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Date Posted: 18:25:34 09/08/07 Sat
Author: Constance (Disgruntled, dismayed and distrusting)
Subject: Re: Hello, hooray, I'd rather the plague... (Buffy S8 #6 spoilers)
In reply to: KdS 's message, "Hello, hooray, I'd rather the plague... (Buffy S8 #6 spoilers)" on 04:15:44 09/08/07 Sat

I am not getting Giles as Mr. Nice Watcher at all out of 1-6. I'm feeling that there's something distinctly Gwendolyn Postish about him. He's chatting it up with demons who don't seem to be benign (like Lorne and Clem), and now talking about slayers murdering slayers. Besides, fact is - Buffy and her crews are a lot closer and a team of 40 Slayers kidnapping one (a la Damage) is much safer and more effective than sending a single slayer in. I'm scared there's a double-cross in the near future. So why not? Because someone (cough *Giles* cough) doesn't want Buffy to know what the left hand's doing. That's never a good sign -- when that type of behavior comes up, problems ALWAYS follow.

Second, Angel adores/adored Faith (since we don't yet know if he's still 'alive'.) And she loves/loved him. Stronger than siblings, those two, and the fact is, Angel owes Faith a big thank-you... of the type that W&H was uniquely and perfectly equipped to provide to her -- legal services. Either getting her record expunged, or providing her with a clean, working identity, including passport. The first would be a week's work for someone three tiers down from Gunn; the second, ten minutes' work for some paralegal. W&H probably did that kind of quasi-legal manipulation daily (and for semi-legitimate reasons -- people like Lorne couldn't exactly walk into INS or Homeland Security and ask for green cards or register for non-existent birth certificates); I'd be surprised if they didn't have a whole department devoted to Identification Products. Providing Faith with legitimate paper would be a textbook example of why Angel went to W&H - using the resources of evil to provide better tools for the good to fight evil.

I just can't believe that there was never a five minute phone call in the year between the Battle of Sunnydale and the Battle of the Hyperion. Even if Buffy was annoyed with Angel's W&H decision, Faith isn't likely to be; she's far more pragmatic than that. And I can't see that Angel wouldn't see the sense in either clearing Faith's name (of what really was a bogus charge -- it was second degree manslaughter, approximately the same as skidding on ice and crashing into another car and the other driver dying) or just dropping it and letting her have a new life. After all, she's kinda made up for her crime.

So that feels... iffy at best. A bad plot device.

And I'm annoyed with Wood. If he's being the educator, the Watcher, then he's failing his students because those baby-slayers DID need to go handle the house full of children. They need to know that one of the consequences of vampires in the world is that parents will be irresponsible after becoming vampires (one way or the other). Making Faith do that -- could he have given her a worse assignment? Faith, the daughter of an irresponsible mother... Shoving that off on Faith was pure cruelty and willful ignorance on his part. That's part of learning to be a slayer: dealing with the aftermath and the horror of what the job entails, but Faith's already gotten that lesson, in bright, neon ink.

I'm seeing a lot of places where the emotional wounds of 2001-2003 have not healed and have festered, making things worse. Willow's back on the "sauce" and without any control (not that Kennedy was much control), Dawn and Buffy are back into Failure to Communicate modes, Xander's hiding emotionally behind work and duty... Heck, even Andrew's back in story-teller mode. None of those are healthy; they're all fractured coping mechanisms that tended to bite the characters hard in the long run.

And Faith had been looking like she'd be moving towards a place of emotional security there in the last 8 episodes she was in... but obviously, something went terribly wrong.

Teetering on the edge of emotional quagmire.... and with a hostile government on the horizon. Not good. Not good at all.

So yes, it will make for interesting fiction, but ... to be honest, we've spent four years (season 5-7 Buffy and 5 of Angel) dealing with emotional pain and anguish to get through the battles to a place where Slaying can be a profession and the battle against Evil can be, if not a 9 to 5 job, at least something more akin to nursing or surgery - a calling that requires a level of professional detachment. I feel like the characters haven't learned anything in the last two years at all and took nothing away from the previous three. I fear that there hasn't been much emotional growth -- better toys, better funding, but that's the extent.

Buffy's about to turn 25. Dawn's 18 and a half (and in season 7, she wasn't much of a child anymore -- she'd really grown up - especially compare to Amanda.). Faith's 24 to 26. Willow and Xander are 25. We're not talking children anymore, not even young adults. They're deep into that first decade of establishing careers, defining themselves and discovering who they are inside their own heads... and yet, we're back to behaviors they'd abandoned after Sunnydale High went Kerplatz the FIRST time. It doesn't feel authentic to me.

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