Slayers are out. Vampires are in. Mysterious big bad Twilight has just become a bigger bad — he can zero in on Team Buffy and her army of Slayers by tracking their use of magic. But Buffy and her allies have taken their submarine — yes, Buffy picked up one of those… they’re a necessary piece of equip — straight to the only person she knows with an inside track on suppressing magic: the werewolf Oz.
In the yak-filled mountains of Tibet, Oz has found his peace and formed a new life. The butter tea flows freely at the reunion, where — among other fun reunion-y things — Buffy learns that suppressing her demon side could be the biggest risk of all…
Amy, using a ritual known as water gazing, reveals to Twilight that Buffy and her allies drowned with the army of demons when the Wicca-Slayers took down the path to the Slayer HQ. Refusing to believe that Buffy would die so easily, an enraged Twilight destroys Amy’s gazing bowl. With his other agents, including Warren, General Voll and Riley, Twilight discusses the difficulties that surround finding Buffy now that she has fallen off the radar. Riley assures Twilight that every technological instrument in their arsenal is being used to find Buffy, but it could take weeks to track her simply by focusing on magical usage due to the vast amount of supernatural beings in the world. Suddenly, a tech guy in the background alerts Twilight to something he discovered on the computers, he reveals that when Buffy and Co. escaped, they used magic — lots of magic to do it, and he is picking up a high level of magic in a general area where he believes Buffy may have escaped to...
In Tibet, on the porch of the monastery are Willow, Xander, Dawn, Buffy, Giles, Oz, and a Tibetan woman, who have gathered together to converse over some butter tea while the Slayers and Andrew are being taken care of elsewhere. Buffy and Giles inform Oz of the reason they have come to Tibet: they need to learn how to suppress their magical sides, as it has become a liability to their safety as well as the fact that, as Dawn points out, the magic comes from demons. The Tibetan woman simply says to the group that “nobody likes you,” prompting Dawn to ask who she is. Oz introduces her as Bayarmaa — or “Bay” for short — and that she is, as he puts it, “the rest of me.” Bay tells the gang that with the monastery satellites they are able to see the worldwide dislike of Slayers everywhere. Oz goes on to inform the group that he and Bay have a baby, a revelation that, while shocking to Giles, Dawn, and Xander, seems to sit well with Willow. When a baby husky barks, everyone assumes that that is the child, until one of the monastery women brings a human infant, Kelden, to Bay. Giles and Buffy both press Oz to hurry along and give them the information that they need.
Flashbacks to a few years earlier, when Oz first arrives at the monastery after being sent there by a warlock in Romania. He begs for help from the monks, and as the full moon emerges, he turns into a werewolf, and is presumed to attack the monks. The next thing seen is Oz inside the monastery in a cage, being tended to by Bay. He goes on to explain that the monks taught him to meditate, and through charms and herbs. Oz believed he had succeeded in suppressing the wolf, and was ready to return to Sunnydale, but upon doing so, he realized that he was wrong to return. When he returned to Tibet and tried once more to try the techniques of the monks, he learned that none of it worked anymore, so he was tempted to give in to the temptation of the wolf inside.
At Twilight HQ, Amy and Warren are arguing in the background while the tech guy talks to Riley about his discovery; he says that there was a very big spike in the magical grid, and that he knows that Buffy escaped through means of a teleportation spell. The tech guy tells Twilight that the readings tell him that it appears as though something just popped into existence somewhere in central Asia. Riley attempts to play it off as a glitch, but Twilight tells the tech guy to pinpoint the location so they can go look for themselves.
Back in Tibet, Oz continues his story of how he wanted to lose himself in the wolf, until Bay taught him the old methods of Bon — the original Tibetan religion —, specifically those which hadn’t been mixed with the Buddhist beliefs, then built upon the practices that would be useful to their cause and mixed with their own traditions. They no longer chanted, but looked at the world through new eyes, realizing they were a part of it, just like the rocks, trees, and the water — they had living spirits. Through these teachings and techniques, they learned to not bottle up the wolf, but by passing its essence through them and into nature, to have a life like a river. Soon, word of their teachings got around and werewolves seeking to be “cured” began showing up in Tibet, specifically an Englishman named Monroe, who had suffered terribly as a result of being a werewolf, but through their teachings had finally found peace.
Back in the present, Buffy and Co. are questioning the methods, as they seem too simple and wonder if there is more too it. Oz continues, saying that when moon is full and the wolf is emerging, they let the wolf pass through them, but not overtake them, then release the essence into the earth. After the group politely refuses another helping of butter tea, Bay and Oz take them on a tour of the grounds. Before departing, Oz comes to Willow and questions their status, knowing she wouldn’t be happy about the fact that he moved on — Willow says they will talk later.
Walking across the river, Oz tells the group that their “cure” takes about a year’s worth of full moons to accomplish, and he continues his story, telling of how Monroe left Tibet and traveled the world, sending werewolves seeking help to the monastery, but he got tempted by the power of the wolf. Monroe soon began sharing the same ideology that Veruca had — that she was the wolf all the time, and that her human face was a secondary part of her. Dawn pipes up and says that’s just how the world sees Slayers now, as demonically powered women and forgetting that they are still humans as well. Meanwhile, Oz tells that most of the werewolves that had gone to Tibet to be cured, soon fell under the same beliefs that Monroe did, and soon formed a pack. Under the light of a full moon one night (when they were at their strongest, as well as knowing Oz and Bay were at their weakest), they attacked the monastery and killed the monks, and when the wolves confronted Bay and Oz, they showed nothing but saliva covered glistening fangs. The story abruptly pauses and Dawn says the story is just getting full of suspense, not seeing a glowing pair of red eyes in the trees behind them.
Meanwhile at Twilight HQ, everyone watches as Amy uses magic to locate the Slayer army. Riley explains to the confused tech guy that she is going off of the general location given to her and using enchanted human bones to zero in on where the greatest concentration of magic is located. The tech guy is confused as to why they themselves are using magic when their mission is to destroy it, but his comment goes unheard as Amy informs Twilight that she now knows where the Slayers are.
Back in Tibet, the sun begins to set as the group overlooks the monastery from atop a cliff side, and Dawn continues to be amazed at how suspenseful the story is. Oz simply points to his throat, and Buffy queries what happened next, to which it is revealed that Bay wolfed out and savagely killed Monroe by tearing his throat out — causing his followers to flee and prompting Oz and Bay to carry knives from then on. Bay says that she has now made Monroe a martyr for his cause.
Meanwhile, Oz and Willow are in the back of the group talking, and Willow explains that she is jealous because Oz has everything she wants: a family, a future and a good life and that she apologizes for being jealous. Buffy bluntly states that she, Willow and her Slayers need to learn not to be magical — a comment to which Bay says it was a bad start teleporting a submarine to the monastery if magical suppression is what they truly desire. Giles questions if they can actually help them, and Buffy adds that Slayers, unlike werewolves, are magical all the time, so she ponders if the ways Oz and Bay used will work on the Slayers. Oz says it might; while it would be a good way to fix some things, they have to want it, and if they begin this course and don’t complete it, then they will be worse off than had they not tried at all.
Suddenly a werewolf attacks from the trees, and Bay draws her dagger and cuts him, causing the werewolf to run away injured. Oz stresses to the group that he is taking a huge risk at the expense of his family and making his home vulnerable to attacks by Twilight, so they need to follow what he tells them.
In Mongolia, atop a cliff, Twilight and his group of followers, including Warren and Riley, look over the expansive landscape as Amy performs more magic, assuring Twilight that they should be in the right place. Twilight realizes that they had been led astray, and that the Slayers are not there. Warren remarks to Amy that now she is as much a screw up as he is. Riley tells Twilight that there was a lot of interference in their reading and that the information they have doesn’t have enough data to pinpoint their exact location.
Inside the monastery Oz and the Scoobies stand before Andrew and the rest of the Slayers. Oz explains that they need to, as of that moment, refrain from using their Slayer powers in any and all situations. Bay tells them that they will start their retreat through physical exertion, which will in turn lower their resistance to the mental process; Oz puts one question to the Slayers: “Who wants to help bury a submarine?”
Back in Mongolia, Warren asks Twilight how they will find the Slayers, to which Twilight replies they will simply watch and wait for them to slip up, which they are bound to do at one point or another. Twilight then orders the execution of the tech guy, and says that this battle won’t end with Buffy laying down her sword, but by turning it on herself.
- Oz’s time after he left Willow in "Wild at Heart", and his life after he left Sunnydale again in "New Moon Rising", are seen in this issue.
- A flashback includes Oz attacking Tara in "New Moon Rising".
- In flashback, Oz wears a shirt of Dingoes Ate My Baby, the band in which he was guitar player until his departure in "Wild at Heart".
- Willow mentions Veruca and her perspective on werewolves, from "Wild at Heart".
- Twilight mentions Buffy doesn’t stay silent when she dies, as she had resuscitated in "Prophecy Girl" and "Bargaining, Part One".
- Warren questions Twilight’s mention of knowing Buffy, a clue to his identity, to be revealed in Twilight, Part Two.
- Riley and Twilight are surprised upon hearing about a "spike", in reference to both their antagonism with Spike, specially in relation to Buffy ("Into the Woods", "The Girl in Question").
- Dragomir (Only mentioned)
- Riley Finn
- Rupert Giles
- Xander Harris
- Faith Lehane
- Tara Maclay (Only in flashbacks)
- Amy Madison
- Warren Mears
- Daniel Osbourne
- Willow Rosenberg
- Buffy Summers
- Dawn Summers
- Veruca (Only mentioned)
- Andrew Wells
- Husky puppy
Organizations and titles
- Dingoes Ate My Baby (Only mentioned)
- Scooby Gang
- Slayer Organization
- Twilight Group
- United States Armed Forces
- Warlock (Only mentioned)
- Central Asia
- Romania (Only mentioned)
- Sunnydale, United States (Only in flashbacks)
- University of California, Sunnydale (Only in flashbacks)
- One rabbit, eaten by Oz (in flashback).
- One long-tailed mammal, eaten by Oz (in flashback).
- Eight Tibetans monks, killed by Monroe and his werewolf pack (in flashback).
Behind the scenes
- Retreat, Part Two was the 37th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 53,403 sales in August 2009 at comic specialty stores.
Pop culture references
- Bay mentions the hosts of The View talking about Slayers.
- French: Retraite, Partie Deux (Retreat, Part Two)
- German: Rückzug! — Teil Zwei (Retreat! — Part Two)
- Italian: Ritirata, Parte 2 (Retreat, Part 2)
- Russian: Отступление, Часть 2 (Retreat, Part 2)
- Turkish: Geri Çekilme, Kısım İki (Retreat, Part Two)
|Bayarmaa - “I understand. No one likes you.”|
- ↑ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 #27: Retreat part 2 (Jo Chen Cover)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- ↑ "Top 300 Comics Actual--August 2009". ICv2. September 15, 2009.