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(Review) BtVS 9.11 'Guarded' Part I

13th July 2012 (01:29)

So, issue 9.11 of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. That's an ominous number. The issue's not bad, though. The plot feels kind of monster of the week-ish: I'm not sure if Buffy's career change will be a permanent one or whether it'll all be over at the end of next issue. However, in terms of character development and continuity this was a very solid story; it fits with what's gone before and it feels very real for the state of mind Buffy would be in right now.




The premise of 'Guarded' is that Kennedy has organised a group of Slayers into a bodyguard agency, and at the end of last issue she offered Buffy a job. The biggest incongruity of this is pointed out from the start:

"Slayers I used to give orders to. [pause] Slayers I'm now taking orders from."

In some ways it's a major come-down for Buffy; and I give her credit for accepting her new situation with comparative good grace. Of course she chafes having to take orders from Kennedy, and occasionally flat-out ignores them: but on the whole she's being very mature and sensible about it. Just about everybody who has to work for a living has to take orders from someone, after all - be it their boss or their clients. Buffy even comments about how "grown-up" she's feeling.

I also think it was a good choice of the writers to pick Kennedy - and not only because I like her as a character, and because I'm glad to see the relatively minor characters of the Buffyverse being given important roles to play now and again. She's also appropriate because we know from Season 7 she's one of the few new Slayers who's always had enough strength of personality to stand up to Buffy, and even argue with her. I can't imagine part of her isn't secretly gleeful that the tables are now turned and she's in command. On the other hand, I always got the sense that Buffy and Kennedy respected each other: Buffy supported her rants against the other Potentials and put her in charge of training them, after all. We saw them conversing together without Willow being around a couple of times in Season 8, too, so they do have a history of interaction with each other.

Plus, Kennedy comes from a wealthy family: she presumably has the contacts and she certainly has the drive and self-confidence to do well in business.

Getting back specifically to this issue: I liked seeing Rowena again (the Slayer with the baseball cap and bubble gum) and I suspect that's Leah with the red hair, though she's cut it since her Season 8 days. I also though there was a set-up here: the first page looks as if the Slayers are actually organising an assassination or a robbery of some kind, until it turns out they're actually there to protect the 'target', not attack him.

The reveal of Buffy in the smart grey business suit reminded me a little of the reveal of her in her Doublemeat Palace uniform back in Season 6. She's come a long way since then, of course, at least in the material sense: "salary, benefits, paid vacation and a 401K".

Her reply to the client's comment that she's a little short for a bodyguard did strike me as trademark Jossian humour: "I only come in Buffy size". It's an interesting point that she says that's actually an advantage in bodyguard work, to look small and unassuming so nobody will suspect her role. Wouldn't a big, beefy bodyguard actually work better, by deterring attackers from even trying anything? Though I suppose a professional assassin would have a plan to deal with any such protection first, while they might not notice or suspect any danger from the small blonde girl in the next room until it's too late.

Kennedy radios Buffy with a report of an intruder spotted on their floor, and Buffy goes to investigate. This was fairly obvious mislead: there's a middle-aged maid and a big scaly demon in the corridor, and Buffy naturally assumes it's the demon who's there to attack her client. Wrong - he's perfectly innocent and is working in the hotel as a bellhop. This of course is a call-back to the loan-collector demon from the first arc of the season: the breaking of the Seed means demons trapped in our dimension are having to work for a living, and thanks to Harmony people now know the supernatural exists. Buffy ignored Kennedy's instructions to chase down the demon, and even took out her radio earpiece so she wouldn't have to listen. Exhibit A of Buffy chafing under someone else's control.

I'm impressed by Buffy reeling off different ways the demon might try to kill someone: is this basic Slayer knowledge she's picked up over time (Giles would be proud, and slightly incredulous), or training from Kennedy's organisation? Her jumping down a three-storey stairwell was also pretty cool: I've always been a fan of demonstrations of Slayer powers that aren't purely about hitting things very hard.

Of course, it was the maid who was the real villain. Buffy dashes frantically into the room, sees the maid pointing a pistol at her client and throws herself between them just as she opens fire. While it was her mistake that gave the assassin such an opportunity, you can't fault her self-sacrifice or heroism by interposing her own body. As a Slayer a bullet might not be as fatal to her as it would be to a normal person, but it's still going to hurt, and there's no Willow with magic around this time to heal her if the wound does prove fatal.

And then we get the big reveal, which I definitely wasn't expecting: the whole thing was a training mission, but Buffy didn't know that. The 'client' and the demon - and presumably the 'assassin', though she's not shown specifically - were actors, and the gun was loaded with blanks. Kennedy was filming the whole thing, and we skip ahead to Buffy watching the film with her and admitting she screwed up. (And for non-native-English speakers reading, the comment 'Swiss Slayer' is a reference to Swiss cheese, which is famous for being full of holes.)

Buffy's complaint about the gun having blanks loaded in it was confusing: does she wish they'd been real bullets because she thinks she deserves to get hurt for her failure? Or does she mean she wishes the gun hadn't been loaded at all, because she saw the flash and heard the 'bang' from the blank, assumed it was real, and panicked? I assume the second.

Buffy getting the names of the two actors mixed up was presumably put in there to show that she's still out of her depth in the new world of demon-human interaction. It was nice of her to try and apologise even so - and heck, even Kennedy apologises (kind of) for tricking her.

This leads into the fascinating argument between Buffy and Kennedy on the changing role of Slayers. Buffy assumed that the demon was the bad guy, and so missed the actual threat in the situation - because, as Kennedy says, "You're thinking like a Slayer". As she goes on to explain, her clients don't really need protection from the supernatural, fire and brimstone: they want people who are "strong, smart and good in a fight" to protect them from ordinary mundane threats like robbers and kidnappers.

And then Kennedy ends her argument with, "You need to stop looking at the world like you're the Chosen One". She has more to say - practical stuff about their next mission: but it's all off-camera as the artist focusses on Buffy's expression. She's thoughtful, but there's the glimmer of a smile hovering around her lips. I think the idea of not having to be the Chosen One appeals to her right now.

We cut to the HQ of Kennedy's company: there are 27 Slayers (not counting Buffy and Kennedy) training on the grass outside, so it's clearly a major operation. Interestingly Kennedy says she joined it, not she created it: so it sounds like it was an existing agency she approached with the idea of employing Slayers, and presumably they have other more conventional lines of business. I assume Kennedy is the departmental vice-president of the Slayer Division or something like that.

Also, Kennedy drives a red Audi. I'm afraid I don't know enough about cars to know if that has any particular symbolism - though the obvious point is made that Buffy could never afford a new car like that on a waitress's salary.

Kennedy sees herself as giving the Slayers another chance to make a success of themselves after "whatever it is we did" screwed up their lives. She makes the pointed comment that many of them never even finished high school before being Called and joining Buffy's army. Buffy gets angry and defensive at that: she still thinks what they did was a good thing.

On the other hand, she also stays up late into the night studying - presumably books on how to be a bodyguard, since Kennedy mentioned having to do that before their next mission. In the cafeteria of Bodyguard HQ she meets Eldre Koh, who is lurking there (he actually uses that word *g*) waiting for the opportunity to speak to her without being spotted by the other Slayers.

This is the first time we've seen him for quite a few issues, but Buffy remembers him. It seems that she talked to Spike about him quite a bit, in fact: enough to get the idea that Koh and Spike have an 'underworld bromance'. Buffy is still definitely a slash fan, it seems: specifically she slashes Spike together with other hot men and possibly oil. I did like Koh's confusion about what a 'Scoobie' is...

Eldre Koh wants Buffy's help: he's trying to track down the demon responsible for his original imprisonment, and can't do it alone. Buffy doesn't want to help: she's trying to build a new life for herself that doesn't revolve around demons. Kennedy's earlier lecture about not having to be the Chosen One struck home after all. All along, Buffy is perfectly polite and friendly, but her conversation is peppered by rather glib jokes about 'Slayer most-wanted lists' and 'bromances' and 'slaycations' and 'I won't tell if you don't'. It feels to me as if she's using it as a way to distance herself through humour: "jokey-rhyming her way out of it" as Willow once put it.

Koh gets angry (and reminded me quite a lot of G'kar from Babylon 5 in the process). He accuses Buffy of selling out: using her superpowers for personal profit. It's an argument Buffy herself once made - back in the 'Flooded' days - so that's perhaps why she reacts so badly and lashes out at him. She's "just trying to get her life together".

However, it's not that easy. As Buffy reflects to herself afterwards, her Slayer instincts don't come with a pause button. In fact, she's going to get a stake and go out patrolling, just like in the old days when things were simple. Koh's remarks seem to have pricked her conscience after all.

But Kennedy catches her leaving, and warns her that their next mission starts "in five". I assume that's five hours, not five minutes! Buffy suspects this might be another disguised training mission, and isn't in a mood to mess around; she ignores her boss and starts walking out. Kennedy warns her that if she leaves, she can consider herself fired. That stops Buffy for a moment, though from her expression I think it's even money whether she'd turn around or keep on walking.

But then Kennedy reveals that the other Slayers didn't want to work with Buffy - they still blame her for ending the Slayer line and taking away their purpose. It was Kennedy alone who decided to reach out to Buffy, because she personally wanted to work with her. This is actually the second time in the issue Kennedy said that: earlier she says she is organising this company to give Slayers, specifically "including you", a shot at a future.

Buffy naturally asks why Kennedy's so concerned about her - she refers to their conversation back in 8.40 when Kennedy was angry with her for breaking the Seed and, by extension, causing her and Willow to break up. Kennedy doesn't answer her question directly, but says that being dumped by Willow turned out to be "the best thing that could've happened to me", by forcing her to reassess her life and her choices, and make a new future for herself. And why does she want Buffy at her side? Because, "You're one of the strongest girls I know."

She also points out that her bodyguards are still helping people, even if it's not a supernatural Destiny thing anymore. Buffy isn't convinced, and Kennedy accuses her of being scared to face the change and leave her comfort zone: of discovering she might be good at something that doesn't involve being the One and Only Slayer.

Kennedy also makes the point that since the general public are now so happy to embrace vampires as cool and trendy, they shouldn't expect Slayers to save them from them when things go wrong. Which is cynical: but remember how the general public turned against Slayers in S8, and Kennedy's attitude is understandable. Another little bit of information let slip is that zompires are on a "siring spree" - there are lots of them and the numbers are growing.

Buffy goes patrolling anyway. We get her internal monologue again - which I'm glad about: it's one of the benefits of comics over TV that seems rather under-utilised. She kind of agrees with Kennedy that she's being cowardly in not facing up to her future; but she also feels that helping to save people from vampires is her mission, and she'd rather risk being fired than give it up.

Except she sees a victim being attacked by a vampire... only to be saved by a uniformed police officer, who's carrying a stake and knows how to use it. It's a very strong scene, and both surprising yet logical. Detective Dowling shows up, and we learn that his new task force has started training beat cops how to deal with vampires. Luckily, the new-style zompires are predictable and feral enough that a trained human without superstrength can still deal with them. I presume the idea is that the zompire concentrates so much on its victim, that a human can sneak up behind them and stake them before they're aware of it. A normal vampire would have faster reactions and be less primally focussed on his food.

Buffy offers Dowling sympathy for what happened to Cheung: he says it was thanks to her and Spike that the police have enough information to deal with the zompires. (What about Xander and Dawn? Didn't they help too?) Buffy realises this means she isn't needed to patrol the streets anymore - a call-back to her reaction to Severin in the first arc. But Dowling gives what I think is the perfect answer: she's still needed - but now she can get to have a night off every once in a while, as it were.

With that knowledge, Buffy decides to go back to meet Kennedy after all, for the bodyguard mission. Kennedy is clearly a little annoyed with her - I did smile when she tells Buffy it will be her job to carry the client's luggage - but she accepts her presence and tells her about the job.

Turns out they've been hired to protect a client named Theo Daniels, who set up a social networking site called Tincan. The artist has drawn Theo Daniels to look exactly like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Facebook is also, in Buffy's words, "The site where you poke people" (I laughed at Kennedy's reply to that), so it's clear what they're going for here. :)

And the issue ends with the big reveal that Theo hired two Slayers as bodyguards because (dun dun dun) Wolfram and Hart are out to kill him. This is the first time they've been mentioned on 'Buffy' as opposed to 'Angel' - and interestingly, they're described as 'an organisation from a hell dimension' rather than 'a law firm'. It'll be interesting to see what's happened to W&H in the post-Seed world. (Not to mention to discover whether the events of 'After the Fall' will be referenced at all!)

The parallel to 'Angel' S5 is strong here as well: Buffy in this issue has been worrying about 'going corporate' and whether she's selling out her mission as the Slayer by accepting this job with Kennedy. She's still not as bad as Angel, though...


Finally a couple of character notes. First, Buffy and Spike. Buffy isn't pining and brooding about him here - although according to the preview of his mini-series that's certainly what Spike is doing right now. There's also the scene where she tells Koh that she's trying to "build a life that revolves around things other than-- well, demons" and seems quite happy about the idea. So is she writing Spike out of her life? The glass-half-empty brigade would say yes, I suspect, but the glass-half-full faction would point out that Spike's name is dropped into the conversation quite casually three times - twice by Buffy and once by Dowling to Buffy - and there's no sign at all of any hesitation or "I want him out of my life!" feeling to that.

My own conclusion is that most of the time, Buffy doesn't think of Spike as a demon at all. She treats him like he's a man, and her generalisations about 'demons' exclude him by default. Of course as we saw last issue, Spike is capable of getting hurt by that anyway. It's only when she's *reminded* of his vampireness that she remembers he's different and gets defensive.

Next, Kennedy. After reading the issue something struck me: usually when a gay character is included in a work of fiction, the story becomes about their gayness. It's a plot element, or it's the shorthand for their character. 'Buffy' has been better than most shows in this respect, but even Kennedy herself was introduced to be "Willow's new love interest". The episode of S8 where she and Satsu were the main characters was still a case of "the other lesbian Slayer" goes to talk to Satsu after her breakup with Buffy. But in contrast to that, Kennedy's sexuality was almost completely irrelevant to this issue. Which is how it should be, of course; and with straight characters it would be taken for granted - Buffy's sexuality is equally irrelevant to this episode, for instance. But it's still kind of refreshing to see it here.

I said 'almost' irrelevant because another stray thought did hit me, but only on my re-read as I wrote this review. Kennedy makes a point of how she went out on a limb to give Buffy this job, despite the opposition of the other Slayers. She keeps her on despite Buffy screwing up and disobeying her orders. She shows genuine concern for Buffy's future well-being. She tells Buffy she's the strongest girl she knows. Her answer to Buffy's question, "Why help me?" is a seemingly irrelevant digression about how Willow dumping her was the best thing that ever happened to her. So apparently Kennedy is still single. And Kennedy was right there in S8 when Buffy was with Satsu: in fact, if you remember she warned her to keep away from her own girlfriend.

You know, 'ships have been built on less. :)


Comments

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: 14th July 2012 21:04 (UTC)
Buffy Tower Tarot

I hope that we're not supposed to think that Slayers aren't needed anymore now that everyone knows about vampires - because that would devalue the entire premise of the show. It would mean that Slayers were never actually needed - instead of imbuing these girls with a demonic spirit, separating them from their families (in many cases), having them die young, all people needed to do was arm a bunch of ordinary (in the sense of non-superpowered) warriors or soldiers or cops with stakes.

As a Slayer a bullet might not be as fatal to her as it would be to a normal person, but it's still going to hurt, and there's no Willow with magic around this time to heal her if the wound does prove fatal.


I think you're getting Slayers mixed up with vampires. :) Slayers heal faster, but that doesn't help them when they're already dead or fatally wounded. I'm pretty sure that a bullet would have killed her. In fact, she might have died of Warren't bullet if Willow hadn't cured her.

It seems that she talked to Spike about him quite a bit, in fact: enough to get the idea that Koh and Spike have an 'underworld bromance'. Buffy is still definitely a slash fan, it seems: specifically she slashes Spike together with other hot men and possibly oil. I did like Koh's confusion about what a 'Scoobie' is...


As far as I know, "bromance" and "slash" are two completly different things - since bromance is by definition about a non-sexual, non-romantic relationship between two men that's as strong as a romance. So, if that becomes slash, it stops being a bromance.

We also don't know if Buffy thinks of Koh as a "hot man".

Kennedy also makes the point that since the general public are now so happy to embrace vampires as cool and trendy, they shouldn't expect Slayers to save them from them when things go wrong.


That's not just an awful thing of Kennedy to say, it's also stupid. The public embraced regular vampires; they didn't embrace zompires, so Kennedy is not making sense there.





Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 19:33 (UTC)

Well, if the premise of 'Buffy is "A young woman grows up and becomes empowered; oh and also there's vampires", then I'd say a key part of growing up is realising that you're not actually indispensable; and learning how to delegate and share your power has also been an important message of the show. :)

On the other hand, bear in mind that humans are learning how to deal with zompires; I doubt a cop with a stake would fair well against a 'proper' vampire, let alone a demon.

***

Slayers can't shrug off bullets like a vampire, but they can survive them better. Their resistance to pain means they won't go into shock as readily: and it's canon that "Slayers heal fast. Real fast" from bullet wounds. In other words, a bullet can kill a Slayer, but if it doesn't she'll be up and good as new in a day or two.

Posted by: TimeTravellingBunny (boot_the_grime)
Posted at: 14th July 2012 21:04 (UTC)
Buffy Chosen emotionlorgasm


Finally a couple of character notes. First, Buffy and Spike. Buffy isn't pining and brooding about him here - although according to the preview of his mini-series that's certainly what Spike is doing right now. There's also the scene where she tells Koh that she's trying to "build a life that revolves around things other than-- well, demons" and seems quite happy about the idea. So is she writing Spike out of her life? The glass-half-empty brigade would say yes, I suspect, but the glass-half-full faction would point out that Spike's name is dropped into the conversation quite casually three times - twice by Buffy and once by Dowling to Buffy - and there's no sign at all of any hesitation or "I want him out of my life!" feeling to that.


Well, as someone who doesn't brood or mope over people, things and relationships lost, I generally don't take lack of brooding or moping as a sign of lack of feelings, so Buffy not doing any brooding or moping is neither here nor there for me, rather than a case of a "glass half empty". I'd definitely expect it of Spike, though, since he's the kind to do that. Buffy... increasingly less so over the years.

As for Buffy mentioning Spike: I actually saw that more as "glass half full" since it seems that not only she isn't writing him out of her life, but she feels like he's still a part of her life. Bringing people's names up and often referencing things they've said is generally (I believe) a sign that they're on your mind and that they still feel like an integral part of your life; I've caught myself doing that with some of the people closest to me even after they died or moved to another country or when we've stopped seeing each other that often due to circumstances. Maybe it's still early to say if that's the case with Buffy, since she's only done it once; doing it repeatedly is a sure sign. (Say, if she has another example of "You sound like Spike" from 9.01).

Another thing is that she doesn't seem conflicted about him or embarrassed to talk about him - contrary to say, season 6, when she was conflicted and ashamed, or season 8 pre-Spike's return, when his name didn't come up and she was only referencing him when talking about her tragic romantic history. In season 9 she's invited him to her party and brought his name up and talked about him and her conversations with him to Riley, Dawn and now Koh. So, however she feels about Spike romance-wise or relationship-wise, he isn't some sort of secret part of her life that she's embarrassed of or keeping from others (as Spike seems to feel).

I said 'almost' irrelevant because another stray thought did hit me, but only on my re-read as I wrote this review. Kennedy makes a point of how she went out on a limb to give Buffy this job, despite the opposition of the other Slayers. She keeps her on despite Buffy screwing up and disobeying her orders. She shows genuine concern for Buffy's future well-being. She tells Buffy she's the strongest girl she knows. Her answer to Buffy's question, "Why help me?" is a seemingly irrelevant digression about how Willow dumping her was the best thing that ever happened to her. So apparently Kennedy is still single. And Kennedy was right there in S8 when Buffy was with Satsu: in fact, if you remember she warned her to keep away from her own girlfriend.

You know, 'ships have been built on less. :)


Heh, no. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen if I were you. Except in fanfiction, of course - I'm sure they'll soon be fanfics about B/K. ;)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 19:37 (UTC)

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen if I were you.

Oh, I'm not. It just struck me as intriguing that Kennedy is really going out of her way for Buffy here, and expressing a lot of positive feelings for her, when they weren't really that close before.

Your thoughts on Spike reflect mine pretty much all the way here. :)

Posted by: Kiki May (kikimay)
Posted at: 14th July 2012 23:09 (UTC)

The issue was actually pretty good. I enjoyed all the Kennedy/Buffy's dialogues, but what bothers me is that everything seems predictable. All this Kennedy's project will be a total failure and Buffy would know once again that she's THE slayer (as Giles with is book foreshadowed) and so she will maybe insist on the fact that being a slayer isn't just a job, but a mission.
I don't know, for me this is the destiny of S9.
I hope that they can make things more interesting and original. And, yes, I didn't like Spike sudden abandon. Angel and Faith's cast is much more rich and I wish to see more characters I love to interact together.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 19:41 (UTC)

Well, that result is only predictable if it turns out to be true. :) I think you're right in that Buffy will decide that she has a mission that's more than just being a bodyguard; but that doesn't necessarily mean that Kennedy's organisation will collapse and fail. For that matter, it might even carry on in the background as Buffy's source of income for a while even if it stops being a major part of the story, the same way her working as a school counsellor was in S7.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 01:42 (UTC)
pic#82327614

This was a great issue for the small contingent of Non-Kennedy-Haters, which also includes me. No brattiness about her at all. No jumping down Buffy's throat when she disobeyed orders and went after the wrong "assassin"... no long sarcastic lecture when Buffy came back from her AWOL patrol. In fact, all the brattiness here was coming from Buffy. Glad to see Kennedy has grown beyond the bossy, insensitive character she was at times in season 7.

I wish I could believe that was actually Rowena. I don't think it is... her hair is too dark, and Scott Allie recently said we were unlikely to see any of Buffy's old squad this season. Which is odd... I would expect Kennedy to try to recruit them, as they were the top Slayers. Especially Satsu, with whom she has a personal connection. But, maybe those girls didn't want to work as bodyguards.

Bennedy, eh? :-) I doubt that's what they're going for, but it's not out of the question IMO. Her reaction to Willow back in issue #1 suggests she doesn't consider the idea of "making naughties" with other girls to be unthinkable. It might not be completely OOC for Kennedy to try to get back at Willow by hooking up with her best friend, but it would be pretty cold of Buffy to go along with it. It would be a slap at Satsu too, though we don't know if she still has any feelings for Buffy (besides disgust) after the way season 8 ended.

It's a little troubling that Kennedy's group is not ultimately under her control. Seems like one of the oldest rules is that Slayers should not be beholden to governments or corporations, but only to the Watchers' Council or themselves. I really hope the Slayers aren't actually working for a Wolfram & Hart puppet corporation. Theo Daniels had better hope so, too.

This new social network, Tincan, uses an actual tin can (what looks like a stylized variant on the Campebll's Soup can) as its logo, which we've seen in several places this season. Note that when we first saw Simone in issue #1, she was drinking an energy drink out of a metal can... but by the time she turned up in the last arc, the artwork seemed to be deliberately calling our attention to the fact that she is drinking exclusively out of plastic bottles now. I wonder if the Tincan network has something to do with actual tin cans, and Simone is wise to that? We've been told that this network is how demons (including, I assume, W&H) are re-gaining access to this dimension. Maybe people in the Buffyverse will have to avoid tin cans just as people in the Epitaph-verse on "Dollhouse" have to avoid telephones...

I also wonder if Illyria might be the one who imprisoned Eldre Koh, back when she was still a god-king.

I notice that one of Kennedy's Slayers... the one you ID as Rowena... seemed to be carrying a gun. Maybe it's not a firearm, but something like the force-field disruptors Buffy and her squad used last season.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 19:57 (UTC)

Kennedy was still bossy; but she's learned some tact in the last couple of years. :)

I'm sure it's Rowena. She's still blonde; but she's in shadow here, it's a new colourist on the comic, and for that matter women are known to change their hair colour from time to time. :) What she's holding look more like some sort of blaster or phaser than a normal firearm; maybe it's a taser. Then again, Kennedy doesn't seem to share Buffy's hostility to guns.

I'd interpret Scott's comment as being more, "Don't expect them to feature in a story"; what we have here, I'm pretty sure, is George Jeanty being asked to draw "A group of Slayers" and him including Rowena and Leah on his own initiative as an easter egg. He wouldn't include Satsu that way, though, because people would expect more interaction between her and Buffy if he did. I assume she's still in Japan.

I certainly didn't get the impression Kennedy was trying to 'get back' at anyone. Enough months have passed that I think she's pretty much over Willow. She just apparently has a lot of positive feelings for Buffy - though it would be ironic after her lecturing Satsu on why it was a mistake to fall for a (mostly) straight girl if she did the same herself a year later...

We've been told that this network is how demons (including, I assume, W&H) are re-gaining access to this dimension.

Really? I'd not heard that. Interesting. It does make sense that Not-Mark-Zuckerberg would be evil himself, rather than just an innocent victim of a W&H scam. :)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 16th July 2012 00:36 (UTC)
pic#82327614

Really? I'd not heard that. Interesting. It does make sense that Not-Mark-Zuckerberg would be evil himself, rather than just an innocent victim of a W&H scam. :)

That reveal is in the solicitation copy for #13.

I'm not sure that Fake Zuckerberg is actually evil himself... just that the demons have found a way to exploit his network to establish contact with our dimension (I don't think they can actually use it to travel here.)

Given that, it makes sense that the Senior Partners would want him dead so they could seize control of his company and network, re-establish their links with Wolfram & Hart in this world, and control all communication between Earth and other planes.

Posted by: GingerWall (gingerwall)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 18:04 (UTC)
Buffy

Thanks for posting. I always appreciation the summaries and your take on things.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 15th July 2012 19:58 (UTC)

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. :)

Posted by: GingerWall (gingerwall)
Posted at: 16th July 2012 03:22 (UTC)

I'm glad. Even though I apparently can't spell "appreciate."

*is super embarrassed*

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