“Oh, hi Buffy. Hi nude Asian girl.” – Andrew to Buffy/Satsu
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Four pages into “Wolves at the Gate, Part 1,” (a.k.a. Issue #12) we find Buffy in bed in with Satsu, both of them naked. And yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. Buffy has entered Willow territory. Which in this case makes her the WORST BOSS EVER. Especially since she spent all of the previous issue insisting to Satsu that she should NOT be in love with her, and that such feelings could only end badly. But if we’ve learned anything about Buffy over the years, it’s that she fully embraces her role as a master of mixed messages and the queen of failing to consider how her actions might adversely affect others, emotionally or physically.
Having said that, it certainly made for a most shocking splash page, no? And in true Whedon fashion, a hilarious turn of events as well. No sooner does Buffy finish telling Satsu that she should exercise discretion, Xander bursts into the room, then his new squeeze (slayerette Renee), then a groggy Andrew. Then Dawn peeks in through the window. Then Willow crashes through the ceiling, finally offering Buffy a needed diversion …
At this point, the Scoobies get their asses handed to them by a cadre of transmogrifying vampires, who basically swoop in, morph back and forth from vamps to wolves to panthers to bees to fog, as needed, and eventually get what they came looking for — the Scythe. This of course worries the gang. Because anybody who would want something as specific and powerful as the Scythe can’t possibly mean to do anything good with it.
After a few moments of thought, it occurs to the Scoobies that they know of at least one other vampire who can change shape in the same way that these vamps did. Grudgingly, Xander hops into a helicopter with Renee, apologizing in advance for his behavior, cross the pond into mainland Europe, and arrive at the castle home of Xander’s old master … Dracula.
This was the first of a 4-part arc being written by Drew Goddard — writer of Cloverfield, as well as many of the awesome Lost episodes (e.g. “The Man from Tallahassee”) from this season and last, and a dozen or so pivotal Buffy (e.g. “Conversations with Dead People”) and Angel (e.g. “Why We Fight”) episodes. He really seems to understand the nuances of these characters, and so far, I’d say he’s doing a great job.