Before the comics premiered there was a lot of talk about whether or not these would be considered canon. But what makes up canon? Is it only what is seen on our TV or do the books and the comics count as well? I'd say yes and no. The books aren't written by Joss. The comics are. He has stated this is his vision for Buffy. Therefore, it's canon to me.
So once you get past the canon v. non-canon issue, there's the issue that was front and foremost in people's minds: The use of guns and technology by the Slayers. S4 was as much a metaphor for the dependence of technology in the fight against good v. evil as well as a commentary on what happens when you go off to college and grow up. There is a loss/strain of those interpersonal relationships that represent so much of your childhood, but in the end, you always are able to draw strength from them.
My favorite part of this episode was Dawn. Big, huge, gargantuan Dawn. Not only did I find it hilarious that her self-esteem issues are manifested in her giantism, but the fact that she still hasn't found her place within this new world that Buffy created.
I have my issues with Xander. He's never been a favorite and he stopped amusing me in S4. But, I must admit, I am really digging this new Xander. He's confident and quippy. He's what I hoped Xander would grow up to be. I know my view of Xander differs from others, so please enlighten me.
Last but not least, there is Buffy. I've missed her. This Buffy is serious without being the preachy. She's war weary, but wise. She's at peace with her place in this world. And thankfully, she's not, nor has she ever dated the Immortal. Yay!!! As a bonafide Spuffy shipper, I see Spike in every thing. When Buffy talks about missing the sex, I know she's talking about sex with Spike. When we see the black boots hovering above the building, I think it's Spike. Now, I have no idea if Joss is just jerking us around per usual, but I want to believe in my ship until Buffy marries somebody not named Spike.
Have at it ladies and gents. Tell me what you thought of this first episode.