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January 22 2011

(SPOILER) Scott Allie's Slayalive Q/A for Buffy #40. Scott Allie returned to Slayalive to do one last Q/A for the final issue of season 8.

Has some teases for season 9.

Thank you, Emmie for doing a great job running the Q&A. It was good to hear from Scott again.
Some interesting bits scattered in there. The Season 9 stuff has me intrigued, but I'll say that there's nothing really new in that department. But it was nice to hear some small tidbits about what the future holds.
Also, very glad that Joss is superhuman and is playing a larger role than anticipated in Season 9.
Thanks Emmie, appreciate your patience and care with these things! And if you get a chance, thank Scott. He has been superbly patient and wonderful and witty in all his dealings. I'm very happy that Buffy (and now Angel) is with Dark Horse and that's mostly down to him (and that's no diss of IDW).
I'm especially intrigued by the answer to that question: Angel was brought really low before he received those powers. Interesting. That makes a kind of sense actually, and also seems very Angel. There may be hope for this story yet.

ETA: Also looking forward to the possibility of AtS characters in S9. We spent almost as much time with the Fang Gang as we did the scoobies, and I really hope we get to see them more next season. Besides, they all know Angel in completely different ways than the scoobies know Angel. Might be very interesting to see their take on the whole Twilight fiasco.

[ edited by Giles_314 on 2011-01-22 20:25 ]
"Scott: Do you guys really think that narratively, that's a good scene to go back to? I can see how it will help putty in the little wedges in continuity, but does it really need to be done? Depending on what goes on with them in Season 9, it MIGHT be relevant, I could see Buffy and Spike having a conversation where he calls her on her callousness and she says, You know how I found out you were alive ...? But unless it's pertinent to something going on in Season 9, we probably won't go back to it."

I almost smashed my computer after reading this. This scene is EXTREMELY important to the B/S dynamic. Imagine if Angel came back in season 3 and they just totally skipped over Beauty and the Beasts and Revelations and skipped straight to Amends? Or worst, if you just took Afterlife out of the show's continuity it would completely change how we view the storyline. Why did they focus so much time on Spike deciding whether to see Buffy or not if it was never going to get a pay off. So angry. I know shipping is off limits here but the fact that the writer of a arc just decided willy nilly that a "little wedge of continuity" was not important to the storyline drives me up the wall. If there was no room in the storyline for attention to detail and character development then I wish they had waited for a less busier time in the storyline to re-introduce Spike.
Keen to see the Fang Gang in season 9....interesting that Allie's not sure if all of them will be seen, seeing as Gunn, Connor and Illyria are pretty much all that's left (plus Faith, now, I suppose).
Also intrigued to see what brings Angel low. Presumably this will be covered by IDW in their current 'Angel in the Future' arc?
eddy: there is a lot in this set of questions and answers that smacks of a certain kind of arrogance. You note one area, but I think the idea that they really have not thought through what it means to not have magic is a major other issue- that means they can make it up as they go along, and that it need not be consistent with what we would otherwise believe to the case- see his comment on why Dawn did not disappear- that Joss had other plans, not that doing away with magic removed the very reason for her existence.
Yup. Spuffy, what some of us saw as an epic and moving love story, is now a "little wedge."

It bugged me, but I'm too defeated to be angry. Shrug.
not that doing away with magic removed the very reason for her existence


In-story, the reason for her existence doesn't depend on her Key status. She was created by magic, but her life is self-sustaining now that she's human. To expect Dawn to go poof is to expect Buffy to turn into a corpse when the Seed was broken. The reason Warren went poof was because he needed a constant supply of magic to sustain him; this is not the case for Dawn. So I find it 100% consistent and this explanation was delivered in the text and it's been reiterated in interviews numerous times.

As for Scott mentioning Warren in comparison to Dawn, he was making a joke about how Dawn was a hated character in fandom. I say 'was' because I think she's become more popular during Season 8.
I would agree, Emmie, I think that Dawn is much more loved now than she ever was before.

Although, I have to say that I think it would be stupid to get rid of a character who clearly has more to do just because of a plot contrivance. While in this case it makes sense that Dawn wouldn't disappear as a result of no more magic, I think that even if it didn't make sense for her to still exist that she should anyway. Because that would be plot getting in the way of character development, and I think that would be stupid. I can accept a handwave here or there if it means that the character's emotional journeys get to be told as intended. I feel that the plot/magic/fantasy stuff is inherently second to character development. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be consistent, but I feel more importance should be placed on characters than on making sure everyone is okay with random details about why magic works.
I think there are current magic rules. As for example, could Angel lose his soul? I would say yes, the magic to lose it is still there because it's the curse that was put on him and since he still has his soul i would think the curse was there to. Comperable to the invite a vampire needs. To require an invite(curse) is still there, but one can no longer disinvite(should Angel lose his soul, he can't be recursed) someone as that would require new magic being used.

Exactly Emmie, magic was used when Dawn was created, as was with vampires when turned or slayers when called. But it is not a constant usage as it was with Warren.
I completely agree with Scott Allie when it comes to returning to Buffy finding out Spike is alive...and I believe strongly that Spike is a better man for Buffy than, um, others. (and that he's just a better man).

In terms of story, how? Why? Can we not divine what must have taken place? I feel like I know these characters and their relationship well enough that I can almost draw the scene in my head. What's important now is what's important now. And what's important is that Buffy trusts Spike, cares for Spike, and has a continuing relationship that seems to be built around mutual respect and affection. What more could I want?

I don't think the "little wedge" comment was meant to imply their history and relationship was a "little wedge." I think it implied that the moment Buffy learned Spike was alive is a little wedge in the much bigger picture that is their relationship.

Also, I kind of felt like shouting "Bravo!!" to Scott for not giving into the very heated shipper-like questions that always seemed to slip in to his interviews.
It's arrogant for the writers to say that because they wrote the rules for magic having changed, they get to write how they have changed or not changed? Of course it isn't.

I think sometimes too many people take pot shots at Scott because they are (ahem) reading into his answers something that's not intended, but merely an artifact of how Scott talks about things. Meaning, it's not related to content, but to packaging. Because he often talks askance at things, or a bit sardonic at things, some people seem to take that as dismissiveness on the actual content or matter at hand.

Maybe it's something that gets lost in translation to textual Q&A, but it's very evident in person that Scott is flippant or outright dismissive of very little, if anything, about the writing and editing tasks he and the people around him have.

But, anyway, my real point is that when writers write something a certain way and so state that they get to decide how that proceeds going forward, to suggest that they are somehow being "arrogant" for, basically, being the writers, is sort of ludicrous.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2011-01-22 23:52 ]
Addendum: it hsould be noted that nowhere in the Q&A does Scott say they are, or are going to "make it up as they go along" re: magic. That's a spin by this thread. All Scott says is that "the authors get to make the rules" and "we reserve some freedom to interpret the new rules of magic" -- which was as true before magic was changed as it will be going forward, and suggests not at all the idea that they are simply going to "make it up as they go along".
I agree with Allie too. Eddy, I think because they spent so much time with it already in Angel it's not warranted to retread. Spike didn't return to Buffy, Buffy obviously found out he was alive before Season 8, and it's awkward and open-ended. Done. A scene of finding out is not necessary, we can see their relationship play out and the ramifications of that choice perfectly in #40.

They can still reference it, and Allie didn't say they wouldn't. Allie's hypothetical line "You know how I found out you were alive...?" is perfect and I would like to see that in the comics, and believe a version of that will happen. Maybe it should've happened in Last Gleaming but I'm sure Joss will rectify.
Magic's never been all that consistent in the Buffyverse. It's always been subservient to whatever the storytelling needs were at the time.
I totally agree with Scott about not including the famous non-extant scene where Buffy finds out that Spike is alive.

eddy, you can't compare skipping over this to possibly skipping over Angel's return from the dead in season 3 of Buffy. Their storyline was still a focal point of the show and it lacked resolution. Buffy's character at the time was all about Angel returning and how this affected everyone.

From the events of "Chosen" to Spike and Buffy's reunion in season 8, we know that Buffy found out about Spike being alive sometime during this interim, and we know that them meeting in season 8 was the first time since Spike's death (since Buffy was briefly thanking him for saving the world). She found out that Spike was alive and Spike was NOT around. Buffy was dealing with tons of other things at the time, such as gathering the Slayers and amassing her army and being a leader; not to mention, she was probably also developing some kinds of quasi-feelings for both Satsu and Xander; let's not get into that discussion here, but it's safe to say that there were other things and other people on Buffy's mind.

I'm not trying to diminish Spike's role in Buffy's life; I'm not a shipper, but I always preferred the Spuffy relationship to the Bangel relationship, even though I like Angel more as a character. I love the arc between Spike and Buffy; at the same time, I feel that it came to somewhat of an end during "Chosen."

The story is moving on. The characters are moving on. The past still affects them, but really, you honestly need to see how Buffy reacted to learning of Spike's return? I'm sure that Whedon envisions it one way, and it's probably going to piss off a lot of fans regardless if it were to ever be shown. For example: "What? Buffy was crying with joy? That's ridiculous!" or "Why is Buffy responding with a one-liner? Spike was the love of her life!" Etc., etc., etc.

You're right in that it's an important fact to learn for Buffy; however, I don't think it's important for us that it needs to be shown to us. We can all imagine pretty well on our own how she reacted, and we know where she stands with Spike now (errrr, at least I think we do), and that's all that really matters; that and season 9.
"eddy, you can't compare skipping over this to possibly skipping over Angel's return from the dead in season 3 of Buffy. Their storyline was still a focal point of the show and it lacked resolution. Buffy's character at the time was all about Angel returning and how this affected everyone."

But for a lot of us Waterkeeper, for the last 7 years the Spike/Buffy relationship WAS the focal point of the show and lacked resolution. We were waiting. So we are disappointed to say the least.
This scene is EXTREMELY important to the B/S dynamic.


But it isn't important to the story. It might have been had Season 8 picked up soon after 7, but it didn't. Buffy found out in the interim. Further, we've seen Spike running around for a year on Angel. The audience knows he's alive. It's redundant to reintroduce the fact.

Angel coming back in S3 is a shock to everyone, characters and audience alike. It had to be addressed. The audience is comfortably aware of Spike's survival, and therefore Buffy is as well, having found out in the interim.


But for a lot of us Waterkeeper, for the last 7 years the Spike/Buffy relationship WAS the focal point of the show and lacked resolution. We were waiting. So we are disappointed to say the least.


Then you weren't watching the show Mutant Enemy was putting out. Buffy and Spike's relationship didn't become at all relevant until Season 5. It'd be like me calling the Willow/Tara relationship the focal point of the show when it wasn't even introduced until halfway through.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2011-01-23 02:44 ]
Yep, I'm with Scott on the inclusion of the 'Buffy finding out' scene.

I also think that it's clear from their scene in issue 40 that the Spike/Buffy relationship is one that is respected by the creative team.
I also think that it's clear from their scene in issue 40 that the Spike/Buffy relationship is one that is respected by the creative team.


Bingo.
For my part, I have no interest really in finding out how Buffy reacted to the news of Spike's continued survival. I think that is more something that shippers want to see because they are particularly invested in that relationship. But for the story at large that is not just about Buffy/Spike, it would be an odd tangent. If they decide to show it, I am sure it would be a great scene and relevant to the story they are telling, but if they don't show it, then I am confident that it wasn't a moment that especially mattered compared to events that are occurring now.

I for one would really like to see Lorne come back. The last time Angel fell off his path so badly (well, I suppose moving to W&H would count as the last time, but I'm talking about his Season 2 arc here), it was Lorne that helped him get back on it. I really love the idea of it being Faith to help Angel through this, and do think it should be predominantly her to do it, but I would also like to see Lorne come back and weigh in on the recent actions of his Angel-cakes.

Of course, I can understand them leaving Lorne be now that Andy Hallett has passed on.
"Then you weren't watching the show Mutant Enemy was putting out. Buffy and Spike's relationship didn't become at all relevant until Season 5. It'd be like me calling the Willow/Tara relationship the focal point of the show when it wasn't even introduced until halfway through"

I'm not talking about the seven seasons of Buffy. I'm talking about the seven seasons SINCE Buffy. But it's a moot point. Obviously the Spuffy fans were NOT watching the same show as the rest of you. That's clear. But it doesn't change the fact that for us, the focal point of our fandom for the last 7 years was what we saw as this beautiful epic love story. I'm just mourning. Sue me.
Just driving by to leave my 2 cents; I agree with The Dark Shape and Bix.

I don't think the inclusion of a scene of Buffy finding out that Spike's alive is important to the story, any more than I thought an inclusion of a scene of Buffy and Angel meeting in season 6 when Buffy came back was important to the story.
I quote Joss himself:
"Magic, General. You still haven't learned the rules."
"There are no goddamn rules!"
"That's sort of what I mean."

Magic. Magic has never ever ever ever been consistent in the Buffyverse. If it were, Willow could magic an existence instantaneously where Angel was never confronted by Twilight, or some warlock dude could have decided Jasmine would be relegated to a prison dimension or whatever. Heck, even Anya could have prevented all of this as a vengeance demon if she wanted to. "Done"
I'm a Spuffy but I don't need to see Buffy's reaction to finding out Spike was alive. I'd rather the two of them have a present-day conversation re Buffy's feelings about Spike's not contacting her after he found himself in LA post-Chosen because I think Spike's not letting her know he was not dead (well, not undead) explains some of Buffy's worries about being lovable (and her nightmares of Spike and Angel being into each other and not her).

I don't think Buffy has been callous, I think she was hurt by Spike's incommunication.
Reddygirl, I feel the same way. I'm more interested in unpacking how Buffy feels now and yeah, referencing how Spike not contacting her when he came back. But I don't need the scene itself anymore.

I don't think Buffy has been callous, I think she was hurt by Spike's incommunication.


Yep.
Allie's hypothetical – "Do you know how I found out you were alive?" – would be the perfect way to cover this. I agree with others that an actual flashback is totally unnecessary.

Great Q/A! I liked all of his answers and I'm very intrigued by what's coming up in both titles next season. I do wish I'd asked him a question though, as I only just thought of one after the Q/A was already finished. I was basically wondering if S9 will actually have arcs (TLWY, NFFY, WatG etc) or if it will just be made up of standalones instead. I only ask because we'll only have 25 issues each for the main titles so I thought they might not do mini arcs this time around.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-01-23 10:24 ]
I was going to ask that too, cause i had heard it would be shorter so i was wondering if it would be more like after the fall which didn't really have arcs. But i already asked about how many issues there would be, so i had already asked my one question. and it was right before the forum closed.
Wow. You'd think people actually saw Buffy and Angel's reunion after she died (again) with the constant Buffy/Spike reunion requests. Let it go.
Someone talked about seeing Illyria again. But if all the demons were sucked out of the world, wouldn't she be gone now? Shouldn't only Gunn and Connor be left?

I wanna know what Wolfram and Hart is feeling from it all...that'd be nice to see.
Just watched Chosen on Friday. Whedon et al made the last scene with Spike and Buffy to be the climax of the finale.

Spike then comes back in Angel Season 5 and voila, he has reasons not to contact Buffy. These reasons are explained.

After about 4 years of a crazy comic ride, Spike is seemingly dropped into Buffy's life and helps to save the day. No acknowledgement is given for their blase "first" reunion. Consequently, many readers were confused.

Allie, in his interview, wondered if we really needed the reunion scene, perhaps a snarky rebuff explanation would be sufficient.

Due to the power of that last scene in Chosen, Spike's decisions in Season 5 of Angel, and Buffy's noted abandonment issues, I disagree. A snarky rebuff just will not justify the weight that Whedon et. al. gave this particular relationship at the end of Chosen to the end of Angel 5.

Perhaps, this gap was left on purpose. I am hopeful that infact we will be getting more of an explanation in Season 9 to partially explain her state of mind. I know I want to buy more comics.

A girl can hope right?
Oddly, the thing that made me happiest is that we'll see Kennedy in season 9. Yay Kennedy!

The big problem with the drunk driver analogy for Buffy and the glow is that the drunk driver chose to drink. How I interpret the metaphor of the glow is that in 33, Buffy was given a mild chaser (she *started* being affected by the glow, but only started), and then in her slightly inebriated state chose to drink lots and lots more. That gives her some responsibility, but not the same degree of responsibility as if she had chosen that first sip, rather than only choosing (say) the second. The problem with the Twilight arc, among other things, is that it's written as too ambiguous how much was choice and how much wasn't. I'll accept a little bit of "the ambiguity is the point," but not much.

I'm not seeing this scenario of Scott's where Xander and Dawn would refuse to let Spike in. Maybe Dawn, because she has personal-betrayal feelings that she's never worked through about her somewhat-heroic protector figure turning on Buffy. But Xander was pretty nice to Spike in season seven. Besides, the scene really reads to me as Buffy trying to not-invite Spike and passing it off as "not my call." This is one of those places where I'm willing to discount Scott's interpretation though; it doesn't seem like something that he and Joss would necessarily have discussed in depth. Plus, I'm ambivalent about authorial intent as a final voice anyway.

These were great questions and answers. Scott has helped give us a flawed story, and I don't always agree with his priorities, but I think he's kind and thoughtful.
WilliamTheB, I'll add to your metaphor that Twilight first orchestrated a way to demoralize Buffy, then forced the chaser (filled her with unholy power) so that it wasn't just that her judgment was altered but that she was so miserable that she'd want to drink the koolaid. Now that I think on it, it reminds me of Angel in AtS Season 2 when he tells Darla after a season of being lawyers hellbent on driving him insane (why was anyone surprised they were succeeding?) that he just wants to feel something besides the cold. With Buffy, it goes beyond her giving into despair and turning to the absolute wrong person to lose herself in--she believes the lie that Angel tells her (a lie that Angel's been telling himself) because she's so convinced that she's wrong. Her self-esteem and judgment of her place in the world (she's bad, very very bad) primed her to swallow Angel's line.

In other words, Twilight drove Buffy to drink without knowing the drink was spiked with added loss of control and a little aphrodesiac coctail.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-01-23 16:35 ]
Just to stir the metaphorical cocktail a little more, my reading would be that Buffy was driven to the point that she didn't care that the drink was probably spiked but drank it anyway. Re-reading the scene Angel makes a big point of persuading Buffy to "listen" to her all-singing, all-glowing body as if she has to make that choice. She can hear the siren song, she must have some awareness of what giving in to would be like but its unholy powers don't include decision making. Buffy had to do that herself.
Besides, the scene really reads to me as Buffy trying to not-invite Spike and passing it off as "not my call."

Yep, that's how I read it too. I saw the whole encounter as rather cold. She starts off annoyed that he's there if he doesn't actually have something useful to tell her, and then when he gets around to it, what he does have to say is less than impressively informative. Then, as usual, he tries to stand up for her regardless of whether she's right or wrong, which she doesn't appreciate this time, and he opens that support with an insensitive qualifier that has her referencing "As You Were" in retort. Then he screws up when he says he doesn't get the point of the Scythe, which brings on the waterworks, because the Scythe is what Giles died trying to use on the Seed. Saying the Scythe is pointless is almost like saying Giles's death was pointless (which it was, IMO). She doesn't explain to Spike what he said wrong, and he doesn't seem particularly patient or contrite, just asking "What's wrong with you?" with a scowl as she dives back inside and dismisses him and reminds him that he's still not invited in.

It's cases like this where it would be very helpful if we could hear the tones of the characters' voices. So much more gets left open to interpretation in the comics than it did in the show because the dialogue is only text on a page.

And about Buffy being under Twilight's influence, in 40, she's still not talking about it like she was tricked or slipped something without knowing it. In her own words, they were the wind that swept them up, and now she's saying it was a mistake that she's responsible for. Which seems pretty incredible to me, because even if she's responsible for deciding to sleep with Angel, who the heck expects that shagging their ex, no matter what he's been up to, is going to create a new universe that will then attempt to destroy the old one? Angel didn't know that would happen either, even if he knew *something* would. He was so sure it would be something good, in any case, that it took Buffy a good chunk of 35 to convince him to give it up. This seems like one case where pleading ignorance would be a very reasonable defense (and the most applicable one), but Buffy isn't using it, even if she briefly tried to in 37.
Hayes, there's also a part of her that's so turned around that she really does believe Angel's right, if only because the world keeps driving home how she's so wrong. So the logic in her mind telling her to distrust this? That's what pushes her to take the plunge. She distrusts herself so much and is so offbalance that Angel's offer persuades her.

Angel had to spend 3/4 of the season demoralizing Buffy before he appeared to make his offer. She had to reach the point of completely doubting herself and also feeling her back against the wall (even "Retreat" didn't work) before she could be susceptible to his offer.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-01-23 18:29 ]
I don't think it matters how much was her choice and how much wasn't, because at the end of the day, she's putting a lot of the blame on herself (as are many of the other Slayers in the world). That's what the character is going through. Maybe we'll get some clarification in season 9, especially with Angel still around.

Not really seeing the difference between Buffy/her mild chaser/choosing to drink more and the drunk driver. "The drunk driver chose to drink," but so did Buffy. Yeah, there's ambiguity on how much control Buffy was in, but the same can be said about the drunk driver. In either case, you're not in your right mind. And in both cases, you still assume responsibility for the consequences once you sober up.
Waterkeeper, the way I see it, we're morphing the metaphor to try to capture the nuance of the situation and include other factors. Yeah, at the end of the day you can summarize it the way you did. But a one line summary doesn't mean you don't want to read the book for more details on how it went down.
Actually, that makes sense when you phrase it like that, Emmie.

I just hope people don't get too upset if the "more details" only end up raising more questions. =P
Emmie, that's what I had in mind with describing her as being driven to the point of not caring that the drink is likely spiked. I'm not sure she thinks Angel is right so much as believes everything else she's tried has failed so WTF. I think it's that moment of giving up rather than sleeping with Twilight (as a consequence of giving up) that's her betrayal of her girls.
I think Buffy is like an alcoholic who in a moment of weakness took that first drink. Once she takes the drink badness ensues. The drug is Angel and the escape he's always represented to her. It's what causes her to listen. The moment of weakness is the despair that Angel himself had engineered along with the glow. But I do think she could have, in principle, told Angel to stuff it. She didn't and so she's responsible.

She didn't know the universe would come to an end. But she knew the glow was unholy. She knew there were forces beyond her ken at work in pushing her in that direction. And it's not like she's inexperienced with the concept of sex with Angel having spectacularly bad consequences. If she'd at least stopped to check out the situation with the detachable soul I'd feel like she'd been at least a bit cautious in a dubious situation. But she didn't even do that. What happened couldn't have been anticipated. But that something bad would happen was completely predictable -- as Buffy's own first reaction in Twilight spells out. The irony is that the bad thing wasn't the orcs she expected (Angel losing his soul) but which didn't come; it was far worse than that. She dodged the bullet she deserved only to get a nuclear bomb far worse than she imagined.

I'm glad she's taking responsibility for it. Spike is not wrong to tell her that she was in the middle of a huge battle. Twilight engineered things to go at her precisely at her weak spot. She failed, but she was in a horrible situation. I don't think Spike is trying to tell her she didn't fail, just that it's easy for outsiders to judge when they would probably have failed themselves in a similar situation.

As for her conversation with Spike, I think it just amplifies what we already know: Buffy's got feelings for the guy. That's why she keeps stirring the pot about invites and break ups and by using Harmony's pet name for him. She isn't ready to let him in; she's not sure if he really wants to come in; but she ain't at all disinterested. Weird is not what happens when people are disinterested. It's interesting all the mix of stuff in play in that scene.
Yes, I think it's a fantastically layered scene, that. It speaks volumes through the unspoken.

Weird is not what happens when people are disinterested.


Love this, Maggie. Very true in this case!

As for her conversation with Spike, I think it just amplifies what we already know: Buffy's got feelings for the guy. That's why she keeps stirring the pot about invites and break ups and by using Harmony's pet name for him. She isn't ready to let him in; she's not sure if he really wants to come in; but she ain't at all disinterested. Weird is not what happens when people are disinterested.


Forgive me if I think the reasoning is a bit contrived. She says things to gently irritate him, ergo she must still be interested? God, I must really want to sleep with all of my friends. And weird doesn't happen with disinterest? Again, I've seen a number of ex-couples that interact who might beg to differ.

Relationships are complicated, and different people react differently. One could quite plausibly read this as the friendly goodbye of two people that used to be very much involved, but retain residual closeness based on the previously existing emotional dependency. I'm fairly certain that's not what Spike's feeling (based on his behavior in the last arc), but it's a plausible explanation of Buffy's. And frankly, given her dialogue in the rest of the "episode," I think it's the *most* plausible one.
I suppose I could say forgive me if I think your reasoning is a bit willfully blind. We know Buffy has feelings for Spike -- #37 told us that. We know she's keeping her feelings for him from him -- #37 also told us that. With that backdrop, it's perfectly natural to read the weirdness as weird. We saw her gracefully handle being tripped earlier in the issue. Here she's so discombobulated she trips up herself and goes sprawling into her apartment. He gets to her. Whatever that means. She may be too terrified of the intimacy. She may (understandably) be less than anxious to get involved with a vampire again. She is keeping him out. But she's also stirring the pot. Lots going on! As you say, relationships are complicated and this one certainly is. The opposite of settled.
If Buffy/Spike were over in the story, they'd just be over. We wouldn't have got the fantasy sequence in Issue #37, we wouldn't have got Buffy getting distracted by him touching her butt, we wouldn’t have got this scene in Issue #40, and we wouldn't have had Spike show up alongside Angel throughout S8. All of this could have quite easily been avoided but it wasn’t so, IMO, it’s fairly obvious that Joss still wants Buffy/Spike in play. Which, by the way, he’s already stated in a S8 interview – “Like Angel, Spike is incredibly important to Buffy.”

He didn't say "like Xander", or "like Willow", he compared Spike to Buffy's other romantic interest, not her friends, ergo that's how he sees Spike too. A love interest.

I'll never understand this insistence that there's nothing going on between them. It's like when we first got the preview pages for 8.37 and people refused to see all sexy/intimate subtext going on in the bedroom scene. Surprise, surprise the issue comes out and that scene quickly develops into romantic/sexual fantasies (take your pick) which should have been fairly obvious given the chosen setting (a bedroom which is extremely intimate) and the ease they had around each other. Friend's brains don't "turn into cinemax" every time they're in the same room together. And wasn't Spike called one of her "truest loves" in Issue #34?

With how Spike has been presented in S8, and with the insight into Buffy's head that we got in Issue #37, I don't see how people can view their scene in Issue #40 as purely platonic. It just isn’t. I also personally feel that people have totally misread the tone of Buffy's snarking which, IMO, is clearly more playful then nasty. I think I even used the word "adorable" someplace else, which I've never used about Buffy/Spike before. Honestly, I think their snarking is a sign of affection (I know many couples in RL for whom this is true, Xander/Cordy were one of them in BtVS) and Buffy's clearly not upset that he's dropped by. Apparently he's been doing it a lot and she comes outside to talk to him, which she wouldn't do if she wanted him to stay away. She's not "rejecting him" she's just setting up some boundaries, which is completely understandable given what has just happened in S8.

So, no, they're not "betrothed" to one another and Buffy isn't ready to jump into a relationship with the guy (hence the no invite, when he moves her to tears she has a place she can escape to where he can't follow) but he's clearly in her heart and they'll continue right into S9. It's not a platonic relationship and it hasn't been presented as such in the entirety of S8. That scene can't be platonic when Buffy doesn't think of him platonically, and we know for a fact that this is true (#37). They are friends and, like with Xander/Dawn, maybe that's why this will work, but they're not just friends.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2011-01-24 03:20 ]
What Vampmogs said.
xane: This quote of yours is the definition of shipping. I don't mean to be blunt, but, if this is what you have taken from BtVS and AtS, then you ought to check out a newer vampire-themed serial I have read about. Uggggh.

I'm not talking about the seven seasons of Buffy. I'm talking about the seven seasons SINCE Buffy. But it's a moot point. Obviously the Spuffy fans were NOT watching the same show as the rest of you. That's clear. But it doesn't change the fact that for us, the focal point of our fandom for the last 7 years was what we saw as this beautiful epic love story. I'm just mourning. Sue me.


Oh, and, Edward is sooo much better for Bella because he is immortal and soooo shiny and they lay down in flowers and...er, sparkly.

Seriously, I dig Buffy and Spike together, but...The story is far more important than getting the happily-ever-after scene where Buffy cries into Spike's arms and suddenly she gives birth to a half-vampire baby and renounces her friends and family and species because she loves a boy so much she can't live without him.

Buffy is better.
Oh, and the alcoholism (I'm going to use the word "addict" from now on, because alcohol is a drug and addicts of any drug are still addicts...etc) analogy is pretty cool.

I really like that the Whedonesquers are seeing the addict angle with Buffy/Angel, or rather Buffy/Twilight. The "glow" has always seemed, to me, to be that force that compels an addict to go for the pleasure when the pleasure is clearly leading down the rabbit hole.

I do not, though, want to represent the Bangel relationship as an addiction. Cuz that would be quite the controversy and would call into queston every relationship I have ever in my life been a part of or witnessed...

Nevertheless, I am impressed with the dialogue here about Buffy and Angel's level of culpability regarding the "glow."
5X5B: Your assessment of my post is so off the mark I don't even know where to begin.
So I won't.
5X5B - Whilst we tend to shy away from shipping here, it doesn't give posters carte blanche to have a go at other people's ships. If people want to watch a show because of a ship then that's their business and shouldn't be lectured on it here.

Be also if we got back to discussing what Scott said.
For Christ's sake, if I have to sit through another writer/editor (deliberately or otherwise) confusing 'our depiction of this event was ambiguous' with 'we clearly depicted an event that can be interpreted in several ways' I'm going to bludgeon someone. The Twilight/'glow' stuff was poorly handled and sloppily rendered, and no amount of passive-aggressive 'It's complicated! Complicaaaaaated!' talk is gonna change that.
Speaking as someone who is basically a fan of the comics, I have to agree with Waxbanks. It's one thing for us to have various takes on the meanings of events. It's another for us to be really unclear as to what the event was.

[ edited by Maggie on 2011-01-24 17:45 ]


[ edited by Simon on 2011-01-24 18:29 ]


[ edited by Simon on 2011-01-24 18:29 ]
I've warned people countless times about playing the ball and not the man when it comes to Allie. I've deleted a couple of comments which went against the spirit of this and have locked the thread till tomorrow morning.
Sorry if I did something wrong here. I don't think I disrespected Scott and certainly never meant to because I think he's done a fantastic job.

I am still not certain what the controversy is now, since there are deleted posts. I kind of wish I knew what issue(s) caused it so I would know what to avoid.

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