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Thread: Angel & Faith #16 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS)

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    Default Angel & Faith #16 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS)

    So, has anyone read it yet?
    I disagree with Kimberly that it was boring, it wasn't. But I'll agree that the twist in the final page was great.
    There is also a flashback with Faith and Giles talking.
    The panel where Faith and Angel open Giles's coffin and find it empty is terrific, Rebecca nails it, if only her Angel looked a little bit better than that.

    Great issue.

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    It'll be a while before I get to read this. What do Faith and Giles talk about? I got the feeling that Giles may have expressed his opinions about resurrections, or am I way off the mark?
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    Slayer zianna's Avatar
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    Way off the mark
    He tells Faith that while she always keeps her distances from people, once she lets someone get closer to her, she gets so attached to that person that she puts that person's needs on top of hers. He also tells her that although we want to help everyone, there are people who can't be helped unfortunately. There are, and will be, slayers, so damaged, beyond help, that will only drag you into their pain if you insist on helping them. So basically he's telling her to watch her @ss first of all.
    Last edited by zianna; 28-11-12 at 11:19 AM.

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    Thanks! Ok, so I was way off but this actually better...

    So basically, Faith is putting Angel's needs before her own, Angel is dragging her down with his own crap, and he may be beyond help. Pretty accurate assessment of the Angel/Faith relationship at this point! She continues to go along with this narcissistic quest to resurrect Giles despite having serious reservations about it, her relationship with Angel is jeopardising her standing with her fellow Slayers, and whenever she tries to criticise him he shuts her out. The relationship between Angel and Faith has been by far the best thing about this book and I don’t think we necessarily needed it spelt out to us how unhealthy their relationship is – but it’s nice to see it anyway.

    Of course, this could easily apply to Faith's relationship with Nadira as well but it's all just a mirror of the Angel/Faith dynamic. Nice. And in a way, I think it's pretty much what Buffy was concerned about back in #40 ("Faith, are you sure you can handle...") and how tending to Angel could be too much for Faith. It's a legitimate concern and I do think trying to look after Angel has ultimately had far more negative consequences for Faith than positive. I still think we're heading for a big Angel VS Faith showdown if, presumably, she finally does put herself first and tries to stop his plan.

    Assuming this flashback was meant to be a commentary on the Angel/Faith dynamic, which I think is pretty obvious it is, it's just further reassurance to me that Gage is purposely writing Angel to be flawed and repeating the same mistakes (as Allie has confirmed in multiple Q/As) and that they're not just oblivious to how they're portraying him. The question is -- is Angel so damaged, so beyond help, that he'll only drag Faith down with him? It’s pretty damning. As an Angel fan I certainly hope that's not the case but it's a perfectly fair question given his behaviour of late.

    I was pretty disappointed when I heard that Faith was digging up Giles by Angel's side. I hoped she'd finally stand up to him before she allowed it to get that far. But Giles’s insight into her was pretty spot on seeing as how she was practically begging Angel to tell her that what Nadira had said was all a mistake back in #1. I sympathise greatly with why she’s so attached to Angel and I feel for her that when she does find a connection with someone she latches on so tightly, but I don’t think she’s above criticism either. Angel’s plan reflects very badly on him but ultimately Faith would be equally as responsible for whatever happens to Giles if she stands by and lets it happen.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 28-11-12 at 12:06 PM.
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    This was my favourite issue of this book so far. I feel hopeful for Angel again at last.

    I think the scene with Nadira really hit home to him how much his actions have hurt the one person who has stood by him no matter what. Very powerful scene, the final one with him and Faith. The fact there were so few words made it more powerful.

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    I won't be able to get my copy until tomorrow unfortuantly but I'm greatly looking forward to the issue.

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    Absolutely the best. I don't want to spoil it, but the last page... fantastic.

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    I am very grateful that Nadira was allowed to have hand throughout that entire conversation, that any attempt to "you see timmy" her by Angel just fell apart instantly. Glad that Faith looked genuinely wounded by Nadira basically shaking the dust off her boots. Even loved the abstract point that Nadira's Slayer friend was no more or less worthy to be resurrected than Giles, because it did make (by implication) the point that this is all ultimately about making Angel feel better.

    It was a disappointment that Faith has clearly decided to go all in here -- I can't accept that she actually has some "this has gone far enough" line she won't cross that doesn't include actually digging him up.

    I don't find the last page all that great, because, well, it's too easy to assume it isn't him. It does, I'll admit, have a "Death and Return of Superman" vibe (we'll now need a cyborg Giles, a young Giles, and a black Giles with a metal suit to make him like the real Giles to show up, all claiming to be Giles), it's done in just enough of a way to make you think it might be legit. Actually, honestly? It is done in a way that is very reminiscent of the Gospel

    Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

    So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
    John 20:1-10

    I doubt it's intentional, but it definitely reminds me of that.

    I did find it very fascinating the way the issue deals with the notion of death and dying, about how the afterlife fits into this whole "Seed" thing (which, btw, still don't like everybody talking about the Seed like it's the World Trade Center -- a famous and readily identifiable thing people just know about. It would feel more realistic to me if most people just didn't know why the world had changed, at least the specifics), like saying it's not magic. Granted, this is just Angel talking, so it's not necessarily Voice of Author exposition, but it will add fodder to every spiritual discussion about the Buffyverse ever had.

    Overall, this was possibly the strongest issue of the series so far.

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    Fantastic issue. Everything top notch. My favorite part was the flashback to Faith and Giles, a relationship we didn't get to see enough of in Season 8.

    After so many disappointments in the two main titles, its great to finally get an issue this powerful and well done.

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    Best issue in either title since 9.05 of "Buffy", I'd say, and not even really competitive.

    I did find one serious logic gap, though -- or at least something that will need to be addressed. If Nadira knows who Giles is (and how dare they go with "she doesn't know him as anything other than a picture of a kid on a wall" when she seems to have read "Last Gleaming" in TPB), shouldn't she be like "aroo?" at who the expert she's gone to apparently is? That is the only part I'm kinda having trouble with -- she's not only talking to him, but being snarky and demanding. It just... I feel like she should Rupert Giles, adult, when she sees him, when she was clearly in Buffy's organization, clearly knew about Angel's plan to resurrect him, etc. It was literally the only thing that pulled me out of the story a bit.

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    Wow. Amazing issue. I agree with everyone else in that it's the best we've read in a long time.

    In a way, this even frames the ridiculousness of the Quor'toth arc as how far afield Angel's mission has led Faith. Which doesn't excuse the poor plot and characterization for Willow in that arc, but it frames it in an interesting way for the series run as a whole. Angel's obsession took them to Wonderland, essentially, long before Willow's Wonderland adventure title even started.

    Anyways, this issue was firing on all cylinders. And perhaps most notably, it pushed Angel to the background and focused on Faith, exploring her connection to Giles, her connection to Nadira and the Slayers, and how her loyalty to Angel is extreme in a dangerous way.

    The flashback worked amazingly well, simple but incredibly effective, in how it showed Faith and Giles, another man who had her extreme loyalty. Only with Giles, he was actually looking out for her and helping her with her mission to help the Slayers. Giles jumped on her train in order to help her stay the line, rather than her jumping on Angel's runaway crazy train and desperately trying to keep him from driving them off a cliff.

    Giles helped Faith build a connection to the Slayers, Angel's driven the Slayers from Faith. And I like the point being driven home how what Angel's doing shows no respect for the families left behind, the families of the departed. Angel's driven by his needs now, his guilt, his narcissism -- the same guilt and narcissism that keeps him from slaying Drusilla.

    Sidebar: King, I assume Nadira's heard of Giles by name, but she's never seen him in person. Not every single Slayer met him, and the way she talked about him suggested she'd only heard of him when she called him "the watcher" who'd lived in the house. The twist on the final page didn't throw me because Nadira's talking about Giles didn't suggest a personal connection.

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    They should make a Nadira mini series. A main character criticized for letting a villain go? That's music to my ears, even if it can be argued that Angel didn't exactly let Drusilla go. In the past he has had plenty of opportunities to stake her and didn't, so about time somebody called him on that.

    I am not sure what to think of the big twist but for all its flaws "Angel and Faith" at least feels like a story with real conflict, progression and characters, not a series of random twists and one-dimensional caricatures that Buffy S9 has turned into.

    I wonder if Angel told Faith about his meeting with Whistler.

    I loved that the dead Slayer was described as the best because she was really kind and was taking care of fellow Slayer not because she was the best fighter. Take that, S7!
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    That was...okay. It wasn't brilliant or anything. Of course, 'okay' is pretty much the best these comics can aspire to.

    So using a few spells make you eligible to be resurrected, but being a freaking Slayer with magically enhanced strength, magic healing powers and magic visions doesn't? Yeah, that makes sense...

    Was the flashback with Giles supposed to foreshadow Nadira as being someone who's too damaged to help? If so, I will cut a bitch.

    Nadira's smackdown of Angel was the best part, but if she doesn't try to stake him at some point, I will be severely disappointed.

    I love the panel where Faith is trying to explain the Twangel saga to Nadira and then just gives up halfway through. Maybe the writers came up with that scene by visiting some message boards where season 8 was discussed.



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    Another great issue! I *was* spoiled and wish that I hadn't been.

    I am trying to remember the exact reasons given that it was not possible to bring Fred back on ATS, since I think that will be more important than anything that happened on BTVS and all I can come up with is something about her soul being destroyed. Considering that Giles soul hasn't been destroyed, it's not that far of a leap for me that Angel will find a way to restore him, if that's needed. I am secretly kinda hoping it IS needed as this character has the ability to impact all the other characters (that I care about) in a BIG way.

    This is going to be good and is making me reconsider all the different ways a game changing moment could develop for the end.

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    The real and important reason for Fred, and for Giles, and for Tara, has never had anything to do with blah blah magic-sounding bullshit, but it's had to do with narrative integrity -- if things that happen in your story don't have consequences that are real and permanent, than your story is increasingly hollow and superfluous. High on that list? Characters dying.

    I am, for the reason of preferring a sophisticated and mature story where the things that happen matter because they last, don't want Giles resurrected. But, if this isn't (as it seems most likely) some Ethan and/or Eyghon trick, and it's actually Giles, I'd at least take some satisfaction that he wasn't back because of Angel. Honestly, if they were going to cop out on Giles being dead, than make it so Angel killed a Warren-bot of Giles or a "Life Serial"-esque slime golem of Giles.

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    Fantastic issue. #16 really benefited from having several different threads all come to a head at once. We finally had Nadira confront Angel, the unhealthiness of the Angel and Faith relationship is called directly into question, the plan to resurrect Giles is kicked up a notch, and the Slayers learn of Faith's deceit. On top of that they throw in a marvelous Faith/Giles scene, some great commentary on death, and a twist I don't think anybody could have predicted. If there's one thing I would have liked to have seen in this issue, it would have been some small reference to #15 and what had went down with Whistler. It just feels slightly odd not to have that mentioned given it's significance to the overall arc of the book. But it's a minor quibble.

    My favourite part of this issue was the exploration of how damaging Angel has been to Faith. A&F is not without its faults but by far the best thing about it is how Gage has written the relationship between the two protagonists. It has been consistent since #1 and I love that this issue ends with both characters realising just how much it has hurt Faith. It's not all Angel's fault, Faith has to take responsibility for how she let Angel go ahead with his quest despite her reservations, and nobody forced her to lie to the Slayers, but I'm greatly sympathetic to her. I totally get why she's so loyal to Angel and why she's so torn between helping him and doing what is right.

    One of my favourite scenes in this issue was the discussion they share about testing the McGuffin on the corpse of the drug dealer. In a way, you almost can respect Angel for acknowledging that they've already crossed lines and are going to cross way worse than this if they go through with resurrecting Giles. At least he's being honest and not deluding himself about that. On the other hand, if he realises that and is still going ahead anyway then, again, Angel is willing to commit evils for what he perceives to be a greater good.

    For the same reason, I loved that Faith brushed Angel off when he offered for her to look away as they were about to open up Giles's coffin. If she's really going to go ahead with this then she doesn't get to not face exactly what she's doing. I don't think she should be doing this and I was really disappointed that Faith was going to let it get this far, but if she's really going to stand by and let it happen then she'll damn well face up to it and I can admire that, at the very least.

    As usual, Nadira was fantastic and her scene with Angel was spot on. Most of all I loved how she confronted Angel about resurrecting Giles and if this is something Giles would even want, or if it's just something to alleviate his own guilt. It actually seemed to really get through to Angel so there's a little hope for him yet.

    This was a really great issue.
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    I loved this issue a lot! I was really hooked with all the events of the issue and Nadira's arguments. Just a great issue and the last panel: OMG!

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    I think Artea is right that one of the truly great moments was the lampshade at the expository trainwreck of Twilight with Faith just giving up halfway into trying to rationalize it.

    I do hope that the Giles flashback is there to emphasize more about her relationship with Angel than her relationship with Nadira. Nadira doesn't make a single false rhetorical step, every point she make scores, every argument she makes is completely reasonable, and it was very gratifying to see both Angel and Faith abashed by it.

    I almost want to see Angel and Nadira pick up the thread that Buffy and Faith put aside, the one we see manifesting every time a vampire has exploded into dust between them with the one not sure why she's even trying to save the other anymore ("Consequences", "Who Are You", it may have happened in other episodes, too). I really hope the last hurdle they clear is Nadira either declining to kill him (the old stake in the shoulder/stomach?) or having a clean hands excuse to let him die but deciding to save him. In either case, just staring coldly at him and walking away, that's where the two of them should leave things. It leaves some tacit acknowledgement from her that there may, might, maybe just be something about him worth continuing to exist, but that she still hates him and probably always will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    The real and important reason for Fred, and for Giles, and for Tara, has never had anything to do with blah blah magic-sounding bullshit, but it's had to do with narrative integrity -- if things that happen in your story don't have consequences that are real and permanent, than your story is increasingly hollow and superfluous. High on that list? Characters dying.

    I am, for the reason of preferring a sophisticated and mature story where the things that happen matter because they last, don't want Giles resurrected. But, if this isn't (as it seems most likely) some Ethan and/or Eyghon trick, and it's actually Giles, I'd at least take some satisfaction that he wasn't back because of Angel. Honestly, if they were going to cop out on Giles being dead, than make it so Angel killed a Warren-bot of Giles or a "Life Serial"-esque slime golem of Giles.
    So in your estimation, what was the long lasting consequences of bringing Buffy back from the dead? Or Spike? Or Darla?
    I disagree with your black and white assessment quite a bit. Sometimes the meat and potatoes is in the emotion of the story. Sometimes the viewer is misled and taken to a horrible place only to, at the last moment, receive a reset moment. See the end of Twilight for an example of what I mean.

    It's a twist and while we can sit and disect it until the cows come home or until the specifics are all thrown down nice and messy, it doesn't negate the wonderful moment given. For my favorite characters and especially the core four and Angel? I will take just about any excuse as to why they are back in the story. Without the foundation? No story, regardless of how much "narrative integrity " is present.

    I wouldn't hate your second point because like I said...don't care how it happens just that it happens.

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    Finally got my copy of Angel & Faith # 16,Part I "Death And Consequences."I think most people have hit the major things in the issue so I'll keep it short.Really enjoyed the issue.

    It feels like this arc is continuing the payoffs started last issue with the Whistler and Pearl & Nash reveals.We finally got a showdown between Angel & Faith and Nadira.Also loved the Giles flashback and it speaking to Faith's current situation.

    And what can be said about the surprise ending with Giles that hasn't been said.I think it might be Ethan in Giles body but we also know Ehygon is going to factor into this arc so maybe it is inhabiting Giles.

    So another great issue iMO

    Here's Karios summary/review of the issue.

    http://perpetual.livejournal.com/127179.html

    A&F #16, Summary and Review

    Starts with the preview pages. Angel and Faith are in Peru, fighting some lizardy demons who keep regenerating until they're burned to ash by Angel's grenade. Demons dead, they leave with a MacGuffin, which Faith helpfully tells us is a McGuffin. It's a crown that the lizards were using to regenerate, and they test it by putting it onto a decayed corpse. Faith objects to this, but it works - the corpse is now freshly dead. Angel says that they're almost ready with a soul to reinsert into Giles' body, and that he's going to leave the crown with Alasdair for study. The next step is to dig up the body.

    On the plane ride home, Angel sleeps and Faith looks out the window and remembers a conversation she had with Giles. (I'm guessing this is a memory rather than Faith imagining it, due to the background of Slayers working out on the countryside.) Giles is telling an irate Faith that her loyalty toward the people she's attached to is extreme, "to the point that you place their interests above your own. Even when it causes you harm." With their new project of helping problem Slayers, he worries that those who can't be helped will drag her down into their own dysfunction. Faith summarizes the conversation as him telling her to watch her ass, and asks if they're cool. Back in the present, she remembers him smiling as he replies, "Yes. We are most definitely cool," and a tear falls.

    Page turn, they're back in London and digging up Giles. When they get the coffin out, Angel tells Faith she doesn't have to look, but she does, and he opens it up. It's empty. Page turn, they're at home talking to the aunts, who first blame Angel for "losing" their nephew and then admit that they might know a lot of people who would be involved in something like a grave robbery. As Faith is telling them to make a list, there's a loud knock at the door, and she looks through the peephole and sees Nadira and a crowd of other Slayers, looking Angry. Angel says he's going to leave by the roof, but he stops when Nadira yells through the door that she knows Angel is there.

    Faith, shocked, opens the door and confronts Nadira, saying it's not her business. Nadira replies that Faith made it her business by lying about it, and brings up what Angel as Twilight did to her friends. She interrupts Faith's defense, that Twilight wasn't Angel, by saying that she's not here about that but about one dead Slayer. She steps back to reveal that they have a body on a stretcher with them. They all come in, and the Fairweather sisters leave to give them space.

    The dead Slayer was killed by Drusilla, which Nadira blames on Angel and Faith because she knows they fought her and thinks they should have been able to win - and also because she knows Angel sired Drusilla. Another Slayer cuts into the rant to remind Nadira that they're here for the dead girl, Marianne. She and Faith talk about what a kind, giving person she was, and then Nadira points to Angel and insists that he's going to bring her back. She knows about the plan to resurrect Giles, and that they're close to success. She says that Marianne deserves to be revived instead, that even Giles would agree, and that she'll kill both Angel and Faith if they don't comply.

    Angel asks Nadira about whether Marianne was in any way involved with magic in her life, and when the answer is no, he says he can't help and starts to explain why. She knocks him down with a punch, saying he's a liar and that since the Seed was destroyed, no one's soul can move on. Angel disagrees - "I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way. Death is a natural process. I don't know the specifics, but souls still go where they belong when someone dies." Nadira holds a stake to his chest and says he's just saying what he wants to be true, and that if he can't or won't bring Marianne back, this can only go one way. Another Slayer stops her, saying she got a text from a ghoul and that Plan B's a go. They have to move fast, so Nadira backs off from Angel and says he's got some time to come up with an answer. Before she leaves, though, she informs Faith that they want nothing more to do with her.

    When they're alone, Angel starts to touch Faith's shoulder. She tells him not to, and he turns away, both of them in their own pain.

    The next page follows the group of Slayers with Marianne's body to a mansion in Guilford, guarded by two big men in suits. They know who she is and let her in, but show no reaction to her implied threat or anything else as they walk the group through the lavish halls and into a sitting room. They're welcomed by someone sitting in an armchair, whose face we can't see. He thanks them for coming and offers them tea, which Nadira angrily rejects. She gets them straight to the point - they brought their dead friend, and they heard he knows something about resurrecting the dead.

    On the last page, the angle spins around so we see the speaker. It's Giles, smiling and holding a steaming cup of tea and even touching his glasses. "Why, yes..." he says, "...You might say I have some experience in that area."

    *

    GUYS LET'S SHARE SOME BUFFY COMIC MEMORIES. Remember Twilightgate? The big surprise got spoiled and in the issue in which it was supposed to be revealed for the first time, Scott Allie kicked off the lettercol with an abashed "Uh...didn't see that coming...did you...?" Punchline? This time the lettercol started with, "Did you see that coming...?"

    And nobody did! Except those of us who read the spoilers yesterday. I think it's about time to break myself of that habit. I always forget that it makes a difference when it's a good comic.

    Possibilities, in the order in which I think of them:

    That's not Giles.
    -It's Ethan.
    ---Ethan didn't die at the beginning of Season 8.
    -----Or he did, but his soul got trapped in magical items, and Ripper's body was easier for him to revive than his own. (Didn't his head get blown off?)
    -------He performed this stunt without a body. This is beginning to sound unlikely.
    ---------Or he had help!
    ---Ethan's got no better reason than chaos, as usual. Boring!
    -----Or he does, which brings up important questions about Why Giles.
    -It's some random evil thing. Booo-ring!

    It's Giles, but he's changed.
    -He's evil now, bummer.
    ---He didn't bring himself back.
    -----Or he did, but didn't understand what would happen.

    It's the real Giles.
    -He's got a plan.
    ---Which apparently involves Nadira, or how would she find him? Actually, this one's true whether or not it's the real Giles.
    -----And he's got a rep for resurrection, so he's done this on more than his own body.
    -------Sounds more like Ethan than Giles, huh?
    -----He's living in apparent safety and comfort, so he's in control of his situation.
    -------Also in wealth and shady dealings, so he's apparently indulging himself in a very un-Gileslike manner.
    ---------Or wealth and shady dealings are consequences of his master plan.
    -----------In which case you wouldn't think he'd look quite so chill about it.

    What I really want to know is who else knew about this. The automatic answer is nobody, but what kind of light would it cast on Buffy's story if she was in on it? No wonder Giles is barely getting a mention - she misses him, but she knows he isn't gone for good. And Xander's in on it, though I fail to understand why that's causing him to worry more about Dawn. Maybe Giles has been protecting her from dissipating, somehow?

    Doesn't seem possible that Angel was in on anything, unless it was so important for him to hide it from Faith that he fought demons in Peru and dug up a grave just so he could pretend to be shocked that it was empty. But here's an unfinished sentence that sounds like it probably matters: "And even with that, there's one important thing that makes Giles different from anyone else. That kept his soul from moving on when he--" I'm pretty sure we haven't heard about this before. Add it to Angel's beliefs about how the end of magic hasn't disrupted the natural life cycle (and honestly I'm totally ready to just take his word for it, because no other explanation will make me happy), and I think I can adjust my old theory a little. Angel is indeed trying to resurrect Giles, but it's purely for the purpose of letting his soul move on. I'm not sure why he needs a body for that, but damn. If you knew your dead friend was trapped in nine objects...or was it seven...

    Another line I hope is more significant than it looks is, "As one who's worked with Slayers for...well, the exact amount of time isn't relevant..." Okay, this could just be Giles not wanting to discuss his age. But didn't we always assume that Buffy was his first Slayer? That's not a hard number of years to calculate, and it doesn't say anything about his age. Does he not want to talk about Buffy's predecessors? Why?

    And, damn. I just realized I was the opposite of right in my summary. The Slayers in the background in the dream scene mean it's not a memory; Giles wasn't around when Faith started that project. Okay, I'm still not feeling like it's pure imagination. Faith couldn't do Giles' voice that well. Memory on top of different memory? Literal dream? Projection from the mind of whatever version of Giles is still out there? Sure doesn't seem like an evil one. He's right about the way Faith operates, and the danger of her being pulled into Angel's or Nadira's downward spiral is real.

    This really isn't a review, but I think speculation is more fun this time. Just for starters, we apparently have someone in play right now who can put a soul back into a fresh corpse. We also have someone who can turn vampires into fresh corpses. These guys should get together, no?

    Keep talking, I'm sure I have more to say on this...

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