BSV Forum - General - The Bloodshedpub

downfall of season 7

Sep 09 2007 12:47 pm   #1slayerfan

i thought they left a lot of loop holes in season 7 they got carried away with the potentols storyline and sort-of forgot all the other storylines thy could have done who's with me?

Sep 09 2007 01:11 pm   #2SpikeHot

The only thing I liked last season was Spuffy. I was disappointed the other characters didn't get a decent storyline, or even a storyline like with Xander and Dawn.

Sep 09 2007 01:39 pm   #3Guest

I think that season 7 had very little character development. Spike was pretty much the only character who changed in that season, and that was only because he couldn't stay sulking in the school basement. Everybody else just pretty much stayed the same throughout the season.


The character development was always a strong point of the series, so season 7 is one of the worst Buffy seasons made when it comes to that.
Also, those potentials were annoying, and there were a lot of plot holes. Very weak season, all together.

(Rose)

Sep 09 2007 05:13 pm   #4nmcil

while many viewers disliked andrew very much i thought that he added a great deal to my enjoyment of this last season - tom lenk was wonderful as andrew.  i wish that we could have had more work with buffy from the perspective of what changes she needed to mature into a wise warrior - also, felt that major defect in the season was buffy not being made to acknowledge her actions of season 6.  while the writers dealt did bring some discussion and closure, i felt that it was done on a very superficial level.

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 09 2007 05:16 pm   #5Spikez_tart

I pretty much hated Season 7 - except the awesome acting by JM and SMG - it was beyond anything.  Only a person with a heart of rock wouldn't cry over the basement scene where Spike alternately asks Buffy to kill him and then to help him.  Or Spike in the church telling Buffy that he got his soul back.  Sniffles just thinking about it. 

I liked Andrew, liked the Principal Wood story line, liked the Giles betraying Buffy (once more with feeling) line.  Wish they'd let Buffy kick all their butts.

I hated the potentials, Dawn as a goody goody, Xander as a big pain in the butt, Anya as a big pain the the butt, Kennedy, Kennedy, all scenes with Kennedy, all scenes with Kennedy and Willow, all scenes with Kennedy and anyone else, scenes with Willow except where she was getting eaten by the Flay monster and what's with that disappearing thing?  Overused Much?  Also, the sop that Josh threw to the Bangel fans letting Buffy make some 

half assed promise to get back together with Angel while she was leading Spike on.  Grrr.

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 09 2007 05:42 pm   #6Verity Watson
Also, the sop that Josh threw to the Bangel fans letting Buffy make some half assed promise to get back together with Angel while she was leading Spike on. Grrr.

That was a travesty. Especially because the whole season is about girl power, but then the most powerful girl turns out to be cookie dough!?

Re-frikkin-diculous!

I liked meeting Nikki's son, and I thought that Caleb could've been a super Big Bad, if only he'd shown up earlier in S7. And there were some fabulous Spike scenes ... but yeah, it fell short of what it could've been.
You know I've been a good girl, but I hit a limit. ~ Poe
Sep 09 2007 06:20 pm   #7Scarlet Ibis

SMG's acting fell really flat for me towards the end, which was incredibly sad and disappointing because I know her acting can be brilliant...

I feel like s7 and s4 almost tie for worst season ever, but s7 just barely makes it over the hurdle for the following reasons: increased Spike screen time and character development, Andrew story arc, Caleb as an evil villain (he was a real one, and I haven't been that pleased with a villain since Angelus), a black character of substance in the form of Robin (though the could've found a better Nikki- her acting was annoying), no Riley anywhere (though him being mentioned was necessary- and if he really believed that Spike was the Doctor or that Spike was really evil, he wouldn't have even told his army buddies to give Buffy the option of taking out Spike's chip) and...oh wait- that's about it. 

I guess the sparse Spuffy scenes too- like at the end of Showtime, but scenes like the basement scene towards the end of Sleeper, and the Scoobies talking about Spike like he wasn't even there bit, and Buffy covering, using the "I wanna help Spike, but only to get closer to the First" pissed me off a great deal.

Chosen, in many parts, makes me want to heave. Plot holes, missing *imperative* scenes... Yeah, we got a snippet of Bangel, and a totally deleted Spuffy scene. Rah, rah team.  A show about girl power (not that that was the point for me after season five, and I was older than my tender 11 years when the show first started), where the hero is cookie dough, and pretty much has zero to do with closing the Hellmouth.  It only happened because of two ex-factors- Angel, who now works at an evil law firm, provided a device for Spike to use to close the mouth of hell.  Then, after seeing Spike being practically burned alive, we get a hopeful smile?  WTF was that?!  Why not a look of determination?  We all know she continues "the good fight" or whatever- why not have her looked at her partially burned hand, remembering Spike and his sacrifice, and look determined to "get to work," which is what she does? 

Okay, season seven was better than season four more than a smidgen...It was just so many great moments in four, and several eppies...

Okay, I'm done

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 09 2007 07:50 pm   #8Eowyn315

Especially because the whole season is about girl power, but then the most powerful girl turns out to be cookie dough!?

I don't understand why this pisses people off. Granted, cookie dough is a bad analogy... but no one's ever accused Buffy of being a Rhodes Scholar. But honestly, the sentiment behind it is pretty empowering. Buffy has spent the entire series going from one unhealthy relationship to the next. It's obvious that she's got some serious issues to sort out before she could ever be in a functional relationship. Season 7 was the longest period she's ever been single... and I still don't think she's completely dealt with all her issues. I think it's a really good sign that she's recognized that she's not going to find her "soul mate" until she figures out who *she* is and loves herself. And it's especially important, given the enormous change in her life that happens at the end of the series. How can she possibly know how a boyfriend will fit into her life, when she doesn't even know what her life will look like after this? 

I think Buffy sets a good example for girls in prioritizing her own life over a boyfriend, and in giving herself the space to figure out who she wants to be. And I think it's also good to emphasize that she doesn't need a boyfriend to be happy or complete. I know we all love Spike, and want him and Buffy to be together... but that's not what the show's about. In a show about girl power, why does the heroine *need* a boyfriend? Why can't she be strong and independent and single?

why not have her looked at her partially burned hand, remembering Spike and his sacrifice, and look determined to "get to work," which is what she does? 

Because the show's not about Spike? No matter how much it may have seemed that way, it's still called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - and Spike's not the only thing for her to reflect on in that final moment, and there are plenty of other things going on to bring about a smile. Like the fact that the world didn't end - which Buffy gives Spike credit for, so it's not like she completely ignored his sacrifice. And while the Slayer empowering spell may not have been what saved the day, it *did* change Buffy's life fundamentally. The "beginning of a smile" as Joss calls it, is the beginning of her new life, as one of many instead of the Chosen One. And since this show is, from its inception, about Buffy, that's what we're meant to focus on, not Spike.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 09 2007 08:39 pm   #9Guest

I was disappointed in Season 7 because it started out so strongly. "From beneath you it devours..." and then it started coming apart. Tighter planning might have eased this by the writers, but some of their decisions just didn't work.

Willow was welcomed  back into the house with no reservations or repercussions. (She tried to murder them all and a few months with the witches makes her totally safe?) The gathering of the potentials was overdone and lame and took over the whole plot without adding anything.

I wanted accountability and repercussions of what went before rather than quick resolutions. I wanted Willow to admit she was only with Kennedy for the sex because Kennedy was only with her for the power. I wanted Xander to deal with his issues with Buffy and Anya, and not get them swept under the carpet. I wanted less Potentials and more developing actual characters, like Dawn. I wanted Faith to be warned because she was a legitimate target of the Bringers. I liked Andrew and his role as 'guestage', but the First was a lame bad guy. 

And the kicking Buffy out of her own house bit? I still froth at the mouth. I would have tolerated everyone else leaving. And then it's smoothed over the next day after she gets the Scythe.

And repeat after me: "You can't drown a vampire!"

Sep 09 2007 08:44 pm   #10Scarlet Ibis

 But honestly, the sentiment behind it is pretty empowering.

I think what people are upset about, in regards to the cookie dough, is not that she doesn't want a boyfriend till she finds herself (which is what she does in s5 with Ben)- I think that's great.  I think the problem is that it was clearly a B.S. answer to Angel's query.  If you want to talk about girl/woman power, how about just telling him that hey, not only am I not looking back, I'm moving on, etc., I will most certainly not look *that far* back with you.  He was her first. He was special.  He will always be in her heart.  But the time for Buffy and Angel together romantically has passed at this point, and it's obvious to me that Buffy's aware of that, but she isn't saying that- she isn't being honest with Angel, and I think people see the "cookie dough" speech for the cheap cop out that it is.  Buffy's done all this growth, and reverts to her teenaged self in the face of Angel.  That's the problem.  She's quick to point out her issues with everyone else the whole season- EVERYONE, but Angel, and that's the problem.

And, I'm not saying shift the shows focus to Spike, and yeah, that is her last line of the series, but I think that the smile was too lighthearted after so much loss and death (granted, she didn't really connect or care for the potentials who didn't make it), and I felt that she as well as Xander were kinda peppy considering.  It annoys me.  When you lose someone close to you as those two did, all of the revelations of new life, new beginnings, etc. kinda come afterwards, I would think.  And it's not the first apocolypse they averted- they expected to win, so the world not ending shouldn't be that much of a novelty. In fact, doesn't Buffy say "we're gonna win?"  Yeah, so winning, when already knowing, should kinda take a back seat. I think giving the apocalypse or those trying to start one a smack down lost its allure back in s3, actually.  It's like "another day at the job" for them.  That's all I mean.

Added: Oh, and I agree- the potentials could've totally been the kid who we never see (you know how on some shows they just talk about little Jimmy, but we don't actually *see* him).

Kicking Buffy out of her own house was also bloody stupid.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 09 2007 09:44 pm   #11Maggie2

Scarlet,  I tend to agree with you about the end coming off as a bit too light-hearted.  If Xander, Willow, or Dawn had died it's hard to imagine that we could have ended the series on that light-hearted note.  The fact that we *do* end on that optimistic moment, despite the fact that both Spike and Anya have died, just leaves me with one last sour impression of the Scoobies as having never gotten past their caste system wherein only the original four matter in such a deep way.  

It's a bit ironic.  When we first meet Buffy, we know she's a hero because she rejects the upper class Cordelia in favor of the losers Willow and Xander.  But at the end, the Scoobies are as impregnable to outsiders as Cordy's clique ever was.  Even outsiders who have fought with them for years, and who (in the case of Spike) have just totally saved their bacon. 

If the show really is supposed to be about Buffy, Joss did a curiously good job of painting her in a not-so-good light at the end.  Her role in saving the world was minimal, as you have said.  The amulet + Spike's soul turns out to be a very lucky break for them.  Her dangling promises to Angel make her look shallow.  We can imagine, I suppose, that she feels grief at losing someone as important to her as Spike was (whether she loved him or not) -- but we don't really see it -- and that leaves open the possibility that he just never registered with her all that deeply.  And that brings us back to the shallow.  The comics aren't helping on this, either.  We get a romp through Buffy's dreamspace and see all sorts of folks and events that have mattered to her.  But Spike isn't there save as a part of some sex-fantasy.  I'm still hoping it will turn out that Spike's absence there is a pointed absence -- but if it's not, Joss has created a character who I can't bring myself to care about.  There's no way she could be meaningfully engaged with her own life and not have him as a central figure in it.  Again, whether or not he's her twoo wuv.

It's too bad, cause I did care about her -- warts and all -- through the end of season 5.

Sep 09 2007 10:32 pm   #12Spikez_tart

I admit Season 7 sucks.  Maybe SMG's acting wasn't so good because the writers kept giving her all those stupid General Buffy speeches instead of real and meaningful dialog.  Even Andrew makes fun of her speeches, which tells me that at least some of the writers knew they were letting down the audience.  About 3/4's of the season makes me want to heave. 

Still, there's JM and SMG together and that's magic. 

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 09 2007 10:52 pm   #13Verity Watson
Eowyn, I agree that Buffy's relationship choices have been bad, worse and bad again, so I don't object to Buffy embracing the single life. As Scarlett and Maggie put it, I dislike the fact that her scene with Angel makes her look like she hasn't matured at all; that she's the same insecure teenage girl who screamed when Angel vamped in her bedroom after their kiss.

And Buffy has obviously changed quite a bit by S7, not all for the better. The other thing that troubles me is that she's too much of a realist. She tries to kill Anya, acknowledges that she might let Dawn die if she were up against Glory again, says that not all of the potentials will make it. Even when she was Mademoiselle Gloom in S6, Buffy didn't talk tactics with the cold-hearted detachment of a military commander. As Spikez_tart points out, those General Buffy speeches were a waste of dialogue.

Maggie, Spike doesn't even appear in her dream sequence? I'm feeling less and less regret that I'm not keeping up with the comics!
You know I've been a good girl, but I hit a limit. ~ Poe
Sep 09 2007 11:26 pm   #14Scarlet Ibis

Maggie- I never fully thought of the "fully exclusive" Scooby club thing in such a manner, particularly since it's a complete 180 from where the show started.  You saying that suddenly reminded me of more hypocrisy of that season- the fact that Xander refers to Anya and Buffy being best friends.  Um, when did that happen?  Anyone who Xander gives the a-ok to is a BFF all of a sudden?  What bothered me further was how he was so accepting of Anya, even when she was a demon and killing again, and not of others... And Anya being a bitch to Spike about the dead people in the basement when he didn't have his free will...Yeah. Whatever.

Spikez_tart- IMHO, it wasn't just Buffy's speeches that was lacking...In fact, the first one she gave when she got her ass handed to her by the Turok Han(?) was actually pretty good.  It just seemed that towards the last several eps, she wasn't all there.  Her acting came off as being very "blah" to me.

And Verity- that whole trying to kill Anya thing was kind weird (even if I do understand why).  I thought there was going to be an ultimatum of some kind first- a warning, and if she did it again, well...too bad. 

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 10 2007 01:02 am   #15Maggie2

Verily,  It's not a dream sequence so much as a dream space.  So we see lots of cubes with pictures of things that factor into her dreams.  And there we see Joyce dead on the couch, Angel, Buffy + Angel 4 ever in a notebook, Dawn, Tara, Faith, Giles, the Scoobies (lots), Caleb, Riley, etc. etc.  But not Spike.  The only appearance of Spike was in the one dream-fragment singled out, which is of Buffy in a nurse outfit chained between a naked Angel and a naked Spike. So the impression one gets is that if she thinks of Spike at all it is the sex and only the sex she thinks about.  Like I said, I'm hoping that Spike's absence from the dreamspace is a pointed absence. 

I have to say, the comics do color how I read the series.  If Joss really doesn't think Spike rates a spot in Buffy's dreamworld equal to even Riley, then maybe Buffy's only thought after watching Spike burn up really was "gee, now there's lots of other slayers, what can I do with my life."  OTOH that's so ridiculous it leaves me thinking that another shoe has to drop in the comic books.  But until that sorts out, I tend to see all these questions about Buffy a bit more darkly than I did before the comics started coming out.

Sep 10 2007 01:08 am   #16goldenusagi

Season 7 didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.  Sure, there's always been plot holes, but not ones big enough to fly a plane through.  I haven't seen the Angel ep where Angel gets the necklace, so I don't know anymore about it than what he says to Buffy.  But how does it close the Hellmouth?  And um, talk about deus ex machina.  For that matter, did closing the Hellmouth actually defeat the First?

But Angel really bugged me as well.  So Buffy doesn't end up with Spike, fine (well, not fine, b/c I'm Spuffy, but that's not the point).  What's with all the cryptic talk about Angel "I'm not getting any older," like he's waiting for her or something?  I know it was Joss tossing out a little Bangel, but it didn't make any sense.  Angel, after Buffy's death, tells Cordy that the problem wasn't that he was completely devastated about it, but that he wasn't.  That he was able to go on.  But now he's back, making puppy eyes and giving her jewelry.  And wasn't he supposed to be in love with Cordy?  That was a quick reboud.

And of course, the potentials.  We never did learn exactly how the Council finds them.  Kendra had been sent to her watcher, but Buffy hadn't.  But I never liked the little SIT army.  And there were what, 20 of them?  And if the First killed them all, that would be the end of the Slayer line because all the people with potential to become Slayer would be dead?  Well, apparently not, since there are 1800 across the planet now.

And, Anya dies?  Right at the end, just like that?  Why?  Because we needed to have a death?  Plus, Xander losing his eye really icked me out.  I'm sure it was supposed to be symbolic and all, but eww.  And correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the first "permanently real" injury we really have in the series, isn't it?  Cordy gets impaled, Dawn breaks her arm, Willow gets some new skin, Buffy gets staked, but all those things did heal.

But probably the number one thing I hated about the season was the spell they did to make everyone slayers.  And I really don't know why that should bother me so much.  Except that I liked Buffy because she was the Chosen ONE.  Buffy the vampire slayer, not Buffy and her army of vampire slayers.  Yes, it's not fair, she has the weight of the world, tremendous responsibility, apocalypses, she will never be normal, blah, blah.  But she always dealt with it.  Maybe not the best way she could have, but she always came out on top and won.  But now there are hundreds of slayers.  And it's not like she will even have a normal life now.  She's in charge, apparently.  And did anyone even consider that unleashing teenage girls with super powers was possibly not a great idea?

And finally, the complete destruction of Sunnydale.  This is just a pet peeve of mine, actually, when shows feel the need in their final episode to have the characters close up every loose end and move to some other town (and if it's a sitcom, looking remorsefully around at the empty house one last time).  I feel kind of sad that the Sunnydale we knew and loved does not just go on "off camera," but that it is a giant hole in the desert.

Sep 10 2007 01:23 am   #17slaymesoftly

 Although I agree with many/most of the comments made above, including, alas, the comparison of the "original" Scoobies with a high school clique - but I think that's intentional on Joss's part. I think he wanted to keep the focus on his original characters.  I'm not sure how Spike snuck in there as the hero, but I'm pretty sure that he meant for the show to wrap up with only the four characters who brought it to life originally being given much screen time. It didn't necessarily work, but I think that was what he was trying to do.

Anya, Angel, Spike, Andrew and even Dawn were all characters added to the mix (Okay, Angel was there at the beginning, but as a love interest and a villain, not as a Scooby) as the show went along. That last scene of the three (B,X,W) walking off chatting about what they are going to do after they save the world while Giles rolls his eyes and says "we're all doomed" or something like that is meant to take us all back to the beginning when three teenagers and a librarian  saved the world every May.  

I just think he tried to cram too much into the season - a complicated plot (The First Evil), a sub-plot (Spike's soul, his chip, and the control the First has over him), a whole bunch of potential slayers, an extra slayer who hasn't been around for a long time (Faith), a former minor character who becomes part of the gang (Andrew), a new character with an axe to grind, (Wood), a new character for Willow to have a romantic relationship with (she who must not be named), an old boy friend (Angel). Whew!What else? I know I'm missing something or somebody in there. Anyway, I think he tried to put all these things into the season and still give the main characters some screen time and it just turned into a jumble - much of which we could have done without.

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Sep 10 2007 03:42 am   #18Maggie2

Hey Slayme,

I think you have a good take on what Joss was trying to do.  But if that's what he's about, Joss is not quite the boy wonder he's cracked up to be.  The closing shot suggests that the three he supposedly most cares about have been remarkably untouched by everything they have been through.  It could have been a bonding moment for them to notice that they are all leaving important people behind (Tara, Anya, Spike; not to mention Joyce).  But Joss skips that.  And in doing so, he's succeeded in bringing my attention back to his core peeps -- but not in a way that is very flattering to them.  (And it makes me wonder about Joss if he didn't even notice the problem as he was writing it.)

And a big yes that they were trying to do too much in that final season.  Too bad.

Sep 10 2007 04:01 am   #19Spikez_tart

Slayme - you forgot Anya killing a bunch of frat boys, then getting in a fight to the death with Buffy, etc. and ultimately losing demon status, not to mention Xander picking up a vampire girl for a coffee date (you'd think he'd know enough to touch her hand to see if she's cold).  Whew. 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Sep 10 2007 04:16 am   #20Scarlet Ibis

Oh, she wasn't a vampire- some really weird, ugly demon.  But what I didn't understand was how was Xander able to text Willow when he was already kidnapped?  Probably knocked unconscious, then woke up tied above the seal... More plot holes.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 10 2007 04:44 am   #21Eowyn315

Re: Buffy and Angel

I don't see why it's so disappointing that Buffy isn't mature with Angel in that conversation. Isn't the whole point of her speech that she's not done "growing up" yet? I think it does show, in a very real way, that Buffy is moving on, but there's always a part of her that will cling to Angel - just like there's always a part of him that will cling to Buffy. And yes, some of it is a bone to both Angel and the Bangel fans, but it's a HUGE step forward from the star-crossed lovers melodrama that happened every other time they saw each other. 

Re: the lighthearted ending/Buffy's smile

I don't think you're wrong in interpreting it as a lighthearted ending. I think it was *meant* to be hopeful. The show wasn't supposed to go out on a sad or mournful note. Whether it was *too* lighthearted, I suppose, is up to you. I'm pretty sure Joss says that he didn't kill one of the core four because that would be too devastating, and he didn't want it to end like that. But yeah, it's not realistic to have a huge epic battle and have everyone survive. Spike, fortunately, died with a purpose. Anya, not so much, but it wouldn't be believable if there were no casualties.

I'm sure that there is a lot of mourning to do, but that's not the way Joss wanted to end the series, so unless he somehow skipped ahead a few months or years or whatever, to show the Scoobies fondly remembering Sunnydale or whatever (which I think would've sucked), there isn't really the space for mourning the dead. Also, keep in mind that this is about five minutes after the battle ended. The first thought is, "Oh, good, we won." What happens next is up to you. Oh, and Scarlet - Buffy did say they were going to win when she came up with the idea, but I don't know that she still believed that during the battle. I mean, look how close she was to giving up when she was stabbed. So, I think there's still a sense of awe that they won - and while the novelty of averting apocalypses may have worn off, this is still a much bigger enemy than they've ever faced before. I think fighting the ultimate source of all evil would be a little bit more of a "wow" than previous apocalypses.

Re: the Slayer empowering spell

I thought it was a fitting ending to the series. The Slayer has been a slave to fate and to the Council for centuries. Buffy, probably one of the most willful and independent Slayers ever, ultimately takes that power out of the hands of the Council and gives it to the girls who would be Slayers themselves. Granted, it's not a perfect idea, and there are definitely unforeseen consequences, but thematically, I think it fits with what the series was meant to be. For Buffy, who has spent years struggling with her power, and having superiority complexes and inferiority complexes, who has wrestled with the balance between shouldering her burden alone and relying on her friends to help her, she finally gets some peace and finally learns to truly share the burden. And on a meta level, it's no longer about one girl being empowered - it's about every girl being empowered.  The girl who's been a role model for seven years says, "Now you have the power, too." And it's not just directed at the potentials, it's directed at the audience, too.

Re: the comics

I'll be honest, I can't identify half the people in Buffy's dream space. I can't find Tara, and while there are a couple generic-looking guys who could be Riley, I don't know which one, if any, is him. I think it's safe to say we don't see all of it, so obviously Spike could be in there somewhere, even if not pictured. (Also, I think the fact that Joss' face is in it is an indication that we shouldn't take it too seriously.) But considering Buffy's history with Spike, I don't think it's surprising that she primarily thinks of him in a sexual way. I think, of all the stages of their relationship, it was the sex that left the most scars on her psyche, so it kind of makes sense that she thinks that way. And, to be fair, there's no interpretation of the image except Buffy being embarrassed about it - we don't know if it's something she wants, or something she's ashamed of wanting, or a manifestation of guilt or indecision or regret, or just a result of the fact that she really misses sex.

Re: the cliquish Scoobies

I agree with Slaymesoftly that Joss intentionally focused on the core four - they were the most important to him, and should have been the most important to the audience. They were the ones we've been with for seven years, and the ones we were supposed to care the most about. It didn't necessarily work as planned, but what can you do?

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 10 2007 05:12 am   #22Maggie2

Tara is clearly pictured, with her zig-zag hair-part.  The picture of a brown-haired non-Angel guy who is taller than Buffy seems likely to be Riley.  True, we don't see it all.  But it's also true that we catch seemingly every other highlight of her life.  Joyce on the couch; meeting Giles, Buffy + Angel 4 ever, The First Slayer, etc. etc.  This is not a random sampling of her dreamspace.  But no Spike. 

And if Buffy's ONLY thought of Spike is the sexual stuff, well, then my opinion of her drops only further.  That whole year after the soul was about anything but sex, but it has seemingly dropped off her main roadmap.

Anyways, I'm not the only one who's noticed.  The Bangels love it cause they think it proves that Buffy didn't love Spike.  What they don't notice is that it also portrays her as a shallow bitch.  In any case, the part of me that still has faith in Joss believes that this is a pointed absence and that something's up with it.  He's gone six issues now without tying up the loose plot threads about Buffy and Spike (does she know he's back being the big one).  By contrast in the last issue, they tied up Robin/Faith in the first few pages.  And they didn't get far into Willow's appearance before at least mentioning where things are with Kennedy.  So again, the side of me that has faith in Joss says the strange silence about Spike is pointed, and we'll eventually hear what's up.  And that, in turn, will shape what I think of the ending of season 7.

p.s. Joss's appearance in the dreamspace is a joke -- but since a key turning point of the whole arc is in that dreamspace, the dreamspace itself is obviously not meant to be a joke.

Sep 10 2007 12:47 pm   #23slaymesoftly

Eowyn - what you said. LOL  Saved my a lot of typing time this AM, you did.

Buffy was the hero, the show needed to end on her, she acknowledged Spike's contribution with her last line of dialogue, she was proud of him at that moment, happy that they won, and just beginning to realize that she was through with having to guard the hellmouth for the rest of her life.  A small smile (maybe Sarah overdid it, but at least it wasn't one of her megawatt grins) seems appropriate when she is asked what she's going to do now that she isn't "the one".  There will be plenty of time once they've got the injured to doctors, found a place to rest, etc for the losses to sink in and the mourning to start.

Pah! I typed anyway!

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Sep 10 2007 07:51 pm   #24Eowyn315

Oh, now I think I know who you're talking about... the one in the bottom left? I see the zigzag part, but I completely didn't think that was Tara, since her hair's way darker than Tara's ever was (I realize her hair was dirty blonde, but no way was it that brown). I actually thought it might be Cordelia. 

Still not sure which one's Riley... is it the one right above Joyce, where Buffy's facing a guy whose face is mostly obscured? He doesn't seem tall enough to be Riley, lol.

In any case, I'd like it if you were right, and there's a reason we haven't heard about Spike yet... but I think the reason is mostly that Spike belongs to AtS and IDW now, so Joss doesn't want to do anything that would conflict with After the Fall. It would be nice to know if Buffy knows he's alive - but that might also open a can of worms regarding whether Buffy (and everyone else) knows what happened in NFA, or who survived that battle, and I imagine they want to keep that under wraps until the first issue After the Fall comes out. The thing is, it's easy to say, "Well, we know what happened to Robin and Kennedy right away," but neither Robin nor Kennedy went to a spin-off, so Joss can do whatever he wants with them. Technically, he can do whatever he wants with Spike, too, but I appreciate that he is respecting IDW - in part because I think Brian Lynch will do a better job with Spike than Joss would.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 10 2007 08:36 pm   #25Maggie2

Yeah, the hair color for Tara is off, but that zigzag part seems to be her trade-mark.  I always noticed it.  LOL about short Riley.  But I still think it's supposed to be the big oaf.

Alas, I fear your counter-explanation for the silence re: Spike might be right. I don't mind that Joss has no intention of pursuing Spuffy.  And I get that the need to not spoil the A6 comics would be a problem for him if he wanted to put in a quick wrap-up like they did for Robin and Kennedy.  But if that's so, the one sex scene is even worse in many ways -- cause Joss can't really want us to think that ALL Buffy took away from that relationship was some kinky sex fantasies. 

Putting my hopeful hat back on, there are a few more reasons to think that we might get a shoe to drop.  In the Bander dream in issue #2, Buffy says the un-Buffylike "Oh balls" which is sounds more like something Spike would say (and did say in Dead Things), in her encounter with Ethan Rayne she objects to him calling her 'love' and 'pet'.  Admittedly that's very thin.  Preposterously thin.  But that's the best my hopeful heart can do. 

Like I said, I really, really don't need Spuffy.  What I need is evidence that Spike mattered to Buffy.  I jsut can't respect her if she doesn't know how important he was.  The silence about Anya is not quite so thick because we haven't visited Xander's dreamspace and seen her not there. 

Let me also say re: Bander, gag.  And the last issue makes it clear that one way or another, we are going to get to deal with Bander.  I'd rather see Buffy hop on Satsu.  My hopes are pinned on Lynch.  You've read the Spike comics I take it?  They are great.

ETA: Of course, the 'let's not spoil A6' theory still doesn't explain the failure to give one cube to Spike.  The one I'd pick, BTW, would be of him going down in flames in the hellmouth.  How could that not be important to Buffy?  Aha! Back to being more hopeful than I was 5 minutes ago.

Sep 11 2007 12:47 am   #26Eowyn315

I'd be curious to see how much direction was given on the dream space cubes. You know... like I wonder if Joss said, "I want a cube with this, and this, and this" or if he just said, "Cubes with key moments from Buffy's life" and the artist had more interpretation as to *what* was important. Probably some combination of the two... Joss probably had specific things he wanted included (Joyce on the couch comes to mind, because it's *exactly* from the show), but he left the remaining cubes open for the artist to be creative. Anyway... just musing on who to blame.

I have to say... I may be the only Spuffy fan in the world that isn't bothered by Bander. I mean, really, in perspective, I'd rather see Buffy and Xander get married and have hundreds of little Bander babies than ever see Riley again. I think part of it is that I've just sort of accepted the fact that we won't see Spike in the season 8 comics, and I'd rather see Buffy with Xander than someone new, or someone I dislike more than Xander. But even more generally than that, I just can't get myself worked up over anything that happens in the comics. I read them, mostly out of curiosity of what Joss thinks should happen next, but I'm nowhere near as invested in them as I was in the show. If Buffy ends up with Xander, eh, okay, whatever. It's just Joss' fanfic. If I want Spuffy fanfic, I know where to go.

The one thing that does piss me off about Spike's absence is the way we were deliberately misled to believe that Spike would make an appearance. I mean, come on - mysterious guy dressed in black, combat boots, red shirt, leather duster, calling Buffy "my love" - do you really think we were supposed to guess it was Ethan Rayne? No way. And Joss claiming that both Spike and Angel would make an appearance in the first arc... when all that turned out to be was Buffy's dream space? That felt cheap to me, and disrespectful. If you don't want to include Spike, fine. He's got his own comic series. But at least be honest about it.

As for the Spike comics, I've only read Asylum... I've heard good things about Shadow Puppets, but I'm waiting for the omnibus before I buy it.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 11 2007 02:17 am   #27Maggie2

At the end of the day, Joss has the final word on the comic -- so even if he left it up the the artist, and the artist forgot Spike, Joss had a chance to remember him! 

I think there are other Spuffies who can tolerate Bander.  I don't think I'm in principle opposed.  But in practice there are big obstacles.  I need to know how Buffy goes from seeing him as a friend for seven years to having the hots for him.  I need to know how Buffy thinks another shot with an ordinary guy is going to work better than it did with Riley.  I need to know that Xander has grown up in some important ways.  These all might have been attended to since we last saw the Scoobies -- but as with so much, we aren't being given enough back story to know how that all got sorted.  We're just plopped down in a world where Buffy has the hots for Xander, who may or may not return the feeling.  And I'm left scratching my head saying 'huh'?  Without all that back story it's too easy to see it as fanboy wish-fulfillment on the part of Joss.  Oh yeah, once again the failure to depict any active mourning for Spike or Anya makes it feel icky.  Sure, we can say that it happened off-screen -- but the writer has to bring the audience with him.  Whatever picture Joss has in his head about what went down since the happy jokes about going to the mall has not been shared with his readers.

I'll add all those misleads re: Spike to my list of very tenuous hopeful signs.  Probably Joss is just yanking our chains.  But maybe it's foreshadowing.

I love reading comics in which Spike is the main guy, and he actually recruits a gang of his own!  Shadow Puppets is good fun so far.  I'm betting you'll enjoy it when the TPB comes out.

ETA: I'm in sympathy with your inability to get too worried about what happens in the comics.  I had been hoping for more, but until Joss lays down some serious continuity with the series, it's a pretty marginal endeavor.

Sep 11 2007 03:04 am   #28Eowyn315

Maybe this has been specified and I missed it, but were they ever clear on when the comics take place? I've heard anywhere from a few months after Chosen to a year and a half. I think how much time has passed would make a big difference in how much we see them mourning, and how easily Buffy and Xander get together. If it's been a year and a half, I can't see them still dwelling on the deaths of Spike and Anya anymore... and it sucks that we missed it, but it would seem like we were going backwards a little bit to talk about it.

I think (hope) that if Buffy and Xander really get together, we'll get more answers to your questions. So far, we've only seen a few hints that it's even going to happen, so I don't expect a full explanation. Personally, I think Xander already has grown up, and despite Spike's suggestion that Buffy needs a little monster in her man, I don't think Joss has ever really felt that Buffy *couldn't* be with a regular guy, so that maybe something we just have to go along with. But I'd like to know how they went from best friends to having feelings for each other. It may just be a factor of Xander being the only guy around, and Buffy really missing sex - in which case, I think the relationship will be short-lived.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 11 2007 03:51 am   #29Maggie2

Not sure how long since the Chosen-- it's got to be a bit of time.  Dawn is supposed to be going to college (Berkeley).  And I do agree that we don't need to see them mourning 18 months or 3 years later.  But I disagree about it being 'backwards' to mention that it had happened.  It's Joss's job to move us from the end of The Chosen to his new world.  It doesn't take much.  In Spike: Assylum we get a few brief remarks that let us know that Spike is a character to whom Buffy is important, even though she's not an on-going part of his life.  It establishes continuity between the character in the comic book and the character in the series.  It helps us get a feel for where he is emotionally.  That continuity is missing (so far) in Joss's comics. 

It's an omission that carries a bit of extra weight because there are at least a fair number of us who thought that the reaction of the Scoobies at the end of the Chosen was incongruous.  Buf even if we aren't worried about that, the lack of continuity in the character is jarring.  This Buffy has a strangely truncated history.  We are missing a chapter of important emotional work that we have to assume happened -- but without knowing that story, can we really know what this Buffy is about?  Buffy's way of mourning Angel cast huge shadows over Spuffy.  If we are to understand Bander or whatever other relationship Buffy ends up in, don't we need to know how her process with Spike might be affecting it?  In the show, these emotional histories mattered. Here they seem to have disappeared.  My hopeful voice pops up again to say that Joss knows emotional histories matter, and that the back story simply has to show up at some point. ETA: The discontinuity at this point is sufficiently jarring that it has crossed my mind that Buffy has experienced some sort of mindwipe on the subject.  I hope that's not what's going on, since the device is so common, but it's a bad sign for Joss that I'm reading about Buffy and thinking she might be a pod person.

I don't disagree that Buffy could make it work with an ordinary guy.  I just think that the point requires a bit of development.  It was an issue with Riley.  What's changed?  But you seem to agree that if Bander happens, some of these explanations need to be forth-coming. 

Sep 11 2007 05:49 am   #30Scarlet Ibis

When it comes to Buffy needing "a little monster in her man," I think Spike got it wrong.  The problem with Riley (besides the fact of being as dull as a table lamp) was not only did he come after Angel, he came after Parker.  Buffy already had relationship/emotional issues, and Riley, who happened to be Mr. Reliable and still there in the morning guy, got the short end of the stick.  Throw into the little mix the fact that he was crazy insecure, and there lies why their relationship did not work.  Her heart wasn't open then- s4 and the first half of s5, she was a pod person with Riley.

There are a lot of gaps in this s8 comic.  What through me most (besides the lack of mentioning of Spike and whether or not she knew he was alive those months, or if she was done baking and maybe checking to see if Angel was still good or not), was that somehow, Willow and Dawn became super close.  She addresses her concern when Amy kidnaps her, and Buffy's kind of shocked or...offended, cause of the way Dawn addresses her concern.  When and how did this happen?  I am confused.

I agree with Maggie- even if presented in flashback or something, we need to see the emotional transition in order for the Bander to be 100% believable.  I could see a Bander, but I wouldn't want one with gaping holes, cause then their relationship would seem forced.  Don't put them together cause he's literally the only meat stick in the comics besides Andrew and Giles- put them together because at that point in their lives, it just makes sense, and not as a means to end to rid us all of Spuffy or Bangel hope that still may or may not be lurking about (hell, even the five or so Biley fans).  In fact, I'd go for a Bander over some new guy- cause all of the new guys that we've seen (Parker, Riley, Ben) were way lame.  I don't need some new guy and another boring, forced, fake ass relationship attempting to be passed off as "normal."  So if he gives us Bander, my god, he better do it right...

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I read this is a year and half post "Chosen."

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 11 2007 06:23 am   #31Guest

It's 18 months post-Chosen. That was said officially by Joss in interviews when the comics first started coming out.

CM

Sep 11 2007 01:50 pm   #32SpikeHot

I remember it was said the comics happen a year and a half after Chosen, it will seem pathetic of Xander and Buffy to still be mourning, especially with everything happening in these issues. I also think that Dawn could have bonded with Willow right after Chosen. Willow was the one to patch Dawn's injuries in season seven as I remember.

Bander doesn't gross or scare me, by that time both characters seem in a right place. Xander matured a lot, it's noted clearly in season seven (it's when I started to love his character) and Buffy seemed to loosen up quite a lot after season seven, obviously by Xander's help: they look very close. It could happen, but as you guys say, I hope the writers pull it off. I hope it happens gradually and believably.

I didn't really enjoy the first arc, I thought the ideas were out of place and nothing was clear. The Faith arc is much more promising. Even the Buffy-Xander scene was really cute.

Sep 11 2007 08:16 pm   #33Maggie2

Spikehot -- Just to be clear, they don't need to still be mourning.  But we do need to know how they mourned.  It critically effects where they are and what sort of baggage they will or won't be bringing into the relationship.  For example, does Xander know just how close Spike and Buffy were at the end?  And how can we make sense of Buffy's apparent openness to the new relationship if we don't know whether she knows about Spike's return or not?

As Scarlet just pointed out, Biley was affected by Buffy's emotional past.  Bander will be too.  The problem is, we don't know what that past is.

I agree that the Faith arc is promising.  We do get a pretty clear picture of what she's been through in the last 18 months.  It's not that hard to do.  Didn't care for the Bander scene -- cause I still have no context for it.

Sep 11 2007 11:17 pm   #34Guest

Yep, they have to have dialogue or a flashback. It'd be irresponsible as a writer of a relationship not to. And if you're not going to delve into that in a comic, then don't go ahead with the relationship. There isn't enough space.

CM

Sep 12 2007 02:17 am   #35Eowyn315

I thought Willow and Dawn's relationship kind of came out of nowhere, too. Someone pointed out that Willow *was* like a mom to Dawn while Buffy was dead, but I thought that relationship was damaged by Willow's crack magic, and we didn't really see them being very close in season 7. But maybe that's supposed to be a "what??" moment for us, since it sort of seems like Buffy doesn't understand how it happened, either. And maybe we'll find out more about it through the "getting Dawn back to normal size" plot.

The thing, I think, that's hard to remember - and which may affect how much we demand answers - is that we're only sort of on episode 3. It may feel like we've been reading these comics forever because there's such a long wait in between issues, but if it were the TV show, I think "The Long Way Home" would have been the season premiere (maybe a 2-parter), and "The Chain" would have been the next episode. Now we're getting a Faith episode. We wouldn't expect all our questions to be answered by episode 3 of a season, so it wouldn't surprise me if at least some of what we're questioning now is answered later on.

The one thing that does bug me, more than anything else, is Warren's not-deadness. It just doesn't make sense, and it completely contradicts canon. On that, I am disappointed in Joss. (And come on, if you're going to wreck canon to bring back a dead character... make it Tara!)

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 12 2007 12:21 pm   #36SpikeHot

 

I don't like the Warren thing either. Some explained that Warren was dead, but he's nor human now, because in the issue he said that Willow's words were the last thing he heard in his human life.

I remember Willow patching Dawn's injuries in season seven, remember the Scoobies were sadly in the background the whole season, maybe they bonded off screen. Even Xander's newfound trust in Spike happened off-screen. Giles' reasons for his major change in character happened off-screen. I'm glad Spuffy got a good screen time, or else I'd be really angry.

Sep 12 2007 06:00 pm   #37Scarlet Ibis

Actually, I think the Spike/Xander bonding happened when they had to live together again.  They were forced into the same space, and I'm sure they talked, and they both like talking (even if its not with each other).  They they had to work together for the whole RJ thing. Recon=more quality time. He's able to joke about the fact that Anya (who he still has feelings for) slept with Spike.  You gotta be in some kind of good place to joke about such a thing.  Not saying they were the best of friends, but it was clearly a catalyst that broke the ice.  In "Never Leave Me," Xander (and Willow) don't jump on the "Spike's evil, so why are we helping him?" bandwaggon.  That says tons, folks.  I dunno, maybe Spike told Xander he wished he'd killed him in "Seeing Red."  Could've put things in a certain perspective...

And I guess if I think about it, I could see Willow and Dawn getting close again.  Tara's gone, Buffy's still hanging with Spike, Anya's gone (not that they would've bonded in such a manner anyway), and I could kinda see Xander too.  Actually, it would've made more sense if she lost her virginity to him, I think. They had that sweet moment in "Potential," she's pretty much legal...whatever.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 12 2007 06:08 pm   #38Guest

My problems with Bander don't have much to do with Buffy as it does with Xander.

Sure, i'm bothered that all of the sudden we see a Buffy that for that last 7 years wasn't intrested in Xander that way, but ok.

As for Xander, he's being made into things that he never was, with the absence of a strong male sidekick, Xander has gotten an unrealistic upgrade.  All of the sudden he's sparring with slayers?  Xander was never a great fighter and no way in hell could he match up against a slayer even in sparring, Riley who was super-boosted even had troubles.  If Joss does decide a new love-intrest for Buffy, please let it be someone new, Buffy doesn't need to sleep with every male friend she has, like someone else pointed out, that would imply that she is unable to just be friends with males.

Joss's dislike for Spike seems to be shining trough in season8, he is unwilling to bring him from under the mantle of Angel, now it seems that he will forever be stuck as second class. That coupled with DH's frequent Spike bashing seems to imply that Spike isn't really liked over at Buffy's.

Sep 12 2007 06:50 pm   #39Maggie2

Eowyn makes a good point in reminding us that this is still only an 'episode' or two into the new season.  We did go a while with the WTF about Dawn in season 5. 

In the last issue (the best so far, IMO), Joss admitted that he goofed on the Warren/First Evil thing.  Good that he acknowledged the mistake.  But since my central problem here is continuity issues, it adds to my worries.

Agree that the comics themselves indicate that there's a story to be told about Dawn/Willow.

Sudden jumps in characters are never good.  And the writers say they cared about emotional continuity, so those jumps are failures even by their own terms.  The latest issue helps to clarify a bit of the jumps we saw in Giles character.  But if we get no explanation on Willow/Dawn or how Buffy got from the Chosen to "ooh Xander, you're not wearing a shirt!" I'll count that as a massive failure on Joss' part. 

Brian Lynch recently said (in his Q&A section on his blog, I think) that he's of the opinion that Joss "adores" Spike.  Spike will be getting a major role in the new Angel comics -- and Joss is overseeing that project.  Lots of reasons to be hopeful about that project: Lynch has proven that he can make characters and worlds come alive in his Spike-centric comics; and the fact that they are picking up immediately from the alley way means we shouldn't have the sorts of continuity problems that have plagued the Buffy comics thus far.

Spike is 'second class' because that's part of his character.  He always struggles with 'beneath you' issues.  That doesn't mean that the writers don't like him.  It might even mean that the writers like him a lot -- since characters like that are frequently compelling.

Sep 12 2007 06:53 pm   #40Scarlet Ibis

I think Guest meant that the writers and Joss were treating Spike as second class and not getting enough attention, not that the character's an outsider/second class amongst certain other characters...

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 13 2007 03:11 am   #41Eowyn315

In the last issue (the best so far, IMO), Joss admitted that he goofed on the Warren/First Evil thing.  Good that he acknowledged the mistake.

Really? I haven't read the latest issue yet. I order them online, so it always takes an extra week before I get them. Maybe since he realizes he made one major error, he'll be more careful about continuity from now on? Sorry, never mind, I forget who I'm talking about, lol.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Sep 13 2007 03:42 am   #42daniel_nieves

Everytime i think of the possibility of Bander in the comics, it makes me wanna throw that stupid Scythe from S7 and bash Joss with the blunt end of it. S8 didn't have to be Spuffy for me to enjoy it, but Bander...

 

Spuffy peed on Angel...
Sep 13 2007 04:03 am   #43Maggie2

Eowyn -- yes, Joss confesses!  Also, the lastest issue is much better than the others, I think.  I'll be curious to see what you think.  But we get a real feel for where Faith is, so I don't have all those continuity issues.  And some insights into Giles that help make sense of some things.

Scarlet -- The word is that Spike will be getting some major action in the Angel comics.  Joss picked Brian Lynch *because* of his Spike-centric comics (which are great, BTW).  At least one other character from those comics will show up in the Angel comics -- so that gives the Spike comics a claim on being canon.  And Lynch reports that Joss "adores" Spike.  That doesn't add up to second-class treatment by the writers in my book.  Buffy and Angel are supposed to be the focus -- but given that Spike isn't the 'star' of either series, he's getting an awful lot of attention in the comics.  With the one exception being his mysterious absence from Buffy's dreamspace -- but I still think that's a shoe that has to drop.

Sep 13 2007 04:05 am   #44Verity Watson
I don't know, Daniel - it's not my ship of choice, but I wonder if Bander kind of has to be done, just to exhaust the possibility.

In the Entertainment Weekly interview with SMG - Buffy Calls it Quits! back at the series' end - she said that she thought Joss always intended for Buffy to end up with Xander. I can't see it as a happily ever after, but pretty much no one gets those in the Jossverse.

Plus, can you imagine the fallout if Buffy hooked up with Xander and then dropped him for Spike? Hey, did you see that plot bunny hop by?
You know I've been a good girl, but I hit a limit. ~ Poe
Sep 13 2007 04:37 am   #45Scarlet Ibis

I've seen a Bander work before (Two Summers), but we have to get the backstory of their relationship for the past year and a half.  If they grieved together or something...I could see some kissage or something going on, and then it could build from there.  It'd be believable, to an extent.  But if they have them throw themselves at each other just cause they miss sex, then it'll definitely be an "oh puleeze!" moment. 

Oh, and they can't just build Xander up over night to Cooly McCool, and expect everyone to buy it!  I know Joss wanted him to be more "James Dean" like or whatever, but that can't just happen over night.  That'd be like, making Andrew seem straight all of a sudden.

Sparring with Slayers...If they mean in the sense of training them like Giles and Wes did, I could see it, I guess.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Sep 13 2007 08:05 am   #46Verity Watson
That'd be like, making Andrew seem straight all of a sudden.

ROFLMAO!
You know I've been a good girl, but I hit a limit. ~ Poe
Sep 13 2007 04:55 pm   #47SpikeHot

Guys, it's a year and a half. Xander could have improved his skills during that time. Everyone had to work twice as hard because as Buffy said in issue one the world is changing. Xander's clothes are no wonder to me, he's a geek who enjoys wearing such uniforms. All he does is commanding slayers, which is honestly not that hard. Buffy is still the one in charge. In issue four, Xander told Buffy that he won't tag along to save Willow because he's NOT a fighter. That pretty much shows growth and rationality in his character because pre-season seven Xander wouldn't have stayed behind sending someone stronger to fight with Buffy, he would irrationally follow Buffy to save his friend.

I'm just saying so much would happen in a year and a half, the characters will not be stuck in their season seven personas.

Sep 14 2007 04:53 pm   #48CopyKween

Heh, I, too, am suspect of Xander suddenly being bad-ass after 18 months of doing who knows what, when he was pretty useless during the previous 7 years.  I could never figure out why the whole gang didn't train with Buffy (especially in the early seasons).  *GASP*  Maybe Xan finally got a clue.  lol

Sep 14 2007 10:19 pm   #49SpikeHot

  

Wasn't Xander a good Robin Hood in season six and season seven? We always saw him with an arrow and a bow. He always shoots well, he saved Rona's life with one perfect shoot. The reason Buffy made a big deal about him not joining the final fight, other than feeling guilty about his injury, was that at his state he wouldn't be able to shoot an arrow, right?

 

Xander was a decent fighter, I remember some scenes where he fought well, and he didn't claim to be anymore better in the comics. He told Buffy he wasn't a fighter in issue four, we never seen him fight, just order the slayers around, which is something I can see him do. I didn't see anything out of ordinary about Xander other than Joss finally giving him a purpose.   

Sep 15 2007 01:34 am   #50CopyKween

I just personally didn't see any of them as trying terribly hard with the fighting.  More often than not, the other Scoobs were demon fodder.     That is one thing that I really enjoyed on AtS, is how the "team" grew as fighters.

Sep 16 2007 03:47 am   #51Guest
*gulps*

So Buffy and Xander are getting together in the comics? I just read the wikipedia summaries... didn't read anything besides them sparring together that seemed provocative in the least.

Hopefully I'm not the only person that thinks Bander makes no sense at all? I mean, maybe in fanfiction, when you have the appropriate major change to make it Bander, but so not in the supposed season eight headed by Joss Whedon himself. That would totally wreck the past seven years of their relationship, which has been completely platonic and the model of friend love, barring a few Xander hiccups in the earlier seasons. If that happens, then Buffy's slept with practically every male lead on the show besides Giles. Talk about your female role model! >_>

And, for the life of me, I thought she never thought of Xander that way? Wasn't that the whole point of Prophecy Girl? And, by extension, BB&B and Earshot?

If they play Bander out, they will need MAJOR explaining. I would rather Buffy not date anyone in the comics, it just doesn't work in comic form as it is. And if they do get together, it's doomed to have an ambiguous ending so it doesn't upset the rabid Spuffy fans (myself included) and Bangel fans. And it would need so so so much explaining...

I thought he was just writing the filler stuff of the show for the comic? Some cool big bad with freaks of the week? None of the compelling stuff, like the themes or the romance or character development. Just playing with a toy he made? Maybe I'm wrong...
Sep 16 2007 02:00 pm   #52SpikeHot

I heard nothing about Bander happening, some fans assume it would. But Xander is already flirting with one of the Slayer Jr, so maybe we're reading too much into Xander and Buffy's scenes together. They had some sub scenes in the past episodes: When She Was Bad, The Mummy Girl, Phases, I Was Made To Love You and early season seven, but in the end they didn't lead to anything.

I'm glad the comics are treated like a season, if they were only a monster of the week thing, I know I won't be interested.

Sep 16 2007 06:46 pm   #53chlarkspuffy

I despise Xander. From the very first episode of the series, I have felt that way about him. Bander? My gut response is WTF? On second thought, they deserve one another given how shallow, callous, hypocritical, and self-involved they often are.

"If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now."

- Zaphod Beeblebrox
Sep 17 2007 05:34 pm   #54nmcil

Bander -

I would have to stop reading - to have these two end up in a romantic relationship would be such a bad move -

for a hero model to end up with such a parochial and bigot (my personal opinion) would not only work against all the series, but would also work against the entire buffy-spike relationship.  certainly the viewers realize that the spike and buffy relationship is metaphoric, but the storyline was so strong and passionate - having xander, even remotely, as a romantic relationship destroys so much of the entire hero/maturity/wisdom, redemption - rites of passage. 

 

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Sep 17 2007 11:30 pm   #55SpikeHot

But Xander changed. He wasn't the same guy by season seven, he was more responsible, more openminded, more supportive and understanding. Why is it hard to believe that Xander could change, when he actually did? If it was possible for Spike to be a better man, it was also possible for Xander.

I'm right with you, I'm not fond of Bander, but if it was either Bander or some random guy, I'd choose Bander, at least we know Xander, I rather Buffy be with him than just some drawing. I wish for Spuffy, but I know it won't happen, so I wish for Buffy to remain single.  

Oct 05 2007 08:22 pm   #56Guest
We saw Spike change on the show through painstaking and compelling years. We did not see Xander change at all to become this idealized version.

In fact, I haven't see much of Xander changing in the series, besides finally getting his act together when it was too late for him to go to college and forgetting about jokes in the last seasons. He was as hypocritical in season two with Angel as he was in season six with Spike. To me, he played the "flat" character that juxtaposed the "round" characters (everyone else, Buffy, Spike, etc.) and gave them that much more depth. People felt for Xander, though, because he was the everyman.

That's not what I'm worried about, though. It's just that Buffy and Xander have always been friends, that was always the groundwork of their relationship and that is what made it interesting. It's also what Whedon was working towards in season one (Xander's obsession with Buffy), and to have them just get into a romantic relationship would completely dismiss the events in that season. It would just turn completely ruin their relationship for me, it would make the stuff between them on the show completely suck. And I would hate to see Whedon make his show look worse with this stupid comic book.

I don't think you can effectively capture the charm of a romantic relationship (the chemistry) in a comic book anyway.
Oct 05 2007 11:16 pm   #57Enisy

I'm pretty sure we're going to get Bander in Season 8, but I wouldn't worry about it long-term. Joss is perfectly aware that his fandom is divided into Spuffy and Bangel fans:

Joss: If I had to write the final Buffy story, I would... Spend years agonizing over it and ultimately disappoint probably 50 percent of the people who read it. A lot of guys would go out disappointing 70 percent, but I'm gonna make half the people really happy. The other half are gonna be pissed. 'Cause Buffy clearly is gonna end up with... [Simulating static] I'm sorry, you're breaking up. [Simulating static]

Now, I don't think that Joss will stop straddling the fence, like he hints up there, but I do think that the Spike/Buffy/Angel triangle will be the only "ship" left standing out of any love affairs Buffy has had, or will have in Season 8 and Season 9. He called them "the two most important men in her life" -- there is no other way to end it.


Oct 05 2007 11:43 pm   #58Eowyn315

I think the key phrase here is "if I had to write the final Buffy story." Who knows when that will be? We just started season 8 - which will be 40 issues, meaning probably about 3-4 years - and Joss is already talking about season 9. Who knows how long it will go on? It's clear from the "two most important men in her life" that he realizes ultimately, she'll end up with one of them, but it's unrealistic to expect that Buffy won't date anyone else in between. Especially if "the final Buffy story" is years away, as I suspect it is.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Oct 06 2007 01:17 am   #59Enisy

Agreed, which is why I think we're going to see Bander at some point, among other things. But Scott Allie and Joss Whedon have basically confirmed that we'll be seeing some Spuffy and Bangel in-between, and that they'll be the only two left standing at the end, so I'm not fretting about the short-term ships.


Oct 07 2007 03:43 am   #60Guest

Doesn't it matter what Spike wants?  I'm mean we get all this crap about Buffy not being done baking, so it's okay for her to "try" things with Xander, but Spike is supposed to stand on the sidelines waiting for her.  And even then he still has to compete with Angel in the end. 

Jeez, the girl ain't that special, she doesn't even seem to miss Spike all that much except for the sex part.

I'm starting to agree with James on this, that Spike deserves better, i especially do hope that Spike moves on if bander happens.

Post-Chosen, if these two truelly wanted to be with each other then they would be, same goes for bangel.  You fight with everything you have for your true love, what you don't do is give up and move on.  Which so far Buffy and Spike seem to have done.  Joss makes,created wonderful characters but love-relationships definitely aren't his strong suit, often times or not he just uses them for shocking story-twists.

Oct 07 2007 04:34 am   #61SpikeHot

As much as I love Spike and Spuffy, I don't blame Buffy for moving on with Xander or anyone else for that matter. Spike didn't go to her when he came back. She doesn't know he's alive. What's she supposed to do?

As for missing sex, it's been one year plus six months since Chosen, Buffy can't be mourning Spike forever. Plus the fact that she hadn't had sex for a long time makes her too loyal to Spike's memory. The threesome dream actually makes her look pathetic, yet loyal to her love for both Angel and Spike.

Oct 07 2007 06:28 am   #62Maggie2

 Joss: If I had to write the final Buffy story, I would... Spend years agonizing over it and ultimately disappoint probably 50 percent of the people who read it. A lot of guys would go out disappointing 70 percent, but I'm gonna make half the people really happy. The other half are gonna be pissed. 'Cause Buffy clearly is gonna end up with... [Simulating static] I'm sorry, you're breaking up. [Simulating static]

Is that an exact quote?  Check it out -- the last part is a quote of Spike from Destiny, and in Destiny Spike beat Angel!  It's a sign!! 

We don't know whether Buffy knows that Spike is still alive.  Kind of makes it hard to evaluate what's going on with her.  Meanwhile, we do know that Spike believes that Buffy knows that he's alive, and that she's told him to move on, and that she's moved on herself.  So he should move on.

Oct 07 2007 07:09 am   #63Guest

If you're referring to what Andrew told them in TGIQ, I think that was the patent statement should Angel show up at the door, but he gave it to both of them since they were there. Spike believes she's moved on. I wouldn't say he knows she knows, unless there's something in the comics that's specifically said so. (Not that I'll ever see the comics as the same quality canon)

CM

Oct 07 2007 07:44 am   #64Maggie2

CM -- Not sure I follow you.  Andrew certainly implied that Buffy knew he's still alive.  At least that's how I took his statement that Buffy loves both Spike and Angel, but she's moving on.  Don't see how Spike could have taken it any other way, either.  Saying that she loves them -- present tense -- but that she's moving on would be a weird thing to say if she didn't know that Spike was available to be loved now.  And since Spike did't press Andrew to clarify whether Buffy knows he's alive, I think it's safe to assume that he believes that she does know. 

Oct 07 2007 09:41 am   #65Caro Mio

The way Andrew said it, though, wasn't like he was passing on a message.....he used this tone like he was doing *them* a favor, like the actual message comes more from Andrew than Buffy. I think if Spike was meant to *know* that Buffy knows, then we would have gotten more of a "Yes, she's moved on. Yes, she knows you're alive, Spike. Buffy wants you know she loves you both, yada yada yada". But Andrew's speech comes across as one that's a "I'm doing my friends a favor here by saying what I assume is best", with Buffy's probable feelings for Angel having her followed mixed in.

There would have been more from Spike about Buffy knowing and not caring to confront him about it if we were meant to know for certain that she did. That's how ME worked. Because honestly, if Buffy, after the "I love you" doesn't confront Spike on not telling her he's back, and Angel for keeping it from her, too, then she's not Buffy. Buffy *hates* that crap. She went to LA to chew Angel out when he came over in "Pangs" and didn't see her. She'd do the same to Spike. It's the end, finito, for Spuffy if Buffy doesn't care enough to confront him in any way. And Joss isn't putting the kibosh on either ship, yet, so that's simply not the case.

What If I'm Not the Slayer? now updated with chapters 22 and 23.
Oct 07 2007 11:42 am   #66Maggie2

Don't forget that it wasn't Buffy in Rome at all.  So what transpired between Andrew and Spike tells us nothing about what Buffy does or does not know.  But it does tell us about what Spike thinks.  And to me that scene doesn't make any sense if Spike doesn't believe that Buffy knows that Spike is alive.  He had to have expected Andrew to spill.  Andrew talks as though Buffy has shared her feelings with him... and none of that sharing would make sense if he were presenting her as a Buffy who did not know.  Also Spike takes it as though both he and Angel are getting the brush off -- which couldn't be the case if Spike thought that Buffy did not know.  And given the fact that the whole episode plays of Spike-Angel rivalry stuff, there's just no way Spike wouldn't have distinguished between their situations if he thought there was a distinction to be made.  Buffy moving on cause she thinks your dust is not the same thing as Buffy moving along when she thinks your undead and well in LA.  But Spike never makes that point...never presses Andrew on it, never tries to rub Angel's nose in it.  And at the end of the episode he looks like he's lost hope -- but he'd still have hope if he thought Buffy did not know.

It's an open question as to whether Buffy really does know.  The comics revealed that not only was the Buffy in Rome a decoy Buffy, but also that Andrew is the one who came up with the idea of having her date the Immortal, specifically because he thought it'd be 'hilarious' (implied that he knows it would *really* bother Spike and Angel).  So it's now much more likely that Andrew really did keep his yap shut about Spike's resurrection.  (We are shown that the real Buffy doesn't understand the significance of the Immortal -- so if Andrew could keep that to himself, why not the other). 

So if I had to bet, I'd say she doesn't know.  But I disagree about Buffy going to confront Spike and/or Angel if she heard from someone else that Spike's alive.  She might.  If she really loves him.  But to me that's still an open question at the end of season 7.  I mean, she clearly has some sort of love for him.  But it's not obvious that it's the same kind of love that drove her to LA to confront Angel after Pangs. 

I'm hoping she doesn't know.  I'd rather believe that she did finally come to love Spike *that* way.  The reveal on Andrew being behind the Immortal set up came first thing in the new comics.  I thought that was promising.  But we have had virtually nothing since.  So it's still an open question.

Oct 07 2007 07:05 pm   #67Scarlet Ibis

Mmm...I'm thinking she didn't know.  Andrew had to much respect (love, and affection. and a whole bunch of other stuff I won't get into) for Spike for him to not honor his wishes of keeping Spike's ressurection secret.  I think Andrew (well, he didn't really care for Angel, so that's irrelevant) just wanted Spike to move on, and be happy, so he told him so.  He told him to stop holding out for a girl who may or may not be *in love* with him, and to find someone who makes him happy, and not some ghost.  Angel just happened to get the same message due to the happenstance of Spike's presence.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Oct 07 2007 07:35 pm   #68Spikez_tart

We did not see Xander change at all to become this idealized version

We saw him change - he got worse.  He dumps Anya, is incessantly rude to Spike. Was he involved in helping 

Giles set up Spike to be killed by Robin Wood?  He helped those bleeding idiot potentials kick Buffy out of her own house.  Is she supposed to just let by gones be?  I liked Xander's character most of the time, but Bander makes me want to heave.  Also, why has he still got that stupid patch?  Are there no glass eyes or eye transplants in the Buffyverse? 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Oct 08 2007 04:26 pm   #69SpikeHot

The show didn't stop in season 6. If it did, then Spike, Xander, Buffy, Willow and Anya will be remembered as murderers and asses. Season seven had helped each of them to show their developments, each one of them changed into a better person, including Xander

I don't mind Bander, as long as it'll have a Spuffy ending. I'm starting to think that it'll might be interesting, I just hope it won't damage the friendship Buffy and Xander share

Oct 08 2007 09:24 pm   #70Eowyn315

Spikez_tart, did you watch the same season 7 as the rest of us? 

He dumps Anya, is incessantly rude to Spike. 

Yes, and then he and Anya reconcile and are on good terms when the series ends. And he let Spike *live* with him - even though he knew there was the possibility that Spike was killing again. Of all the people on the show in season 7, Xander actually treated Spike pretty well. 

Was he involved in helping Giles set up Spike to be killed by Robin Wood?

No, he wasn't.

He helped those bleeding idiot potentials kick Buffy out of her own house.  Is she supposed to just let by gones be?

Um, EVERYONE kicked Buffy out, including her own sister. She forgave everyone else - why should she hold a grudge against Xander, just because you don't want them to be a couple?

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Oct 08 2007 09:27 pm   #71Guest

That's only if you want to take the comics as canon, Maggie, which I don't. I haven't been impressed at all, don't think the stories are up to the TV show quality, and are really more like Joss' fanfic.It's half interesting ideas, half WTF?

I still stand by Buffy getting angry and going for the confrontation, if for nothing else than to make a big declaration for people to "stop deciding what's best for me!" She's always demanded answers (excluding the denial subjects), it's part of her character, so I really don't see Spike, a person that was a MASSIVE part of her life by the end, getting any different treatment on that. I also think her "I love you" was at least on a boyfriend level, as she rarely ever says "I love you" to her friends, not like that. That tone was used for Angel, Dawn, then Spike - the people who have wormed their way into the most of her heart.

Spike moves on partly because he doesn't want to look like an idiot by not moving on when Angel is. Because Spike doubts is place if he went back. He's doubted it since the moment he had two minutes to think beyond "Where's Buffy and is she alright?" He's too afraid of the worse case scenario......and he'd be in the same frame of mind if he hadn't talked to Andrew just as much as he had, because he's self-defeating on this issue and has been for months. It doesn't matter if she knew or didn't because Spike will stay away if he can assume she's happy. That's all he needs to know to keep living in his fear.

CM

Oct 08 2007 10:21 pm   #72Scarlet Ibis

I don't think that Spike's decision to stay solely revolved around Buffy.  He was happy at W&H with Angel's Avengers, and to be officially apart of a team where his team mates liked and respected him.  Hell, they (Wes and Gunn) even sought him out when he was out saving people on his own.  It seemed to be a happier, less angst induced time, where Angel supplied him with pretty much anything he wanted, surrounded by real friends, and I don't see why he would want to leave that.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Oct 08 2007 11:01 pm   #73Maggie2

Hi CM, I'm not sure if we're supposed to be disagreeing about something! 

(1) I'm predisposed to accept the comics as canon -- assuming they end up being of the same quality as the series.  I agree that the first issues aren't promising, but I'm willing to see how things unfold.  If I just watched the first episode of some seasons, I'd have said it was all pretty lame (Buffy v. Dracula comes especially to mind).  But those usually turned out to have more layers in the context of the season as a whole.  So I'm waiting to see.  The last few issues on Faith have been much more promising.

(2) Buffy being angry and going for confrontation depends on her loving Spike *that* way.  And I agree that she might have.  I even hope that she did.  But if I freeze frame on The Chosen, the truth is that I really don't know.  It was left ambiguous.  If fanfic writers want to choose to assume that she did and write from there, that's cool.  It's a plausible reading.  If they want to assume that she didn't, that's also cool.  It's a plausible reading.  Though I will say that to believe that she meant "I love you" *that* way requires that she had some sort of epiphany when he got all effulgent.  'Cause up until that all we had was more ambivalence from her.  "Does it have to mean anything" still gets up my nose in a big way.  The Buffy who couldn't go out on a limb even the tiny amount it would have taken to say what it meant is not so likely to track Spike down IMO.  But a Buffy who suddenly saw what he really was in the hellmouth might have. 

(3).  I think there are a million reasons why Spike didn't go after her, and most of them are probably true, though I tend to not like the "he was afraid" sort of line.  Scarlet's right that he has positive reasons for making a meaning out of his life apart from Buffy.  I also think he was just resigned (rightly or wrongly) to the fact that Buffy was never going to return his feelings.  If Buffy's problem was that she wasn't willing to risk anything emotionally for Spike, Spike's problem was that he had already risked everything -- and at some point there's just nothing left to give.  I think Spike spent all of season 7 getting prepared emotionally to move on.  It's not surprising to me that he took the opportunity of his death to do so.

Oct 08 2007 11:31 pm   #74Scarlet Ibis

 I think Spike spent all of season 7 getting prepared emotionally to move on.  It's not surprising to me that he took the opportunity of his death to do so.

Absolutely, Maggie.  Spike was ready to leave then.  What stopped him?  "I'm not ready for you to not be here." (And not, "don't leave me," just, I'm not ready, implying that one day, she would be, and he could only leave her on her terms...Yes- totally fair) After that line, Spike asks Buffy where does the Principal fit in all of this?  Of course, we don't hear her response, but essentially, Buffy wanted him to stay, even though she was moving on right in front of his face.  She wouldn't let him go- he tells her he wants to leave, that it'd be best if he did leave, and she coerces him to stay.  His firery, heroic death finally set him free of her...I think he just had second thoughts, and covered with the lame excuse "my returning would ruin my exit," and so forth.  He knew she was okay, especially so since her burden was lessened.  Then to find that she has all of this new power behind her- what with Willow and pretty much running the Watcher's Council with Giles, it probably burned that she didn't even see it fit to mojo him back (I mean, to at least consider it), cause someone who was truly in love with him, more than likely would have.  He didn't have a "natural death," after all. 

(added) And I agree with CM- Spike *did* doubt his place with Buffy and hers, but he didn't have that doubt in LA.  Not in the least.  That had to do wonders for him mentally and emotionally.  When he was headed to that ship or whatever to get back to Buffy, he probably thought "what the hell am I going back to?" and then turned back around to W&H.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Oct 09 2007 12:19 am   #75Enisy

It's debatable whether he was happier in W&H than he was with Buffy. After all, the happiest moment of his existence was holding Buffy in "Touched". Imagine what a real, no-holds-barred relationship with her would be like for him, after her "I love you" (which, according to Joss, she did, in fact, mean).

As confident as I am that Spuffy will make it to the end of the series -- in the form of the Spike/Buffy/Angel triangle at the very least -- I have a feeling that their first reunion will take place under not-so-favourable circumstances, and will leave Spike with self-doubt and insecurity. So far, Joss wrings pain from Angel/Buffy because they are aware of their feelings but can't be together, and he wrings pain from Spike/Buffy because they can be together but aren't aware of their feelings. Oh, Joss. xD


Oct 09 2007 02:31 am   #76Eowyn315

Then to find that she has all of this new power behind her- what with Willow and pretty much running the Watcher's Council with Giles, it probably burned that she didn't even see it fit to mojo him back (I mean, to at least consider it), cause someone who was truly in love with him, more than likely would have.  He didn't have a "natural death," after all.   

There are a lot of reasons for Spike to be mad at and hurt by Buffy, but this isn't really one of them. Spike came out of the amulet 19 days after Sunnydale collapsed. I hardly think the Council was reestablished in less than three weeks, and during that time, the gang was probably mostly focused on getting help for the injured and figuring out what to do with the sudden activation of all the Slayers. It took them 147 days to bring Buffy back from the dead, and that was when they had nothing else pressing going on.

And by the time they DID get their act together enough to try a spell, it wouldn't have worked anyway, because Spike wasn't dead anymore.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Oct 09 2007 01:02 pm   #77SpikeHot

I don't think Buffy will ever consider bringing anyone back from the dead after what happened with her. Season 6 should be answer enough to Buffy's feelings about bringing others from dead.

Oct 09 2007 07:38 pm   #78Eowyn315

Also a good point... although, considering Spike's a vampire, there's not much chance of him ending up in heaven. Buffy's main problem with her resurrection was that she was happy, and didn't want to come back. If she'd actually been in hell, I imagine she'd have been all too grateful to her friends for getting her out, just like they expected. 

I doubt Spike would've been in a happy place - if he was anywhere at all. Since he was stuck inside the amulet, would he really have "gone" somewhere? He might have been stuck in some sort of nothingness limbo until someone let him out of the amulet.

Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Oct 09 2007 10:12 pm   #79Scarlet Ibis

Well, regardless if he was mad or not, he clearly wouldn't have been all that happy, hence the not going back.  I think he had more to gain by staying at W&H, and that he realized it.  Going back to Buffy laid tons of uncertainty, and he knew his place in LA, and he liked it.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Oct 11 2007 11:42 am   #80Caro Mio

Yeah, whether it makes you happy or not, having certainty in your life position is much more comfortable than not, so it was definitely easier for him to choose to stay. I don't think he was really "happy", considering that every shot of him alone has him looking very unhappy and contemplative, but maybe he just needed more time to make friends, and not just acquaintances.

Yep, according to Joss, she did mean it (there's even a comment that Spike is Buffy's true love, shortly after Chosen), but I still think if it was "best friend love", that Buffy would confront him just because she's still self-absorbed enough to say "What, you couldn't call or even send a postcard? I thought we were more than that, dumbass!", because it was info that was kept from her, which she hates; she's very possessive over Spike, almost to the point of objectifying him, so she'd want to know his condition; and Angel's in on it, so she'd probably use the excuse to also berate his ass for taking up with W&H besides keeping Spike away.

If she follows pattern, I guarantee that Buffy's first response to finding out he's alive will be anger, and then she's going to turn internal and wonder why the guy who said "You're the one" and that he loved her, the one that she could never get rid of before, never told her he was back......and that'll lead to her self-doubts about her ability to be lovable. She doesn't have to love him to make it all about her, you see, but I do believe she loved him when she said it. 18 months later, God only knows.............

What If I'm Not the Slayer? now updated with chapters 22 and 23.