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  • About Women talks about the Buffy/Satsu bit

    Here's the link:

    http://www.aboutwomyn.com/buffy/buffy-satsu-sex/

    Picture of Buffy and Satsu post-sex

    Some pictures are worth a thousand words. This one is worth at least a million. When this frame appeared in Issue #12 of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, the Buffy forums raged in a way that is reminiscent of the series finale Chosen.

    Where did that come from?

    While I admit that even I was surprised, upon reflection, I think the nano-second of disbelief at the sight of Buffy and Satsu in bed was more of "Joss actually went ahead with that?!", rather than "But that's impossible!". The Buffy/Satsu thing has been developing for quite some time. Let's look back with this timeline.


    Issue #1 - We are introduced to Satsu as one of the slayers in Buffy's squad. In fact, Satsu's the first character we ever see when we open the pages of Issue #1. Is Joss trying to tell us something?

    Issue #2 - Amy does a Sleeping Beauty spell on Buffy, putting her in slumber until someone wakes her with a kiss of true love. Seriously.

    Issue #3 - The spell was broken, but the kisser remained a mystery (as she wakes, Buffy says she senses "cinnamon buns" on her lips). The only ones present in the room besides Buffy were Xander, Willow, and the slayers. What are odds, right?

    Issue #4 - Amy laid a trap and kidnapped Willow. Buffy tells Satsu to join her in the rescue mission. Before they embark, typical self-conscious Buffy asks Satsu if she has a lip gloss for some last minute prep. She tries it on and her eyes open wide as she says, "Cinnamon."

    Issue #11 - Buffy invites Satsu to go vampire hunting, just the two of them, for some much needed girl talk. Satsu is cornered and forced to admit her feelings. Buffy understands how she feels, but warns Satsu that her love affairs often turn to tragedy.

    Issue #12 - Buffy and Satsu have sex. From their conversation, it seems like a spontaneous act. Buffy complained that she "didn't get a lot of prep time here". What happened in between? If Joss doesn't explain it, I'm sure a lot of fanfics will.

    Out of Character?

    #1 - Sexuality. It has long been established that Buffy is open-minded. When Willow came out to her, her response was everything a friend could ask for. So she's not against the idea of same-sex relationships, at least for other people. How about for herself? Based on Buffy's previous relationships, she was certainly seen as straight. Angel, Parker, Riley and Spike? What more does one need to prove it? And yet, as one Buffy fan pointed out, there was never a chance to prove or disprove her openness to sex with another woman until now. No one has simply tried. Faith would be the closest, as Eliza Dushku herself encouraged it, but that never materialized into more than just subtext (Oh, I just can't wait 'til Faith hears about this). This time, Buffy knows only too well how much Satsu loves her. There's the "kiss of true love" to prove it. Buffy said it herself to Satsu: "You're hot, you have great taste, you're a hell of a slayer, and you smell good." Clearly, there's respect and physical admiration, if not attraction, going on there.

    #2 - I want the fire back. Frankly, Buffy has already resorted to sex as anti-depressant before with Spike. So it's not surprising that she'd do it again under these circumstances where she doesn't feel connected. It's logical that with Satsu's feelings out in the open, flattering as it is, there is a great temptation for her to connect, and she acted on it. But being logical doesn't mean it makes it less annoying to see her use Satsu this way, although Satsu for her part is also a consenting adult. Honestly, I'd rather see what the consequences of their actions will be in the next issues, the implications on the story, rather than dwell on the question of "is she or is she not gay?"

    Cheap Marketing Ploy?

    Some people assert that this latest plot twist is no more than a marketing tactic to boost the comics' sales. A one-shot experiment to get people talking then Buffy goes back to boys. While it certainly got people talking in an "Oh my god" moment, I don't think it was a gimmick (feel free to disagree with me here).

    One, the actual sex was not shown, only the aftermath. The comics does away with the "juicy part", because we really didn't need to see that (tough luck to the people who would like to). It delves directly on the repercussions of what they did. In fact, among the first things Satsu said was, "How do we handle tomorrow?" That's the real context of the scene.

    Another is that, like I pointed out, the writers have planted many things along the way to lead us up to this point. Satsu's role in Buffy's life will be very important, whether or not they pursue a relationship. Dark Horse editor Scott Allie wrote, "This story is going to speak for itself over the next few issues and the next few years. There are two things I feel the need to say. One: Joss did this purely for the sake of character development with his girl, taking her to the inner places that he takes his characters."

    Hmmm. The more I think about that statement, the more I wonder. Is there some mystical mojo that happens when two slayers, uh? come in intimate contact? It has certainly never happened before, and I'd like to think that Joss set this up for more than just drama. Buffy has been complaining about not feeling connected. Will the two of them develop a closer connection via, let's say, being able to hear each other's thoughts? That would be handy in battles. Would they be able to channel their energy to each other if needed? Is Satsu Buffy's heir apparent? And what does Kennedy have to say to that?

    The Consequences

    #1 - Buffy was unprepared for the attack. The whole gang lost valuable time being stunned in Buffy's room. The other slayers were left to face the intruders without their leaders. They were quickly overwhelmed and lost the scythe. In the wrong hands, who knows what could happen?

    #2 - The Scoobies react. Xander was, for the most part, just surprised and embarrassed at what he saw. Andrew was adorable. Dawn has been jealous of the other slayers because Buffy spends more time with them, what more now? That's aside from the "ick factor" of seeing your sister naked in bed with another person. And judging from Willow's reaction, these best of friends seem to be heading further apart. I hope they'll have a chance to have BFF talk about it. Awkward moments aplenty! (Willow: You can't be gay! *I'm* gay!) Now all the original Scoobs have been involved with a (potential) slayer - Buffy/Satsu, Willow/Kennedy, and Xander/Renee. Like I said before, it was bound to happen. Simple supply and demand.

    #3 - The Slayers react. I wonder how Renee and the other slayers would feel if they knew, and I'm assuming that nobody can keep that sort of secret very long. Would they lose respect for Buffy? Would they be supportive of a broken-hearted Satsu? Let's look at the stats: 2000 active slayers, more than 500 are with Buffy. Is Satsu the only girl who swings that way? I think not. They might not show it, but there are probably more "special friendships" out there in the castle. I'd like to see more panels dedicated to the slayers, because for a group so big, they get very little "screen time". Kudos to Joss for Satsu's character development.

    #4 - Satsu. She looked like a lost lamb at the end of this issue. I think her feelings will be important in the next few issues, as she will most likely play a big role in the upcoming Tokyo trip. The prospects for Buffy/Satsu are dim, considering that Buffy herself said that she doesn't see it becoming more. Joss Whedon said as much in an interview, that he's "not going to make her gay." Will Satsu cross over to the other side because of anger at Buffy? I don't think so and I hope not. Some people say she may be the person who is set to betray Buffy, as prophesized by the demon in issue #10. I have an uneasy feeling it's gonna be Willow, and Satsu will sacrifice herself for Buffy. Didn't Buffy warn her that all everyone who loves her? oh, die?

    #5 - Buffy. To paraphrase the OMWF line, "Where does she go from here?" Granted, this isn't Buffy's finest hour. And, yes, she should've learned her lesson with Spike, using sex just to feel. Is she going to keep repeating the same mistakes? That would be tiresome. I hope she either settles in a serious relationship, or stay single and happy. Because, you know, those two things are not mutually exclusive. And zooming out, how would this affect the overall plot of Season 8? I believe this is integral to the storyline, otherwise the writers wouldn't have gone through all the pains of setting it up since the first few issues.

    Conclusion

    Fact: Joss Whedon would've never gotten away with this on TV. The network executives would have his head. The censors would cut it. And would SMG be willing? Maybe, maybe not. But this is comics, a more liberal medium, and he's the project lead.

    Bottomline: He can do whatever the hell he wants without censorship - besides his own, of course. I'm disappointed that Buffy did the same stupid thing twice, but it's been known to happen to people. Will I continue to read the comics? Hell, yeah. More than ever, I'd like to know what happens next.

    May I just say, having to wait a WHOLE MONTH for the next issue is torture. TORTURE.
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

  • #2
    This is a nicely even-handed look at every corner of this situation. One of my best friends, a fan but not an obsessed one like most of us, pointed out that *everything* in commercial entertainment is, at it's core, a marketing ploy by definition.

    Will Satsu cross over to the other side because of anger at Buffy? I don't think so and I hope not.
    Heh. My first thought when I read this was "what, sleep with Xander?" then I realized "oh. Right. Traitor."
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    • #3
      Very nice analysis. Thanks for posting this!

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      • #4
        Supply and demand. I love it!

        My only problem with any of the reactions we've had on this board are pretty much centred around that- Yes, Buffy's the leader leader, but Willow is a leader too, and so's Xander- the three of them had 'clocked more field experience' than all the other new slayers put together, so why the focus on Buffy breaking teacher/student dynamics, when the same could be said for Willow and Kennedy in season seven, or Xander and Renee.

        As veiwers, of course we know the scoobies' personalities, we're given to be less likely to judge Willow on those grounds- we judge her for moving on too quickly after Tara, and we blame Kennedy for being pushy, and we know Xander is shy around women, given to dating demons, etc, so on the 'mentor/mentoree' relationship, these two are off the hook, only by the virtue of having other different issues at the forefront.

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        • #5
          Definitely the best article I've read on the whole situation. Granted I'm sure that has a little something to do with the fact I agree with almost every single thing she wrote, ha. I still don't think it was simply a marketing ploy. To me its just the easy complaint to throw out there for an event that ticked off many readers. And hey I got no problem with anyone who didn't like it, I can't say I loved it myself either. I don't hate it, but from just my first few posts here I think its easy to assert what direction I want to see Buffy go in terms of relationships hence me not being super excited over this prospect. But still, it was foreshadowed and built-up a bit, maybe if it not heavily enough to some people's liking to at least to the extent where we have proof in the pages that they've had plans for something regarding Buffy and Satsu from the beginning. To at least some degree. To me that clearly points to plot device, not marketing ploy.

          About the only thing I disagree with is that I can easily see Satsu being the betrayer now. If anything she didn't fit the requirements at all before, but now that she and Buffy have had sex, they bonded in a way physically would could be interpreted as applying to the demon's prophecy now. At the same time though I've also wondered if it won't be Willow, what with their increasing distance towards each other. I think its worth remembering that betrayal is a word with vast meanings, and a betrayal in Buffy's eyes by Willow doesn't have to, and probably wouldn't, equal Dark Willow again. Someone doesn't have to be evil to betray another in their eyes. But then again the fact they are very distant right now could just be helping to serve the red herring that it is her then throw something else at us.
          Sacred Knight
          Hellmouth Tourist
          Last edited by Sacred Knight; 10-03-08, 03:21 AM.

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          • #6
            You know, there's also the possibility that Joss's big season storyboard just says something like "Issue 38: Buffy is betrayed by someone close to her",

            ...because he hasn't actually decided yet who it will be; he's just juggling a few possibilities to see how the fans react...

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            • #7
              Stormwreath, the intermittent winking seems to suggest that you are further in the tank for Buffy/Satsu as an actual, full-functioning relationship than even I am for Buffy/Xander. I find that surprising since Satsu has easily said fewer than 500 words in the character's existence (think "Darth Maul" plus "T-1000").

              Considering that Buffy has had three fully formed, multi-season relationships, and that the writers have always openly stated they've kept Xander afloat as a potential love-interest, would I be out of line in asking if you prefer it *because* Satsu's a woman? Since she's not nearly a three-dimensional enough character yet to really stack up in the "Who Should Be With Buffy" Olympics? And if that's the case, would you honestly not rather have Buffy with Faith or even Willow?

              As for your suggestion... no way. I don't think Joss is any less clear on who will betray Buffy and for what reason than he was that Buffy would tell Spike she loved him when they broke the script for "Help". And it really does make sense that they'd have set up someone who could betray Buffy in an emotional way without risking absolutely abusing and insulting his fanbase by having one of the main characters turn on her.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                And it really does make sense that they'd have set up someone who could betray Buffy in an emotional way without risking absolutely abusing and insulting his fanbase by having one of the main characters turn on her.
                I think that's a bit harsh. I mean just say Willow suddenly decided to turn her back on Buffy, could you really say Joss was abusing and insulting us as fans? It'd kind of make sense, and I'd see where she's coming from. Though I don't believe it will be Willow.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                  Stormwreath, the intermittent winking seems to suggest that you are further in the tank for Buffy/Satsu as an actual, full-functioning relationship than even I am for Buffy/Xander.
                  I think it would be an interesting storyline. I'm not emotionally invested in it to the extent that I'd be outraged if Buffy ends up with someone else, though.

                  And rather than "full-functioning relationship" I think "full-dysfunctional relationship" is nearer the mark. I certainly don't think this is a one night stand, or that Buffy will be able to just walk away. She's not in love with Satsu but does care about her, and I can easily see her being, well, trapped into a relationship by a sense of guilt and responsibility. It would be the sort of thing that's in character for her.

                  What this means is lots of angst, lots of emotional turmoil - and also lots of drama when they have to deal with the practical consequences of their relationship (like accusations of favouritism and resentment from the other Slayers). In other words, the sort of thing I watch/read 'Buffy' to see...


                  I find that surprising since Satsu has easily said fewer than 500 words in the character's existence (think "Darth Maul" plus "T-1000").
                  Like I said, it's the concept not the character. And anyway, Satsu presents a blank slate to write fanfic around, while we slowly discovering more about her.


                  And if that's the case, would you honestly not rather have Buffy with Faith or even Willow?
                  Ever since 8.01. I've said the reason I like the comics is that they're giving us fresh, new characters and situations to enjoy. They're extending canon, not just recycling elements of it the way fanficition has been for the last five years. So Buffy/Willow or Buffy/Faith would be, well, a bit old hat, a bit 'been there, done that'. So, with all due respect, would Buffy/Xander - to me it would feel like parking the two TV characters together because the writers couldn't be bothered to develop new love interests for them.

                  I'm not exactly disappointed that Buffy's new love interest is a woman, but I'm more concerned about interesting and dramatic storylines than the gender of whom she sleeps with. It's why I preferred watching her with Spike than with Angel, too...


                  As for your suggestion... no way. I don't think Joss is any less clear on who will betray Buffy and for what reason than he was that Buffy would tell Spike she loved him when they broke the script for "Help".
                  But from what I gather, he often does leave certain plot elements open until fairly late in the day - for example Willow was going to turn evil in 'Tough Love' originally... then she was going to turn evil in 'Wrecked'... and finally they waited until 'Villains'.

                  I can imagine he might have sketched out a scenario where one of Buffy's friends is convinced she's gone off the tracks, and arranges for something bad to happen to her in order to shock her into some sense - but Twilight takes advantage of the betrayal to make things far, far worse than the friend originally expected. Then in the aftermath the friend has to try and fix things, suffer for their betrayal, rescue Buffy and reconcile with her over the course of a 4-episode arc.

                  He could easily have planned this while leaving it open who would be the friend, and is currently setting up clues that could point to one of several characters.... so it could be Satsu or Renee, but if the fans show that they don;'t care about these cahracters even after another couple of years, he may switch the betrayal to Xander, Dawn or Willow to make sure it has maximum emotional impact.

                  Not saying he has done that - only that he could have.

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                  • #10
                    Ever since 8.01. I've said the reason I like the comics is that they're giving us fresh, new characters and situations to enjoy. They're extending canon, not just recycling elements of it the way fanficition has been for the last five years. So Buffy/Willow or Buffy/Faith would be, well, a bit old hat, a bit 'been there, done that'. So, with all due respect, would Buffy/Xander - to me it would feel like parking the two TV characters together because the writers couldn't be bothered to develop new love interests for them.
                    I don't think we could be further apart on this -- you'll see I've argued on different threads that it's pretty annoying that they seem to keep inventing new love interests for Xander in particular because they appear to have just decided for no tangible reason that Xander can't sustain the job of romantic male lead, or for that matter, hold up in a relationship with any of the four remaining established female characters (including Dawn and Willow).

                    I prefer a relationship in which there is already such emotional depth that we're pretty much guaranteed to be in the tank for it from day one. The amount of fanfic a 'ship has is a positive toward that, not a negative.

                    I can imagine he might have sketched out a scenario where one of Buffy's friends is convinced she's gone off the tracks
                    I don't think any of them are that... stupid, frankly -- not for a long time. Especially since they already know how to do the intervention thing and get a decent amount of success out of it.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                      I prefer a relationship in which there is already such emotional depth that we're pretty much guaranteed to be in the tank for it from day one.
                      But if we were to take that approach then Tara/Willow should have never happened, since we knew as little about Tara as we do about Satsu when that relationship was set in motion. And given how wonderful it was, what a mistake that would have been.

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                      • #12
                        Kudos for the intitial post in this thread, it's a good and very comprehensive analysis of the issues at hand.


                        I don't think we could be further apart on this -- you'll see I've argued on different threads that it's pretty annoying that they seem to keep inventing new love interests for Xander in particular because they appear to have just decided for no tangible reason that Xander can't sustain the job of romantic male lead, or for that matter, hold up in a relationship with any of the four remaining established female characters (including Dawn and Willow).
                        I'm not sure it's simply a case of Xander not being good enough. Personally I think having Xander as a male friend to Buffy actually adds something to proceedings. It's a valuable position, one from which Xander can offer a different perspective on things, including Buffy's choice of partner, at any given time. I think theres an arguement that Xander being with Buffy would actually marginalise him in many ways. He would no longer be just Xander but a part of Bander and as I think we've seen with Angel and Spike when that happens the majority of speculation and debate becomes about the relationship and not about the character themselves. Also Xander is in the precarious position of being the only male lead in the BHC set up. If the only way to give him added value is to ship him up with Buffy it risks saying that men cannot be important in the Buffyverse unless they belong to a female lead character. We would either need at least one other strong male lead to be introduced or i think we would risk losing something.

                        I actually think you would need a tangible reason *to* do it not the other way around, but maybe we need another thread for that discussion.
                        JUST ENOUGH KILL

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                        • #13
                          I'm not sure it's simply a case of Xander not being good enough. Personally I think having Xander as a male friend to Buffy actually adds something to proceedings.
                          Yes – the best friend/consigliere role is more interesting to me than romantic lead. Better to be part of the mission than just “mission’s boyfriend…mission’s true love”…as that dude with the square jaw who I can so imagine being evil and possibly Twilight…put it Angel was never interesting to me on Buffy, because he was just there in boyfriend role, he was just there for Buffy to love. Spike was more interesting because he developed separately, imo (and was never exactly male “romantic” lead, though he was frequently male topless lead).

                          Mind you, that might not be the case if Xander was Buffy’s boyfriend, since we’ve had so long with him developing outside that role. But in any case, Xander as best friend is in no way fundamentally inferior to Xander-as-boyfriend. Buffy is not a prize to be given to the most “worthy” male character after all! If anything, Buffy choosing someone as her boyfriend, probably a slur on their character (what with her truly appalling taste in men )


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