We take a step away from continuity and instead focus on the fanciful adventures of what-if with our favorite Watcher. Reality and fantasy are blurred together until all we’re left with are questions and ideas of what the world would be like if Giles switched sides.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
Admittedly, the start of this issue was one that incited more confusion than interest, but eventually the placement of the storyline became clear. We’re introduced to Buffy, Willow, and Xander before focusing on Vampire Giles. That was a striking and interesting visual right off, as he appeared so British and powerful. The Watcher that once was has been replaced with this monster-fueled version and it’s up to Buffy to fulfill her purpose as Slayer and take him out. Easier said than done, though, as Giles fights off both Buffy and Willow before Xander steps up and eventually takes him down with a stake to the heart, turning their father figure to dust before our eyes.
But before we can mourn the loss and try to figure out what’s going on, we’re transported back to the library where the Scooby gang and human Giles are present. Turns out that Xander was just making up a story to pass the time because he’s bored that they’re stuck there all night researching the lore of a vampiric altar. Interesting what-if scenario to dwell up, though. Giles would make an interesting vampire.
Next up, we have Willow’s version of the story. Hers centers around the vampiric altar they’ve been researching. She thinks it wouldn’t belong to just any vampire, but one that’s very important and knows how to harness its power. Of course the person who fits that bill would be Vampire Giles. In a battle that would force the Scooby gang to face off against him, Willow believes that Giles would overtake Buffy and Xander, killing them and using their blood sacrifice to complete his ritual as Willow is forced to watch. That story gets changed around a few times, as Buffy and Xander protest their fantasy selves being so easily taken down. First Buffy is rewritten to survive, avenging Xander’s death, then it’s rewritten again so that all three survive and fight against the former Watcher before Buffy stakes him through the heart.
Sadly, we never actually get Buffy’s story told aloud, since Xander tells an all-new story taking place at the Bronze. His was perhaps the most fanciful of all, dealing with elderly vampires who attack the club patrons before the Scooby gang take them down. And then Giles puts a stop to all their wandering minds by introducing an edge of fear in them. What if he’s already a vampire and this was just a ruse to keep them out of daylight in order to do his research for him? Perhaps he drugged them with the doughnuts and tea he had offered them prior. This what-if scenario gets them creeped out enough to refocus and back to work.
With their task finally done later that night, they forego patrol on Giles’ order. Willow and Xander depart while Buffy doubles back and returns to the library to retrieve the phone she left behind. Giles, like the audience, is curious to hear her version of the story since she never got to tell it. We get to see it play out in her mind, but she dare not tell Giles because of how it turns out. She would not be able to take him out because she cannot lose another father. Instead, she would let him bite her and they would rule together, Watcher and Slayer forever bonded.
An interesting outcome indeed, made even more so by what happens once she leaves. Giles pours one more cup of tea and it seems like he’s pouring blood. Perhaps Vampire Giles isn’t so far-fetched after all. It does leave us with a lot of what-if scenarios that could play out if the powerful Watcher switched sides and instead ruled the world he dedicated his life to fight against. So British, so Giles, so intriguing!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars