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Buffy — Season Eight: Twilight

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Well.  I believe the term ‘ruffle some feathers’ is fairly applicable here; this arc caused so much shit in so many ways that now that it’s over, you wonder if anything could really top it, both for storytelling and feather ruffling.  If nothing else it showed that, despite the criticism (some of it deserved) Season 8 has been receiving in some circles, there’s still a lot of interest from the fans, and the diehards are still willing to die hard with every issue, if not every single line of dialogue.

It’s probably pointless to say ‘spoilers ahead,’ because if you haven’t read this arc and you don’t know whom Twilight is yet — despite that info being leaked back in January, hence some of the shit-that-was-caused — then I’m not sure why you’re even here.  But, on the off-chance that there are any strange, hermetic, hermaphroditic people who are somehow stumbling on this post before reading the arc, I have saved any ‘OMFG!’ moments until after the jump.

Except that Twilight is Angel.

And really, if you think about it, whom else could it have been?  Of the massive-amounts-of-feces that went flying around the internet after the leak of this info, half of it was, of course, ‘fuck you for leaking this and spoiling it for me’ (my reaction), and the other half was ‘how can you make Angel (not Angelus) be a bad guy?  He killed Slayers for poop’s sake!!!’

And yes, there’s certainly some validity to that second point there, and this is something that’s going to have to handled with extreme care to both make it fit and appease the readership; but, again, in terms of who makes the most sense as Twilight, Angel is really the only option.  I remember in an interview way way back, Joss said something like ‘it’s hard to introduce new characters quickly in a comic book and have the reader actually care about that character’; it was this statement that hinted to everyone that Twilight would be someone Buffy knew (and then, of course, they made that very obvious in Twilight’s first appearance).  So basically, you need to have something or someone which is gonna pack the biggest emotional punch, and of course, that’s Angel.  But it’s gotta be done right, obviously, and here’s where I think it’s possible they failed, because there are some big problems.

First, how does he get from the aftermath of After the Fall (i.e. IDW’s ongoing series — which sucks right now, by the way, so much so that I’m not even reading it), in which he’s a celebrity in L.A., to being Twilight?  And second, if his and Buffy’s ‘destiny’ is simply to fuck and ascend to some higher reality to ‘begin existence anew,’ or something, why would he keep trying to kill her?  He says something about trying to redress the balance that Buffy broke when she Slayer-ized all the potentials, but if that’s true, why not just come and talk to Buffy about it, or try to get Willow to undo the spell?  Why all the death and destruction?  This is my big concern with this whole concept . . . unless it’s not a concern.  Unless they’re keeping in mind all the Shanshu Prophecy stuff, and Buffy and Angel’s real destiny is really to fight to the death after all (and the way that the Twilight arc ends — with them not ascending — one can suppose that is maybe where we’re headed).  If that’s the case, then that’s fine.  We must also remember the relevant information from Fray, where it says there was some massive ‘event’ which took all the magic out of the world and caused the Slayer line to die out until Fray’s time.  That, of course, sounds exactly like how the ‘Twilight event’ was being described in Season 8.  So is this what Season 9 will be?  I certainly hope so.

Okay, enough of that.  Other random thoughts:

— So is Angel still cursed, or what?  Him and Buffy have what is apparently the best sex ever in the history of the universe, but it doesn’t give him a moment of ‘happiness?’  Either the curse is gone or he’s just gotten really, really good at controlling his emotions (who knew Tai Chi was that powerful?).

— What was with all the superhero gear that Andrew found at the hideout?  While it was supposed to be funny in a nerdy way, I thought it was just silly and gratuitous.

— We’re still unresolved with the Dark Willow stuff.  Is this going to be how Season 8 ends off, or will Dark Willow help to climax it all in Season 9?

— Spike’s entrance at the end.  Well — classic.  But again, I wonder: is this going to tie in to the Spike series now underway at IDW?  I certainly hope so, and the fact that that series was delayed tells me that maybe this is the case.

Oh, and this is still meat-and-potatoes Whedon, so start your guessing now on who’s going to get killed off.  My guess is Xander, given that he’s just ‘fallen in love’ (because we know how long those things last in the Wedonverse).

Or maybe Kennedy.  At least we’ll know by, oh, the end of the year.

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