Welcome, welcome, welcome to readers both tried and true and those who are new.
Our posting this time out is for a Best Of/Worst Of Character Moments analysis in Buffy, Season 8. Our issue of scrutiny is #29 - Retreat, part IV.
Our focus characters, whose actions must be evaluated are: Buffy, Xander, Dawn, Willow, Andrew, Giles, Oz, and Bay.
Before we begin, I know I’ve listed a hell a lot of characters above, but this is because of panel space they’ve received. In actuality, most of the kudos or demerits will end up being GROUP as our focus characters spend a lot of time talking and action posing over doing anything specifically on-panel… including being especially effective. So, despite the number of characters we need to accept that there will be a lot of “no kudos, no demerits” listed for individuals.
Our Characters Are So Good!
Buffy- I’ve got to give Buffy a KUDO for putting the greater war over everything else, including her own sister when she orders Dawn and Xander back into the field of battle to buy time for her and Willow to summon help.
Xander- I really like Xander’s continuing leadership in a crisis and will give him his own Half-KUDO.
Dawn- Dawn will have a part of a group kudo listed below.
Willow- Wills will have a part of a group kudo listed below.
Andrew- I appreciated Andrew’s cleverness where it came to faking magic with practical effects. His brainpower gets a Half-KUDO.
Rupert- Our former Watcher gets a share of the group kudo.
Oz- Oz can also share in the group kudo.
Bay- Bay certainly earns her share of group kudo.
I’m issuing a special KUDO to Monroe’s Werewolf Brigade for joining the war effort against Twilight, even though he’s opposed to Oz and Bay.
I’m issuing an Anti-Twilight Forces group KUDO to everyone not otherwise issued recognition for their roles in holding off the overwhelming threat of Twilight’s army.
Our Characters Are So Poor!
Buffy- I’m a little annoyed at Buffy and issue her a Half-DEMERIT for continuing to refuse to use conventional weaponry - not because I hold that against her in itself - but because she turns around and expects all of the other Slayers to carry them into the front lines. It’s untenable for Buffy not to pick up a gun and fight alongside her troops if she’s expecting them to use the guns available.
Xan- I have nothing to issue a demerit over.
Dawn- Dawn doesn’t get a demerit.
Wills- I’m going to issue Willow a Half-DEMERIT here for her self-involved anger and self-pity. I don’t like that she’s telling the Slayers just before a huge battle that they haven’t a chance and I don’t like that she’s yelling at Bay when Oz’ wife has the most justified of reasons to be the one who should be screaming at Oz’ friends for bringing war down on her family's home.
Andy- Andrew doesn’t do anything to disappoint.
Giles- Rupert doesn’t earn a demerit.
Oz- Oz does get in the way of Buffy getting desperately needed answers, but that’s because she’s interrogating his severely wounded wife. It’s understandable, human and not demerit worthy.
Bay- Bay doesn’t earn herself a demerit.
I’m issuing a Half-DEMERIT for Twilight’s Forces disregard for international incidents. They’ve transported an entire army across international borders into an area of China already under dispute without any evidence of having taken into consideration what that would do for world tensions. The only reason they don’t get a full demerit is because we never see any actual fallout - but I believe that is a lack in the logical plotting, rather than something Twilight did to smooth things over.