Frankly, it just is not as funny or disturbing as two previous issues, and the story sort of stalled and spilled over without making a noticeable splash. I suppose one should never force a horror writer into writing melodrama - he will still try and write it 'by the horror book', but since his skills are not honed for the task, he will inevitably subvert the story into a regular crime drama - in this case a kidnapping stand-off. I guess I have been watching too much Burn Notice lately - but when reading this issue I could not but smirk and think that Simone and Buffy!Body drink too much bottled water - I guess to imply nervousness and passage of time, that there was too much rope wound up around Buffy!Robot's torso - and that it looked ridiculous. That Simone intended to use the good cop - bad cop routine , but it ended up on a genuine bonding between the two Buffies. I liked the moment when Buffy!Body arranges Buffy!Robot's hair - it was touching.
It needs to be mentioned that the seeds of Buffy eventually discovering connection between Severin and Simone ( and her dastardly plan B ?) have been planted - albeit clumsily. The whole line about 'you power source' and how it ( the robot's power source) was different from both vampire's and Slayer's was just too obviously aimed at the audience.
Andrew flopping around in the dark and being scared was stale in the last issue - in this issue it plainly was a waste of panels. I suppose that was a generous good-bye for a character that fell out of favor with audience, but frankly we needed less Andrew here, not more. I really7 liked Buffy!Robot snarling at him over the nailed stick.
Spike was actually quite amusing this time around, and you don't often find me saying so. Of course there was also an overload of him, but unlike Andrew his place was well deserved. Poor sod finally got it this season - or did he? I looked at Kairos' review , and I will never be able to articulate my impression of Spike's storyline in this arc in as much detail as she did, so I would not even try.
Lets just say that it all boils down to the subversion of the Season 5 Intervention episode. Down to the same lines being used by Buffy in both cases : ' xxx was not real ' (or was gross and obscene) 'but what you did for me was real'. In the original episode Spike thinks he is dealing with the robot - and gets a thank you kiss from the real girl - in S9 Spike spills his unrequited passion to Buffy!Robot, without realizing she is not in her real body. There must be a metaphor hidden there somewhere, or not.
The fact though remains that in the end his last gamble fails 'Come with me' is met with firm although kindly silence - and luckily this time around Spike stops himself from delivering another 'you belong in the dark with me' speech , and instead admits for the first time how much he hates being the said 'dark place'. Although he first needs to be firmly reminded 'Don't tell me what I need' , yet again. And so they part ways - for now. And there is no tears and no pain on Buffy's face - which is fine - and this time she skips the 'I am not ready for you not to be here' line, because she is ready. One crutch down - another (her ever present inferiority-superiority complex) yet to go. Yes, I was kind of curious about her touching her belly shot too - but I guess the 'right guy' is simply not here, and she had already crossed that bridge - once.
I liked the amicable resolution of the two Buffy story - with them reuniting in one body, and the final 'you will have it someday' line. Thanks for leaving her a ray of hope here. Finally, the panels with Root were the most setup-y and tongue-in-cheek-y. And strangely enough I am not that averse to seeing Kennedy and her new field of work. Especially since it will bring in the W&H link.