010-11-04 06:16 ]
Kairos, I agree. It would be nice for Spike's agenda to be a bit more interesting than run of the mill I am here because I was needed to run the ship and deliver exposition. Hmm, if he stays the course he is bound to end the season as much of a plot device as he entered it - only to depart in an unknown direction again. Snark aside.
They couldn't possibly burn him up AGAIN! That's just as repetative as Xander's girlfriends. But he did start the burning in season 3 so I guess it's just a continuation of the dangers of smoking! Joss doing his part the greater good.

Poor Willow(we had the poor Angel rant, it's her turn!), she cheats on her girlfriend, supposedly for the greater good, she lost her last girlfriend, killed a guy, almost ended the world, almost got killed cause by a snarl cause of her guilt, now shem MIGHT kill her bestfriend who was the one to prevent her sliding into a worse place?! damnit, she can't take anymore! Let's not even get into the bad she does in the future!
Yeah and how does she get to that future in the first place? When Whitsler shows Angel the earth in ruin during the riley one shot, which I assumed was to show us one of the times that they "lost," was that when and how Willow turned evil and ended up in the Fray time?
Willow is acting a little odd to say the least.

Yeah, you wouldn't think that they would burn Spike up again...

Maggie...not sure who you were referencing with your post about Spike? If it was me? I made it pretty clear that I don't know what to think about Spike and never did I imply that I think he is evil incarnate. Just a little suspicious acting and imo, he can get in line.
Cheryl, I am in total bewilderment with her too. I mean what could drive her back to that state?! As others have said, does she kill Xander? Well that would send out the other end. Does Kennedy get killed? If she cared that much wouldn't she NOT cheat on her?! I definitely think it has to be a Xander or Buffy thing, but not sure how that could work. Maybe the seed does it to her?
Cheryl, I could have sworn I just read a stream of posts by a bunch of folks talking about how suspicious Spike was, starting with Dorotea saying something about the guy who knew about the Twilight prophecy but didn't do anything about it.

It's just sort of weird to me, cause honestly, season 8 has been a pretty sharp slap in the face to Spike's fans. He's obviously just here for fan service. He doesn't matter to any of the characters but Buffy, and not much to her. Because of that lack of connection, he can't have any dramatic punch either as a villain or as someone who gets crisped. He wasn't even important enough to warrant a few meagre panels depicting Buffy's reaction to the news of his non-death. So put up with his exposition and rest assured that he'll be shipped off to his own title with whatever bugs survive for what will no doubt turn out to be a set of highly entertaining and completely irrelevant adventures on his own.
I do agree with the notion that burning Spike a second season finale in a row would be repetitive. Which is why I think the only way it could be done would be if it were completely shocking, sort of like Anya's death. (Or like the various deaths in "The Wish.") That said, were it to happen, I have a feeling Scott Allie would need to enter witness protection... :P

I'm also wondering about FDW's motivations and that's mostly what led me to the Xander death thing. He's her main connection to her humanity, I feel (I think that was quite strongly evidenced in "Grave"). And although I don't think his death (say, of old age) would turn her evil... I think if she killed him, it would represent the moment she becomes FDW. That's not say there aren't other possibilities for FDW, but I definitely think it's a strong one...

The thing I noticed about Spike this month? How many times his character was connected to fire.


I guess I just took that to be commentary on the fact that the last time he was in the Hellmouth he did in fact, burn up. I'd be "allergic" to fire at that point too. You'd almost think he'd stop smoking just cause smoke/fire would be so repellent to him at that point but I guess nicotine can be habit forming for vamps too?

I don't think Spike will be evil or die either but it does beg the question what was the point. I mean, you can't even really call it fan service except in the barest of terms - as in, hey, Spike's here, aren't you happy? But there's been nothing else, so unless they surprise us with a story for him, I am puzzled at his inclusion. And that's not to say he shouldn't be in the story. It's just that he really hasn't BEEN in the story - even now. It's bizarre and I'm sure that's why people are speculating on his actions - expecting there to be something *more*. I know it's easy for us to assume the worst reasons/expectations from other fans but I don't think anyone is saying Spike is evil.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-11-04 07:00 ]
Has anyone noticed how many betrayers are still in play?
* Giles is off on an unspecified mission,
* Willow is succumbing to the seed's influence,
* Xander is listening to the General,
* and Angel has just attacked Buffy and Spike.

Pretty much, the suspense over who dies and who is a betrayer is unabated, just like Joss wanted it to be at this point.
Maggie, everyone's favourite characters have been getting a raw deal! Faith was a puppet and then she was knocked out! She barely had a chance. Angel has been just about everyone's bitch this season. Xander was left in the cold from the Zeppo til season 6 and even then he was just the guy who fixes the window!
Don't even start on Giles's treatment for YEARS! yes, we're all getting slapped in the face, especially people who prefer Buffy, the main hero, who's just been battered in every physical, emotional, mental, moral way possible. So please understand that we all feel raw about character (under)development!

I can see Xander's death doing that to her, but if she did it through the magic it would turn her against the magic, so guess she'd behave irrationally and do something worse. But I just can't have her do anymore bad, or suffer anymore. She's been Xandered, Gilesed, Angeled, Buffyd, she's had the worst of all of them. Girl deserves a break!
If the slayer spell started this whole mess, then maybe Spike has some role to play in reversing it -- since after Willow and Buffy he played the most important role in that. My only other guess is that he's just there as a might have been. Buffy could have chosen the vampire who saved the world, but instead she's hopelessly in love with the one who accidentally keeps destroying it. But the latter is muted at best. So I think I'll go with fan service and agree with you that it'd have been kinder to his fans to not have bothered at all.

Blue Skies: In terms of season 8? Giles is the only one who comes as close to not mattering as Spike. Faith got her own arc (and a great one, I might add). Xander has been in the thick of things all the way through. Angel may be getting shredded, but there's no doubt that he's titanically important to Buffy's story. Willow is in the thick of things through the end and beyond. Dawn has had her own plot line and a new love interest. And Buffy is still the protagonist of the piece. They might have had bad things happen to them, etc. But at least they matter.

I think Joss will go for the big pain and have zombie Angel be the one to kill whoever it is that dies (Giles and/or Xander and/or Dawn). Willow's rage at Buffy follows directly because if Buffy didn't have a blind spot where Angel is concerned whatever bad thing that's going to happen wouldn't have happened. Buffy ends up completely bereft and alone.

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-11-04 07:06 ]
Blueskies...yes, Willow has been a little shady this season with all the slithering around with snake lady and it's odd that Kennedy isn't a thought in her mind, as in "Hey, where's my Ken doll? Is she o.k.?"

Maggie,
I think everyone and everything is suspect at the moment, the fact that we are questioning Spike and his motivations should be proof that he is in the story. Fan service can be a great thing, would you have preferred that he wasn't even there? That seems like a bigger slap in the face than anything to me.

To be fair, Spike never did matter to anyone but Buffy and that's o.k. considering we are watching her story unfold. It would have been really hard to swallow the Scooby gang falling in love with Spike when he spent all his time in the series, minus the very last season, as soulless and suspect.

Not having Spike so very important to this arc enables you to breathe easy that he won't be killed or do something totally horrible, even if out of need or lack of free will. Those of us who favor others; Scoobies, Buffy and Angel aren't feeling so lucky that way at the moment. So there is that.
jclemens,

Yeah, but it is counterproductive at this point. Overwhelming without actually maintaining the suspense pressure. And all the Q/A's and spoilers are no longer making an impact the vibe I am getting from the fandom is 'let it be over already'. Which is sad, considering how many questions have been left unanswered.

If the slayer spell started this whole mess, then maybe Spike has some role to play in reversing it -- since after Willow and Buffy he played the most important role in that.


Except indications are that they will continue to explore slayers who've been called which suggests not taking back or reversing the slayer spell. And I'm not trying to be snarky but I'm trying to figure out what role you think he played in the slayer spell? The only thing I can recall is giving her peace and a chance to sleep which enabled her to get the sythe. But I can't connect that to him being pivotal to undoing the spell...



My only other guess is that he's just there as a might have been. Buffy could have chosen the vampire who saved the world, but instead she's hopelessly in love with the one who accidentally keeps destroying it.


I know you are really hoping for this - and probably many are, just as there are many who would hate it but honestly? I just can't see Joss going there. I don't think he thinks either vamp ship is THAT important. Not to mention too many people involved have said that this is an eternal struggle with Buffy/Angel/Spike and unlikely to be resolved, like ever. Plus, is it really a "could have" if Buffy herself doesn't see it that way?

And that's not even taking into account that you can't *choose* who you fall in love with. Nor is "accidentally destroying the world" the only thing there is to Angel. That would be far too simplistic.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-11-04 07:25 ]
From the text so far, it is Buffy who started this rather than Angel. He has stepped in to try to fix it, if we can believe anything that the PTB say and at this point...another no idea.
Speaking of the Slayer spell... for a moment there I had high hopes that Meltzer's arc would actually jump-start the resolution of the whole 'Slayers and their place in the Universe' theme of the S8. Buffy was supposed to be the 'first Slayer who got out of the maze'. S8 was supposed to have epic repercussions and it was all supposed to be rooted in the Slayer spell. We are at the issue 3 into the final 5 issues arc and the only mention of the Slayer empowerment spell was made by Buffy in passing in her conversation with Giles - who avoided discussing the topic and switched it to the Twilight prophecy. What the ...? But we have Master resurrected and so far I cannot see why he was 'the only character who could fill certain needs of the plot'. So far Master is a funny plot device but this role could have been played by any uber vamp or even new villain. Spreading it too thin or I am being too picky of the plot again?
No, I agree, I don't think I'm entirely okay with the Master being back and Twilight being the reprecussion of the spell. I mean if Angel were still the big bad against the slayer army fine make it work, but this just got convoluted and lost the intention of dealing with a huge factor in changing the slayerverse! Maybe season 9 will help(hoping and wishing and praying, don't know the rest of the lyrics!)
I am being too picky of the plot again?


Heh. Is that even possible? ;-)
About Willow- which, BTW, yeah, I don't like what's she's up to one bit, I do not see that ending well- did Aleuwyn or however you spell it really tell her what she told Buffy or is Willow just making it up herself? Did she just get from snake lady the facts of what would happen if the seed was broken and make the leap to, here's a better way where I get to keep my power? Does it matter? I guess not really- but this is something I've had a hard time with in the comics- things just happen off screen, and we're supposed to catch up, which is fine, except every time I have to figure out if it really happened or if the characters are lying to each other...
How do you figure that out? LOL I need to check my answers.

I kinda like it that The Master is back.
I kinda like it that The Master is back.


Honestly for me this is just another thing I don't like. I can't see the need nor the purpose and Buffy's defeat of the Master was a brilliant and so very crucial character moment for her. To have that nullified is.....unappealing to say the least, for me.

But I have so many issues with the comics that I suppose this one is relatively minor in comparison.
The snide, snarky comments about one group of fans vs another and the snippy shippy axe-grinding stop now or this thread goes dark one way or the other and that would be a shame. This is not up for debate - message us privately if you feel the need to discuss the rules.
De-lurking brcause this is getting interesting. Going way back up thread, vampmogs said .....

Angel put on a mask and “posed” as a super villain for over a year after making a pact with the devil. Remember what Angel said to Lilah back in AtS S3? “Thing about a game face, Lilah, you wear it long enough, it stops being something you can put on and take off.” At what point did Angel stop pretending to be a villain and actually became one? Sure, he had good intentions and never planned to end the world, but he sacrificed people, “tortured” Buffy, plotted Gigi’s death etc. He actually DID those things. That’s why the Griffin chooses to possess him and that’s why he’s hardly getting away with any of what he’s done.


I loved that callback to what Angel said to Lilah on AtS, that really struck a cord. I'm not really into all the speculating and I think it remains to be seen whether or not Angel will "get away with what he's done". But knowing Joss, I doubt it.
I don't think anyone ever gets let off easy for their transgressions in any of Joss's srories, because not all suffering comes in the form of what can be seen on the surface.

...spike is to me what Dawn and Kennedy were to others; annoying and unnecessary.
BlueSkies | November 04, 05:29 CET


Interesting, because after the end of BtS season2, that's how I've felt about Angel (on BtS). I found him distinctly annoying throughout most of BtS season 3, and found Faith to be by far the more interesting character.
Although it became obvious at the very end how entwined their arcs were (Angel and Faith's) in terms of getting our first glimpse of just how far toward the dark side Buffy was capable of going, which has been an integral part of her character development off and on, ever since. So I can't exactly say "unnecessary". Although looking over the entire arc of the series, calling Spike "unnecessary" is IMO just as totally unjustifiable.
My point being that while "annoying' is subjective, "unnecessary" isn't something that can IMO be applied to either Angel or Spike, unless you want to tell a totally different story than the one that's been and is still being told, for all these years.

"If the slayer spell started this whole mess, then maybe Spike has some role to play in reversing it -- since after Willow and Buffy he played the most important role in that.

I'm trying to figure out what role you think he played in the slayer spell? The only thing I can recall is giving her peace and a chance to sleep which enabled her to get the sythe.


Um, noo, there's a lot more to it than just "giving her peace and a chance to sleep".

From End of Days:

Buffy (holding up scythe) to Spike: "Do you see this? This may actually help me fight my war. This might be the key to everything. And the reason I'm holding it is because of you. Because of the strength you gave me last night"

So even leaving off the rest of that exchange, which would probably be getting into forbidden territory, I see plenty of justification for the idea that Spike played a huge role in"the slayer spell" (as in recovery of scythe = spell done with scythe = everything changes).

One thing I agree with .... the whole nullifying of Buffy's defeat of the Master strikes a sour note with me. (so hopefully it wont be exactly nullified).

EF: typo

[ edited by Shey on 2010-11-04 12:55 ]

[ edited by Shey on 2010-11-04 12:57 ]
Oops!! I just posted a very long comment, some of which may run afoul of the warning posted by zeitgeist, as it touches in part on the snarkiness that I think inspired the warning.

I meant it as a serious comment touching on a number of aspects of the story and the discussion, so I hate to delete it (plus it took forever to type). :_)
So all apologies if I crossed any lines and I'll leave it for someone else to delete, of so.
So even leaving off the rest of that exchange, which would probably be getting into forbidden territory, I see plenty of justification for the idea that Spike played a huge role in"the slayer spell" (as in recovery of scythe = spell done with scythe = everything changes).


I'm not trying to diminish the strength and support he gave her that night. But to me, that's no more than Buffy telling Xander that he is the reason she made it this far. That he's her strength. In other words, yes, Spike helped because he gave her strength to get the sythe but I don't see that as *more* relevant than what Xander or Giles or other characters have done and without whom, Buffy would not be there to find the sythe, come up with the plan and enact said plan.

As far as the spell itself I really only see Buffy, Willow and the other slayers as being integral and crucial to the spell plan working. But everyone in Buffy's life played a role in getting her to that point.
Shey, just to mention, my reference to Spike was just stating why i didn't like Spike and it had nothing to do with Angel or shipping. I understand what he meant, but his role could have been filled by countless others as lmblack pointed out.

But I wanna see how they justify the master being brought back. You are so right in saying that it completely nullifies her previous fight and character growth. But they did make references referring back to season 1 and how she may have regressed as a character. It's often been brought up in these threads, so maybe she needs to deal with him again to remind herself of how far she's come?! Maybe...
But they did make references referring back to season 1 and how she may have regressed as a character. It's often been brought up in these threads, so maybe she needs to deal with him again to remind herself of how far she's come?! Maybe...


I've often wondered/hoped that the previous reference to Buffy being "stuck" in the past would pay off too but with only 2 issues left I am less certain. We'll see....
Shey, just to mention, my reference to Spike was just stating why i didn't like Spike and it had nothing to do with Angel or shipping. I understand what he meant, but his role could have been filled by countless others as lmblack pointed out.


It's probably a good idea at this time to point out that my comment had nothing to do with shipping, either.
My point, with which you obviously disagree, is that Spike is as important a character in Buffy's personal development and in the long term arc of BtS, as Angel or Willow or Xander, Giles and Faith.
Take any of those characters out of the BtS mix, and the transition to comics would have been working with a fundamentally different story and character, because they each in their own way, played a huge part in shaping who Buffy is today.
Very good points, Shey. Thank you.
Just finished reading #38 and truthfully I'm a bit underwhelmed. It feels (to me) like the story is stuck in a perpetual set-up mode. It wasn't (or it didn't feel) like this at all for the first 20 or so issues. I don't know. I look forward to sit down and re-read the whole thing from start to finish when it's all done.

I don't think we have witnessed the infamous betrayal yet, even though Angel attacking Buffy and Spike might retrospectively qualify (though if he's a complete puppet now, as opposed to the half-puppet he might have been before, it wouldn't really work for me). But I think it's still coming, (Xander being the number one suspect, again). The conversation between Buffy and Giles felt like a goodbye and he's probably up to something self-sacrificing this time.
You put words into other people mouth all the time.


I realise there's a certain level of personal animosity between some posters as a result of what goes on elsewhere. But, by and large, it's kept under control here. However remarks like that are inexcusable especially as I warned against them earlier.

So your posting privileges have been revoked for a period of time. If anyone wants to openly have a go at other posters or be covertly snarky against other people's ships/favourite characters, they'll be dealt with the same way.
Luc, As I said, Spike was the third most important player in the hellmouth in Chosen. But his role was key in a variety of ways. As Shey said, Buffy specifically says that she has the scythe because of him. That's not a generic 'you're my strength'. That connects Spike's special role in Buffy's life with her serendipitous discovery of the weapon that saved their bacon and was the instrument of the slayer spell.

Second, when Spike's amulet got triggered it shot a beam of light directly through the space where Willow had done the slayer spell. That visually connects the two events.

Third, the triggered amulet is then used to actually seal the hellmouth, with Spike going all dusty in the process. To the extent that the hellmouth being closed is part of what went wrong when Buffy did the spell, Spike is right at the heart of it.

Season 8 has alluded to the closing of the hellmouth and Spike's role therein. In particular, in #1, we have Voll looking at that crater and attributing it to what Buffy did. But we all know that the crater is because of what Spike did. In #37 we get both Spike and Buffy taking it for granted that Spike is the one who destroyed the hellmouth. The blurb to #37 specifically refers to the closing of the hellmouth.

Therefore it's possible that Spike's role in closing the hellmouth, which was part of the events surrounding the slayer spell will surface in #39 or #40 as part of the plot going forward. I'm not saying it *will* happen. It's not a forecast. It's just saying that there are bits and pieces where a move like that would have foundation in the text. And since the question is what role Spike could have at this point, it seemed relevant to observe that this was one possibility.
Dawn in her bra. O_o
Shay and Maggie: Great job explaining Spike's integral role in the series and in Chosen, but I think it diminishes people's worldview to give him that much credit even when it's due. Ooh, I rhymed!
Ah, nothing rouses me from my murking like some good old-fashioned shipping crap . . .

eilowyn, I note that Simon already deleted one of your comments, and your latest re "people's worldview" is perilously close to the type of covert snarkiness that he only just warned against. Consider this a direct shot across the bows. Thanks.
Are you guys going to link this on the side bar?
I'm not even sure what the "worldview" thing meant. Anyway, I think people are focusing on Xander being the betrayer because it was the only one where the dialogue overtly pointed at him going behind Buffy's back to betray her (IF he listens to the General), but the others are more likely.

1) Giles needed something to "kill a god", and specifically avoided Buffy's talk of the scythe spell and diverted it back to Twilight, and he has been admittedly mum about all of this prophecy stuff yet forgiven because he is Giles and "he had a lot of prophecies to sort through." Yet this is exactly the kind of thing he's held back before but been forced to tell -- that Buffy would die at the hands of the Master, that the council tested slayers by taking away their powers, etc. And what are Angel and Buffy now that they've created a universe but gods?

2) Willow survives into a future where she is the ONLY magical creature until the Lurkers re-emerge and Fray brings back the slayer line. There are no records of the slayer army and there was a "climactic battle where all magic was banished from Earth", illustrated by a very Buffy-looking hand reaching out as it is pulled into a portal. Willow is now one with the seed. Many seem to be assuming that Willow was evil because her hair and eyes were dark -- I always assumed it was the side effect of the amount of magic it took to keep her alive that long, now possibly the amount of magic she's about to absorb. Her banishing all magic from this world would certainly count as a betrayal.

3) Angel has become possessed by Twilight. I know he was supposedly using some sort of voice spell to hide his Angel voice before, but it was the Twilight font. That's probably just a plot hole, but what if it wasn't? He, like the Master, may have been possessed several times over the course of this season. This may already be the betrayal. The future flash from a few issues back showed Spike and Buffy fighting side by side against something in the sky, and I have always known that Angel was not done being the bad guy of this arc. (Or of any...if you read AtF, you've seen the ShanShu's true prediction, and that Angel would have a soul... what if this is it?)

4) Xander may listen to the general now that Dawn is hurt.

5) If Twilight can control Angel, then what keeps it from controlling Buffy? We think this is leading to S2 territory, but what if it's Buffy and Angel vs. the World? What if this forces Willow or someone else's hand?

6) Twilight's Last Gleaming, Dawn's Early Light. Dawn is a dimensional frakking key that is a ball of mystical light. There's a new dimension trying to destroy ours, and a ton of demons we need elsewhere.
Magic is going to be banished.

As far as closest betrayals, I think that covers it...

Also, did someone actually say there was going to be a death? I remember the betrayal part, but I don't recall a prediction of death in the ads.

Edited because I remembered the Dawn thing as I hit submit. lol.

[ edited by PuppetDoug on 2010-11-04 21:43 ]

[ edited by PuppetDoug on 2010-11-04 21:44 ]
An ok issue, but I'm glad we're getting to the end of this season. The whole Angel/Twilight thing that was so crucial, was handled really badly and it's been a struggle for the story to recover. Lots of exposition, but little in the way of sensible explanation. And the seed is just the ultimate McGuffin - the number of things it does is ridiculous.

Anyway, on the topic of the betrayer - well, isn't Willow betraying everyone right now? She knows what destroying the seed would do, but she's keeping it to herself and pretending that the priority is defending it. She's driven by her selfish desire to hang on to her power and is ignoring any other consequences. It looks to me that she sends everyone else out and chains up the Master, so she can perform some sort of ritual, perhaps to make herself the protector of the seed. Hopefully she's not possessed - we really don't need another one of those.

We'll see next issue, but I think she's lost the plot. I wish it had been done in a more sophisticated way, I mean it was basically - Willow finds out the truth about the seed and then straight away betrays everyone. It casts her in a very negative light. (Probably my favourite character, btw, so you don't need to look for the subtext in my comments. ;)

There could well be further betrayal, but if Xander does try to destroy the seed, then isn't he just acting on better info than the others? Getting rid of magic is a great outcome for humanity. I would hope Buffy would see that.

Spike being thrown into the sunlight will surely be addressed, but Buffy, Angel and Spike are safe. We seem to be heading towards a Xander vs Willow clash that results in a broken seed and a devastated Buffy. Pretty worrying, but I am very keen to read the next issue and it's been a while since I felt that.
I think we are heading for a Angel vs Willow scenario - he wants to remove the seed, she wants it to be left where it is and Buffy can't be anywhere near the seed because it is like 'slayer kryptonite'.

I think the variables come with the question of who is willing to destroy the seed (Xander or Dawn seems likely) and what it is exactly that Giles has has left the hellmouth to do that will apparently help Buffy.
As far as Willow and sophistication... (also my original fave character, by the by) it wouldn't be out of the question for her to fib to keep the magicks flowing for herself, a little magickal relapse and much as we like to think otherwise, people tend to fall back into their same habits over time. Certainly wouldn't be the first or second or third time she's lied with about it. Xander, now being "in lurve" as the kids say, might "do the wacky" as well with little provocation and either of those two betraying the Buffster would be a pretty brutal/bitter 'Et tu, Brute?' methinks.
I don't think it's so clear that breaking the seed would be better for humanity, NotaViking.

I know Aluwyn isn't the most trusty source, but she did say that the world will lose something it doesn't know it needs. Add that to the future of Fray, where the world is anything but peachy, and I don't think breaking the seed is the most obvious good choice.
Given the info we have at the moment, I think it's definitely the best option. No demons, no hellmouths, no apocalypses, etc. Fray's future is no utopia, but at least the world still exists. Thanks to magic, how many times in the last few years has the world very nearly been destroyed?

What Aluwyn says is interesting, but unless or until we get someone else backing her up, I'm assuming it's just her perspective or part of her attempt to manipulate Willow.
This was probably my favorite issue in a while. I thought the angel bits took up a bit too much page space, but I loved the rest. Spike's lines were probably the most spike-ish since he arrived (the line about angel coming by to steal all the glory was hilarious to me).

Definitely still trying to figure out who the betrayer is. Xander seems most likely to me right now, since Willow and Angel seem to obvious and now it seems like Giles is off to help Buffy. I could see it being Xander especially after the scene with the general.

I was kind of hoping Dawn was actually dead though. Season 8 has actually been the first time I've really been able to stand her, I always thought she was just too one-dimensionally whiny. However, I think her death would be a logical and interesting point in the story, especially with the whole xander relationship thing (does anyone else still think that's kind of creepy?).

Overall, very excited for the finale, I know a lot of people aren't big fans of season 8 but I'm enjoying it.
The Xander/Dawn relationship bothers me not a wit. They are only 5 or 6 years apart in age at the most. That's nothing compared to the age of Buffy's vampire lovers.
I am not bothered by the Dawn/Xander relationship in the comic but if it were live I doubt that it would seem so acceptable.

Agree with you about Spike's characterization, Aroomacanvas, the text sounded just like him. Also agree with the notion that Dawn could easily die without shed tears from me, although like you, I like her more now than when the series was live. Much like my feeling about Faith and Connor.
a few key notes that havent been mentioned..

in Angel after the fall, one of the first issues (written by joss) there is a vision of the future, probably frays time and spike is holding the scythe..so spike will be living

in TOYL dark willow makes a reference to prepare buffy to kill someone, something along the lines of.. (its who kills you that matters) maybe buffy will need to kill the person who will remove/break the egg? however it looks like the future will happen exactly like it does in fray, since fray still existed when buffy went back. Dark Willow told harth and fray that buffy going back to her time would either make there future happen, or cease to exist. if buffy would have stayed twilight would not have happened and frays timeline would change. so its not looking good for buffy and friends :(
"After the Fall" was co-plotted by Joss, but it was written by Brian Lynch. And Lynch has previously commented that the weapon that Spike was holding in that flashforward (it's in "AtF" #4) was not the Slayer Scythe. He said then that it was merely an axe.
aroomacanvas I am still a bit off with the Xander Dawn pairing, but it is kinda cute. Although yeah, if the actors were doing it then it definitely would be very wrong to watch!

Let me get this straight, Fray's future happens cause they broke the seed? So if they kept the seed, then all the bad stays bottled up and they just have to defeat all the demons that Twilight released? Am I wrong? Am I confsed? Have I missed something?
Is the dead bug the shocking death we were all waiting for?!
Oh! Does anyone think that Buffy will have to kill Angel again? I know he's got his own comic to worry about, but kill him like season 2 style. You know, send him back to hell, for like the 8th time?! It just occured to me during a reread of their last exchange when she said she'd want to spend her life with him. Just figured that was the precurssor to killing him, like close your eyes...?
My assumption at this point is that Giles intends to destroy the seed, sealing the pathway, at the expense of the death of magic. Whether or not he succeeds, I'm not even going to begin to guess, because I'm still sort of convinced that the events of the Fray arc split off that future into an alternate timeline, and that would mean the seed isn't destroyed. But whatever the case, my assumption is Giles dies in the attempt, whatever the result of that attempt.
yeah im hoping that the fray timeline doesnt happen, maybe willow willl do a 180 and change the game. even if they just protect the seed, wont the dimensions keep pouring demons into the earth? how else are they supposed to defeat twilight. it seems inevitable
Aside from all the debates above, I liked the throwback to Halloween and the General saying that Xander could be mistaken for a soldier.
In the description for #38 it says: 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.

At the end it looked as though Willow was influenced by the Seed's power and the stuff she says was that a spell? or is she speaking directly to the Seed? I think (and I could be totally wrong) but whoever wants to destroy the seed is going to have to go through Willow.
I'm also starting to think that the betrayal they are talking about is Angel. Cause Buffy thinks he is out there helping Slayers fight demons and then he comes bursting through a demon and knocks her out. To me she looked very shocked in that last panel, maybe that was the most unexpected to her? She thought he was on her side.

All speculation though cannot wait for the last two issues!
how are they supposed to defeat twilight (close the demon portals and the universe itself) without removing or breaking the egg? isnt defending it ultimately pointless?
thoughts?
I liked the issue. Nice setup for the end, I thought. The stakes are very high and the core characters are acting believably and suspiciously. Poor Angel, now a puppet of doom. I wonder if Buffy will try to reach through to him, and he'll do something dire in response. I kinda think Giles' business is something pretty dark and unexpected here. Maybe he's going for the Seed but I'm not so sure that's what he's up to.

aedan4818, I think protecting the Seed is pointless now that Angel is possessed. But if you think about it from Buffy's perspective before the moment where she learns that, she's got Willow with magic, some Slayers, and two extremely superpowered people. And maybe The Master, also more powerful than usual. Quick strategic math, the odds are not exactly in their favor, but that is normal, and defending the Seed and keeping it intact does seem possible. Angel switching sides changes all that.
Nyrk said:
"Just finished reading #38 and truthfully I'm a bit underwhelmed. It feels (to me) like the story is stuck in a perpetual set-up mode. It wasn't (or it didn't feel) like this at all for the first 20 or so issues. I don't know. I look forward to sit down and re-read the whole thing from start to finish when it's all done."

Agreed, unfortunately.

I thought that Part 3 of the "Last Gleaming" arc was the weakest/most stalling. Maybe the previous two were just as guilty, but there were better character moments/dialogue and a surprising revelation or two to spice things up, whereas this issue featured more of what we already knew and was really just moving the chess pieces across the board in anticipation of the checkmate or stalemate that's about to take place. Necessary, but kinda boring, plus the dialogue wasn't as good as in the first two and most previous arcs.

I kinda wish the lion would get more screen time/page space, if only because it seems to hold clearer/more direct answers than Spike, Giles, Willow, or The Master (not because I want to listen to it torture Angel more).

Can we just start calling it evilAslan or the Anti-Aslan or something ? "Kitty" is too fluffy, although maybe that makes it funny. I wanted to consider it Twilight/embodiment-or-figurehead-of-Twilight, but now that crown's been rammed back onto Angel's head.

NotaViking said:
"And the seed is just the ultimate McGuffin - the number of things it does is ridiculous."

Heh, it really is the Ultimate McGuffin. I've wondered since its introduction (not the dream/vision of it from issue #10 of course, but during this arc) whether there'd be some kind of meta point made (hopefully intelligently presented and not groan-inducingly, pretentiously clunky) regarding its status as a writer's tool. A "seed of an idea" ? I dunno. Sorry if this has been speculated on in previous threads, or if someone said exactly this already, and I've forgotten what I read.

Complaints were already kind of addressed in previous threads as far as its potential cheese-factor or the issue of whether the average reader is willing to buy into it is concerned. Almost every season had a McGuffin. Season 2, conveniently, gave us two swords blessed by the knight who slew Acathla, so that Angel wasn't holding onto the only one. Faith's knife as a way to goad the Snake-Mayor in Season 3 was built up to/a previously introduced prop/character crutch, plus Xander's military knowledge and everything else that went into forming that season finale's challenge/resolution--the Mayor's goals being teased and then built up throughout. Huh. While I enjoy "Becoming" far more than "Graduation Day", the latter really had a lot less "wtf-outta-nowhere" developments. In Season 4, there was the First Slayer/friend-combining spell, probably the most major McGuffin up to that point in the franchise. Season 5 had the hammer turnaround,I guess the Dyson Sphere (at least they slipped it in early on) and "The monks made you out of me" revelation (yes, fits with the family theme of that year, but still--"buh?"). Season 6 gave the villain the weird McGuffin that year (random Satanic temple/statue on the beach!), but otherwise it kinda lined up with Season 1 in being not terribly McGuffiny, and Season 7's McGuffin only felt like a McGuffin if you hadn't read Fray (and even then, Buffy's discovery of it was random and a bit too late in the season for my tastes, but oh well, seeing it realized from comic page to steel-on-screen was still a cool moment). Not in the mood to recall Angel Season 1 to 5's list of items and spells (and prophecies, yikes).

The range of things the Seed can do (and Twilight/the lion) may feel a bit too convenient, and the prop/bauble is certainly being given more weight and attention in the story than in previous seasons--so that might feel a little weird and/or unwelcome--but at least, unlike the trinkets/spells in some previous seasons, they hinted at and basically showed both the seed and the lion very early on. They weren't 11th hour developments. Doesn't mean their execution is guaranteed to pay off (I'm fine with Twilight so far, my jury's out on the Seed), but points to Joss for pre-establishing a bit.

I enjoy these threads/reading your guys' comments way more than the actual comic, some months. The space-sex arc didn't turn me off the book one bit (helped along by the excellent "Turbulence" in-betweener preceding it and some great Buffy/Xander conversations/moment in both that and at the beginning of the "Twilight" arc), but I think I've gotten impatient over the past three months. Maybe this arc needed condensing or maybe they needed to skip a month and combine the second two issues of "Last Gleaming" into a double-sized dose or something, I dunno.
Poor Angel, now a puppet of doom.

*facepalm*
Yep, poor Angel. He got conned into betraying his own principles and endangering the world, in order to avoid a devastating future where he can't protect the world. This new universe has played him like a fiddle, and he has done some terrible things quite willingly. I'm not absolving him of responsibility, but I'm finding him very sympathetic right now. He screws up just as easily as Buffy does, and with consequences that are just as bad.

And I dearly wish the conversation here could rise above expressions of disdain. If you're going to disagree with me, that's fine. But please make a point rather than doing the facepalm thing, that comes across as rude and dismissive.
Perhaps the facepalm was a reaction to Angel's history as a literal puppet (of lesser doom)?

Kris, some of us have been referring to the lion as the Gryphon or Griffin, which has a nice dignified sound to it. There may or may not be a connection between its form and Angel's tattoo, which is also often called a Griffin. It's not quite an accurate label for either creature, but winged lions are just griffin posers anyway, so we cut them some slack.
I just go with Evil!Kitty. Less dignified, but probably more to the point. And I'm rather blunt. And apparently, an oxymoron.
Ha ha I get it.

(My Gryphon could beat up your Evil!Kitty, though.)
I'd liked to sympathise with Angel and I think that part of the story should have been fantastic, but not only do I dislike the way they handled it, I can't even understand it. Angel went from trying to save the world, to trying to destroy it. I don't see where that crucial 180 degree turn was explained.

It makes a huge difference to what extent he was possessed, but that issue has just been left up in the air as though it's not important. Yes, Angel was manipulated by Twilight, but I need to understand the real nature of his story in S8, before I could say whether he's worthy of sympathy or not.
No comment about the execution of the story, but I don't think it's ever been stated that Angel was trying to destroy the world. In fact, in the Riley one-shot it says the exact opposite.
Agreed. To me, it looks like he's been led to believe that very extreme measures were required to save the world by beings he thought were the Powers that Be (and/or their messengers), whose bidding he's already been doing for over eight years. He has lots of very good reasons to trust that the Powers ultimately have his and the world's best interests at heart. To name just a few, they were the ones who first charged him with protecting Buffy in order to "become someone", who likely brought him back from hell, and who sent the snow in "Amends".

As long as he thought he was doing it for the righteous Powers, he was willing to do it (at least, up until 35, when he decided that Buffy's way was better). He looked pretty disillusioned about the true purpose of his mission in the beginning of this issue, though, which is why the Griffin beat him up. He wasn't interested in playing its game anymore, and not even getting beaten to a pulp could persuade him. The Griffin had to resort to turning him into a sock puppet to get him to do what it wanted.

So far, there's nothing that tarnishes the character for me in any of that, and I do feel extremely sorry for him. He lived through one end of the world scenario in which he and Buffy failed, only to get Groundhog Dayed into something potentially worse, and by the time he realized it and started fighting back, it was too late and even control over his own body was taken from him. If that's not justification for saying "poor Angel", I don't want to find out what is.

The only part I'm not clear on is whether the Griffin is allied with the Powers that Be or not. I really hope not (unless by some bizarre twist it turns out that it's not actually evil, which seems rather unlikely at this point), because it would cast an excruciatingly dark fatalistic pall over Angel's entire arc, not to mention his series. It was bad enough when Jasmine claimed to be the string-puller over everything that led to her birth.

Something that strikes me as rather intriguing is the fact that the Griffin even felt the need to use Angel at all at this point. If it has a physical form powerful enough to toss him around like a rag doll in spite of all of his superpowers, why can't it just go get the Seed itself? Is there something (or someone) close to the Seed that could kill it?
The inconsistency of the Griffin needing to use Angel like this is one thing that's putting me in doubt about the real meaning/purpose of Twilight. Having the power it does yet not being able to go fetch its own Seed is just the tip of the iceberg: if it was able to restore Angel's world from the devastated one he was living in, why bother manipulating him into destroying it all over again?

Then there's the General. Even at the beginning of the story, the US Army's alliance with Twilight appeared fairly straightforward, and Riley's involvement reinforced that idea: they want to end magic, and they're not evil, they're just soldiers. They absolutely do not want to end the world and bring about a glorious new one. Maybe it's unwise to look at the latest issue as evidence that the General is actually a pretty decent, normal guy (it's not his conversation with Xander that did it for me, it's his rejection of Warren and Amy), but if he is, what's he doing here? This isn't just "I go where my country points me"; he has the Twilight symbol etched into his chest, and it's been there for years, way before Angel entered the picture. What has the government heard about Twilight that we haven't?

Then there's Whistler. If I'm beating a dead horse, well, I never saw it die, because nobody's offered a satisfactory reason that the same guy who scooped Angel out of the gutter is now an agent of evil.

The Griffin itself didn't give me that evil vibe when it appeared, especially in comparison to Jeanty's recent bestiary. I know that this isn't the kind of story where you can identify good and evil based on how they look (except it kind of is, but that's another topic), but a winged lion is a beautiful, regal, noble, and spiritual form for this supposedly evil force to inhabit. The only place anything like it has appeared in the Buffyverse is Angel's tattoo, which is itself a Biblical symbol.

The Griffin is angry at Angel, that's for sure, but why? For leaving Twilight, supposedly. But Angel says "You think I'll stop fighting?" and the Griffin answers "I think you would have, if not for her", and then it keeps beating him up. Even the new universe knows that staying with it would have been quitting! To me, despite the discrepancy there with the rest of the action and dialogue (and I know it's a big one), it looks like Angel is being punished for trying to give up the fight. Aslan did the same thing to his own followers.

One more time with the color-code: green is magic (it's appeared that way several times in the comics). Green is Dawn, the key. The Seed, Willow, and the Scythe are red, the opposite of green.

The General, who is aligned with Twilight, wants to smash the Seed. So does Xander, who is aligned with the Key. The Green Team is aimed at ending magic. But the Red Team is magic too, and they want to keep things the way they are: old magic vs. new magic?

Whatever's going on, it's more than "Puppet Angel is bringing the Seed to the Griffin so as to end the world". I don't know how it's possible and I don't have the textual evidence to support it, but I just can't see Twilight as the Big Bad.
I assume Miss Kitty is using Angel because Angel is Buffy's kryptonite. Also Angel is the father, so having him ensoul his child seems like maybe that's necessary to finish nurturing his offspring. Finally, it's just more dramatic that way.

What's interesting to me is that Twilight chose Angelus for this role. Was it because Buffy is so blind about him, and therefore more likely to give into the world-ending space frak? Because Angel is more malleable? Or because he's got the whole detachable soul thing? I think it's *very* interesting that it's Angel who sires the soulless universe, and I wonder if at the end of the day his soul might not at stake here.

Whistler was only ever a demon for the balance of good and evil. If the balance is upset by the slayer spell, then why can't he be enlisted in the move to destroy this world and replace it with a new one? He's not (and never has been) on the side of good.

As for whether or not Angel is culpable, you betcha. He made a decision. He chose to listen to a talking dog and a talking stewardess and a talking bird. He was seduced with all the right words "cheerleader" "reward" "destiny". (Another reason why Twilight would have chosen him). He placed his faith in all of that rather than figuring things out for himself or talking to Buffy. He's known since season 4 at least that higher powers are not always on the up and up and aren't always doing good. He says himself that talking dogs who tell people to kill are bad news. He's not evil. But as he told Buffy in Amends, he is weak. He always has been. And Buffy's tragic flaw has been to never believe him. Twilight played him like a fiddle. That doesn't mean he's bwahaha evil. It does mean he's a moron. And since he chose to participate of his own free will, he's responsibility for his phenomenally bad judgment and the horrendous consequences of that bad judgment. (Also, there's just no way we're supposed to be cheering for the plan that de-protagonizes Buffy and turns her into an object to be manipulated by the boyfriend who knows better. No way that's the message we're to take home here).

Is Twilight evil? There are a lot of destroyed cities and a lot of dead people who might be inclined to say "you betcha". It's hard to see how an apocalypse could be good.

That said, I'm pretty sure all the paths were going to be unpleasant. The seed had a shelf life. Chaos ensues. But from what we've seen it's unambiguous that Angel and Buffy took a bit of chaos and amped it up eleventy and a LOT of badness has occurred as a result. Their bestest day ever. We're not supposed to be rooting for them. And whatever unforgiveable thing Angel does in the next issue will surely be a punctuation mark on that. As Vampmogs said over at Buffy Forums, season 8 is to Bangel what the AR was to Spuffy. It'll take some dramatic change or action (the equivalent of Spike seeking out a soul) to make the couple viable again. Nobody roots for the romantic couple that coos about their bestest day ever after finding out that they personally destroyed the world. "Bestest day ever" is their epitaph. Joss packaged it all pretty, but B/A is dead.

[ edited by Maggie on 2010-11-07 05:55 ]
Maybe when we see Buffy lose her extra powers to the seed, the Grytty(gryphon/kitty) decided to inhabit Angel so that it's own powers wouldn't get sapped? Maybe when his excess gets taken away it'll be like the First and Caleb were?

I feel terrible for the wee fellow(not in a patronising way) after Sunfire's post. I mean there was the sympathy for him before, but that just brought it pouring out of me like demons from a hell dimension that was brought about by two uber-heroes copulating! How is anyone ever gonna know when it's right or wrong to fight for the PTB?!

He brought on the apocalypse in Not Fade Away and won! Everything got reset. Maybe he's living off that for the past year hoping for a similar outcome? Maybe his glimpse into the future made him know something the others(and us) don't yet know? I for one am intrigued and excited!
Maggie - you make some good points and then go on to say some other things that veer into inflammatory and shippy territory. Please consider this a warning.
Looks like I'm a bit late to the party. Which sucks, because I can't ever get my issues till the weekend. Oh well. Gonna offer my two cents anyway.

On the Angel bit. I don't know how I feel about Angel being a puppet yet again. This has nothing to do with whether he is responsible for his actions or not. I just feel like it's kind of played out. Especially considering that in Not Fade Away he pretty much decided that he wasn't going to be subservient to others anymore: not the PTB, not Wolfram & Hart. He was a free agent, fighting the good fight for as long as he could. Then in ATF, W&H try to keep him down but he again breaks free of their control. So I feel like this Twilight-possession thing is just treading old ground with the character. We've seen him be a puppet. I want to see him start exploring some new territory.

Along those same lines, I would disagree with the idea that every bad thing Angel has ever done has been blamed on an evil alternate identity. Both the choice to kill the lawyers in S2 and the choice to work for W&H in S5 were very clearly Angel, and I do not think we were meant to support those decisions. He also eventually faced up to the consequences in both cases.

As for the rest of the issue: I feel like it was mostly just filler, trying to get us into the last two issues. I like how it seems like every major character is being set up as a potential betrayer. Xander, Giles, Angel, Willow. Part of me thinks it will be none of these four, but I honestly don't know who else it would be. Spike? I like the idea that the betrayal might actually be a good thing instead of a bad thing. Bad relative to Buffy, but ultimately good for the world.

I also thought the Dawn Death fakeout was really funny.

The Master seems somewhat unnecessary, but at this point in the season, it would be a little dumb to introduce a completely new character to fill his role, so I can kinda see why they chose him.

I really liked the brief conversation between Giles and Buffy, but it felt like it was unfinished. I'm really hoping that Giles doesn't die so that he and Buffy can finish the conversation. Well, also because I really don't want Giles to die.

Edited to fix unclear word usage.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2010-11-08 01:52 ]
Giles_314, I like how you're so subtle with your Giles love...not like your screen name reflects anything!

But yeah, we were discussing somewhere further back about Spike's possible agenda and at this point he is the closest to her(except of course Giles after their wee exchange!). But as someone pointed out further above, the breaking of the seed could cause Dawn to die, and Spike would never let that happen. So I can't see him as the betrayer in that sense. Unless he's got other investments.

So is it the next issue that everything is put out there? The betrayal and the final fight and then in the final issue we get the rammifications? Not in a "Restless" way, but in a last ten mins after the commercials kinda way? Any idea on how they're gonna be divided?
I think that that is very much how it's going to go down. 39 will be the climax and 40 will be the epilogue. So I think 39 will be pretty action-packed, with 40 being much more contemplative.

As far as Spike goes, I'm uncertain about his character. It's true that he hasn't really been in this for too long, and it's been very busy, but it just seems... off a little bit. His dialogue is perfect, but he just seems a little... standard?

I don't know. Maybe it's because I actually really like the way he was written in the Angel comics (well, the good ones anyway) and I feel like some of that development should be transferred here. For example, in the latest Angel (speaking of which, why don't we have discussion threads for Angel anymore? Admitedly, there have been quite a few sub-par ones lately, but I actually really liked the most recent one that came out), he leaves because he wants to try and get over his feeling of being second best to Angel. I thought that was a really interesting move for the character to acknowledge that, and I think it would be nice if that were to carry over into Buffy, especially because that story is happening later.

Of course, I imagine it's very difficult for stuff like that to happen what with IDW and DH being two seperate companies and therefore not talking to each other much, but still. I don't know. And I'm sure we're going to get a lot more significant Spike/others development in S9, so really I'm just whining now.
Kaan:
No comment about the execution of the story, but I don't think it's ever been stated that Angel was trying to destroy the world. In fact, in the Riley one-shot it says the exact opposite.


That the Riley issue says the opposite was part of my point - he "went from trying to save the world...". After Angel and Buffy get to Twilight, he tries to persuade her to stay, despite the consequences for Earth. You could say that its destruction is a side-effect rather than his intention, but his actions are far from that of someone trying to save the world.

Despite the fact that it's a cop-out story-wise and lessens the impact of the characters' interactions, the only way I can personally make sense of that aspect of the season, is that after a while pretending to be Twilight, Angel was completely possessed and really became Twilight.

But I'd much prefer a story-line with no possession and no universes getting involved, where Angel was acting under a the-ends-justify-the-means philosophy and would stand by it and take the blame/responsibility for his actions.

[ edited by NotaViking on 2010-11-08 18:17 ]
So i was "lucky" enough to be too far away to get my comics for two months and read both 37 and 38 on the same day. Disappointingly average. Going to read Shepard Book again.
But I'd much prefer a story-line with no possession and no universes getting involved, where Angel was acting under a the-ends-justify-the-means philosophy and would stand by it and take the blame/responsibility for his actions.


I think where some people (myself included) would then have issues immediately is that they would then feel that Angel is getting turned into possibly the stupidest person on the planet for the purpose of a Buffy comic. Which, you can say what you want about his morals in AtS Season 5, I didn't get the impression he was an idiot. On this one, kinda yea IMO.

Granted, I'm someone who likes and invested in the Angel charecter a bit, but I just REALLY want Angel to earn bad guy status if that's what he's going to be. Otherwise, like Buffy I prefer the "under the influence" explanation because at least on my part it requires less suspension of disbelief.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-11-09 05:33 ]
Well, the story-line would be significantly different to the one we have seen, so I'm not sure why you're assuming that it would show Angel as being stupid. As well as no possession, I said that there'd be no universes involved - that would mean a lot of the season post Twilight's unmasking being completely rewritten.

Angel's actions would be up for debate, but I'd want them to be shown as very clever, but morally ambiguous. Some people would agree with his approach (probably including me) and some people wouldn't, but I think that would be a whole lot more interesting than what we're getting.
It is kind of crap how these discussion threads always die out by the weekend which, like Giles_314, is the only time I can get my comic.

Anyway I don't really care much for Angel but I don't think he's a moron for taking the 'end justifies the means' route. I found it totally understandable, a hard choice to make at least.


BlueSkies I did read through the thread but I think I might have missed this thing where breaking the seed could cause Dawn to die...er how? It really couldn't, she is wounded and being healed by humans, she is no longer the key, just a normal human.

I'm kind of expecting Giles to die as well, wasn't that in ToYL where the watcher diaries said that the last watcher dies in the battle of starbuck or whatever? I mean I don't know if this is that battle but Giles was surely the watcher referred to.

As for the betrayer, I still have no idea, I will be disappointed if it is Willow, Xander or Angel though cus all of those set-ups are way too obvious.

I can't remember now but I'm not sure how they are supposed to get rid of all the monsters without breaking the seed. I thought it made sense at one point but not so sure now. Given the vision Buffy had crying next to the broken seed I am pretty convinced it will happen, my interest is in the part Willow plays. I had assumed that if the seed gets broken then Fray's world happens (i.e. not some other heretofore unposited future) but theres still a lot of years between now and then.

I think someone mentioned above that maybe Willow becomes the seed or something, the more I think about this the more it seems like something like that will happen. There's still that thing from ToYL where it was Buffy with the scythe that had to kill FDW so I can't help but think that the seed, Willow, Buffy and the scythe are all connected somehow. Maybe the death of FDW at the end of ToYL released magic back into the world.

I am pretty uninterested in this whole Twilight thing tbh. The explanation for the new universe was hokey and ridiculous and the 'seed of wonder' couldn't be more cringeworthy if it tried. Its a whole load of bollocks that I'm trying to ignore and hoping it will all prove pretty inconsequential in the end.
Yeah, digupherbones, at this point I'm mainly only interested in the characters and not so much the plot, which I find way too ridiculous.
I think the plot's about to change some of the core characters in some pretty crucial ways. Hopefully the magical seed stuff rewards the fans more interested in character development and interactions for hanging in there this long.
I have a feeling that Season 9 will be a lot more character-heavy and contemplative than Season 8 has been.

I tend to feel that the writers of S8 got a bit carried away with the notion that they can do so much more in a comic than on a TV show that they kind of forgot that what made Buffy great was the small focus on the core characters. Not that Season 8 hasn't had that, it just seems like the character work has been greatly overshadowed by the giant cosmic-horror monsters, superpowers, magic battles, etc. Moreso than on the TV show.
Sorry, digupherbones, it was probably in the last thread for the previous issue. It was suggested that because she was made from magic that she could be undone like Willow had suggested when she was evil/high on magic in S6.

Azzers, I would have liked Angel to be as morally ambiguous as he was in S5 too. While the possession thing is nice as a way of giving him the smallest amount of guilt possible, it would have been amazing to have Buffy see the Angel he became over the years and face off against him.
I tend to feel that the writers of S8 got a bit carried away with the notion that they can do so much more in a comic than on a TV show that they kind of forgot that what made Buffy great was the small focus on the core characters.

That's exactly how I tend to feel, too. And yay if season nine will be more character-driven, but I'd like for season eight to not contort the characters into something unrecognizable in the meantime. I'm worried about a lot of them to some degree, but Angel in particular. I probably have one of the most positive outlooks on season eight Angel in the fandom, but so far I still infinitely prefer him as he was in the shows, and I'd rather be reading comics about *that* Angel. He's the first fictional character I fell in love with (or that might have been Mr. Darcy, actually--I'm not entirely sure) and the reason I stuck with Buffy back when I thought it was a goofy show with a title I couldn't say aloud without feeling ridiculous.

[ edited by Taaroko on 2010-11-10 02:28 ]
I have a feeling that Season 9 will be a lot more character-heavy and contemplative than Season 8 has been.


I really really hope so. I'm enjoying S8, in a not totally emotionally engaged kind of way, but that would bring me real joy.
This issue was the single most intellectually confusing comic i have ever read.
I feel like making the Scooby-Doo confused noise.

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