While there are parts of this issue that certainly seem rushed, I’m left extremely excited at the end of it because I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Everything about it feels like part one of a two-part season finale. What happens in this issue seems specifically set up for the next issue to be the end of the season. But, of course, there are three issues left, so I can only imagine that there are some major surprises in store.
The highlight of the issue is the return of Faith. We’ve seen this character undergo amazing changes and development for two seasons of Angel & Faith, but she’s kind of sat out Season 11 until now. Not only is it great to have her back, but there are moments in here that truly feel like “classic Faith.” That’s not to say that her character evolved into someone totally different, but her situation now allows some of that rogue slayer to come to the surface. Mind you, that doesn’t mean she’s gone bad again. None of her character development has been sacrificed. But the jam that they’re in calls for a bit of a rougher edge.
Even though it probably needed to be resolved rather quickly, I’m a little disappointed that Buffy and Willow got their powers back so quickly. They had a plan in place when they made that choice, so this is probably the only course of action that makes sense, but it would have been great to spend a little more time with Buffy and Willow trying to adapt to life as a normal person.
With the prison breakout now behind us, the arc seems to be shifting into Buffy and the gang, possibly rallying as many supernatural forces behind her as she can, taking on the government itself. Or at least the faction that’s responsible for creating this state of fear in the first place. Given the trends of previous seasons, I expect an old face to ultimately be behind the event, though it’s tough to say exactly who. This disdain for magic could point to several characters.
It’s also still entirely possible that Vickie the Vampire is going to cause major problems, which might be the case, but I think the complete inability to trust Vickie makes her a more interesting ally than a villain.
Either way, the fact that there’s still so much to learn over the course of the next three issues has me excited. Speculation is part of the fun, but I also have faith in the creative team. It’s a treat to see Georges Jeanty back for another issue. I have to imagine that the next three will be Rebekah Isaacs driving this story home. Whatever happens next, I’m invested, so this issue definitely did its job.
WICKED RATING: 7/10