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StephenT [userpic]

(Review) BtVS 8.15 'Wolves at the Gate' Part 4

5th June 2008 (20:45)

An interesting episode... with a few surprises, and some twists that I - well, I hate to brag.
Oh who am I kidding, I love to brag. I totally called them. :-)

Renee's death was incredibly touching and a very effective piece of comics artistry, with her thoughts, and the background fading away until all she can see is Xander, and then he fades too. Compare the very similar scene at the end of 8.05 'The Chain', incidentally. There's been some discussion of what her words meant. "I hope he knows. I never got to tell him" caused a bit of debate on the grounds that it was too early in their relationship for her to be talking about being in love with him, and so she had some other confession in mind ("I'm the traitor!". Nah, probably not.). Personally, I think it's exactly that, for exactly that reason... it was too early in their relationship and she didn't want to scare him off, so she never said the words "I love you" and now she never will.

'Rule number one' is the other source of debate. The consensus seems to be that it's what Buffy said to Faith in 3.03 'Faith, Hope and Trick': "First rule of Slaying: don't die." Or alternatively, it's what she said to Satsu in 8.11 'A Beautiful Sunset': "A few key rules [...] Number one is you are always in danger." I prefer the second, not only because it's more recent but because it's what Renee obviously forgot; she didn't look behind her.

And so the comic begins with one of the two main new people introduced in Season 8 - both as love interests for major characters - dying. I hope Satsu doesn't also get written out at the end of the comic... oops.

Last month, I commented that Renee's wound would not be instantly fatal, especially to a Slayer, and Willow was standing right there and could probably heal her... unless something intervened. And guess what? Renee's wound wasn't instantly fatal... and Willow was prevented from healing her by Kumiko grabbing her and throwing her out the window. It's almost as if Drew read my mind...  (I didn't notice what happened to Willow on first reading - Renee's death and Xander's reaction kind of overshadowed it - but it's right there on the page).

As for Xander's reaction, and Buffy and Dracula's reactions to his reaction, they were all three of them spot on. Dracula finally turning badass ("He's not alone") was a shiver-inducing moment.

Satsu seemed rather thrown at being suddenly landed with the command - but notice how she's casually decapitating a vampire as she turns to talk to Buffy? It seems her accolade as "my best fighter" is definitely deserved.

And Willow finds herself in a magical duel with someone who's just as strong as her, for the second time this season. I think the fears that she's now too omnipotent to be interesting are misplaced. I loved Ishihara Kumiko's polite introduction of herself, and her casual deflection of Willow's spells. (And for the record: 'incursio' means 'attack', 'decrete' is 'disappear' (technically, it's the vocative form of the past participle: "O thing which has disappeared!"), 'percussus' means 'striking' and 'consti' is probably meant to mean 'stand firm'.) I'm not sure what Willow was trying to do when she said 'talk to me', but I'm guessing what actually happened was not the desired effect...

And the snake goddess is back! In my fanfic I've been calling her Nehushtan, who was a snake spirit in Hebrew mythology, but her real name turns out to be Saga Vasuki - and Vasuki was a snake spirit in Hindu mythology. So close... It seems that Willow was her student, and so was Kumiko (obviously not at the same time) - but the implication was that Willow ran away or hid, because she didn't like what Vasuki revealed to her. "Did you think you could hide from what you are? Or what's to come?" is definitely an echo of Dracula's words to Buffy in 5.01 'Buffy vs Dracula': "You think you know:  what you are, what's to come. You haven't even begun. Find it. The darkness. Find your true nature."  I'm quoting the Dracula version of that phrase here because Tara/The First Slayer's version of it in 4.22 'Restless' had the order reversed. Also, the follow-up is significant.

It's been pointed out that in 8.10 'Anywhere But Here', we all assumed that Buffy's secret crime was a huge moral failing, and Willow's bad thing was just a minor sexual transgression... but if she's been learning powerful magic from the same demon goddess who taught Kumiko, then maybe it's her transgression that will be even more deadly.  Mind you, I'm not getting the vibe that Saga Vasuki is necessarily Evil with a capital 'E', as opposed to just being powerful and dangerous and perhaps a little amoral. Just like Willow herself, in other words. :-)  I wonder if Willow's "Goddess..." as she faints is just an exclamation, or if she's addressing Saga Vasuki? My money's on the second, and the snake woman is indeed a goddess. Or even The Goddess.

What does her vision foretell? That's New York on fire, you can tell by the Chrysler Building in the foreground with Vasuki's tail wrapped around it. Is Vasuki causing the apocalypse, or merely showing it to Willow? Or is the implication that Willow herself will cause the apocalypse, and that's why she ran away? And what does the Scythe have to do with it? Considering that the blurb for the next arc talks about Buffy and Willow going to New York to find out more about the Scythe, I suspect we'll soon find out. Trivia point that may not be trivial at all: the Chrysler Building is also the one recognisable New York landmark that's still visible in the 23rd century, according to the 'Fray' comics.

Buffy is definitely afraid of heights... but like a true hero, overcomes her fear when her friends are in trouble. Clearly Kumiko was controlling her descent through magic, and not accelerating downwards at 9.8 metres per second squared, or Buffy would never have caught them when she jumped... I wonder if Kumiko's staking will prove fatal, or not? She doesn't immediately turn to dust, although she'd kind of leaking something (not blood, maybe dust or mist) as she falls away, and she doesn't reappear when Toru needs her later in the episode. It would be a shame to lose her completely; not only is she a match for Willow in terms of power, but in many ways she's her dark twin. Both students of the same master... and while Willow's magic empowered the Slayers, Kumiko's magic was intended to take their power away again. She'd make a good recurring antagonist.

Rowena gets to appear again; she wasn't left behind after all. She's also in command of this squad, it appears. I noticed two dead Slayers on the ground in this fight scene. And Dawn gets to be all commandery and assertive. Good for her. I missed it at first, but she isn't just stamping her foot to get attention; she squished that vampire in panther form that was about to attack Rowena (you can see the blood). I'm glad she gets more than just a cameo role this time, as opposed to last issue.

I wasn't expecting Mecha-Dawn, I have to say... although I did predict that she'd be fighting a 50-foot tall mecha battle robot, so I got that bit right. :-) 

Toru's incantation includes the phrase 'inter canem et lupum' which is (perfect) Latin for 'between dog and wolf'. 'Makurayami' sounds Japanese; my dictionary says 'makura' means 'pillow' and 'yami' means 'darkness', but that makes the kind of sense that's not. Satsu grabbing the Scythe is very dramatic - and brave of her - and she accidentally gets to emulate Buffy by being the second Slayer to leap off a tall building that day.

I did like Buffy and Willow bickering, and Willow's pouty "I never wanted to sleep with you either." Yeah, right, Willow, we believe you. :-) Nothing surprising here to me, at any rate... except maybe Buffy's list of women she would supposedly go to bed with. We might believe Willow, Buffy, but we don't believe you. Willow's protectiveness of Satsu felt right, and followed up nicely from her reaction earlier in the arc; she had The Talk with Satsu and now she's having the equivalent one with Buffy. And finally, loved the way in the last panel their heads are both slightly tilted as they watch Satsu's trajectory down towards the ground...

And then they make a dramatic entrance back to the battle, Willow all stern and Buffy and Satsu in mirrored poses as they leap into battle. Incidentally, Satsu's wielding her sword in her left hand here, as she was earlier in the issue as well... but later on it's in her right hand. The pose and framing of the picture here is too deliberate for it to be a simple continuity error, so I'm guessing it's now canon that she's ambidextrous. When it comes to swordfighting, she can swing both ways.

No jokes about Buffy being the same now, please. :-)

And I was right also that Dracula's sword (that he keeps locked away in a cabinet with the key around his neck) was special, and the only thing that could remove his powers... and that he accepted this as the price of defeating them. Willow's spell includes some words of Latin - 'Aufero' is 'I take away', 'incruentatus' (with an 'r') means 'unstained with blood' and 'Lacrimo Augustino' means 'I weep for Augustinus' - but the rest is gibberish. And the spell - cast by Willow, enabled by Dracula - turns Toru's gang into normal Slayable vampires again. Yay.

The Dawnbot is not nearly as realistic as the Buffybot, although almost as cute. I liked Dawn's reaction to its gibes, especially the last one about letting boys take advantage of her... that sounded Significant to the Plot if ever I heard the like. And you know what? A minor miracle happened: I even really liked Andrew's role in this scene.

Also loved Satsu's accidental admission that she knows what Buffy tastes like. And alert readers might spot that Buffy being choked by a vampire who is then staked from behind by her fellow-Slayer, who appears through the cloud of dust, has happened to her before, back in 3.15 'Consequences'. Except that Satsu has stepped into the role of Faith. So to speak. ;-)

It wasn't entirely clear to me at first, but Toru grabs the sword as Willow throws it to Dracula, then Dracula grabs it back. This speech was another excellent scene for him - and a reminder that human, ensouled Vlad Dracul was a worse monster than almost any vampire. Thank goodness he's on Xander's side now, eh? I wonder if his being reduced to 'an ordinary vampire' will be permanent, or if he'll find a way to get his powers back? I suspect he will, somehow... Also, another point: both Angel and Spike had notable speeches contrasting the man and the monster within them, and now Dracula has had the same. His demolition of Toru is brutally efficient - vengeance fans should be happy - and then he lets Xander give the coup de grace.

Okay, I was wrong about Xander killing Dracula himself; it was Toru he beheaded. :-)  I liked the background detail that as Satsu relays Buffy's command to hunt down and kill every single vampire left standing, Buffy herself goes over to comfort Xander, who's thrown down the sword and sunk to his knees.

I'm pretty sure there's a continuity error on this page: the radio message says "Leah to Command. They're rabbiting..." but Leah's standing right there. I suspect it should have said "Rowena to Command" and either the writer or the artist got the two of them mixed up. Buffy's 'kill them all' speech sounds ruthless and vengeful, and I'm sure that's the mood she was in; but really, it's nothing exceptional. Slayers aren't supposed to let evil, soulless vampires get away.

The last scene between Dracula and Xander was kind of touching. Even in his grieving and unshaven state - I wonder how long he's been out there? - he's capable of a defiant kind of wit. He's also clearly not under any sort of thrall... and Dracula seems to respect him.

Slash fans will no doubt wonder how Xander could be threatening to kill Dracula "in his sleep" unless he planned at some future point in time to be, well, sleeping with him. :-)

The scene between Buffy and Satsu is sweet and touching. I did predict that Satsu would ask to stay behind in Japan because she can't be around Buffy anymore, but I didn't predict that they'd go to bed together again anyway... Though I was sure 8.12 wasn't just purely a one-night stand from Buffy's point of view, and this proves it. Indeed, it was one of the best nights of her life. Of course, Satsu was still there beside her in the morning, didn't turn evil, hasn't so far started going off to vampire brothels, and doesn't make her feel sick and dirty inside for wanting her; so no wonder Buffy had fun...

A small but important point: notice that Buffy's immediate reaction to "that's never gonna happen when you're right in front of me" is "you want me to leave?" I doubt that it would actually be practical for Buffy to be the one to leave - I imagine the other Slayers would have something to say to that if she walked out on them - but it's still interesting that this is her spur-of-the-moment response. Then she kneels on the floor next to Satsu and says she hopes she didn't hurt her. It doesn't look like there's a huge power imbalance in this relationship, and I certainly hope there aren't people out there still thinking Buffy's treatment of Satsu is as bad as the way Parker treated her... I just wonder, as the song says, where do we go from here? I'd hate to see Satsu as well as Renee written out of the show so early, after we've just got to know her. I'm guessing it won't happen, that she'll be absent for a few arcs then make her reappearance some time next year, but I'll miss her.

The last page is clearly warning us that this is the pause before the hurricane. Willow is summoning Saga Vasuki again, clearly having accepted that she can't run away from her destiny, and Dracula's voice-over tells us that she has a cold journey ahead of her. Buffy and Satsu are finding what warmth they can for now... obviously implying there won't be any more for a long, long time. And Xander has to stand watch alone - perhaps in more ways than one. And he hates being called a watcher.

***

And according to Scott Allie, "some of the characters that started in Buffy, then went to Angel" will be appearing in Season 8, although not for a long time yet (remember, the season has another two years left to run). Which ones? Spike and Angel will obviously be the most popular choices, I suspect. Cordelia is dead, but that might not stop her. Wesley is also dead, but that's even less likely to stop him. Personally, though, I'm hoping the characters to appear will be Harmony and Chanterellelilyanne, just for the irony. :-)

And next issue will feature even more people falling off the top of tall buildings. This is becoming a habit.
.

Comments

Posted by: slayerboy2009 (slayerboy2009)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 20:46 (UTC)

Really great review. I too think Satsu wont be gone forever. Proably my favroite arc so far.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:13 (UTC)

Thanks! I hope she's back; I mean, it's not like you have to negotiate with an actor's agent to get them back in for an episode when it's a comic...

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 21:08 (UTC)
Xacula

Slash fans will no doubt wonder how Xander could be threatening to kill Dracula "in his sleep" unless he planned at some future point in time to be, well, sleeping with him. :-)

You betcha.

Personally, though, I'm hoping the characters to appear will be Harmony and Chanterellelilyanne, just for the irony. :-)

You're probably right. Scott Allie's been such an a***hole to Spike fans so far. Why stop now?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:17 (UTC)

To be fair, it's not as if it's Scott Allie's decision as to which characters Joss includes in his comic, surely?

Mind you, I notice he mentions that Smidge has to approve all new artists before they're allowed to depict Buffy in the comics - and according to the 'Panel To Panel' book, David Boreanaz also had such rights over Angel's likeness. So unless that part of his contract expired when the show ended, that's another hurdle in the path of a Dark Horse Angel crossover.

Maybe they'd need to get Franco Urru to draw that issue...

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:33 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:43 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 08:39 (UTC)

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 17:32 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 20:08 (UTC)

Posted by: Desperately Random (crossoverman)
Posted at: 7th June 2008 05:47 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 7th June 2008 13:09 (UTC)

Posted by: sueworld2003 (sueworld2003)
Posted at: 8th June 2008 21:58 (UTC)

Posted by: The Anti-OTP (snowpuppies)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 21:09 (UTC)

Great review.

This was an episode I enjoyed, and you hit the nail on the head in many ways.

I love that you do translations of the spells and such - it's nice to know. *g*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:26 (UTC)

It's my inner Latin geek coming out to play. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 21:20 (UTC)

Great review as always! Not much to add, really, but:

That's New York on fire, you can tell by the Chrysler Building in the foreground with Vasuki's tail wrapped around it.

I'm still not convinced that's supposed to be New York on fire as opposed to New York surrounded by the fire of Saga Whatsit. We don't see the buildings themselves burn. Plus, Heroes did the "save New York" storyline two years ago. ;-)

Clearly Kumiko was controlling her descent through magic, and not accelerating downwards at 9.8 metres per second squared, or Buffy would never have caught them when she jumped

And likewise, Kumiko is clearly still alive since she continues to fall slower than Buffy and Willow do. (Though of course, in "Doomed" Buffy could fall faster than gravity. But that's "Doomed.")

I certainly hope there aren't people out there still thinking Buffy's treatment of Satsu is as bad as the way Parker treated her

Satsu really has proven herself very capable - not only as a fighter - in this arc, which is part of the reason I really think it's a pity we won't see her for a while (and that we never got to see the lead-up to their first night together). Then again, I'd say she did tip the scales a bit herself in the last issue; the power balance was, IMO, less in her favour before then. Good for her. I'm just still wondering what the Buffy/Satsu arc was supposed to achieve if the major result of it is Satsu leaving... you don't write a character in just to write her out, and much like Xander/Renee, I don't think their relationship had enough time to develop to have any lasting consequences... this time around, at least. But we'll see, I guess.

No jokes about Buffy being the same now, please. :-)

Oh, alright, I promise. Bi for now.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 21:30 (UTC)

Oh, and also, I have a feeling "Kritikus pillanatban jelen van" is Hungarian. Makes sense; it's just "showy gypsy stuff" after all.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:36 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:32 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:40 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 5th June 2008 22:51 (UTC)

Posted by: satsux (satsux)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 00:21 (UTC)

I was discussing with a friend after I read the issue that it seems like they're setting up Willow to be the one betrying Buffy. Anywhere But Here never said that the traitor was the mole.

The reason I say this is cause she clearly never specifyed what she was doing with this Goddess and if she got abilities as powerful as Kumiko and is still turning Black Hair Willow, that's a pretty dangerous wicca to have around.

Not to mention is that, the more I think about the connection Kumiko made with Willow, the more her fault this plot becomes. She was studying Will, so clearly she figured out the slayer calling was a spell done by her. I wouldn't be surprised if she's still alive and ported herself away before Willow could take the power or something, but I don't think we're done with her.

And I don't think we can trust Willow anymore. But then, this might all be a huge red flag and Xander, grief stricken will give Buffy some punching.

Eh.

Either way.

SATSU!-cries.-

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 01:14 (UTC)

When Willow summons Saga Vasuki on the last page, she still has red hair. And clothes. ;-) I took that as an indication that what she's doing is not inherently evil...

Although in 'Anywhere But Here' Willow does say that she won't betray Buffy "any more than she has already". At the time I took that to just mean her avoiding her and keeping Kennedy away... but maybe it's more serious. Maybe Saga Vasuki refused to teach her more powerful magic unless she first explained about the Scythe and the Slayer empowerment spell...

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 01:03 (UTC)

I hope Satsu's not gone forever. I liked her. :[

As for Willow . . . I really wish they'd stop turning her into dark!Willow any time she gets powerful. Yes absolute power corrupts and all that, and yes she's been evil before, but I feel like this is all they ever do with her character now. If they're not constantly reminding us she likes women, they're reminding us that she was evil (and could still become evil).

This is why I'm hoping she's not the traitor. They're brought her down an evil road before, I don't want to just see a repeat of all that. But, if they do want to make her evil, I'm just hoping they'll do it right this time, and have Willow be evil because she's addicted to power, not because magic is evil and a metaphor for drug use. :/

Maybe it's just me, but I'm tired of seeing Willow always being the evil one. Give Xander a storyline for once -- God knows if he became dark!Xander, everyone would think it was "cool," because Xander can do know wrong and Willow's just a bad character.

(Sorry, ranting. I like Xander, I'm just sick of everyone ragging on Willow because she always gets stuck with these storylines. :/)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 01:21 (UTC)
willow-nothingonearth

I didn't mention it in the review, but it is actually something I noticed: Willow does not turn into Dark Willow in this arc, at any time. Her hair stays red even when she's summoning the snake goddess in the final panel. Her eyes have gone black a few times, but the hair and veininess was only once, with Amy, when "she pissed me off".

So I don't think she's turning Evil. I do think, as I posted elsewhere, that she has a tendency not so much to play with fire, as to douse herself in gasoline and juggle lighted matches. But that's Willow. She just wants to learn stuff so she can help people and fix things that go wrong...

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 01:36 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:09 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 14:34 (UTC)

Posted by: satsux (satsux)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 03:14 (UTC)

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 07:55 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:16 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 14:42 (UTC)

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 17:04 (UTC)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 14:36 (UTC)

Posted by: softlikebutter (softlikebutter)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 04:43 (UTC)
not like a diving board, not like a diving board at all...

Great review, and yes you totally nailed the twists - I was reading the comic and when stuff like MechaDawn and Satsu staying behind happened, I was all OMG, really?!

Loved the part after Buffy flings Kumiko off and is trying to wake Willow ('wakeupwakeupwakeupwakeup'), which ends with them falling into sidewalk turned into water at 'short notice', according to Willow. And the watching-Satsu-fall-off scene is pretty hilarious too.

Renee's death - so much for my guess that she'd suffer a fake death a la Cordelia. Really sad death scene, the whole slowly falling down, which pretty much eclipsed whatever was happening in the background (Kumiko attacking Willow, vamps flocking in). But I guess that just means we'll have to be watching out for what Xander'll be doing to deal with it, besides totally showing Dracula who's the boss.

Satsu leaving - I think her character's gotten an amazing growth in a fairly time. From the skilled but respectful/reticent slayer pre-#12, to the hesitant bed-sharer of Buffy in #12, and finally post-#12, she learns to disobey Buffy's orders when she doesn't completely agree with them, and making the tough decision of staying behind because it's the best for both of them and the other slayerettes. (Not to mention initiating break-up sex...) In a sense, I think she's really found herself, and for such a well-developed character to be completely written out doesn't make sense, so yes, I think she'll be back. I hope. (*crosses fingers*)

One of the best arcs so far! Yay Joss! And Georges Jeanty's art is really growing on me. I used to find some of his art a bit ... off. But looking back at his work as compared to the other artists so far in the season, I really like his depiction of the characters in Buffy.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:21 (UTC)
Re: not like a diving board, not like a diving board at all...
satsu

I'm definitely liking Jeanty's artwork too. Sure, the likenesses still aren't always perfect, but he's excellent at capturing expressions. It's also clear he's improving with practice at drawing these characters: in particular, compare the way he draws Satsu in 'Wolves at the Gate' compared to her depiction in 'The Long Way Home' - she's far more lifelike and real-looking now. (Not to mention a lot more attractive, he said shallowly...)

Posted by: softlikebutter (softlikebutter)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:36 (UTC)
Re: not like a diving board, not like a diving board at all...

Posted by: Going through the motions (rowanda380)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:18 (UTC)

Satsu was still there beside her in the morning, didn't turn evil, hasn't so far started going off to vampire brothels, and doesn't make her feel sick and dirty inside for wanting her; so no wonder Buffy had fun...

hahahahaha, yes! Finally some good sex for Buffy! Well...I am sure she did have some fun with Spike, despite then guilt :0)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 13:28 (UTC)
buffy-satsu-healing

I think with (soulless) Spike she sometimes almost forgot she was supposed to despise him, and enjoyed herself... then she remembered and all the self-loathing flooded back in.

Besides, she does say that Satsu was one of the best nights of her life, not the best night. Leaving us free to speculate on what the other best nights were...

Posted by: Going through the motions (rowanda380)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 18:46 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 14:00 (UTC)
Scoobies

Great review, as always.

I wasn't expecting Mecha-Dawn, I have to say... although I did predict that she'd be fighting a 50-foot tall mecha battle robot, so I got that bit right. :-)

I was expecting Godzilla. But, at least they gave Mecha!Dawn a mechanic tail, so I'm not complaining... :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th June 2008 16:34 (UTC)

With all these posts starting "I wasn't expecting..." I probably need a Spanish Inquisition icon.

And yes, I do think the tail was a nod in the direction of Godzilla...

Thanks!

Posted by: Desperately Random (crossoverman)
Posted at: 7th June 2008 05:52 (UTC)
buffy season 8

You're right - Renee's death was beautifully handled. But it still falls into the Whedonesque Love = Death cliche and damnit if Xander hasn't suffered that already. Chalk up another death of a loved one to the Xan man.

Goddard redeems himself and the arc with Unexpected Mecha-Dawn and the Dracula Sword of Power, plus the final pages of resolution. And the Buffy/Willow discussion as they watch Satsu fall.

And this was the best arc so far. Which seems to be happening with each arc - each improving on the previous.

(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 8th June 2008 19:14 (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 22:44 (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 9th October 2008 18:47 (UTC)
Hello.. Let's get acquainted...

Hi!
My name is Jessika!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 22nd November 2009 20:00 (UTC)
Quotation of Plato


It is right to give every man his due.
Quotation of Plato

Posted by: chianazhaan (chianazhaan)
Posted at: 7th July 2011 20:25 (UTC)
(Review) BtVS 8.15 'Wolves at the Gate' Part 4

I should have read the whole arc again before reading your reviews. I'm in denial. Satsu and Buffy are looking far too much in love at the end. Buffy is just the kind of bisexual who falls in love with a *person*, not a gender. She just hasn't found the right girl yet. Until now. At the moment they're doing the long distance relationship. *whistles innocently*

Why did they have to ruin that even further with the other arcs? Buffy is far to emotionally invested to just experiment, or have casual sex. The only good thing about it is that Satsu lives.

Anyway, lovely review. I like the Latin translations, and the references to previous episodes. You mentioned Buffy staking Kumiko, but did you notice that Buffy did it with a Bowie Knife? I mean, how long has she been a slayer again?

Incidentally, Satsu's wielding her sword in her left hand here, as she was earlier in the issue as well... but later on it's in her right hand. The pose and framing of the picture here is too deliberate for it to be a simple continuity error, so I'm guessing it's now canon that she's ambidextrous. When it comes to swordfighting, she can swing both ways.

LOL But I'm not convinced this isn't a continuity error. I've noticed some pretty weird fighting scenes. The kind that makes you think: that's anatomically not feasible! I go along with it, but sometimes...

ISSUE 13: Notice the Slayer carrying a huge bale of hay in the background in one panel?

I forgot to comment on that. Did you notice that the girl with the bale of hay moved fast than the other one without? Either that or the girl is moving backwards; with a bale of hay. *confused*

Loved Andrew's comment. And doesn't *that* say something about his life. *grins*

Anyway, in my opinion this is the best arc of the season 8 comics. ((And it's probably because its plot is constrained to this arc only.))

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th July 2011 00:02 (UTC)
Re: (Review) BtVS 8.15 'Wolves at the Gate' Part 4

I'm afraid I see Buffy as more "slightly bicurious" than out and out bisexual, even after this. :)

I think I did miss the fact that Buffy is using a knife to stab Kumiko. But that poses the question, why did she take a knife instead of a stake to a fight with vampires? Unless it's a magic vampire-slaying knife.

As for the Slayer with the haybale - I don't think they were walking, I think they were standing still and having a conversation. And in the second pane, the artist's viewpoint ("camera") is moved so Andrew is in centreframe instead of off to the right, so one of the two Slayers is cut off out of the frame.

I agree that this was one of, if not necessarily the, best arcs all told.

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