Giles is back, along with time jumps, complicated narration, and an emerging relationship that you can’t help but root for. In time, I hope the overall plot becomes better understood. For now, though, enjoy the life of Rupert Giles, high school student.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
Prior to the title page, we kick off either with a return to the time jumps or a full-on hallucination by Giles. I’m still unclear which it was, since we move over to real-time with Giles and Roux in the school hallway — though, just because we’re in reality doesn’t make the plot any more clear. There’s random barking from dogs we cannot see and an earthquake that no one aside from Giles and Roux seems to be concerned with. But, like the dedicated individuals they are, the two of them are off to investigate and get to the bottom of all the mysteries surrounding the school.
During the investigation, Giles and Addison have a heart-to-heart in the janitor’s closet. But it becomes clear that Addy is not alright. He tells the story of how the school was fine before, but about three months ago the rains came, the sinkhole appeared, and the fog descended on the area. The brain drain does not appear to be going anywhere, despite the determination of Giles to make things right again. We do learn a few more details, such as the fact the factory-turned-school was built on an old landfill, so the ground’s unstable and that explains the random earthquakes no one pays much heed to. And we find out that after the sinkhole appeared, the air smelled of peaches — something that Addison detests from his childhood. That’s what makes it all the more strange when, near the end of the scene, Addy pulls out a peach and start snacking on it. And we already got a clue something was not right when he took a selfie of himself and Giles, showing that his eyes are glowing purple. That’s not the Addison Giles knew!
Meeting up with Roux again, the two break into the school library to do some further research. Well, it was a good plan, except for the fact Principal Boake emptied and closed the library down six months ago, digitizing everything instead. We did get a first look at the possessed dogs that seem to be wandering the grounds, explaining why there’s random barking at times, though not giving us an origin just yet. And we got into some one-on-one interrogation with Principal Boake, stringing her upside down from the ceiling to get some real information out of her. Boake teamed up with the Webb brothers so the school could get the financial benefits from them, while the brothers got to have their curriculum tested, and Boake could achieve her end-goal of retiring from all these administrative demands.
Moving on to more mystical explanations, Giles investigates the sinkhole himself and promptly falls to the bottom. That’s where we find the dogs or wolves or whatever they are, along with a demonic creature from Giles’ past — a red dragon with a taste for peaches. He gives Giles the moniker of Mother and it’s well-suited, considering it was Giles’s blood that allowed the demon to survive, having gotten some on him during their last battle. He had a taste for banks when he was alive the first time; now he’s selling ignorance. And perhaps he would have monologued a bit more with his excessively hard-to-understand narration if Giles hadn’t cast a freeze spell on him and Roux hadn’t attacked him.
With him temporarily or permanently dealt with, we turned our attention back to Giles and Roux again. They’ve definitely got some things to work out between them. She punches him, ties him up, and brings him topside, before finally picking Giles up and taking him home with her. It’s just one more in a long line of their non-traditional romantic progressions. Giles and Roux’s thread of romantic pursuit is present throughout the issue, even if some of the moments aren’t exactly ideal considering what’s going on around them. Plus, Roux isn’t very forthcoming about her personal life, nor about her determination to watch Blue even though Blue is unaware. I do hope that Giles and Roux can venture into some sort of romantic exploration, just to see what becomes of it. If nothing else, they seem to be well-matched friends who are the best hope of figuring out the multitude of mysteries around them. They’re going to need each other!
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars