Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buffy Season 9 No. 3

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 No. 3
Freefall Part 3

This issue felt very much like a "plot"-issue.  It mostly seems to exist to get us from issues 1 and 2 to issue 4.  The last issue felt like this quite a bit too.  I don't really mind too much though, as we get some nice character moments and some interesting plot twists.

We begin pretty much where we left off, with Buffy musing about how Severin's powers work.  She hypothesizes that it's not that he is doing magic, it's that he is removing magic from the vampires.  The two escape from the cops and Buffy asks if Severin knows a place she can stay.

The detectives turn up at Buffy's house, when her roommate answers.  They inform her that Buffy is on the run from the law, something I'm kind of surprised she hadn't heard already.  Isn't her face all over the news?

Spike interrogates a Realty Demon as to the whereabouts of the baddie that wants to hurt Buffy.  I find it an interesting idea that there is a specific realty agent that seems to specialize in housing demons.  The little guy even offers to get Spike a nice crypt!  Spike gets all threatening, and the demon reveals that the baddie is at Alcatraz.

The next morning, Severin reveals his backstory to Buffy: he wanted to be a vampire.  Well, actually, his girlfriend wanted to be a vampire.  She made the connections and got everything set up.  The plan was that she would get sired and then sire him.  This struck me as particularly sad.  Two dumb kids, in over their heads in things they don't understand.  This line especially:
"I should have stopped her... but I didn't.  I stood there and watched my girlfriend die."
When Clare woke up, she wasn't Clare anymore.  But not in the way I was expecting.  I was imagining something similar to when Spike sired his mother and realized that his mother was replaced by a demon.  But this was more drastic than that.  Something went wrong when Clare was sired.  She wasn't evil, just feral.  Wild.  Her jaw gained the ability to open far too wide.  It was then that Severin's ability first manifested itself.  He turned her human, and then back into a corpse.

Severin reveals that it wasn't just Clare that turned like this.  Every vampire that is sired now becomes a feral animal.  And he has been using his power to kill them.  Buffy deduces that vampires are being sired wrong is because she destroyed the seed.  (Yay!  Another thing for her to feel guilty about!)

The cops arrive at Xander and Dawn's place, where they claim not to have seen her in days.  The cops ask what they've been fighting about, and they claim it's because Xander forgot her birthday.  Which seems completely ridiculous to me, and I don't buy it for one second.  It seems far too trivial.  I think either they must be arguing about something else, or as Whedonesquer aphasia suggested, they aren't fighting at all and are instead housing a mystery person on their couch.  After the cops leave, Buffy calls a Scooby Meeting, which only Dawn and Xander show up to.  Willow ignores the phone, either because she is angry at Buffy but also because she is at work (probably both.)  Spike can't come because he is on a boat to Alcatraz.  And Andrew can't come because... um... he's building a robot?  What the heck?  Also, why didn't she invite Riley?  He's still around, right?

Buffy gets Willow on Dawn's phone.  As soon as she admits that Willow may be right about the seed, she perks up and is willing to listen.  Which, honestly, kind of bothers me.  I still think Buffy is right, and I think it's very immature of Willow to not speak to Buffy when it might be important just because she wants Buffy to feel more guilty than she does.  They begin to discuss the problem, and Willow deduces that demons can no longer cross into this world to inhabit vampire corpses.  Without the demon inside steering, the vampire is, as Xander coins, a Zompire.  This makes quite a bit of sense to me, actually, and fits well with the mythology we've seen before on the show.

Severin randomly suggests that he and Buffy go take out a nest that he knows about it.  This seemed odd to me because they were currently discussing a general problem and he moved it to a specific situation of a single nest.  Anyway, Dawn and Xander intervene and suggest that Buffy go to the cops.  After all, now that everyone knows about vampires, Buffy and the cops should be on the same side.  This seems like another example of our theme: Buffy needing to face the real world and real life.  Going to the cops would be the adult, real-world thing to do.  So of course, she decides to go after the zompires.

But first, we see Spike finally meet Eldre Koh,. the baddie he's been searching for, who turns out not to be so much of a baddie after all.  Instead, he is bound by honor to Buffy, for she indirectly freed him from his magical prison when she destroyed the seed.  Honestly, I kind of saw this coming.  Not really sure why, but I had this suspicion that this guy was going to turn out to be good.

Eldre Koh reveals that the rumors Spike has been hearing are not of him, but of something called The Siphon.
"I know demons older than your kind.  They all fear the arrival of the siphon.  A being who rips mystical energy from all he touches.  All who possess supernatural power.  Vampire, demon... even slayer.  And he's heading straight at your friend."
This, though.  This was a twist I hadn't seen coming.  Severin tells Buffy that with everything he kills, he becomes stronger, and that he might even be stronger than her when they take out the nest.  Uh oh.  Buffy kicks open the door to find it filled with corpses.  And I mean FILLED.  So many dead bodies.  I have to admit that this genuinely gave me chills.  I don't remember being this worried for Buffy in a long time.  This is good writing.  Buffy, shocked, says that they're already dead.  Severin, crackling with power and an evil grin, turns to Buffy.
"I know."
Oh $%&#@!

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