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Currently reading

Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon, Ron McLarty
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Conrad Williams, Ramsey Campbell
Locus Solus (Alma Classics)
Raymond Roussel
Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
Mira Grant, Paula Christensen, Michael Goldstrom
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 8: Last Gleaming - 'Joss Whedon',  'Jane Espenson',  'Scott Allie' The conclusion of "Buffy Season Eight" is a bit of a mess, plotwise, but it does more or less wrap up all the threads spun during the issues leading up to the finale. Buffy and friends return to Sunnydale to face a bunch of old friends and foes and deal with the threat to the entire universe. Buffy has to make a hard decision, and there are Consequences. Also, some major character deaths.

I think the chaotic nature of this denouement was inevitable because of all the balls Joss Whedon and his writers tossed into the air. So you've got demon invasions, ultra-cosmic MacGuffins, umpteen iterations of "He's on our side! No, he's not!" and a resolution that seemed familiar in a lot of ways.

Despite all the high-concept ideas and SFX, it actually seemed like they're getting back to the Buffy basics, and Joss Whedon's letter at the end addressing the fact that he knows there were some missteps along the way in Season Eight confirms that. There will be a Season Nine, and it seems that they will focus a little bit more on Buffy running around staking vampires and a little bit less about Buffy turning into Supergirl and throwing submarines around and leading superpowered armies against extra-dimensional invaders.

If they'd just reverted back to Square One I'd have been pretty annoyed, but one thing the Buffy series has always had going for it is a sense of continuity and the knowledge that problems and issues don't just disappear between seasons (usually). So I expect the repercussions of Season Eight will follow the gang into the next season, even if the scope and theme shrinks back to something more like what the old TV series was.

Overall, I would say that Buffy Season Eight was fun and enjoyable with a few bad "episodes," not always entirely successful, and if compared to the TV seasons, neither the best nor the worst of the lot.

For old Buffy fans, it's not quite like having the show back on the air, but it's close enough.