Headscratchers: Buffy Season 8
Headscratchers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer
. Spoilers abound.
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Clashing with Season 4
- In Season 4, Parker exploits Buffy's emotions for a quick lay and then leaves her. Parker is seen is a dirtbag piece of shit. In Season 8, Buffy exploits Satsu's emotions for a quick lay and then leaves her. Satsu is given shit about it while they continue to try to shill Kennedy. What the fuck?
- Perspective. In The Parker Show, Parker's buddies probably spent an episode agreeing with him that Women Be Crazy after that Freshman he slept with one time got herself turned into a cavegirl and beat him up.
- Buffy was honest with Satsu, Parker wasn't honest with Buffy. Big difference, in my opinion.
- Parker was completely honest with Buffy - he was a bit of a dick about it, but completely honest; I actually thought it was a bit contrived to give him so much shit for what he did, to the point where they had to deliberately make him seem like more of an asshole to get audiences to dislike him.
- Well, that falls under Alternate Character Interpretation. When Parker was seducing Buffy, did he honestly not realize that he was leading her on and implying a deeper connection between them, or was he intentionally trying to mislead her and only went all "who said anything about committment?" after the fact? Most people go with the latter interpretation.
- Satsu wasn't given shit about it. What are you talking about?
Warren & The First
- According to the season 8 comic Warren survived his flaying. So how could the First take his shape?
- Quoting Joss Whedon when asked that exact question: "I forgot, OK?" He also went to say that Warren was dead "for like, a second" before Amy resuscitated him, resulting in a technical death that was enough for the First Evil to impersonate him. Which has legitimate precedent, since the First was also able to impersonate Buffy on account of her flatlining briefly and being resuscitated back in Season 1.
- Actually, we only saw the First impersonate Buffy after she had died in Season 5. But Warren was flayed; even if it was brief, it was a pretty extreme death.
- We only see the First once prior to season 7 though and torturing Angel with Buffy probably wouldn't have worked at the time.
When is the Buffyverse Unmasqued?
- Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the Buffyverse is now The Unmasqued World, it did take Sunnydale Syndrome to ridiculous levels and it makes for an interesting direction for the franchise. What bugs me is that we don't know what caused it. Has it been since the destruction of Sunnydale? It seems unlikely given that Angel season five is set after that. Was it LA going to hell? Probably the most likely option but it really bugs me that we're never given an answer or actually shown it.
- I think Wolfram & Hart's reality-rewrite of Conner's life also removed most of season 5's public fallout, since their success depends on The Masquerade and Jasmine blew the lid on everything. I don't think Sunnydale by itself got much attention (it did from the government, but they already knew about the hellmouth and presumably invented a cover story, such as a freak earthquake and sinkhole, to explain it). The Fall of Los Angeles at least killed the masquerade for the city itself, and the stories coming out of L.A. were probably pushing the rest of the world into collective uncertainty... and then Harmony came along and nudged public opinion right over the edge into "holy crap, there really are vampires and they're awesome!" territory.
- There is at least one man who isn't in the "They're Awesome!" category and is well known. As seen in a tie-in online comic, Stephen Colbert points out Harmony's hypocrisy.
- I thought he was just staying in character as the paranoid right wing nutjob.
- He was siding with Harmony (while stealthy pointing out her stupidity). Siding with her = against her.
Season Eight, After the Fall, and Timeline
- After the Fall is presumably set just after Angel Season Five, which means that it's a year after Buffy Season Seven ended. Buffy Season Eight however is just given as "some years later." Is there actually a canonical figure for how far ahead in time, Season Eight is to After the Fall?
- S8 is 1 1/2 years after S7 and therefor 1/2 a year after ATF.
- Ethan was shown to be a fairly powerful sorcerer on many occasions, and yet he wasn’t able to escape from The Initiative? The Initiative had no idea what it was doing, since it was approaching the supernatural from a science perspective, not a magical one. The idea that they could deal with a Chaos Mage is laughable, so the fact that they were able to haul Ethan to Nevada and keep him for all those years makes no sense whatsoever.
- The military in the comics is not The Initiative. They are a much larger organization with better resources, and presumably far better equipt to deal with the supernatural than the Initiative due to having Twilight and Amy as consultants.
- The problem is the Initiative specialized in magic and monsters and should have been better prepared than the military as a whole. It's literally their speciality. The two consultants mentioned didn't show up until at the very earliest roughly three years later. Since Twilight was either good, working for Wolfram and Hart or in Hell at the time, and Amy was a rat for two years after this event and doesn't seem to be consulting anything but a bunch of just out of bake sales witches in season seven. The below guess that he simply can't gather any of the tools necessary seems to be the most likely answer. Though you'd think he'd be able to figure out something simple with just common tools. He was quite clever.
- Neither Giles nor Ethan is Willow; at no point have either of them demonstrated the ability to create magic from nothing, with the exception of when Giles was buffed up on True Magic. They've always needed physical components and incantations. Giles, at least, has his Watcher's combat training to fall back on, though that certainly would not have been sufficient to get him out of prison had he been in Ethan's place. Ethan, without his magic, is just a frail, helpless old man.
- Giles leaving all his wealth and house to Faith. I know people find it a nice scene of Giles taking care of Faith, but why couldn't he had taken care of both Faith and Buffy? It's not like savings can't be split in half for crying out loud. It's bad enough that Buffy had sacrificed half her life and future (remember her SAT scores?) in the name of duty while Giles apparently grew rich on double paychecks, he could at least have provided for her a little instead of, you know, leaving her flat out broke. I mean, Buffy shouldn't have to be waiting tables by day and patrolling at night at the age of 30, while her ungrateful sister (who she died for...) chases her from their couch with fake sex sound. Ok, that might have been unfair on Dawn, but I think Buffy deserves a little better, after all she had been through and all the sacrifices she had made over the years. Giles could have at least left her a home of her own. It's not like she isn't starting to get old.
- They own a castle and fund an army. She ain't poor by any definition of the word.
- They funded an army by breaking into banks and other things that depended on having a Slayer army, and those Slayers don't exactly back her up anymore. It wouldn't have hurt Giles to give her something.
- It's unlikely that Giles knew what Buffy's financial status would look like at the most recent time he updated his living will. Before the series of events that ultimately killed him, at the last chance he would have had to update his will, Buffy was living pretty in a castle with a Slayer Army that honestly didn't look like it was going to up and turn on her any time soon, while Faith had nothing but Giles to support her.
Lack of Magic considered bad
- Why is the sucking away of all magic, demons and all the other potential apocalypses considered a bad thing? Think about it, all that's left are vampires and slayers, and maybe whatever is on their level. Sure, witches don't get to do crap anymore, but that for the price of preventing what has to be the daily massacres of demons feeding on humans, the level of fighting humans were having to do against demonic opponents, and the prevention of some hormonal teenager from ending the world because they lost a loved one on some Tuesday, I'd say the world is better off. So why is everyone bitching about it?
- Take away all technology beyond, let's say, Medieval levels. No one's being shot, blown up, napalmed, etc, no one can develop biological weapons, pollution has dropped massively. Sure, people in the first world and sufficiently rich people in the third world don't get to do crap anymore, but hey!
- Except that there's no record of magic ever giving the world the same benefits that technology and learning has. Where with a removal of technology, billions of people would die, with the removal of magic, more people would live. Technology brought the world an increase in the quality of life of the entire world, whereas magic has done nothing of the kind.
- The Slayer line ended. That's a big deal. There is a finite number of Slayers now who are mortal, whereas vampires still have means of making more of their kind. So a day will come when there will still be vamps, but no Slayer to fight them. A valid reason to get pissed off.
- OP posting here: Except that the Masquerade is over, and EVERYONE is aware of vampires. This includes governments and police forces, which now knowing what the problem is, can't blame the deaths of thousands of people with two holes on their neck on PCP and gangs anymore or accidents with barbeque forks. Meaning that you don't need an army of crusading teenagers who think they're above the law.
- I think part of the problem lies in how demons (who I understand are not inherently bad, even though they were generally a pain), wiccans and the like had this forced on them. It would be similar if negros or sexual orientation; if you believe that's by birth rather than by choice, were forced to be white and straight.
- I wouldn't say lack of magic is bad, but it does seem like far too easy of a solution and a complete disappointment as far as plot resolution goes.
- It is and it isn't. The death of magic is a complicated issue that can be considered both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. The end of the Slayer line is a potential concern, though the larger problems that the Slayer is needed to handle, such as the constant apocalypses, have also ended. To the every day person, the end of magic doesn't really affect them one way or the other. To the witches, the end of magic is the most horrible thing anyone could ever have done to them. To the vampires, the idea that a day will come when the Slayer no longer exists in any form is a happy ending in and of itself. It's all really a matter of perspective.
- OP Again, while it might suck that the Slayer line will dwindle out eventually, this comes with the benefit of those yearly demon slaughters will no longer continue, that you won't have teenagers with the powers of a god going on killing sprees and no one able to stop them, and eventually no super powered slayers who think they're above the law and can take what they want because they were chosen by a spell. Yes, there are still vampires, but the world knows about them now. While admittedly, there's some sort of bizaree Jersey Shore thing going on with Harmony and reality shows, but something like a legitimate form of the Initiative could police the streets and ensure that vampires aren't a problem. Buffy and company just became redundant, they can live their normal lives now. As for any witches complaining that they lost their really cool powers, we haven't been shown many witches who have used those with maturity, let alone sanity, so an entitled group losing their unequal advantage to the rest of the world isn't that bad a thing.
- Addressed in Family Reunion. Willow has a massive freak out because she believes the world is going to end because there is no magic. How massive? She gets Connor to allow her to slice him up in a bid to bring back magic.
Why wasn't Faith identified?
- Genevieve Savidge sought to assassinate Buffy, right? She had gathered every scrap of information, every image she could to do so, right? So when Faith goes undercover wouldn't Genevieve Savidge identify her?
- Faith and Buffy haven't been tight since they were in high school, and even then, they only hung out on rare occasions, most of which were slaying. Unless they were taking photos of their kills for posterity, it's unlikely that Faith appears in any picture of Buffy.
No Attempt at Normality?
- For 7 years Buffy has always wanted a normal life, made it known that's her wish on more than enough occasions. So did Willow near the beginning of Season 7 wanting to get rid of the magic and power she gained. Xander who has always been normal and could seemingly make the break for having a normal easiest has said that life would be easier without the constant monster attack. So there's all that then the comics show up and instead everyone has the exact opposite of a normal life, Buffy and Xander head up a paramilitary organization of Slayers, Willow is deeper into magic than she ever was in the show. Did anyone even try a normal life? I mean sure there was no way they ever could, you don't fight vampires,demons, and gods for 7 years and just cut and run, but damn, give it a try. There's now over 1500 slayers, other witches of comparable power, no offense to Xander but Robin Wood has shown that there are other Badass Normals. There was no reason they couldn't have attempted some sense of normalcy.
- They could have at least shown some flash backs of Buffy, Willow, Kennedy going to college, Xander at a construction site, Giles trying to re-open the Magic Box and a collective epiphany that its never going to work. But no, every one went from "Hey maybe we can salvage a somewhat normal life" to " Lets engage in a full on war with evil", its just odd.
- Season nine looks into this. One of the reasons Buffy, et al didn't try and live a normal life before was because the vampire problem still needed dealing with. Slayers needed to be trained up (some had gone bad.) The army is quickly onto them so they couldn't do anything until that was sorted. When the dust does settle the team do try and live normal lives, however without magic things are even worse now. Buffy alternates between wanting to give it up and not being able to. It's Wood who has the answer: the reason Slayers keep fighting is because they need to, they can't live a normal life.
- I think it's debatable any of them had any true interest in a normal life. Buffy gets angsty but mostly when she's up against the wall and doesn't want to die. When she loses her powers temporarily in Season 3 she's no where near celebratory about it. She never seems to seriously entertain the idea of Faith taking over either. She does talk about it in a sort of vague way but not the way that someone who wants out does. Willow doesn't want to hurt anybody and is afraid she'll go dark. I think she got over it when she awoke every Slayer on the planet. She basically had a crisis of confidence. Giles presumably like Wesley was born a Watcher and would ultimately lose it (remember originally plans were for Ripper to be a spin off for him) if he wasn't involved on some level. Xander is only there for his friends and if they left he'd probably follow. Woods being more qualified has nothing to do with it. Giles is more qualified, Riley is more qualified. Pretty much any trained martial artist would be better qualified than he is.
- No offense to Buffy, but she's never been shown to be that great of a leader on a large scale, if "Empty Places" is to be believed everyone else thought the same thing, with good reason she lead a full on assault on a place she had no idea about, didn't know about the security the forces inside it was a mess, people died, her plan after that was to go back, sure she was right in the end but the Writers made it right, it was still a bad idea, horrible actually. Then when people thought she was a good leader again, she takes like 25 non-superpowered teenagers to fight vampires from hell, rather than stand at the 4 foot wide hole in the ground and stab them while they climbed out in a single file line. These are not the marks of a great leader.
- Then Season 8 rolls around and somehow she set up a Command Base, complete with mystical defenses, actual defenses, she has a pretty good command structure set up with her and the slayers. She has radar, for some odd reason she wants sonar, she has a group of seers and psychics for magic detection. For someone who couldn't handle college, a boyfriend and being a slayer, she has her Slayer organization running like a champ. How did that happen, someone who cant inspire loyalty in her life long friends, to having hundreds of people at her disposal who would die for her, it must have been some crazy year and a half.
- Buffy robbed a bank for funding, and Xander used his comic book geekdom and his military knowledge to make the slayers competent. Buffy is a figurehead who thinks she's actually leading the Slayers, often with disastrous results.
Buffy hates Magic
- I've thought this ever since Willow became big with the magics, but why doesn't Buffy even make an attempt to became good with magic, I guess from a writing stand point Buffy could never become magically incline because it could have made Willow a little useless, but it's just dumb from a perspective of Buffy has been under spells, and gotten her ass handed to her by magic before, why she never tried to find a way so that doesn't happen again is stupid. But in Season 8 where she became Super-Woman, Buffy was still shown to be pure fighter just having magical helpers. It's not like they had to make her Willow's equal or anything or even half as strong as she was, just not so much pointless when something couldn't be punched to death.
- Time isn't an infinitely available resource, and every skill takes a long time to learn. Buffy already has a really full plate trying to balance being a Slayer, being a friend, training to avoid becoming a rusty and easily killed Slayer, going to school/working to support her household, and being a mom to Dawn. There isn't any time for her to spend the years it would take learning to become a practicing witch when her schedule ALREADY leaves her having to struggle to find time for everyone, and given that her best friend is an incredibly powerful witch and her Watcher knows a lot of magic, there isn't a reason for her to try to squeeze it in either. What sets Buffy apart from other Slayers has always been the fact that she has a support team to cover bases she can't, rather than just trying to be everything at once.
- I understand that, but there will probably be a time where Willow or Giles isn't around when Buffy is going against a witch or warlock of comparable power to Willow, and besides an ass-pull by the writers she would probably get killed, I don't think shes strong enough to fall from a 1000 feet up after getting teleported, and i don't think she would survive a flaying, no one said she had to be an uber-witch just to learn some defensive measures. It's just that during Season 3, magic became a huge part of the show, it just seems like an oversight that she never learned anything, especially because Willow has always shown an affinity for teaching.
- Buffy barely had time for her schoolwork in season three, let alone trying to pick up a new skill that would requires years of study to learn. If anything, she had even less time with every passing year. It's not a matter of whether or not Willow could teach her, it's a question of when she would find the time to do so when Buffy's schedule is packed tight as it is. Her slaying is pretty much a full-time job, and we hear frequent complaints from Buffy about not having time to do anything and have a social life, and how her whole life revolves around slaying.
- Like a lot of things in the show it can be explained easily if you remember the Watchers are some combination of stupid and cruel. We don't really know how basic, basic magic is other than Willow (who's incredibly talented) could do it after casually reading a few books and Xander cast at least two spells (summoning of Sweet which is probably fantastically easy for obvious reasons, and setting fire to a book). However Buffy is as they say naturally buff. If taking a few days off a week from physical training could give her even low level magic the only reason not to is because Watchers don't actually want Slayers to live long enough to become independent and aware of who exactly holds the power between the two of them.
- Hybrid Overkill Avoidance
Dawn and Kenny
- After months of buildup we finally find out that the reason Dawn cheated on Kenny was "I wasn't ready [for sex with you]" because she has "very intense feelings for [Kenny]". I just don't get how this apology goes over as well as it does when it's essentially just saying I slept with your roommate because I liked you so much.
Why have a "Season 8" at all?