Issue: Buffy Season 8 #18
Last we left Buffy she was still reeling from being thrown into Fray's futuristic world. Buffy's emotional state is shaky at best as she has to deal with the repercussions of "Chosen" and the future that she has helped create.
This issue starts off with Buffy researching the Watcher's Diaries. She doesn't find much that specifically points to her as she say, "A few sketchy references that might be me, or my friends… some encouraging, some dire… at least one that's too ridiculous to comprehend…." My bet for the ridiculousness is on a Xander/Dawn hookup. I agree with Buffy because I can't really comprehend it and that's exactly why Joss would go there.
Buffy begins to cry as she stares out the window and watches a world she doesn't understand, then of course we get the wonderful comedic undercutting of Joss with the funny "Spoiler alert" line. Buffy's emotions are great in this comic because she actually has them. There was a time when I hated to see Buffy cry, but after the stone-cold Buffy of Season 7, I am relieved at any bit of emotion she show because in the end, an emotionally attached Buffy is a sane Buffy. All of this, though, in the end is going to lead Buffy into believing that Twilight just might be right in his assertion that the world would be better without slayers and magic.
Now we cut to Willow who is trying to get Buffy out of the future. Kennedy is there, but we'll pretend she's not because I hate her. Unfortunately, I really can't because for some insane reason Willow can only contact the Snake Lady, Saga Vasuki, while she's in the middle of an orgasm. I am going to say it - that is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read by Joss. Really, Joss, you're going there?
Cut to Xander and Dawn being chased by Ent-like tree people after the castle has been attacked by Amy and Warren or as Xander puts it, "The Laurel and Hardy of being a dick." I have to say these few panels of Xander and Dawn are written so well. I usually don't have many nice things to say about these two characters, so this is a big step for me.
We're back to the future where Gunther, Fray's fish boss, is in a stand-off with Harth, Fray's vampire brother. Me thinks Gunther isn't going to make it out alive when this arc is over.
Next scene brings back the "Buffy can't drive" gag from days of yore. One thing it doesn't bring back is the Buffy of yore. This girl, no matter how we want to keep her the same, has changed. Buffy and Fray see some innocents being attacked, Fray wants to save them, but Buffy says they need to "look at the big picture". Fray doesn't listen and jumps to the rescue. I'm not sure how I feel about her decision. On one hand, I agree that looking at the bigger picture is a smart thing to do, but isn't that how Buffy got where she is in the first place? Aren't the events of "Chosen" and their consequences the reason Twilight is on the war path? Maybe saving one person at a time is the right mantra for a slayer. As Fray says when she is jumping out of the car, "You look. I'm gonna do our job."
Fray leaps right into the path of Dark Willow. I'm starting to think that Angelus should take a lot of credit for his, "To Kill this girl, you've gotta love her" statement back in Season 2. It's been repeated by a lot of bad guys in all these years and Future Dark Willow is no exception with her statement to Fray: "If you hate her she'll be harder to kill."
Back to Present-day Willow in the middle of a climax (not the literary kind either) as Saga Vasuki appears in front of her. The gratuitousness of this scene is really hard to swallow. Naked Willow, orgasm, Snake Lady. I still can't wrap my brain around it. Anyway, Willow needs to get Buffy back. Willow asks Snake Lady who told her to send Buffy to the future and Snake Lady replies, "Someone I trusted," which is actually Dark Willow. Snake Lady tells Willow to promise not to look when the time rift opens and she pulls Buffy out. Everyone knows that future self meeting present day self = destruction. Then we get the ultimate in sex punning with Snake Lady's dreadful, "Do come again." Ugh.
Back to Dark Willow trying to convince Fray to kill Buffy. We get a nice shout out to Angel with the line, "The most important men in both your lives are lurks." Dark Willow's mission to kill Buffy is personal which plays nicely with Willow's fears in "Anywhere But Here" that anytime she brings someone she loves around Buffy they die or get hurt. She has a point. Interesting info here is that Dark Willow actually has no power.
Buffy and Fray's sister Erin meet and did anyone notice how similar they look? If it wasn't for the clothes, I'd think Buffy was talking to her future self. We get another shout out to classic Buffy with a reference to "What's My Line" and Buffy's career in law enforcement. Just as the conversation gets started, Buffy is taken down by Fray. Whatever Dark Willow said must have convinced Fray that her and Buffy are indeed on different sides.
Conclusions/Opinions: I want the results of "Chosen" reversed. I want Buffy and Faith to be the only slayers and I am going to jump for joy when that day comes. My prediction for the next issue is that Dark Willow is going to die by Buffy's hand. Another cross to bare. Poor Buffy.
BUFFY: Oh, futuristic snap!
ERIN: Puffy, can I –
BUFFY: Buffy. Sorry. With a B. Don't want future history calling me "Puffy."