Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Buffy Season Eight: Wolves at the Gate, Part 3

Dawn: "Hi. Or, I mean... roar?"


We begin in Tokyo, where the ninja vamps have left Aiko the slayer's body spreadeagled on the side of a skyscraper, captioned by the words "Welcome to Tokyo" in Japanese. Buffy and her slayers cut Aiko down and carry her shrouded body to what appears to be local slayer headquarters, where Buffy broods about what to do next... which turns out to be capturing and interrogating one of the enemy. Which is hard when they can turn into fog.

Dracula and Xander arrive. (Xander mentions that Dracula does not travel well.) Dracula rather scornfully suggests that Buffy have her witch do a containment spell. Dracula then offends Willow, commandeers the master bedroom for his coffin, and offers to finish eating Aiko.

Renee, dressed as a lost tourist schoolgirl, lures one of the ninja vamps into a trap: a mystical, transparent container created by Willow that will keep him from turning into fog and getting away. They interrogate him using fire (ick) and learn all about Toru and his plans. Toru and his ninja vamps now have a huge circle medallion lens thing, just like the little one that took Aiko's power away, on the top of the Ashikaga building in Tokyo. The lens is supposed to magnify Kumiko's spell with the Scythe to strip the slayers of their power. Buffy torches the vamp who gave them the information, even though he thought he would go free. This is war, she says.

Buffy and Satsu argue. Buffy wants Satsu to stay behind and lead the local slayer contingent, and to bury Aiko. Satsu refuses, and Buffy, oddly enough, finds her rebellion sexy. ("I can't believe I find it sexy when she calls me 'ma'am'." ) Then Xander and Renee sort of argue, too. Xander thinks the current mission should be their first date so that the first date awkwardness will be over. Renee decides to make it easier for Xander by kissing him and getting it out of the way. Much kissing. Several panels.

On to the attack. Willow creates a distraction by teleporting giant Dawn to the streets of Tokyo. Dawn literally rises to the occasion and does a lot of roaring and stomping and breaks them into the building; Buffy and the gang ascend and find Toru. Or so they think. Unfortunately, the Toru they're looking at is a hologram. The real Toru comes up behind them and stabs Renee through the chest with the long, pointy end of the Scythe.


Loved giant Dawn as Godzilla. It was inspired and it was the best part of this issue. (Although Godzilla Dawn on the cover pretty much spoiled the surprise.) And Dracula continued to be wonderful comic relief. Although I wonder why on earth Dracula is working with the Slayers? Yes, he wants his stolen abilities back, and yes, he's fond of Xander, I totally believe that. But I sort of expect Dracula to turn on them when they least expect it.

Not surprising that Xander has, once again, lost at love. I sort of saw it coming when there were so many panels of the two of them kissing; you could practically hear the foreboding music signalling upcoming tragedy. Renee does appear to be quite dead, just like previous Xander amours Cordelia and Anya. But I probably shouldn't rule out mystical whats-is miracle fixes.

I must admit I'm confused by the continuing Buffy/Satsu thing. Is Buffy truly switching sides? I'm all for coming out and finding oneself -- Tara and Willow are one of my favorite couples ever -- but we've never gotten any earlier indications that Buffy leans that way. To the contrary, in fact. At least Buffy hasn't changed in one respect: she always chooses super honeys who can fight at her side. Whether she wants them to or not.

The fact that Toru arrived apparently alone and with the Scythe made it seem that he might be quickly defeated and the Scythe retrieved. I assume it won't be that easy.

Bits and pieces:

-- Giant Dawn appeared wearing a shirt with the number 53 on it. Remember the season (six, wasn't it?) where nearly everyone was wearing numbers on their shirts and we were all wondering what it meant?

-- Apparently, there are a thousand ninja vamps. Not quite as many slayers. That's a lot of ninja vamps.

-- Raidon mentioned the "robotic division." Next issue? I assumed it didn't have anything to do with Toru and the hologram.

-- The vamp that Buffy captured said "it" would happen before dawn. Actually, Dawn sort of happened first, didn't she?

-- Have I mentioned recently that I want Tara resurrected, and I don't care how?


Dracula: "Do you still have a witch in your employ?"
Willow: "I'm standing right here."
Dracula: "Ah, yes. I should have recognized your acrid stench."

Renee: "My parochial school was on a field trip to Shinjuku and I wandered off looking for the bathing ape store... and now I don't know how to get back to my hotel because all the street signs in Japan are in Japanese, for some reason..." Um. Bathing ape store?

Renee: "When people ask what we did on our first date, you want me to tell them we... dressed me up like a schoolgirl. Used me as bait on the streets of Japan. Lit a vampire on fire. Then, geared up to go into battle with several hundred other girls... and Dracula."
Dracula: "I resent that. I would never go on a date with the two of you. Even if you begged."

Buffy: "I'm not looking for a fight. All that matters is the Scythe. Once we get that back, they can't hurt us. I mean, except, you know, in the traditional biting and stabbing and clawing sense."

Buffy: "That is, in fact, a giant Godzilla woman wreaking havoc on your minions. And to make matters worse, she's a teenager, so... moody."

Not as crazy about this issue, but I suppose it was essentially meant to get us from here to there. Two out of four stakes,

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.