I have wondered just how much involvement Joss has actually had with the plotting of the season this year. I believe he stated at SDCC or prior that he sat down with Scott Allie and wrote out a "season treatment" on plots and characters that he wanted to touch on and follow through with from last season. We've been teased by a bit of that, but too much of this season has felt like glorified filler and we've not had enough greatness like we did last year. I know he wanted to go back to "grounded" stories but this has been borderline boring. This Male Slayer story arc seems like it is supposed to be one of the big minor arcs this year but it was meh. You guys know me, I'm always trying to pick out the positive stuff...but I am really struggling here right now.