Before I get into that though, I thought I'd paraphrase tonight's amusing dinnertime conversation with MiAmor and McDiva!
McDiva: You can tell me what happens, because I'm never going to read it.
Rebcake: Okay, well, in the last issue Buffy and Angel — or Twilight or whoever — are fighting in the cave of the Seed of Wonder (whatever that even is)—
McDiva: Wait. Why is she fighting Angel? Isn't he good again?
MiAmor: No. Well, he was, but then, um–
Rebcake: Yeah, he was pretending to be bad, and the world started to end, and then he was good again and fought the good fight, and then the Universe that he and Buffy made took him over or something and then he was evil again. I think. Anyway. Giles goes to get the scythe from Faith in the battlefield, and takes it down into the cave, and Angel kills him.
McDiva: WTF, Joss?
Rebcake: Then Buffy takes the scythe and breaks the Seed of Wonder, thereby ending all magic in the world and breaking the scythe. So Willow's pretty mad.
McDiva: Why do the comics suck so bad? Except for the Bugs.
Out of the mouths of babes, people.
Okay, that said, there was some good stuff in this issue, as expected from a Joss-penned (really, really for real this time) issue.
1. Buffy catching the tray on her foot. Glad she's wearing leggings!
2. Dawn asking Buffy if the nightmare she keeps having is the one where Angel and Spike "get it awwn". (Slash puppies!)
3. Surprise Simone!
4. Faith was great, and her taking on the Angel Problem is brilliant. (He's apparently so broken up that he hasn't washed his face in the intervening months since he killed Giles. Nasty.)
5. Harmony on Dancing With the Stars! Also, Spike still sounds like Spike and he's keeping the Bugs!
6. Gargoyle Buffy! Very imposing!
Less excellent, but mainly fine:
1. San Francisco looks weird. The perspective is all wrong. But it's San Francisco! Oh, the plot bunnies I'll have! Eventually. Someday. Maybe.
2. Kennedy looks like Kennedy and she gets the "You super-literally f%$#ed everything up!" line. Forthright. Gotta admire that.
3. The General's explanation/hand wave is pretty much what we got at the end of Season 4. The military gave up because their losses were getting too hot to handle, politically. Or perhaps they achieved their objective. Whatever. It's cool.
In which I am a hater:
1. Giles' will. Apparently the consensus among my people (you guys) is that Giles showed great wisdom and caring in his bequest. I call bullshit. Leaving everything to Faith — aside from the book that he and Buffy first disagreed about — is a cruel slap to the the girl he supposedly loved like a daughter. I'm not saying that Faith should have been cut off, but the guy had two houses, among other assets, and unless there was some sort of evil entail, a la Jane Austen, why couldn't he have left one to Faith and one to Buffy and Dawn? All three girls are orphans, even war orphans, and in need. Giles has seen how badly Buffy floundered in the past when trying to support her family, educate herself, and also keep up with her calling. He's leaving her in the lurch, again.
This feeds into one of my pet peeves, which is the lack of financial support for Slayers throughout time. The Giles family has profited, if not handsomely, then comfortably, from "administrating" the luckless young girls, like Buffy, who gave their lives in service to humanity. While he did help her financially in the past, he and/or the Council certainly never provided anything like enough to live on, or even half that. Now, she's left utterly flat, couch surfing. I am angry on her behalf. (Of course, if she didn't live in San Francisco, she might actually be able to afford a place of her own on barista's wages. Even so, going to college, working, and slaying is pretty much one thing too many, even outside of the Bay Area. She's never going to get ahead.)
Since Dawn is back in school, it looks as if she has access to resources unavailable to Buffy, and good for her. Perhaps she has scholarships, earned because she has talent and also the time to focus on her studies — time Buffy does not have, since she's, oh, saving the world. Dawn also has a visible means of support in her life (for now) partner, who seems happy to bear a little more of the load at present. He knows that she will probably pick it up later. That's how it works in a normal relationship. Buffy doesn't have the luxury of being able to commit to a partnership of this kind, apparently. (And...I'm not even going there.)
The only way I can parse this so that it doesn't make Giles look bad, is if his will was drawn up just after his machinations led to Faith being disowned by the Slayers, and while Buffy was in charge of all the Slayer Army resources — castles, helicopters, magic, and all. Then it mightn't have mattered. But now: so, so cruel.
2. I do not hate Buffy. I have a lot of sympathy for her situation. I want her to prevail. But her treatment of Spike is abysmal. There is not a single kind word out of her mouth for him. No thanks, except couched in sarcasm and an intimation that he is ineffectual. She's capable of expressing gratitude; we see her do so with Xander. For Spike, it's all, "Did you come here for any reason at all?" and "Come again!" as of he were a customer she'd rather not deal with. There's no goodbye, just "You're still not invited in!" What did he do to deserve this? Show up, help, lather, rinse, repeat? I'm heartsick. Not just for him, but for her. She won't get far treating her allies that way. It's a relief when he goes off in his Bug Ship, but I am so depressed, knowing he'll be back for more abuse, that I decided against attending the local Buffy's Birthday Bash.
I shouldn't let it get to me. And that, right there, is S8 in a nutshell.
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