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"Angel: After the Fall" Chapter 8 -- Spoiler Discussion

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  • "Angel: After the Fall" Chapter 8 -- Spoiler Discussion

    "First Night" concludes, and honestly, I can't wait to get back to the main plot. The stories are good, but the past three months of "After the Fall" have been kind of restless.

    Gwen's story is very poignant. It makes total sense that she would develop this need for intimacy, for touching, for kissing after a lifetime without any physical affection, platonic or otherwise. And it also makes sense that she wouldn't just want to sleep with any schmuck, either -- it's got to be danged intimidating, if nothing else, despite her time with Gunn.

    I was sorta disappointed to learn that she wasn't in control of her powers in "After the Fall" -- I had sort of hoped that her involvement was voluntary, that she had *chosen* to use her abilities. But, it still works, because it's great motivation. And how horrible for her to kill that guy out of nowhere. Love that her reaction was to literally try to punch a hole in the barrier, too.

    Speaking of the barrier... Gwen's story gives us a lot of insight into the nature of Hell-A, more than we'd ever gotten. There had been mention of "the barrier" before, but that's a pretty vague notion, which could have meant the walls between dimensions or something completely abstract. Instead, the barrier is quite literal. First, we see the huge storm, localized over downtown LA, and then it sort of explodes and spreads down as a literal, tangible wall, dome shield around the LA basin. And then the hellish stuff takes hold from inside.

    My original thoughts on Hell-A and why we haven't had any reaction to it in Season 8 of Buffy were that the real LA was gone, but that in its place, there was a glamour of sorts -- a passive acceptance by the whole world that crappy movies are still getting made, "American Idol" is still getting watched, and that the city is still there... just not interesting enough for anyone to visit, everyone has a reason to put off a vacation of a business trip, even if they don't think about it or wonder why.

    After changing my mind a few times, I now suspect that original theory is basically correct. LA, under that barrier, in that snow globe, has been phased into a hell dimension, but from outside the snow globe, you'd never be the wiser. You can't get in, but you also don't try; there's always something better to do.

    That still leaves the timeline-sync question up in the air with Season 8, but it's now at least a little safer to think that they timelines are proceeding in the same linear fashion.

    Gunn's story... from a character standpoint, it's very cool. And honestly, I think he has a legitimate beef. Angel said he'd be back. Didn't come back. QED. And it was by far the most clear insight into how the fight went in the alley that we've gotten so far.

    From a plot standpoint... I'm a little underwhelmed by Seemingly Random Vampires as the ones who took him and sired him. It's cool in one sense, it's very pure Buffyverse, a la the build up around the warrior guy in 3.08 "Quickening", who then just gets eaten very quickly. Gunn's "benefactors" led by this mysterious Benjamin Linus wannabe who doesn't even get his cryptic BS out before Gunn kills him. I like that. But I don't really like the idea that we're getting a whole new mythological element, this "inside line" and this vampire group with special "we've been watching you" insight. There is such a thing as over-layering a story, and this is the sort of thing that *might* do that. I'm giving it a chance, not hating, but it set off all the same alarms that "Lost" occasionally does when they decide to add new rules from time to time.
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  • #2
    Well, this issue (or rather, the preview and KoC's review) has really made me miss Gunn. Lynch, I thought, had his voice down perfectly in the preview pages and it really made me realize his absence in the first five issues. Sure, he's there, but it's not my Gunn. But seeing him in that room made me a lot more invested in his story than even the saving-the-photo moment did.

    Also, it's interesting that Gunn sees himself as the victim. Gunn's stated this before, but I read Brain Lynch's comments on Whedonesque-- "Angel sired him."-- and it made me feel even sorrier for him. I think he's really the only Big Bad (assuming he is) we've had that doesn't see themselves as evil, but rather the protagonists as such. The closest one would be Holtz, but even he somewhat recognizes that Angel is good now, and he also admits that stealing Connor isn't justice but vengeance. I'm really looking forward to #10 now, much more than I was before.
    The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.

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    • #3
      Gotta admit, a tad disappointed Angel or Spike didn't sire Gunn. Thought it'd be far more interesting if one of them had done it. I initially thought Angel would have because the writers love to put Angel through the ringer but then after the battle sequence of the alleyway in which Angel was teleported out of the battle and was frantically looking for Gunn before breaking his back, I assumed Spike. And I was kind of thinking it would be good for his story. In comparison to most of the others he hasn't really had anything big thrown at him. Ats is all about the shades of grey and they haven't really done that with Spike of late, hopefully his own mini series will give him something tougher to muddle through though.

      But I guess it's only a small complaint. Still a great story. Gunn's was my favourite and it wasn't a bad story that Angel or Spike didn't sire him. Though I don't think Gunn's anger over Angel is justified in the sense of, as far as I see it, Angel hadn't forgotten about Gunn. He's teleported from the battle and we hear him worrying about Gunn, Gunn doesn't know he was teleported away or that he was disabled when he leapt off the rooftop. So I can see why Gunn would be angry at Angel because he thought Angel forgot about him, but he's got it all wrong IMO.

      The only thing I found odd is that Gunn had been out for weeks? A vamp heals very quick, so I don't see how this happened?

      And Gwen's story was pretty heartbreaking. Poor Gwen I felt for her when she burnt that guy.

      I'll post more later I have to collect my thoughts.

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      • #4
        I'm happy that it wasn't Angel or Spike. Dooming a person isn't a very nice thing to do. I'm not sure what I think about the vampire who did it ... not much I guess. But I loved Gunn's story. I already said it after the preview but I will say it again, I miss Gunn and I never expected to do so. Gunn was always a little bit there being snarky and kicking ass. But this twisted version of Gunn makes me miss our Gunn.

        And Gunn blaming Angel, I see why from his viewpoint. I love that Angel took care of Gunn until the very end (we saw that Gunn was still on Angel's mind in the First Night preview), Angel tried but he couldn't return to Gunn and Gunn thinks that Angel left him. A painful misunderstanding, this is going to be heartbreaking for Angel when he sees Gunn again.

        Gwen's story was sad, poor girl fried her date. It was interesting to see how LA went to hell.

        The second story was a little bit meh!, not really thoughts about that one. Maybe we see him back, he started fighting.


        The only think I really missed in these series is a story about Angel. How did he get away after he broke almost every bone is his body? What is he thinking about hell, about Wesley the ghost when he sees him for the first time ... it's a pity that we had no Angel at all.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nina View Post
          I'm happy that it wasn't Angel or Spike. Dooming a person isn't a very nice thing to do.
          Well Angel did it to Lawson in 'Why We Fight' to save everyone's life on the submarine so it isn't entirely OOC to think he'd do it again to save Gunn. The only difference I think is that Angel knew how much Gunn hated vampires which would probably refrain him from doing it. Spike doesn't have such an intimate knowledge about Gunn or his history (like how is sister was sired) so I saw it as more possible for him.

          And Gunn blaming Angel, I see why from his viewpoint. I love that Angel took care of Gunn until the very end (we saw that Gunn was still on Angel's mind in the First Night preview), Angel tried but he couldn't return to Gunn and Gunn thinks that Angel left him. A painful misunderstanding, this is going to be heartbreaking for Angel when he sees Gunn again.
          Agreed, that's all it is, a painful misunderstanding. I feel really bad for both of them to some extent. Though gotta say, my sympathy for Gunn is extremely limited in the fact he's soulless now and happily murders a bunch of girls in Issue #1 and without a doubt, countless others. The same way my sympathy for soulless Spike was extremely limited. It just gives me a better understanding of why Gunn has it in for Angel more than anything else really.

          The only think I really missed in these series is a story about Angel. How did he get away after he broke almost every bone is his body? What is he thinking about hell, about Wesley the ghost when he sees him for the first time ... it's a pity that we had no Angel at all.
          The First night issues have been great, but as I said over on IDW I'm dying to get back to the main on-going story now. Like you, I miss Angel and I'm dying to know more about his situation so whilst it's understandable he wasn't in any of these issues (which I suspect was kind of the point) I'll be happy to see his return. That and the fact that whilst it's great to fill in the gaps about the First night, which I was dying to find out about, it's kind of stagnating the main story. It lacks the suspense in many areas that the on-going story has, because ultimately in many respects we know how these issues have to end because we've seen the future, whereas with the on-going story anything is possible.

          I think that's probably why I was a tad let-down by the reveal of who sired Gunn. Because it was one of the few things about 'First Night' that had me on the edge of my seat and was genuinely suspenseful like the on-going story, because it hadn't been revealed in earlier issues and we didn't know how this ended. Most of 'First Night' was just nice small character peices that weren't going to have any big effect on the main story, really this was one of very few, if not the only, story that had the suspense and speculation the other issues have. When I found out it was just some unknown vamp, I was a tad let-down.
          Last edited by vampmogs; 12-06-08, 01:11 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
            Well Angel did it to Lawson in 'Why We Fight' to save everyone's life on the submarine so it isn't entirely OOC to think he'd do it again to save Gunn. The only difference I think is that Angel knew how much Gunn hated vampires which would probably refrain him from doing it. Spike doesn't have such an intimate knowledge about Gunn or his history (like how is sister was sired) so I saw it as more possible for him.
            I think that the big difference is that Angel needed Lawson to save the others. Where making Gunn a vampire only gives more trouble for the good guys because a vampire is a vampire and dooming Gunn for nothing is not something you can talk right. Angel, who hates vampires just as much as Gunn, wouldn't do that to anyone when it's not necessary. I doubt that Spike would've done it, but the fact that Spike doesn't hate being a vampire can help with the fact that Spike can think that being a vampire is better than being death. But still, I also think that Spike would never sire a person when it's not necessary to save others/the world etc.

            So if one of the two would've done it ... it would've been Spike but I'm happy that neither did it because it's an awful thing to do. The random vamp was a little bit of a let down indeed, it would've been cool if a known evil vampire would've done it ... but I guess that only Harmony could fit in that profile ... or Drusilla if she was in LA.

            But I agree about all your other points.
            Last edited by Nina; 12-06-08, 03:38 PM.

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            • #7
              I think Gunn's story is enhanced because of its simplicity. If any of the known vampires had done it it would only have added an unecessary element; Gunn's character is already plenty advanced by being transformed into a vampire, and he's been given enough reason, however faulty that reason is, to turn against Angel and company. If Angel or Spike had sired him it wouldn't have added any drama but melo, in my newbie opinion.

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              • #8
                I thought it might have been Harmony. In her way thinking she was helping him and not getting on board with the fact of how much he would hate it. She has no real problems with what she is, so I could see her not thinking others would have problems with being a vamp either. It'd be perfect Harmony to think she was saving him and not damning him.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AllenGray View Post
                  I think Gunn's story is enhanced because of its simplicity. If any of the known vampires had done it it would only have added an unecessary element; Gunn's character is already plenty advanced by being transformed into a vampire, and he's been given enough reason, however faulty that reason is, to turn against Angel and company. If Angel or Spike had sired him it wouldn't have added any drama but melo, in my newbie opinion.
                  I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I had always had an inkling that it wasn't either of the ensouled vamps that had sired him, because which ever way you played it, it would've be unnecessary, plot wise. Angel had already sired one person to save others and always regretted it so I never thought it was likely to be him - especially with him knowing Gunn's obsessive hatred of vampires.

                  Spike would've been the more obvious candidate to do it, but why would he think that siring Gunn would be anything but a bad idea. I can't imagine a free-range evil Spike thinking it would be a good idea, even if it was to strike a blow at Angel. EvilSpike liked lackeys not someone with intelligence and cunning that he wouldn't be able to control, so why would an ensouled Spike suddenly think damning someone for eternity would be the right thing to do even if it saved his life (so to speak).

                  I believe that there's more to come out about the "random" vampire. We've already seen that he knew who Gunn was and that he's going to be important to whatever cause his sire was after. I don't think it's out of the realms of possibility that this vamp has a plan which will inevitably mean a redmeption scenario for Gunn. It was clear to me that Gunn killed him out of anger and spite but if he'd have let him talk he might have a different attitude altogether, once he'd heard what he had to say.

                  Gwen's storyline was interesting. Unlike most of the comments here I do think that the L.I.S.A device did cure her permanently, but Hell is working it's mojo on her, causing her to have her electrical abilities again. After LA is returned to normal (which I have no doubt will happen) she will be fritz free again. I've said it before but I believe that this story lies in everyone within LA living their own personal hell and overcoming their fears will release them from Hell - and this story of Gwen's clinched it for me. I'm sure when we see more detail and clarity on Connor, Spike and Lorne's current situation, we will see that they are living their personal hells too.
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                  • #10
                    i would say lorne's hell is making himself his utopia in hell, but knowing it is a lie. he likes balance, and even with silver lake being a nice place, most of his home is still an inferno. of course, his personal hell would probably be being sent home to his mother.

                    spike's hell, imo, is easy. it's playing hugh hefner with a bunch of sketchy-morals (remember that spider wants to kill angel) dominatrixes. after what happened with buffy and all his insecurities about intimacy not meaning love, i'd say he has a problem with that kind of relationship. being taken advantage of and used for his body... i'd definitely say that's a sore spot. he even talks about feeling like he was just used as flesh during his church scene speech in beneath you. so, what is he now in hell? flesh. body. sex. william was always after the romantic emotional component, too.

                    "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                    "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                    • #11
                      So, does any one else find the civilian story a big let-down? I for one was expecting atleast a visit from Anne, but instead we are treated to two unknowns who share a painfully boring and cliched moment together. How many times have we seen the 'the end is coming' gag where it ends with the end ACTUALLY coming and who in the bloody hell is the homeless kid and why did we have to suffer through 3 and a half pages of crude humor and ambiguity surrounding this kid's purpose or lack thereof. How does he know of the Powers? This character could have easily been David Nasbit (I don't know if that's how you spell his last name). I mean, the kid even had the sword like David. I don't know. It just really irked me. Gunns story was the only one with substance. And I have to agree with everyone that felt that Harmony should have sired Gunn. It would have been so much more entertaining and so much less confusing. And it would have no doubt been the end of her. Not that that's an upside or downside, but it's certain she'd have been dusted just like the vamp who actually sired Gunn. Plus! It would have been hilarious dialogue wise: Harmony: Why are you so mad, silly!? You can be my chocolate bear! ::Staked, poof!::. Heh. Anyhow, and who is this 'inside line'? I have been thinking and someone mentioned something to me that blew my mind. But I'm not sure it's possible. Perhaps the vampire group was given instructions by none other than Doyle back from the dead. Bad guy? Good Guy? Neutral? We have 4 issues left so far unless they give us more. We'll find out soon enough. And also, I'm not sure if I'm seeing things or not, but in the first issue of ATF and I believe the 4th/5th, their is a seemingly old man hanging out in the background of Gunn's team. He is never seen vamping out, much less doing anything at all.....Perhaps that beam that killed Doyle wasn't really a killing machine. Perhaps it was a dimensional portal? I doubt it. We saw him melted away. But that old man.....Doyle? Is that you? Somebody please, set me straight if you can, or perhaps just check it out for yourself. Let's see if we can't figure some things out before it happens. > : )
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                      • #12
                        First time posting here! I came in because I saw some great intelligent discussion about Buffy S8, after much searching for a good place to talk about those.

                        The entire Angel: ATF story has felt lacking to me, but this most recent issue was the worst of them in my opinion. I agree that the "Civilian" story was a huge let-down, uninteresting, cliche, and I honestly think it was a waste of our time. Really? I'm not interested in what the everyday people are doing on their own here. I'm reading this to hear about the Fang Gang, and I would so much rather have had those few extra pages to actually get things explained in Gunn's story than reading about these nameless people we'll never see again, who have nothing to do with the storyline.

                        Which leads into--I liked seeing what happened to Gunn, but like some others here said, it also seemed like somewhat of a letdown. Or at least, it was a let down because it didn't really tell us anything new. I really would've loved to have just heard about who those vamps were and what they were planning here and now than have to keep on waiting.

                        Gwen's story--poor Gwen! I did at least like her First Night tale, though I'd also have loved to see how she hooked up with Connor & co. Anyone else think that "Nate" bore a striking resemblance to Nathan Fillion, and perhaps hence the name?

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                        • #13
                          I love After the Fall I think it has been marvellous. Though I do like season 8 more mainly because I've always been more emotionally invested in Btvs' characters, even when the shows were televised.

                          But I admit I'm very glad First Night is over now, and I think three was a right number. It's been stagnating the main on-going story a bit and I've been dying to continue with that so I'm glad First Night was short and sweet and now done. I'm hoping I don't get the same feeling with Spike's mini series as that also takes place in the past. But I suspect I won't because we're getting a new big bad and there's a great deal of mystery about how he got to where he was when we first see him in Issue 2 and the deal with Illyria/Fred and Spider ect. Plus we have the on-going story running alongside of it so I won't be itching to get back to that all the time.

                          Still First Night was a solid piece of work IMO, pity Mr Lynch never wrote for any of the televised seasons.

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                          • #14
                            I'm a little undecided about who turned Gunn!

                            In a way - I'm slightly disappointed it wasn't Spike! I keep thinking eventually he has to do something to put his new soul in question. So I thought siring Gunn would be a perfect slip. And although I'm happy he didn't do it - now I'm "waiting for the other shoe to drop"!

                            I wondered if the Vampire who sired Gunn was anyone important? He denied having anything to do with W&H. However, it seems he was "affiliated" with someone.

                            I have to admit my history of Gwen is a little sketchy... I remember that she had found some kind of "gadget" to fix her little problem. But after that...? So I was not too clear on the beginning of the "Gwen Story".

                            Thanks KoC for clearing some of that scene for me - I'm new to comics and sometimes Lynch talks in 'half phrases.

                            Anyone have any thoughts about the "Who turned Gunn" reveal? Anyone else feel a little disappointed it was a virtual "unknown"?
                            -TP<3
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                            • #15
                              I very much preferred it wasn't Angel nor Spike, so I'm happy. Despite Angel doing it before, like was said before back then it was done because Angel needed that specific person to save more lives. Not to mention the simple fact that Gunn is Angel's friend. I could never picture Angel willingly cursing someone he loves to be a vampire; the greater good involved in such an act would have to be enormous for him to entertain the idea and none exists when it comes to Gunn's situation. And I didn't want it to be Spike for very similar reasons. Spike's relationship with Gunn certainly was nowhere near the bond Gunn and Angel had, but still as a person with a soul, just the same as Angel I can't see Spike willingly siring someone either barring a situation where it proved absolutely necessary for a greater good to be achieved.

                              This is just a shot in the dark, but maybe the vampire who sired Gunn will turn out to be formerly part of the Order of Aurelius and sired by the Master. It'd give Gunn a new connection to both Angel and Spike, and maybe even use it to give some explaination the cunning that Gunn displays as a vampire, being sired by such "elite" blood. It certainly has produced some of the fiercest vampires ever in the past.
                              Last edited by Sacred Knight; 24-06-08, 10:28 AM.

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