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(Meta) S8 Guide: Buffy the Bank Robber

16th March 2010 (16:08)

One of the most controversial plot arcs of Season 8 was the revelation that Buffy robbed a bank. So controversial, in fact, that even people who've never read the season still talk about it - although some of them may be hazy on the details of how and why she did it. That's where this meta comes in.

Simply put, what I plan to do here is re-tell the whole story of that particular plot arc, which spread over at least a year of storytelling, all in one place and with everything laid out clearly. I'm particularly aiming this at people who've not read S8, or gave up reading, but are still curious to find out what's been going on in a story which Joss Whedon considers to be the canonical continuation of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. ;-) Of course, people who are reading the season might also find it of interest as a recap.

I'm trying to be fairly neutral here, and describe what happened rather than provoke a debate on whether or not it was a good or in-character plot development. Though debates have a tendency to happen anyway when it comes to controversial things, which is kind of the point.

If anyone is interested in a similar summary of one of the other season arcs, feel free to suggest it in the comments and I'll see what I can do. I don't, however, plan to write anything on the plotlines which are still ongoing, at least until after the season is over and we know how it ends - so that means I won't be writing about Buffy and Angel or Spike here. Consider this post a haven from the Spuffangelight wank if you like. :-)

Dial-up warning: post contains lots of images.

Buffy the Bank Robber

Buffy was a bankrobber,
But she never hurt nobody.
She just loved to live that way,
And she loved to steal your money.

Some is rich and some is poor,
And that's the way the world is.
She don't believe in lying back
And saying how bad her life is

The very first time we see Buffy in Season 8, she and her friends, all well-equipped with modern technology, are jumping out of a helicopter. Fans saw this and immediately began asking, how the heck did she afford all that stuff?

Buffy and friends jumping out of a helicopter
Image from BtVS 8.01 'The Long Way Home' Part 1.
Scene: the sky above a demon stronghold somewhere in Europe.

BUFFY (voice-over): The thing about changing the world... once you do it, the world's all different. Everybody calls me "ma'am" these days.

For the record, the start of Season 8 is said to be about 18 months to two years after the end of Season 7, so clearly a lot has been happening in the intervening time.

In the same issue, we learn that the authorities are now aware of Buffy's actions, and know that she "has resources", and see her as a potential threat.

General Voll thinks Buffy is a terrorist
Image from BtVS 8.01 'The Long Way Home' Part 1.
Scene: A US Army helicopter flying over the crater that was once Sunnydale.

GENERAL VOLL: We go ahead with this, we gotta be together on exactly what we're facing, and that's an army. They got power, they got resources, and they got a hard-line ideology that does not jibe with American interests. Worst of all, they got a leader. Charismatic, uncompromising and completely destructive.

As an interlude, shortly afterwards Buffy has one of her weird symbolic dreams. This contains lots of foreshadowing, most of which is a different subject for discussion some other time. But one line is interesting, because it suggests Buffy herself is harbouring a guilty conscience about something:

Buffy is afraid she herself is 'the dark'
Image from BtVS 8.02 'The Long Way Home' Part 2.
Scene: Buffy's dream. Her bedroom in the castle in Scotland.

BUFFY: No, no, I can't go outside, I'm afraid of the dark.
XANDER: Buffy, you are the dark.
BUFFY: That's what I meant

But now we skip forward to issue 8 of the season, and discover that it's not only the fans and the US army who were curious about Buffy's access to resources. Apparently, Willow is just as much in the dark about it as we were back then.

(As a side note: we learned prior to this issue that Willow effectively disappeared for several months before the start of Season 8 - doing magical research in other dimensions - which is why she's out of the loop now about what Buffy's been up to recently.)

Buffy has asked for Willow's help in setting up a radar station in their headquarters in Scotland, and now asks Willow if she thinks they should install sonar in the castle moat as well: 

Buffy wants to install sonar in the castle moat. Willow is dubious.
Image from BtVS 8.08 'No Future For You' Part 3.
Scene: Control room of Slayer HQ in Scotland.

WILLOW: I'm all for the shiny new gizmodos, but... how the heck can we afford all this stuff?
BUFFY: We have friends with pockets deeper than the ones in Dawnie's giant pants, Will. But some donors like to stay anonymous, you know?

Buffy claims that the money comes from 'mystery benefactors'... but as we'll soon learn, she's lying to her friend. That suggests, at the very least, that she thinks Willow will disapprove if she learns the truth; or maybe she has a guilty conscience and doesn't want to implicate Willow in her own wrongdoing. It's also been speculated that Buffy's eagerness to find ways to spend all the money also speaks to the fact that it's burning a hole in her pocket; she needs to spend it on ways to protect her Slayers in order to justify to herself having it in the first place.

Two episodes later, we - and Willow - discover the true source of the Slayers' funding, as a powerful demon uses its magic to show Buffy and Willow images of their past and future:

Oh noes! Buffy's secret is out!
Image from BtVS 8.10 'Anywhere But Here'
Scene: Sephrilian's lair: vision of a Swiss bank vault.

WILLOW: Are these Slayers?
BUFFY: In a Swiss bank? That's crazy nonsense. I'm sure I would have found out.
VISION-BUFFY: Get a move on, ladies! We've got two minutes before those... so sparkly... before those guards wake up!

So the truth is: Buffy and a group of Slayers (including, by the looks of it, Renee, Leah and Satsu) robbed a Swiss bank. The fact that Buffy knows exactly how much longer the guards will be unconscious for suggests - and it's confirmed in a later issue - that she also used wiccan magic to help them get in and out again unnoticed.
One of the criticisms of this plot arc is that we never really get to see what motivated Buffy to take such a drastic step. We do know that she's been spending all the money on equipment and facilities to help her Slayers fight evil more safely and effectively than they ever could have without it, but not whether there were any specific events leading her to this point.

The other major controversy is whether it's too much out of character for Buffy to behave in this way. Some people certainly think so; they see her as almost painfully law-abiding and moral. For my own part, I'd say there are two main circumstances in the show when Buffy feels it's acceptable to break the law. One is when she thinks a greater good will be achieved through illegal means - as when she committed felony arson and caused potentially millions of dollars of damage by burning down her high school gymnasium in Season 0, or when she raised no objection to Anya and Andrew going to loot a hospital in Season 7.

The other - which is much rarer - is when she thinks it's cool. We saw this in her very first chronological appearance, in the flashback in 'Becoming', when she's just stolen some lipstick from Macy's. (When the monks made Dawn out of Buffy, the kleptomania must have come from somewhere...) We saw it when Faith encouraged her to let loose in 'Bad Girls' and break into a sporting goods store, and when her invisibility freed her from social constraints in 'Gone'. This is a side of Buffy that she normally keeps firmly repressed and under control; but that doesn't mean it's not there. Her expression in this panel of the comic when she looks at the sparkly diamond perhaps shows it coming out.

Willow is as shocked at this revelation as the readers were, and immediately begins to lecture Buffy on why what she did was a mistake:

Willow enters lecture mode.
Image from BtVS 8.10 'Anywhere But Here'
Scene: Sephrilian's lair.

WILLOW: So the mysterious benefactor bankrolling the Slayer army...
BUFFY: It's all insured! It's a victimless crime! And we totally found a Watteau the Nazis hid and sent it to the Tate! That happens in a minute! It's only money.
WILLOW: And money changes everything. This is where it all starts, Buffy. What your enemies saw. Slayers acting above the law, and endangering their most precious possession: their possessions. This is the first domino.
BUFFY: Ooh! Look! Here's a you bad thing!

Watteau is an 18th century French painter; the Tate is an art gallery in London (which, for the record, doesn't normally display paintings by 18th century French artists, but whatever... Buffy might not have known that either *g*) Buffy's final words "It's only money" are written in a smaller font in a speech bubble that's too large for them, which is the comics way of showing she's speaking in a small voice.

What we see here is Buffy attempting rather desperately to justify her actions, saying that they didn't hurt anybody and besides, at least some of the money they stole was itself ill-gotten Nazi loot so they did a good thing, right? But it's clear from her tone of voice that she's not sure Willow will be convinced, and arguably there's an air of her trying to convince herself too. Finally, at the end of this scene she gratefully seizes on a distraction to divert attention away from herself, as another vision (one dealing with one of Willow's morally suspect actions, this time) begins. Buffy definitely has a guilty conscience about her actions.

Willow's lecture calls back to General Voll's speech quoted above, and as such ties into the "public opinion turns against Slayers" plot arc of the season.

This issue ends with Buffy apparently rejecting the lesson she has learned, and saying that the visions they saw were nothing but "demons playing games". Willow, by her expression, is less than convinced.

Buffy is still in denial, maybe?
Image from BtVS 8.10 'Anywhere But Here'
Scene: Outside Sephrilian's lair.

BUFFY: It was demons. Playing games.

However, we see from the next issue that Buffy has, in fact, taken the lessons to heart; she was just unwilling to admit it. She's sitting in the control room at Slayer HQ late at night, brooding over her mistakes, when Xander brings her a cup of coffee and encourages her to open up to him.

The specific incident which triggered Buffy's self-reflection is the revelation that Simone, one of the new Slayers, has gone rogue and organised her own heist much like Buffy's bank robbery - but instead of stealing money, Simone's gang has stolen guns and ammunition. In the panels of the issue I've not reprinted here, Buffy acknowledges the parallel between them, and admits that Simone is only following the example she herself has set to the other Slayers.

Buffy is brooding in the darkness. Angel taught her a lot, you know.
Image from BtVS 8.11 'A Beautiful Sunset'
Scene: Slayer HQ control room, late at night.

BUFFY: I started it. Willow says my little Thomas Crown Affair is what got people so riled up in the first place.
XANDER: Is that why she took off so suddenly? 'Cause you're an international jewel thief? Which is, sidebar, incredibly sexy?

The original 1968 Steve McQueen film, 'The Thomas Crown Affair', is about a wealthy businessman who organises a bank robbery for kicks, then has an affair with the investigator trying to solve the crime. The 1999 remake starring Pierce Brosnan involved an art theft rather than a bank robbery and had a different ending, but was otherwise similar.

In this scene, Buffy is - as usual - blaming herself for what went wrong, and recognising that her expedient end-justifies-the-means actions have had unfortunate consequences. She's set a bad example to the other Slayers, who all look on her as a role model; and now she's in a leadership position instead of just acting alone, she no longer has the luxury of being able to ignore the message her actions send.

Xander is being his usual supportive self on an emotional level. However, it's notable that while in earlier seasons he was often the one to call Buffy out over her less-inspired actions while Willow was more of an uncritical cheerleader, here the roles are reversed. Xander clearly knew about Buffy's robbery, although it seems he wasn't closely involved in it; but while Willow immediately knew it was a mistake, Xander thought it was all rather sexy.

The robbery plot is now tied into the large themes of the season, one of which is what happens to a formerly-private person who is forced into a public position of influence, where both friends and enemies alike are watching her actions closely. In the same issue, Joss calls this out specifically as the season's Big Bad, Twilight, talks to his minions about his plans for Buffy:

Twilight wants to undermine Buffy's sense of moral certainty.
Image from BtVS 8.11 'A Beautiful Sunset'
Scene: Twilight's HQ (pre-lapped over a scene of Buffy comforting Satsu in a graveyard after a battle).

TWILIGHT: The trick is to strip her of her greatest armour: her moral certainty. However hapless she may be about her personal life, this girl has always firmly believed she was on the side of right.

Buffy's apparent slide into moral greyness is one of the dominant themes of the season, and one which is still continuing in current issues. More specifically, by focussing on her mission to save the world by creating an army of Slayers, she's in danger of losing sight of the interests of the people she's supposed to be doing all of this to protect in the first place. Twilight, who apparently believes that her decision to empower all the Potentials in the first place was a mistake, is seeking to undermine her self-confidence and make her believe that her actions, however well-intentioned, have led to nothing but disaster.

The bank robber arc therefore fades away at this point as a separate plot point, becoming part of one of the larger themes of the season. The last time it is specifically referred to is in issue 8.16, as Willow and Buffy fly from the UK to New York:

Willow teases Buffy about her stealing.
Image from BtVS 8.16 ' Time Of Your Life' Part 1
Scene: The cabin of an airliner.

WILLOW: This is nice, Buff. More largess from your mysterious benefactor who is actually you stealing things?
BUFFY: You know, we do have some legitimate funding...
WILLOW: Ah, I'm just ribbin'.
BUFFY: 'Kay. Colour me ribbed.

For the most part, Buffy and Willow seem to be back to being fully comfortable with each other again by this stage of the season - they've had several friendly conversations in the intervening issues - but Willow can't resist needling Buffy about her theft, and Buffy is still clearly uncomfortable and guilty about it.

The source of the 'legitimate funding' isn't discussed further, although several speculations have been made. (Watchers' Council funds, contributions from Slayers' families, donations from people whose lives they've saved, etc.)

The following panel, while not strictly relevant to the story arc, is of interest for two reasons. One, Buffy in this story travels forward in time 200 years to meet the future Slayer Melaka Fray, whose professional occupation is, in fact, a thief. Two, we learn here that Buffy has stolen the flying car she's driving (driving badly) because they need it to get where they're going. As far as I know, this theft has caused precisely zero controversy in fandom, because it's the kind of petty crime Buffy committed in just about every third episode on the TV show (theft, breaking and entering, criminal damage, assault). :-)

Buffy steals a car
Image from BtVS 8.18 ' Time Of Your Life' Part 3
Scene: A flying car over the city of Haddyn in the 23rd century.

BUFFY: Hey, it's my first time with Grand Theft Flying Auto -- I think i'm doing swell.
MELAKA: Summers, you drive like a spaz!
BUFFY: And that phrase stood the test of time?
MELAKA: We had to grab this rig. Get low.

(Much of the previous conversation between the two Slayers has been about how much the English language has evolved in the intervening two centuries, hence the context to the joking call-back to 'Band Candy'.)

The coda to the bank robbery arc comes in issue 23, as Buffy goes to confront the rogue Slayer Simone who - as we saw above - is modelling her own illegal actions on the example Buffy set with her bank robbery. Buffy can clearly see that what Simone is doing is wrong... but she is no longer blind to the effects her own activities have had. As Adelle DeWitt says in another Joss show written around the same time, "Actions have consequences."

Buffy, with Andrew's help, has discovered that Simone and her gang have taken over a small Italian island to use as a base, dispossessing the former inhabitants:

Buffy realises the effects of Simone's actions
Image from BtVS 8.23 ' 'Predators and Prey'
Scene: an Italian fishing village.

BUFFY: We're going to go talk to the angry woman. She can't just take your home. Someone needs to explain that to her.

If the parallel between Simone and things Buffy herself has done isn't obvious enough, I invite you to remember the episode 'Touched' as you read Buffy's line about not taking people's homes away from them. :-)

Simone herself rubs this in, as she manages to (*gasp!*) win the fight against Buffy, by the sneaky tactic of bringing a gun to a swordfight:

Buffy and Simone - BFFs?
Image from BtVS 8.23 ' 'Predators and Prey'
Scene: Simone's base in the Italian fishing village.

BUFFY: I'm really not a fan of guns.
SIMONE: And here I thought we had so much in common, philosophy-wise.

There's surely lots of symbolism here about Buffy's method of doing things, one vampire at a time, no longer working so well when confronted by the larger realities of the modern world. We're not in Sunnydale any more.

Buffy escapes, but is unable to beat or drive away Simone; the islanders do not get their homes back. Buffy reflects on her defeat, which was ultimately caused by her own actions: 

Life's not fair.
Image from BtVS 8.23 ' 'Predators and Prey'
Scene: Outside the Italian fishing village.

ITALIAN GIRL: But that was our home! Where are we going to go now?
BUFFY: I don't know. I just know you'll be safer somewhere else.
ITALIAN GIRL: Everything in our lives has changed. It isn't fair.
BUFFY: I know.

That exchange, in the best 'Buffy' tradition, reveals as much about Buffy's own state of mind as it does about the person she's nominally talking to. The line about 'everything in our lives has changed' calls back to Buffy's own line in the very first issue about changing the world; and the dialogue about 'going somewhere to be safer' foreshadows the upcoming 'Retreat' arc.

At the end of the issue, Buffy has a "Kirk and McCoy" moment with Andrew. He's upset because he screwed up and did something bad, even though he did it for a perfectly noble reason. Buffy can relate. She can definitely relate:

But we all make mistakes.
Image from BtVS 8.23 ' 'Predators and Prey'
Scene: Temporary Slayer HQ, Scotland.

BUFFY: Look, Andrew. You were willing to sacrifice yourself to save innocent people. For a greater good. That's huge for you. You should be proud.
ANDREW: But you were right. I lied to you.
BUFFY: Yeah, you're part of the family. Get used to screwing up for good reasons. It's what we do.

I'll let Buffy's words there stand as the final words of this meta. I know it's a trait of the Scooby Gang which drives some fans mad, but it's so characteristic of them to know this and accept it.

"Get used to screwing up for good reasons. It's what we do."


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Posted by: Going through the motions (rowanda380)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 17:32 (UTC)
random commenter

Nice, especially the wrap up...that is the best point.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 17:38 (UTC)
Re: random commenter


One of the things I was definitely trying to do here was to show the plot arc in its context, with the follow-up and emotional reactions of the characters. That's something that's easy to miss when you're discussing something at second or third hand.

Posted by: Going through the motions (rowanda380)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 17:46 (UTC)
Re: random commenter

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 18:11 (UTC)

Great meta.

Unrelated to the theme of the post, but Twilight's quotes once again bring out for me how unbelievable it is to me that this is supposed to be Angel speaking.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 18:52 (UTC)


I'be always thought that Angel is a very difficult character to write, because he doesn't have much in the way of verbal mannerisms or catch phrases. There's a dry, deadpan humour, but that's all done by tone of voice and reads very flat when just done in dialogue. Still, it's not incredible to me that this is Angel talking, if you accept that it's Angel pretending to be a bad guy.

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 19:23 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 20:00 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 22:06 (UTC)

Posted by: mikeda (mikeda)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 00:16 (UTC)

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 22:31 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 18:16 (UTC)

Very clearly laid out. Though I'd say that systematically funding your organization by theft is a different order of magnitude from occasional stealing in the line of duty.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 19:02 (UTC)


And sure, but there's nothing to suggest that the theft was *systematic*... the way the characters talk about it, it seems to me much more likely that it was a one-off. A one-off which happened to net them enough money to finance an entire international organisation. (I just checked: four Slayers each carrying ten gold bars equals US $18 million, and that's not counting any cash or bearer bonds they stole which might be worth even more).

And thematically, that's part of the point. In the old days, Buffy and the Scoobies stole a rocket launcher here or a police car there, and nobody cared. In early S8 they're operating on a much larger scale, but their mindset (and morality) hasn't adjusted yet to the difference.

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 19:11 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 20:06 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 22:11 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 04:44 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 12:55 (UTC)

Posted by: Episkopos Rev. Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL (alixtii)
Posted at: 23rd March 2010 19:55 (UTC)

Posted by: I write tragedies, not sins (mabus101)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 19:05 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what to say about all this, except...

I'm pretty sure that's Xander talking to Buffy in the scene from "A Beautiful Sunset", not Willow. Although Willow can do some amazing things, so I don't know for sure.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 20:07 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right. I copied and pasted and forgot to edit the name, which I'll now do. Thanks. ;-)

Posted by: the infamous Midwestern subterrainean Explodebear. (hkath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 20:01 (UTC)

Interesting post! I liked seeing all the references to the theft put together like that and especially Willow's shifting reaction to it.

You know, I get how people who think the robbery is out of character for Buffy have issues with the motivations and the fact that the comics never showed the lead-up to the robbery. But when I got online looking for fan responses, I was still shocked at how divisive an event it was in terms of "losing" fans.

To me, the robbery follows pretty naturally from season 6 Buffy, who could effortlessly kill pretty much anything that needed killing, but could not get a loan to save her life. Or a job that didn't involve deep-frying things. If we understand that Willow's inability to deal with her emotions sometimes led her to use magic to create instant solutions, then what's wrong with the idea that Buffy's inability to deal with a financial crisis led her to cut corners, too? I don't mean that it's not *morally* wrong, because of course, that's the whole point, but story-wise, it seems sound to me.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 20:14 (UTC)

I happen to agree with you completely, both about Buffy's motivation and about how surpisingly divisive this was. Thogh I think there was an element of the last straw as well. The fact that Joss chose to jump the story forward by so long a period, and then kick it off right in the middle of things, alienated a lot of people whose main hope for an eighth season was to pick up all the dangling plot threads from Season 7 (*koff*spike*koff*) rather than start an entirely new story.

But on the robbery... yes. Buffy knows what she did was wrong, but she justified it to herself because (a) nobody got hurt (except that she later realised she was wrong about that) (b) She's a good guy, putting the money to good uses, and the end justifies the means, doesn't it? (c) It was cool.

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 08:37 (UTC)
Buffy the Bank Robber

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:04 (UTC)
Re: Buffy the Bank Robber

Posted by: Vampmogs (vampmogs)
Posted at: 20th March 2010 07:02 (UTC)

Posted by: candleanfeather (candleanfeather)
Posted at: 16th March 2010 22:28 (UTC)

I'll read your meta later (now is bed time!) but just one thing that stroke me: it's the drawing of general Voll, very Führer like, in the second panel. It's probably done on purpose because even the shadow under his nose is reminiscent of Hitler's moustache. And what he is saying about Buffy is a description that could apply to Hitler.
There's an interesting play of mirrors going on there.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:06 (UTC)

Interesting idea. He didn't remind me of Hitler - he's too big and bulky, Hitler was a little guy - but I definitely got a vibe of "Third world military dictator" with the peaked cap and all the medal ribbons.

Either way, it's not a very flattering picture of the US military. ;-)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 01:26 (UTC)

Oh, how I hoped taking a dip into some billionaire's Swiss bank vault would be the biggest moral transgression Buffy would make this season.

Let's hope the next song on her Clash playlist is "Complete Control," and not "Straight to Hell." :-/

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:12 (UTC)

Thinking about it, the Retreat arc could be set to music too:

Breaking rocks in the hot sun
I fought the law¹ and the law won.
I needed money 'cause I had none,
I fought the law and the law won.

I left my baby² and it feels so bad,
Guess my race is run.
She's the best³ girl that I ever had,
I fought the law and the law won.

1. Twilight.
2. Satsu.
3. And only.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:23 (UTC)

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 02:27 (UTC)

I'm just suddenly wondering how the latest developments fit into Twangel's plan to strip Buffy of her moral certainty. Because while he's caused her a lot of trouble, I wouldn't say he's presented a convincing case to her that she was wrong.

Unless he plans to do a mwahahaha reveal that swooning into his arms was actually the last thing she should have done, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 08:43 (UTC)

I agree that right now, Angel/Twilight's whole course of action doesn't make much sense to me. I'm willing to wait until the arc is complete before trying to dissect it though.

I'm hoping that one of esteemed host's Metas will be to construct Twilight's arc in a similar way to what we see here when all is said and done. I often recognize things that escaped me the first time around when I'm reading Stormwreath's analysis and commentary.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:20 (UTC)

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 09:49 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:24 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:20 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 18th March 2010 05:02 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 18th March 2010 15:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 04:44 (UTC)
Andrew Crime Tastes Funny

I like your meta. It makes me happy to read it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:24 (UTC)


Posted by: ladydorotea (ladydorotea)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 07:30 (UTC)

Thank you for this work - this is exactly what I was feeling is going on - and you've summed it up nicely.

Two finishing touches here:

Issue 23 panel 6. Buffy speaks of Simone:

Buffy: I've been wanting to find Simone. All these reports of shadowy attacks on banks, military bases, the occasional hot topic...

Andrew: Last few days the reports started coming in more frequently.

Then Andrew switches to talking about Ragna demons - and how they keep their prey alive for many hours - because 'adrenaline is yammy'.

Buffy ignores his interlude - she does not say anything even after she finds out it was him who bred the ragna and set it on Simone's lieutenant. In the end of the issue Buffy let the Ragna loose on Simone's crew - which is sorta shadowing Angel setting Darla and Dru on Holland and his guests. Yes, 1 Ragna many slayers, does not count. There is a discrepancy. Still, there is a creeping similarity too it. And who do you think Andrew is using for his role model?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:29 (UTC)

Ooh. The bit about Simone actually robbing banks fits perfectly. I'd missed that.

I was actually sympathetic to the Ragna demon; brought into the world just as a tool for other people's plans. Maybe it was the way the artist occasionally cut to her for a reaction shot, just as if she were human. :-)

Posted by: ladydorotea (ladydorotea)
Posted at: 18th March 2010 01:16 (UTC)

Posted by: ladydorotea (ladydorotea)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 07:40 (UTC)

Issue 21 panel 16

The girl slayer - member of the street gang who wants out was just talking to Andrew. Next Andrew lets her speak with Buffy on the phone - but the girl complains about the 'crappy connection' - rings the bell much?

Buffy: Togetherness! Unity! Sisterhood!

Slayer - the street gang member : Yes, I understand those words. I have heard 'em before. ( throws away her phone - front center panel - Harmony's tv show commercial)

Er - here we have basically screaming parallel - are Buffy's girls just glorified gang members?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:31 (UTC)

are Buffy's girls just glorified gang members?

Gang members, terrorist cells, an army, a political activist movement; there are plenty of comparisons to be made...

Posted by: ubi4soft (ubi4soft)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 09:12 (UTC)

Great read (as always).

You made me realize that whomever convinced/persuaded Buffy into bank robbery is actually working for Twilight and all this time Twilight had a double purpose: make Buffy doubt of herself and unite against the slayers any other possible forces (the demons were against the slayers by default, the armies would follow after seeing them equipped, the civilians/media influenced by Harmony related events).

So I definitely not by Twangel statement in #33 that he took the lead of existing alliance, he formed that alliance from the beginning. (IDK how to post a lighting bulb, but there: eureka)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:37 (UTC)

I'm not sure I'd agree that Twilight's mole persuaded Buffy to rob a bank; I think it was her own idea. Xander certainly implies that in 'A Beautiful Sunset'.

I can certainly imagine Angel hearing what happened, shaking his head in despair saying "Oh, Buffy, what have you done?" and deciding he'd better get involved before the silly girl messed things up again, and that's why he became Twilight.

My interpretation of what he said in 8.33 was that the component parts of the alliance were already all gunning for the Slayers before he got involved. What Twilight/Angel did was gather them all together into a single overarcing organisation.

Edited at 2010-03-17 13:37 (UTC)

Posted by: ubi4soft (ubi4soft)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 16:00 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 16:35 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 18th March 2010 05:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Quinara (quinara)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 10:30 (UTC)
via Petzi
Buffy sparkles

Thanks for drawing all this together - I recognised all the scenes, but it was nice (in a way) to see the art for them as well.

I still think the tone of the actual robbery in Anywhere But Here rings really discordantly with Buffy's character and the surrounding mentions of it (except maybe Xander's) - I suppose I'd like to wank it that the images were more reflections of Buffy's subconscious/critical self perception than what actually happened (hence the 'games' comment), even if Willow's stuff is (seen by her?) more objectively. But then... *sigh*

(This was definitely one of many straws for me as a serious reader - I'm not sure what the final one is/was, because I haven't been able to let it go completely, obviously, but it joins a great deal of others that rubbed me up the wrong way. For example, even here, the idea that Fray's world will still have 'spaz' kicking around as an insult, even if it is just for a gag, I find kind of offensive. During the TV seasons I would have wrinkled my nose and moved on, but in S8 it's just another question of 'why am I still reading?'.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 13:45 (UTC)
Re: via Petzi

rings really discordantly with Buffy's character

I do agree that it's not how she usually acts, but as I said in the meta, I do think there is a side of her that does take gleeful pleasure out of anarchy and rule-breaking. We mostly see it in episodes where her normal self-control has been relaxed - 'Bad Girls', 'Tabula Rasa', 'Gone'; but of course Buffy has always been an iconoclast and a rebel, she's just normally more discreet about it...

the idea that Fray's world will still have 'spaz' kicking around as an insult, even if it is just for a gag, I find kind of offensive.

Unfortunately, that's one of those situations where British and American English (or sensibilities) diverge.

Posted by: zooeys_bridge (zooeys_bridge)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 21:58 (UTC)

The original 1968 Steve McQueen film, 'The Thomas Crown Affair', is about a wealthy businessman who organises a bank robbery for kicks, then has an affair with the investigator trying to solve the crime. The 1999 remake starring Pierce Brosnan involved an art theft rather than a bank robbery and had a different ending, but was otherwise similar.

coolest. ending. ever.
arguably one of the best heist scenes ever, too.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 23:34 (UTC)

That was fun. :-)

Posted by: Lisa (shipperx)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 22:18 (UTC)
Kirk - I meant to do that

It's all insured! It's a victimless crime!

So Buffy is... Goldman Sachs depending on AIG?

Edited at 2010-03-17 22:19 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th March 2010 23:27 (UTC)

She's more blatant about robbing people, though. ;-)

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