Buffy Season 9 #13, Summary and Review
We see Koh and Theo where we left them at the end of last issue, only now it's from a screen in the White Room, the "Current location of the conduit to the Senior Partners". A humanoid demon in a space suit (ish outfit) is at a laptop, behind him are an identical demon and a hawk on a perch. The hawk asks if they can give Koh the information he seeks. One of the demons (green and Vogonish from the front) says they can, though it will take time. They agree to Koh's terms if he kills Theo "and everyone else who knows our vulnerability".
Buffy is still there with Eldre Koh and Theo, and she hears all this. She grabs a sparking pipe and brandishes it at Koh, who threatens his hostage with a glowy disc and tells her to leave. Buffy won't, insisting on protecting Theo, until he tells her that someone has to destroy Tincan if he doesn't survive. She departs, promising she'll be back.
Buffy revives Kennedy among the chopped-up tentacles of the Teuth demon and explains about Koh's betrayal. Next are the preview pages where they argue about the job and about Giles, and Buffy socks her. They recover, make their plan to rescue Theo, and start going underground.
Perspective switches to Koh and Theo. Theo says the Slayers can't get to them; the server farm is too secure. Then he starts asking Koh about his imprisonment, who did it and why. Koh doesn't like that; he punches him and won't give him answers.
Buffy and Kennedy are still climbing down the tentacles. One of them has conveniently busted through the concrete separating them from Theo. Buffy wonders if she's going to get fired, Kennedy says it depends.
Back in the White Room, the conduits have found who imprisoned Eldre Koh. "Someone whose betrayal should not surprise us. And the perpetrator is still on Earth." They inform Koh, who makes them send the information before he'll kill Theo. The transfer is not as instantaneous as you would expect from a W&H-controlled tech empire - Kennedy and Buffy burst in and attack. Buffy subdues Koh while Kennedy helps Theo up, and he runs to destroy the servers.
He fiddles with it while Buffy fights Koh. She says she would have helped him; no response except for slicing her face in a couple places. The room starts to fill with smoke. Theo says they can't leave until the process can no longer be reversed, so Kennedy rips a handle off the device and hustles him out, leaving Koh in there trying to fix it.
Buffy stays as the connection to the conduits is dying. When the screen goes black without giving Koh his answer, he punches it in a rage, and he and Buffy talk it out. She tells him to let it go, that his ancient code of honor isn't worth it. He says it's more than honor, it's something she can't understand, and then he leaves through the tentacle exit and she stands tehre with the exploding monitors.
On the next page, Kennedy, Theo, and oh wait Buffy too are watching the TinCan HQ blow up. They've succeeded. Buffy expresses her sympathy to Theo, but he says the hell dimensions are offline...and we cut to the next day/page, where Buffy is in Kennedy's office talking to her again about getting fired. Instead, Kennedy offers her a promotion: Theo has talked her up to his rich friends, and they all want to hire her. She gives her a huge check, which Buffy refuses. Kennedy apologizes for what she said about Giles, and Buffy says she was right - "I keep trying to save the world when sometimes I should just save a single person. It was different when I was younger. Something changed. But I don't think that's a bad thing. And if I took this job, I'd be doing it for just one person. Me."
The issue ends with Kennedy suggesting that maybe Buffy deserves to reward herself, and Buffy says, "Maybe. But that's just not who I am. I'm the Slayer."
I've already made my complaints about this arc, and softer, more general ones about this side of Season 9 altogether, so I'm not going to repeat them. But the fact that I can't come up with new complaints about this issue is a pretty hefty criticism itself: the bad stuff is the exact same as the previous bad stuff, which squares the bad because I do not read comics to be bored off my ass.
Tincan is destroyed. Yes, we went over that in the last issue. Buffy fights Koh, but he lives. Not a shocker. Someone mentions Giles, and Buffy punches Kennedy. Wait, actually, that's awesome!...and was already used up by the preview pages. The rest of the content didn't fulfill any implicit promise to delve into the memory of Giles, so that negates the excitement, and, well, seeing Buffy punch Kennedy just isn't as satisfying as it would have been back when Kennedy deserved it a little more.
I thought the hawk was nifty, but a single talking bird cannot carry an entire story. Unless he's a duck. Or a woodpecker. I actually hated Woody Woodpecker when I was a kid, so scratch that. Talking bird examples? Anyone? One of these days I have to rent Paulie, just because the bird is a conure. Man, see how quickly an empty comic installment makes me digress?
Hey, the demon who imprisoned Koh is somewhere in our world. Exactly how long are they going to stretch this out before they surprise us all when it turns out to be Illyria? Oh, that might give me something to talk about - this mystery guest star is apparently considered a betrayer by W&H. Why? If imprisoning Koh was a bad thing for them, that says a lot about both him and [Illyria]. They've also successfully gotten me to the point where I'm curious about what he did to get himself locked up. Mildly curious, but at least it's something to wonder about in this floppy arc.
The biggest fail was at the end. Buffy gets a better job. We just did that. Buffy wants a better life, but won't take it the easy way. We did that one step before we did the first thing! Buffy looks at the camera and says "I'm the Slayer." What is this supposed to be? A cliffhanger? A twist? A personal revelation? A summary of the important life lessons she picked up in this adventure? I'll take none of the above: it's an introduction to the title character of a series called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. JUST IN CASE YOU FORGOT.
Yeah, that's all I got for this one. If someone can manage a better review, please, point me to it. I'm just at a total loss here. The best part was the lettercol and the lettercol was entirely unremarkable. I'm just crossing my fingers that this is indeed the low point of the series.