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8.04 "The Long Way Home, Part IV"

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  • 8.04 "The Long Way Home, Part IV"

    Well, just got a copy of Issue #4 and read it. Pretty awesome as the first arc wraps up and the nature of Buffy's enemy is revealed.

    I'm not a fan of Warren being around, and I'm troubled by the implications of Amy having saved him. For those spoiled on this issue, "Amy did it" has became a common refrain when talking about things that people didn't like about Seasons 6 and 7 because of the implication that she was watching and plotting and actually rescued Warren or resuscitated him somehow. As I thought, they escape, and thereby become the first two official member of the Season 8 "rogue's gallery".

    The kiss? Unsettled, but they definitely tease that it was Satsu, as Buffy takes notice of her cinnamon lip gloss when she borrows it. I still think, based on how Issue #3 was drawn, that not having it be Xander is a bit of a cheat. Also a character cheat, because Xander would have *tried* just to help Buffy. Having one of her Slayers having a crush on her is an interesting storyline, but I still think it would be a huge retcon to have Buffy reciprocate.

    Xander continues to rock, and I think it is almost fair to call him the boss. The Slayers refer to Buffy that way, but it's Xander that Buffy asks what they should do, and Xander that organizes the rescue.

    Turns out the three x's aren't much of a mystery, simply being Ethan's cell number. Not that it helped him much, seeing as he's dead. Very surprising way to get rid of a recurring character.

    I haven't decided how I feel about humanity being Buffy's new enemy, this 'twilight' idea.
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  • #2
    I got it too!

    I have to say, while it was good, I think issue three was the best of the four issue arc. I enjoyed seeing
    Spoiler:
    Amy's mom (even if it wasn't her, it was still nice), and I can't believe Ethan is dead!
    I also loved the logo at the end of the last page! :-D

    One Question: Where is Kennedy in all of this?

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    • #3
      Probably don't need to spoiler tag anything in the issue's discussion thread, smashed

      The logo was pretty cool, I think it was there to give it that "executive producer Joss Whedon" touch.

      Seeing Catherine, as an illusion ostensibly, was cool. I was a bit puzzled by the idea that Buffy was doing a trick that Willow taught her? That would make that only the second spell Buffy has ever cast.

      Kennedy is not around. Willow made it sound like they were broken up during Issue #3.
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      • #4
        Haven't read this one yet, but re what kingof cretins says...

        The kiss? Unsettled, but they definitely tease that it was Satsu, as Buffy takes notice of her cinnamon lip gloss when she borrows it. I still think, based on how Issue #3 was drawn, that not having it be Xander is a bit of a cheat. Also a character cheat, because Xander would have *tried* just to help Buffy. Having one of her Slayers having a crush on her is an interesting storyline, but I still think it would be a huge retcon to have Buffy reciprocate.
        They didn't say Buffy had to reciprocate, did they? I thought it just had to be someone who's in love with Buffy, not someone Buffy's in love with. Ergo a crushing slayer would work.

        However, since as you say, they haven't actually revealed it yet, and have teased it as Satsu, this might be a double bluff, bringing it back to Xander?


        -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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        • #5
          No, Buffy doesn't have to reciprocate per the spell, but it limits the story options they have. Buffy borrowed the lip gloss from Satsu as they were getting ready to go after Willow. Satsu does look slightly abashed when Buffy notes that it's cinnamon. But, hey, if she loans it out, she loans it out. Maybe Xander *is* secretly fooling around with various Slayers but is in love with Buffy and had the gloss on his lips?

          Or, the gloss might really be a red herring.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
            Probably don't need to spoiler tag anything in the issue's discussion thread, smashed

            The logo was pretty cool, I think it was there to give it that "executive producer Joss Whedon" touch.

            Seeing Catherine, as an illusion ostensibly, was cool. I was a bit puzzled by the idea that Buffy was doing a trick that Willow taught her? That would make that only the second spell Buffy has ever cast.

            Kennedy is not around. Willow made it sound like they were broken up during Issue #3.
            Ok, I think you're right about the spoiler tags. :-)

            I also just re-read the part about Willow and Kennedy and I'm not sure if they're still dating or what.

            "We're just taking it slow for a while. She's sort of in her own space, but it's cool."

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            • #7
              So Joss is definitely enjoying teasing us lately.

              The lipgloss bit was a tad too contrived, I thought. It just seemed like: "Hey, let's come up with a way to make it look like Satsu was the kisser...hmm what if her lipgloss tastes like cinnamon...and right before going into battle Buffy decides she likes sharing germs and borrows it...yeah that'll work". It didn't work for me.

              I found that I was surprisingly upset by Ethan's death. It was just so sudden, I guess that I was prepared for it. Also I think I started expecting him to play a bigger role in the arc. Could the whole triple X thing really just be about the door he was behind? 'Cause wow, I over-thought that one.

              I am loving the new bossy-confident Xander. It does feel like they are making him leading man material. (KoC will be so happy!)

              Willow's powers are all mysterious. I kind of hope they spell them out for us soon. I don't want it to feel like: "Right and couldn't Willow just fix that?" for the whole season/arc. Maybe they need to do something to drain her a bit.
              "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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              • #8
                The "X" thing was a big old red herring, it seems. I think the Hamlet quote might be relevant, though, I'd have to read it again. If it is, it's just as a commentary on poor Ethan's fate.

                Bossy-confident Xander is awesome. I love that the showed him still just the *slightest* bit edgy about not being able to A) fight at Buffy's side and B) go see to saving Willow himself, because that's true to who he is.
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                • #9
                  LOVED this issue!! Very exciting!

                  I'm uncomfortable with the "watching over you" information as well. That actually does seem like Joss is retconning portions of Season 7 especially when he refers to the spell between Willow and Kennedy - Season 7. But I can't imagine him doing that.

                  The Kiss - I still think everybody's got a hat in the ring at this point. The very reason they are still dragging it out means he hasn't revealed the REAL Kisser yet. He wants to make sure enough fingers are pointed at other characters before he annouces who really kissed her.

                  Isn't Satsu and the Slayer who has a crush on Xander close friends? Perhaps she borrowed Satsu's lip gloss, kissed Xander then Xander kisses Buffy... (Given enough time, I can work this out to the desired outcome... )

                  Ethan can't be dead... I always like Ethan. But no one is ever actually dead in Buffy are they?

                  Okay - explain to me the 4 "ghoulies". I was lost as to where they took Willow and who her "hosts" were...

                  I'm okay with this story about the "world" against the Slayer. Buffy is a BIG organization now with all the Potentials. I don't think it is too far fetched (in Buffyverse) to think people (this military group) would be threatened by such a powerful group of - girls and young women! And we are not sure yet whether all the Slayers are on the same page as Buffy. There was division in the ranks in Season 7.

                  One thing - I get a charge out of seeing Buffy with the Slayer Scythe!
                  Last edited by ThePoet's<3; 07-06-07, 02:40 AM.
                  -TP<3
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                  • #10
                    Xander is definitely the high point of the series so far. It's just good to see him not ignored for once. Let's hope this continues.

                    The thing with Satsu does not make any sense when you look at the kissing scene, she isn't even secondarily placed in any of the panels on that scene, had been out fighting Zombies earlier. She *might* be the slayer in the top left of the top panel on the page where Buffy gets kissed, but it's hard to make out.

                    Either way, even if it was her, her placement, and the way the scene resolved makes her being the kisser pretty damned ridiculous.

                    Rayne shocked the hell out of me. And the overall idea for the story seems like it could be pretty sweet. I didn't like the lines about a 'master race' though, that didn't make much sense. And Warren not being dead was pretty crappy as well.

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                    • #11
                      hhmmm, right there with a bunch of you...
                      Don't get me wrong, very happy to be sitting here with #8.4 in front of me, but there was some disappointment... but, oh, wait, it's Joss, and he likes to annoy the crap out of us!!!!
                      I just felt that in spite of the resolviness of Willow not being lobotomised, it would have been nice to un-giant Dawn one of these days... am I right???!!!
                      As for the cinamon thing... hey, I like Satsu, and she and Buffy... um, okay, maybe not... but seriously, of all the junior slayers, she's pretty cool.
                      As for the "Amy was watching it all" thing- seems like a cheap shot... are we sure it wasn't Willow who was kissed by someone in love/obsessed with her?
                      REALLY hope to log in tomorrow to read more feedback and thoughts!!!

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, the biggest annoyance is the weirdness with Warren somehow being alive. He had to die. That's why the first could appear in his form. I just can't accept that Joss would retcon this. He has to know that his audience is not the typical comic audience. We cannot handle a retcon. Seriously, Joss if your reading: We cannot handle an unexplained living Warren.
                        "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                        • #13
                          What does everyone think of Willow's new uber-powers. I love that they are cool and all. But do you think it is a little overboard? I mean healing one's self instantly from major wounds and a freaking lobotomy is pretty hardcore. I'm wondering if they are setting up Willow as unkillable early on in order to smack us with something really harsh, like her getting heavily wounded in the future, or possibly killed. That would be surprising if nothing else.

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                          • #14
                            Okay I actually managed to get my hands on the comic early and read it twice before I get mine mailed so here are my thoughts

                            I don't have a problem with Joss revealing Amy had been watching the entire time and that she and Warren had plotted together the hex on Willow in season seven. It makes perfect sense to me, in 'The Killer In Me Amy states she knows that Willow nearly destroyed the world, knew Buffy was housing the potential slayers and obviously knew about Warren as the hex turned her into him. How would she know any of this if she wasn't keeping tracks on the Scoobies? It was pretty evident she had been keeping an eye on Willow.

                            As far as Warren being back, well I really like it, I only wish we got to see more of him. I thought he was going to play a major role in this issue and whilst he ended up doing some pretty horrific things to Willow (although she bounced right back from them ) I was expecting a little more. I was dying to see Buffy's reaction to Warren but it was kind of just a shocked face then we moved on, I wanted more time to see how she dealt with the situation. I also think Joss will tell us why the First could take control, like Buffy Warren technically died did he not? This means he is under the category of 'the living dead' like Buffy was, hence the First could still take his form. Although I have to wonder, why wouldn't the First reveal some point in s7 that Warren was alive again, wouldn't it scew the scoobies up?

                            Now the lip gloss.. I don't believe it is Satsu and I think this is one of those things to fool us fans. Remember OMWF when we see Dawn with the necklace to summon Sweet and everyone assumes it to be her? Yet, at the last minute.. oops it's Xander? It is very possible we could be having a similair thing going on here. I wouldn't be surprised if at the last minute we learn Xander wears lip gloss secretly or something silly and humerous like that.

                            On the topic of Xander, I agree with everyone in saying that he has been the best thing of season eight so far in terms of character development. It is as if Joss realised how much he screwed over his character in the later years of Btvs and now is making an amends for it by giving him a kick arse role. I really loved how he was mature enough to think things through and make Buffy take someone else into battle with her. He knows his strengths, he knows his limits, and he knew they couldn't mess around when Willow's life was at stake. And he was right, if Buffy and Xander had went through that portal there is a major possibility that Xander could have been killed by all those men, he is just a man, not a slayer and Buffy needed someone with super powers to get through this. Go Xander!

                            (Sosa Lola your love for Xander is becoming contagious )

                            Ethan Rayne! I couldn't believe it, I actually read through the comic the first time and hadn't realised he had died The when I went back through I was just shocked! For Joss to kill off a character so brutally and quickly was most certainly a shock. In a way it was bound to happen sooner or later to Ethan, he kept getting himself into bad situations but I was still shocked. One prominent recurring character dead just like that-wow!... Wonder how Giles will take the news?

                            Giles- lack of, wish he was in it.. when are we going to see him with the Scoobies?

                            The Scythe- freakin great to see that again, I wondered where Buffy had statched that away.

                            Killing humans!- Now Buffy says she doesn't want to, she orders Satsu not to if she can but she wounds them pretty bad that if Willlow doesn't heal them they may all die. Now I have no problem with this and I think Buffy has come to a real good place here. I have never had problems with Buffy killing humans in a kill or be killed situation and I think she has matured to the point to realise it can't always be as black and white as humans good demons bad. Buffy doesn't go out of her way to kill humans, heck she'll even heal them if she can, but she won't be afraid to do so if need be. I like this new Buffy

                            I wasn't a fan of the art in some of the panels.. in particular the way Willow's spiritual sequence was drawn, nor Buffy when speaking to Dawn at the beginning of the issue. But owell, it is usually good.

                            In terms of Willow's power, I didn't like her chanelling her magic through Buffy I found that a bit fanficy and cheesy. I hope this doesn't become a regular thing.

                            And Buffy is facing the entire world! Now this is weird and a unexpected turn I wasn't prepared for this! I loved how Voll mentioned The First and how he mentioned how Buffy knew how dark her power was from Get it Done. Remember Buffy's dream in Issue #2;

                            BUFFY: No I can't go outside I'm afriad of the dark!
                            XANDER: Buffy you are the dark!
                            BUFFY: That's what I meant!

                            This was a major hint as to what was to come and a very interesting angle. We've explored Buffy's darkness before, and for the demon essence inside her always calling on her to slay, slay. Well I wonder how much of this is accurate, or if Voll is somehow deranged. I still think this opens up major opportunities to have Dracula show up on the scene. People have stated Drac only ever flew in bat form but I don't think it'd be an inconsistency to assume he could fly in regular form as well, and remember in s5 how he explained to Buffy about her darkness and how she went out hunting again and again? What if this is what Voll is talking about? That constant need to hunt and slay?

                            All I can say is very interesting...
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                            • #15
                              Warren being back is fine, and honestly, we can infer that he *must* have died at some point *because* we saw the First in his form. It's only a continuity error if they clearly establish that he never was killed. It'll be important, though, to see Willow insist that nobody act like everything is okay now and she's off the hook for having murdered him. The only part of it that's implausible to me is how Amy would have gotten him out of there without Willow realizing what had happened.

                              Now the lip gloss.. I don't believe it is Satsu and I think this is one of those things to fool us fans. Remember OMWF when we see Dawn with the necklace to summon Sweet and everyone assumes it to be her? Yet, at the last minute.. oops it's Xander? It is very possible we could be having a similair thing going on here. I wouldn't be surprised if at the last minute we learn Xander wears lip gloss secretly or something silly and humerous like that.
                              I think the biggest piece of information we got is that Satsu lets people borrow her lipgloss. She has actually dropped to #3 on my list of suspects. First is still Xander. I could see him either A) goofing around with the lipgloss or B) it just being a complete red herring. Second is Rowena. She would have been in fine position to borrow the lipgloss, and she seemed completely shredded that Buffy didn't pick her. Third is Satsu.

                              Ethan Rayne! I couldn't believe it, I actually read through the comic the first time and hadn't realised he had died The when I went back through I was just shocked! For Joss to kill off a character so brutally and quickly was most certainly a shock. In a way it was bound to happen sooner or later to Ethan, he kept getting himself into bad situations but I was still shocked. One prominent recurring character dead just like that-wow!... Wonder how Giles will take the news?
                              I think Giles will be far more upset than even he wishes. Even as enemies, Ethan was a brother of sorts. In "A New Man" they articulate the bond between them very well. Plus, given Giles feelings about Twilight's apparent agenda and the fact that Ethan helped save both of his adopted daughters' lives, we can expect to see Ripper having someone answer for it. I hope that they take Voll back to the BHC for more discussion, and that Giles gets to ask him some questions.

                              The Scythe- freakin great to see that again, I wondered where Buffy had statched that away.
                              I wasn't surprised that it was stored. I was a little surprised that it seems to be so presumptively Buffy's personal weapon. In Season 7, they did so much to establish the sense of ownership and comfort with its use that all the Slayers felt. For Buffy to claim it is her right as leader, but it is actually a bit telling about how fully she has stepped into that role.

                              Killing humans!- Now Buffy says she doesn't want to, she orders Satsu not to if she can but she wounds them pretty bad that if Willlow doesn't heal them they may all die. Now I have no problem with this and I think Buffy has come to a real good place here. I have never had problems with Buffy killing humans in a kill or be killed situation and I think she has matured to the point to realise it can't always be as black and white as humans good demons bad. Buffy doesn't go out of her way to kill humans, heck she'll even heal them if she can, but she won't be afraid to do so if need be. I like this new Buffy
                              Buffy has killed humans before in untenable situations, and I was pleased that she still draws a brightline between human life and demon. And that she promised (albeit presumptively) to help them in exchange for Willow's location.

                              I was more pleased by the dynamic between her and Satsu and the other Slayers. I love the new Slayer characters (Alpha Team and Renee). Plus, Satsu's goofy teddy bear shoulderpad and what looked like a Pac-Man ghost shoulderpad were adorable.

                              In terms of Willow's power, I didn't like her chanelling her magic through Buffy I found that a bit fanficy and cheesy. I hope this doesn't become a regular thing.
                              Not sure how I felt about it either. Buffy has never shown much of an interest in learning magic, even though she did quite well with the trance spell in "No Place Like Home". It could easily make her seem too powerful. I do like it as a device to show her ties to her friends are very much repaired. It reminded me of the "Primeval" enjoining spell.

                              Buffy against humanity is an interesting and new angle. I hope that it's not just a new version of the "misogyny is the real enemy" angle. There are interesting implications to Twilight's concerns. The Slayers *are* a "master race". And Buffy is both awesome and a little bit scary with the nonchalance in which she excepts his challenge. Power is resented in every form by those who do not wield it, and I would love to see Buffy exploring those themes.
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