Collects issues 26-30

Written by Jane Espenson
Art: Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens
Page count: 145
Publication date: 2010
Publisher: Dark Horse

In contrast to the previous collection, this one is all about the season’s main plot. Buffy is worried because no matter where the main Slayer force goes, the bad guys always find them. Now, the attacks seem to be escalating. Faith and Giles are hiding in a former Nazi bunker but a demon horde still finds them, Andrew is back in Rome and leading a Slayer cell. They are also trying to hide underground, but a horde of goatmen finds them and attacks. Andrew is also confronted by his old “friend” Warren who tries to persuade Andrew to change sides, again. Fortunately, the goatmen attack before Warren’s plea succeeds.

The hounded groups manage to join Buffy and the main Slayer force. They are all under attack by demons with tanks and catapults. Willow has woven several magical shields around their hiding place but they fall under the attack and the Slayers are forced to flee – on a submarine.

In the middle of fighting, they managed to get a prisoner and after Willow interrogates it, she knows how the bad guys can find them. The group of Slayers and Wiccans are highly magical so, Twilight can trace the magic. When Buffy hears that, she has a plan: they need to find someone who can make the magic go away. So, the group go the Tibet to find Oz.

Oz has moved on with his life: he has a wife and child. His wife Bayarmaa knows a way to make a person’s magic go to the Earth. That’s how Oz got rid of his werewolf. Buffy is convinced that getting rid of their magic, and so making all the Slayers into ordinary girls again, is the only way to hide for Twilight.

Also, Buffy and Giles are finally reunited, and she tells him what happened to her in the future in “Time of Your Life” collection.

I have really mixed feelings about this collection. I loved seeing Oz again and finding out what had happened to him during the years he was away. His spouse is a great character and the kid is great, too. I though I would like it when Faith and Giles rejoined the rest of the cast; unfortunately, they were mostly diminished into faces in the crowd.

However, I had big problems with the plot. Frankly, I think that Buffy overreacted big time. She didn’t really think about the consequences of getting rid of the magic for all of them. Would they be hiding from Twilight for the rest of their lives? What about the other threats around the world? What would happen if Twilight managed to catch them without their powers? She didn’t consider any of these questions (on-screen) and none of the other character raised them either. That was very much out of character for Faith and Giles at least. Or Dawn who should have been concerned for her sister possibly being in danger. None of the nameless Slayers and Wiccans resisted, either which I also considered weird.

I also thought that the way the depowering (because that’s what it is: lots of powerful girls are being robbed of their powers) was done was also weird. The Slayers were told to do physically exerting stuff and not use their supernatural strength. I wasn’t aware that a Slayer can just choose not to use her strength. How on Earth would that work? I mean sure you can not use your full strength when hitting someone but when shoveling or moving large boulders? Only use their pinky fingers?

Then, Oz’s domestic bliss made Willow speak about how she could never have kids of her own (because of the magic). This seemed a bit weird to me, too. She’s never said before that she would want to have a “normal life”. Granted, the whole gang was very young during the show but even when Xander was getting married, Willow never said a thing. So, it seemed wildly out of character to me. Also, when did Xander and Dawn become experts in rocket launchers and radars?

There’s also the kissing scene. I didn’t recognize one of the characters so for a while I though things were really different than they actually were. I’m still not sure how I feel about the prospective couple.

There are also two short stories, each a couple of pages long. The first is Harmony’s public interview and the second is Buffy’s dream. In Buffy’s dream Spike and Angel start making out, and I would have enjoyed the hell out of that except that they were spouting misogyny about dirty girls.

Oh, and the collection ends with a big time cliffhanger.