Hurrah, hurrah, the gang’s all here. They might be transformed a bit, and the supernatural world may have changed a lot, but the Scooby Gang is ready to take on whatever may come. I am looking forward to the journey.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
The cover is deceptive. Happy times and the former Sunnydale crew do not go hand in hand. Sure, they can sustain a good fight against some new kinds of vampires, and sure, they have their old Watcher back in a slightly smaller form, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to come out of this without a few bumps and bruises. The main issue is that the rules have changed, but no one knows what the new rules are. Vampires who can walk in sunlight? Who can turn into other supernatural creatures? This wasn’t in the handbook! Changing times call for changing tactics. I just hope the gang can keep up, because Vicki the Vampire seems ready to take them on whenever she finds a weakness.
Mini!Giles seems happy to stay with the group, which makes me happy as well. They all welcome him back with open arms, though there’re going to have to be some ground rules established if they want this to work. He may sound like Giles and have Watcher knowledge, but he’s still just a kid. The gang needs to figure out plans and tactics on their own and stop relying on him to spoon-feed them all the information they’ll need. In other words, it’s time to grow up while reducing the burden on Giles. He knows they need to find whoever is changing the rules on them, but he can’t find this mysterious person on his own. It’s a group effort.
Willow can do a spell to help them out, though she’ll need the blood of one of the changed vampires to do it. Enter Dowling. He had a vampire task force back before going into a coma, so he’s a good resource to track down on of the creatures. That is, if he’s conscious and willing to talk to Buffy. They didn’t really part on the best of terms. But he’s quick to forgive and quick to realize that a relationship between himself and Buffy would never work. They can be friends and allies. Isn’t that better? Well, better for him, but maybe not so much for the Slayer. She seems disappointed and a bit irritated that Dowling was so quick to agree to the friends-only terms. And complaining to Spike about the travesty of her love life? Not a good move. Glad to see he leaves her behind to cool off, and that she realizes what she’s done. She can’t just keep using Spike as a play-thing without recognizing his feelings. They could have something good together if they just worked at it. I feel like we’ve got a long wait until that happens.
And we also have to deal with Xander and Dawn’s fragile relationship. They are sent off to find Dracula, in hopes he can shed some light on the changing supernatural dynamic. And maybe they’ll actually talk to each other in the meantime. Get those issues out in the open because otherwise they will destroy what has come to be a very steady partnership. And if Xander could deal with the repeated haunting by Anya’s ghost, that would help, too. So, yes, they have a ways to go, but I think they can get there. That is, if Dracula doesn’t come along and throw even more roadblocks in their path. You never know about him.
In the end, we have lots of potential character storylines to deal with. Spike and Buffy, Dawn and Xander, even Billy and Devon, or at least the recognition that a male can indeed take on the role of Slayer in essence. Glad Giles finally saw the light on that. They are quickly becoming my favorite Slayer/Watchers-in-training. It’s a new world, and the old rules no longer apply.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars