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Discussion of Buffy 12.02 - Released 7/18/18 (Dark Horse)

Mrs Gordo

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With his ownership of Slayer memories, Harth has come from the future to destroy Buffy and all the Slayers, stealing their power for his own. At his side are demons and evil-kind, a massive army that Buffy and the Scoobies weren't expecting. To even the playing field, the gang travels to the future to recruit Fray and learn of their dismal fate--should they fail in this battle against Harth . . .

Source: Dark Horse
 

Grace

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What does 'deep cut pulls' mean? Is it like pulling the rug from under your feet?

I think he means unexpected references to things that happened in the past. As in, Christos is pulling up "deep cuts" (so like album-only songs that aren't popular on the radio, things that only fans would get). But I could be totally wrong!
 
The Ferg
The Ferg
That's how I understood it as well.
W

WillowFromBuffy

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I liked Willow's story. That was heart breaking. I had assumed that Willow would have come up with the plan to save the world on her own, which would have added to the guilt. Still, this is good.

I don't like characters quoting themselves. I know the show was always self referencing, but no to this degree. Also, Angel's speech here does not make a lick of sense. If Angel can save the world, then that is going to matter. His actions will have long term effects that will change the world for the better. He should have said something like, "If what we do can actually matter, then all the more reason for doing it." It's as if he's become so hung up on his shtick that he has forgotten what it actually means. Is that really the Editor's Note's favourite Christos Angel moment? A rip off that did not get what it was ripping off? And Buffy has the derpiest thirst face I have ever seen.

They are wearing the same clothes during the reckoning.

Comic-book-Harmony is still less fun than on the show.
 
The Ferg
The Ferg
Spoilers.

Mrs Gordo

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My Thoughts: **this is full of spoilers this issue is out so I'm not going to mark them**

I really liked this issue. I suppose its no surprise, Angel got alot of great stuff here and it was a good issue for him so it should come as no surprise that I would enjoy seeing that play out. I'd say that this is some of the best Angel writing we've had for the character since A&F s9 and it reminds me about how good a job Christos did with him in that run. I think we got a small snippet of that here. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I thought the fight dialogue with Fray and Buffy was kinda funny. I'm also not a big fan of the "future talk." I was annoyed with it in Fray and in ToYL and it always throws me off but it's a thing I get it and fine. My favorite line is Buffy's: "Listen 5th Element Barbie, I don't want to be in your dystopian Y.A. novel of a world!" That rings true to me in terms of Buffy-esque dialogue and it made me giggle. I also enjoyed the hard cut from "you don't wanna know what nastiness my friends could do to her (Erin) to Erin making eyes at Spike and Angel. Anyway it looks like Erin's trying to talk Spike up here:

xdeMGNE.jpg


I really liked the reveal of Harmony still being around in Fray's future. And the reactions from the gang are funny. Spike's "Ocean's rise. Empires fall. But narcissists are eternal." I feel like Joss scribbled that down somewhere. It was funny. Do I wish someone else was giving us the full story of what happened to anyone and everyone we care about in the future? Probably but I think it's kinda comic appropriate that Harmony of all people is the one telling the story. It has a very Andrew / Storyteller vibe to it. Added points because she has a GIANT NAKED MURAL OF HERSELF and it's just too funny.

LdSoiVt.jpg


I find the prospect of Buffy going off to a hell dimension in the end of this story incredibly depressing. I know they have to subvert this. Something will change or so I hope but Buffy living out her final days in hell fighting demons feels incredibly cruel and unfair. Even if Angel and Spike do join her to the end. I'm incredibly intrigued about the Slayers losing their memories and powers bit. I really don't like this concept that Faith is among those slayers that lost powers while Buffy kept hers. It makes no sense given that Faith should be the primary slayer. But then again in s11 when Buffy took away all slayer powers Faith was affected (when once again that doesn't make sense). Maybe I just feel like Faith shouldn't be cast aside like this. I hope that Harmony is just an unreliable narrator and Faith plays a bigger role than just fading away with no memories of being a slayer.

I think the socio-political theme of the season is laid out where Harmony tells Buffy and Willow that their empowering of the group of woman and making them think they were special was what allowed the opposing faction to coalesce behind evil people (Demons/Vampires). This all smells very much like the trump movement. I'm interested to see where they go with this. What type of social commentary they will make on this entire ordeal. I'm glad that this commentary seems like it's slightly more embedded into the story rather than taking front and center on the final season of Buffy.
tr7dqPr.jpg


I liked Willow's story. That was heart breaking. I had assumed that Willow would have come up with the plan to save the world on her own, which would have added to the guilt. Still, this is good.

I like Willow's story here as well. It is incredibly sad that this burden of sending Buffy to hell and seeing all of her loved one's died has driven her to this state of despair. But I think it's a noble cause of Willow to be what amounts to the guardian of this world for such a long time. I wonder how you feel @WillowFromBuffy about this idea that Willow doesn't really get a HEA? Of course, the future may change but if it holds true what do you think about that?

In any case, after Harmony tells her tale, Buffy basically relents and says well if she has to go to hell so be it. That's the only way to save the world etc. And Angel says you know what - NO. Not Today Satan!

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And OK I love this. And yes OK he has not spent 200 years chasing prophesies maybe more like 15 years (plus hell time?) but the sentiment is there. And this is what I've been wanting to see from Angel since freaking A&F s9. I finally recognize this guy. He is done being a puppet to The Powers, Shanshu prophesies, Wolfram and Hart visions, and now this inevitable future. And it's about damn time he came around full circle like this. I don't see this as being inconsistent with the "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do." Because what Angel is saying is that even if there is something that is presented as inevitable we can either sit idly by and do nothing and wait for it to come to pass as people say it will or we can pick up our sword, fight it out and maybe we make a small difference or maybe we don't. But he has to do so something. He has to do something to save the people he loves.

That's right - people. As in - Buffy. Really did you have any doubts? I know I didn't. :) What was a wonderful surprise to me is Buffy being moved by Angel's speech:

2ru3VUe.jpg


It's a heartfelt reaction. It's not like she is going to run to him like some trashy romance novel and they are going to run off together and live happily ever after forever. But this is a nice tender moment between them. It felt genuine and I really enjoyed it.

Speaking of trashy romance novels Illyria (who is basically Anya now...) running up to Angel and calling him my warrior. Dear God what has happened to this God King badass. Like @Carrie Hopewell said if Wesley could see her now... heck if AtS s5 Illyria could see her now I feel like she'd be like:

tenor.gif


I want to say something else here and in doing so I'm going to brake a cardinal sin and reference Twilight. (Yes I know as an Angel fan how could I do this?) But Twilight is comic canon (whatever comic canon might be... to me it's murky at best). Despite the fact that the Twilight arc is total crap and entirely inconsistent with Angel's character, I think one message it sends which I tend to agree with is that Angel, in BtVS and early AtS, had a tendency to believe prophesies and destiny and The Powers' plans (I would argue that some of that was resolved in Epiphany and in AtF but anyway...) Angel had good reason to trust the Powers and calls to destiny at first, because they brought him to Buffy and Buffy gave him a purpose and a mission and a reason to exist. But Buffy offers an alternative solution, and that is - that she makes her own way, and her own destiny. Her story is that of defying prophecy and destiny and the inevitable. And Buffy kinda gives Angel this speech in Amends, this - so what? Some great evil took credit for you and you just fold? No. You have the power to do good. So, to the extent that comics is a retelling of this lesson, I'm OK with that concept. And the reason it makes me think of the Twilight arc is because Angel (and Whistler and Twilight) are saying that this is Buffy and Angel's destiny. Buffy says - nope. We stay and we fight. Angel agrees and they leave the new world to fight for the old one together. And here again, in the Reckoning, we have a story about something that is inevitable and Angel has basically learned from Buffy that the are going to find a way out of the inevitable. They are going to find another way. I just feel like Angel really has learned from Buffy and that's how he got here so I appreciate that.

I actually liked some of the art actually. I thought Harmony looked great. I thought for the most part Angel looked very handsome. Buffy was a bit inconsistently drawn but at times she looked pretty good. I like the fighting, I think Jeanty does well with those. Other gripes I have are why is Fred not here yet? I wasn't sure how I felt about the Fray and Gunther goodbye. He was kinda gross in her comic and so I'm just a little confused about why I'm supposed to think they had a bond? He was looking up her dress so I hope they aren't going for the father bond thing right? Anyway it wasn't necessary. I wish Faith and Mel had interacted more. And I wanted to see Mel react to this idea of Vampires working for the side of good and having souls. But I guess we just don't really have time.
 
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HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
5th element barbie = instant classic!

Mylie

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Ok, I just finished the issue and I really enjoyed it.

The art was better than in the first. I still prefer Isaac's but I'm getting used to Jeanty's. I still don't find it pretty, but it works when I read the whole thing.

I feel like everything's going so fast. We're already halfway through. I guess next issue will be the plan and start of the fight and then issue 4 will be the fight and a small resolution.

The good :
Willow's story is really good and she looked incredible in some of the panels.
The characters actually sound like themselves?
I find the Fray characters are meshing well with the characters so far.
Harmony : I'm not the biggest fan of her character but I loved the way she was used here. And her recap of what happened to them all was very well done. I loved it.
Angel is finally himself? Between his speech and him saying whatever happens to him he got it coming... He feels very self-aware and I think he's feeling that the end is near for him and want to make it count. Also, how incredible is it to see him say "the people that I love". I only wish the AtS people were there as well. This issue also confirmed something for me : Angel is definitely going to die.
Buffy being all on board with Illyria staying and them all going back to their own world/time, I laughed so much!!! She also had such a funny smile on her face as she said it.

The bad :
Illyria : I don't understand who this character is anymore and her being with Angel still makes zero sense to me.
Faith : there isn't enough of her and I hate that she lost her powers
Some of the panels were weak, mostly when it wasn't action sequences.

I'm really excited for the next issue!
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

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I like Willow's story here as well. It is incredibly sad that this burden of sending Buffy to hell and seeing all of her loved one's died has driven her to this state of despair. But I think it's a noble cause of Willow to be what amounts to the guardian of this world for such a long time. I wonder how you feel @WillowFromBuffy about this idea that Willow doesn't really get a HEA? Of course, the future may change but if it holds true what do you think about that?
I am very happy with the ending as it stands now. I can take a sad ending, if it make sense for Willow's character. The sad part about this story is that it would have been so tempting for Willow to try to save Buffy and the others, as she was the one to re-soul Angel and resurrect Buffy. Knowing that she may have found a way to save them, even if it would put the world at risk, would have been gnawing at her all those years. Willow is not good with compromise. She wants the ending where everyone is all right. Also, she does not do well on her own. It is a sad ending, but it is beautiful.

Actually, I thought Willow went dark, because she had done something to bring magic back after Buffy had banished it, because that is the plot to all my fanfics.
And OK I love this. And yes OK he has not spent 200 years chasing prophesies maybe more like 15 years (plus hell time?) but the sentiment is there. And this is what I've been wanting to see from Angel since freaking A&F s9. I finally recognize this guy. He is done being a puppet to The Powers, Shanshu prophesies, Wolfram and Hart visions, and now this inevitable future. And it's about damn time he came around full circle like this. I don't see this as being inconsistent with the "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do." Because what Angel is saying is that even if there is something that is presented as inevitable we can either sit idly by and do nothing and wait for it to come to pass as people say it will or we can pick up our sword, fight it out and maybe we make a small difference or maybe we don't. But he has to do so something. He has to do something to save the people he loves.
I like what Angel wants to do, but I still maintain that what he is say doesn't make sense. I may need some time to properly explain my point.

There are three main ways to look at the relationship between the individual and the universe.

1) Predestination. This is everything from Calvinism to scientific determinism. This is where prophecy and destiny belongs.

2) Total chaos. This is what the absurdists and existentialists believe in.

3) People's choices matter. If you wanna be a doctor or a lawyer, you need to study hard. Smile and the world smiles back. What goes around, comes around. What you choose to do affects the world around you. This is the American idea about being the master of your own destiny.

Now, I don't really agree that prophecy and destiny have been all that important for Angel. There was the prophecy that Buffy would die, the was the fake prophecy about Angel killing Connor and there is the Shanshu, which is just a naughty little carrot dangling tease. When Angel says, "I've spent 200 years [sic!] chasing prophecy and accepting destiny," is that really true? Hasn't Angel's story been about rejecting destiny and prophecy from day one?

Now, let's get to the bit I really don't like. When Angel originally said, "If nothing we do matters, all that matters is what we do," he is making an argument similar to the one proposed by Sartre. He is saying that if Kate were to shot herself the next day or if she were to get struck by lightning, then that is something he would have to accept. What matter is that he made the choice to try to save her. Making that choice is all he can control. The ultimate outcome is due to random factors that are beyond him. As long as he makes good choices, his life will have meaning, even if none of his plans pan out.

Angel believes he is living in the second kind of universe. Buffy, on the other hand, clings to the hope that she is living in the third universe, and that her actions have permanent consequences that help make the world a better place.

Now, in this comic, Angel is saying that he wants to save the world, "then and now." If he can achieve this, than that is something that would most definitely matter. He is talking about changing human history both in the present and the far future. Obviously, he is now living in the third universe. Therefore, he needs to adapt his rhetoric to his beliefs.

Really, if Angel actually believes what he is literally saying, then he is tricking everyone into going to their deaths, because he sounds like he is saying that trying to save everyone is more important than actually being able to do it. I know that is not what he is actually trying to say, but he has got his words all jumbled.
 
The Ferg
The Ferg
Very interesting breakdown of Buffy and Angel's philosophy!

Mrs Gordo

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Now, I don't really agree that prophecy and destiny have been all that important for Angel.
Sure they have.
Hasn't Angel's story been about rejecting destiny and prophecy from day one?
No it hasn't. Not from day one.

Angel's story starts off as Buffy's does. A destiny chosen for him, when he is cursed with a soul. Like Buffy he struggles a great deal with this destiny at first. He isolates himself from humanity never quite finding a reason to exist. That is until The Powers come to him with a mission. Now, Angel chooses this destiny on his own but the path is presented to him by TPTB (through Whistler). This is one of the first pivotal moments on Angel's journey and it is as a result of some meddling from The Powers. Thus begins Angel's accepting guidance and direction from the Powers. In Amends, he is once again presented with the question of why he was brought back from Hell (by The First or a force of good?) and eventually he is saved by a higher power through some divine intervention. This is a second time a power outside of Angel's control has come in and altered the course of his path.

As soon as AtS starts off, Doyle, once again through the Powers presents Angel with a mission and this mission is redefined as a destiny when the Shanshu prophecy is introduced. Angel then spends some time fighting and hoping that one day by fulfilling his destiny he will be forgiven (which is what the shanshu represents). For the first two seasons of AtS he fights for the Powers that's up until Epihpany when he realizes he shouldn't fight for a destiny or redemption or etc etc he should fight because it is the right thing to do, regardless of the outcome.

But the fates aren't don't with Angel yet. There is Darla and the miracle baby that could never be and then there is the fake prophecy that takes that child away from him. Then in s5 he has to come to terms with the shanshu may not having ever been about him, whether he cares, and then of course his final act is to completely sign the prophecy away. But all the while carrying out a plan that was provided to him BY THE POWERS THAT BE. He carries out the Powers' plan and guess what? It all goes to crap.

Oh but we aren't done yet. In Hell-A, Wolfram & Hart show Angel a vision that he is destined to go evil in the End of Days.

So time and time again, The Powers destiny for Angel (his fate), and prophecies have tried to push and pull and shape Angel's path and this journey from Epiphany forward is him trying to do good in the face of inevitability. Unfortunately, Twilight!Angel unlearns all of what he learned in Epiphany or AtF for reasons we don't know or understand. So Comic!Angel had to come back to these same conclusions and Angel really must be incredibly fed up with being beholden to prophecies or higher powers/Gods etc. So seeing Angel say ENOUGH is refreshing because as audience member - I'm saying ENOUGH. It's almost extra meta in that way.

Now I do understand your point, if we take the words for their literal meaning it doesn't make sense. And maybe they were trying to force the Epiphany call back too strongly (although I appreciate the call back because it is such a big moment for Angel I will forgive them), but the general principal still applies here. If they all know what the future is, all they can do is try to do something, even in the face of what appears to be inevitable. Fighting for the people that you love is the right thing to do, you do it even if fate tells you that they are destined to die.
 

Grace

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This issue also confirmed something for me : Angel is definitely going to die.

I thought that might happen going into Season 12, but I don't really think so anymore. Is it just the focus on him that made you think that or is there more to it?

If Angel dies, does that take the hero-focus from Buffy? (Unless he dies in a non-heroic way, which would be bad.)
 

The Ferg

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I really enjoyed this issue!

Angel's feeling significantly more 'in character' than he has since AtF. I LOVED the 'only thing that matters is what we do' scene. I can see how some might feel that it came off as cheesy, but it really worked for me. We haven't really seen this side of Angel in a while, and it's obvious that he would react to this situation in that way. It was really great that Joss/Gage gave the character the opportunity to really rally the troops after everyone else had basically given up. It shouldn't matter if they win or lose, the point is that they have to try. ...or at least that's how Angel sees it.

The Harmony reveal was genuinely surprising and I couldn't help smiling. OF COURSE she's the one that survived.

The one big disappointment I had was Illyria/Fred. Both characters have seriously been wasted over the course of Dark Horse's reign on Buffy. Illyria could have been so much more interesting, and Fred should never have been brought back. I'm down with Illyria "tapping into" her humanity, but there's no reason she should be into Angel. It doesn't make sense and it's weird. For both of them.

As for the real meat of the issue, I find it really ballsy that they literally revealed the big secret from Fray, in ISSUE TWO! This has literally been a HUGE plot thread just left dangling in the air since Fray #1, and they revealed it halfway through the final Buffy story. I don't know about you guys, but I would have never guessed that something like this could happen. I don't think I had turned the pages of a Buffy comic that quickly since like Wolves at the Gate.

The artwork was okay. It's definitely not bad, and I really enjoy seeing more Jeanty (and his upside-down floating women), with better coloring than he's used to, but I guess I just miss Rebekah Isaacs. I would've appreciated Whedon and co. splitting the art duties between the two. Maybe Karl Moline could have done the future scenes too. He's literally not going to get a chance to draw Fray probably ever again... :(

EDIT: Also, I'm loving the little Whedonesque humorous quips thrown in throughout the dialogue. They don't all land 100% for me, but I've really missed Whedon writing on-point, and I think he's doing pretty well to assuage my concerns.

Mrs Gordo said:
I think the socio-political theme of the season is laid out where Harmony tells Buffy and Willow that their empowering of the group of woman and making them think they were special was what allowed the opposing faction to coalesce behind evil people (Demons/Vampires). This all smells very much like the trump movement. I'm interested to see where they go with this. What type of social commentary they will make on this entire ordeal. I'm glad that this commentary seems like it's slightly more embedded into the story rather than taking front and center on the final season of Buffy.
I agree with this 3000%. Buffy works best when it's utilizing metaphor, and I think, if you're correct, this is a great way to deal with these issues without it feeling heavy-handed.

So, to the extent that comics is a retelling of this lesson, I'm OK with that concept. And the reason it makes me think of the Twilight arc is because Angel (and Whistler and Twilight) are saying that this is Buffy and Angel's destiny. Buffy says - nope. We stay and we fight. Angel agrees and they leave the new world to fight for the old one together. And here again, in the Reckoning, we have a story about something that is inevitable and Angel has basically learned from Buffy that the are going to find a way out of the inevitable. They are going to find another way. I just feel like Angel really has learned from Buffy and that's how he got here so I appreciate that.
Well said. Totally agree.
 
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The Ferg

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Really, if Angel actually believes what he is literally saying, then he is tricking everyone into going to their deaths, because he sounds like he is saying that trying to save everyone is more important than actually being able to do it. I know that is not what he is actually trying to say, but he has got his words all jumbled.
I don't think his words got jumbled. I think you nailed it on the head with that first sentence. I don't think he cares if everyone's going to their deaths, as long as it's the right thing to do. He knows that the rest of them feel that way too. I mean, of course he doesn't want his friends to die, but he knows they're all prepared to make that sacrifice if it means "trying" to save the world. I think it sounds like "he's saying that trying to save everyone is more important than actually being able to do it" because that's exactly what he's saying.
 

Mrs Gordo

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If Angel dies, does that take the hero-focus from Buffy? (Unless he dies in a non-heroic way, which would be bad.)

I, like @Mylie, kinda felt like Angel's big arc in #2 meant that Angel would likely die. I just feel like his big speech sounded a bit like a Swan song. And that part where he says "Whatever it is, I've got it coming." felt a bit foreshadowy to me. But I tend to agree with you that they can't give Angel the big hero's death without taking away the shift from Buffy. Or at least it would be tricky! I still have a feeling Angel doesn't make it out alive but that isn't necessarily what I want anymore. I am a bit conflicted on that. Probably because CG is writing him so well and true to character in a way we haven't seen in so long that I'm having regrets.

but there's no reason she should be into Angel. It doesn't make sense and it's weird. For both of them.

OMG I know. I don't understand what either of them sees in the other. Don't get me wrong, Angel loves his strong women and so to that extent I get why on the surface you'd think he'd be into Illyria. But Angel has always been drawn to those who are most connected to humanity. He admires compassion and warmth. He loved Buffy because of her strength but he noticed her heart first and foremost. He wasn't interested in Cordelia until she had changed sufficiently to become a compassionate individual. Nina was very sweet, a family woman, cared for her Sister and Niece. All of these women had a dual nature as well BUT they all had similar qualities of being nice, caring individuals who embraced their humanity.

So right off the bat, pairing him with a cold, unfeeling, God(dess?) who doesn't understand humanity, and has just recently only been remotely tolerant of humanity to begin with... well it doesn't make sense. And all of this is well and good if they had showed Angel and Illyria in A11 bonding, slowly developing a relationship etc. But they didn't. They just showed them making out, then there was the quick rush of Angel wanting to make sure Fred was OK with it, and the confused feelings Fred was having about the situation.

But literally, since the very beginning of A11 we have seen NOTHING about what the heck Angel feels about Illyria? He hasn't had one line of dialogue to express any feelings whatsoever towards Illyria or Fred etc. And that remains the case in 12. And I just want to understand what he's thinking here. Is he in love with Illyria? Because until now the entire relationship has been played for laughs. Does he feel affection for her? If so when/how did that start? I guess I'm supposed to just imagine their entire relationship out of thin air even if it literally makes no sense with the type of relationships Angel has had in the past?

If this was Fred we were talking about at least I would be able to understand how Angel's friendship, his deep affection, and love for her had somehow slowly changed into feelings of love. I'm not exactly excited about it, I'm not shipping it, but I would at least understand it because I've seen their dynamic over the many years and Fred has a good heart, she is incredibly smart and she has become very independent since her time on AtS. I get that. But Illyria?

And why does Illyria care... is she capable of love? Since when? Is it Fred's love? Fred's soul? What happened to the God King who wanted to take Spike as a pet? She is suddenly running up to Angel like Scarlett O'Hara and declaring her undying allegiance?

Anyway, I know I'm like a dog with a bone with this pairing, I can't seem to let it go. I do enjoy the way Angel is being written and how they are treating him this season so I am very grateful, I just wish we could spare some time to adderss how he's supposed to be feeling towards Illyria. Fred coming back in #3 will likely clarify all of this (maybe) so for better or for worse we're about to find out, I guess.
 

Mylie

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I thought that might happen going into Season 12, but I don't really think so anymore. Is it just the focus on him that made you think that or is there more to it?

If Angel dies, does that take the hero-focus from Buffy? (Unless he dies in a non-heroic way, which would be bad.)

As @Mrs Gordo said, his speech felt like his one moment of "glory" but it was mostly his reaction to Spike wanting to know how they die. The other possibility is that he gets the shanshu, but I can't see Joss giving him that. It's not the kind of story he tells. And I've always felt that Angel can't have an happy ending anyway.

I think it might be Buffy's sacrifice. But I agree that it'd be tricky to have it completely be Buffy that gets the hero-focus. That said, I think Angel isn't going to be the only one to die. It's quite possible that Buffy's sacrifice also involves Spike. And to be honest, it would be a perfect way to reset the franchise. No more vampire romance.

Mostly, it's a feeling I had while reading and I'm trying to make sense of it lol
 

Grace

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I think it might be Buffy's sacrifice. But I agree that it'd be tricky to have it completely be Buffy that gets the hero-focus. That said, I think Angel isn't going to be the only one to die. It's quite possible that Buffy's sacrifice also involves Spike.

I see. I think it could make sense if more people die, so it's not just Angel taking Buffy's place or whatever. But I still feel like what the season has given me so far is that the Fray future is a backlash to female empowerment, and so I feel like the solution needs to come from Buffy and Willow (and/or Dawn or Faith or Mel). I wouldn't want to be in a position where a man's heroic gesture is what allows the slayer line to go on (as much as I love Angel and feel like that's in character for him). Especially given the ending of Chosen, where it was Buffy's idea and Willow's execution, but Spike's sacrifice that was the final heroic moment.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Read it and enjoyed it; the whole issue was nicely paced and the dialogue was sharper than its been for a while. Obviously the episode belongs to Willow and Angel- who get a lot of the best moments. Also Harmony's recap was pretty amusing; she was very in-character and Spike's comment about narcissists was spot-on; selfish people like Harmony are maybe the ultimate survivors.

I liked Buffy and Fray's little skirmish, had a couple of quotable lines.

I'm on the side of liking Angel's speech; he more than anyone knows about how fate can screw with a person; whether that's Jasmine or W&H or whatever. I liked his defiance with that nice little call-back.


The only downsides this issue were lack of reactions from everyone else to the future, Faith not getting any attention (but that might be important) and Illyria; her 'romance' with Angel continues to unconvince the way no other relationship before it has; its utterly hollow and ultimately unbelievable, but I'm just repeating myself by this point.


So I thought it was interesting that everyone's fate gets a detailed mention- whether a sure thing or not- except Faith's. Xander and Dawn get the happy normal, Willow and Giles remain vigilant until they die, Buffy goes to hell and those two vampires may or may not follow her. But Faith's fate is unknown (according to Harmony); that makes it pretty likely that she dies...
...Except I have a theory: Faith takes Buffy's place in hell. Harth's memories of ALL the slayers (and Harmony's potted history) could be muddled enough that there could be a slayer mix-up and fate is not 100% wrong.

This would make sense given that 'fate' in the Buffyverse is often just people making choices; Buffy chose to face the Master and died, Buffy decided to sacrifice herself for Dawn, Sahjahn meddled with prophecy, ensuring that lil' Connor would become the Destroyer that would kill him.

If I'm right (and I'm a bit iffy o the reasoning) then I'm not sure how I'd feel about that. Thematically it makes a lot of sense since Faith has always existed in Buffy's shadow, wanting to usurp her/be her but never being good enough, struggling to find her own path and redeem herself. That's almost entirely what her journey in the comics has been about, from 'No Future For You' to right here. So maybe she gets to confront the Mayor like she should've done before and then save Buffy from eternal torment by taking that spot; becoming Buffy.

Except that- from any other standpoint- this would feel completely unearned. How would Buffy react? Would she care? It's not like their relationship in the comics has been anything other than tenuous. There would be no emotional payoff since Buffy has no investment in Faith.
And obviously it would suck for Faith as well, the character who has actively strived to make amends for her past and gotten precious little thanks for it. Getting this handed to her wouldn't exactly be fair.
But maybe its not supposed to be fair, if its her choice.
 

Mylie

Scooby
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I see. I think it could make sense if more people die, so it's not just Angel taking Buffy's place or whatever. But I still feel like what the season has given me so far is that the Fray future is a backlash to female empowerment, and so I feel like the solution needs to come from Buffy and Willow (and/or Dawn or Faith or Mel). I wouldn't want to be in a position where a man's heroic gesture is what allows the slayer line to go on (as much as I love Angel and feel like that's in character for him). Especially given the ending of Chosen, where it was Buffy's idea and Willow's execution, but Spike's sacrifice that was the final heroic moment.

I get what you mean. But I'm not talking about Angel being heroic... I'm talking about Buffy literally sacrificing Angel and possibly Spike. She'd be in a position where she has to make the choice and quick.

It probably doesn't work in the narrative or makes any sense and it's probably just me who wants them both to die at the end lol

She's probably just going to sacrifice her powers and I'm really not sure how I feel about that. That said, I feel like there has to be losses and I'm inclined to think Angel will be one of them. Buffy losing her powers would definitely work as an ending where they can't continue with "Buffy the vampire slayer" but can continue develop the universe. That might be something Whedon is interested in. (Sorry, this is off-topic lol)
 
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