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Time of Your Life, Part Four is the nineteenth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic book series. It was written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Karl Moline. Joss Whedon is the executive producer.

Synopsis

Buffy and Fray take on a powerful foe, who’s lasted hundreds of years just so she can bring down the last two Slayers.[1]

Summary

In the future, Dark Willow is musing on how long she has lived and how she dislikes living through history while Buffy is chained up unconscious to a chair in Fray’s apartment. Fray asks what the plan is, telling Dark Willow that she won’t kill a slayer, no matter what Dark Willow has shown her. Willow tells Fray to keep Buffy there long enough to miss the “extraction” at midnight; she seems to want Buffy not to go back to the present. Fray tells Erin what Dark Willow showed her: that if Buffy goes back, she will “change the world”. Dark Willow has told her that Buffy going back to the present will result in changes that will mean Fray’s future will not come to pass.

Buffy wakes up, confused that Willow is dark and wondering if Kennedy is alright. Before they can speak further, Harth appears with a pack of vampires, annoyed that Willow has acted without him and left him out of the plan. While Buffy tells Fray and Erin to untie her, Harth asks Willow why she told him bringing Buffy to the future would cause his world to be, but told Fray the opposite. She admits she is lying to either Fray or Harth but won’t say who. As Harth threatens to kill everyone in the room, Gunther appears, still angry after his visit from Harth and his lurks, and causes a commotion that, along with the help of Fray’s spider-monkey, frees Buffy. A fight ensues between all parties and Buffy makes her way out.

In the present, Dawn, Xander and the forest creatures are preparing to battle against the demons that invaded the Castle. Xander is unsure about fighting, believing they have no chance, but Dawn tells him they have to make a stand. As the fight starts, they are outnumbered until Xander’s team of slayers appears with a group of Wiccans, who use magic to make the creatures corporeal, and easier to kill. The slayers and forest creatures start to fight against the demons.

In the future, Buffy has escaped and is searching for the building where the extraction, to be caused by Willow in the present, is to appear. When she arrives, Fray is there, telling Buffy she can’t let her go, as it may cause her world to disappear. They begin to fight, watched by Dark Willow. Buffy realizes that while Fray has the upper hand as she is in her own world, she lacks what Buffy has, the memories and dreams of every battle that every Slayer has had. The fight continues with Buffy eventually gaining the upper hand.

In the present, Warren and Amy are seen conferring with Twilight and a fourth, unseen figure, about the failed attack on the Castle. As the dialogue comes to a conclusion, the shadowy figure is revealed as Riley Finn, with what looks like a Twilight symbol carved onto his chest. He tells Twilight that Buffy is stuck in the past, and when she secretly met him in New York, she even got dressed up. Still in the present, a blindfolded Willow is preparing to bring Buffy back.

In the future, as Buffy runs for the portal that appears, she is chased by Fray and her Scythe. As Fray swings at her, Buffy smashes Fray’s scythe and punches her away, telling her she is sorry. Dark Willow has moved in front of the portal, blocking it. Buffy tells her she will go through her to get home, and with tears in her eyes, stabs her in the heart. Dark Willow falls away from the portal just as present-day Willow reaches forward seeking Buffy. As Fray looks on, aghast, Buffy leaves Haddyn and returns to New York where she runs to Willow, hugs her, and tells her she loves her. In the future, Fray lies alone on the rooftop, with the dead body of Dark Willow nearby. Erin arrives, telling Fray that Gunther ran Harth off and they ponder Dark Willow’s motives as they realize that their reality is safe.

Continuity

  • In the future, Buffy argues with Willow for having gone dark, referring to the first time it happened ("Villains"), and, due to the previous cause of her girlfriend Tara Maclay’s death, asks about Kennedy.
  • Buffy resents Erin for having called her “Puffy”; similarly, she got angry at Spike for calling her “Betty” in episode "Superstar".
  • Kennedy warns Buffy and Willow about keeping their hands off each other, as she had previously told Buffy in Time of Your Life, Part One.
  • Buffy kills Willow in the future; she’ll reveal this fact to Giles as soon as they are reunited (Retreat, Part One), and to Willow herself only in Retreat, Part Three (when Andrew also discovers about it). In response, Willow declares the Dark Willow of the future couldn't be herself, and, even so, she’ll work harder to prevent it.
  • Melaka concludes this is a good day, in contrast to Buffy’s reflection about the “bad day” in Time of Your Life, Part One, and her own in Big City Girl.
  • Despite unreliably, Harmony eventually narrates to the Scooby Gang the events that led Willow to take Buffy to the future, in Future Shock.

Appearances

Individuals

Organizations and Titles

Species

Locations

Weapons and Objects

Death Count

  • Unknown number of vampires, blasted by Gunther.
  • Unknown number of cobra-faced demons, killed by Xander, Dawn, Forest Souls, and Slayers.
  • Willow Rosenberg, killed by Buffy Summers (in the future).

Behind the Scenes

Production

Time of Your Life print

Exclusive print promoting “Time of Your Life” arc

Distribution

  • An exclusive print by Karl Moline, Andy Owens, and Michelle Madsen promoting “Time of Your Life” arc was available to direct market retailers, in which a fourth of the scene was available as incentive for each issue.
  • Time of Your Life, Part Four was the eighth best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 74,202 sales in November 2008 at comic specialty stores.[2]

Collections

Pop Culture References

Other

Gallery

Cover Artwork

Preview

Quotes

Dark Willow - “I’d forgotten her excellent nose.”


References

  1. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #19 Time of Your Life”. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. “Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2008” ICv2, December 15, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2018.