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Discussion of Buffy 10.25 "In Pieces on the Ground, Part V" - Released 3/23/16 (Dark Horse)

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Sineya
#1
Writer: Christos Gage
Penciller: Megan Levens

Defeating the demon lords has been priority one for Buffy and team—to stop the continual opening of portals to dangerous demon dimensions... Suddenly there is a new priority one: closing a portal—and one portal in particular. Will the team be lost?

Source: Wikipedia
 
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Sineya
#2
Great issue!

And surprise, surprise (or not so much), the Big Bad is the one who is lurking since the beginning – yeah, it's him, the goat boy. Soul Glutton and The Mistress are history, with the help of a wish made by Buffy and granted by... clone Anya.

And the origins of Buffy and Spike's future disagreement maybe has its source here:

The portal is open and it is getting harder and harder for Willow to keep it at bay. They all decide to enter the hell dimension and use Dawn's keyness; Giles thinks that in an entirely magic-based reality, she will have god-like powers, so she has to go through the portal and close it. Spike is totally against it, but he is overpowered by the others, who don't see any other alternative. They all go to the hell dimension, and their King threatens to kill them all, showing his huge army of demons. But Giles was right, and Dawn has power: she burns the King... and all demons run for their lives.

Now, the problem persists: the portal needs to be closed, and it has to be done from the hell dimension. Dawn says she wants to do it, and Spike doesn't want to hear none of that. He says to Dawn that she won't stay, and that she must listen to her elders – and calls Buffy for support. He is shocked when the Slayer says that Dawn is an adult and if she wants to do it, it's her call... Spike gets very mad, saying that they are crazy if they want to abandon Dawn in that hellhole! He decides that if she stays, he stays with her. But Giles and Willow point out that hell dimensions have a strange influence on vampires, mentioning what happened with Angel in Pylea and Quor'toth, so Spike can't stay. Xander then says he will stay (I think that may help Dawn to fall in love with him again, they being together fighting for their lives and looking for a way back to Earth...), because he isn't that necessary in the war against the Soul Glutton and the Mistress – which infuriates “ghost” Anya, abandoned again by Xander; she says she will get her revenge against him.

Giles, Buffy, Willow, Andrew, and Spike go back to Earth, and Dawn closes the portal. Buffy cries; she is with Willow. Andrew says to Spike that he should be with her, but Spike tells him that he isn't the right person right now, at home he will talk to her. When they are leaving, Buffy wishes that would be better if she could concentrate only in finding Dawn and Xander, and leave the Council deal with the Mistress and the Soul Glutton – and Anya grants the wish...

Anya is a perfect copy of the real one, and with her anger at Xander, she has become a Vengeance Demon, immortal and solid again. D'Hoffryn has big plans.

The Sould Glutton, before being squashed by D'Hoffrin, ate many souls in the Silicon Valley - isn't where Hank got a job?
 
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Black Thorn
#3
Gage's dialogue writing stepped up a level in this issue. The lines of the god-king was still cringe-worthy though.

So Ghost Anya is neither Dawn's soul shard, nor Halfrek. D'Hoffryn just wanted his exactly-the-same Anya back. Why let Anya hang out with Xander for months though, won't that be new memories that do not belong to the original Anya?

I have a feeling that D'Hoffryn will be whitewashed in the final issue, like how Whistler was.

There was no emotional build-up before Dawn's self-sacrifice, but it's last few issues' problem.

If S8 is 50% "interesting" and 50% "are you f**king serious?", S9 is 30% "are you f**king serious?" and 70% "whatever, good for you", then S10 is 40% "interesting", 40% "whatever, good for you", 20% "are you f**king serious?".

I rate this issue 60% "interesting" and 40% "whatever, good for you". No WTF moments. Maybe it's the fault of the great cover spoiling techniques that Dark Horse is so adept at.
 
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Sineya
#4
Why let Anya hang out with Xander for months though, won't that be new memories that do not belong to the original Anya?
I think "Anya" was spying on the Scoobies for D'Hoffryn; as soon as they found out about the rewriting of the book, D'Hoffryn appeared in their living room wanting it - and saying that if Buffy thought she wasn't capable of dealing with it, he and his council were.

Maybe it's the fault of the great cover spoiling techniques that Dark Horse is so adept at.
I think that if we didn't know about Dawn's Keyness, and that she and Xander would be lost in a hell dimension, it would be better. I'm a spoiler whore, but if I wasn't, the covers would give it away, anyway.

I have a feeling that D'Hoffryn will be whitewashed in the final issue, like how Whistler was.
He seems like a father who lost his most beloved daughter and always wanted revenge. He waited for the right moment, and then made his move. But he is evil, so I think he will be terminated...
 
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Black Thorn
#5
And how do vengeance demons work anyway? A vengeance demon can always record a wish in a cellphone, then find a kindergarden, ask a child to repeat the voice from the phone by bribing the kid with candies. By this way, vengeance demons are basically gods right?

A vengeance demon needing the Vampyre book is like a jet needing a helium gasbag: It doesn't need it at all. It already has something much much better.

Also I bet this issue will enrage a lot of SJWs: "How can you say Silicon Valley programmers are peasants? They are a privileged class!" You can argue that it's an evil demon who said these words, but it doesn't change the fact that they protested the Rome W&H CEO's line about gypsies being filthy people ignoring the fact that she's an evil vampire too.
 
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#6
And how do vengeance demons work anyway? A vengeance demon can always record a wish in a cellphone, then find a kindergarden, ask a child to repeat the voice from the phone by bribing the kid with candies. By this way, vengeance demons are basically gods right?

A vengeance demon needing the Vampyre book is like a jet needing a helium gasbag: It doesn't need it at all. It already has something much much better.
D'Hoffryn explained that he has no real power, he only gets to be all god-like when he is granting wishes for other people; it's just in that moment that he is all powerful, and he likes it, and he wants it to be permanent. And I don't think recordings work...

On a different note, Dawn's willing to stay in the hell universe and do her part is similar to Connor wanting to go to Quor'Toth to help Willow in her quest. Angel was against at first, but then he accepted Connor's choice, like Buffy did with Dawn. While Spike is like the overprotective father who doesn't agree with his partner about an issue concerning the children.
 
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Black Thorn
#7
D'Hoffryn explained that he has no real power, he only gets to be all god-like when he is granting wishes for other people; it's just in that moment that he is all powerful, and he likes it, and he wants it to be permanent. And I don't think recordings work...
It's not recording. It's manipulating a human child to repeat the recording for you. Like what Anya did in "Entropy".

Making a kindergarden kid say: "I wish D'Hoffryn is omnipotent", is much better than messing with the book.
 
@gite63
You didn't miss anything. Anya didn't literally recorded her own wish. She just tried to lead the Scoobies to make a wish for her.

D'Hoffryn can do the same. The recording thing is just a special case I came up for him. He has 1,000 other ways with even higher success rates to do it.
 
gite63
gite63
I need to watch it again, because I don't remember that...
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Sineya
#8
You didn't miss anything. Anya didn't literally recorded her own wish. She just tried to lead the Scoobies to make a wish for her.
Ah, OK. But you see, that was a very difficult thing to accomplish...

D'Hoffryn can do the same. The recording thing is just a special case I came up for him. He has 1,000 other ways with even higher success rates to do it.
But I think that's the thing: he can't. A person has to make a wish, and a Vengeance Demon has to be around and grant it. There's no way around it. And to go after people to try leading them to make a wish, like Anya did, it's very demeaning.
 
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Black Thorn
#9
And to go after people to try leading them to make a wish, like Anya did, it's very demeaning.
D'Hoffyn already lost enough face.:confused: He has been scolded and looked down upon by the slayer many times. I don't think he values his own personal pride that much.
 
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#10
He has been scolded and looked down upon by the slayer many times. I don't think he values his own personal pride that much.
Maybe because of that he sought revenge against the Slayer and her friends... like he said, those "selfish children" stole Anya from him. In his first appearance in S10, he told Xander that Anya "was like a daughter" to him. She was family (and family seems to be the S10 theme, both in BtVS and Angel & Faith). He was waiting for an opportunity to get his revenge (and become powerful) and with the book and the New Rules, his time has arrived.
 
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#11
Watching the DVD director/writer commentaries on Selfless, both reinforce how much D'Hoffryn loves Anya as a daughter, that he can't bring himself to kill her, and how much he got disappointed when she asked him to undo the deaths she had caused. And in the end, she ends up dead, because she chose to fight with the Scoobies.

All that only could result in a great resentment towards the Scoobies, and soon or later D'Hoffryn would want his revenge. And it's good to remember that his motto is "never go for the kill when you can go for the pain"...
 
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#12
I liked the issue, I see so much hate for it on Tumblr, but overall it was nice, though I hope we weren't spoiled so much.

I really hope Xander and Dawn remain friends. I like Xander much more when he doesn’t have a girlfriend - it makes shipping him with Spike so much easier. :D

Will we ever see Dr. Mike? I want one session with him and Xander. Just one.
 
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#13
I would like to see Dr. Mike, too; maybe in the end, when things are all sorted out, villains slain, peace restaured... one thing that Xander could be discussing with him is his failed relationship with Dawn - or that they are back together and he is normal (still the watcher), while she has superpowers.

Because their time in the hell dimension could make Dawn fall in love with him again... the time there passes faster than on Earth, so they will have more time together.
 
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#14
Their time in the hell dimension could make Dawn fall in love with him again... the time there passes faster than on Earth, so they will have more time together.
Does that mean when they go back they will be older than they really are?
 
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Black Thorn
#17
I hate the "Wish granted" line of Not-Anya, because that's Halfrek's signature. Anya always says "Done".
 

Buffy Summers

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Sineya
#19
I like that Spike protested Dawn being left in the hell dimension so vehemently. I do feel like Buffy agreed too easily. You'd think they would have had a magick user stay with Dawn & Xander, though.

Couldn't D'Hoffyn just have asked Buffy to wish the demons dead?