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Buffy Season Eight: Last Gleaming, Part 4

Xander: "Giles, I'm all for rash acts of nobility-- but you can't get between those two."


Willow is chanting a spell to protect the Seed, which I want to call the Big Red Egg because that's what it looks like. Buffy and Angel are fighting, and Spike vamps out and attacks Angel. Angel grabs Spike and takes up into the air; it's still daylight, and Spike begins to burn. Buffy arrives and knocks them apart. Spike is either sucked into the sphere ship, or Buffy deliberately tossed him there, or both.

More Buffy and Angel fighting, with military planes as casualties. Buffy feels that what happened to Angel isn't Angelus or Twilight. Then what is he?

Xander is watching the battle from afar as the sun goes down. He thinks this is the end. Giles is of the opinion that demons already attached to this world don't want it to end and they're on the Scoobie/Slayer side. Suddenly monsters are fighting each other.

Willow is getting off on the Seed, or the magic, or whatever; she's glowing, floating in the air, chanting away.

Faith, Scythe in hand, is ready to lead the slayers into battle, but Giles stops her and takes the Scythe for Buffy. An ugly blue dragon-like demon starts casting a spell on the slayers and they start looking awful. Faith whacks the blue dragon-like thing.

Meanwhile, Amy and Warren are in a much nicer, less battle-y place, drinking wine in an outside cafe and arguing about leaving. Amy decides she'll wait and see how things turn out.

More battle, more battle, more battle. Willow chants, Andrew is punched out, Buffy smacks down Angel. Angel puts his fist through the Master's head. (I guess that's it for our reincarnated Master. Did they really need him in the first place? I guess it made for a cool issue cover, though.) Buffy says "Go Angel! Also, take that!" and hits him again.

Xander is watching them from a doorway. Giles comes up with the Scythe; he says the Seed weakens Buffy but it will fuel the Scythe. Okay, that doesn't make sense. Xander says, so toss her the Scythe, but Giles says Buffy will hesitate, that she won't use it to kill Angel. Xander cautions against getting in between Buffy and Angel.

Giles dashes in with the Scythe, and Angel grabs Giles and snaps his neck. The panel actually looks like the top of the stairs archway shot where Angel did the same thing to Jenny. Angel then tells Buffy that when they're all gone, she'll understand.

Buffy whacks Angel, and picks up the Scythe. She swings it, we think she's going to take out Angel, but no -- she takes out the Seed. Boom. Big bits of red eggshell everywhere.

Willow, still in mid-air, clutches her head, screams, and plummets to the ground. The slayers all look shocked. Amy and Warren also react; Amy moans and clutches her head, while Warren dissolves into a puddle of blood and bones. Demons and monsters everywhere start floating up into rifts in the sky and disappear. The chanting Wiccans in a living room somewhere are all clutching their heads like Willow; they've lost connection with Sunnydale.

Willow, crazed and obviously injured, screams for Aluwyn, who isn't answering. Kennedy finds her and holds her as Willow cries, "We lost!" Very end of season six, but with Kennedy instead of Xander, and no yellow crayon.

Spike, in his sphere ship with his bugs, sees a huge monster still around and takes off after it.

Back underground, Buffy lies on the ground sobbing uncontrollably. Xander stands over her helplessly. Angel stands off to the side, looking shocked and probably not evil any more. Giles is dead on the ground. The Scythe is broken in half.


This was like one big mish mosh of way too many confused battle scenes. Which is a minor complaint compared to Angel killing Giles in exactly the same way that he killed Jenny back in season two. Did they have to do that? Really?

I had to think for awhile about why it bothered me so much. And I've got it. It's because, despite the delightful Buffyspeak and the familiar universe, the comics don't seem like real Buffy to me. I've never bought in. If Giles had died during the run of the series, I would have cried a huge puddle of tears, no matter how it happened. But all his death did to me here was make me mad. I've never felt so dissociated from the series; it's like the comics have taken me to an alternate Buffyverse. I never wanted an alternate Buffyverse. I want my Buffyverse. Too bad.

At least I can say that I zipped through this issue very quickly. Maybe I'm just anxious for it to be over. And it is over, to some extent. There was some actual resolution. Buffy used the Scythe to destroy the Seed. Demons and monsters went phtt. Willow lost her power, and so did Amy, big yay there. Warren dissolved into a puddle of blood, which may have been my favorite panel in many, many issues. Whoever decided to bring Warren back doesn't deserve dessert for a year. If that's Joss Whedon, and I'm pretty sure it is, so be it.

Now what? I'm looking over at the bookcase where number 40 sits in its paper bag, as yet unread, and I wonder -- is there any possible way that Joss Whedon can end season eight in a way that will make this nearly four year journey worth my time? I don't think so, Dave. (That's something Dan and I say a lot. It's sort of from 2001: A Space Odyssey.)


Buffy: (referring to Angel) "I liked it better when you were kissing."
Spike: (quietly) "I'm fairly certain I never mentioned..."

Willow: "Master? Pfft. You're the master of nothing. You're the extra light fluffy coating around the more substantial center of ordinary nothing."

On to The End,

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


  1. I just read Joss is coming out with season 9 comic books in the fall...

  2. Billie, I felt exactly the same way you did about what they did to Giles. I've liked some of the comics more than you do, but I never really bought them as a part of Buffyverse. And now they killed Giles. They. Killed. Giles. Right now, not having read the next issue, it feels like such a pointless thing to do, and so completely unlike Joyce's death in all the wrong ways. I'm still horrified, and a big part of that is anger. Yet, a small part feels like I was cheated out of a reaction to a beloved character's passing. I should mourn Giles, but... I don't know. I hate it that they did this.

  3. I agree. I feel really disconnected from the Buffy-comicverse. It feels kind of like glorified fanfiction. Like, Giles doesn't really seem dead, because he wasn't dead at the end of the show. I keep having to remind myself that the comics are canon, because I'm always thinking that what happens in them doesn't really affect the characters and Buffyverse I love.

  4. I just finished the Buffy Season 8 Comics available to me (I am from Germany so I can only get collected editions easily), the end of Season 8 and the beginning of season 9.
    I also just found your website via google. It looks great and I'll have a look around.
    But I really just wanted to say that I completely agree with you and Emma. Giles was the one of the greatest characters on the show and really any show. I cried a little when he came back to fight Dark Willow on the series. Yet his death in the comic books. Kinda meh.
    I can usually get pretty emotional with television and books. This really did nothing for me. I also just finished reading all the Omnibus Volumes of Buffy last week and they got me more emotional than this, because it got me thinking about the old TV seasons again...
    Oh well, I'll continue reading what Whedon does, because I am very obsessed once I start something.

  5. Man, I hated this issue. I read this entire series in collected format (the 8 Tpb's) as I gave up buying individual comics a few years ago (still have thousands, though), and I can't agree enough with the sentiments expressed here. The death of Giles seemed utterly gratuitous. I'm actually hoping Angel brings him back in Angel & Faith, which I have been very irregularly following; but that still doesn't help this idiotic story.


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