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Throughout her young life, Buffy has faced all sorts of challenges. Not only has she saved the world innumerable times, fought a smorgasbord of vicious hellspawn, and experienced the drama of romancing the undead, but she has also come back from the dead on two separate occasions. This is a woman who has literally been there, done that. But now the Powers That Be have decided to throw a new challenge at her: a baby.
At the end of the last issue, we saw a shocked Buffy contemplating a positive result on a home pregnancy test. In this issue, Buffy struggles to come to terms with the fact that she is going to have a baby. An unplanned pregnancy would be frightening enough for any woman, but for Buffy, it is even more catastrophic. Being a Slayer pretty much precludes her from having a normal life, even in this crazy post-Seed world.
Buffy ends up turning to Robin Wood, who fans may remember as the principal of Sunnydale High during the final season of the TV show. His mother Nikki was a Slayer too, and she also found herself unwed and pregnant. She wrestled with the question of whether or not to have her baby.
Robin tells Buffy how stressful it was having a Slayer for a mother. Each night he would lie in bed, waiting to see if his mother would actually make it home alive. Nikki’s Watcher offered her the chance to put down her stake and give up slaying, but in the end she could not resist her calling. That proved to be her undoing, and she was eventually killed by Spike.
Robin’s tale naturally makes Buffy doubt the wisdom of having a baby, but he insists that she can do it. He points out that she has already been through so much more, and that she has a close-knit bunch of friends who will help her out. Buffy, however, does not share his optimism, and the issue ends with her deciding to have an abortion.
Spike has some scenes of his own in this issue, and we are reminded once again that he still has feelings for Buffy. It looks like he may have finally screwed up the courage to tell her how he feels, but his announcement is preempted by her decision to have an abortion. Which is really too bad, considering it might have ended one of the series’ more annoying subplots. I have never been a fan of Spike, and his incessant angst over his relationship with Buffy got old a long time ago.
I was starting to have my doubts about Season 9, but this new storyline has me interested again. It could have very easily become a Very Special Episode, but scriptwriter Andrew Chambliss handles the material sensitively without resorting to melodrama or histrionics. The new focus on real-life issues reminds me of vintage Buffy, and it will be interesting to see how the writers handle Buffy’s pregnancy.
Personally, I would love to see her actually have the baby. It would take the series in an interesting new direction, and it would certainly be a lot more interesting than if she just decides to have an abortion. It would be nice if Buffy finally got to be a full-fledged adult, and motherhood might just do the trick.