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Buffy Season Eight: No Future for You, Part 2

Faith: "Anyway, live and learn. Almost die and learn way more."

Synopsis:

The issue begins with a recreation of the Buffy/Faith final fight scene in "Graduation Day", ending with Buffy stabbing Faith.

In present time, Faith, dressed to the nines, goes to the ball. Before entering, she tosses away the earpiece connecting her with Giles. She talks her way past security by being haughtier-than-thou. In the shadows above, Roden, the warlock and "Twilight" acolyte, watches the receiving line as his obedient gargoyles hover above him. Faith plans to take Gigi out in the receiving line, but can't quite make herself do it.

Cut to Willow with giant Dawn, near the castle. Dawn still doesn't tell Willow how she became really, really big, although she does confess that Kenny the thricewise was the only guy in college who treated her like a friend. Renee interrupts to tell Willow that Buffy needs Willow's help with the castle's new defense system.

Faith retreats to a balcony for a smoke. Gigi goes outside for the same reason. Faith introduces herself to Gigi as Hope Lyonne, and the two end up bonding because they apparently have a lot in common. Faith pulls her knife, which is disguised as sticks in her coiffure, and Roden's gargoyles descend and grab her.

Getting seriously messed up in the process, Faith defeats the gargoyles and then passes out. Gigi is very impressed; she thinks Faith is a naughty daughter of privilege turned Slayer, like herself. (Roden is not as quick to believe.) Gigi befriends the recovered Faith and confides in her that she believes she, Gigi, is destined to lead the world, after taking out the current queen, the one who is holding her back. Guess who that is.

(Yes, it's Buffy.)

Review:

Faith succeeded in infiltrating Gigi's circle, if that was her intention. (Maybe she was drawing the disguised knife out of her hair to take Gigi out, or maybe she was going for exactly what happened. Hard to tell. And maybe we're not supposed to know.)

The big question is, of course, if Faith will stay loyal to the cause or cross over to the dark side once again. And I don't have a really good feel for which way it will go. During the conversation on the balcony, Faith said, "Dad may as well be a ghost, and Mum is a filthy drunk." Gigi replied, "You're sure we're not sisters?" Even if Faith is pretending, and I assume she still is at this point, she finds Gigi to be something of a soulmate. Gigi is a lot more like Faith than Buffy ever was, or ever would be.

Which is why the issue started with a flashback to "Graduation Day" and the ultimate Buffy/Faith smackdown. Buffy and Faith could have been sisters, too. They may work together now when they have to, but there is no love lost. They will never be close because Buffy will never completely trust Faith. Faith is an angry young woman with a dark and troubled past, and she's on her own, with no Giles for guidance. And she needs love and acceptance, just like everyone else. She's vulnerable. This can't be good.

Something else occurred to me, too. Faith was brought back from darkness. It's a common theme in the Buffyverse. We get the strong vibe that Gigi was brainwashed by Roden. Is Gigi redeemable? Can Faith save her?

Bits and pieces:

-- I was wondering if we'd ever get back to the Dawn plot, and when they did, it was too short. Not that I was longing for them to get back to Dawn, or anything.

-- Willow mentioned that Dawn's giant clothes were getting, ah, ripe, and that Lane Bryant probably didn't carry Dawn's size. Imagine how much Tide it would take to get them clean. And how would they ever wash them?

-- The knife concealed in Faith's coiffure resembled the wicked knife that the Mayor gave Faith in season three. A visual clue that Faith could again turn to the dark side.

-- Buffy television episodes written by Joss Whedon were always the best. These past two issues, which were not written by Joss, have been a lot easier to read and a lot more fun than the first five. I almost feel like I'm committing sacrilege to say so, but it's the truth.

Quotes:

Roden: "See that lovely rack, fourth in line to meet Lady Genevieve? Keep an eye on her, would you, lads? Girl is making my wand tingle, and not in the good way."

Dawn: "This is about sex, isn't it? Because everyone keeps trying to give me the birds-and-the-bees speech, which I outgrew ten years and six hundred shoe sizes ago."

Willow: "I'm as sensitive to profiling as the next gay Wiccan jewess, but not every stereotype is untrue."

Dawn: "He was the only guy on campus who treated me like a friend, not a... a walking pair of boobs."
Willow: "Oh, sweetie, don't talk like that. Boys are into you because of your legs, not those itty-bitty things."

Gigi: "I like any song that can make me cry while everyone else is dancing." Interesting little character statement.

Faith: "Frickin' gargoyles? I hate Europe."

Gigi: "Roden says I'm going to lead a lot of us to take our rightful place at the head of this wretched society. Right after I destroy the woman holding us back... and take her mantle as queen."
Faith: "You... you want to kill Elizabeth?"

I think that instead of rating each issue, I'll rate the completed segment. So no rating this time,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

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