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(Meta) The Long Way Home - annotated

30th June 2007 (23:48)

A few people have mentioned that they find it hard to follow the storyline of the season 8 comics - partly because they're new to the format and the conventions of comics, and partly because the story keeps jumping from scene to scene and it's difficult to keep track of what's going on. So in an earlier discussion, I half-jokingly suggested to spikendru and selinde2 that maybe it would help if I did an annotated transcript of the comics... and they both thought it was a great idea.

So I thought about it a bit more; and decided to actually do it. :-) This is part 1 (it takes a long time to do). If anyone can think of anything important I've missed, by all means let me know in comments and I'll edit. Note that there are, of course, spoilers here... in particular, I've assumed that everybody reading this will already be familiar with all four issues, so I'll be referring ahead to things we only find out about later. 


The Long Way Home is copyright to Joss Whedon. No infringement intended. If you like this and haven't done so already, please buy a copy of the comic - the trade paperback will be available soon! Thank you.


THE LONG WAY HOME

Written by: Joss Whedon

TEASER


EXT. SUNRISE OVER PLANET EARTH

BUFFY (V.O.)
The thing about changing the world...
once you do it, the world's all different.

>>This has to be a direct reference to Willow's line in the very last scene of 'Chosen': "We changed the world. I can feel them, Buffy. All over. There are Slayers awakening everywhere."

EXT. AN OLD CHURCH IN THE MOUNTAINS - NIGHT

We see two BLACK HELICOPTERS against a starlit sky. Buffy and three other Slayers (SATSU, LEAH and ROWENA) are ABSEILING out of the nearest one.

>>Presumably the other Slayers who appear later in the scene were in the other helicopter. We never do learn who was flying them. Fashion notes: Satsu is wearing a 'Hello Kitty' hat. Rowena's baseball cap is pretty much her trademark. The three younger Slayers are all wearing body armour, but Buffy isn't - instead, she's wearing a red T-shirt which appears to have the 'Serenity' logo on the front. There's a continuity error in the art: Satsu has her katana slung over her back in some panels, but in others it's missing.

BUFFY (V.O.)
Everybody calls me "ma'am" these days.

Buffy uses a high-tech GUN-LIKE WEAPON to blast through a FORCEFIELD around the church.

>>Which implies that they did reconnaissance and planned this mission carefully, since they knew to take a forcefield-zapper. Also, this implies that the church has been protected by the forcefield for some time previously.

BUFFY (V.O.)
There used to be one Slayer in all the world.

The Slayers land on the church roof. It's half-ruined and mediaeval, much like a castle.

BUFFY (V.O.)
Eighteen hundred now, that we've counted.
Almost five hundred working with us, in
ten separate squads. There's even three of ME.

>>Ten squads of 50 each if they're equally sized, but there's no guarantee of that. Later on we learn that there's a squad of seven Slayers in Barcelona, but they may be just a part of a larger squad... and there are at least 100 Slayers at the HQ in Scotland. Also, note that there are 1300 known Slayers who've chosen not to work with Buffy for whatever reason.

Down on the ground, Buffy speaks over the radio to someone who, we will shortly learn, is XANDER.

BUFFY
Field's vaped and we're on the roof.

XANDER
(by radio)
Access should be right in front of you.

EXT. THE CHURCH ROOF - CONTINUING - NIGHT

Buffy's voice-over narration continues over the dialogue here.

BUFFY
Leah. Open her up.

Leah smashes through a BOARDED-UP DOOR.

BUFFY (V.O.)
The guys figured I was a target, set up two other
Slayers to be me. One's underground. Literally.
One's in Rome, partying very publicly - and supposedly
dating some guy called "The Immortal". That part
was Andrew's idea. He did research on the guy,
said it would be hilarious for some reason.

>>Everybody's favourite retcon. Just in case there's anyone at all out there who didn't know, the part about the Immortal is a reference to the Angel season 5 episode 'The Girl In Question'. Andrew presumably found out that the Immortal once seduced Darla and Drusilla, thus making Angelus and Spike his enemies, and thought it would be funny to spread a rumour that he's now seduced Buffy as well.

SATSU
(looking through the now-open door)
Can't see a thing, ma'am.

BUFFY
Can SMELL a thing, though.

BUFFY (V.O.)
Here at Command Central, not so much
with the hilarious. More with the "what the Hell am I doing?"

With that, Buffy leaps HEAD FIRST through the broken doorway.

LEAH
What th'Hell is she doing?

BUFFY (V.O.)
It's not all that different, though. Still got my
demons. And I still got my Watcher.

>>As we'll find out soon enough, Buffy has a running joke of calling Xander a Watcher, and he hates it.

CUT TO:


INT. SLAYER COMMAND CENTRE - MEANWHILE - NIGHT

A large stone-floored room lined with eight or more CONSOLES operated by young WOMEN. In the background, two (young, female) MYSTICS kneel and manipulate a GLOWING PINK ENERGY BALL. In centre stage, on a podium, is XANDER. He is watching a large array of screens on which we see LEAH looking puzzled.

>>Since Xander is watching the pictures broadcast to him through Satsu's head-mounted camera, presumably Satsu is looking at Leah at this point. However, note that we can also see Rowena in another, smaller screen; so someone else must have another camera...

>>It's clear now, if it wasn't already from the helicopters and guns, that Buffy's new organisation has an impressive amount of resources. It seems a fair bet that they've taken them over from the former Watchers' Council after Caleb killed the old one off, although that's never stated specifically.

>>We later learn that Renee, who's manning one of the consoles, is a Slayer. Presumably all the women in the room are Slayers, except perhaps for the two mystics. What I'm wondering is whether the two helicopter pilots were also Slayers...

As in the previous scene, Xander's voice-over narration is interspersed with the dialogue.

XANDER (V.O)
I used to be in construction.

XANDER
(Over the radio)
You're five-by-five, Buf. Satellite has them
clustered by the altar and our psychics read them
as unaware.

>>Five-by-five is standard military radio jargon for "reading you loud and clear". It's not necessarily meant as a reference to Faith in this context, even if it is her catchphrase.

CLOSE ON XANDER

XANDER (cont'd)
Soon as Rowena's placed, we're go.

>>This is a clue to what happens later. Rowena and two other Slayers (who, presumably, were in the other helicopter) are sneaking off around the side of the church, ready to come crashing in at the crucial moment.

XANDER (V.O)
Pay was good. Hours were way better than this.
They even ended occasionally. But when duty
calls... you don't exactly get to screen.

WIDEN on the control room. One of the SLAYERS operating the consoles - RENEE - calls to Xander.

RENEE
Mister Harris - we've got a development with
the Barcelona squad. Vamp nest looks a lot bigger
than they thought.

>>It's only a casual mention, but at least it's proof that the new Slayer organisation does still fight vampires.

Xander walks over.

XANDER
How many in the squad?

RENEE
Seven. Donna's running them, but they're pretty green.

>>If seven Slayers have trouble with a single nest of vampires, then either it's a really huge nest, or they're incredibly green - or the new Slayer organisation plays it safe and doesn't throw away the lives of Slayers unnecessarily. Which is an interesting commentary on the new régime now Buffy's in charge.

XANDER
Andrew's still working southern Italy --
Tell him to pick his ten best, hop over.

>>Andrew was in Italy during 'The Girl in Question' in late Angel season 5; it looks like he's based there.

RENEE
Roger that.

XANDER
Tell him ten best. Not ten best dressed.
We don't want another Orvieto.

RENEE
Yes, Mister Harris.

XANDER
"Xander", Renee, I told you, it's "Xander".
Or "Sergeant Fury".

RENEE
(smiling)
Wasn't Nick Fury a COLONEL when he ran S.H.I.E.L.D.?

XANDER
I like him better in the Howling Commando days.
But your nerd points are accumulating impressively.

RENEE
I try, Sergeant.

>> Nick Fury is a Marvel Comics character who - like Xander himself - wears an eyepatch. The character led a commando unit during the Second World War; afterwards, promoted to colonel, he was put in charge of SHIELD, a covert intelligence operation not wholly dissimilar to the one Xander's now part of. We later learn that Renee's been deliberately reading comic books herself because she knows Xander's into them.

Xander looks back at the SCREEN, where BUFFY is about to smash down another DOOR.

XANDER
Okay, Buf. Game on.

We DISSOLVE through the screen to:

INT - OLD CHURCH - NIGHT

BUFFY, with SATSU and LEAH behind her, smashes through the door into the church NAVE. Three HUGE SCALY DEMONS confront her. On the floor, we can see a couple of human CORPSES.

CLOSE on Buffy

BUFFY
(to herself)
Their first victims. Gotta get 'em past it.
(out loud)
Flank 'em. Now.

>>This needs highlighting, because it shows Buffy being concerned for the morale of her followers - and finding an effective way to deal with the problem, rather than just making a speech about it as she might have done in season 7.

Buffy RUNS to the attack.

DEMON
Thissss one... looks tasssty.

BUFFY
(dodging its blow)
Thanks, I work out.

She HITS the monster, but it wraps its TAIL around her leg and FLIPS her into a candle-laden SHRINE.

>>The shrine with lit candles on it indicates that this is a Roman Catholic church. The Buffyverse version of Britain seems to have a lot more Catholics than the real one, unless this church is actually in another country. Continuity glitch: either these are magical ever-burning candles, or the demons have kept them replenished, because they're still lit... Maybe it's the demons themselves who are Catholic.

BUFFY
Ahh!

DEMON
Sssad little girl... lossst the element of sssurprise.

At this point, the other two demons are SURPRISED when the church WINDOWS SHATTER and four huge steel HARPOONS impale them. They're done for.

CUT to REVEAL ROWENA and two other SLAYERS holding harpoon guns. They've just abseiled down from the roof to the windows.

ROWENA
Dat vent vell.

The remaining demon attacks Buffy, who holds the large CROSS from the shrine she fell into.

DEMON
Sssstupid human, I am no vampire. You think I fear the cross?

Buffy leaps up and STABS IT THROUGH THE HEAD with the cross, killing it.

BUFFY
Might wanna start.

>>OK, to recap that fight scene. Buffy runs into the church and attacks the first demon; Leah and Satsu follow her in, spreading out to either side of her, and confront the other two demons. The lead demon tries to grab Buffy; she jumps over its outstretched arm (making her 'I work out' quip), then punches it. However, it wraps its tail around her leg and flips her into the shrine. At this point, Rowena and her squad abseil down from the roof and open fire through the church windows, killing two of the demons. Buffy, recovered from her fall, uses the big cross to kill the remaining demon.

PULL BACK to show the aftermath.


INT. OLD CHURCH - SHORTLY AFTERWARDS - NIGHT

LEAH
That were a wee bit repulsive.

BUFFY
Went okay. 'Cept I feel a little weird about using a crucifix to kill someone.

LEAH
Yeh dinno much about religion, do yeh?

>>Because, of course, the whole symbolic importance of the crucifix is that it was used to kill someone. Religion never was Buffy's strong point. ("Note to self: religion: freaky")

Meanwhile SATSU is examining the human CORPSES. She adjusts the small CAMERA fitted to her headgear; clearly, this is what is feeding the images to XANDER's SCREENS.

SATSU
Ma'am? What is that? On his chest.

CLOSE to reveal a mysterious SYMBOL scarred into the man's chest.

>> This, we later learn, means that he was a member of the organisation called Twilight.

BUFFY
This isn't recent.

LEAH
They were hostage for a time?

BUFFY
Satsu, zoom in. Xander, send this to Records. Copy Giles on it.

XANDER
(by radio)
Gotchya.

ROWENA
Vhat are you thinkink?

BUFFY
Self-inflicted. I don't think these are random victims.

Buffy picks up an ASSAULT RIFLE that was propped against a pew.

>> The rifle Buffy finds is a standard US Army issue one, suggesting that these men have links to the American government.

BUFFY (cont'd)
I think these boys were looking for a fight.

Rowena examines an odd MACHINE on the floor.

ROWENA
I tink ta forcefield was deirs, too.

UNNAMED SLAYER
So they wanted to be alone with
those things? That doesn't add up.

>> By the end of 'The Long Way Home' we still don't know exactly what was going on in that church; but my assumption is that Twilight ordered two of its members to go to the church, set up a forcefield, and summon the three demons. The demons then killed the two Twilight members... the implication is that they were set up by their superiors, and didn't actually expect to get killed. I assume again that the motive behind this was to lure the Slayers into attacking the church, either in the hope that the demons would kill them, or at least that it would allow Twilight to gather more intelligence on them.

Over the following we slowly PULL BACK through the broken window of the church.

BUFFY
This is all bad math. But that symbol...
that's gonna clear it all up.

We PULL BACK further until Buffy and the Slayers are small dots in the distance. We see a MYSTERIOUS FIGURE in BLACK BOOTS and a LONG COAT is apparently floating in the sky above the church, watching them.

>> No, we never do learn who this is or how he can fly. Based on the later issues it's possibly Ethan Rayne, in which case this would be a dream-projection of him rather than his physical presence. However, this figure is wearing different footwear to what Ethan will later be shown wearing.

BUFFY (cont'd)
That's gonna tell us what those guys are part of.

END OF TEASER


ACT ONE

EXT. A HELICOPTER IN FLIGHT - DAY

>>It seems to be a different make of helicopter to the ones the Slayers were using, for what that's worth.

We see GENERAL VOLL talking to a nameless civilian holding a briefcase; we'll call him THE SUIT. The pilot and co-pilot fly the helicopter impassively, for they are extras and have no dialogue.

VOLL
An army.

SUIT
You don't think that's overstating it, General Voll?
Our intel says they're too loosely affiliated to...
I mean, they're scattered in those...

VOLL
"Squads", right. Terrorists call 'em "cells".
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.

>> An obvious real-life political reference here. General Voll will clarify exactly what he means at the end of #4, of course: the Slayers' "hard-line ideology" is to set themselves up as the ultimate arbiters of who lives and who dies, in the name of "protecting" humanity despite itself.

CLOSE on Voll.

VOLL (cont'd)
Worst of all, they got a leader. Charismatic,
uncompromising and completely destructive.
I mean for the love of God...

>> I wonder how Buffy would react to hearing herself be called "charismatic, uncompromising and completely destructive"?

WIDEN to show the helicopter is flying over a huge, two-mile across CRATER in the middle of the desert. This is all that remains of SUNNYDALE.

>> I've shown elsewhere, using satellite photos, that it's perfectly possible for a two-mile diameter crater to appear in roughly the same place Santa Barbara is in real life, and for the crater to be within a short drive from the sea-coast without the sea actually appearing in this picture. Basically, the helicopter is flying over Kingman's Bluff northwards.

VOLL (cont'd)
Look what she did to her hometown.

DISSOLVE TO:


EXT. MILITARY ENCAMPMENT - DAY 

A small group of TENTS and VEHICLES at the edge of the crater. A soldier stands guard as several more monitor SCREENS AND EQUIPMENT inside a tent. A MAN in shirtsleeves speaks over the radio.

MAN
We have you at sixty feet under. You
must be picking up some traces.

DISSOLVE TO:


EXT. BOTTOM OF SUNNYDALE CRATER - CONTINUING - DAY 

Three figures in HAZMAT SUITS gather around a HOLE, over which a WINCH and rope has been set. A fourth SCOUT has just been lowered down the hole.

SCOUT
(by radio)
That's a negative, sir. Unless you count the willies...

DISSOLVE TO:


INT. UNDERNEATH SUNNYDALE CRATER - CONTINUING

The scout, in a similar Hazmat suit, is walking through a dark, eerie CAVERN in the wreckage that was Sunnydale. It's schmucky-the-bait time.

SCOUT
It's like a museum down here. But
no bodies, and no mystical readings.

Two CLAW-LIKE HANDS are stretching out towards the scout, who is oblivious.

SCOUT (cont'd)
I'm all alone down here.

CLOSE on the scout's terrified face, as another face is REFLECTED in the faceplate of his Hazmat suit. As he SCREAMS... 

>> Judging by the fact that the reflection on the Hazmat suit's faceplate has long hair, it's actually Amy who's attacking him here, not Warren. We also learn later that she doesn't kill him, just terrify him. 

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. MILITARY ENCAMPMENT - DAY
As the soldiers in the tent tear their earphones from their heads, deafened by the scout's screaming.


 

DISSOLVE TO:

CLOSE on the MYSTICAL SYMBOL from the teaser. It's a drawing, projected onto a screen.

BUFFY (V.O.)
So what's it all mean?

INT: LIBRARY - LATER - NIGHT 

This room in Slayer Central is lined with bookcases. A built-in projector is showing the symbol on a screen on one wall. BUFFY and XANDER sit comfortably, Xander with his feet on the table that Buffy's perching on. Buffy is eating a huge SANDWICH while Xander holds the REMOTE CONTROL for the projector. 

>> Buffy's been slaying. Buffy is now clearly hungry. :) This is obviously some time later, though - not only has she had chance to get home from wherever the church was, but Xander's had chance to get people to research the symbol. Note that Buffy's wearing a different top and jacket to the fight scene, but her boots and trousers look the same.

XANDER
Nothing from the experts, but
I've been studying it a while.

BUFFY
And?

XANDER
I think it's a frown turned upside down.
And then turned upside down again.

BUFFY
So you think it's a frown.

XANDER
Guy with a monocle frowning.

BUFFY
You're a terrible Watcher.

>>Second outing for Buffy's running "Xander's a Watcher" teasing.

XANDER
I'm not a Watcher.

BUFFY
Well, clearly.

XANDER
Don't call me a Watcher. And
you need to talk to Dawn.

Buffy gets up to peer closely at the symbol. 

>>Of course, she's being avoidy and trying to ignore Xander's last suggestion here.

BUFFY
I think it's a beautiful sunset.

>> Slayer intuition at its finest. Of course it is a sunset; it's the symbol of an organisation called 'Twilight'. Buffy guesses correctly here.

XANDER
Seriously, you gotta see Dawn.

BUFFY
She's just gonna whine.

XANDER
She's got a lot to whine about.

BUFFY
There's nothing I can do till we can find Willow.

>> First clue that Willow is missing.

XANDER
You could be her sister.

DISSOLVE TO:


INT. DAWN's ROOM - CONTINUING - NIGHT 

CLOSE on BUFFY

BUFFY (V.O.)
Xander's so stupid when he's right.
But all Dawn does lately is talk about
her problems. Which, admittedly...

PULL BACK to reveal a large, stone barn-like building. Through the windows we can see a red, twilight sky; the sun has just set. Oh, and DAWN's a GIANT. About 50 feet tall. She's dressed in giant-sized normal teenager clothing. A few BARRELS of water are scattered about for her to drink from. 

>> Some people have questioned how Dawn can still find clothes to fit her, considering she's now a size 300. The obvious answer would be "magic"; either her wardrobe grew big at the same time she did, or the local witches magically enlarged her clothes for her. The real reason, of course, is that the comic is intended for family reading. :-)

BUFFY (V.O.)(cont'd)
...have gotten bigger.

MONTAGE of separate scenes from BUFFY and DAWN's long conversation. Buffy moves around the room as she talks to show the passage of time. 

>> Which is an interesting visual effect. Dawn is in the same position in all four panels on the double page, but Buffy moves about in each one to show how much time is passing between each frame.

BUFFY
Thought I'd come and see you.

DAWN
'Cause Xander made you?

BUFFY
What are you talking about?

DAWN
Has Willow called?

BUFFY
I'm sure she will soon.

BUFFY is now leaning on a railing on some STAIRS at the side of the room.

BUFFY
...but if you told me about it, I could at
least get some of the apprentice witches --

DAWN
I'm not talking about it.

BUFFY
But you'll talk to Willow.

DAWN
Willow understands. She taught me a lot,
especially when you were dead.

BUFFY
Taught you a lot of what?

>> Given Dawn's controversial comment later that "Will's like a mom to me", it's interesting that here she's referencing the time between seasons 5 and 6 when Willow and Tara were indeed acting as her surrogate parents. One has to wonder, along with Buffy, exactly what Willow did teach Dawn - especially since Willow at that time wasn't the most cautious or reliable person when it came to magic. 

Now Buffy is lying on the balcony at the back of the room, looking at Dawn upside down.

DAWN
... because you act like it's my fault.

BUFFY
You were dating a thricewise.

>>Nope, we still haven't found out what one of those is yet.

DAWN
Kenny never said he was a thricewise!

BUFFY
I said he was a thricewise. Leah said
he was a thricewise. Giles said he
was a thricewise and he only ever met him
on the phone!

>> Since Leah is clearly Scottish and she's the one to have met Kenny - and Kenny itself is a Scottish name - he's apparently a local boy. (For certain values of the word 'boy'). 

Buffy is now leaving through the outside door to the RAMPARTS.

BUFFY
You should get out, run around on the moor.

>> Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, could you be any more patronising to your own sister? She's 18, not 8! No wonder she's annoyed with you... 

DAWN
It's frickin' freezing! Why do we have
to be in Scotland?

BUFFY
You don't have to be in Scotland.
You have to be at Berkeley.

>> Presumably that's a reference to the University of California campus at Berkeley. It's also our first mention that Slayer HQ is in Scotland.

DAWN
Believe me, as soon as I'm
person-sized, I'm out of here.

BUFFY
I've got things to do.

DISSOLVE TO:


EXT. CASTLE - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT 

As Buffy goes through the door, Dawn's face looms huge behind her.

DAWN
I could swat you like a flea.

BUFFY
Your butt looks big in those giant pants.

Alone now, Buffy climbs the STONE STAIRCASE to the castle ramparts.

BUFFY (V.O)
How does that happen? How do we
turn into twelve-year-olds all of a sudden?
Every time we talk? Face it. We haven't really
gotten along since...
(beat)
...since we changed the world.

PULL BACK to our first outside view of SLAYER CENTRAL - It's a big ol' castle in the Scottish Highlands.

BUFFY (V.O)(cont'd)
I miss my home.

CLOSE on Buffy.

BUFFY (V.O)(cont'd)
I miss my mom. I miss the gang. And churros.
And sex. Great muppety Odin, I miss that sex.

>> Churros are a kind of doughnut not generally sold in Britain. The sex part may be a reference to Spike, or possibly Riley, or even maybe Faith. :) Or just to sex in general. The Odin part is possibly about a little-known Norse myth about a trick Loki once played on the Allfather. 

She gets annoyed now.

BUFFY (V.O)(cont'd)
Ooh! I just KNOW Dawn had sex with that Kenny
and won't say anything to me -- but she'll tell
Willow, fine, her first time and it all goes
wrong which I'm TOTALLY well versed in
and anyhow Willow's the expert on boys since
WHEN now?

>> Buffy's own first time was, of course, fairly spectacularly disastrous, although she didn't turn into a giant. Season 2 might have gone a little differently if she had. As for the "Willow's the expert on boys since when now?" part - remember that the last time Dawn had a crush on someone - in 'Him' - she told her sister and her sister promptly tried to steal the boyfriend for herself. So maybe it's understandable that Dawn would prefer to get advice from someone who is unlikely to compete with her over a boy...
 
She cuts herself off mid-rant.

BUFFY (V.O)(cont'd)
Outstanding. I can't even feel SORRY
for myself in a linear fashion. Suck it up, Summers.

PULL BACK to show Buffy leaning over the castle battlements looking at the distant mountains.

BUFFY (V.O)(cont'd)
You're a big girl now.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. UNDERGROUND MILITARY BASE - DAY 

GENERAL VOLL is looking through the viewing slot on a door.

VOLL
(shocked)
Lord.

He RECOILS BACK in horror.

VOLL
How is that thing alive?

>>Our first introduction to Skinless Warren. 

We see he is accompanied by the man in a SUIT carrying a briefcase he was with in the helicopter, and a white-coated EXPERT.

EXPERT
Well, magic. Obviously.

They walk down a white CORRIDOR, looking a little like a hospital. 

>> There's a woman dressed as a nurse sitting behind the desk in the corridor, which contradicts something I said before about us not seeing any women working for General Voll.

EXPERT (cont'd)
We believe Subject One was keeping him
alive. Keeping both of them alive,
after the decimation.

VOLL
But... I mean, did they eat? What did they eat?

EXPERT
Best guess? Whoever else was trapped in there.

>> So Amy was hiding in holes in the rubble, eating people? Her three years as a rat might still be having a major influence on her personality...

VOLL
Insane. At least tell me they had the decency to go insane.

EXPERT
Unstable, but surprisingly coherent. Subject
One is the more vocal right now. Once
our man underground got over his girly
screaming fit, he told us her first words.

They've reached a similar looking DOOR with an EYE-SLIT, which the EXPERT PEERS through.

EXPERT (cont'd)
"I'm gonna help you kill her."

VOLL
Who compromised our intel--

EXPERT
Magic, general. You still have to learn the rules.

VOLL
There aren't any goddamn rules.

EXPERT
That's sort of what I meant.

SUIT
Do you think she CAN help us?

VOLL
What does she want?

EXPERT
Access to all our magical hardware.
A weapons lab for her "boyfriend".

CLOSE on VOLL, who looks rather repulsed by that last thought.

VOLL
You can't mean they--

EXPERT
Try not to picture it. Also release and
full immunity if they succeed in taking
Buffy Summers down. And, well...
(beat)
She wants a lot of cheese.

>> See what I mean about the rat thing?

VOLL
Cheese. Of course. We got a
name on this nutjob?

DISSOLVE TO:


INT. MILITARY BASE CELL - DAY 

Kneeling on the floor in the padded cell, wearing a hospital gown and covered in sticking plasters, cupping a greenish magical ball of light in one hand, we see --

EXPERT
Amy. She says her name is Amy.

BLACK OUT. 

END OF ACT ONE

Comments

Posted by: spikeNdru (spikendru)
Posted at: 30th June 2007 23:57 (UTC)
Dawn squee

Squee! You did the annotated transcript! *Rushes off to read.*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st July 2007 00:25 (UTC)

That was a quick reply. :)

This is only part one; I'll post part 2 tomorrow, but I don't know when I'lll be able to finish the other two parts. Hope you like it...

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 1st July 2007 13:14 (UTC)

If you want help doing #2 and #3, KingofCretins already did Season 8 Transcripts for the first three issues.

I think this is a great idea and it'll help fans to quote from the comics when doing meta.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 1st July 2007 13:51 (UTC)

Thanks! (And good point on the meta.)

I've already done part 2. I've got mixed feelings on copying someone else's transcript for part 3; on the one hand it would save a bunch of typing, on the other some of his interpretations are different to mine and I wouldn't want to be unduly influenced by them. Not to mention that my formatting and stage directions are done completely differently.

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 1st July 2007 13:56 (UTC)
Xander comic by moscow_watcher

You can copy the quotes said by the characters, and credit him with the link. The quotes won't change whether you or he wrote them :)

Posted by: spikeNdru (spikendru)
Posted at: 1st July 2007 21:48 (UTC)
Bloodybrilliant by awmp& marsterslady

Glad you explained the "five by five". I couldn't understand why Xander had suddenly picked up Faith's catchphrase. so, I guess this is still more info left over from his evening as a soldier courtesy of Ethan Rayne?

I don't know; 17 slayers to take out one nest of vampires seems sort of . . . inefficient to me. Ahhh . . . Sgt. Fury. An inside comic book joke.

Buffy, re: Dawn: There's nothing I can do till we can find Willow. Hated that line. What about being sorry she shut Dawn out and wanting to show her the world at the end of S6? What about Dawn becomming Watcher Jr. in S7, and an almost total absence of whinging, also in S7? What happened to bring on Buffy's avoidence/disinterest in the intervening time? Why haen't they been getting along since they changed the world? My guess is that Buffy immediately reverted to shutting Dawn out again and treating her like a 12-year-old, but why?

This was terrific! You did a super job of explaining the comic. But it's kind of sad that it needed explaining - I never needed anyone to explain the show to me. Thanks again for this, though.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd July 2007 00:53 (UTC)
TLWH-monsters

Glad you liked. :)

It's possible that Xander learned the meaning of 'five-by-five' when he was learning to use all that fancy communications gear they acquired from somewhere or other. For that matter, I think one of the characters in 'Aliens' uses the phrase too, so he might know it from that source...

Personally, I suspect Buffy's thoughts regarding Dawn are along the lines of "I offered to show her the world; I was overjoyed when she got a place at UC Berkeley - then the little idiot went and got herself turned into a giant and messed everything up. And of course she wants me to help. I'm trying to run a worldwide organisation here - does anybody stop to consider that I might need some help muyself? That I don't have time to run around getting Dawn out of the mess she got herself into? And now Willow's run off without telling us where or when she'll be back, which doesn't help at all. Aarrgh! I don't have the patience for this!"

Getting even more into the realms of speculation, I think that after 'Chosen' Buffy probably decided to shop, sightsee and party - and after two weeks of that, was itching to kill something, feeling guilty about neglecting her Slayer duties, and feeling responsible for tall the new Slayers that had been created. So she plunged straight back into her duties - and maybe Dawn resented that because she wasn't ready to go back to work yet?

Posted by: lilred26x (lilred26x)
Posted at: 2nd July 2007 11:41 (UTC)

This is really very helpful. When I read the comic, I didn't notice nearly as much as you've pointed out. I'm not use to reading comics, so I'm one of those that have some trouble following it. It also helps with the continuity through the four comics. It always amazes me just how much I miss and others notice. Thanks for sharing this!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 2nd July 2007 17:38 (UTC)

Thanks! I've found that going through the comic typing up the dialogue is an excellent way to make sure you pick up all the implications and refrerences...

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 3rd July 2007 22:15 (UTC)

Hi! Glad they're useful. :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 4th July 2007 19:03 (UTC)

You're right about the sofa - I wasn't looking carefully enough! (See, even I miss things... :-) ) I think the carpet pattern fooled me. I've edited.

Of course, as I'm doing this write-up I'm studying each panel really carefully; it's not like I'd notice all the details on a simple read-through.

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