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Discussion of Buffy 10.23 "In Pieces on the Ground, Part III" - Released 1/20/16 (Dark Horse)

gite63

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Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Megan Levens

The Sculptor makes a tempting offer to Andrew that requires a smidgen of Buffy betrayal. But the potential gains seem too good to pass up. Will Andrew go evil, or will Buffy need to keep the former ne’er-do-well in check to ease the tension among the Scoobies?

Source: Wikipedia
 

gite63

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Great issue, lots of things happening.

Well, Andrew finally learned the lesson, and retributed the trust the Scoobies have in him, by not accepting the Sculptor offer and talking right away to the gang. The Scoobies dealt with the monster together – all of them: Buffy, Spike, Dawn, Giles, Andrew – as well as Willow.

Willow and Buffy had their disagreements about working with the military earlier (as seen in the preview), but in the end they joined forces to face the Sculptor. But things still are a bit shaken between the two – Will is rarely at home, preferring to be in the company of Lake.

Buffy finally cave in under D'Hoffryn argument that she should use (cautiously) the Book to help them in the fight – each one of the council's members will be given some power to prevent, fight or defend against the opening portals. But the Slayer is truly torn apart by her decision: nobody has the right answers, and you have to live with the consequences of your choices.

Giles is tired of being a man in a kid's body, so he accepts Monarch's invitation for a visit to the fae world; there, what counts is the character, not the physical appearance. One more thing for Buffy to worry about; she fears for Giles - forgetting that he is a grown man. He reassures her that he will be in contact, as well as Spike, who says that Giles can't be kept there forever against his will.

Things between Buffy and Spike are OK – but she's starting thinking of that “normal” life she always had a longing for.

She suggests to Spike that they could go later to an amazing new Italian restaurant, but then remembers that he doesn't eat; he says that he just samples food, spicy ones mostly, but other than that, all taste bland. But he likes wine and a good company... Buffy changes the subject telling she will go for a run in the sun, and Spike stays home to feed the “beasts” (the cats).

While running, Buffy's attention is drawn by a gay (two men) couple and their baby, and an old couple walking holding hands – and she remembers the time Spike said to her that he “wanted normal too. And I want it with you” (S9). Before, Buffy had seen Dawn with her study group, doing something very normal, and insisted that she should keep doing that, that what she does is important and that she should fight for it.

Well, I can't read Buffy's mind (or Gage's), but Buffy's thinking about the so called normal life can go in two directions: or she decides that she wants and will pursue it, or she is about to realize that she will never have a normal life once for all - independently with whom she is. Giles going to live for a while in a fae world generated a comment by Buffy earlier:

Buffy: Giving up a normal life, and the things that go with it...
Spike: Normal life? When have we ever had a normal life?

IMO, the Slayer will never have a normal life; she can have a child, yes, but still her life won't be normal – it will be still more complicated, that is. She can love and want to grow old with her companion, but that dream can be smashed any day because she has a dangerous life style. Or she can marry a guy who has Coeliac disease, and can't eat pasta... So, will Buffy figure that out, or will she pursue the dream of a "normal life"?
 
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vellavu

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An overall enjoyable one. However:

1. Giles' leaving was dealt very weirdly. The story flow in this issue was damaged by this sudden jarring plot.
2. The Andrew stuff was done in an overly sweet way. The lines of Jonathan were horrible.

Also I declare Dawn to be the funniest, smartest and most interesting character in S10 now. Yeah, even better than Willow.

And I'm still mad at Andrew. He didn't choose to betray them in the end, but he tried to.:mad:

I don't know why the Sculptor is a threat. He and his minions don't even use weapons. Do they expect to kill their enemies with steak or chicken breast arms?
 
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nancylives

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i liked the "ring" girl; she was hysterical. i appreciate that aspects of this issue were a tad overdone--gage's can be a little heavy-handed--but i liked the fact that andrew finally made an honorable decision. also, i have a feeling things are gonna go south for giles.
 

AndrewCrossett

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i liked the "ring" girl; she was hysterical.
She seems to be a combination of Kayako from The Grudge and Sadako from the original Japanese Ring (the cursed videotape part). "The Quiet Man" is a cenobite from the Hellraiser movies, and Matango is from the 1963 Japanese horror movie Matango. I don't know of any horror movie origin for The Brahma, but he's a holdover from season 9.
 

thetopher

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Read this today adn I'd heard good things about it. I was...less than impressed.

Okay, that isn't exactly fair. There's nothing wrong with this issue really- it had some nice character touches- but overall the plot was meh.

- We start off the issue with yet another giant moster. If there's one thing that this season has had too much of its giant bloody monsters. Dracula/Malakor was okay but since then we've had the tentacled beastie from 'I Wish', the soul glutton, a creation of the aforementioned Sculptor (defeated by super-Andrew), Archeaus and now this. Enough already, its really boring to read and never happened on the show that much. The Hellmouth demon is the only one I can think of.
The Scoobies are not the Fantastic Four.

- The council of demons was a fun idea, with lots of cute nods to some more modern monster-tropes. The inter-Scoobie tension was well-handled, although I'm still mostly on Willow's side.

- So The Sculptor was barely even a threat. Pure MotW really. There was an obvious 'betrayal that wasn't actually going to be a betrayal' by Andrew and The Sculptor thing got sliced in its second appearance. Lame.
This season has lacked anything in the way of actual threats. The most effective by far was Archaeus, who has now buggered off to A&F (where he's dropped IQ points) and Buffy consoles herself with slaying this sorry lot.
Although it was nice that Andrew finally realised that you can't make up for betrayal with more betrayal. Better (very) late than never. The downside is that Jonathan never felt or sounded like Jonathan, so Andrew's 'dilemma' was fairly uninvolving.

- The best part of the issue was probably the Buffy/Spike stuff. Yes, you read that correctly. Buffy actually having a conversatioin with him and laying out her feelings and worries- whilst it was too full of that on-the-nose/unsubtle dialogue that has defined this season- it made Buffy seem less irrationally bitchy than she has been for the last few issues.
Adult couples talk through their problems, this is one part of the equation the writers seemed to have gotten right with this couple.

- Buffy goes for a jog and realizes that her relationship with Spike has lots of downsides. Not that surprising, although 1) Since when do vampires not want to go out to a restaurant? Angel went out with his friends a couple of times I'm sure. Huh, maybe its just Spike.
2) Also: the gay couple with a child isn't exactly illustrative of Buffy's relationship problem. Since either they adopted their child or had them through a surrogate. Buffy can do either of those things can't she? Adoption agencies and sperm doners exist.

- Giles going off to live in the land of the fey seemed random and jarring, will it amount to anything? If we're meant to be sensing a rift in the Scoobies it hasn't really been shown that skillfully. the Buffy/Willow fighting was forced, no-one seems that concerned with Xander's loser status now that he's single and haunted, and now Giles has run off. I hope that the writers are going somewhere with this.

So anyway, this was okay, I'm still not getting any sort of sense of threat or danger and we're on the second to last arc. Hopefully next issue will have something, at least the cliffhanger wasn't that bad.
 

GoSpuffy

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I like the issue, and I like season 10. Season 10 is ending soon and I'm wondering if a lot of this stuff between the scoobies is setting things up for season 11. Oddly season 11 hasn't even been discussed. I'm sure I knew there was a season 10 long, long before season 9 ended. I wonder if something big is in store like merging Angel and Faith with Buffy and losing some Buffy characters? Or maybe a switch up with Faith joining Buffy and Willow joining Angel? I don't know, I just feel like there is something big lurking around the corner.
 

GoSpuffy

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Oh I hope they don't send Willow to London...
That's not such a bad scenario. Buffy and Faith back together doing classic vampire slaying with Spike backing them up. Lots of Fuffy fans would be happy. And Willow could give Angel some relationship advice, maybe find him a nice witch to fall in love with. Or maybe Wangel? lol
 

Danideval

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I love this one beacause of the Sculptor`s death. I dont like this new villains. I really miss Archadeus, he was much more interesting here than he is now in ATS, i want him back!!
. Andrew finally made the right decision, better late than never. I would like to know why are Anya or Jonathan back, even if they are not really them, who is causing that?

I think that Giles is starting to be annoying. Why is he always complaining? he was dead and now he is alive and with a whole new live!, besides any person of his age would love to be a child again. Of course there are a few thing that he is not able to do right now but in a few years he would be a young adult who can start all over again. He should thank everyday for his luck, instead of being such a brat. It`s strange, Giles acts like a child every issue and Spike is the grown up in the gang. The World turned upside down :confused:

I love the spuffy in this season, but we can see now that she is already thinking about the future. I dont see the reason; she already tried the normal life and the normal boyfriend so many times and she always got bored really soon. There are many Slayers now, so if she would wanted to quit she could have done that long ago, but it`s her nature, she likes to be an hero. Maybe she is thinking now about using that book to change that, with it she could make them both human (not slayer, not vampire)so they could finally have that happy normal life together.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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white avenger

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Things between Buffy and Spike are OK – but she's starting thinking of that “normal” life she always had a longing for.



Spike said to her that he “wanted normal too. And I want it with you” (
So, who's to say that Buffy and Spike can't have a normal life together? She wants it, he wants it...I remember a time when Spike wanted a soul. He went out and got one.

If Buffy and Spike both want a normal life, and they want it together, between the two of them, there's only one insurmountable obstacle standing in the way of their happiness.

Joss Whedon
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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gite63
gite63
You are 100% right...

Danideval

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So, who's to say that Buffy and Spike can't have a normal life together? She wants it, he wants it...I remember a time when Spike wanted a soul. He went out and got one.
They cannot get old together, or have any children. Buffy tried to abort whe she though she was pregnant because she knows that her child will always be in danger.
It probably wont happend because they couldnt save the world anymore but propably she`s thinking about it now, and when they decide to end the story this wouldnt be a bad ending (at least, it should be a happy ending for once)
 
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