ladydorotea (ladydorotea) wrote,

Angel and Faith #16 Review and Speculations

I was considerately busy all last week at work and so I am late to the A&F #16 party and all the associated excitement. I saw enough decent overviews/outlines etc. posted online, so I won’t bother much with that. For once, I am also not much interested in the meta-context or tropes involved – because the issue was not much of an exposition, but rather action packed ‘mystery’ thriller installment. So instead of my usual character by character interaction list I want to jump straight to speculations on the mystery/ies presented – basing my assumptions on the already seen previews and blurbs.

To refresh you on the facts – the issue first presents us with a quick action sequence of Angel and Faith’s adventures in Peru – where they obtain a so-called Crown of Coils artifact that Faith instantly lampshades as yet another McGuffin . Supposedly the item in question can regenerate decaying/decayed flesh, bringing the biological sample in question back to the condition of complete ‘freshness’. The implications are far and fetched – and basically make the newly found item into a positively splendid replacement for the Mohra blood.

(On the side note – Inca’s did not build pyramids or carved statues of animals – that was entirely Meza American culture ID (Maya, Aztecs). Neither did they worship reptiles. In Peru one can find temples to Gods of the Mountains and/or Thunder built out of giant boulders shaped like perfectly locked together Lego pieces – but never a single pyramid, or a staircase, or a statue. The Incas preferred to integrate their structures with the mountains – making them part of it, not artificially different. And by the way - most of the mountains in Peru are not lush tropical jungle, but rather a harsh desert-like terrain. But yeah, there are a few patches of subtropical forest around Machu Picchu.)

Upon returning to London the A&F duo finally digs up Giles grave – only to find out that the body is missing. While Giles’ aunts are presented with direct request to make a list of possible thieves who might have attended the funeral – A&F got a visit from Nadira and her present team of Slayers bringing up the dead and frozen body of one Slayer Marianne – slain by Drusilla. Tense and emotional scene ensues – eventually the Slayers depart – but not before Nadira demands that Angel uses his ‘resurrection trick’ not on Giles but on her fallen comrade, knocks Angel down, then threatens to kill both him and Faith if they refuse. The final scene presents us Nadira entering a house in rich suburb – guarded by a pair of zombie-like goons - and running head first into what appears to be Giles – who reassures her that yes he knows a bit about the resurrection tricks.

On the side note – I am not sure if the guards at the house are supposed to be zompires, human goons put into trance, or zombies. They look scary though, even for a team of Slayers.
So here are my notes on the possible ‘solution’ to this grand puzzle.
* Eygon the demon somehow had and still has the last of piece of Giles' soul ( see blurb for A&F in Feb 2013 DH releases : "The demon Eyghon holds the last remnants of Giles's soul, but a gaggle of innocent zombies are blocking Angel's path to victory.")
* That probably is the part about why Giles soul cannot move on that Angel was trying to tell Nadira when she whacked him on the face.

* Ethan Rayne ( see the cover for next A&F issue) was /is dead - and that happened *before* the Seed of Wonder was destroyed. More than likely Eygon possessed Ethan's dead body after that happened - I would not be surprised if Ethan had allowed that to happen somehow - he made enough shady deals when alive and was trying to get away from the Initiative/US military for a few years - without success. I think he might have been desperate enough to do something dangerous or vindictive, or plain stupid - that allowed for Eygon return. Or maybe being bound by part of Giles' soul was keeping Eygon partially intact - I rely on Joss/Gage to come up with some McGuffiesque explanation - like it was done with Warren.

(Kairos aka Perpetual speculated that Giles might have made a similar deal with Eygon – and that Jenny might have been aware of it, but that memory was lost when Giles used the memory of his perfect day to bind yet another demon.)

*Eygon wearing Ethan's body found a way to steal Giles' body as well. I wonder if Ethans body went all blue goo after that? It was damaged since Ethan was shot between the eyes anyhow, and there was no Crown of Coils to repair it at the time, but maybe Eygon patched it up somewhat?

* Not!Giles in the London suburb is Eygon wearing Giles body - but also in possession of the last part of Gile's soul. See blurb for A&F in DH January 2013 solicitations ("A demon from Giles’s past is turning innocent Slayers into zombies.")

* So basically - Angel is doubly screwed now - as Eygon has both last piece of Giles’ soul and the late Watcher’s body; and vanquishing the demon my result in utter destruction of the body.

* But this indeed puts quite a spin on the Giles' resurrection project - if Angel is/was aware that Giles' soul could not move on because of being bound to Eygon - then his entire project was not just suicidal/confusing act of desperation/selfishness but actually was about freeing Giles soul.
The interesting part is - what happens if/when Angel acquires the last part of Giles soul and absorbs it into himself. He is already way more knowledgeable about the resurrection lore and the souls destination after death, etc. than he should be - and I took it from the text that while Nadira denies authenticity of his knowledge and denounces it all as his wistful fantasies - these speculations are in fact Giles' personality manifestation/ Giles' knowledge facts uttered aloud.

I base that last assumption on the fact that when Nadira explodes into Angel's face after him going into mystical speculations about souls of the dead she yells at him specifically 'you are no Watcher and no Mage' - which is exactly what Giles was. So, I take it as not so subtle hint by CG that Angel is coming up with the whole souls final transition in a Seedless world explanation - based on the newly found Giles' side of his personality. Call it newly acquired instinctive knowledge, based on hunches he never had before. He does sound much more logical and patient with his explanation than he normally was in such situations.

My last speculation is that Angel will end the season with two (human) souls/sets of traits in one body - and the final struggle will be about him trying to give up his own body to Giles, and ending up having to live with new personality Dollhouse style. The cover with Ammoth demon is pointing in that direction, I think. I might be wrong, but I just feel Joss' wheels spinning in that direction - since there is a lot of angst to be milked. Not sure what happens to the Angelus demon in this equation. But what is important , I think, is that the Crown of Coils is basically yet another regeneration device that will play into the story somehow. Whose body will it be used on in the end remains a mystery.

* Finally, I suspect that the Crown of Coils McGuffin was introduced specifically as a plot device for Spike's visit to London. It being the S9 meta equivalent of the Cup of Perpetual Torment - and the ultimate prize of becoming the real boy. I suspect however that this time the souled vampires either won't fight for it or Spike will refuse to use it on himself upon discovering what it does - because his specific journey in his mini would have brought him realization that whatever he does to himself to change for Buffy it would not make any difference in the end. Because whatever he does to please her and accommodate her - it will once again be him making her the center of his Universe, pouring himself into her , etc etc - exactly like the succubus lady offered to do for him. So, if I am right the Crown will be his litmus test of refusing to take yet another jump through yet another hoop for Buffy by turning himself human 'for her, to be hers' - because it would not work and he would finally realize that it won't.
Tags: a&f, angel and faith, btvs season 9, buffy comics, buffy s9, season 9 comic

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