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Weredog
01-12-07, 09:46 PM
Okay, so I'm on board. I love Buffy season 8. The first 4 issues were weak, but it has still proven to be a promising season. Needless to say, there are huge changes that have occurred since the series finale, but that makes sense cause the story is taken place a year and a half later.

But does anyone -- and I'm not just talking to the trolls, I'm talking to fellow season 8 freaks -- does anyone kinda wish we would've started season 8 only 4-5 months after "Chosen"?

I know (or at least I'm hoping) most unanswered questions about the changes will be answered (ie. Giant Dawn), but I also know that many of them won't be. For example, the biggest pill for me to swallow was the Scotland castle. Where do you find a random, abandoned castle located in the middle of nowhereville? Had we seen the gang battle a ferocious demon that nested in that castle and they decided "Hey, look at the flooring, let's move in!" then I would've bought it. But, yeah, I dunno....

KingofCretins
01-12-07, 09:48 PM
First, I don't think we have any trolls... you really ought to edit that out. A little self-moderation goes a long way.

Second, though... no. I like the time jump. Joss is right that if time has gone by for us, it should go by for the characters. I just kinda wish he'd married himself to a time frame a little more clearly. All we have is "at least" a year and a half, which we've all just kind of used as the number, it who knows how long its actually been? I'd like it if they tightened that up a bit, hopefully in "Anywhere But Here".

vampmogs
02-12-07, 01:26 AM
I don't have a problem with it either. Despite the monthly wait for a comic we are still very early into the season and thus there is plenty of time for Joss to explain all of what went on during that year and a half. I never expected him to give out all that information in what is technically the second episode of the season, if he was going to do that we might as well have just gotten it out in the open before 'The Long Way Home' even began. I like the jump mainly because we have such little time in each issue for things to happen. I'm not sure I want to see an entire issue of Buffy looking for a castle with nothing else but that happening.

Weredog
02-12-07, 04:33 AM
First, I don't think we have any trolls... you really ought to edit that out. A little self-moderation goes a long way.

Wait, what, are you serious? I was just making a poke at those members who despise season 8 and trash it.


I like the jump mainly because we have such little time in each issue for things to happen. I'm not sure I want to see an entire issue of Buffy looking for a castle with nothing else but that happening.

Me neither, I don't wanna read "Castle Estates, Part IV" but I think it would've worked for me best if somehow that got incorperated into a seperate storyline. Like I said, for example, the gang are fighting this demon who nests in a castle and by the end of the issue they go "hey, we should settle command central here" or something.

Maybe it is because we're still early in the season, but I feel like I'm walking in the middle of a season. Sorta like if I watched "The Gift" then jumped to "Bring on the Night." I'd be like "What? Buffy's back? Willow was evil? Giles was gone? Spike has a soul? Huhwha'?"

vampmogs
02-12-07, 08:09 AM
Me neither, I don't wanna read "Castle Estates, Part IV" but I think it would've worked for me best if somehow that got incorperated into a seperate storyline. Like I said, for example, the gang are fighting this demon who nests in a castle and by the end of the issue they go "hey, we should settle command central here" or something.

That could have worked yes, kind of like they did with Angel and the Hyperion. However, personally a little reference to how they came about occupying the castle in a general conversation would be more than enough for me. It'd be interesting but not crucial to the season IMO. In many ways it'd kind of be like having 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' showing Joyce and Buffy find the house, pick their rooms, pick Sunnydale ect. Though I do think Joss may explore them finding the castle.


Maybe it is because we're still early in the season, but I feel like I'm walking in the middle of a season. Sorta like if I watched "The Gift" then jumped to "Bring on the Night." I'd be like "What? Buffy's back? Willow was evil? Giles was gone? Spike has a soul? Huhwha'?"

Yeah but if you think about that, nothing that big has happened. It was a point I brought up earlier, if you think about the characters have pretty much been where we left them in terms of what state they are in. By 'Chosen' Buffy had found that happy balance of asking the Scoobies for ideas and being a good leader to the other slayers which has continued into season 8. Willow had finally felt comfortable using her power in 'Chosen' and now seems still comfortable during s8. Xander was beginning to finally lead and find his position towards the end of s7, notedly in 'Dirty Girls, and now he is the leader; makes sense to me. So really when Buffy says "it has been a slow year" she isn't all that wrong. The characters are pretty much where we left them, just in a different landscape which Joss will probably explore, as he will where Willow had been all year.

It isn't as if we've come into a new season with Buffy as the big bad, Willow with no powers, Xander as a vampire and Giles dead is it? Nothing really big has happened.

bishopcruz
02-12-07, 03:46 PM
I personally love the time jump. Sometimes it really is a good thing for the story, and this is one of those cases. Joss has moved the team to a very different place both logistically and geographically, and honestly seeing every step along that path, especially within the publishing realities of the meduim would have made for some DAMN slow reading.

Then again I am a big fan of time jumps in general in storytelling. Sometimes it is best to jump ahead a few months to a few years in order to either a) keep the flow going or b) move to a better jumping off point for a new story.

Tom
02-12-07, 06:59 PM
Buffy and Xander have both stated that "its been a slow year", which to me means that they have had to organise the Slayers, find shelter and training grounds ect. For me, that's enough to put my mind at ease until Joss gives us a solid answer.

KingofCretins
03-12-07, 05:59 AM
From the first three pages of 8.01, Buffy is telling us where things stand for her, and being pretty candid --


BUFFY: The thing about changing the world… once you do it, the world’s all different... Everybody calls me ‘ma’am’ these days... There used to be one Slayer in all the world... Eighteen hundred now, that we’ve counted. Almost five hundred working with us, in ten separate squads... Here at Command Central, not so much with the hilarious. More with the “what the hell am I doing?"... It’s not all that different, though. Still got my demons. And I still got my Watcher.

Is there something really, really missing from that explanation in terms of what you need to know *right now* about Buffy? The only thing inconsistent later is that they revise the number up to "over 2,000" starting in the prologue summary of 8.02.

Maggie
03-12-07, 01:51 PM
From the first three pages of 8.01, Buffy is telling us where things stand for her, and being pretty candid --



Is there something really, really missing from that explanation in terms of what you need to know *right now* about Buffy? The only thing inconsistent later is that they revise the number up to "over 2,000" starting in the prologue summary of 8.02.

The opening scene did tell us quite a bit. But there are still important things that I don't know. In particular, I spent 7 years watching her struggle with the conflict between her desire to be normal and her calling as a slayer. And as I read it, the 'upbeat' ending was that Buffy finally had a choice. Dawn asks her what they are going to do now, and the answer, for once, is not being dictated to Buffy. I'm not surprised she ended up exercising her newly won freedom to choose in favor of doing her 'duty'. But I really want to know more about how she viewed that choice. Was it one of resignation, because at the end of the day she's still needed to lead the slayers and Buffy just can't turn her back on her duty. Or was it embraced more whole-heartedly? I really can't tell so far. She looks about the same -- slogging away because she has to. So is there a story about how that promise of freedom at the end of the Chosen turned out to be illusory? That'd be pretty Jossian. Or is it something else.

Or -- this Buffy seemed pretty unfazed by the revelation at the end of issue #4 that Voll is declaring war against her on behalf of the human race. It's a really cool moment -- one that promises a really great story to come. But right now we have to ask what has transpired in 18 months to set us up for a Buffy who could respond to that in such a 'chilling' way; or for that matter, a Buffy who is now entertaining the possibility of killing humans as necessary in the course of that 'war'. Is she getting hardened because of what she has seen? Is she getting hardened because the set-up at the castle really does cut her off from ordinary humanity? And what went into that chocie? If it's having a hardening effect -- did they see that as a risk when they set up slayer central in such a remote location? etc. etc.

You are right that we don't need this stuff right now. But we need it at some point.

Where I think we do need more information right now is on Buffy's emotional situation. I have no idea how to make sense of the Bander scenes that have been paraded before us. None. The way we all will fill in the blanks will reflect our wildly different assumptions about where Buffy was 18 months ago; about the assumptions we make about what has transpired since then. And the result is that we aren't looking at the same scenes. The only good news on this weakness is that I think it's fair to say that relationship issues are very, very low priority now. So maybe the stonewalling on the information we'd need to have a shot at knowing what we are really seeing is a way of telling us something about the primary question -- i.e. somehow Buffy's duties are swallowing her up and her personal life is just totally sidelined. She doesn't have time to care about it much. We shouldn't care about it much either.

It'll be interesting to see what unfolds. The Jeanty interview Vampmogs cited sounds intriguing. I expect to have a lot to be excited about. But we can't judge how the leap forward thing works until we see how they handle the storytelling necessary to link these characters to the ones we last saw. That hasn't been done yet. Though there's clearly room for it to be done.

KingofCretins
03-12-07, 02:41 PM
And as I read it, the 'upbeat' ending was that Buffy finally had a choice. Dawn asks her what they are going to do now, and the answer, for once, is not being dictated to Buffy. I'm not surprised she ended up exercising her newly won freedom to choose in favor of doing her 'duty'. But I really want to know more about how she viewed that choice. Was it one of resignation, because at the end of the day she's still needed to lead the slayers and Buffy just can't turn her back on her duty. Or was it embraced more whole-heartedly? I really can't tell so far. She looks about the same -- slogging away because she has to. So is there a story about how that promise of freedom at the end of the Chosen turned out to be illusory? That'd be pretty Jossian. Or is it something else.

This was what I was thinking of, though, when I differentiated something we needed to know *right now* about her -- I don't think it is. It's implicit that she did, in fact, choose her duty with her new freedom, and I think, so as not to get bogged down in exposition, that's enough to start with. Again, knowing that 8.10... which is basically the 4th "episode" if a season of indeterminate length (so it's "Inca Mummy Girl", "Beauty and the Beasts", "Fear, Itself", "Out of My Mind", "Flooded", and "Help", by comparison)... knowing that that issue will clearly contain a *lot* of emotional context for both Buffy and Willow, I don't think the pace has been dragging on these explanations.


But right now we have to ask what has transpired in 18 months to set us up for a Buffy who could respond to that in such a 'chilling' way; or for that matter, a Buffy who is now entertaining the possibility of killing humans as necessary in the course of that 'war'.

"Professor Walsh? That simple little recon you
sent me on? Wasn't a raccoon. Turns out it was me trapped in the sewers with a faulty weapon and two of your pet demons. If you think that's enough to kill me, you really don't know what a Slayer is.

Trust me when I say you're gonna find out."

-- Buffy Summers, "The I in Team"

Professor Walsh never had occasion to learn quite what lesson Buffy had in mind, but it sounded substantially harmful and perhaps lethal to her. When Buffy stepped up and accepted Voll's challenge, it was just another reminder that Buffy doesn't like to be pushed around.


Where I think we do need more information right now is on Buffy's emotional situation. I have no idea how to make sense of the Bander scenes that have been paraded before us.

See, I think some of these things lend themselves to very natural inferences. She is a very attractive woman, he is an attractive man. They are close confidants and old friends in a setting where they probably feel a sort of reliance on each other, being that they've probably been alone at the top of this organization for a year or more. They do say love is friendship set on fire, and I think that may be what is starting to play out with these two.

Maggie
03-12-07, 03:11 PM
This was what I was thinking of, though, when I differentiated something we needed to know *right now* about her -- I don't think it is. It's implicit that she did, in fact, choose her duty with her new freedom, and I think, so as not to get bogged down in exposition, that's enough to start with. Again, knowing that 8.10... which is basically the 4th "episode" if a season of indeterminate length (so it's "Inca Mummy Girl", "Beauty and the Beasts", "Fear, Itself", "Out of My Mind", "Flooded", and "Help", by comparison)... knowing that that issue will clearly contain a *lot* of emotional context for both Buffy and Willow, I don't think the pace has been dragging on these explanations.

It may not have read that way -- but I was just agreeing with you about the distinction between what we need to know and what we need to know right now. But I do disagree with your attempt to portray this as business as usual in the way the stories unfold -- in all but one season, the first order of business in the first episode was to do character development resulting from what had transpired at the end of the last season. The only season that didn't do this was season 7 -- which ends up being a rather weak season, in part because we never did get the intervening story. Still, just to be clear :) -- I expect we will get the necessary exposition. And I'm willing to believe that when we do we will also appreciate the choice about how to unfold the story in this way.


"Professor Walsh? That simple little recon you
sent me on? Wasn't a raccoon. Turns out it was me trapped in the sewers with a faulty weapon and two of your pet demons. If you think that's enough to kill me, you really don't know what a Slayer is.

Trust me when I say you're gonna find out."

-- Buffy Summers, "The I in Team"

Professor Walsh never had occasion to learn quite what lesson Buffy had in mind, but it sounded substantially harmful and perhaps lethal to her. When Buffy stepped up and accepted Voll's challenge, it was just another reminder that Buffy doesn't like to be pushed around.

Good point. But it doesn't completely translate to this situation. Walsh had personally double-crossed Buffy. Voll is being quite open about there being a problem. And the scale of the conflict is considerably larger. So I still say there is story to be told here.... but you are right that when we do get that story, we might well see at least some of the seeds of it in the incident you recount here.


See, I think some of these things lend themselves to very natural inferences. She is a very attractive woman, he is an attractive man. They are close confidants and old friends in a setting where they probably feel a sort of reliance on each other, being that they've probably been alone at the top of this organization for a year or more. They do say love is friendship set on fire, and I think that may be what is starting to play out with these two.

Here I think you miss my point. You see it all working naturally one way. I'd tell a rather different story. The different interpretations are working off very different readings of Buffy's love life, and very different assumptions about what she does or does not know. Joss, of course, deliberately cultivated ambiguity about the state of Buffy's heart at the end of the series. That worked fine for the ending of his show. The only way I can roll with it here is that it's a deliberate way of saying that Buffy's story is not about who she's in love with. Either that or it's more of his 'plot twist' deal, which I'm on record as not thinking is the best feature of his work. But again, I don't rule out the possibility that future unfolding of the story will make this choice 'work' in retrospect as well. I'm just somewhat less optimistic that it will.

KingofCretins
03-12-07, 03:19 PM
Well, you're right -- most Buffy/Xander fic has this sense of incrementalism and bonding, usually set with some kind of one on one together time. I had that in "Franchises" (granted, I was writing that specifically *as* a story to fit the pattern I read in Season 8) -- I read another that has them sort of falling into each other's arms on a long, cross-country, post-"Chosen" road trip looking for Slayers, just the two of them. It's a pretty consistent principle governing the 'ship. But in the case of Season 8 fic, is it the chicken or the egg?