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Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall Part One

Buffy - in desert


"Buffy, you can stop convincing yourself things are better now."

"Buffy, you can stop convincing yourself things are better now."


Freefall Part One opens with Buffy waking up, hungover, trying to remember what she did the previous night. The scene cuts to the night before, with a downright gleeful (in the worst sense of the word) Buffy welcoming Dawn and Xander to her apartment for a party. We meet Buffy's roommates, Anaheed and Tumble, and Willow arrives with someone new. What then proceeds is back-and-forth storytelling between the party and the next day, as Buffy tries to remember everything she did. What did she do? Made a pass at everyone, apparently, juggled, played a game of Chicken with Andrew wrestling on her shoulders, and managed to get two of San Francisco's finest in on the action. All of which we could have predicted from the teaser pages.

The most telling line, quoted above, came from a pitying Riley who was trying to convince Buffy she did the right thing in destroying the seed. Apparently this is what Buffy's all about these days: convincing herself everything's okay, but she doesn't do much of a good job of it. Her frenzy to make sure everyone knows she's okay is obvious; this is a Buffy on the edge and trying to hide it. And this is the point of the issue: showing the state of mind Buffy is in. The game of "who did Buffy sleep with" may have a payoff later in the season, or it may be a bunch of dudes having a joke at the expense of shippers who are looking for any smidgeon of a sign that their ship is alive. All the same, it isn't a major plot point: it's there to show how far Buffy will go to convince herself and the world that she's doing all right and she did the right thing by destroying the seed.

We get introductions to a couple plot points for the early season, at least: the anatomically correct (according to a giggly Jeanty and Chambliss) El Draco is released from his prison, and it's the same guy we see on Spike's cover for issue #4. His last words for the issue are "kill all," so an ominous tone is set in spite of Buffy's party girl memories. We also see Simone jaunting down what I think is Highway 1 in a VW van loaded with weapons, mumbling about "showing them we're still here/ That we're better than them/ And that not all of us have lost our way." Another ominous foreshadowing while Buffy's busy table dancing. A third plot point comes with a dead girl in an alleyway, with no determinable cause of death. A fourth plot point pays off on the very last page: a demon has been hired to get Buffy to pay back her student loans. Haha.

Overall, it was a weaker issue than Angel and Faith: while Angel may still be chronically stupid, he's at least given the chance to act mature. Maybe it's because Jeanty seems to draw everyone as if they're in desperate need of a nose job, maybe it's because it's not Sarah up there doing her drunk!face, but the issue seemed to hit a flat note with me. After the maturity shown in Season 8 #40, I was looking forwards to a more introspective Buffy, a Buffy who could look at her mistakes and see where she went wrong (SPACE FRAK! SPACE FRAK! SPACE FRAK!). This is Buffy regressing to age 18, back to her uncertainty about college life, back to "Beer Bad" and "The Freshman." Maybe we'll see a more mature Buffy in the next issue, but as for this one, it seemed too jokey and not with the gravity a post-Season 8 issue should have. Maybe Joss will actually let Buffy learn her lessons and mature, instead of making her a party girl.

Now, back to copying and pasting email addresses for me!



coalitiongirl has already written fill-in-the-blanks fic that makes it all shippier better! I think she spoiled me with the mature Buffy of Embers. So my disappointment is all her fault!

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
gryfndor_godess
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
The seeming regression of Buffy's maturity is the reason I'm already disappointed in S9 and not nearly as enthusiastic as I was when #40 came out. I haven't gotten my hands on the issue yet, but if Buffy actually did sleep with someone and was so drunk she can't remember and if that guy was not drunk, that's definitely assault and the fact that the writers are joking about it makes me queasy. It had better not have been Spike because out of all her potential bedmates he should know better and treat her with more respect.

This issue reminds me of the Ringer pilot in a lot of ways because there were so many spoilers in advance that there were no surprises left and the actual release itself can't help being anticlimactic.

That being said, do you know a download link I could use? Pretty please?
eilowyn
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
It is assault, and they are treating it very lightly if it's a possibility. I'm personally in the "Buffy didn't sleep with anyone, her room's just a mess" camp. It seemed like a "heh heh, let's have Buffy think she slept with someone she doesn't remember!" guy joke to me. And they did spoil too much beforehand, but they always do that.

I just wasn't as impressed as I was with Angel and Faith. I don't know what kind of twenty-somethings these are supposed to be. Maybe I'm just *that* boring, but all-night ragers seem more like a college thing to me, not a twenty-something thing. Oh, well. I expect Buffy will be allowed to mature eventually.
norwie2010
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Oh, well. I expect Buffy will be allowed to mature eventually.

That would require mature writers....
infinitewhale
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)

They buried themselves in S8. There isn't anything they can acknowledge that wouldn't bring the story to a screeching halt because they have no explanation for the behavior.

I still say the issue is a play on that. "What did I do, why did I do what I did?" Good question, Buff.
gryfndor_godess
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
I just wasn't as impressed as I was with Angel and Faith.

Everything I've heard about about A/F #1 makes me want to read it, but I have refused to buy it on principle because I'm so disgusted with what the writers did to Angel in S8 and by the idea that they think a misogynist like Twilight deserves his own series. It just makes me boil that after all Angel did, he still gets to be a "hero" and have his super special guilt and effing martyrdom put on a pedestal again.

I don't know what kind of twenty-somethings these are supposed to be.

I know some twenty-somethings like that, but they're all in college...maybe a lot of her guests are in college? They're still in the stereotypical age range.

I expect Buffy will be allowed to mature eventually.

I hope so, although I have my doubts. Maturity would probably seem too final for Joss. He does tend to kill off mature characters...

Thanks again for the link! Now I must finish hw...or do a bit more hw so I can justify a break to read...
norwie2010
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I just read some Q&A and the editor said that "mourning Giles" won't happen in the "Buffy" title, it will happen in the "Angel" title.

Oh, please, Mr. Murderer - tell us how hard it was to kill someone! (So they let the concentration camp guard tell the - only - story of the victim(s). Way to go!)

(In other words: I'm with you, I won't read that story. Nothing to do with Angel - the fictional character - and everything to do with not wanting that story to continue.)
gryfndor_godess
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
the editor said that "mourning Giles" won't happen in the "Buffy" title, it will happen in the "Angel" title.

That is so very, very despicable.

I love Angel on AtS, despite his flaws. Comics!Angel is unrecognizable to me.
shipperx
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
I'm so disgusted with what the writers did to Angel in S8 and by the idea that they think a misogynist like Twilight deserves his own series. It just makes me boil that after all Angel did, he still gets to be a "hero" and have his super special guilt and effing martyrdom put on a pedestal again.


Sing it. I used to love Angel. But I just wanted someone to smack him over his too-late-too-feel-bad-about it martyrdom.
rahirah
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
You're an optimist. *g*
veiled_static
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
Type Buffy 41 into filestube.com, there were a few links up there yesterday :)
gryfndor_godess
Sep. 15th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
passionrlsusall
Sep. 15th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
So Ringer wasn't great, huh? I don't have very high hopes for it, but I just want to see Sarah. Any tips on where to dl it or watch online (without having to wait a week)?
eilowyn
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
cwtv.com says they'll be running an encore presentation of the premiere of Ringer on Friday night, so you can catch it then.
passionrlsusall
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
I don't get actual t.v., but thanks.
passionrlsusall
Sep. 15th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
I was gonna say (and I don't and never have read any of the comics) it sounds like they jumped back to season 4 of the show.

Does reading those still make you feel the Buffyverse is continuing on? Because from the tidbits I've heard about them, I don't know if I could ever really connect it with the "reality" of the show, to feel like an actual continuation.
eilowyn
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Having the story be about Buffy trying to find her place in the world in her twenties means they don't have to deal with the emotional aftermath of Season 8, so reality's a relative thing with the comics.
eilowyn
Sep. 16th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Reading them makes me feel that SOMETHING is continuing on, not necessarily the universe of the shows, but a side universe where up is down, black is white and Angel is a viable romantic partner.
shipperx
Sep. 15th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Apparently this is what Buffy's all about these days: convincing herself everything's okay, but she doesn't do much of a good job of it.

Maybe she'd do better if she skipped trying to tell herself everything is okay, and went to the part of admitting to herself that she (and Angel) made a series of really awful decisions, grieve... and then tried to forgive herself. Pretending 'everything is okay' is just avoidance.

Edited at 2011-09-15 04:47 am (UTC)
eilowyn
Sep. 16th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
I think one of the things that kinda pisses me off is that Buffy, Xander, Willow and Dawn weren't allowed to mourn Giles. They're given no grieving time because Giles is going to be busy over in Angel's book. This was a disappointment in terms of how much growth I thought Buffy had gone through in issue #40.
willowgreen
Sep. 15th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
I actually liked the "Ringer" premiere. It was at least watchable, reasonably well written, and SMG was her best mournful/wisecracking self. Miles better than the whole first two seasons of "Star Trek: Next Generation." So I'm more than willing to give it a few more episodes and see where it goes.

I haven't seen the comic yet. It sounds grim, but I have it reserved at the comic book store, so I guess I'll have to give it a shot, too.
eilowyn
Sep. 16th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen ST:TNG, but overall I found it a bit cheesy. I already have a five episode rule for new shows, and I owe SMG a couple more episodes, so I'll be taping New Girl next week in favor of watching Ringer.
moscow_watcher
Sep. 15th, 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
Great review.

And - your last tag! Heee! Yes, I expect a lot of wank in the new season. :)
eilowyn
Sep. 16th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And yes, the tag just wrote itself!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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