With Nicholas Brendon contributing script-wise, "I Wish, Part 2" understandably centers on where Xander is emotionally. But it does so in the best wayWith Nicholas Brendon contributing script-wise, "I Wish, Part 2" understandably centers on where Xander is emotionally. But it does so in the best way.
I confess I never had much time for Xander on the show. He was too controlling, judgemental, and angry - with little to balance it - for me to ever connect to him.
In the comics, his character has fared a bit better, culminating in a version of him that's seeking help.
And on the journey to New Xander, we have this installment. Hilarious dialogue, ludicrous situations, and a last-minute save that illustrates how quick-thinking our monster-hunters need to be.
We also get lots of Spike, which of course means I was destined to rate this favorably no matter what. But it's the Spike we appreciate: the observer, the sooth-sayer, the one who can all at once threaten to turn you into a pin cushion and make you feel comforted.
I'm glad we got an entire issue devoted to checking in with our boys. Fingers crossed they keep on progressing towards (some wee bit) of romantic maturity....more
I think what matters most is how you feel when you finally close a book. The emotions that flood through you as you read the final lines, finish the lI think what matters most is how you feel when you finally close a book. The emotions that flood through you as you read the final lines, finish the last page. What has the writer left you with after your journey together?
In this case, it's hope. And satisfaction. A smile, and a lot of snot and tears.
Thanks, C.E. Murphy. And I say that without an ounce of sarcasm.
I knew from the moment I picked up Urban Shaman that I'd found a series to love. Whatever confusion I experienced along the way never diminished my fondness for the world or my utter glee at sharing time with such well-drawn, likable characters. Jo has been an exasperating, determined delight; Gary a study in ever-present courage and wonder; Morrison a steady force of encouragement (and dishy, too). They have distinct flaws, but that's just served to make each of them more relatable. The same can be said of most of the beings Jo encountered along the way, each bringing their own strengths and weaknesses to the mix and shoring up the authenticity of the world.
Which makes saying goodbye that much harder.
In Shaman Rises, Murphy brings everything full circle - emphasis on everything. Usually a fast-paced storyteller, she litters an already jam-packed plot with so many nods to the past that the action is positively frenetic. I found myself re-reading passages to solidify what was happening. I also had to google a few characters and events from previous installments to remind myself of the connections and implications. The all-inclusive nature didn't drag the story down or seem out of place in the grand scheme of things, but it did make me wish I'd done a series re-read prior.
Those little info-gathering pauses did nothing to diminish the number of feelings that cascaded through me. This is an intense volume, made all the moreso because Murphy just does not let up. My fierce empathy for Joanne had me crying and gasping and laughing and, towards the end, feeling just as wrung out as she did. I'm sure my own personal difficulties at the moment had a hand in me effortlessly following Joanne's mercurial emotions...but still. I've grown so attached to these characters; is it any wonder I'm going to start grieving or spilling tears of happiness right along with them?
I'm not going to deny that Jo takes some wrong turns - she's the type who learns by pushing boundaries. Or that Murphy made a few odd choices in trying to ratchet up the tensionof the final face-off with the Devourer. It's not all perfect.
But the ending is. It's the kind of closing that makes you feel something better is on the horizon. That although we too often experience loss and pain, something bright and shining can still be wrought from the wreckage. That a little belief - if not from us, then from others - can make all the difference.
The one major disadvantage to the split story is I never get enough of either Faith or Angel's plots. Part of me wishes I was less invested in the stoThe one major disadvantage to the split story is I never get enough of either Faith or Angel's plots. Part of me wishes I was less invested in the stories - it would save me some frustration!...more
No Faith in this issue. Instead, we have Angel still trying to sort himself out. He's definitely behind the times since he's only now encountering theNo Faith in this issue. Instead, we have Angel still trying to sort himself out. He's definitely behind the times since he's only now encountering the new-wave vampires. So out of the loop, our Angel. I hope he finds his new mission soon. Please don't let him fall into full-on moody broodiness!...more