Prejudices and rising fears are at the center of the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When people are faced with the unknown and disaster leaves them without answers, it’s common that they will look for someone or something to blame. This time, it’s the supernatural that carries the brunt of that.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
The tsunami has brought terrible destruction to San Francisco. People are dead, others have had their homes destroyed, and many others have been displaced until the structures can become more stabilized. The gang have been living in trailers at a disaster recovery camp, but have been able to come back to their apartment for a bit of time in order to recover items or take care of small tasks. They are still not allowed to come home permanently, though, so their lives are on temporary hold until normality can be regained.
No one can track down the Shenlong Dragon. The last sighting was in the late 13th century and there’s no clue as to who summoned him for the current attack. But even if the origin of the attack isn’t clear, the ramifications are. People are scared and looking for answers. To help ease fears, the President holds a news conference and says they’ll be conducting a census of all magical beings. While normalizing the supernatural might be a good thing, Spike understands how it can go wrong. First they’ll be listed, then gathered, then condemned as the cause of all the ills of the world.
The beginning of that unrest is seen when the gang returns to the trailer camp. Some normals are attacking a creature, wanting him to go back to where he came from. Buffy and Spike step in, fighting the prejudiced humans to allow the creature to get away, but it’s not an easy battle. They seem to be losing before Jordan, a licensed government contractor who trained with Kennedy, steps in and helps disperse the crowd. Her motives are not purely for aid, though. She wants to recruit Buffy to help with the census, which Buffy refuses. The Slayer does not want to support any government action that will further categorize the supernatural as “other.” However, she is just one of many. There are plenty of other chosen who are willing to help, so this movement will not be stopped.
Days later, the gang are finally back at their apartment for good and they’re again researching the dragon. No answers yet, but the unrest has grown. There’s even a bill pending that would make it illegal to use unauthorized supernatural powers. It seems like choices must be made, for their own protection. Andrew’s sick of the unrest and is readying to leave the country, while the others refuse to back down and vow to fight on. It’s going to take a lot to fight this tide of prejudice, though.
Over at the apartment of Wiccans Calliope Strachan and Linda Martin, people are throwing rocks through their window and pounding on the door. The police cannot get to them yet, since they’re stretched thin, but Willow comes to their rescue. Her help, though, might have done more damage in the long-run. Her mad ranting against the prejudiced humans goes viral, which does not put the supernatural community in a good light. And with Willow’s refusal to join the office of Ophelia Reyes, the Secretary of the Supernatural, there is no one supernatural on the inside to look out for their best interests.
We end on a cliffhanger that promises more bad times to come. The level of violence between normals and supernatural creatures escalates and Ms. Reyes announces that supernatural creatures will be relocated to a “safe zone.” Internment camps are back in America and it doesn’t look good for Buffy and the others. How can the normals and supernatural live together with the amount of hatred and fear that has grown between them? It’s not going to be an easy path to walk for either side.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars