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(Review) BtVS 8.06 'No Future For You' Part 1

6th September 2007 (16:35)

Another month, another Season 8 installment. Yay! I enjoyed this: I thought Faith's character was very well drawn, and the cameos of the other characters were fun. The idea behind the villain is rather clichéd, but the execution is still enjoyable. And most importantly, we got Joss himself confessing to a mistake! ;-)

Regarding why The First could appear as Warren in season 7:
"He was legally dead for like a second. Amy didn't tell him 'cause she didn't want to upset him.
I forgot, okay?!"

Anyway, on with the review!

I assume the big Art Deco goddess statue is a famous Cleveland landmark (Googling suggests it's the Hope Memorial Bridge), and Faith sat on top of it symbolises her current feeling of isolation. (Or possibly her close affinity with Angel and Captain Jack from Torchwood.) The cameo with Robin was the first bit of characterisation I liked; considering how little time he had to establish himself on the show, this appearance does seem consistent with it. And Faith's reaction to him was classic: she's actually being (fairly) polite to an ex rather than trying to strangle him, which is progress; but she still shuts him down and backs off as soon as he tries being friendly. Looks like Robin's promise to "surprise her" about the existence of decent men has only had a limited effect, then...

ETA: Re-reading that, it actually looks as if Faith is being genuinely friendly - and even flirtatious, in her sarcastic way - when Robin first calls. But when he tells her it's not a social call, that in fact he needs her to do a tough, dirty job that the other Slayers can't handle, it's THEN that she goes all cold and distant. Looks like another classic example of Faith tentatively reaching out to somebody, being rebuffed, and withdrawing into herself.

I'd already been spoiled for the vampire kids, but it was still a very powerful scene. Equally powerful was the 'after' shot, as Faith walks back into her home and angrily slams her stake into the wall - and we see the holes where she's obviously done this many times before.

Enter Giles... and what on Earth is he wearing? Did he buy that jumper back in 1969 - in which case it's impressive it still fits - or at a Beatles tribute band concert? :) His reaction to learning what Faith uses the teabags he's been drinking for was amusing. And Faith's comment on Sunnydale turning from an outie into an innie was hilarious; shame on Giles for not getting the joke. Faith's "You don't say" reaction to the idea of an evil Slayer was also on the mark.

A few words about the general set-up. Faith's clearly living in fairly crappy accommodation - again - but at least it's better than her motel room. It's spacious, and she has central heating, a microwave and a fridge-freezer as well as a TV. It does beg the question as to why Buffy's organisation can't provide her with better; but Faith's withdrawal as soon as Robin tries to show friendly interest in her welfare suggests one obvious reason: Faith's too proud, or too afraid of showing weakness, to accept help. Of course we don't know either how much money the Slayers have - that castle, and the helicopters and stuff, can't be cheap, and there may not be much left over.

Giles' talk about "For all intents and purposes I am the Watchers' Council" is fascinating, because it opens up a whole new can of worms. Where exactly does that leave Buffy? In their brief scene later on, Buffy and Xander refer to "our friend in the library" and say that he's been "incommunicado for a few weeks". Which suggests firstly that they see Giles as a source of research and information, not the head of their organisation; and second, that they obviously don't know what Giles is up to with Faith. Interesting. Giles taking on the dirty work without telling Buffy is a well-established pattern, of course; but it rarely ends well. I'm even speculating whether there are two rival organisations here: that Giles is constructing his own independent power base under Buffy's nose. Getting Faith on his side would be a major coup, if that turns out to be the case.

Sidenote: the depiction of Faith in this issue is variable; but in this scene I think the artist got her just right in several of the panels.

So, on to our first major new character of the arc, Lady Genevieve Savidge. Daughter of a duke, apparently. As I said at the start, I thought she was a little clichéd; the idea of a decadent aristocracy hunting humans has been done before. Mind you, Buffy is all about taking standard tropes and then subverting them, so that's not an automatic negative. The evil Svengali-like tutor was another interesting touch: it's clear that he has been luring Gigi into more and more evil acts with the promise of some reward. And he's a warlock, he summons demons... and he's got some sort of connection to Twilight. It's too early to tell what that connection is, although I can speculate. He could be proof that Twilight is simply evil and apocalyptic, which would be rather disappointing. He may actually be an enemy of Twilight, and the folder he's holding is intelligence information about them. However, my favourite idea is that he's setting up Genevieve as an Evil Slayer so he can later betray her, expose her, and so justify Twilight going public and wiping out all Slayers as a threat to humanity. To that extent, she's actually a manipulated victim.

I think her portrayal does show this. She's clearly arrogant, greedy, spoiled and shallow. However, she seems to show genuine remorse when she kills the Slayer: suggesting that she's not totally irredeemable (and lending weight to my guess as to why Faith, of all the Slayers, is the one being sent up against her.) The dialogue suggests that Roden has been arranging these hunts for Genevieve as part of her training; they've kidnapped several girls already, but this is the first time they've set her against another Slayer. Genevieve's shock at killing her opponent implies that the previous fights were not fatal... and Roden also calls this her "blooding", implying it's the first time she's killed someone.

moscow_watcher wondered if the Slayer Genevieve killed had been sent there by Giles in an earlier attempt to assassinate her. I didn't get that impression myself; the dead Slayer seemed to believe she was kidnapped at random. Still, it's clear Giles knows she's well-protected, and possibly knows that at least one Slayer has disappeared.

Final note on Lady Genevieve's scene: Roden's final reference to "if you don't eat your meat"... is it: (a) Simply a common proverb with no deeper meaning? (b) A sexual reference, implying a rather sleazy-sounding relationship between Roden and Genevieve? (c) A reference to ritual cannibalism, with Roden having somehow convinced Genevieve that she can get more power by consuming the flesh of other Slayers?

If it's (b), I note that Genevieve is confirmed to be 18 years old, almost 19, at the time of this story. So she's legally an adult, and it's safe to post fanfic and manips about her here. :)

The hotel dining room scene gives us more exposition and continuity porn (although since Drew Goddard is apparently doing the next arc, I think we'll get even more of that next time...) Giles casually mentioning that he has no problems with personally assassinating people with a rifle is quite chilling.

Disappointingly, we learn that Faith considers herself to be no higher than a 2 on the Kinsey Scale. :) She seems to regard the possibility of seducing the other Slayer as nothing more than "kink" - and while she certainly isn't hostile to the idea in general ("I likes me some kink"), she's not willing to do it in this particular case. Then again, we can always convince ourselves that Faith simply has a problem with the idea of seducing then killing another woman, but has no qualms about doing that to a man...

Something else interesting: Faith apparently still gets her psychotic flashbacks - as seen in 'Who Are You' and 'Sanctuary'. This time, it's realistic enough for her to stab Giles thinking he's someone from her past: I can't tell who, though the figure looks to be drawn as a child. This is particularly notable because a lot of post-Chosen fics skim over the whole idea of Faith being mentally ill, or treat it as just a very temporary aberration. Vaughan seems to have taken a different approach: it's not enough to stop her functioning fairly normally, but psychosis is still part of her character.

The flashback serves to reveal Giles' Mark of Eyghon tattoo - another nice bit of continuity (and just maybe, a deliberate reminder of his involvement with Ethan?) - and trigger the bonding moment where Faith and Giles can share their mutual history of being a wild teenager who killed people. However, it also did something more subtle - it stopped Giles from revealing to us, the readers, why he chose Faith rather than one of the other Slayers for this mission. Fascinating. I can't help but wonder whether he feels that if Genevieve is worth saving after all, Faith is the one person who will have the motivation to disobey orders and try to redeem her - and that with her past, she's also the only Slayer someone like Genevieve would trust.

The interlude with Buffy and Xander is just, well, cute. Xander getting all self-conscious about being shirtless and sweaty in front of her was funny, and to my mind pretty clearly confirms that the two of them haven't been sleeping together anywhere outside Buffy's dreams... although his embarrassment, and references to checking out the pink-pyjama'd-and-skimpy-topped Buffy, maybe imply that the thought has occurred to him too. Buffy teasing him about Renee was another good moment - it's nice to see these people being friends again - and I wonder if Xander is playing it cool with Renee, or if he's actually oblivious? We also get our burst of exposition to catch up with the 'The Long Way Home' storyline, so we don't forget about it.

Then there's Buffy's dream. So far I've got no idea what it's referring to, unless the 'Queen' is a reference to Lady Genevieve. Or, just possibly, it's Ethan Rayne (Rayne = reign = queen) who is, of course, dead, and perhaps this is him returned to her dreamspace in a new, manticore-like form. On a side-note, it seems that Genevieve is also having nightmares, so maybe there's a connection there.

(Logically, if Slayers have prophetic dreams, wouldn't you expect all 2,000 of them to have the same dream simultaneously? I've used that idea in a couple of unfinished fanfics myself, but not seen it suggested previously elsewhere.)

Final scene - and thanks to shapinglight for pointing out the Doctor and Rose walking down the street outside Giles' house in London, I saw them but didn't get the reference myself first time. The scene where Faith is getting dressed upstairs on the balcony, out of sight, but we can see various items of clothing flying through the air as she discards them is funny. (And there's a bra draped over a wardrobe in the later scene.) I was a little let down that the comic didn't make more of the My Fair Lady concept by showing Faith learning how to mingle in polite society, but there's always fanfic for that. It was funny that Giles' main aim was not so much to teach her precedence (and I assume the dowager would take precedence over the wife of a mere baronet, incidentally) but to teach her how to swear in British English. :)

It's now a rule that all stories featuring Faith have to have one of the other characters saying "five by five", while she doesn't say it herself. 

What with the bonding over tattoos and killing people, and now Giles getting all hot and bothered over Faith in a dress, I wonder if we're setting up for romance between them?

Buffy would hate that idea with the passion of a thousand burning hell-dimensions. :)

Comments

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 16:57 (UTC)

Disappointingly, we learn that Faith considers herself to be no higher than a 2 on the Kinsey Scale. :) She seems to regard the possibility of seducing the other Slayer as nothing more than "kink"

I am not surprised. I have always thought that Faith was actually very conformist and craved rules and order.
She was happy with The Mayor because she had a boss, she was under his authority. Buffy was the rebel, Buffy didn't like to obey, she made the rules, slept with vampires and changed the world.

What with the bonding over tattoos and killing people, and now Giles getting all hot and bothered over Faith in a dress, I wonder if we're setting up for romance between them?

Why not? He's an alpha male and when she arrived in Sunnydale Faith found him "cute". And Giles needs action!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 17:12 (UTC)
faith2

I have always thought that Faith was actually very conformist and craved rules and order.

I can see that; though I'd tweak it slightly to say that Faith craves acceptance and security; she interprets "rules and order" to be the same thing, because she hasn't really had experience of either. She was happy with the Mayor because he actually gave a damn about what she did, not because she's a natural follower.

Although you're right that it's ironic how she always saw Buffy as the conformist, yet it was Buffy who truly went outside the rules an completely changed them...


I don't have a particular problem with Faith/Giles (other than it not being Faith/Willow) but like I said, I think Buffy's reaction to hearing about her semi-estranged father-figure and her Evil Twin getting it on would be... spectacular. :)

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 18:35 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:20 (UTC)

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:25 (UTC)

Posted by: pen_romantic (pen_romantic)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 17:19 (UTC)

Wow... simply...amazing


I love this review...

I speccially agree with the idea of Roden using the new slayer to mark the name of the rest ... it is sooooooooo Whedonesque


i need some scans ... such good panels

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 17:33 (UTC)
faith2

Thank you! It would be a really devious idea, but we already know Twilight see themselves as the good guys but are willing to sacrifice their own men for the Greater Good (see issue #1).

I suspect I may be making icons at some point. :)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 17:49 (UTC)
Hee

Interesting ideas.

The evil Svengali-like tutor was another interesting touch: it's clear that he has been luring Gigi into more and more evil acts with the promise of some reward. And he's a warlock, he summons demons... and he's got some sort of connection to Twilight. It's too early to tell what that connection is, although I can speculate. He could be proof that Twilight is simply evil and apocalyptic, which would be rather disappointing. He may actually be an enemy of Twilight, and the folder he's holding is intelligence information about them. However, my favourite idea is that he's setting up Genevieve as an Evil Slayer so he can later betray her, expose her, and so justify Twilight going public and wiping out all Slayers as a threat to humanity. To that extent, she's actually a manipulated victim.

I'm even thinking about a parallel between Genevieve-Roden and Faith-Giles. In both cases we have a slayer who has to kill to satisfy her mentor.

continuity porn

You've coined a great expression! :)))


Disappointingly, we learn that Faith considers herself to be no higher than a 2 on the Kinsey Scale. :)

Come on, she's just in denial! :)

if Slayers have prophetic dreams, wouldn't you expect all 2,000 of them to have the same dream simultaneously? I've used that idea in a couple of unfinished fanfics myself, but not seen it suggested previously elsewhere.

I suppose Joss has borrowed the idea from Battlestar Galactica. Season 3 finale uses this idea, and Joss is a big fan of BSG.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 18:46 (UTC)
faith

Thanks! But I'll confess I didn't invent the expression "continuity porn". I've usually seen it used in reference to Drew Goddard. :)

And I'm sure you're right about Faith and the Kinsey Scale. :)

The idea about the dreams just seemed a logical extension of what we already know about Slayers... though it can be amusing. (Buffy wakes from a nightmare and groans because she knows about 100 Slayers are about to come knocking on her door telling her about the same dream...)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:24 (UTC)

Posted by: counteragent (counteragent)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 04:26 (UTC)

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 08:08 (UTC)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 17:55 (UTC)

Good review! You drew out a lot of details that I missed on my admittedly quick first read.

For me, this is the most promising issue of Buffy 8 by far. Among other things, we start with some sort of wrap-up to a dangling plot-line when we learn that things didn't work out between Robin and Faith. Contrast that with the deafening silence on the question of whether Buffy even knows that Spike is still alive.

The set-up between Faith and Giles seems to have a lot of rich possibilities. I love the bonding between them, contrasted with the fact that he's setting her up for something that is potentially quite damaging to her. Could lead to an interesting dynamic. Not to mention your point about Buffy's likely reaction to it. I also find it interesting that while it is Faith who had an extended visit to the dark side, Giles doesn't seem to have considered the fact that Buffy's hands are not perfectly clean...Buffy has already tried to kill a slayer gone bad.

Good to see Joss confessing to a mistake. Bad that he made the mistake. I'd like to trust the guy, but my trust is waning. The fact that Joss apparently first meant to say that Warren hadn't really been killed gives some weight to the complaints that Joss was ret-conning Willow's fall in a way that mitigated (to some extent) what she did. This does not bode well for those of us who were hoping for more resolution on the dark Willow line. (Given how hard redemption is for some characters, it bothers me how relatively easy it came to Willow.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 18:51 (UTC)
faith2

I'm still not convinced that the fact Willow's attempt to torture Warren to death failed somehow exonerates her of guilt. But that's been argued to death already... I notice, though, that apparently the next stand-alone story after the Faith arc will feature a long conversation between Buffy and Willow, so I suspect there'll be a lot of development of her charcter arc there.

I did like how this episode keeps the other story lines moving even while it introduces a new one. And yes, the resolution of the Faith-Robin relationship may be a first for season 8, in that it actually does tie up a plotline! :)

Thanks!

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:10 (UTC)

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 18:17 (UTC)
"If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

I've been on a Pink Floyd/"The Wall" kick for much of this summer (started by rewatching the movie at the beginning of it), and "If you don't eat your meat..." is a line of dialogue from the tail end of one of the songs, "Another Brick in the Wall Part II" or "part III." Over here in the States at least, it gets a lot of play on radio stations using one variation or another of the "classic rock" format.

Anyway, Roger Waters says, in one of the featurettes on the DVD of the movie, that The Wall is about alienation, and what could cause a sense of alienation to build in somebody. Much of the record and the movie is at least semi-autobiographical, and the movie makes it clear that the line "If you don't eat your meat" is spoken by The Teacher, the representation of how the (British?) educational system can damage children and contribute to alienating them. The full line, by the way, is, "If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

So, we have a line referencing a song (and album, and movie) about alienation in a story focusing on Faith, who at least not so long ago was the poster child for alienation, and who it appears still has some walls of her own still up (no pun intended, okay, maybe intended *grin*). The line is spoken by this Roden, who is apparently instructing (or teaching) Lady Savidge in her descent into the dark side (and who, as part of the aristocracy, may have her own walls of alienation from other people erected, to say nothing of those that might get built on account of being a Slayer). Will Faith be able to get around or through those walls to help rescue or redeem Lady Savidge, or will she only be able to kill her? How will it affect Faith herself? And how did I extrapolate all this from one pop-cultural reference to a song that gets played a lot on classic rock radio? (OH! And remember how Giles once told Olivia that he'd lied about being the original bass player for Pink Floyd?...Somebody stop me!)

As for Xander's awareness of Renee or lack thereof (and I should admit right now that I haven't yet read the issue), why would anybody assume that Xander's aware of her crush on him or is actively flirting with her? The only ones I've seen leap to the latter conclusion, IMO, are those who are actively opposed to the mere possibility of B/X for whatever reason. It seems more in-character IMO for Xander to be unaware of anybody's interest in him that hasn't been made overtly clear (like Anya did), if Willow's old crush is anything to judge by (and I'm not one who leaps to the conclusion that Xander was fully aware of it and cruelly strung her along). Even if/when Xander is made fully aware of it, there's no guarantee that he'd return it, and that's without bringing up the question of Xander getting involved with somebody that he's "in charge" of. (Even if anybody wants to dismiss it as a "patriarchal" question to begin with, does anybody really think the other junior Slayers wouldn't gossip or have a problem with one of their own being involved with the guy who coordinates their missions from the other end of the fancy headphones?) Moreover, between Renee's crush and Buffy's apparent dreams, we've yet to get a clear picture of what Xander thinks or even wants (again, I haven't read #6 yet so I could be wrong) with regard to his love life. And one of the biggest complaints from both the end of the show and the start of the comic has come from those who are/were angry at either Joss or Xander for "glossing over" both Anya's death and Xander's grief. Given Joss's aversion to letting anybody have just a casual relationship or even a magic-free, undamaging roll in the hay (besides Giles and Olivia), it could be that Xander's not ready for a new relationship. Then again, given Joss's apparent awareness of how one part of fandom or another has a conniption fit if Single!Xander appears in the same episode, issue, or panel as Single!Female They Want 'Shipped With Somebody Else, he might just want to give the poor boy a break.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:16 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander
thechain-truth

Somebody stop me!)
Why? What you're saying is interesting and informative. :) I didn't know it was a Pink Floyd quote... thinking about it, the phrase I'm more familiar with is that if you don't eat your vegetables, not your meat, you won't get any pudding. So yes, probably a deliberate reference.

I still think the ritual cannibalism idea would be fun. :) Um, that's fun in the sense that means "horrible and gross", or course.

why would anybody assume that Xander's aware of her crush on him or is actively flirting with her?Well, when she was injured he went straight to her in the castle infirmary - presumably walking past all the other injured Slayers - so there's definite feeling there. And for Buffy to be teasing him about her, there's clearly something there to be noticed...

I do agree that he probably has Anya-related issues to work out before he can be happy in a new relationship. Then again, it is 18 months since her death, so I'd have no problems from a characterisation point of view if the comics simply decided to let him start from a clean slate.

I certainly agree that Xander having a relationship with somebody under his command brings up some serious issues which would need to be addressed. And I don't see it as an issue of 'patriarchism' either, because the exact same issues would apply if Satsu and Buffy got together (which I doubt will happen, but anyway). Xander sends Slayers into battle; sometimes to their deaths. Will he be happy to do that to Renee? Would the other Slayers trust him not to sacrifice them in order to save her? It's a minefield.

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:18 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 21:32 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 01:59 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:21 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:43 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:10 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 21:39 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 22:11 (UTC)
Willow's Sexuality

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 22:48 (UTC)
Re: Willow's Sexuality

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 21:03 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:49 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 10:54 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: Auntie Ro (auntiero)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 15:56 (UTC)
Re: "If you don't eat your meat" and Xander

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 19:56 (UTC)

And most importantly, we got Joss himself confessing to a mistake!
I don't know Joss is admitting to a mistake so make as conveying that he doesn't think it matters too much in a way that doesn't sound dismissive or defensive. Maybe he's secretly British:-)

I assume the big Art Deco goddess statue is a famous Cleveland landmark
Vaughan's from Cleveland and he did reveal the statue's identity in one of the threads on Whedonesque but I can't remember the answer.

Did he buy that jumper back in 1969
I think he bought the jumper in order to look as incongruous as possible in Faith's apartment. Or the submarine symbolises the hidden depths to his dealings with her. Or he does sometimes have odd taste in casualwear, he owns a poncho.

However, she seems to show genuine remorse when she kills the Slayer
Her reaction isn't so different from Faith's to killing Finch - initial shock (she never meant to go so far) then wanting to cover it up. Then she's back to "I want my puppy." My theory for what the Twilight have offered her is a return to the One Slayer system (the Queen is dead, long live the Queen) with Gigi as The One.

Faith apparently still gets her psychotic flashbacks
I think it was a flashback to killing the toddlers, it looked like one of them.

However, it also did something more subtle - it stopped Giles from revealing to us, the readers, why he chose Faith rather than one of the other Slayers for this mission.
Yes, I thought so too. I could almost believe the whole scenario was something Giles had cooked up to get Faith through her current self-loathing, once an ex-con always an ex-con, funk by showing her what a truly irredeemable rogue Slayer looks like. In which case I hope Faith gives him a good slapping once all is revealed.








Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 21:53 (UTC)
faith

I don't know Joss is admitting to a mistake so make as conveying that he doesn't think it matters too much.
Probably both. (And to be honest, I really don't think it does matter, either).

The statue - I actually did a Google image search and edited the answer into the review. It's the Hope Memorial Bridge. (I wonder if the link is deliberate and if Charity will show up next issue?)

Her reaction isn't so different from Faith's to killing Finch
Good comparison - another mark in the column that says she's been set up deliberately as a parallel to Faith.

Your theory on the meaning of Buffy's dream is interesting - it certainly would be something Twilight sees as an aim to work towards. Of course, I wouldn't give much for Genevieve's life expectancy if they ever did restore the One Girl rule...

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:03 (UTC)
S8 Buffy by dreamer1104

This time, it's realistic enough for her to stab Giles thinking he's someone from her past: I can't tell who, though the figure looks to be drawn as a child.
I thought it was fairly obvious that it was one of the vamp!children she staked at the beginning of the story.

Not much else to say - good review. Promising story.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 21:57 (UTC)
faith

aycheb says the same thing about the flashback - looking again I think you're right.

Which is interesting, because it means Faith is imagining one of the children she killed calling her a 'worthless whore' - presumably showing her guilt at having to do that sort of job. Or rather why she does it - because she doesn't think she deserves any better.

This issue is seeming more and more tightly plotted and coherent. :-)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 05:20 (UTC)

Posted by: tessarin (tessarin)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 20:48 (UTC)

JW's admitting of his sloppy retcon merely reinforces my view that S8 is full of sloppy continuity and writing. Probably the same way he forgot about the limits of magical healing.

He clearly also forgot where he left Faith's character, clearly he forgot to watch Angel as well as S6.

Still this issue does have some good points notably the ulterior Giles motive that you mentioned and concerned me when I saw that panel. I think he clearly sees Faith as a kindred which makes it sloppy for him to repeat his earlier mistake of S3. That strikes me as OC for him and there to serve the plot.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 22:06 (UTC)
faith

I've always had the impression Joss was more concerned about the interesting, dramatic and emotional stories and search for novelty... the details of continuity were always something the other writers provided. (To be more specific, Joss could say "that's not in character for her" but would be very unlikely to say "That contradicts what she said in season 5").

Which could well be why it's a good thing he's collaborating with other writers for this season.

Willow's magical healing - I took that to be impressive proof of how much her powers have grown, not a continuity failure.

Like I've said elsewhere, I don't see Faith as being out of character here. Season 4 of Angel taught her that to beat the bad guys, you have to make huge sacrifices. She wants to prove herself, and is willing to make those sacrifices - even to the extent of poisoning herself to get Angelus.

That decision also speaks to a certain lack of self-worth that still plagues her. Somewhere inside, that voice that told her she's "an evil, disgusting murderous bitch, worthless, nothing" is still whispering away. That's what her flashback in the hotel tells her this issue too, and I think it's why she's willing to do the things she does.

Posted by: tessarin (tessarin)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 21:44 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 22:25 (UTC)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 22:23 (UTC)
Comic book Giles

I tend to agree with Elisi that Faith, though not exactly out of character, comes across a little oddly compared to how we last saw her on the show- as if what's happened in between has changed her. And since we don't know what's happened in between apart from her going to Cleveland and splitting up with Robin, it's a little jarring that she's so down on herself again.

Also, I think the psychotic episode was just her flashing back to killing the vamp kids. Maybe one of them did call her a worthless whore and it appears that she now thinks of herself that way again, which is sad.

As for the Pygmalion stuff, I'm relieved beyond measure that there wasn't more of it and gritting my teeth at the thought of more American comic book writer's idea of the British aristocracy scenes in the next issue.

It was much better than the first 5, though.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 6th September 2007 22:57 (UTC)
faith

I'm convinced now about the flashback - but I think it's more that part of Faith is still convinced she's worthless. She's really good at kicking herself when she's down - or kicking the wall of Wesley's shower, or blaming herself for leading the potentials into a trap. She's still got huge self-esteem issues - and a big part of them is that she's so reluctant to ask anyone for help. Ergo the isolationist Slayer crap.

She was showing progress at the end of S7, coming to a reconciliation with Buffy and being cautiously open to the idea of a relationship lasting longer than one night - but I think that's a far cry from saying she was suddenly all zippedy-doodah.

And in this comic, we see her at her lowest ebb; Robin ignores her attempts to flirt and gives her a shitty job that his precious newbies are too delicate to handle, and when she arrives home simmering with pent-up violence Giles appears. It's no wonder she's depressed...

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 16:52 (UTC)

Roden's final reference to "if you don't eat your meat"... is it:

D. A throw away reference to Pink Floyd like the Yellow Submarine sweater?

Giles casually mentioning that he has no problems with personally assassinating people with a rifle is quite chilling.

Giles seems to be developing into an Operative archtype in this scene. I wouldn't be surprised to see him try to drag Faith down into the philosophy that a perfect society needs monsters to protect it.

Buffy would hate that idea with the passion of a thousand burning hell-dimensions. :)

Oh dear gawd she's not the only one. Although...maybe...no...ick!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:38 (UTC)

Giles seems to be developing into an Operative archtype in this scene. I wouldn't be surprised to see him try to drag Faith down into the philosophy that a perfect society needs monsters to protect it.

He pretty much seems to be there already, actually. (See also: 'The Gift'.) But I commented in my other thread on the connection between The Operative's line about killing children, and what Faith herself has to do this issue...

Posted by: ladypeyton (ladypeyton)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 17:47 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 19:54 (UTC)
Fuffy

Right, so I haven't read all the comments, so do forgive me if I repeat what's already been said...

Well-written, -argued and thorough as always. Agree perfectly about everything up until Giles enters; that bit is VERY strong. It doesn't explain why Faith is in Cleveland, or why everyone has forgotten about her (again - while it's not completely implausible, it's dull storytelling to repeat the same tricks over and over again) but taken on its own, it's fantastic.

We've discussed the next scene already, so:

Giles' talk about "For all intents and purposes I am the Watchers' Council" is fascinating, because it opens up a whole new can of worms.

Agreed. It would really seem that we now have TWO Slayer organizations - Buffy's being the fluffy but clueless (see below) one, and Giles (and possibly Rona and a bunch of Slayers as per 8.05) being the realpolitische wetworks one. Which, again, begs the question of how Giles got here; while it's not wildly OOC for him, he's always been able to make hard decisions, it's a bit surprising that he may have gone completely Quentin on us. There's another story here that I wish we could get to see. Personally, I think this episode could so easily have been so much better; cut back on the My Fair Lady crap - as nice as it is to see them bonding - give us more backstory on Faith and Giles, and have it END on Faith agreeing to the mission rather than start with it, so we have a chance of knowing what their motivations are. But there I go again.

Lady Genevieve Savidge. As I said at the start, I thought she was a little clichéd

I'd hate to think what you consider a LOT clichéd. ;-)

Disappointingly, we learn that Faith considers herself to be no higher than a 2 on the Kinsey Scale.

Depends. If her intended target had been male, and she thought Giles asked her to blow him before she blows him away (sorry for that image), do you think she would have reacted any differently? Faith's anything but chaste, but as long as we've known her, sex has always been very much on her terms... OK, I know, I'm in denial here.

Something else interesting: Faith apparently still gets her psychotic flashbacks - as seen in 'Who Are You' and 'Sanctuary'.

And not a single one of her episodes since. Which may not mean anything, but... *shrug*

The interlude with Buffy and Xander is just, well, cute.

Agreed, though it does bother me: it's been weeks since they learned that they're at war with humanity, and since then they've found out all of... NOTHING? Seriously? Not one single piece of new information to keep the thousands of people they're now responsible for from being wiped off the face of the earth by a coordinated military attack? You'd think that would be the sort of revelation that would call for some research...?

Then there's Buffy's dream. So far I've got no idea what it's referring to, unless the 'Queen' is a reference to Lady Genevieve.

There's that title again, Johnny Rotten yelling "Our figurehead is not what she seems."

Or, if you prefer: "Buffy, you ARE the dark."

Which is not to say "Slayer Power BAD!", but rather that just like in... #2, right?... Buffy's nightmare seems to be tied to the spell; The Queen = The Slayer? The queen is dead (there isn't just THE Slayer, one person anymore - Giles points this out), long live the queen (collective noun). We love our queen, God saaaaaaave.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 22:21 (UTC)
faith

It would really seem that we now have TWO Slayer organizations

I'm not ready to go quite that far yet. Giles tells 'his' Slayers in Russia that Buffy is the role-model they have to live up to, and Buffy and Xander are in contact with Giles, even if they don't know exactly what he's up to. So they're still thinking of themselves as a single organisation, even if Giles has his own agenda.

Although if you were conspiracy-minded, you might contemplate the exact words Giles uses in #2:
"Technique and power that might just give Buffy Summers herself a run for her money."

You don't suppose he's actually training them to fight Buffy, do you?

You don't suppose Giles is the brains behind Twilight, do you? :-)


You'd think that would be the sort of revelation that would call for some research...?
The impression I got from Buffy's "full-on fret mode" is that they've been researching and coming up blank, not that they're ignoring it. And we don't know exactly how long it's been between episodes from their perspective - but probably not as long as it is for us...


Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 7th September 2007 22:40 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 9th September 2007 06:24 (UTC)
S8 Buffy by dreamer1104

yourlibrarian managed to perfectly formulate what was wrong with Faith:

Really it's the unpleasant overtone of this continuing devaluation of her character that was the only negative reaction I had to the issue.

(review here. V. good.)

It's a shame, because otherwise I'd probably be squeeing a lot.

Posted by: hobgoblinn (hobgoblinn)
Posted at: 11th September 2007 02:31 (UTC)

Wow, this makes so much more sense now that I've gotten and read the comic!

I was wondering about the parallel panel to the Doctor and Rose -- a few pages prior, in a similar panel, another couple are walking on the street outside while we see a text bubble coming from a window-- any idea who they are?

And yeah, I wondered about the significance of the very out of character sweater Giles is wearing at the beginning. Or if there's any significance to musical references - Beatles' Yellow Submarine, Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" (where the meat and pudding quote comes from)-- I don't have my copy here now to look through for others. But as important as music was to the television show, I wonder if Joss wanted to experiment with using it in a visual way in this medium? (Not sure it works. But I can forgive him the submarine if he was at least trying to do that.)

Finally, what exactly does Giles wear glasses for? (Other than a prop to make him look all librarianly and stuttery early on.) Because often, on the show and here, he takes them off as if to see better. Or deal with surprise by not being able to see as well for a bit. Depends on what canon's established, if anything, in that regard.

Thanks as always for the discussion, and forgive me if I hit something your other commenters already got.

Hob

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th September 2007 19:47 (UTC)

any idea who they are?
Unfortunately not. The chap with a goatee looks as if he ought to be familiar, but I can't place him. Maybe it's a picture of the writer? :-) (Or, of course, just random passersby)

he takes them off as if to see better. Or deal with surprise by not being able to see as well for a bit. Depends on what canon's established.

From 6.06 'All The Way':


BUFFY: Did you know about this?

GILES: No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander's vigorous use of his tongue.

Giles takes off his glasses, cleans them.

BUFFY: Is that why you're always cleaning your glasses? So you don't have to see what we're doing?

GILES: Reveal my secret to no one.

Posted by: lilred26x (lilred26x)
Posted at: 15th September 2007 17:14 (UTC)

I do really enjoy your reviews! My interest in the comics has definitely increased with the last two issues. It looks like they are headed in some interesting directions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Posted by: chianazhaan (chianazhaan)
Posted at: 2nd July 2011 17:04 (UTC)
Great review

Wow. It's amazing how many details you catched. Admittedly, I did read 10 scans (or was it 20?) one after the other. And my purpose wasn't to write a review. But still.

BTW, Faith reminded me a bit of Dark Angel at the start of this comic.

Agreed. A little clichéd, but this was issue one of this mini-arc so I was still open-minded at the time. But it was nice to take a peak inside Faith's mind instead of making educated guesses. And it didn't bother me all that much that Faith was agreeing to a mission to kill another slayer. I could see her go either way.

On reading it again, I noticed a subtle change at the start. It changed from:

Almost 500 are working around the world with Buffy's organization in squads---or "terrorist cells," according to the American military.

to

Almost 500 are working with Buffy's EUROPEAN-BASED organization in squads---or "terrorist cells," according to VARIOUS MILITARY FORCES.

Is this already foreshadowing the events of the vampires coming out and the arc "Repeat"?

I was also dismayed about the passport issue. If Faith didn't like her life in Cleveland, why didn't she hop over the border with Mexico and explore the American Continent? Maybe Giles got her just in time?

Thanks.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 3rd July 2011 00:32 (UTC)
Re: Great review
initiative

Is this already foreshadowing the events of the vampires coming out and the arc "Repeat"?

We're only shown the US military opposing the Slayers, but I suspect that's because the comic is written by Americans, drawn by an American artist, and most of its readers are in America. No reason why other governments might not also be suspicious and hostile to them.

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