Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why The Guild Season Three is like Buffy Season Six

I enjoyed Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Season Six a lot.  It had the musical episode, the near-marriage of Xander and Anya, and even Xander saving the day. 

Season Six is also the darkest season of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.  Buffy has a death wish for most of the season and only finds relief through brutal sex with someone she hates.  Willow battles with addiction to dark magic and ends up turning evil when her girlfriend is killed.  Anya becomes a demon again after Xander leaves her at the altar.  All of these were compelling storylines by themselves, but together they cast a pall over the season.

Is it wrong that I find live action Codex hot?

The Guild: Season Three shares a similar dark streak.  What makes Season Three especially dark is that Season Two left the Knights of Good on the edge of ruin.  Rather than pulling the Knights of Good back from the brink, Season Three chronicles their continuing disintegration. 

Not only do the Knights of Good have to deal with their own demons, but they also face an external threat in the form of the Axis of Anarchy.  I have to admit I like the addition of a rival guild to the series.  None of the characters in the Axis of Anarchy are especially deep, but they do serve as great dramatic foils for the Knights of Good. 

Frankly, the Knights of Good would have enough problems without the Axis of Anarchy breathing down their necks.

Vork is still reeling from the revelation that it was Clara who was continually killing his character last season.  This leads him on a self-proclaimed journey of enlightenment.  In the end, the only enlightenment he find is that he seems to elicit feelings of disgust and dislike in everyone he meets.

Codex is given leadership of the Knights of Good by Vork.  Unfortunately, she only manages to preside over the guilds disintegration.  The experience is crushing to Codex, although in all fairness the forces tearing the Knights of Good apart may have been too much for even the best guild leader to overcome.  Codex regains some of her pride back in the season finale, although high on her victory she rushes into a sexual encounter she seems sure to regret.

Last season I said I lost all sympathy for Clara.  Season Three does little to change my opinion.  Clara seems to have little understanding as to why her husband is upset at her kissing other men or how her gaming addiction hurts her family.  While she does make some half-hearted attempts to patch up her marriage this season, it all seems to be motivated by an attempt to avoid suffering any consequences for her actions rather than actual concern.  I have to admit I found the revelation that Clara was pregnant again at the end to be horrifying rather than funny.

Zaboo finds himself in a poisonous relationship with Riley.  Riley has a controlling personality, and she has no problem using sex, or paintball guns, to keep Zaboo under her thumb.  Interestingly, Zaboo is probably the character who grows the most this season, as he ultimately manages to break off his self-destructive relationship with Riley by himself.

Tinkerballa is still pissed that Bladezz deleted her character.  She actually joins the Axis of Anarchy, but it is obvious she is not happy there.  She is obviously used to being the “Queen Bitch” of the group, and is put off by being just one of a crowd of ill-tempered gamers.  It is also pretty obvious that she regrets setting the Axis of Anarchy on Bladezz when she sees how far they are willing to go.  I was glad to see Tinkerballa come to the realization that there are worse things than a deleted character.

Bladezz comes off more sympathetic in this season than in any of the previous ones.  As the Axis of Anarchy begins to torment him in real life, you really begin to feel for the poor kid.  After all, no man deserves a website like this dedicated to him!

So what did I think of Season Three as a whole?  This was probably the best season of The Guild yet.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find some people turned off by the darker storyline, but like the aforementioned Buffy:The Vampire Slayer Season Six it provides a deeper look into what makes the main characters tick.

5 out of 5 purple drops