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(Review) BtVS 8.07 'No Future For You' Part 2

4th October 2007 (18:01)

This just keeps getting better. A lot of new layers and emotional complexity, more plot revelations, and a very insightful characterisation of Faith.

(And no, I haven't read anybody else's reactions or reviews before writing this, as usual. So I've yet to discover what's causing the massed uproar of complaints this time around, although I don't doubt that there'll be something 'wrong' with this issue...)

For those of us disappointed by Faith's apparent reluctance to contemplate seducing a fellow-Slayer in Part 1, the first scene of Part 2 restores our, er, faith. Well, OK, she characterises her relationship with Buffy as 'friendship' but she's not fooling anybody, except possibly herself. (And Buffy.)

Getting a Faith's-eye view of what happened in season 3 is interesting, especially this line:
"They share a little of themselves with you. You share everything with them." 
At first, this might seem the wrong way round: season-3 Faith was forever keeping secrets, lying, not making her feelings plain, and exhibiting what Buffy called "defensiveness and weird mixed signals". But that's because we mostly saw her through Buffy's eyes. When you consider early season 3 as Faith experienced it, things look a little different.

Time and again, we saw her in conversation with Buffy; Faith happily chattering away about her life, her adventures, her boyfriends - and when she asked Buffy about herself, Buffy clammed up and answered reluctantly or not at all. It happened in 'Faith, Hope and Trick', it happened in 'Beauty and the Beasts', there was a particularly notable example of it happening in 'Revelations', where Faith looks distinctly hurt by Buffy's reluctance to talk, but shrugs it off with a "Sure, whatever." Now, we in the audience know about Buffy's huge Angel issues that she was still trying to deal with at this point; but to Faith, it must have just seemed like a one-sided friendship where she had to do all the running. In the early days, she did seem to think that Buffy would eventually loosen up, relax her inhibitions, and become the fun-loving, slightly wild friend Faith knew she could be. But then, to quote her here, "It all goes to crap": and when Faith faced a real crisis, the one person she hoped would understand and sympathise instead talks about going to the police, and goes on about her being dirty and sick. So naturally she felt hurt and betrayed and angry. "They hurt you. You hurt 'em back. Or maybe it's the other way around. Whatever."

This scene also gives us BKV's take on Buffy and Faith's reconciliation in season 7, which I think fits perfectly. They established a fragile truce and even shared a joke or two, but they didn't become best friends forever. "It won't ever be like it used to, 'cause that pain never really fades away." The two of them are tied together by all sorts of deep and complex bonds - and we can tell from this soliloquy that Buffy is still very much at the forefront of Faith's thoughts. However, Faith's normal reaction to emotional situations has always been to shut down, run away and refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong - because showing weakness makes you vulnerable. So all in all, I think it's hardly surprising that she ran away to Cleveland rather than sticking around with Buffy a moment longer than she had to. As she walked away, she probably secretly hoped that Buffy would call her back - but of course Buffy never did.

This opening scene also neatly ties into the final scene of the comic, but I'll come back to that  at the appropriate moment.

Next we see Faith gaining entry to the party. I don't know where Giles got that microphone; it looks like it was BBC Home Service standard issue circa 1953. Faith tossing away the earbug is open to several interpretations. At first I thought she might have a different plan of her own rather than wanting to follow Giles' instructions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It could be just as she says here: because she's a (self-proclaimed) loner, she doesn't want people second-guessing her actions. Or, of course, it could be that Giles made the mistake of trying to show sympathy and emotional support for Faith, which is always guaranteed to raise her suspicions about the well-wisher's motives.

Faith is right about one thing: security at the party really is lax if they don't even check invitations - and apparently only wave the metal detector over her torso instead of also her hair, where she's hidden her weapon. Maybe Giles did choose her for this mission because she has a secret weapon... her cleavage, which the guard is apparently being distracted by when he should be searching her. :-) Also, the "she's clean" joke was funny.

I'm not sure what a 'sped' is supposed to be. Or how that guard could get away with carrying a machine gun in Britain. And if we're going to get really picky, Faith's claimed father would be Viscount Avalon, not the Viscount of Avalon - only dukes, marquesses and earls have 'of' in their titles. Viscounts are also referred to as 'his Lordship' not 'his Excellency' - but if Viscount Avalon is also an ambassador or minister of state, he gets the 'Excellency' because of that. Which leads me to wonder who he is... surely the staff at Lady Genevieve's mansion will know enough to spot a made-up title. Maybe he's a secret ally of the Watchers' Council or the Coven willing to let his name be used for this event - and that name 'Avalon' is kind of a giveaway in that regard...

So, Faith in the receiving line suddenly has second thoughts about killing Lady Genevieve. Now there's a surprise. Last month, when everybody was complaining about how supposedly "out of character" it was for Faith to accept this mission from Giles so readily, I had two main ideas on how it would turn out. In one, Faith was deliberately lying to Giles, and agreed to his plan for reasons of her own. In the other, she was simply being her normal impulsive self, and accepted the mission mainly because she wanted to cut short Giles' attempts at justification.

I'm happy to see the second was right. It's much more in character for Faith to act on impulse and be impatient at any touchy-feely supportive 'emotional crap' from Giles or anyone else. We see that she's also accepted Giles' word that Genevieve is a threat to the world, and that killing her will be a good deed - and since she reformed, she's all about good deeds and trying to do the right thing. But, of course, when it actually comes to killing a fellow-Slayer, Faith gets the shakes and bottles out.

Maybe she should have thought about her possible reaction in advance? Perhaps, but careful forethought is not exactly a Faith characteristic, reformed or not. For that matter, maybe she did worry about what she would have to do, and told herself not to be such a wuss; this was an important mission and she shouldn't let her personal feelings get in the way. Either way, I'm very pleased with the characterisation of Faith here.

I'm less sure about Giles. Was he oblivious to Faith's potential feelings about this mission? Did he assume she would overcome them like a proper Slayer? Or does he have a more devious plan in mind, which is yet to be revealed? We'll have to wait and see - we still don't know his real reason for choosing Faith for the assassination, and I won't be altogether surprised if it turns out that he anticipated what actually does happen in this episode beforehand.

It's probably not coincidental that Faith's murder weapon is a knife and she talks about "sticking it in her and letting her bleed", considering the flashback at the start of this episode showed Buffy doing the same thing to her.

I only noticed afterwards that the opening shot of the great hall inside the mansion showed Roden and his two gargoyles lurking in shadows on the balcony, watching the crowds. This also shows us that the gorilla with the metal detector and the highly illegal firearm is not the only security on the party, which is good.

And now our regular scheduled three-page intermission to keep us up to date with what's going on in Scotland. I really liked this; the conversation between Willow and Dawn was both cute and funny. (And I'm carefully not going to mention here any fanfiction I may have written about what else the two of them may have been getting up to.) Willow's casual flying around is more confirmation - if it were needed - of how powerful she's become, and also how she's once again completely comfortable with using magic. Whether this will be a good thing or not is, of course, something we'll have to wait and find out.

Note that once again we have a character - Dawn, in this case - just about to give us some major revelation ("But the truth is-") when she's interrupted and we never get to hear what "the truth" is. (On the letters page, Scott Allie says it'll be "halfway through season 8" before we understand what happened to Dawn. So, about 12-15 more issues of mystery to go...) It does imply that Willow, too, is wrong about what caused Dawn to grow large - although Dawn was about to tell her that before Renee arrived.

In 8.03 Willow threatened the Slayers with losing their eyes, and in the next issue Warren did just that to her. Now she's threatening to turn Renee into a baby goat - I really hope for her own sake that this doesn't rebound on Willow in the same way...

It amuses me that Buffy doesn't actually appear in this issue at all (except in flash-back) and we still get a completely characteristic Buffyism in her description of Willow. Also, Dawn's comment - "All's fair" - partly shows her rather ruthless approach, partly continues the theme of the Slayers now being at war with humanity - and perhaps also relates back to Faith and what she's about to have to do. But does the 'love' part relate to Buffy, Gigi, or someone else?

One thing that struck me reading this is that Jeanty's style works much better when he's showing original characters, like Renee here, or Lady Genevieve or Roden. He isn't struggling against our preconceived knowledge of what the actor or actress looks like, but can simply establish the new character with their own visual style.

I'll leave it to those with more knowledge of women's fashion to comment on the stylishness or otherwise of what Willow's wearing here; at least - unlike Dawn - she's changed out of what she was wearing in 'The Long Way Home'. I did notice her shiny green amulet - and following this through, Faith, Gigi and Roden are all wearing different stones on necklaces themselves. (Willow's is green, Faith's is blue, Gigi's is red, Roden's also seems to be red). Coincidence or meaningful?

The balcony conversation between Faith and Gigi caught me by surprise. I was expecting some sort of rapprochement between them, to be honest - but I was expecting it to be a big emotional crisis of redemption and guilt. Not the two of them bonding over a shared interest in music and discovering just how much they had in common. Frankly, I prefer BKV's scene to what I'd imagined myself. So Faith regretfully decides that in a different world they could have been sisters - but ironically enough, this gives her the inner strength to pull out her dagger again to kill her new friend.

Which probably says something horribly deep and serious about Faith's character and destiny...

The joke about 'bumming a fag' is maybe not entirely original, but still very funny. Faith's fake name being "Hope" evoked a similar eye-rolling smile from me. (Lyonne is presumably just her mispronunciation of Lehane). And Faith being a fan of Amy Winehouse is another musical reference to add to the ones last issue, and a claim to pop culture credibility. :-) I admit, I had to look her up at the iTunes store to see what sort of music she produces - really not what I previously associated with Faith, but looking at her songs... yeah, I can see the connection:

What do you expect?
You left me here alone; I drank so much and needed to touch
Don't overreact - I pretended he was you
You wouldn't want me to be lonely

How can I put it so you understand?
I didn't let him hold my hand
But he looked like you; I guess he looked like you
No he wasn't you
But you can still trust me, this ain't infidelity
It's not cheating; you were on my mind

Yes he looked like you
But I heard love is blind...

Faith, Buffy, Gigi; oceans of angst and huge rivers of slashy subtext. What more could you want? :-)  Faith reveals more about her parents than we've ever heard from her... though I wonder if her father being like 'a ghost' means he's dead, or just was never there for her. (Assuming he even knew he had a daughter at all). She talks about her mother in the present tense here even though she's said before that she's dead. I also notice that Gigi's refined speech patterns are a lot more, well, common here when she's speaking to somebody she consideres an equal and doesn't have to put up a pretence. More evidence that she's deluded and spoiled rather than inherently evil.

Then we get Faith's fight scene - in the middle of which she tells herself off for angsting about why she's so avoidy around guys. Which is funny, but also a line of thought I think she should pursue further at a more convenient time. After fighting The Beast over in Angel season 4 you'd think Faith would know better than to punch demons made of solid rock, but no...

Actually, I've often thought that Faith really isn't a good fighter (for a Slayer) - she lacks Buffy's skill and finesse, but just goes piling in with raw aggression and determination. The result is that she frequently loses her fights, and ends up battered and bloody. Here I'm pleased to see she does win - and using cunning and dexterity and witty banter too, which is even better - but even so she's covered in her own blood and falls unconscious at the end. So, still in character then...

"Here comes bachelor #2" could well be a reference to the Aimee Mann album of the same name.

Faith wakes up, and if I understand Gigi's words correctly, she does know Viscount Avalon, and he's a banker. Also, the reference to Lady Genevieve as a 'princess' is interesting - is he referring to her supposed rank as heir to the leadership of the Slayers, or does it mean that her father the Duke is close in line to the throne, and she actually counts as royalty? Which would explain her references to 'commoners' that annoyed a few people last month...

Lady Genevieve is still a hopeless snob; she might be sympathetic to Faith, but only becuse she assumes she's also an aristocrat. I foresee an interesting scene when she finds out the truth. Faith's "Um, duh?" line was priceless - especially her slight hesitation.

And so we find out Roden's plan in detail. Apparently he's told Gigi she'll be the leader of the Slayers, not that she'll be the only one again as I speculated last time. And that they'll take over the world (or at least Britain) and rule it as a self-selected superhuman elite. Interesting. Isn't that exactly what Voll told Buffy he was afraid would happen a few issues ago? So either:

1) Twilight doesn't care about an undemocratic elite ruling the world, as long as it's their elite. They expect Gigi to be a helpless puppet in their hands, and to rule through her.
2) It's a trick. They're setting Gigi up as a stalking horse so they can later betray her, round up the Slayers, and justify whatever repression they need to the public as a necessary precaution against the terrorist Slayer threat.
3) Roden and Voll are working at cross-purposes, or even belong to rival factions.

My guess would be (2).

I've also realised something. One of the pictures of Buffy in Gigi's serial killer shrine shows her on the battlements of a mediaeval building in combat gear, holding a zap gun. Which suggests to me that this photo was taken during the battle at the start of issue 8.01  - and that the mysterious booted figure hovering in the air over the old church was in fact Roden. We know he's got (or rather, did have) two tame gargoyles, so they could have been holding him up. Presumably also he has magic protection to stop people noticing him. :-)

And we end with a moral conundrum. The first scene in this issue showed Buffy trying to kill Faith, and Faith proving that she still has major issues about that. Later on, we see Faith and Gigi realising how much they have in common, and bonding in a similar way to how Faith and Buffy became friends back in the day. And now we know Gigi plans to kill Buffy. How will Faith react?

I can't believe that she'll immediately say "Hell, yeah!" and join Gigi's side. I do think, though, that deep inside a dark part of her will be sorely tempted to do just that. Gigi seems to be offering her the real emotional connection with an equal that Faith always wanted from Buffy, but Buffy was never able to give her. If Faith does carry through her mission and kill Gigi, she'll regret this lost opportunity forevermore.

Then again, I can see her deciding to try and turn her new friend back to the Light Side, and discovering Gigi isn't interested - and they end up fighting to the death anyway. Which would be an epic tragedy, and whoever it was who once described Faith as "a walking angst machine" wll have to find an even more extreme metaphor...

Comments

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 18:34 (UTC)

Thanks for another insightful review!

Getting a Faith's-eye view of what happened in season 3 is interesting, especially this line:
"They share a little of themselves with you. You share everything with them."
At first, this might seem the wrong way round: season-3 Faith was forever keeping secrets, lying, not making her feelings plain...But that's because we mostly saw her through Buffy's eyes. When you consider early season 3 as Faith experienced it, things look a little different.
Time and again, we saw...Faith happily chattering away about her life, her adventures, her boyfriends - and when she asked Buffy about herself, Buffy clammed up and answered reluctantly or not at all. It happened in 'Faith, Hope and Trick', it happened in 'Beauty and the Beasts', there was a particularly notable example of it happening in 'Revelations', where Faith looks distinctly hurt by Buffy's reluctance to talk, but shrugs it off with a "Sure, whatever."... To Faith, it must have just seemed like a one-sided friendship where she had to do all the running. In the early days, she did seem to think that Buffy would eventually loosen up, relax her inhibitions, and become the fun-loving, slightly wild friend Faith knew she could be. But then, to quote her here, "It all goes to crap": and when Faith faced a real crisis, the one person she hoped would understand and sympathise instead talks about going to the police, and goes on about her being dirty and sick. So naturally she felt hurt and betrayed and angry.


Love all of this. One might add that she would feel betrayed and angry because the reactions from Buffy about being 'dirty' and 'sick' didn't seem to fully take into account the accidental nature of the death of the assistant mayor. And then we get the really juicy doubling of angst by the fact that Faith then proceded to live down in every way possible to Buffy's expectations. Indeed, well below Buffy's worst expectations. So Faith is angry at Buffy for setting the dynamic into motion. Angrier at herself for totally buying into it. And the latter is probably the one that will be hard to forgive.

I'm less sure about Giles. Was he oblivious to Faith's potential feelings about this mission? ... We'll have to wait and see - we still don't know his real reason for choosing Faith for the assassination, and I won't be altogether surprised if it turns out that he anticipated what actually does happen in this episode beforehand.


I really appreciate your optimism about how things will play out. But on this point, I am inclined to think that Giles really is acting out of blindness. He sees things from Buffy's POV and additionally repeats Angel's habit of projecting his own situation onto Faith. Giles hasn't fully registered what season 3 looked like from Faith's POV, and especially the fact that Buffy did deliberately try to take a human life. That this issue opens up with precisely the scene in question underscores how Giles must have sounded to Faith when he talked about how he and Faith were the ones to shoulder burdens like this, unlike Buffy who somehow walks on a higher plane. Not that I'm saying Buffy ever wallowed in the muck the way Faith did -- but it's also not right to say she is shiny white in contrast to Faith's relentless black. And one can imagine that Faith rolls with Giles here, cause she also likes the simple connection being offered by Giles -- but that his take is one more thing in the angsty stew you've characterized so well here.

It will be a kick to see how this all plays out. This issue was a bit slow, but it's setting things up for a riveting conflict or two or three.

I don't share your love for the Dawn-Willow scene. I couldn't care less about why Dawn is a giant -- the only intriguing aspect of the situation is Dawn's remarkable complacency about the problem, a complacency all the more remarkable in view of the hygiene problems noted here. In any case, Willow doesn't resonate with me as Willow. Not sure who this mystical-powerhouse guru is. Not sure I care. But I agree that more story could be lurking behind the scenes here. But for now color me bored.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 22:26 (UTC)

That this issue opens up with precisely the scene in question underscores how Giles must have sounded to Faith when he talked about how he and Faith were the ones to shoulder burdens like this, unlike Buffy who somehow walks on a higher plane.

Good point - although I don't think Giles was actually explicit about comparing Faith to Buffy. Even so, it has to be significant that even 'the Good Slayer' once set out to kill a Slayer who went bad. By accepting this mission, Faith is merely following in Buffy's footsteps...

Regarding whether Giles has a hidden plan, I do keep having to remind myself not to overthink the story. :-) It seems to be a common failing of the sort of fans who write and read meta to look for ever deeper layers of complexity...

Posted by: M (spankulert)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 19:45 (UTC)
faith bitten gargoyle

I'm not part of the mob rishing in to tear this issue to bits. I'm happy with the art in this one, Faith no longer looks like she's had a shovel taken to her face and then been stomped on a bit. I completely agree on your observation that Jeanty's far better at new characters than drawing allready established ones, but that's to be expected.

The one problem I have with this issue is Faith's willingness to go through with the assasination. From season4 of Angel I believe she learned certain things, and that she doesn't take a human life that lightly anymore. Also learning a lot about redemption, and then attempting to kill(would have if the gargoyle hadn't swooped down on her) another rogue Slaer, one so much like herself in a lot of ways. No, I just don't buy it. Agreeing to it, then regretting her desicion? Sure, but not going through with it. I think they've regressed her character.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 22:39 (UTC)

Jeanty's far better at new characters than drawing allready established ones

The other thing I've noticed is that he's not very good at drawing action scenes, because his drawing is so detailed. You get the sense that each panel is a single frame from the TV show, with every line and dot crisp and sharp. Someone like Franco Urru (from the 'Shadow Puppets' comics) whose style is much more impressionistic does imply movement a lot better - although for non-movement shots I've decided I much prefer Jeanty's style.

she doesn't take a human life that lightly anymore

I think that's a legitimate view of Faith's character, but it's not one I share. Faith basically isn't that reflective; she doesn't sit there angsting about morality. I'm not saying she doesn't feel remorse - she certainly does - but her default reaction is to try and suppress it and act as if everything is normal. In fact, in Angel 4 and Buffy 7 we saw her acting with a fair bit of bravado about her criminal acts ("Are you a murderer? 'Cause I am"). I certainly don't see her as a pacifist who's renounced volence against humans.

Like 2maggie2 said above, even Buffy - the very rolemodel of a 'Good Slayer' - once hunted down a rogue Slayer, stabbed her in the gut and left her to die. Now Faith is trying to be a Good Slayer too, I think she'd want to go through with her mission.

Posted by: M (spankulert)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 23:56 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:21 (UTC)

Posted by: M (spankulert)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 11:19 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 19:55 (UTC)
Alley-scene Buffy by Anna

but to Faith, it must have just seemed like a one-sided friendship where she had to do all the running.
Yeah, I'm not so sure about that. To quote the lady herself:

Faith: "Oh god. B - how am I ever going to make things right with her?"
Angel: "Faith, this isn't about Buffy."
Faith: "All my life there was only one person that tried to be my friend, - went out of her way when I had no right or reason to expect her to - and I screwed her. Not to mention her boyfriend, only - him literally."

'Sanctuary'

To mention the most obvious example: Buffy tried - desperately - to reach out to Faith when she killed Allan. Only Faith refused to be helped. Oh I'm sure S6 Buffy would have understood Faith a lot better, but it wasn't Buffy's fault that things went wrong. (Faith had A LOT of issues, but still.) Saying that now, all these years later, Faith feels that Buffy was the one who didn't do her part, feels a lot like those stories where Spike meets Buffy post-NFA and tells her that now he realises how mean she was, never appreciating him and everything he did for her the way she should have.

Basically I like pretty much everything about this story except Faith's characterisation. And the line 'I've done worse than this without losing a wink' pretty much killed her dead for me.

But it's a neat story, certainly (except for the aristocracy bit of course). At least the artwork makes it easy to forget who people are supposed to be. I'll read Hope Lyonne's story with interest.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 23:02 (UTC)
faith

Taking Faith's own words at face value is seldom a good idea. :-) For one thing, I think you've conflated several different elements of her story arc into one, instead of looking at how she changed over time.

In the early days - yes, I think it really was Faith opening up to Buffy, and Buffy being reluctant to share. Just watch the scene in 'Revelations' where Faith has just finished telling Buffy about her previous boyfriends and asks her to talk about Angel in return. Look at the hurt look on her face when Buffy refuses, and how she immediately covers it up with bravado. Sure, Buffy has her reasons for acting that way - and we in the audience know about them because we've watched 'Surprise', 'Innocence' and 'Becoming'. Faith hasn't.

Then there's her killing of the Deputy Mayor. And I feel qualified to talk about this because I've just re-watched 'Consequences'. :-) Yes, we the viewers know Buffy was desperate to reach out to Faith, because we saw her conversations with Giles and Angel and the Scoobies about it. But again, Faith didn't see that.

She just saw Buffy talking about turning her in to the police. She heard Buffy throw sarcastic insults at her in the street, attempt to second-guess the way she felt using words like "dirty" and "sick". She saw Buffy seizing the moral high ground and acting all prissy and superior (the wardrobe department's costume choice was probably not accidental) and refusing to accept what she really was inside. (Shades of S6 Spike there).

I'm thinking she accused Buffy of committing the murder (to Giles) out of childish resentment and desire to drag her off her high horse, as well as general panic and lashing out - or wanting to drag Buffy down with her - hidden behind her façade of not caring.

Yes, when Faith was enjoying a rare moment of self-reflection and honesty in 'Sanctuary', she was able to recognise that it wasn't all one-sided, that Buffy did reach out to her and try to be her friend. But that's hindsight, and probably also thinking about the period after Allan Finch's death.

And the thing about Faith is this: There are some people who are in close touch with their emotions. They are always honest with themselves and those around them. They never try to deny the obvious, they never put on a show of defiance and bravado to hide what they really feel - even from themselves. They're not afraid to show weakness. They always reflect carefully on their actions, and think through the moral and emotional consequences before hey do something. They never, ever act without thinking.
I think you know where I'm going with this...

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 05:49 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:15 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 13:15 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 14:46 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 15:43 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 22:14 (UTC)

Great review.

So, Faith in the receiving line suddenly has second thoughts about killing Lady Genevieve.

I've got the impression that Faith had to change her plans because Gigi ordered to give her all the cards at once thus creating a crowd around her...

One of the pictures of Buffy in Gigi's serial killer shrine shows her on the battlements of a mediaeval building in combat gear, holding a zap gun. Which suggests to me that this photo was taken during the battle at the start of issue 8.01 - and that the mysterious booted figure hovering in the air over the old church was in fact Roden. We know he's got (or rather, did have) two tame gargoyles, so they could have been holding him up. Presumably also he has magic protection to stop people noticing him. :-)

But there is a lot of other pics made indoors. Looks like Rodin has a spy in the castle.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th October 2007 23:12 (UTC)

I've got the impression that Faith had to change her plans because Gigi ordered to give her all the cards at once thus creating a crowd around her...
Could be. Or maybe when Gigi said that, she just panicked and had to make a hasty exit. She did't actually have a card to give her, or did she?


But there is a lot of other pics made indoors. Looks like Rodin has a spy in the castle.

Interesting idea! I'd actually assumed the pictures were taken on many different occasions - Buffy has different hairstyles in many of them; in fact the large one in the centre looks like her hair aged about 18 (season 3), so might be a really old picture.

I wonder if Faith will recognise the Twilight symbol? Giles knows about it now, but did he tell Faith?

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 11:07 (UTC)

Posted by: counteragent (counteragent)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 05:32 (UTC)
Cult

Great review. I liked this one a lot; the slower pace made the story flow better, IMO.

I think it's #2: the girls are being set up to take a fall.

My favorite panel: The one where Faith's inner and outer voices were perfectly in sync:
What the $%&*@?!

Hee.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:04 (UTC)

I liked that one too. (Reminds me a bit of 'Earshot', where Cordelia's thoughts and words were also in perfect harmony)

Thanks!

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 09:16 (UTC)

Very well argued, as always, though you can probably tell from my own post that I disagree somewhat... :-) I really like your thoughts on the flashback, even if I do agree with elisi all the way.

Just a couple of quick notes:
I wonder if her father being like 'a ghost' means he's dead, or just was never there for her

Either that, or she's referring to Richard Wilkins ("he was like a dad to me"). Who, the last time she saw him, was a ghost (and the weak point he chose to attack - her Achilles heel - was "they'll forever see you as a killer").

Amy Winehouse: I can see Faith being a fan (tattoos, wild lifestyle...) and her most well-known song, "Rehab", would be yet another song (following up on "Dirty Deeds" last month) that could be taken to indicate that maybe Faith is backsliding to her old ways - she has, of course, referred to her prison stint as "murder rehab" before:
They tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no
Yes I been blind but when I come back you'll know, know know
I don’t got the time
And if my daddy thinks I’m fine
You tried to make me go to rehab but I won’t go, go, go


(Of course, there's a timeline thing here in that Amy Winehouse had her international breakthrough in 2006 and this is presumably 2004, but maybe Giles' myfairladyzation of Faith included a crash course in up-and-coming British soul singers.)

I'm less sure about Giles (...) I won't be altogether surprised if it turns out that he anticipated what actually does happen in this episode beforehand.

In which case, what's his objective here? If Gigi is indeed a threat - and we know she is - why would Giles send in Faith if he anticipates that she won't actually do anything? Besides, it's a pretty big risk for him to take; if not for that gargoyle, she would have done it.

"Here comes bachelor #2" could well be a reference to the Aimee Mann album of the same name.

Or the "reality" dating show The Bachelorette, which sounds more like Faith fare to me.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:03 (UTC)

I did wonder about whether she might mean Wilkins, but in context I thought it was more likely she was talking about her real father. But the 'ghost' thing probably does apply to both.

maybe Giles' myfairladyzation of Faith included a crash course in up-and-coming British soul singers.
Or Faith has a previously unsuspected interest in new and unknown bands... (Hey, apparently she likes sad soul ballads, not just AC/DC as in your stories. :-) Maybe Aimee Mann isn't such a huge stretch for her after all...)

Regarding Giles' objective - my guess would be that if Faith kills Gigi, the apocalypse is averted. If she befriends her instead, she'll find out all about her plans and the other people (Twilight, as it happens) behind her, which is an even bigger win. And then maybe Buffy and a squad of Slayers will turn up to finish the mission anyway.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:41 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 16:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 16:27 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th October 2007 16:17 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th October 2007 20:19 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:27 (UTC)
Comic book Giles

I'm afraid the mistakes with the Brit setting and language killed this issue dead for me.

I've seen worse over many years of reading comics but I've seen way better too and I expected better of a book being overseen by Joss.

Not that I wasn't expecting it. As soon as the whole my fair lady aspect of this story came up my heard plummeted into my boots.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 16:10 (UTC)

It's silly and exaggerated, but I still enjoyed it. I mean, I bet real-life lawyers aren't too impressed by their representation on Angel either...

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 21:53 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 5th October 2007 10:27 (UTC)

That should read heart, of course.

Posted by: lilred26x (lilred26x)
Posted at: 7th October 2007 20:19 (UTC)

An interesting way of looking at Faith's thoughts and motivations. I like how positive you are about the comics. You help keep me positive as well! :) That being said though, I didn't like this one as well as the last couple. It seemed like not as much happened compared to past issues. Maybe that's because I read it too fast, and I'll change my mind when I reread it. Who knows? :) I'm still enjoying the comics either way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th October 2007 21:05 (UTC)

The thing is, I'm really enjoying them. I usually end up reading them on the way home, then again once I get home... then I write the review and read them a third time. :-)

Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

Posted by: chianazhaan (chianazhaan)
Posted at: 2nd July 2011 17:57 (UTC)
Great character analysis

Either way, I'm very pleased with the characterisation of Faith here.

Agreed. I also liked the way you explained the events of season 3 from Faith's point-of-view.

I'm less sure about Giles.

Agreed. And on re-reading:

GILES: The goal is to eliminate your target as quickly as possible, then head for the extraction point.

What kind of stupid plan it that? Did he watch too many films? Because I seriously doubt that Faith could have gotten outside, let alone escape. And that's when I don't even take into account Roden and his rocky goons!

And I like Lady Genevieve a lot more than I ever did Harmony.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 3rd July 2011 00:42 (UTC)
Re: Great character analysis
giles-notconvinced

I seriously doubt that Faith could have gotten outside, let alone escape.

Then again, she did escape from a maximum security women's prison, with guards who were presumably better-trained than Gigi's hired goons. And we know that Slayers move fast enough to dodge bullets, as long as they're alert and ready - Buffy did it way back in S1 with Darla, andin S4 with Adam.

But on the other hand - maybe Giles was being ruthless and not actually expecting Faith to come back alive? I'm not convinced that's true but it wouldn't be wholly out of character for him.

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