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Season 9 Rewritten

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  • Season 9 Rewritten

    I have enjoyed Coalitiongirl's ideas about what S9 should have been and I thought it'll be interesting writing your own versions of how S9 should have gone using the same elements we were given by the writers - or eliminating a few of them.

    Here are Coalitiongirl's ideas, which were written after #20 was released:

    S9 Rewritten

    No but if I’d had the same elements that the comics do this season, I’d have done completely different things with them? (mostly give the rest of the scoobies storylines, imagine that~) So this is basically a rewrite of the season with lots of the original themes and plots in it, but with a different execution.


    The season begins with Buffy, same position as before, same what did I do? underlying the flashbacks to the party the night before. Buffy isn’t one to immediately address all the events of last year, but we can definitely have a reference to the last time she’d [actually] had sex while under an influence she didn’t choose.
    And hey, the following arc can totally be all about Severin, but with resonance. Here’s a great place to start addressing Twilight and last year’s mistakes~ Willow’s there, frustrated with Buffy’s denial. Buffy doesn’t want to talk about it, and would rather run off slaying with Severin instead. Instead of the cutesy bit at the end of the first issue with the student loans, have her encounter Severin then, and have him earn her trust early on. We get the start of a friendship while the SFPD set their sights on Buffy, some early camaraderie, and while the suspicion of her friends is warranted, we can write it off to unconscious jealousy from them at this new Scooby. And when Severin betrays her, it’s much more jarring than before.
    During this arc, we have Spike picking up Koh, but he needs some conflict of his own beyond just loving Buffy. Koh raises good points- what good is he doing here, how much of a purpose can one possibly have when his whole life’s mission is just ~supporting Buffy~?
    And Xander and Dawn are having conflicts of their own- Xander is craving the good fight, even though he knows that he can’t be a casualty again, and that coupled with his stress at losing Giles and his girlfriend’s new situation re: The Seed (more on that later) that she doesn’t seem to realize are all making him antsy and reckless. Dawn is constantly sick, and Xander gets angry with Buffy for putting even more stress on them this arc and with his own helplessness.


    “You are not the Slayer,” the First Slayer tells Buffy, but what does that mean, when it isn’t the buildup to an arc that winds up just being a brief fakeout? Buffy and Willow resolve some issues, and Buffy addresses some of the events of last year and her own guilt there. How can she be the slayer when she’s made the tough decisions and they all seem to be wrong? The last page is Buffy getting a frantic phone call from Dawn, and when we see her in the last panel, she’s staring at a pregnancy test.


    Dawn doesn’t know if she wants to have this baby, when things are still so new with Xander and something’s off about him lately, anyway. Buffy is supportive but quietly just as panicked, though she’ll only admit to Spike that it’s more about Dawnie hitting adulthood before her, she thinks. And she’s feeling more and more directionless while Xander and Dawn argue back and forth about the baby. Xander wants to keep it, but Dawn’s not ready for her life to change into something else when she’s still so young. She’s taking stock of where she’s going, what she wants out of life, and Buffy’s doing the same every time they talk back and forth about it.
    And maybe we can have Spike and Xander have a talk about his reluctance, and Spike finds out that it’s more about Xander’s worry for the way his memories of Dawn have been fading in and out and his suspicion that it has something to do with the Seed. This baby might ground Dawn, or give them both something more tangible to hold on to than a bunch of fictional memories, and Xander admits that it’s more about that than about wanting a baby with Dawn so soon. Spike is unimpressed with the revelation that old memories of Dawn are vanishing- especially nearly all of his were made after S5 began.
    Throughout this arc (and the two before, to a lesser degree) we see Buffy’s panic manifest in her own nausea. She forgets to eat often (though Spike is the only one worrying about her at this point), sometimes for days at a time, and her head’s still aching from #1. Weird, right?
    The abortion goes off without a hitch, but Buffy and Spike are called away midway by Dowling, who’s fighting zompires with his partner (Cheung, who survives this time because I HAVE PLANS) and completely outnumbered. They finish off most of them in the same way as the comics, but the extent of the Dowling-wants-Spuffy chat of the original comic is cut to Dowling just asking both of them about their history and it being awkward. No need to smack us over the face with the Spuffy, Spike is sticking around in this comic. Spike doesn’t want Buffy to fight because she’s been sick, she shows up anyway and he gets angry, they argue a little and it gets emotional and maybe Spike really does mention that he needs to get out, to feel like he’s doing something important and that he’s needed. Buffy shuts down at the demand and we still have that last bit of them staring at each other, distracted, until the zompire yanks off Buffy’s arm and we see sparks.


    While Buffy and Spike confront Andrew, Dawn is recovering from her ordeal and making some decisions about her future. She has a bit job now while she finishes up college, but she wants to be out there fighting evil in her own way, too- and that, for her, means some real training as a watcher. Xander is distant now, trying to keep himself from being around his fading girlfriend by throwing himself into battle with Dowling and a wary Cheung, and he’s reckless enough that Dowling gets himself killed. Bye, Dowling! Cheung is furious with him and Xander is furious with himself, and recriminations include him getting even more reckless and angry. Dawn moves out for now into Buffy’s apartment, where Buffy is still absent and Anaheed and Tumble are p. good about it.
    Meanwhile, a much more minor arc is Buffy and Spike and Andrew attempting to retrieve Buffy’s missing body so she can no longer be a ~robot~, but the body has gone rogue with Simone, who’s been working with Severin. (We will eventually find, I think, that Simone and Severin both are pawns of Nash and Pearl or Eyghon or whatever’s happening in AnF, but I’m not going to rewrite that last segment to include that because it hasn’t been written yet. Just know that it’s a plot element here to tie together our two stories at the end!) But if we’re going to go with this robot story, I guess we have to commit to it, and this arc ends with Simone and the Buffybot getting away, and Buffy vowing to retrieve her body. Lots of underlying tension about women’s autonomy here, and reclaiming it in a way that the ‘verse has never given us before, unfortunately. But this is the agenda of the season. trash it completely because it’s ridiculous and not really all that relevant?? So it resolves, Buffy gets her body back, yadda yadda yadda.
    We end off with Spike and Buffy finishing their conversation, and Spike deciding that he’s got to find something to do for himself. He promises he’ll still be around if Buffy needs him or if there are any new leads on Simone, but he’s going to be on his own now. Lots of subtext and understanding there that this is just as much about Spuffy as about Spike, but Buffy is unable to say the words to make him stay. She ends off the issue more alone than ever.


    Next arc is slightly different! Buffy slays and Dawn studies and Koh makes himself known as Buffy’s new slaying buddy. She refuses to help him in his vengeance and he’s unhappy about it, but he still grudgingly assists her at first. Meanwhile, Cheung is still encountering Xander picking fights with zompires on the street and is getting irritated with him. Minor plot point, though, Xander isn’t taking center stage this time. At the end of the first issue, Buffy gets a call from Spike informing her that he might have information on what Simone’s doing next.
    And since W&H’s role in the TinCan arc was mostly fanservice, we’ve switched the villain! Severin’s a trust fund kid, maybe this is his parents’ company and now it’s working to get rid of TinCan’s intermediary so they can try and open a portal to a hell dimension. Buffy assumes it’s for Severin to suck up more power, but we’ll eventually find out that there are more nefarious purposes there.
    But anyway! Turns out Spike is working with Kennedy now, of all people, and Kennedy has Deepscan, an international security agency designed for slayers (mention that Satsu is involved in another branch, because major characters shouldn’t be forgotten a season later~). Spike is helping with the training and Kennedy is grudgingly pleased with the situation, and Buffy is pretty impressed with the work they’re doing. (Things are awkward with Spuffy still, of course.)
    So! The arc goes in pretty much the same direction from then on- this is Buffy and Kennedy and Koh coming up against Severin’s company again, and it’s complicated by the demon tech that’s already brought forth some demons. Simone tries to win Koh over and Koh does nearly betray them for the knowledge of his captor, but they still win and save the day. After, Kennedy mentions that the SFPD has been in talks with them about having liaisons from her company working the streets of San Francisco, dealing with zompires, and offers Buffy a job with Deepscan, helping with the on-the-streets training of the slayers (we still have the last conversation with Kennedy and hear that she still respects Buffy, etc), and Buffy accepts- it’s a job where she can still do good, and teach slayers again, and she’s finally feeling like she’s back on track.


    Next arc is short and Dawn-centric! While Buffy trains slayers to hunt zompires and deals with Cheung’s distrust of slayers, a bullied-for-his-sexuality Billy starts taking action to slay vampires, too, in one of the less-patrolled areas of the city. He and Dawn meet and hit it off, and she takes on the role of his watcher. Ups and downs, of course, and both Dawn and Billy struggle with their own self-doubts of what purpose they’re serving, playing at watcher and slayer. But they do okay!
    This arc we also see Xander still flirting with danger and getting in the way, and Cheung finally tries locking him up for a night. Dawn bails him out but tells him that he’s got to get his act together.


    We start off the next arc with Buffy and Dawn and Xander and Spike (and Billy + roommates) all hanging out at Buffy’s apartment, Buffy warming up to Spike again and Dawn and Xander maybe a little flirty again. Things are getting better, right! Then they get a call from Cheung that there’s a vampire on the loose that even Kennedy’s people couldn’t stop, and Buffy, Billy, and Spike head off to help out. (Spike is dubious of Billy’s skill, but Buffy insists that she has faith in Dawn’s abilities.) They’re doing well up until Buffy and Spike both disappear and Billy barely escapes with his life.
    Same plot with the council seeking to get rid of Severin, but with bonus Spike and with the revelation that Illyria was the one who’d imprisoned Koh all those years ago. Illyria is unfazed by Koh’s attempts to kill her and informs him that he’s going to have to fight Severin, and after she proves a whole lot more powerful than he, he’s forced to glower lots but still work for the council. Buffy, Koh, and Spike fight Severin again with Illyria, but when Severin nearly drains Illyria of power, the council decides it isn’t worth their fight and departs. Before they go, Illyria asks Buffy if she knows why Koh was imprisoned. Buffy doesn’t.
    Meanwhile, Dawn rushes to the emergency room when she hears about Billy. Billy isn’t hurt as badly as he thought but they’re both not so sure that they’re good at this, after all, and Xander comforts Dawn while they wait outside. They’re maybe starting to reach a reconciliation when Dawn passes out unexpectedly, and the arc continues as such. Xander is frantic, Andrew isn’t all that helpful, and they don’t need Illyria to figure out why Dawn’s consciousness is gone.
    At the same time, Billy hears about Dawn but knows she’d want him to put the zompire first before someone else dies, and it’s very fortunate that Anaheed shows up when she does. Anaheed’s a slayer, keeping an eye on Buffy, and she has worked with Kennedy in the past (and is still on good terms with her people). She recognizes the zompire as one of Simone’s slayers.


    And here’s where we stop for now! We know Willow comes back, we know that they’ll all be headed to the Deeper Well, and I’d probably write it so Dawn is becoming the new Seed of the world, but Willow manages to save her by planting her new Seed there instead. Dawn is back, albeit with the powers of the Key awakened, and perhaps Illyria will be relevant again, coaching Dawn on how to use these powers. Xander’s arc will come to a head quite nicely next issue after a gradual buildup to it (and Xander and Dawn will happily reunite after all this), and Buffy’s arc will solidify as those last bits of last season return to bite her in the ass and she can retort that she’s back to what she does best and in control of her life and still managing quite nicely. Angel and Faith will presumably make an appearance, Twilight will be discussed, Giles might be present? (i don’t read anf i just count on liz to explain it to me) But the end result is that some of the bad guys are finished off, the good guys win, and it’s a satisfying end to the season at last. Magic is back, there’s still some serious doubt about Koh and probably someone else gets away (and who is good ol’ Heinrich, anyway?), but loose ends are left for Season 10!

    ~the end~
    I personally loved that it was Dawn who got pregnant. Spreading the storylines between characters instead of having everything falling on Buffy is more fun, interesting and believable.
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

  • #2
    There are some improvements, something things I don't care for as well. Also, things are wrapped up in a nice and neat way, which doesn't feel very Buffy to me. Actually, one of the things I always liked about the series is there were long term consequences for the choices made. I doubt all the character are going to make it through issue 25 in one piece.
    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein


    • #3
      For some stuff to make sense.

      * Spike deciding whether he actually wants to be with Buffy. After being away for years, he leaves again after 8.39 for months and then in BtVS S9 he leaves again for months. The real problem in the Buffy/Spike relationship is Spike not being with Buffy. However, distant emotionally Buffy may be from Spike, she's not the one who wants physical distance (sexual and otherwise) from him.

      * With the bug's technology, they could have possibly allowed for Spike to have a child with Buffy.

      * Finding out how Buffy knew Spike was alive. Proof that AtF -- including the time slips -- and Illyria: Haunted are canon.

      Buffy finding out from Twinkle that Spike's being alive would have been great storytelling.

      Beck and Spider and Co. should have been Spike's own version of a Scooby Gang.

      Where was Groo?

      * Xander acknowledged that Buffy was 'controlled' into having sex with Angel and therefore isn't responsible for that.

      * Have Dawn's slowly fading away be a very slow process from BtVS 8.40 on.

      * Xander should still be rich. He and Dawn could have lived in a house and we could have explored Buffy seeing a domesticated couple through Xander and Dawn.

      * Spike making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars using the bugship to take things or people into outer space. And the bugs getting a good portion of revenues so that they could rebuild the ship that we saw in the IDW Spike miniseries.

      * Slayers killing zompires. No Billy.

      * Buffy made them Slayers to begin with and she broke the Seed to save the world. It doesn't make sense that about all the Slayers in the world would be against her.

      * Show Riley and through him how the US Military is responding to the zompire threat.

      * Really, the only real problem with A&F is that Angel is 100% responsible for his actions in BtVS S8 until he was possessed in 8.38-39. So, have Twilight have 'control' or 'influence' over Angel from before he decides to be Twilight.

      The hero-worship stuff would all be okay if Angel wasn't responsible for being AngelTwilight.

      * Illyria should have stayed superpowered and therefore have Buffy questioning whether she really could quit the Slaying business and have perhaps those like Illyria, Groo, Beck, and Spider and Co. doing the slaying.

      * I wouldn't change Willow's story.

      * If the IDW stuff is canon, there should have been some Spike-Drusilla interaction.


      • #4
        I personally would have liked that instead of Billy, it's Andrew who comes out with a neat one shot issue.

        I would have also liked if the characters' storylines tangled with each other, it's not fun when they have each character have their storyline separate from the other characters and I wasn't a big fan of sending Willow and Spike away. Those characters should be together in each other's stories.

        I also would have liked to have Buffy dealing with those Slayers who hate her for what happened. Maybe have a Slayer like Nadira in Buffy's life.
        Made by Trickyboxes
        Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag


        • #5
          Someone wrote a version of Season 9 to make me appreciate the actual one, so thanks for that

          I'm about to rant about "On Your Own"/"A Part of Me", as I do, so I'll spoiler in case nobody cares --

          With one phrase, btw, at least that one reader confirms pretty much every dang word I said during the first year or so of the season about the only politically correct outcome to any pregnancy story arc -- "the abortion goes off without a hitch". Every other version of that story was going to lead to outrage, and, well, did. I would love to ask Joss if he understands in hindsight that maybe Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody/Judd Apatow aren't "cowards" but may actually have thought through the likely outcomes of how your audience will distract themselves right off the rails if you bring it up but then don't do it, and that there is no drama in "the abortion goes off without a hitch" -- the only version of that story anybody will ever, ever want. It isn't often that Joss misplays the ball so badly that he can offer up a big emotional private talk between Buffy and Spike of all people and it still be drowned out by anger and disappointment that Buffy only wanted an abortion and didn't actually have the opportunity to get one.


          Also, love that in addition to that, the outline seems to think it just adds value if you switch it and make it Xander's offspring. Heh.

          Mike, Xander never was "rich". Xander owned... a suit, and a late model Chrysler.

          As flat out lousy as most of the first two thirds of Season 9 had been before they finally got into a character-wide crisis to deal with, there's not a whole lot I would "tweak". I would probably end up just scooping the guts out of the first 10-11 issues and throwing them out in favor of entirely different storylines, because I can't "fix" Buffy being a robot and in hindsight they might as well have just left the notion of pregnancy alone.
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          • #6
            I have little problem with the plot points of S9 so there's not a great deal I would change. The only major differences I would include are keeping Willow and Spike in the book and exploring their arcs through the main title instead. I would have also included more scenes of Xander/Dawn as just because they were distanced from Buffy it doesn’t mean they had to be absent from the readers.

            IMO, S9 would have worked with a different writer. Someone of Whedon or Vaughn's calibre who both nails the characters voices as well as has depth to their writing. The difference in quality from 9.01 to the rest of the season is undeniable and it was obvious straight away how Buffy in particular went from being charismatic and complex to a rather two-dimensional character. I can only dream of how wonderful Illyria’s appearance would have been had Whedon been writing her, or how differently the Buffy/Spike dynamic would have played out had it been written like in 9.01, or how much more resonant Buffy’s arc would have been in general with a writer who could do justice to her character. I even really enjoyed aspects of the robot plot when I could go back to 9.01 and find all the clever pieces of foreshadowing – “My limbs feel screwed on wrong”

            The writing is just so flat now. The characters have lost much of their spark, there’s little to no meta commentary, hardly any foreshadowing, everything is very literal and on-the-nose, and Chambliss is very hit and miss with the ‘Buffy Speak.’ With a different writer I think most of S9’s plot would have actually been pretty satisfying.

            The only other significant changes I can think of are fleshing out Simone and Severin more. However, I can’t really decide if that’s a plot problem or just a writing problem. We never got to see if Severin was more interesting when written by someone other than Chambliss. Though, I do think the basic story behind his character (his girlfriend is turned into a Zombire and he blames Buffy etc) was rather trite and clichéd. His character worked best at the beginning of the season when we had that creepy mystery going on about why "beautiful" dead bodies were cropping up all over San Fran. I actually do think he could be quite terrifying at times so there was definite potential there.
            Last edited by vampmogs; 18-08-13, 01:53 PM.
            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina


            • #7
              I think I agree about Chambliss as writer. My initial enthusiasm for him was on the promise of him bringing the sort of full auto pacing of a typical episode, let alone season, of "Vampire Diaries". In hindsight, I think that, first, he only somewhat delivered on that, and that second, it probably isn't as good a fit as it maybe could or should be. I think it's easier on TVD because, being much more of a soap than "Buffy" ever was, and the characters operating on soap opera morals most of the time (flexible and/or absent), it's a lot easier to just have them turn with whatever the plot winds blow at them.

              For good or ill, or good and ill, that's not the "Buffy" idiom, so it just felt disjointed when attempts to rev the pace up began.

              Not sure who I'd say would be better. Gage might be, if he's going to be writing it. Not sure who they can get, that would be better. I do not think the continuation era have given us the best of Jane Espenson. Drew Goddard or BKV don't have the time and probably not the inclination. Right now, I can't even come up with a fantasy list. I wouldn't mind seeing Bryan Lee O'Malley write a "Buffy" miniseres (the creator of Scott Pilgrim, which, not for nothing, Joss blurbed as being "the chronicle of our age"). I was impressed enough with the film "Chronicle" to be curious what Max Landis might do with the "Buffy" story setting I guess.
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              • #8
                Like King of Cretins, I would probably gut the first 10-11 (or maybe more issues) and just write new stuff.

                I'd keep Willow in the book and I'd have Buffy be the big player in Willow's storyline. Buffy wouldn't be a non-entitity in her season's freakin' mythology A-plot- whether and how to restore the world back to Seeded conditions. And Buffy wouldn't be a non-entitty in S9's freakin' emotional A-plot- how does Buffy reconcile the gang after the craziness of last year. In fact, if I had my druthers, Buffy and Willow would share co-lead status in the story about how to restore the world to Seeded conditions and how to get back Willow's powers. Buffy would be a big player in the prime rib of the season instead looking for the McNugget storylines. And that necessarily would REQUIRE that a fair amount of the "other" storylines (the robot, the pregnancy, Kennedy's squad, Billy) would need to disappear to save room for this new A-plot, lots more Scooby action, and to preserve and even flesh out the Severin/Simone stuff more.

                In addition, given my emphasis on the gang, I'd bring Xander and Dawn into this new A-plot. Even if I kept the story about how they were running from the gang, I would want them to have some level of participation and input in each storyline.

                This would likely mean totally changing Willow's storyline to slot in Buffy as the leading protagonist and to suit it for Earth-like conditions. (In other worlds, no exploration of other worlds, no Rack, no Saga, no Quor-Toth.)

                I'd keep the first four issues roughly as they are. However the next six issues should have continued the debate between Buffy and Willow on whether to do anything to regain her powers or reset the world. The debate would spring from the MotW storylines and both of them (and Xander and Dawn) pushing and pulling on whether the world is safer or more dangerous as they perceive it through each challenge. This would require tweaking the MoTW to suit the debate and giving Powerless!Willow instances where she's by turns helpful and helpless to further advance the debate.

                Xander and Dawn would want to quit but they'd keep getting sucked in because they feel responsible for Buffy's and Willow's safety. This would create some interesting sweetness mixed with antagonism. I'd keep Dawn disappearing but we'd get the hints earlier and more plentifully because of Dawn's increased participation. Maybe the jig would be given up earlier but that's a worthwhile sacrifice for more Dawn and more insight into what she's thinking instead of just ignoring her and holding her up as any ole damsel at the end of the season.

                I'm somewhat ambivalent on whether Spike needed to be in S9. Obviously, I have my favorites and if I were to sit down and write any BtVS season, it would be Scooby centric rather than Spuffy centric. However, putting Willow out of Buffy's book did rob Buffy of the emotional and mythology A-plots as I see them. I don't believe that the same thing is true of Spike. In addition, Spike's miniseries really demanded that he have some time away from Buffy because the whole point was for Spike to get over Buffy. Willow's storyline didn't have that need to get over Buffy.

                However, Spike being in Buffy's book definitely could have been interesting if he participated more in the group and showed a different side of his character. I'm somewhat bored (after 3 TV seasons) of the dynamic where Buffy leaves her plot/Scoobies to go visit Spike in some crypt/basement to talk about their relationship and then Spike comes in for muscles at a climatic fight scene. I could enjoy Spike more if he was trying to forge his way into the group or disagreeing/fighting on actual policy on what to do about the various MoTW or Seedless world.

                A Spike with Big Strong Opinions on whether the world should have magic (given his status and what he's seen of the world) would be a very interesting Spike- especially if it meant interesting conflict with Buffy or Willow.
                Last edited by Dipstick; 18-08-13, 02:47 PM.


                • #9
                  I do think that S9 suffers from:

                  1) Flat writing.
                  2) Separating the main characters and not having them interact.
                  3) Too much magic in a magicless world.

                  I think I'd have had the first couple of issues showing how the Scoobies are coping with a magicless world with more detail - especially Willow.

                  Spike should have more interactions with the other Scoobies than Buffy IMO. Xander and Willow have yet to have a scene together alone. It's really hard for me to believe that they're still best friends.
                  Made by Trickyboxes
                  Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag


                  • #10
                    In retrospect, the first 10 -11 issues of S9 and Willow's trip to AaF side followed by her mini are the only parts of S9 worth a reread for me personally. Exactly because of the Willow's Becoming , the irony of the irobot twist - and the neat way it continued the Buffybot-as-root-of-Spuffy dynamics. So, absolute no to gutting that part. Not a big fan of the rest of the season, and I would have absolutely sacrificed Billy's parts for more Dawn and Xander story. His PTSD certainly needed more foundation than one zombified lady-cop-in-refrigerator and one cracked bottle of Nightqul. I also lay ruined Illyria storyline at Chambliss' feet, same as completely dropped ball of Koh-the-none-character. That were the parts that absolutely needed Jane Espensen, or somebody who can actually write a fantasy setting that is not all entirely a soap opera, but they wasted her on Billy instead. Then again, likely it was her personal choice.
                    Last edited by dorotea; 18-08-13, 04:21 PM.
                    “Personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon” ranks as probably the best next-to-last line in TV history. (Granted, I’m not exactly sure what the competition is.) -- A.V. Club


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                      I do think that S9 suffers from:

                      1) Flat writing.
                      2) Separating the main characters and not having them interact.
                      3) Too much magic in a magicless world.

                      I think I'd have had the first couple of issues showing how the Scoobies are coping with a magicless world with more detail - especially Willow.

                      Spike should have more interactions with the other Scoobies than Buffy IMO. Xander and Willow have yet to have a scene together alone. It's really hard for me to believe that they're still best friends.
                      I agree with all of the above. However regarding Willow I think they really missed the boat altogether. Since magic was so important to *her* I would have appreciated the writers being willing to admit by showing ex-wiccans being *furious* for losing that part of their lives thanks to the Twilight mess. I agree they missed a big opportunity by simply having her going off to try and restore magic when they should have had Willow trying to deal with her anger at losing what she thought was important and coming to grips with her new reality.

                      I believe Season 9 was flat not because of bad writing but because of deliberate constraints by the higher ups who refused to acknowledge their mistakes from last season and instead attempted to tiptoe around the underlying cause for the mess...the Twilight fiasco. The forced artificial explanations left much to be desired.

                      The bottom line in my opinion, and I don't believe I'm alone in thinking this but I suspect the writers realized they couldn't afford to ditch magic even in a magic less world because then they'd lose whatever creative ideas they had in explaining Buffy's struggles in being the Slayer. No magic would have meant no need to fret over Buffy's "struggles" between normalcy and supernatural concerns.
                      Last edited by DorothyFan1; 18-08-13, 04:59 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                        I do think that S9 suffers from:

                        1) Flat writing.
                        2) Separating the main characters and not having them interact.
                        3) Too much magic in a magicless world.

                        I think I'd have had the first couple of issues showing how the Scoobies are coping with a magicless world with more detail - especially Willow.

                        Spike should have more interactions with the other Scoobies than Buffy IMO. Xander and Willow have yet to have a scene together alone. It's really hard for me to believe that they're still best friends.
                        I think Sosa Lola nails it here. But I would add that I thought the whole Robot/abortion plot was pointless and had no ramifications on anyone, nor any influence on the final story whatsoever. A waste of paper and ink in my opinion. Although there were some interesting pages, the talk with Wood, the talk with Spike by the pool, but in the end it was meaningless. It didn't even lead to any changes in Andrew's position in the group.


                        • #13
                          I've had a few ideas myself, I don't have enough to change each arc, but here are my character ideas:

                          Severin: Buffy insisted some people anonymously funded the Slayer Army in S8, Severin is rich. Give him a tie to Buffy and say he funded her because his girlfriend was following Buffy and Clare was one of the Slayers killed during the space-frack. Then after she dies in front of him the space-demons go for him and then his powers activate. That would give him a concentrate understandable reason to hate her, similar to Nadira hating Angel! Put Clare in the Chicago squad so Severin would know Simone and go along with her in a more reasonable way. In the first arc show Severin blaming Rona for making the call that led to Clare getting killed and Severin kills her out of revenge. It shows Severin is a real threat to Slayers and establishes him as already taken out one of Buffy's people.

                          When he meets Buffy he says he's looked into the mystical world and heard about her. He asks questions about the Army she used to lead and what happened to make it fall apart. She shrugs off the criticisms with the same dismissive attitude she's shown in S9. This makes Sev go after her, outraged she turned her back on Clare and the others and does not seem to give a damn about the deaths she helped cause. Sev does not want to turn back time, instead he wants to gather the energy to straight up resurrect Clare and believes enough energy would somehow call back her soul and also get a spell to work. He enlists Simone and her band of Slayers to find and help him kill demons for enough energy. At the end of the first arc he is defeated (not killed) by Koh, Dowling and Spike but nearly kills Spike.

                          Simone: she still has her band of rebel Slayers, a few of whom joined her after losing faith in Buffy after she ran off with Angel. Simone and her crew start out by robbing banks, much like Buffy did. In the first arc Dawn is at one of those banks, but Simone does not recognize her. Detective Cheung is killed trying to stop Simone in that same bank. Simone and her Slayers kill any human that gets in their way and any demons, even if they are good, (including Clem in arc 3). She works with Severin because she wants the power to bring back the dead. (Is secretly afraid of death herself because of the Slayer mortality rate). Has her girls raise hell in San Fran in arc 4 to distract the Scoobies while she and Sev go to the Deeper Well.

                          Dowling: He investigates Slayers after Simone killed his partner leading him to Buffy and Anaheed. Buffy is able to convince him not all Slayers are bad and he saves her from Sev at the end of arc 1. He'd lead the force against Simone's girls towards the end of the season.

                          Spike: After almost being killed by Sev he leaves San Fran because he realizes he is not content just being on the fringe of Buffy life and feels unfinished but he's not sure what he wants. He leaves at the start of arc 2. Keep the mini mostly intact, and have him help Dowling in San Fran againist Simone's girls after leaving A & F (no Harmony sex).

                          Dawn: starts getting sick just after Spike leaves. Willow is still there so it is instantly known the loss of magic is slowly killing her. Xander's anger at Buffy comes out around issue 7 or 8 and Willow sides with him before leaving to get magic back to save Dawn. While not as angry as Xander, Dawn sides with him and asks Buffy to leave because she does not trust her sister's judgment anymore. At the start of the 3rd arc she realizes Buffy never meant to hurt her and they should let her help. Dawn is frightened of Simone and when dead demons are found apparently shot near her apartment she thinks Simone is threatening her and Xander. Is able to reconcile with Buffy around Buffy's next birthday just before falling into a coma. Is unconsciously taken by Xander to the Deeper Well.

                          Willow: stays until the end of the 2nd arc, motivated to search for magic to save Dawn, understands Xander's anger and feels his rage against Buffy is justified. Keep Family Reunion and the mini. Returns to San Fran to contain Simone's girls in arc 4 and flies super fast to the Deeper Well for arc 5, while carrying Spike, Anaheed, Billy and Dowling.

                          Xander blames Buffy for Dawn's sickness and they have their first argument in the 2nd arc where he asks Buffy to leave. He wants to believe Willow will find magic, but thinks too much of a long shot and feels his Watcher frustration and wants to find his own way to save Dawn. In arcs 3 he is still angry with Buffy and worried about Dawn but seems a little "off" and leaves Dawn at strange times claiming he is looking for a way to make her better. Arc 4 around Buffy's birthday he lets Buffy see Dawn but does not forgive her even though Dawn does. When Dawn falls into a coma and Simone's girls start attacking innocent people, he lets his fear and anger maximize and says he won't let Dawn die from Buffy's stupidity like Giles did. Buffy punches him but Xander is actually able to hold his own in a fist fight with her leaving Buffy frightened and confused. He takes off his eye patch to reveal a new eye that is utterly black, saying D'Hoffryn wishes Buffy a happy birthday. Xander then takes Dawn to the Deeper Well where Severin is trying to drain the Old Ones and D'Hoffryn is waiting.

                          Flashbacks: Shortly after Willow left, demons came to Xander's place get revenge on Buffy by killing Dawn. Xander cannot stop them but before they get anywhere near Dawn D'Hoffryn immobilizes them. D'Hoffryn plays on Xander's anger and says if they take Dawn to D'Hoffryn's hell dimension of Arashmaharr, the magic there can save Dawn. He also plays on Buffy pairing Anya with Andrew is what killed her in Sunnnydale, and how he lost an eye because of another Buffy plan. D'Hoffryn says if Xander helps him kill enough enemies of D'Hoffryn's they can collect the mystical energy they lose when they die and then capture and force the energy into Severin to open a portal to the hell dimension. D'Hoffryn bleeds into Xander's eye socket giving him a new dark eye and vengeance demon powers. He's the one that killed the demons Dawn found and framed Simone. He's been leaving Dawn to kill D'Hoffryn's list of target demons.

                          Buffy: After shrugging off responsibility in Arc 1, Spike leaves and Willow, Xander and Dawn all shut her out when Dawn gets sick. She feels insulted that Anaheed had to babysit Buffy through a normal life. And takes a job form Kennedy and Vi with the bodyguard Slayers even though most of the girls hate her and Angel for causing a lot of Slayer deaths. While stopping W & H she talks through her guilt with Koh and becomes a legitimate friends with him and helps save the other Slayers even if they don't appreciate it because that is what a hero does, she decides to go back home ad ask Dowling for a job, he says he will think about it. With this new confident attitude on her birthday she confronts Dawn, but they mend the bridge between them as family. She is shocked and horrified at what Xander has become and that he kidnapped Dawn. Koh helps her follow him to the Deeper Well using a teleporting power I'd write for him so he could get anywhere on earth, but it takes time to prepare a movement so they get to the Well the same time as Xander.

                          If they really want Billy I'd have introduced him in Arc 1 as someone Buffy already met in San Fran and have him help with Anaheed, Dowling and Spike against Simone's girls.
                          Last edited by DanSlayer; 18-08-13, 09:50 PM.


                          • #14
                            "the abortion goes off without a hitch"
                            Here's the thing. Abortion, by its very nature, is inherently dramatic. It can go off without a hitch, in the sense that the story actually follows through on the abortion, and still be INTENSELY DRAMATIC as both a personal journey and an interpersonal one.

                            I was happy with the abortion storyline up until the point that suddenly it veered into J/K BUFFY'S A ROBOT. The story explored the drama inherent in making the choice itself and I was pretty satisfied. Suddenly making Buffy a robot, imo, cheapened what came before by the nature of the WTF TWIST at the end of the issue, most especially for the shock value of disfiguring the main protagonist who most readers, at that point, thought was pregnant.

                            I don't know about anyone else, but the shock of the cover where Buffy's arm is ripped off and the knowledge that she was pregnant really messed with me for about a month up until the issue was released. So to have to deal with that traumatic situation for my favorite character, only to discover she was a ROBOT and not pregnant. It felt like the writers were pulling a fast one simply for shock and awe.

                            I just have so many problems with that arc's execution. I have so many problems with the way the Season 9 comics have interpreted the medium's dictum of 'interesting stuff on covers', 'interesting stuff at the end of an issue for cliffhanger purposes', and 'interesting stuff at the bottom right corner to get people to turn the page'. It's felt gratuitously manipulative. And these types of over-the-top shocking tactics come at the expense of meaningful interactions between the characters -- ya know, the relationships that are the reason we're still fans a decade after the show ended.


                            Like Vampmogs, I have few problems with the overall plot points of Season 9 -- the problem lies in how these plot points affected the characters. That reaction was flat and empty, lacking resonance and nuance. So it's more the execution of the story, not the plot (let's face it, plot was never really the big draw for BtVS; every season the world nearly ends due to [insert phlebotinum] but somehow Buffy saves the day).

                            Swap out Chambliss for a different writer and I'd probably be happy. I just wanted more Joss writing, tbh. And yes, I wouldn't send Spike and Willow off on their own adventures. Strengthening the ensemble interaction, too. Kicking out Billy and instead dealing with the aftermath of Andrew's grossness and violation of Buffy. He needed a oneshot after pulling that robot crap because he needed to learn -- and if the story isn't interested in developing Andrew morally, then he needs to die because what is the point of him if he's just going to be a funny Peter Pan who goes around violating people for their own good.

                            I'd also change the worldbuilding so that magic seems less ubiquitous. It seemed that way in the first issue with the demon now forced to be a loan collector; I enjoyed that level of quirky detail which reminded me of the Loan Shark. But then it just became MAGIC MAGIC POWERS EVERYWHERE. If suicide rates are actually going up, if creativity is actually being affected by the loss of magic, I want a storyline that actually explores that as opposed to being told that by Willow, then having the rest of the season demonstrate how much magic power still exists.

                            I'd also actually give Koh more purpose. He seemed designed as a foil for Illyria, but that went nowhere (though I expected it to go somewhere if Joss actually had come back to write Illyria as he'd originally planned).
                            Last edited by Emmie; 18-08-13, 10:45 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Vamps that the primary problem is the writing, not the plotting. Or, rather, with the writing being as bad as it's been, it's hard to tell whether the plot was as lacking as it has seemed. There were a lot of connections or resonances to be drawn that weren't, but without them the whole thing seems disjoint and above all pointless.

                              I mean, can anybody tell me what this season is about? I couldn't care less about Buffy at this point, and that's down to the writing. What does she feel about anything? I don't know. She's gotten so generic. And as I've often said, gutting her of all content has made season 8 worse in retrospect. We needed to be dealing with the fallout, but Buffy is so poorly written it's impossible to tell what she's dealing with exactly. And that's made it hard to see where her big turnaround moment has been (assuming she's had one). The season starts with the loud message that Buffy is off track. Well, is she on track now? When did that happen? What was key?

                              And if that roof scene between Spike and Buffy really was their last relationship conversation, really it needed more. They spent years on that relationship, and there's no emotion from Buffy at all as Spike sails off. That'd be OK if there were to be any more Spuffy but at this point there really can't be, can there? Her story has nothing to do with him, and she's not shown the slightest sign of missing him. Even Riley got a big dramatic helicopter exit from his relationship with her. So, I'm grumpy that the relationship didn't get a bit more respect in its big closeout, which retrospectively is what happened on that roof top.

                              That's my central gripe. But I'm at pretty fairly indignant that Xander's story line got squashed as badly as it did. That was all set up to draw in a meaty way on his long, long history with Buffy. Think of what Vaughn did with Faith/Buffy. Well, if Vaughn was a 10 on making the history sing while moving the story forward, Chambliss was a -10. If they can't even get a core Scooby relationship to have any resonance at all, they should fold the tent. Seriously. Writing about it makes me want to spit.

                              And if they never go back to the Bangel well, that relationship has ended in a shroud of silence also.

                              The only thing that was done with any kind of heft was Willow's story. I could maybe muster an ounce of feeling about her birthing the seed, etc. But the rest? Is it even worth observing that Illyria could be anybody? That Koh's story got handled off page altogether?

                              GRRR!!!! ARGHHH!!!!!

                              I compare how I'm feeling about this finale with how I felt at the end of season 8 -- which had it's problems, for sure. And it's no contest. I was counting the days between issues back then. Now it's a bunch of lukewarm spit that doesn't mean anything -- to anybody apparently, because we aren't even bothering to argue with each other any more. I suppose I will keep reading. But it's a chore now. No pleasure at all.
                              Last edited by Maggie; 18-08-13, 10:34 PM.
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