BTVS Season 8 #9: No Future For You, Part 4

Saturday, May 18, 2019

 

 

“If I stopped stabbing and started, I don’t know… playing social worker to the Slayers, maybe I could walk a few bad girls back from the brink.” – Faith Lehane

 

Synopsis

 

The conclusion to No Future For You opens with another flashback. Faith is reminiscing over her time spent with Mayor Wilkins. She understands that their relationship was unhealthy. But it was one of the only times in her life, that she felt loved (See Buffy Speak of the Week). Cutting back to the present, Genevieve is charging at her with an axe. Roden is commanding Genevieve to kill her, “Murder the backstabbing slag.” He yells. Genevieve is furious that Faith lied to her. Faith has no option but to fight back. She kicks Genevieve through a greenhouse. As they fight, Faith tries to explain to her that Roden is manipulating her. This provides context for Faith’s flashback, she clearly relates.

 

Meanwhile, Giles and Trafalgar are still trying to break through the manors forcefield. They aren’t having any luck. Until Willow calls. Giles answers his phone, but Buffy is on the other end. She’s fuming that Giles didn’t tell her that he was working with Faith.

 

Buffy: Faith and her droogs ‘ported me into the middle of a British invasion. But Will conjured up my ticket home.

 

Giles: And you left Faith Behind? Buffy, you have to put Willow on the line.

 

Buffy: Not until you tell me exactly what the hell is going on.

 

Giles: No. I don’t want you to be any part of this.

 

Buffy is hurt that Giles has given her the cold shoulder. She passes the phone to Willow and tells her to do what she can for him.

 

Genevieve and Faith continue to beat fifty shades of red out of each other. Until Faith unwittingly delivers a lethal kick that plunges Genevieve into her own axe. Faith rushes to her side, but it’s too late. Roden appears and Faith begs him to heal her. But he’s not interested in Genevieve anymore.

 

Roden: Why bother? My orders were to train the Slayer to end all Slayers. Genevieve here was a dead end. You, on the other hand, may be the bird I’m looking for.

 

Faith tells him to go to hell. He tries to persuade her to join him. He promises that together they could make Buffy disappear forever. He offers her his Magic book. She accepts it and beats him across the face with it, “Thanks. But I ain’t much of a reader.” She says. The pair engage in battle and it looks like Roden has the upper hand. Until Giles emerges behind him and plunges a pair of garden shears into his back. Roden retaliates by sending Giles flying with a surge of magic. Faith throws Roden’s spell book to Giles. He uses is to create one of Roden’s containment spells.

 

Roden: You desperate old git. Did you honestly just try to use one of my own containment spells against me? I can break out of any mystic field ever enchanted.

 

But Giles didn’t put a force field around him. He put one inside him. As it expands, Roden’s head explodes.

 

The next day Giles and Faith are back at his apartment. They are both feeling the weight of their actions in battle (See Trivia). As promised when she accepted this mission, Giles offers Faith a new passport, identity and a one-way-ticket to any place she chooses. She declines. She decides she’d rather use her experience to try and help other misguided Slayers. Giles thinks it’s a great idea and offers his assistance. Faith is apprehensive, given her past with the Mayor. But Giles assures her that he’s not looking to control her. He offers his support and guidance in the form of a partnership between equals. Faith worries what Buffy might think. He tells her that he and Buffy are no longer on speaking terms.

 

Faith: Then I guess we’re on our own, huh?

 

Giles: It would appear so. But perhaps we can be on our own together.

 

Elsewhere, a helicopter is landing. A female Lieutenant named Molter emerges. She approaches a levitating Twilight. She informs him that Buffy is still alive and Genevieve and Roden are dead. Twilight reveals that Roden and Genevieve were his targets all along.

 

Twilight: It was about manipulating our enemies into waging this ugly war for us. A tactic crucial for bringing the age of magic to a close. By pitting Watcher against Warlock and Slayer against Slayer, we have pushed even the victors to remove themselves from the chessboard.

 

Lieutenant Molter: Who cares about a couple of rooks when the Queen is still in play? How can you see this as a victory when Buffy’s narrow ass lives to fight another day?

 

Twilight: Let her have the day, Lieutenant. Night Falls soon enough.

 

The Watchers Files

 

No Future For You was written by Brian K. Vaughan and features artwork by Georges Jeanty and Jo Chen.

 

I honestly can’t praise this story arc enough. All four issues were consistently strong. I wish Brian K. Vaughan had a bigger role in Buffy’s run with Dark Horse.

 

Here’s a few of my highlights from this issue…

 

The opening flashback with the Mayor gave me all the nostalgic feels. There was so much complexity to that relationship. It was messed up and toxic AF. But at times, there were these moments that felt sweet and almost innocent. I think that’s what made it so disturbing.

 

I hate seeing Buffy and Giles on bad terms. But part of me liked that Giles cut Buffy out of this. It wasn’t about her, and it’s not like Buffy hasn’t left Giles out of the loop before.

 

The relationship between Faith and Genevieve was genuinely compelling. It was heart-breaking when Faith accidentally killed her. She so desperately wanted to save her. But it was a doomed mission. The girl was a sadist. 

 

Giles’s method of slaying Roden was bad-ass. It was both clever and gory. 

 

As I’ve stated previously, I loved the Giles and Faith team-up. I wish it had been developed further throughout the rest of the Season. It just made so much sense to me. This pairing could have made a great spin-off series. But I can’t complain too much. We did get the Angel & Faith series. But, more on that later. I’ve gotta work my way through Season 8 first, and for me, No Future For You was the cream of the crop.

 

Trivia

 

Casualties of War

 

When Giles brutally slays Roden, Faith sees another side of him. In the aftermath of battle, they are both dealing with the choices they’ve made. Saving the world is no easy task. Hard choices must be made under immense pressure. At one point, Faith refers to Giles as Conan the Librarian, to which he responds, “Yes, well, it’s a side of myself I’d rather not expose to those under my watch, but I have used lethal force before.” I believe Giles is referring to Ben in this piece of dialogue.

 

During Buffy’s Season 5 finale, The Gift, Giles takes a human life. He kills Ben in order to prevent the Hell Goddess, Glory, from resurfacing and taking vengeance on Buffy for thwarting her plan to bleed the dimensions and create Hell on Earth.  

 

Ben: She could’ve killed me.

 

Giles: No she couldn’t. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that and still she couldn’t take a human life. She’s a hero, you see. She’s not like us.

 

Ben: Us?

 

Ben is severely battle wounded. Giles covers his mouth and nose with his hand and suffocates him. He makes the tough call. He chooses to end one life in order to save the world. It brings to mind that age-old question… if you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you? To me, the answer is obvious. But as Giles states in this issue, that doesn’t make it any easier.

 

Buffy Speak of the Week

 

Faith: Evil scumbag. That’s what most people think of the last guy who put me in a dress. But I don’t know. Dude may have been a snake… but he wasn’t a dog. Everybody thinks he was, like, using me or whatever, but that’s not how it felt. So I totally get how chicks can get mixed up in the wrong crap. Even today, it’s hard to look back on my time with that guy… and feel anything but loved.

 

This opening monologue has so many layers to it. Not only does it provide an insight into Faith’s conflicting feelings about her unhealthy relationship with Mayor Wilkins, it also draws a parallel between Genevieve’s relationship with Roden. It helps us to understand why Faith is so dead set on saving her. She’s been there, walked in those shoes. She wanted to prove that girls like her could be saved. But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Genevieve was much more ruthless than Faith ever was. This dialogue also creates an interesting contrast between Faiths partnership with the Mayor and her new team-up with Giles.

 

Slayer Rating: 5X5

 

 

 

 

 

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