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April 3 2008

Buffy Season 8, Issue 13

***MAJOR SPOILERS***

Buffy Season 8, Issue #13Characters Seen:
Andrew
Buffy
Willow
Xander

“Wolves At The Gate“ continues with a jump back in time of 15 minutes before Xander arrives at Dracula’s castle. He has a beard, he looks haggard, and his manservant, an odd little purple fellow called “Butterfield”, really wants to wash his robe, heck, he won’t even chase the Albanian boy that’s been let loose in the hedge maze! Dracula will have none of it, he is obviously depressed and just wants to be left alone… until he asks for a razor to shave with when he sees Xander approaching in a helicopter.

The time cuts back to Dracula meeting Xander at the door: he looks fit, more like the Dracula we saw in the TV series, and he’s putting on airs about hunting that Albanian boy now. Xander tells him they need his help, and Dracula finally concedes to let him in, but “his Moor”, the African American Slayer, Renee, can wait in the stables, to which Xander refuses.. Dracula heads off to get some mealworms for Xander as he knows he likes to eat them before changing into his “manservant bloomers”… Xander now thinks Renee should wait in the stables.

Andrew is in Scotland, dressed in George Hamilton’s Dracula costume from Love At First Bite (he has a Certificate of Authenticity… he shows it to one of the Slayers) lecturing them on the real Dracula’s powers, and the effects they can have on a person like Xander. He tells the assembled girls about how the powers seem to have long term effects as Xander still goes to Dracula, but it may have grown into something else. Andrew tells them how Dracula and Xander have traded letters, and Xander went to live with Dracula for a few months after the death of Anya because he needed “some guy time”… he taught Dracula how to ride a motorbike.

In the castle command center, Buffy gets informed they think they’ve found the vamps that broke in; a group of vampires in Tokyo have been making waves in the demon world, and they’re known for changing into wolf forms. Buffy speaks with Aiko, a Slayer stationed in Tokyo that has just slaughtered some extremely tough Kabuki demons that gave her the info. Buffy tells her to track the vamps, but do not engage them until she arrives with backup. She orders Satsu to get the girls ready to leave in an hour, she wants everyone to go. Satsu suggests they leave a squad behind, but Buffy tells her she gave her an order, but Willow takes note that Satsu looks crestfallen at the way the conversation went. Buffy asks Willow if they’ve heard from Xander, but he’s not responding so they wonder if he’s in trouble, but Willow thinks that depends on your definition of the word.

Back at Dracula’s castle, Renee, Xander and Dracula are having tea as Xander and Dracula compliment each other endlessly on weight loss and how good they’re both looking. As this goes on, Renee can’t take it any more and interrupts them to remind them they have business. Dracula has Xander tell his “Moor” to watch her tone, but Xander finally snaps out of it and tells Dracula that someone is using his shapeshifting powers. Dracula says this is preposterous, but Renee wonders if he sold his powers. This leads to much arguing, and Dracula is incensed at the accusations, and the mere idea that some two-bit vamps would use his powers and… “Oh balls.” He asks if the vampires are Orientals.

In Tokyo, Aiko trails the two main vamps who are in discussion about Kumiko, the female vamp, wanting a specific kill. The leader says she can’t have it, and the bodyguard says he won’t tell her that. The head vamp finally caves and says she can have the body when he’s done. They discuss Aiko trailing them and that she’s good at it, but perhaps they should give her something worth seeing. The leader pulls out a little disc with a red center and stares at it.

Dracula is angry and repeatedly shouts about “those filthy yellow swine!” Xander doesn’t remember him being so racist. It seems Dracula gambled away the secrets of his powers trying to win a Kawasaki Z1000, but apparently he never thought they would be used (to be honest, the reasoning here didn’t make much sense… he admitted he gambled them away, but seems shocked they’re being used). Dracula says he will help them, but it is not to be confused with him liking Buffy. He retrieves a sword from a locked cabinet and informs them that no one steals from Dracula. (again… you gambled them away… how is that “stealing”?)

Buffy and the Slayers are on a cargo plane where Willow is talking to Satsu about having to realize what happened between her and Buffy was probably a one night thing due to Buffy being like their general and carry so much weight on her shoulders. Satsu asks if she thinks she took advantage of Buffy, but Willow assures her it was mutual, but that Satsu needs to remeber that “she’s not, you know…”, “A Dyke?”, “I was gonna say ‘Friend of Sappho’, but okay.” Willow just wants to make sure Satsu doesn’t get her hopes up, and Satsu says she understands. Willow then asks what she’s like in bed, Satsu says she won’t share, but Willow speculates she makes a high-pitched squeal she refers to as her “Shoe-Sale Noise”.

Buffy calls Aiko and informs her they will be landing at 5 AM and to keep on the vamps. As Aiko tracks them she spots the little disc on the ground, she picks it up and Kumiko drops from the sky with Buffy’s weapon, shoots a spell from it, the disc fires a beam into Aiko’s face. The lead vampire pops up, punching Aiko, sending her flying… her jaw is broken; her powers are gone. The vamp is sad, she can’t tell him how it feels to be a regular girl again… he kills her. It was a good test he says, and we see Kumiko fly up above a building where there is a giant disc… “I think it’s time we take this technology global.”

Overall it’s a good issue, it feels a lot like those mid-season episodes we would get without that seasons Big Bad. Drew Goddard is showing himself to be a competent writer, I just wish some of the Dracula stuff had made more sense about the gambling.

If you enjoy these recaps, please consider purchasing your Buffy, the Vampire Slayer trade paperbacks through the links below to help support this site.

Buffy Season 8, Vol. 1 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 2 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 3
Includes Issues #1 – #5 Includes Issues #6 – #10 Includes Issues #11 – #15
Purchase from Barnes & Noble Purchase from Barnes & Noble Purchase from Barnes & Noble
Buffy Season 8, Vol. 4 Buffy Season 8, Vol. 5 Fray Mini-Series
Includes Issues #16 – #20 Includes Issues #21 – #25 Includes all 8 issues of the series
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