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Discussion of Buffy 10.20 "Triggers" - Released 10/21/15 (Dark Horse)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
Called in for a supernatural-crimes case, Buffy and Spike discover an incubus demon is targeting women in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Xander and Giles work on an exorcism that stirs up some questions about Ghost Anya.

Source: Wikipedia
 
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#2
I could make Nat Brehmer* words mine – and I will:

*Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #20

This issue is almost devoted to it, which had me rolling my eyes, not because it’s not an important topic but because it’s something that has come up so often already. Once the issue got rolling, however, I immediately locked into what they were trying to do with it.

The potential for Buffy and Spike’s relationship beyond their shared past lies in communication, as Buffy demonstrates here.

The moment between them at the end is maybe the warmest and most genuine between the two of them out of this entire season.

**


Good to see Buffy and Spike getting over it – and having a lovely moment together!

I'm sad that Anya isn't Anya... and that Xander is about to suffer another hit – again, he is targgeted because he is the weaker link, or the villain thinks he is. And who would be him/her? One of the three Big Bads: Mistress, Sculptor or Soul Glutton? The cavern seems to be their dwelling. And how about the crystal ball – Amy used to have one to spy Willow - maybe she crossed the ocean by ship, you know, there are always rats in ships. But I supposed “Anya” wouldn't want a body made by the Sculptor... and what/who is “Anya”? “She” wants to be real, but it seems “she” doesn't even know what she is... and “she” doesn't want to hurt Xander – or is it just because “she” has Anya's memory?

And the incubus demon... was a demon after all. Any of us took notice of that.

And the letters? No letter section this month. Odd.
 
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#3
People often like to compare Buffy comics to fan fiction. Well, 2 pages of a comic just addressed "Seeing Red" better than 12 years worth of Spike/Buffy fan fiction. So there you have it.

Anyway, let's start with Xander. I think that Xander's portrayal in this season has been verging on pretty terrible actually. The comic seems to be obsessed with the idea of painting Xander as a loser because of his hobbies, which was never really an issue in the TV series and because of his love life situation which is ridiculous since he just got out of a serious, long term relationship. Guys, this is Xander - he saved the world, commanded an army, dated Anya and Dawn. What are you trying to do here? In this issue he learns that the apparition of Anya that haunts him is not actually Anya and...he rolls with it? Remember what Xander said in "Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered"? Not like this. This isn't real to you. And now he's like, hey, wanna watch wrestling? As to Anya - I find the whole development quite uninteresting. I mean, 20 issues and that's the payoff? Oh well, at least Anya continues to rest in peace.

Buffy. The bathroom scene felt cheap, contrived and should have happened earlier into their relationship, if at all but the closing scene was really well done in my opinion. To be honest I'm not sure why the writers decided to address "Seeing Red" now especially since it turned out to be such a non-issue. What's the point if it changes nothing? Add the counselor's what's-her-name waste of page space life story nobody gives a shit about and a generic, uninteresting villain and really, what you get is a pretty skippable issue.

What else? Is it just me or is Buffy's wardrobe/style inconsistent between different artists? Ice-skating poster in Buffy's room was a nice touch though. All in all, this is not a terrible issue but it's certainly not amazing either - unless you're into Buffy/Spike that is. You shippers will love it.
 
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#4
Guys, this is Xander - he saved the world, commanded an army, dated Anya and Dawn. What are you trying to do here? In this issue he learns that the apparition of Anya that haunts him is not actually Anya and...he rolls with it?
Besides, he should have talked about her to Giles and Willow already.
 
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#5
Besides, he should have talked about her to Giles and Willow already.
Yeah. That's what he did in "The Replacement" for example. He tried calling Buffy, then went to Willow. Now he keeps this to himself because...? I have nothing.
 
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#6
Yeah. That's what he did in "The Replacement" for example. He tried calling Buffy, then went to Willow. Now he keeps this to himself because...? I have nothing.
Even more after what happened with Spike and his nightmare. He looked for help right away. And keeping Buffy in the dark for only a few hours wasn't a good call.
 
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#7
It does seem weird that he didn't tell anyone about Anya ( remember BB&B when things got serious, he quickly went to Giles to tell him about what he did ) but I guess right now he's in a very bad place, he's depressed, goes to therapy. Also, I can understand him trying to keep pretending that woman is Anya. It's too depressing though.
 
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#8
At the cavern, Anya is talking to a voice or someone/something invisible - so I don't think that it's the Mistress, the Soul Glutton or the Sculptor...

It does seem weird that he didn't tell anyone about Anya ( remember BB&B when things got serious, he quickly went to Giles to tell him about what he did ) but I guess right now he's in a very bad place, he's depressed, goes to therapy. Also, I can understand him trying to keep pretending that woman is Anya. It's too depressing though.
He was making so much progress with Dr Mike, and even after breaking up with Dawn he was doing OK. Suddenly, all his fears about being the weakest link of the group surfaced again - Giles had to point that out when the demon attacked them :mad:.

Him being without a job doesn't help, but he has been working in construction for so many years now, and this kind of job is seasonal, isn't it? No need to be depressed about it. I hope he snaps out of it by himself - I mean, he can talk to someone, but I don't want to see the whole thing biting him in the ass.
 
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#9
At the cavern, Anya is talking to a voice or someone/something invisible - so I don't think that it's the Mistress, the Soul Glutton or the Sculptor...
I think that it might be D'Hoffryn. Old goat's the only character that calls Xander a boy. Compare those lines:

???: It sounds as if the Harris boy is in a vulnerable, suggestible state.

D'Hoffryn: True, but the boy has identified our best option.

Also, it was D'Hoffryn who suggested that Xander might be going insane and I mean, it's Anya, right? Who else?
 
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#10
I think that it might be D'Hoffryn. Old goat's the only character that calls Xander a boy. Compare those lines:

???: It sounds as if the Harris boy is in a vulnerable, suggestible state.

D'Hoffryn: True, but the boy has identified our best option.

Also, it was D'Hoffryn who suggested that Xander might be going insane and I mean, it's Anya, right? Who else?
You may be right - I missed the "boy" thing. And D'Hoffryn might be being even more deceiving: it is Anya - and he is trying to mess with both her and Xander saying it isn't. He may have some power over Anya's soul, since she accepted to be a Vengeance Demon only because her lover cheated on her - could she be really at peace?
 
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white avenger

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#11
Him being without a job doesn't help, but he has been working in construction for so many years now, and this kind of job is seasonal, isn't it? No need to be depressed about it. I hope he snaps out of it by himself - I mean, he can talk to someone, but I don't want to see the whole thing biting him in the ass.
Construction work isn't as much seasonal as it is migratory. You have to go where the job is, then move again when that job is over. Then, when you get to the fresh job, if it's a union shop, there's the constant possibility that some other union member, senior to you, will show up and roll you out of your job. Most heavy construction workers, if they're lucky, wind p working at best 6 to 8 months a year, and that's the ones who are willing to love like nomads, moving from one job to the next. They work a tremendous amount of overtime when they do work, since 99% of all construction work is expected to be finished in the shortest amount of time possible, and it's that overtime pay that gets them through the months when there is little or no work to be had.

What we have seen from Xander so far is a man who doesn't go to where the work is. Maybe he somehow got the idea that his luck in Sunnydale, where there must have been a housing boom underway, was going to continue in San Francisco, but it obviously isn't. If he wants to work, he's gonna have to leave town, or find another career.
 
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#12
Ghost Anya

*The crystal ball is usually used by witches and seers.
*The cavern seems to be the Antioch mines - the lair of the Sculptor, the Mistress and the Soul Glutton.
*The Voice refers to Xander as “the boy” - as D'Hoffryn uses to do (as pointed out by EVIL UU).

After what happened at the Deeper Well, D'Hoffryn may have decided to put in place a spy among the Scoobies – and his decision paid off: as soon as the Scoobies found out that the Vampyr was been rewritten, he appeared in their living room claiming the book for him. He is a powerful demon, but he is not omniscient, so how could he know so fast about the New Rules? And who are the members of his New Council?
 
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#13
Ice-skating poster in Buffy's room was a nice touch though.
Daddy issues much? Her father used to take her to the ice show for her birthday every year. Now all she has is a poster on the wall.

...My dad basically disowning me. :(
 


BUFFY: But something bad hapened to me. A lot of bad things have happened to me. Dying. Losing my mom. My dad basically disowing me. All the above still affect me. More than what your old... more than you attacking me. But sometimes that moment comes back to me, too. Like all the other stuff. It's part of who I am. Come with the package. The only way it's a problem is if you expect me to reassure you it's okay every time. 'cause I need to be able to deal with it myself. My way.

Buffy was so honest, so true to her own feelings here... none of the blame she puts on herself (my friends die because of me!), no self pity (my father is right!); she addresses some of the bad things life has thrown at her and says she wants to deal with all that crap her way – she even tells Spike to back off: she doesn't need the pressure of a brooding boyfriend occupied with his own guilty and regret, what she needs is someone who she can count on – and it's beautiful that she is honest about that: no mixed signals and misunderstandings and secrets and things not spoken. You don't know what to do? Just ask, she tells Spike. Just ask. What we all should do in our relationships, any relationship, not just love ones.

All those years everyone tried to keep the supernatural a secret, figuring people would freak out... when maybe it would have made it easier for them to fight it.

Please, Xander, talk to someone!
 
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#14
Daddy issues much? Her father used to take her to the ice show for her birthday every year. Now all she has is a poster on the wall.
It's not that. Buffy just really, really likes ice skating. From "What's My Line":

Buffy: Oh, my God. My Dorothy Hamill phase. My room in L.A. was pretty much a shrine. Dorothy dolls, Dorothy posters, I even got the Dorothy haircut. Thereby securing a place for myself in the geek hall of fame.
Angel: You wanted to be like her?
Buffy: I wanted to be her. My parents were fighting all the time, and skating was an escape. I felt safe.

So they go out on an ice skating date. Riley also mentions Buffy's bad-ice-skating-movie obsession. So a huge ice skating poster in Buffy's room? Makes perfect sense. I love details like that - toys in Xander's room, Willow's owl tea set ( of course! ) Giles' Hindu statue and so on.
 
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#16
So they go out on an ice skating date. Riley also mentions Buffy's bad-ice-skating-movie obsession. So a huge ice skating poster in Buffy's room? Makes perfect sense.
Yeah, I know, but this issue is called Triggers – due to the recent encounter with her dad, when she looks at the poster, probably the last thing that comes to her mind is ice skating shows.

I love details like that - toys in Xander's room, Willow's owl tea set ( of course! ) Giles' Hindu statue and so on.
Me too; they put a lot of thought on the details! I wonder if the poster was Gage's idea or Leven's.
 
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#17
I think that it might be D'Hoffryn.
I also thought of D'Hoffryn. Personally, I think the spirit is almost certainly Halfrek. She died horribly at D'Hoffryn's hands, in his employ. Halfrek is also the only character who might see becoming Anya as something she's always wanted in some way, given their friendship and rivalry.

To me, it doesn't seem remotely odd that Xander kept his mouth shut for that hour or two elapsed between finding out and his last scene. The sensible thing would be to consult Willow/Giles when pseudo!Anya isn't around.
 
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#18
Ok so this is a fairly average issue with a few good lines and nice talk about the Seeing Red incident. Buffy confirmed what I thought about it all along. That she is capable of separating Spike now with who he was then. Also that it's not the worst thing that's ever happened to her. It's just one bad thing in a life full of tragedies. So she hasn't forgotten what happened but it doesn't define her. I'm glad that has been cleared up.

I think everyone here is on to something with D'Hoffryn pulling the strings. Connection with Anya, very powerful and no obvious motivation that we've seen yet. I bet he wants that book and the power that goes with it.
 

thetopher

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#19
Yeah, this was an okay issue.
The Xander/Anya stuff was better because it moved that relationship/plot forwards a little. A plot by D'Hofryn seems likely but maybe Xander is the 'weak link' that Buffy has allied herself with that the demonic trio have been hinting at- could be a twist.
GhostAnya could be Halfrek I suppose but I'm a little tired of female character who's dead/possessed is used to manipulate some other character. It's happened with Spike, Willow, Connor and (kinda) Angel- it just seems done to me. Also Xander should seek help/advice form the Scoobie the moment he started seeing a dead person but I get why he didn't.

Anyway, for the most part I'm glad that Xander isn't crazy and that Anya is still dead.

The Buffy/Spike case was decidedly ho-hum- the villain wasn't that sinister or disturbing (and he should've been, given what he could do) but I did like the emphasis on the victim at least- how she was coping with the violation of her consent instead of say, how the Incubus was really sorry for what he did...

Still, the end scene was very well handled (Buffy being straight-up about her feelings and in so doing removing another barrier between her and Spike) and acknowledged the seriousness of what took place in SR- I mean its been over what? 4+ years and Buffy's still somewhat affected by it. That's the opposite of making it 'just a thing that happened' (ie Buffy wasn't simply 'disappointed', she was uttterly freaked by it). It was addressed, dealt with sensitivly and thats good. Finally.

Btw- the shower scene seemed very contrived anyway. If your significant other says 'I'm almost done' that's not really an invitation to suddenly jump in the shower with them. Women can get kinda annoyed when you do that.
 
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#20
I also thought of D'Hoffryn. Personally, I think the spirit is almost certainly Halfrek. She died horribly at D'Hoffryn's hands, in his employ.
And I've just remembered that D'Hoffryn said to Anya that giving back the lives to the frat boys would cost the "life and soul" of a vengenace demon. So, it is possible that Halfrek's soul ended up as a "property" of D'Hoffryn. Which is a pity, because I'd prefer that the ghost was Anya...
 
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