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Buffy Season 8 Recap - Harmonic Divergence

The next five issues explore the “outing” of vampires to the world through five different stories.

Harmony (Buffy’s school friend who was turned into a vampire in Season 3 who then dated Spike then moved the L.A to cause some trouble for Cordelia, Angel and co) is trying to get into a very popular and prestigious bar. The bouncer refuses her entry and as she walks off a celebrity pulls her into an alley way. Harmony is sucking blood from his neck when paparazzi find them and begin taking pictures. From here Harmony explains how quick she gained her celebrity status. Celebrities would pay her to suck their blood but not kill them for the rush (like Riley in Season 5). Eventually due to the press she is getting she gets paid by a television executive to suck his blood, drawn in by the rush and the curiosity about vampires he pitches to her a television show. Harmony and the television executive pitch the idea to MTV, she explains it would be cameras following her about and showing the life she lives as a vampire, including the famous people who secretly pay her for “the rush”. The people at MTV think the show needs a villain to which Harmony puts on her vampire face and tells them that’s the beauty of the show, she is both the hero and the villain. Suddenly Harmony has the television show, the cameras following her and she even has people writing out a story for the show.

We now follow an unknown girl who is trying to escape a prestigious “club”. She is looking towards five girls who have their fists clenched. She tells them that she doesn’t want to be in their gang anymore, they punch her and one slams her into a wall. As the girl is slammed into the wall she glows with a white aura, from earlier on in the season this is a sign that she has just become a Slayer. She manages to fight her way out of the situation and finally feels “free”, as she walks home she sees an advert on a television screen, the advert is the one that Andrew was seen in many issues ago. It tells her that these new powers are not wrong, and she sees the contact number. Her inner monologue tells us that she doesn’t want to go looking for a purpose so soon after she has escaped from the gang, if they want her, they’ll have to come find her. A week later Andrew finds her on a park bench “Want to talk about your destiny?”. They discuss vampires and the role of the Slayer, she is confused, she didn’t realise vampires were so “evil” as in the media they are not portrayed like that e.g. Harmony. Andrew explains that they take advantage of the weak, and Slayers are protectors of humanity, he doesn’t need to say anymore, she agrees to join. Andrew tells her that Buffy will be very pleased and she’ll want to speak to her, she hands the girl a phone. She tells us that the “connection is crappy” and Buffy trails off with a speech that she has clearly said over and over that ends with “Togetherness! Unity! Sisterhood!”. The girl puts down the phone and tells Andrew that she has changed her mind, this was exactly how she was convinced to join the other gang. She decides to do this alone.

The girl goes to a tattoo parlour to cover up the gang tattoo she still has, just as she is finished Harmony walks in. She talks to one of the camera crew and asks when Harmony will be alone, the man tells her that she is rarely alone but they need extras for a party scene later if she is interested. She agrees to go to the party. The party is full of young men and women who are all planning on being bitten for “the rush”, as she enters the party her weapon is removed but is still allowed in. The director tells the crowd that Harmony is about to enter and descend the great staircase, the girl looks for a makeshift stake and finally finds one. As Harmony enters, the girl charges up the stairs towards her. Harmony manages to avoid the stake and take it from her but as the fight continues Harmony falls from the balcony, covered in blood she looks up at the Slayer who has now jumped from the balcony and is coming down to kill her. Harmony raises her arms in self defense, and the Slayer falls onto the stake that Harmony is still holding. Harmony quickly takes the injured Slayer in her arms and bites her neck, as this happens we see the TV executives looking on without response, and Buffy Xander Willow Dawn and Andrew watching in shock.

The MTV people are extremely pleased with the ratings as one of them tell Harmony and her representatives that all the show needed was a villain. Which they now have, Slayers, thousands of them, working as an army, very violent, very organised, one of the executives then compares the Slayer army to the nazi’s, ‘best villains since the nazi’s, better!”. Buffy and Andrew are on the phone to each other watching this, “what’s wrong with people?” she asks, before Andrew can respond he gets excited that Anderson Cooper’s show is about to start. He is joined by Harmony and introduces the show “Slayers? What is this shadowy organisation?” he explains that they claim to be protectors of humanity but he asks how they decide what is deemed evil and points out that after Harmony’s attack some people are even questioning who is protecting humanity from the Slayers. As he begins his interview with Harmony, we return to Buffy and the rest of the group, “the world doesn’t know were the good guys” Willow says in shock. “They know were the guys wearing the white hats, right?” Buffy asks as the issue ends showing one of Harmony’s ‘handbag’ dogs wearing a humorous yet ominous white cowboy hat.