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Discussion of Buffy 9.04 "Freefall: Part 4"- Released 12/14/11 (Dark Horse)

brinkster130

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As Xander, Dawn, and Willow retreat into their own complicated lives, Buffy finds herself drawn more closely to her new friend Severin, a mysterious crime fighter in his own right, and a snappy dresser to boot. Together they take on a new kind of vampire threat while Buffy's not-in-the-know roomies start snooping through her unslept-in bedroom. Now what could they possibly find? Source


My thoughts:

Spike talking about how Buffy needs someone normal. Sounds a bit like Angel in S3. I really hope he gets a story of his own rather than just being all about Buffy 24/7.

Why weren't Buffy and Spike killed when he zapped them? Were they not zapped long enough? Or did Severin do something to them? Did he zap only Spike's demon making him a human? Does Sev even have power to do that? And if so, that is a pretty HUGE plot development to be left ambiguous. Also, if that is in fact what he did to Spike them what did he do to Buffy? Take only part of her slayer powers?

Dowling has potential to be a fairly interesting character, maybe he and Buffy will date some? Would be nice for her to have another friend (outside the Scoobie circle) to lean on.

I wonder how Buffy is going to explain herself to her roomies. I can't imagine them being pleased, especially with the police knocking at their door looking for her...maybe Dowling could help patch things up. :p

I'd like to see more Xander/Dawn. I hope they don't fade into the background and become the boring wallflower couple.

Willow's attitude about the loss of magic is getting old. I'm glad to see her and Buffy making up but it makes me sad to see Willow so hell bent on needing magic. She was awesome before magic, she had plenty to offer the world and the Scoobies; why doesn't she see it?



So what did you guys think?
 

Icarium

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My condensed opinion: boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, astonishingly boring.

Severin is a moron. He could have stolen Buffy's powers while she was sleeping but no, he had to have a big villain speech first. Blaming Buffy for his girlfriend being Darwin award material is just insane.
 
H
Hale Caesar
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EVIL UU
EVIL UU
Yup, condensed boredom in a can
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Thank you for opening the thread, Brinkster130!


I loved the issue.

Overall, it's very good - quick-paced, with great twists and a couple of great one-liners. (Buffy about Severin: "[he] tried to turn me into his personal Duracell". Willow to Buffy after it's over: "I wanted to be here in case you joined the no-powers club. I thought you might need a magic-free shoulder to cry on".) But overall dialogues are functional and straightforward - I'd love to see more quips and quirks. Maybe it's because the issue is mostly about action.

A little bit of nitpicking: Spike sends group text messages about Siphon on page 8. On page 14 Xander and Dawn haven't got it yet; at least they act like they haven't. Continuity problem or something to do with the plot? I asked Jeanty about it; hopefully he'll provide some information.

The art is energetic and very cinematic. Colorist Michelle Madsen did particularly good job here: red and blue light from police cars are reflected on objects, faces and silhouettes, pulsing with action, with alarm, with emotions.

So, where do we go from here?

So far, Buffy and Spike are the only persons whom Severin zapped but not killed. The consequences can be varied. For example, Spikee may catch the Syphon virus and become the next Syphon. He may turn half-human, half-vampire He may turn human (although I doubt it) - gradually. Or maybe he has read Buffy's mind, has felt her love and now wants to leave because he doesn't want her to spend her life with a vampire. Or he may stay just the same Spike, slightly shaken by the experience but otherwise unchanged.

The same situation is with Buffy. Writers can go in each direction. By the end of the issue she says that she is still a slayer - but she may lose her powers gradually. Or she may acquire new powers.

By the end of the issue Buffy promises to Willow to help her ("Your magic, Will. We'll figure it out, I promise"). On the cover of the next issue Willow is shown leaving, and in the lettercol Allie says that "we say goodbye to a key character". My guess is that it's Allie's way of saying that Willow will go on a spiritual journey - either to rediscover magic or to deal with its loss.

Interesting detail: the power that Severin sucked out of vampires can do positive things - heal, for example. Maybe it's a clue to Willow's possible way of regaining her magic.

The scene where Buffy and Spike say each others' names is so shippy that I am really, really afraid for the future of my favorite blonds. Joss never gives shippers anything unless he plans to take away much more than he has given.


I wonder how Buffy is going to explain herself to her roomies. I can't imagine them being pleased, especially with the police knocking at their door looking for her...maybe Dowling could help patch things up.

I think she's going to confess everything so that they'll become her Scoobies-lite.

I'd like to see more Xander/Dawn. I hope they don't fade into the background and become the boring wallflower couple.

I hope for a meaty arc. For example, the only way to open portals and bring magic back is Dawn's keyness - probably with lethal consequences for her. Maybe that what "Dawnie should never know".
 

brinkster130

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I hope for a meaty arc. For example, the only way to open portals and bring magic back is Dawn's keyness - probably with lethal consequences for her. Maybe that what "Dawnie should never know".


I like this theory! It would make for a great arc and would explain why Buffy is promising to get magic back for Willow. I wonder if Willow would risk Dawn just to get magic back.
 

Abby27

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I thought it was a good issue. I am still not 100% sure on how the Siphon works if there isn't magick in the world, and the whole "sucking the power from the zompires to make them human to kill them" thing is still a little fuzzy...I blame my brain being dead from finals. If someone wants to take a sec and spell it out for me, I'd much appreciate it :)

I think my biggest issue with the issue is Xander and Dawn. Really? You are sitting on the couch watching your best friend/sister get arrested and your response is some sarcastic remark about her not listening to you? I am just...appalled with them, mostly Xander, that they can be taking such active roles in not helping Buffy. I get they want a normal life, but after everything they've been through, I don't think their actions are ok by any means -

- except if [MENTION=10218]Moscow Watcher[/MENTION] is right in that Dawn is somehow connected to the magick loss and maybe Xander and Buffy already have a thing worked out where Dawn needs to not be near anything that has to do with magick, slaying, or whatever. In that case, I could buy it, but they shouldn't be hiding that from Dawn.
 
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Abby27
I am still not 100% sure on how the Siphon works if there isn't magick in the world, and the whole "sucking the power from the zompires to make them human to kill them" thing is still a little fuzzy...

I don't understand it either. Moreover, just today, me and two other BtVS fans - we sat at my flat, drank tea and argued for several hours about new Buffyverse rules. And we agreed that they don't make sense if you try to dissect them.

I think my biggest issue with the issue is Xander and Dawn. Really? You are sitting on the couch watching your best friend/sister get arrested and your response is some sarcastic remark about her not listening to you?

But what exactly could they do? Go fight against the cops? They could only wait for Buffy's phone call to know where to go to bail her out. I don't think they're sarcastic - they're bitter and unhappy.

if [MENTION=10218]Moscow Watcher[/MENTION] is right in that Dawn is somehow connected to the magick loss and maybe Xander and Buffy already have a thing worked out where Dawn needs to not be near anything that has to do with magick, slaying, or whatever. In that case, I could buy it, but they shouldn't be hiding that from Dawn.

Hard to say. If this is really the scenario writers develop, there will be more drama if Dawn discovers it accidentally.
 
S
Skytteflickan88
Nice reasoning about Dawn & Xander, that bothered me at first.

sosa lola

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The Buffy/Willow scene was my favorite. I fell back in love with Willow again. I love how supportive she was, and the way she was smiling to Buffy. She's handling the loss of magic much better than I ever expected.

I can understand Xander's frustration with Buffy's recklessness. Falling for yet another trap instead of listening to her friends again, especially since the last trap - as far as I remember - she fell for caused Xander his eye ought to make one super annoyed. But I still think it's quite a jump between this resentful Xander and the "she-can-hear-me" Xander from S8. I know we'll get the missing pieces later, but the waiting is driving me crazy. What happened to Xander to make him this angry at Buffy?

I don't understand it either. Moreover, just today, me and two other BtVS fans - we sat at my flat, drank tea and argued for several hours about new Buffyverse rules. And we agreed that they don't make sense if you try to dissect them.

Didn't someone ask Scott Allie about that? *scraches head* It doesn't make sense. Unless he had that power before the seed was broken.
 

Abby27

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But what exactly could they do? Go fight against the cops? They could only wait for Buffy's phone call to know where to go to bail her out. I don't think they're sarcastic - they're bitter and unhappy.

I guess it's more their attitude. Like, not letting her crash at their place in the earlier issue, on top of his colorful remark. I guess I would expect them to do what Spike was doing, see her on TV and spring into action. But, I guess the whole point is that they are trying to live a "normal life." I guess I am just disappointed that they are putting Buffy out just so they can seek normalcy.
 

white avenger

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Why weren't Buffy and Spike killed when he zapped them?

It may just be wishful thinking on my part, but maybe it had something to do with the reason why the last time that they touched in the final battle in "Chosen," Buffy and Spike's hands burned, several seconds before the column of sunlight penetrated into the hellmouth and Spike ignited. If you look back on that scene, neither one of them react as though the flame is in any way painful. Buffy, in fact, looked more thrilled than in pain, while Spike just seemed surprised and a bit confused. I've always hoped that there could at some point be some sort of explanation, or at least mention, of that scene.
 

sosa lola

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I guess it's more their attitude. Like, not letting her crash at their place in the earlier issue, on top of his colorful remark. I guess I would expect them to do what Spike was doing, see her on TV and spring into action. But, I guess the whole point is that they are trying to live a "normal life." I guess I am just disappointed that they are putting Buffy out just so they can seek normalcy.

I don't think Xander and Dawn will be able to live this normal life they think they want with Buffy around. If they really wanted a normal life, they have to cut their ties with Buffy completely. Or else, they'll always be part of the fight.
 

EVIL UU

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Wow, that was so boring.

As a magical have-not...I wanted to be here in case you joined the no-powers club. I thought you might need a magick-free shoulder to cry on.
But she's already been magic-free, twice, last time she was doing just fine and wasn't looking for any shoulder to cry on. Willow was there with her in Tibet, is this some convenient amnesia or what?

Your magic Will...We'll figure it out. I promise.
Has she lost her mind?! She saw what magic had turned future Willow into, if she really cares about her she should encourage her to stay away from magic as far as possible.

So a STAKE TO THE GUTS didn't stop Severin but bullets did?

And Simone wants to kill Buffy because she removed the magic from the world? Really? Why would she even care about that?

We're 4 issues into the season, with A&F it's 8 issues, with Last Gleaming p5 it's 9 issues in a world without magic, that's about 200 pages of comic. A lot of comic. So my question is, why is the destruction of the seed considered to be such a bad thing? As I see it, the death of magic has two very positive consequences:

1. The demons cannot enter the world to, you know, DESTROY IT.
2. Witches cannot cast love spells, turn people into rats and DESTROY THE WORLD.

As you can see the death of magic is a GOOD thing, it's obvious really. So why is Buffy so hated, the World won the lottery and she bought the ticket.

[MENTION=10218]Moscow Watcher[/MENTION]
My guess is that it's Allie's way of saying that Willow will go on a spiritual journey
Again? Willow's been journeying since the end of season 6. Instead of showing some actual character development the writers remove her from the story and bring her back as a different person. It's unbelievably lazy.

[MENTION=10582]brinkster130[/MENTION]
And if so, that is a pretty HUGE plot development to be left ambiguous.
And we're what, surprised by this? It's like with space sex. Buffy was in control? She's a gargantuan idiot. Buffy wasn't in control? It's rape then. Can't have that can we, so she was kinda somewhat in control. Ambiguity is the last line of defence of a lousy writer. That and retroactive continuity, vampires cannot sire any more? Zompires, it's brilliant! Buffy has become a textbook of bad writing.
 
I
Icarium
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I guess it's more their attitude. Like, not letting her crash at their place in the earlier issue, on top of his colorful remark. I guess I would expect them to do what Spike was doing, see her on TV and spring into action. But, I guess the whole point is that they are trying to live a "normal life." I guess I am just disappointed that they are putting Buffy out just so they can seek normalcy.

"Spring into action" is too vague. What could they do exactly at that very moment - except preparing money to bail her out?

I agree that the scene highlights that Buffy and normal life are unmixy. But I don't feel that it depicts Xander and Dawn negatively. They're unhappy. They grumble. They are ready to bail Buffy out as soon as she gets her phone call and contacts them.

White Avenger
It may just be wishful thinking on my part, but maybe it had something to do with the reason why the last time that they touched in the final battle in "Chosen," Buffy and Spike's hands burned, several seconds before the column of sunlight penetrated into the hellmouth and Spike ignited. If you look back on that scene, neither one of them react as though the flame is in any way painful. Buffy, in fact, looked more thrilled than in pain, while Spike just seemed surprised and a bit confused. I've always hoped that there could at some point be some sort of explanation, or at least mention, of that scene.

I love your idea! They've got the inoculation against fire-y magic. :)
 

Icarium

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Again? Willow's been journeying since the end of season 6. Instead of showing some actual character development the writers remove her from the story and bring her back as a different person. It's unbelievably lazy.

True. All the timeskips, characters going away and so on are signs of sheer writer laziness. It's downright hilarious that no one has so much as mentioned Giles's death or the "apocalypse" at the end of S8.

A lot of comic. So my question is, why is the destruction of the seed considered to be such a bad thing?

Because otherwise they might actually address the spacefrak issue and they obviously aren't going to do that, lets the Bangel shippers take offence.
 

Abby27

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"Spring into action" is too vague. What could they do exactly at that very moment - except preparing money to bail her out?

I would expect Xander and Dawn to see what was happening and head down to the docks ASAP. For multiple reasons: Knowing there lives, and knowing Buffy, it would be safe to assume that if Buffy was there, there is probably something more going on - like a fight with a baddie. Also, even if it was strictly Buffy getting arrested, I would think they would head down there to support her. Let her know they were gonna bail her out.

I see your point that if Xander and Dawn want to have a normal life (which out of all the Scoobies, they have the best shot at it), that would mean Buffy's role in their lives would decrease. I just think it's sad that they are unwilling to help her out just to secure a "normal life." It goes against the whole idea of the Scoobies. Which, is fine for character development. I mean, all these people have been doing this for almost 10 years, it's just sad to see. I am not saying Xander and Dawn are horrible friends, but I am disappointed with how they chose to act with Buffy during this arc.
 
Moscow Watcher
Moscow Watcher
I agree. But I think that their attempts to have a normal life will be short-lived. This is Jossverse, after all.

Skytteflickan88

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Did he zap only Spike's demon making him a human? Does Sev even have power to do that? And if so, that is a pretty HUGE plot development to be left ambiguous. Also, if that is in fact what he did to Spike them what did he do to Buffy? Take only part of her slayer powers?

Not sure when, but I think Severin spoke about it in a earlier issue, how when he sucked out the demon, or killed the demon, the human died too. Makes sense, considering that people have to die to become a vampire, so without the demon, all there is is a corpse.

A little bit of nitpicking: Spike sends group text messages about Siphon on page 8. On page 14 Xander and Dawn haven't got it yet; at least they act like they haven't. Continuity problem or something to do with the plot? I asked Jeanty about it; hopefully he'll provide some information.

Maybe their cells were off? Or the panels weren't shown chronologically?(I need to re-read to see if the last alternative is likely)

But she's already been magic-free, twice, last time she was doing just fine and wasn't looking for any shoulder to cry on. Willow was there with her in Tibet, is this some convenient amnesia or what?

When was the second time?

And even if Willow thought Buffy would be fine (which I don't, since from what I recall, Willow was aware of Buffy's confusion about losing her powers in season 3) making sure doesn't hurt.

Friends having a talk about life altering events makes sense to me.


Has she lost her mind?! She saw what magic had turned future Willow into, if she really cares about her she should encourage her to stay away from magic as far as possible.

I think she finally realized that both Willow and the world needed magic. That they were missing something. That seemed to be one of the mayor themes if this arc.


We're 4 issues into the season, with A&F it's 8 issues, with Last Gleaming p5 it's 9 issues in a world without magic, that's about 200 pages of comic. A lot of comic. So my question is, why is the destruction of the seed considered to be such a bad thing? As I see it, the death of magic has two very positive consequences:

1. The demons cannot enter the world to, you know, DESTROY IT.
2. Witches cannot cast love spells, turn people into rats and DESTROY THE WORLD.

As you can see the death of magic is a GOOD thing, it's obvious really. So why is Buffy so hated, the World won the lottery and she bought the ticket.

The world if full of magical things. Beings, powers depend on it. I imagine it's as if part of the energy of the world disapeared, or is dying. I see it like that because magic seems to be such a important part of the world. It's something every human could connect to,, even if it was just through rituals for some. Maybe every human, every being, is in a way a bit magical. Maybe it's like the battery went dead, and the world if being drained, and the energy is fading.

And if Willow says the world is missing something, I assume she's right. Could be a ex-junkie overreacting, or a woman who's felt the essence of the world and know it's missing something. I got the feeling in the beginning of season 7 that Willow had really started to connect with the earth. Recall the flower scene?

All we do know for sure is that magic has been around for a long time. Probably before the Big Bang. Assuming that it's important seems likely. Specially if one considers echosystems; you remove one part, you effect the whole system.


And we're what, surprised by this? It's like with space sex. Buffy was in control? She's a gargantuan idiot. Buffy wasn't in control? It's rape then. Can't have that can we, so she was kinda somewhat in control. Ambiguity is the last line of defence of a lousy writer. That and retroactive continuity, vampires cannot sire any more? Zompires, it's brilliant! Buffy has become a textbook of bad writing.

I wish i could disagree on this, but sadly, I can just nod.
 

dexeded

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I'm not particularly impressed by the comics. I downright loathe S8. S9 is a little better. Zompires are stupid. I agree with most opinions on this thread.

But Xander and Dawn not helping Buffy was something I wasn't really all that fussed about. Maybe it's because I don't really care about the characters in the comics, which I don't, but it's also because Buffy would've been discovered had they harbored her. The police came a-knocking on their door looking for Buffy shortly after she was on the most-wanted list, so it seemed pretty logical to me that Buffy staying with them, when they were still affiliated with her, would have her captured in a matter of days, at least.
 

Anca

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I liked the issue (and the Freefall arc). I think it's a nice setup to discover in the end that the real Syphon will be Willow (transforms herself in FDW)
 

EVIL UU

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[MENTION=8557]Skytteflickan88[/MENTION]

When was the second time?

In Tibet when Buffy and other Slayers channelled their magic and gave it to the Goddesses. Buffy seemed to be doing very well and she certainly wasn't going

My magic is gone! I can't kill things with my bare hands any more! My life is OVER!

In her own words, she started to "feel more". That's pretty positive for a person with a long, ugly history of emotional shutdown.

The world if full of magical things. Beings, powers depend on it. I imagine it's as if part of the energy of the world disapeared, or is dying. I see it like that because magic seems to be such a important part of the world. It's something every human could connect to,, even if it was just through rituals for some. Maybe every human, every being, is in a way a bit magical. Maybe it's like the battery went dead, and the world if being drained, and the energy is fading. And if Willow says the world is missing something, I assume she's right. Could be a ex-junkie overreacting, or a woman who's felt the essence of the world and know it's missing something. I got the feeling in the beginning of season 7 that Willow had really started to connect with the earth. Recall the flower scene? All we do know for sure is that magic has been around for a long time. Probably before the Big Bang. Assuming that it's important seems likely. Specially if one considers echosystems; you remove one part, you effect the whole system.

I get your point but really, we don't know any of that. Aside from Willow's whining and the mumblings of those generic demon siblings from A&F there's nothing in the comic that suggests the importance of magic for the planet and the humanity. If magic really is vital, well that's big news, so big that it should have been mentioned somewhere in the comic.

As for now, I see the death of magic as the ultimate victory of the humanity - demons can't enter the world and hey, we have an army of Slayers. Demons have fed on us and killed us and played with our lives for thousands of years. It's payback time! Let's kill every single demon and vampire ( Angel and Spike included ) and cleanse our world of demonic vermin once and for all! Because why the hell not? Are you with me? I said, are YOU with me?

So when Buffy gives money to a demon instead of ripping his head off right on the spot, I...well, it's just pathetic.
 

Skytteflickan88

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[MENTION=11194]EVIL UU[/MENTION]

I would have to say no, I am very much not with you. Killing innocent beings isn't my thing. I actually thought Buffy was too rough to the demon who wanted money.
 

EVIL UU

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Killing innocent beings isn't my thing.

It's a demon, it cannot be innocent.

Or can it? It's a double edged sword. Innocence implies the existence of free will. If demons can be innocent then they also have a free will, much like humans. You may ask, what's so bad about demons having a free will? For one, it completely ruins the entire franchise.

There's no difference between Angel and Angelus because they both have a free will, therefore Buffy should have thrown him back to hell the moment he crawled back. Soul or no soul - it becomes meaningless. Oz is responsible for every murder he committed as a werewolf. Demons are no different than humans so every Slayer, a protector of the innocent, is obliged to slay not only evil demons but also evil humans. Vampires have a free will so Buffy has slain hundreds ( thousands? ) of innocent newly risen vampires.

Do you want your Buffy to be like that? Do YOU? No? So stop caring about this innocence nonsense and JOIN THE CAUSE! TOGETHER WE SHALL CLEANSE OUR HOME OF DEMONIC FILTH!


Um...yeah. I know that morality in Buffy has always sucked but this time the writers in all their pretentiousness have really written themselves into a corner. Mind my words, it will only get more and more ridiculous.
 
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