1. Slayer Sanctuary? (Yes, Giles repeat what Courtney said in a 'stating the obvious' manner.)
2. Tell me more about this Slayer Sanctuary. (Yes, please do so the story can move forward from your robotic dialogue.)
3. We need to find this place. (No shit.)
4. We just made it. This is the only train that reaches Hanselstadt. It's deep in the mountains. (Thank God you were here to tell us where we are, Giles, otherwise the audience would have to think for themselves without you here to point out the obvious...or maybe read a location bubble in the top corner so that you could actually sound like Giiiiiiiiles.)
5. If these girls are hiding here, seeing you might get them back in the fight. (Again, thanks for expressing this in the most linguistically and intellectually simplistic way possible. 'Cause that's clearly in-character for you when written by Krueger.)
6. Vampires. I don't understand. What are they waiting for? (Wow, thanks for remembering to wear your glasses today Giles or we'd never have known that those were vampires out there and that they're all creepily waiting outside of town. No please, don't have an emotional reaction or an intelligent thought, Giles. You might hurt yourself. And I'm going to keep calling you Giles so that I remember that's who you're supposed to be.)
7. You're too hard on yourself, Faith. (Good thing you brought your Chicken Soup for the Soul on the train, Giles. What would Faith have done without that sage advice?)
8. Enough, Faith. (Brief. Yeah, it's better when you don't go on. Thanks.)
And I could go on but it's starting to bore me even more. Seems like Krueger took Giles' role as the exposition guy way too literally. I'd do the same for Faith, but I think it might make me cry.
The dialogue lacks zing, lacks character, lacks depth. Oh, and when did Faith start calling Giles "G"? She always seemed to go more towards the formal "Giles". And when did Giles become a guy who let anyone call him "G" without comment? How many times has Giles said "stop" to Xander for calling him "G-man"? Oh wait, that's right. We're not reading the true characters and their accompanying history like we did in No Future For You. We're reading a metaphoric tale that uses Faith and Giles as vehicles, pushing the characters down and molding them to the story til they're only recognizable by their names and the way Richards passingly draws their likenesses.
As for the vision the demon draws up to torment Faith with, "The Third" has got to be one of the lamest concepts ever. At least the First Evil had that source of all things bad and scary going for it. Faith being shit-scared by a measly little vampire in a vision makes no sense. If Krueger had used Kakistos or Faith's first watcher to torment her, now there would be some emotional bling to write home about. But "The Third"? Yawn. I mean, who'd be scared of the guy who won the Bronze medal anyway? You came in third? Next!
I'm not sure how Krueger did it, but he managed to make the edgiest characters in Buffy Season 8 right now - the rogue Slayer who saves the world her way and the watcher who's out there to help her, both fightin' that evil while dealing with their dark pasts - read like characters in a Disney version of a dark fairytale. Sigh. There are so many plot holes in this issue I can't even truly do it justice. Why do the villagers sacrifice their children instead of moving away? Why do the vampires all hang out right outside the town instead of going somewhere they can actually score a meal? Why does Giles sound like an idiot? Oh wait, that wasn't a plot hole. Sorry.
My hopes are high that Petrie will restore some shine to the story next month and I'm expecting a better translation to the comic medium than Espenson's initial foray because Petrie's work is always so visual (Buffy and Faith with knives at each other's throats, Spike kneeling on the ground looking up at Buffy in Fool For Love). Here's hopin'.
This was just...not good. Not only did Giles and Faith read as dumbed down, but I think I might have actually lost brain cells from the egregiously low expectations that Krueger has placed on the audience. My least favorite issue of Season 8 bar none.