A lot of issues were never dealt with in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Quietly papered over and ignored because no one wanted to face them. It's a way to quick and easy peace. Unfortunately, that approach leaves gaps. Chinks in the armor. When the fallen angel Belial, the greatest of tempters, comes in from the Outer Dark, the Scooby Gang and especially Buffy are vulnerable to his blandishments.
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The Devil's Truth Series contains examples of:
- 0% Approval Rating: The Scourge, amongst the demon population, not that they're popular amongst the rest of the supernatural community.
- Author Avatar: Belial is basically this for the author, who is displeased about the fact that the many sins of the Scoobies and Angel Investigations teams go unanswered for.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: When he's still trying to tempt Buffy, Belial takes human form. The Metatron takes the form of Alan Rickman.
- While a twenty-foot tall giant with antlers and hooves is hardly "comfortable", at least it's within the parameters of what the Scoobies are prepared to deal with, and in any case much more comfortable than the true form of a god of life and death.
- Armor-Piercing Question: While tempting Buffy, Belial asks Buffy if she knows how many girls were raped in UC Sunnydale.
- Bargain with Heaven: Cordelia goes into a trance to contact the Powers, whom for once give precise, non-vague instructions. Cordelia even lampshades it
- Continuity Nod: Belial points all the little sins of the Scoobies:
- Such as when the Scoobies confronted Buffy after she ran away and when they found out about Angel being back;
- The Scoobies not noticing that Buffy was possessed, and that the only person who noticed something was wrong with her was Tara, who never met Buffy before;
- The one time that Angel asked The Oracles to unmake the day he was human;
- When Joyce convinced Angel to leave Buffy;
- Eldritch Abomination: Angelus in his form as a "true vampire demon". The angels probably count, too. They're just prettier
- Enemy Without: Angelus is separated from Angel by Belial in the first part.
- Functional Magic: The Scoobies and Angel Investigations teams make use of all sort of magics for their fight against Angelus
- Force Magic: Usually when Willow and Tara combine their collective mana to cast stronger spells.
- Ritual Magic: They did this twice, first to cast a hate-bond to track Angelus and later to rein in Oz' werewolf curse.
- Theurgy: Invoking the power of gods through seven religious symbolsnote to allow Cordelia to contact the Powers That Be.
- Gag Penis: Cernunnos is twenty feet tall, but since he's a fertility god, he has one of these even in proportion to his size
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: Averted, the Powers That Be don't intervene because doing so would destroy the Earth
- Heaven: Faith goes here for a few minutes after she's wounded in battle to receive instructions on how to defeat Belial. Cordelia later visits it too during an induced trance
- Heroic Sacrifice: Faith does this to stop Belial. She gets better.
- Holier Than Thou: Buffy calls out both Xander and Joyce for acting like this, constantly acting like they're the righteous ones and rubbing her mistakes and screw-ups in her face when they themselves have also screwed up majorly.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Belial uses this argument during his temptation of Buffy by pointing out that the world is filled with horrible people.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Faith does this in her Heroic Sacrifice
- Kill It with Fire: Willow and Tara combine their mana to cast a fireball spell, killing half of the Scourge forces and wounding Angelus.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Belial's goal.
- Listing The Forms Of Degenerates: During his rant about how human evil, he lists that amongst the human evils includes murders, rapists, torturers, abusers, racists, homophobes, liars and thieves
- Marry Them All: The solution to not one but two love triangles
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Buffy delivers one to Angel. They're usually better matched, but he's talking instead of fighting in the hopes of getting through to her
- Our Angels Are Different: Belial is too metaphysically "big" to enter our universe, and requires a large natural crystal to use as a "bridgestone". Fortunately, the Hellmouth is happy to provide. When he takes angelic form, he looks like he's made of crystal and his "halo" looks like orbiting stars
- The Metatron looks like a giant (as in, one eye takes up most of the sky when he opens it) figure made out of night sky and he speaks with a voice like a chorus of people of all ages and sexes speaking in perfect unison
- Our Demons Are Different: Belial is a fallen angel variant, and once Angelus is pulled out of Angel and becomes a "pure vampire demon", he goes full-bore Eldritch Abomination in short order
- Powers That Be: Here the Trope Namer|s are composed of angels and pagan gods, instead of being merely powerful Eldritch Abomination|s like in canon.
- Rage Breaking Point: Buffy is slowly pushed to this by Belial, who reminds her of the different sins the Scoobies and Angel's crew committed against her and never actually apologized for. The final straw is when he reveals that Xander lied to her about Willow's message to ensure Buffy would kill Angel. Buffy has a massive Freak Out!, has to be physically restrained by Angel and Riley from tearing Xander apart, and ends up giving Angel a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
Buffy: Now listen to me carefully. 'Cause I'm only going to say this once. I know I'm not perfect. I've screwed up majorly, and it has always come out, and I've apologized, and we've dealt. I have some major apologies to make for tonight. The way I see it, that's how it always works with this group. We must be the biggest bunch of screw-ups on this planet, 'cause we just do it over and over again: we hurt each other, it comes out, we apologize, and we deal. But you two? It never came out for you, did it? You just keep acting righteous and grinding my face into my mistakes until it bled! [to Xander] Get me turned into a rat? I never say one angry word to you. [to Joyce] Try to burn me at the stake? I let go 'cause I don't want you to feel bad. But you both keep acting like the Justified, telling me what an untrustworthy screwup I was at every turn. Well, guess what? As far as I'm concerned, neither of you is going to be the Justified again. No matter what I do, you have no right to act like you have any kind of moral authority at all. Ever.
- Buffy dishes out one to both Xander and Joyce after defeating Belial, chewing them out for their treatment of her:
Angel: I should kill you. Not for me. If you'd told Buffy, maybe she could have kept me away from Acathla long enough so that I wouldn't have had to go to Hell. Maybe I wouldn't have been tortured for more than six thousand years. We'll never know, will we? But that's a maybe. And maybe she would have let her guard down just far enough for Angelus to kill her. He was ready to, you know. So who knows? Maybe you even did the right thing, wrong reasons and all. And I don't care if you hate me, either. You're a petty, spiteful little boy who can't deal with someone intruding on what you perceive to be your territory. I think Oz will agree with me on that. No, the reason I want pry your ribcage open and eat your heart right now is how you treated Buffy. Angelus returns, and what do you do? Gloat and browbeat her to kill mehim. You'd always wanted me dead, and you finally had an excuse. No sympathy for what she's feeling. Your hatred for me crowded that out. When she finally does kill me, she runs away. Weaker souls have been driven to suicide by what she went through, but do you care? No. All you cared about was how she "ruined your life" by leaving for a summer that she would have spent with her father anyway. Who would she have talked with about her grief if she'd stayed, huh? Giles or Willow, who IAngelushurt? Or you, who would have been gloating? Maybe you- [points to Joyce] after you let her back in the house? Or maybe the nice police who interrogated her for murder? She gets back, and you know she had to kill the man she loves, you don't care, because that man was me. You never stopped berating her and rubbing her face in all the harm that Ihedid, until you found out what it was like to not be forgiven. Congratulations, Xander. Angelus would have admired your cruelty.
- Angel gets in on it was well, calling out the Scoobies, especially Xander, for their behavior:
- Shown Their Work: Played with. Belial talks about how the Claddagh rings are actually wedding ringsnote which means that when Angel gave them to Buffy, shared vows and then made love for the first time, that's basically a matrimony
- Status Quo Is God: Invoked. Belial points out that, for all of Buffy's efforts, there are never any fewer vampires and demons in the world
- Those Wacky Nazis / A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Scourge
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: All over the place. The Scoobies are dealing with gods, archdevils, archangels and other greater forces of the universe in this one, and their sanity is tested. Belial weaponizes it, Metatron's presence drives Cordelia to her knees before he can take a more comfortable form, and simply looking in Cernunnos's eyes burns away Spike's demon and restores his soul
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Cordelia when Belial tells that her 'this conversation is restricted to people who actually have a future' comment was so cold and cruel that it even impressed a devil