October 2001 posts


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Dark Alchemy is getting around! -- Liq, 22:26:47 10/05/01 Fri
Logs show direct links from PlanetX.com and GET THIS:

http://www.santaclaracountylib.org/

Go figure!

Anyone else have a review to share?
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[> New Fictionary Corner Features -- Liq, 22:53:08 10/05/01 Fri
Sol has come through again with some amazing design for Fictionary Corner. All stories and essays are not listed and I have just added the new feedback feature at the end of each story and essay.

If you have not had the opportunity before, please visit the Corner, read, enjoy and send feedback to the authors so they know they are appreciated and keep writing for us!!
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[> [> hunh? what? what? -- Solitude1056, 22:56:58 10/05/01 Fri
All stories and essays are not listed

Which ones did I miss???
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[> [> [> oops.... my bad.... all stories ARE listed. Go to bed already, Sol. -- Liq, 23:12:21 10/05/01 Fri
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[> [> How do we see the feedback submited? -- vampire hunter D, 23:43:31 10/05/01 Fri
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[> [> [> bwahahah I'm still awake! Feedback's supposed to go directly to the author(s). -- Solitude1056, 23:49:44 10/05/01 Fri
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[> [> Liq - go check the fiction titles!! -- Marie, 07:47:33 10/06/01 Sat
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[> [> [> Naughty Sol... it's HeartSTINGS ... sheesh -- Liq, 11:25:12 10/06/01 Sat
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Ethics of Resurrection -- change, 17:51:04 10/08/01 Mon
I read through Masquerade's analysis of Bargaining including the section on the ethics of resurrecting Buffy, and I just don't agree with it. The gist of the section is that resurrecting Buffy was an immoral act by Willow. Even the argument presented in favor of resurrecting her seems to suggest that it was a necessary evil and Willow is being corrupted by the Hellmouth. I don't agree with this. I don't see why resurrecting Buffy, or anyone else, would be immoral.

The arguments against it seem to be (1) Willow is playing god by exercising the power of life and death, (2) Willow did this without Buffy's consent, (3) Willow has diminished the value of Buffy's sacrifice, and (4) Willow has taken away Buffy's reward (going to Heaven) for her sacrifice. I do not believe any of these are valid arguments.

The playing god argument only applies to taking life, not giving it. We give life to people all the time. Doctors save dieing patients. Doctor's even resuscitate patients who have died. Parents create life through sex, and then nurture life by raising their children. You can't call any of these acts evil, and they all either create new life, or extend or enhance someone's existing life. Playing god is evil when you kill or hurt people, not when you heal them or create life.

The argument that it is immoral because Willow did it without Buffy's consent is also invalid for pretty much the same reason. If someone's heart stops, Doctors do not ask for the victim's consent to try to resuscitate them. The only time consent for such a thing is asked is if the patient is terminally ill and resuscitating them will simply prolong their suffering. In this case, doctors are really asking patients for their consent to let them die, not to revive them. From the discussion that Willow and Xander had, it seems that Willow was fairly certain that if the spell worked Buffy would be brought back whole, not in severe pain. And, except for the demons and the fact that they didn't get her out of her coffin, it seems that she was brought back in one piece.

I really disagree with the argument that resurrecting Buffy has somehow diminished her sacrifice. When Buffy jumped off the tower, she sacrificed her life to save the World and her sister. She knew that she was going to die, and she had no reason to think Willow was going to resurrect her. The point being that she willingly sacrificed her life. Being brought back from the dead does not change any of that. She still sacrificed her life to save the world with no hope of surviving. Her act has in no way been diminished.

I find the argument about taking away Buffy's reward rather annoying. That argument diminishes Buffy's sacrifice. It implies that Buffy sacrificed herself to get a ticket into heaven. Rewards and punishments are not the reason why people should act ethically. People should act ethically because it is the right thing to do. I like to think that Buffy sacrificed herself because she felt it was the right thing to do, not to get into heaven. I have no problem with the PTB giving Buffy a reward for her sacrifice, just with the idea that that was her motivation. If the PTB do decide to give Buffy a ticket into heaven, I don't see why resurrecting her should take that away. She will just have an opportunity to continue her life and then go to heaven afterwards.

Where I do have a problem with Willow's resurrection spell is that the Scoobies should have thought it through and dug her out of her grave first. They should also have done it in a place where Buffy would have been more comfortable: either in her house, or maybe in that pretty garden by the lake where Willow killed the fawn. However, I don't have a problem with the idea of bring her back. I don't see how you can say that resurrecting her was an evil act. If you do, then you have to also believe that healing sick people is evil too.
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[> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- gds, 19:03:09 10/08/01 Mon
You said this better than I did - my post is

Re: Willow and the fawn................ -- gds, 18:20:58 10/08/01 Mon

I have always been flaggergasted at the idea of cheapening one's death. Like death was something to be valued. I am happy to see someone refute it so eloquently.
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[> [> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- kostadis roussos, 23:02:44 10/11/01 Thu
>I have always been flaggergasted at the idea of cheapening one's death. Like death was something to be valued. I am happy to see someone refute it so eloquently

Death is not something to be valued.

The circumstances of our death are to be valued.

They are our last moments on this earth.

What makes Willow's actions immoral?

First we must define what moral is in this context. If life is the single most precious commodity in the Universe, then any action, that does preserves life is Good.

But then this statement hinges on what we mean by life.

If life is defined to be the incarnation of a particular
person in a particular body at a particular time, in the
"real world", then any action that preserves or extends that life is good.

But what if "life" is more expansively defined to be that period of time that particular "consciousness" exists. Or in the buffyverse context, the existence of the soul?

In that case the morality of bringing Buffy back to life is similar to the morality of going to a retired person and asking them to take up whatever task they left to a younger/different generation.

Then the question is: does Willow have the right to force Buffy out of retirement?

This is no longer about life and death, this is about the morality of someone choosing for you what you should be doing.

So Willow was selfish (and that is a bad although not necessarily evil thing) for bringing her out of retirement.

However, if she continues to define what people should and should not be doing based on her selfish needs, and use her powers to achieve those ends, then perhaps she will become evil.

cheers,
kostadis
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[> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- gds, 19:09:21 10/08/01 Mon
You said this better than I did - my post is

Re: Willow and the fawn................ -- gds, 18:20:58 10/08/01 Mon

I have always been flaggergasted at the idea of cheapening one's death. Like death was something to be valued. I am happy to see someone refute it so eloquently.
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[> Mortality -- Kerri, 19:32:48 10/08/01 Mon
A theme of Buffy has always been the necessity of mortality as part of the cycle. The death of the old(be it physical orpsychological death) is necessary for the new to emerge. Change is needed-death is the next part of life. In the Buffyverse those who defy death(vamps) are stagnent and do not grow. Death is not something the Buffyverse looks down on-it is natural and part of a necessary cycle. Bringing people back defies nature and god(if we assume there are higher powers in the buffyverse). I

t also disrespects Buffy. She is "raped." Her death was her choice. Her ressurection was not. Ultimately what will restore the cycle will be Buffy's choice to be "reborn". Did I make any sense there?
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[> [> Re: Mortality -- gds, 20:08:35 10/08/01 Mon
Bringing people back defies nature and god

That is like saying living defies nature. Predators want to kill. Weather, earthquakes etc. destroy lives and means of livelihood. This is the age-old argument of those who want to keep people "in their place". Not too long ago people said, "If god had meant us to fly he would have given us wings". Just as meaningless. When we move into new territories we should be cautious (which is why I like the way Xander voiced his concern using the driving analogy), but the playing god/ violating the will of nature theme has no merit. And as for defiling nature - we and our actions are part of nature. We are not a virus attacking nature.

If I seem impassioned on this subject Ė I am. This kind of philosophy has reigned death, suffering and destruction on humanity for ages. Things we take for granted now as normal would not exist today if someone hadnít said, "NO" to this philosophy. People have been tortured and murdered for seeking to expand the boundaries of human knowledge. Science by its very nature refutes this philosophy, notwithstanding the religious apologists in the scientific community.
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[> [> [> Re: Mortality -- Cleanthes, 08:56:19 10/09/01 Tue
Arguments against finite means to deal with finite problems convert death to illness. At that level of discourse, I'm in complete agreement with "technological fixes". Go ahead, advance medical science! I agree that saying this act was "against nature" amounts to a circular argument: "It's wrong because it's wrong". Further exploration of "nature", though, can bring out a qualitative difference between death and other things amenible to technological fixes.

One of the atheist existentialists, probably Sartre, made the point that even atheists are dead forever. This is in the context of Kierkegaard's discussions of Christianity and the mediation between finite existence on one hand and an infinite death and an infinite "God" on the other.

Death is the gift from infinite understanding to finite understanding. Death marks the difference between finite humans and infinite qualities/powers/time/nature. To the extent that we can apprehend this qualitative difference, we are free. This freedom in the face of death marks the highest, strongest and best power humans have. It's invictus. If some cheesy slavemaster can later overturn this, humans lose their freedom completely. Buffy may have had this trick played on her.

The argument that one should not then want to postpone death because then one defers this "gift" misses the point. Death is INEVITABLE. So, any amount of postponement has no effect on the mediation with infinity whatsoever. It's perfectly okay to say, as the guy does in `Yeoman of the Guard`, "my first choice was life, but luckily, death was my second choice." [approximate quotation] The joke in this, though, is THE JOKE.

The arguments about flying, etc. merely sidestep this fundamental mediation. For example, the "if god had meant us to fly he would have given us wings" point deals entirely within finity - if we can stand up, our head already makes it partway to the (finitely high) clouds. The actual case that would fit would be "if god had meant us to fly meta-behind the furthest reality, he would have provided transcendental apprehension".

To me, the question of death and death wishes is not squarely presented by what we so far know of Willow's action. Maybe she pulled Buffy from the Elysian Fields, or from the broad noetic uplands, or from some calm nirvana or from a sought-after nothingness. If so, she shouldn't have done so. I'm sure we will NOT find out.

The true ethical question, though, is whether Willow did what Buffy would have wanted. Maybe, maybe not, but I don't think Willow spent a great deal of time worrying about it.

Now that Buffy has received the gift of death, will she be able to make noble gestures? She has taken the journey often described in mythological literature. Orpheus looked back. Christ did not.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Mortality -- boy_mercury, 09:31:18 10/09/01 Tue
I don't have that strong of an opinion about this, but I understand why Willow would try to bring her back. Numerous times in the episode Willow said that Buffy could be in some demon dimension suffering. Who knows where her spirit went when she leaped into the portal? How would Glory have gotten back into her own dimension? By jumping into the portal. Maybe a part of Buffy was brought there, leaving only her human body behind. This was not a typical death, and while I think Willow should have thought about it a little more, I don't blame her for doing what she did.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Mortality -- Rufus, 14:30:24 10/09/01 Tue
At the end of Bargaining, Buffy made a choice to answer the call of Dawn. At any point she could have rejected her rebirth and committed suicide. Her sister calling to her brought her out of her confusion and she made her choice. She is not the same as us, she is the hero who answered the call to return. I still ask what knowledge or skill will return with her? Other realities have a different experience of time, so Buffy could have been on the other side for and eternity. The thing I remember is that she didn't reject this new life, she just may need time to get used to it.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Mortality -- Cleanthes, 15:39:17 10/09/01 Tue
Excellent observation. I asked if Buffy would look back, but I think she looks forward by answering of Dawn's call .

Christ and Orpheus didn't inhabit the world of episodic television, so their mythical experiences don't entirely match Buffy's. There's the need for MORE, here.

Buffy would neglect her own sacrifice if she pained Dawn needlessly. The writers got it right to have Dawn be the one to pull Buffy into her rebirth.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Mortality -- Kerri, 16:40:17 10/09/01 Tue
"At any point she could have rejected her rebirth and committed suicide. "

That's kind of what I meant about Buffy's ressurection being forced on her but her rebirth being accepted.
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[> [> [> Re: Mortality -- Dedalus, 22:07:59 10/09/01 Tue
But there is something to be said about getting ahead of nature.

All these scientists curing diseases and such ... yeah, great, but for heaven's sake ... what's going to happen when our technology allows us to save everyone? The planet is already overpopulated. People have to die. If they didn't, our resources would dwindle and then be gone, and everyone would die.

And no one is talking about torturing people who want to expand knowledge. Geez.
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[> [> Re: Mortality -- change, 03:51:41 10/09/01 Tue
> A theme of Buffy has always been the necessity of mortality as part of the cycle. The death of the old(be it
> physical orpsychological death) is necessary for the new to emerge. Change is needed-death is the next part of life.
> In the Buffyverse those who defy death(vamps) are stagnent and do not grow. Death is not something the
>Buffyverse looks down on-it is natural and part of a necessary cycle.

I have never seen the "necessity of mortality" as being a theme in Buffy. In the Buffyverse, vampires are dead. Even the vampires themselves say they are dead. Also, it does not appear to me that most people are made into vampires by choice. It is forced upon them. Therefore, I don't really think you can use them as an example of someone who is defying the natural order of things. The human is actually dead, and the vampire itself is really a demon.

As far as being stagnent goes, I think being dead is about as stagnent as you can get. Once you are dead there is no way to change at all.

> Bringing people back defies nature and god(if we assume there are higher powers in the buffyverse).

How do you know that? Was there an episode where the PTB said that people must die? It seems to me that there are plenty of things in the Buffyverse that are immortal or that live for extremely long periods of time, including the PTB themselves. If life was offensive to the PTB, then none of us would be alive. If extending life is immoral, then it is immoral to heal people. If bringing people back from the dead is immoral, then it is immoral to resuscitate heart attack victims, and to perform life saving treatment to trauma victims.

> It also disrespects Buffy. She is "raped." Her death was her choice. Her ressurection was not.

I do not see how you can say bring someone back to life is raping them. I don't see that at all. If any one raped her, Glory did by putting her into a situation where she had to sacrifice herself to protect her sister and save the world. Her friends simply helped her.
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[> [> mortality...& choice -- anom, 19:50:15 10/10/01 Wed
"Her death was her choice. Her ressurection was not."

Yes, but does anyone think she'd have chosen to die if there'd been any other way to save Dawn & the world? And of course, from the perspective of people living in that world, it's not hell, & they probably couldn't imagine Buffy wouldn't choose to be resurrected if it were up to her. That's entirely separate from how she feels about it, of course.
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[> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- Solitude1056, 19:40:25 10/08/01 Mon
I make no promises about eloquence. (that's for other, more succinct folks than me.) But I can at least try to present my take on it, and let's get a convo going (natch).

(1) Willow is playing god by exercising the power of life and death... [but] Playing god is evil when you kill or hurt people, not when you heal them or create life.

Yeah. But when the person's been dead for three months? We're not talking an immediate revival here. We're talking dead and rotting in the grave. A doctor can bring someone back from the edge of death. Beyond death? Only in fiction.

(2) Willow did this without Buffy's consent... [but] If someone's heart stops, Doctors do not ask for the victim's consent to try to resuscitate them. The only time consent for such a thing is asked is if the patient is terminally ill and resuscitating them will simply prolong their suffering.

I'm not sure this is an appropriate analogy. If someone commits suicide, and a doctor revives the person, I personally consider that somehow wrong. No, I can't articulate why, but something inside me considers that a violation of the person's clear intent. It may not be an immoral act to revive the person, perhaps, but to me it certainly seems disrespectful, not to mention selfish on the part of the reviver.

When it comes to consent, there was no implied intention on Buffy's part that reviving her - in any way - would be okay. She'd already stated her opinion on that issue when Dawn attempted to raise their mother from the dead. Buffy was clearly against it. How could one then assume that Buffy would be so hypocritical as to hope for, or approve of, such an exception for herself?

(3) Willow has diminished the value of Buffy's sacrifice, [but] She knew that she was going to die, and she had no reason to think Willow was going to resurrect her. The point being that she willingly sacrificed her life. Being brought back from the dead does not change any of that.

Well, granted. I don't think coming back diminishes Buffy's own death - I think it diminishes those who brought her back. In being party to such, they've revealed themselves as somehow disrespectful of the fact that death is something everyone goes through. Anya, after Joyce's death, seemed to be the only one who "got" that notion of life and death being part and counterpart.

(4) Willow has taken away Buffy's reward (going to Heaven) for her sacrifice... [this argument] implies that Buffy sacrificed herself to get a ticket into heaven. Rewards and punishments are not the reason why people should act ethically.

Well, uh, can't really argue either way on this one, since it sort of assumes that the arguer or arguee are christian. And I wasn't aware that this was one of the argument summaries of why it-was-wrong. But it does seem to me that if someone's essence has moved on, in the greater circle of things, then jerking them back to this place and time just because you can't learn to live without them is an awfully selfish thing to do, no matter what you believe in. Heaven, hell, nirvana, purgatory, whatever.

Willow's primary argument boils down to this, IMO: she's gone, and I don't want her to be gone. Well, guess what, that argument just isn't good enough. Willow was refusing to do the very thing that Buffy had requested: live. Angel, Cordelia, Dawn, Spike, Anya, and Tara were trying to move along, and even Xander in his own way however much slower. But Willow was having none of it. She was living only for bringing Buffy back. And that, to me, is where Willow was going wrong. It was as if she was crying out to Buffy, "you can make your sacrifice, but how dare you leave me here on my own! you have to come back!" Buffy was able to make her sacrifice with the certainty and trust that her friends could carry on. Willow reneged on that, and betrayed Buffy's trust and last words.

Like I said, not too articulate right now, but that's the gist of it. Maybe someone else will come along and once again say it better than I... ;-)
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[> [> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- OnM, 19:54:10 10/08/01 Mon
I can go either way on this, it all really comes down to intent, and as the primary instigator of Buffy's resurrection, accurately determining Willow's true intent is the dilemma here.

Willow claims that Buffy may be suffering in some hell-dimension somewhere, and if true, that could provide a valid reason to rescue her. But we seem to be presented with this information in such a way as to question whether Willow really believes this to be true, or is simply trying to provide a 'rational' reason for doing what otherwise is a highly questionable act.

I do agree that in no way is Buffy herself 'diminished' by the act of being resurrected, and that any such diminishment, if present at all, would be directed to those who raised her from the grave.

Tough one. Right now as I type, the shooting script is printing out, I'm sure it will be interesting reading (as always), and perhaps shed some light on some of these questions.
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[> [> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- change, 04:17:16 10/09/01 Tue
> But when the person's been dead for three months? We're not talking an immediate revival here. We're talking dead
> and rotting in the grave. A doctor can bring someone back from the edge of death. Beyond death? Only in fiction.

I don't see how time makes any difference here. Hypothermia victims have been brought back after being clinicly dead for 30 or so minutes (I've heard anyway). I don't want to get all science fictiony, but a hundred years or so from now it may well be possible to bring people back who have been very dead for a long time. I don't think you can say that it is immoral to bring someone back who has been dead for X amount of time. The question is, is it immoral to bring someone back under any circumstances. I think that in an situation like Buffy where she has not had the oppertunity to lead a full life, it okay to bring her back. It's the same as trying to save the life of a child. Buffy has not had a chance to lead a full life, she was forced to sacrifice her life to save others, and if she can be brought back, she should be.

> If someone commits suicide, and a doctor revives the person, I personally consider that somehow wrong.

Actually I posted an opinion on this board right after the Gift suggesting that Buffy's sacrifice was suicide. I was shot down. I think you guys are right. It wasn't suicide, it was a nobel act of sacrifice to save the world.

> When it comes to consent, there was no implied intention on Buffy's part that reviving her - in any way - would be
> okay.

Buffy never had the chance to even consider the option. Dawn's spell was creating a zombie. Obviously that was horrible. However, Willow's spell brought Buffy back alive and whole. Buffy had no way to know that this was possible and so no way to give her consent. However, I have a hard time believing that she wouldn't have consented to this if she known it was an option.

> I think it diminishes those who brought her back.

I can see how you may feel that Willow may have brought Buffy back for the wrong reasons. However, I really don't see how bringing life dimishes people. I think they honored their friend by risking themselves (especially Willow) in order to bring her back.

> And I wasn't aware that this was one of the argument summaries of why it-was-wrong.

It wasn't in Masquerade's summary. I put it in because it was argued in one of the other posts.

> But it does seem to me that if someone's essence has moved on, in the greater circle of things, then jerking
> them back to this place and time just because you can't learn to live without them is an awfully selfish thing to
> do, no matter what you believe in. Heaven, hell, nirvana, purgatory, whatever.

How do you know that she's moved on? How do you know that their is anything after death? In the Buffyverse so far, Angel and Darla have both been resurrected. Neither of them seemed to have had any memory of an afterlife. It appears that when you die in the Buffyverse, you die. If you go to Heaven or Hell or whatever, you do so long after you die.

> Willow ... betrayed Buffy's trust and last words.
Willow brought her friend back from the dead. Remember that Buffy did not commit suicide. Buffy was faced with making a choice. She could (1) let the world be devastated by an appocolypse, (2) watch her sister die, or (3) save the world and her sister by sacrificing herself. She chose to sacrifice herself. However, that does not mean that she wanted to die. She simply chose the best of three terrible choices. By doing this, she saved Willow and the scoobies. I think it would be their responsibility to bring her back if they could.
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[> Living Will & DNR analogy -- Solitude1056, 21:27:32 10/08/01 Mon
Ok, further:

"Playing god" seems to be a specious argument, now that I think about it. We kill, and give birth, on a regular basis. Life and death are human actions, both the giving and receiving. A better analogy, on second thought, might be that of a patient who enters the hospital with a DNR order ("do not recessitate" or however it's spelt) or a Living Will. The question, then, is whether Willow was aware of Buffy's perspective on what Dawn did (and whether she was even aware that Dawn's attempt was successful). If Willow was aware of Buffy's DNR (in this case, do not resurrect?) attitude about death, then she did, in fact, act much like a doctor who revives a patient despite the patient's clear intentions otherwise.

The only person who could say either way is Dawn, and Willow clearly does not want to involve Dawn in the resurrection. Whether this is because she knows (and does not want to admit) that Buffy would consider herself a DNR, or because she simply doesn't want to involve Dawn, is hard to tell. No, Buffy cannot "give" her consent to be resurrected, but in that case, it's up to the doctor (Willow) to research as best she can to determine if a DNR or DNR-like attitude was present on the part of Buffy. It doesn't seem to me that Willow did this, which means she's akin to a doctor who doesn't ask whether a patient has a Living Will, but instead revives first and asks later (if at all).

I'm not sure if this would be moral or immoral, since I'm not real big on morality in the first place. But it does seem to me to be selfish, in Willow's case, as well as unethical use of the powers at her disposal. To throw an additional ethical loop in the medical analogy: yes, a doctor is sworn to protect and uphold life, and has the ability to do so. But if a Jehovah's Witness is bleeding to death in the OR, does the doctor respect the JW's religious beliefs (JW have an injunction against accepting blood products such as transfusions), or does the doctor decide that s/he has the "power" to override the person's religious beliefs and give the transfusion anyway? In some ways, that's what I meant by the idea of reviving a suicide: can someone else really ever know whether a suicide is truly suffering, or whether it's "all in his/her head" and therefore negligent in comparison to the primary objective of keeping the person alive?

What's that quote again? "You were so busy thinking about how you could, that you forgot to ask whether you should," or some such...
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[> [> Not eloquent? Hunh! -- Marie, 01:53:53 10/09/01 Tue
Sounds pretty eloquent to me. Got me thinking, as all the good posters here do. And what would you do? I thought to myself. For instance, suicide. If my son was 16, 17, say, and tried to kill himself because he thought he'd failed his exams and couldn't face me? Would I want the doctors to try and get him back. Bloody right I would.

But if that same son was dying of an agonising disease with no hope of a cure, and decided to end his life with dignity? I'd be so torn, I'd be insane. But I hope I would be able to say 'let him go'.

So I can't judge the morals of Willow, really. I can understand the pain of someone losing a dear friend and wanting her back. Would she even see it as denigrating Buffy's noble sacrifice? Is she thinking "OK. She made a sacrifice, but now Glory's gone, the portal's closed, Dawn's safe - I can bring her back. She can wake up and see blue skies again. Be with her family. Nothing wrong with that."?

I think she means only good. She'll have to argue the ethics of her actions with her god, whoever or whatever that may be, when the time comes. And, of course, Buffy herself.

Always consequences.

Marie
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[> [> Re: Living Will & DNR analogy -- change, 04:26:03 10/09/01 Tue
> A better analogy, on second thought, might be that of a patient who enters the hospital with a DNR order ("do not
> recessitate" or however it's spelt) or a Living Will. The question, then, is whether Willow was aware of Buffy's
> perspective on what Dawn did (and whether she was even aware that Dawn's attempt was successful).

I don't remember exactly what Buffy said in Forever about this. However, Dawn was raising a zombie. Doc even told her as much. Willow, on the other hand, brought Buffy back alive and whole.

Secondly, Joyce died of natural causes. Buffy sacrificed herself because if she didn't Dawn would die, or millions of innocent people would die.

So, I don't think you can really compare Dawn's zombification of Joyce with Willow's resurrection of Buffy. Their deaths occurred under different circumstances and their revivals were different too.

Even if Buffy did say that bringing back Joyce was wrong (I really don't remember exactly what she said), Joyce was bring brought back as a zombie. I think Buffy had to know that because up to now, that's how magic has worked in the Buffyverse. So, obviously she would be horrified by it. The idea of bringing someone back alive and whole is new to Bargaining.
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[> [> [> Re: Living Will & DNR analogy (spoilers for forever) -- Solitude1056, 06:13:02 10/09/01 Tue
I don't remember exactly what Buffy said in Forever about this. However, Dawn was raising a zombie. Doc even told her as much. Willow, on the other hand, brought Buffy back alive and whole.

Well, let's see.

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Dawn bolts down the stairs, heading for the door - but Buffy, who still holds Joyce's picture, is right on her heels. She grabs Dawn before she can reach the door and they move into the living room as they fight.

BUFFY
You have no idea what you're messing with! Who knows what you actually raised - what's going to come through that door-

DAWN
I know. It'll be her-

BUFFY
No. Tara told me these spells go bad all the time. People come back wrong-

DAWN
She won't. He told me. Her DNA-

BUFFY
Who told you? Who helped you?!

DAWN
Nobody! Now let me go-

BUFFY
You have to stop it, reverse it-

DAWN
No!

BUFFY
Dawn. You know this is wrong. You know you can't let this happen. Not to Mom.

[...]

ANOTHER KNOCK

ON DAWN

Who now looks afraid and uncertain. This doesn't feel right. Everything Buffy said is sinking in. This is someplace they shouldn't go.

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So what you're saying is that if a patient has a DNR-attitude, that because the patient has assumed that DNR equals "brought back incomplete or still suffering" that the doctor can ignore this DNR if the doctor is somehow positive that the patient will be brought back "alive and whole"? Given that Willow didn't have any empirical evidence that this was true, or even any empirical evidence that the revivification would even work in the first place, I find this comparison somewhat murky. She's still no better than the doctor who ignores the patient's DNR intentions with bias towards her own intentions.

And lastly, I'd say right now there's a bit to be argued about that whole "alive and well" perspective. Buffy may've climbed her way out of the grave and that might be for some of the trauma, but she also ended up on the tower, contemplating - what? repeating her original performance? staying there until the tower collapsed and inadvertantly repeating it anyway? Hello. Alive, yes, but her behavior and reactions would indicate a new definition of "well," in my book. Her body parts may not have been falling off, but the mind can take damage that the body doesn't always show.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Living Will & DNR analogy (spoilers for forever) -- change, 09:48:25 10/09/01 Tue
> So what you're saying is that if a patient has a DNR-attitude, that because the patient has assumed that DNR
> equals "brought back incomplete or still suffering" that the doctor can ignore this DNR if the doctor is somehow
> positive that the patient will be brought back "alive and whole"?

Actually, yes. I think its okay for the doctor (or in this case Willow) to override a victim's DNR if the doctor believes that the victim was missinformed about possible bad effects of being revived. For example, suppose someone is having brain surgery. Suppose their doctor tells them that the nature of the surgery is such that if the patient's heart stops it means that severe brain damage has occurred and the patient asked the doctor not to revive them in this case. If their heart does stop, but the doctor is pretty sure that it wasn't caused by brain damage, then I think the doctor should override the DNR and revive them.

A similar thing applies to Buffy. When Buffy said that "Tara told me these spells go bad all the time. People come back wrong-" it sounds to me like she was talking about a zombie which is what Dawn was raising. Well I wouldn't want to be brought back as a zombie either. However, Buffy died under special circumstances (death by mystic energy) that allowed Willow to bring her back as a person. Also note that the spell Willow used is quite different than the one Dawn used. In this case, if Willow is pretty sure that she can bring back Buffy whole, then she should ignore Buffy's request not to be brought back and do what she thinks is right and possible.

Just to clarify a few things, I'm assuming that Buffy didn't want to bring her mom back as a zombie. She says "Tara told me these spells go bad all the time. People come back wrong-". When she says that "You know this is wrong. You know you can't let this happen. Not to Mom.", I am taking that to mean that she feels its wrong to bring back her mom as a zombie, or to take the chance that she will be brought back "wrong". I don't get the feeling that she necessarily has a religious conviction against it. In fact, I don't think that Buffy has been protrayed as being religous at all. If she had expressed a religious (or some other deeply held) belief against it, then I think Willow should honor her wishes and let her stay dead. I just don't get that from the dialog you quoted.
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[> [> [> joyce not a zombie -- anom, 20:46:46 10/10/01 Wed
"However, Dawn was raising a zombie. Doc even told her as much."

No she wasn't & no he didn't. Remember Spike found her at Joyce's grave & told her if she was doing (or not doing)...um, don't remember what exactly, but if she was (or wasn't), then they'd be talking zombie. He took her to Doc to avoid bringing Joyce back as a zombie. Doc did warn her that if anything went wrong w/the spell, the Joyce who'd be raised wouldn't be what she'd been in life, but didn't get specific about how she'd be "off," & certainly didn't say the spell he gave her would result in a zombie.
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[> [> you asked (sp.) -- anom, 20:15:30 10/10/01 Wed
Well, sorta; that's how I interpret "(or however...)." It's "resuscitate."
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[> Why are you against Willow? -- change, 10:18:02 10/09/01 Tue
Another thing that I've noticed in some of the posts about resurrecting Buffy is that many people assume that Willow did it for selfish reasons. They believe that Willow simply refused to accept that Buffy died and resurrected her to get her friend back. I don't think you can really assume this either.

The show hasn't really gone into depth on Willow's reasons for resurrecting Buffy. However, I can see some good reasons for doing it. Look at season five from Willow's point of. First, Buffy's mom is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Then Buffy finds out that Dawn is not really her sister. Instead, she finds out that her family and her memories of it have been manipulated, and her life is fiction (well you know what I mean). She has been made into a pawn in someone else's game. As the year progresses, it becomes apparent that Buffy has to fight a god who she has no chance of beating in a fair fight. Then she loses her boyfriend just as she finds out she is truely in love with him. Then her mother dies. Buffy is left to take care of Dawn by herself. Her father does not come to the funeral and does not even return her calls. Dawn is her only family. A few weeks later the school principle calls Buffy in and tells her that they may be taking Dawn away from her. Buffy is forced to drop out of college (give up her future) to stay home and take care of Dawn. Buffy finally gives up trying to fight Glory and tries to run. However, she is attacked, and Giles (the closest thing she has to a father) is seriously wounded and close to death. She turns to one of her friends to help Giles, but he betrays her to Glory. Glory takes Dawn, and slaughters a couple dozen people. Buffy finally just gives up and goes catatonic. Willow has to mentally put her back together again. Then Buffy has to fight Glory to save the World, a few hours after having been in a catatonic state. She sacrifices herself to save the world. In short, Willow has watched as her best friend's life has slowly turned into a living hell, and then watched as her best friend died when she was only 20 years old.

In addition, while Buffy is fighting to save the world and needs all the help she can get, Willow is instead focusing on saving Tara. Willow, who knows that she is the only one in the group who has ever hurt Glory, and who Buffy has told her is her 'big gun' is not focusing on helping Buffy.

So Buffy's last year was hell, she dies trying to save her sister and her friends, and Willow (to some degree) was not there fully to help her. Buffy was only 20 years old, never had a chance to live a full life, get married, and have kids.

Now, Willow finds a way to bring Buffy back. The cost (that we know of so far) is that Willow will have to endure a set of painful tests. If you were Willow wouldn't you try to bring back your friend to give her back her life? Wouldn't you feel a debt to Buffy? Wouldn't you want to suffer through the tests for your friend? Wouldn't you feel obligated to try? I know that some of you will say that guilt is a bad reason for doing things. However, doing things out of guilt can also mean trying to make things right, and trying to correct (what may be perceived as) mistakes.

I know there is speculation that Willow will turn evil later on, but I don't think she has yet. She is trying to help her friend, and trying to make up for not being there when Buffy needed her.
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[> [> So is Angel the selfish one, in that case, for doing nothing but living? -- Solitude1056, 11:03:56 10/09/01 Tue
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[> [> [> Re: So is Angel the selfish one, in that case, for doing nothing but living? -- change, 16:48:40 10/09/01 Tue
I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. I don't think Angel could bring Buffy back. Darla was still alive when he tried to save her. I don't think Angel is anymore selfish than Xander or Anya. There's just nothing he can do. There's also the issue of there being no more cross overs between the two shows.

I'm getting the impression that I've pissed you off somehow. I didn't mean to. I'm just presenting an alternative point of view, which is what I think I think people do on this board. If I seem to argue it strongly, that's just the way I prefer to write it. I don't mean to attack other people. If I've really offended you, please accept my humble apologies.
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[> [> [> [> uhm... -- Solitude1056, 18:43:28 10/09/01 Tue
Naw, just trying to turn the question around, since we have two different approaches: Angel's (keep living), and Willow's (put life on hold). And yeah, there was some question about Angel having the means to bring Buffy back after his one shot with Darla was negated. Several folks wondered if he could go back & say, "okay, this time, bring Buffy back, give her a second chance, since I went through that and you didn't do it, so you owe me" or some such... The whole question of ethics and death is a pretty sticky one, anyway, so it's no surprise that we couldn't come up with a solution where major philosophers have been wrangling about it for years, if not decades or centuries... but at least we can have fun trying!
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[> [> Re: Why are you against Willow? Excellent Points Change! -- vulpes, 02:37:44 10/11/01 Thu
I would have to say that Willow's innocence was also sacrificed in order to bring Buffy back. And the demon she 'mothered' came to her and Tara the night after, screaming the fawn's murder, "Did you slit it's throat, did you pet it's head!
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[> [> Re: Why are you against Willow? -- Cygnus, 10:22:00 10/11/01 Thu
Because her reasons feel like rationalisations. Take a look at how Willow deals with loss, she doesn't. When Oz left her she simply could not deal and eventually turned to magic to get rid of her pain (and we all know how that turned out). I'm sad to say this but Willow couldn't deal with losing her best friend and again turned to magic to solve her "problem", and if that meant resurrecting her friend well so be it.
The really interesting bit comes with how Willow and the SG deal with Buffy's revelation (It's going to get out). Personally I think that the SG will make Willow the scapegoat for their guilt and to Willow that's going to look like a big betrayal and remember the last time she felt betrayed by someone close to her. As someone on the board has already said "Minimum Safe Distance"
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[> This changes nothing -- change, 03:15:13 10/10/01 Wed
In case you're wondering if last night's episode changed my mind on this, the answer is no. This is the first time that heaven has been mentioned in the Buffyverse. In fact, when Angel got his soul back, and when Darla was resurrected, neither of them seemed to remember anything about the afterlife. So, with the information Willow had, she had no way of knowing that Buffy was in heaven, or that there even was an afterlife for humans. Given that, I still think she acted morally.

If Buffy decides to let people know about her afterlife, then that would change things. It would be immoral to bring people back if you knew that they could be in heaven, and that they would find this world to be hell after experiencing heaven.
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[> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- bible belt, 16:30:44 10/11/01 Thu
I donít really have anything intelligent to add to this discussion except to say that Iím with change on this. I enjoyed reading everyoneís arguments and they are all good.

OnM said that it comes down to intent. I agree with that too. I do have a question about ignorance and morality. I f you do something wrong out of ignorance, is that immoral?
This question may have been addressed and I just completely missed it. Itís not a rhetorical question, I would just like to know, if someone wants to try and enlighten me before this thread is gone.
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[> [> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- Marie, 01:20:59 10/12/01 Fri
If you do something wrong out of ignorance, is that immoral?

Blimey, I hope not! If that were true, I'd be one of the most immoral people on the planet! (And I don't think I am, honestly!).

M
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[> [> [> Re: Ethics of Resurrection -- bb, 12:39:37 10/12/01 Fri
Yeah, I would be unredeemable.
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You have to admit, they do have a point -- advocate, 22:27:43 10/08/01 Mon
I mean here Gunn is, hanging out in LA's version of "Rick's Bar" (Casabanca), in the midst of some of the most slimmy creatures in LA. What is he doing hanging with such lowlife.

And his old friends, they were just fighting the war. I have often wondered why he had abandoned them. When he first got together it was more like a partnership. He helped Angel Investigations with their projects, and they help him in protecting his friends. But somewhere along the line THEIR missions always got priority, and the problems that his friends where facing came secondary. I was hoping this season, Angel Investigation would start helping Gunn in his original mission again, but unfortunately after this, it doesn't look like he will be able to reconnect with his old group.

Gunn and Angel came to a real understanding tonight (perhaps they always had it). One of mutual respect. Angel trusts Gunn more than anyone else at Angel Investigations. Gunn hasn't forgotten what Angel is, so Angel can trust him to do the right thing if that is ever needed.

I understand why Wesley acted like he did, since as "boss" he has a crew to protect. But Gunn was going to tell him. So I hope that Wesley realizes the how much it has cost Gunn to remain on their team.

Angel investigations can trust in Gunn. My question is can Gunn trust in angel investigations? I don't believe they have shown him much good faith.

Fred really shown through tonight. She can really handle herself in difficult situations. She is a survivor.
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[> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Raven Eye, 22:52:34 10/08/01 Mon
I always have found the concept of "sanctuary" weird. You really can't pal around with your enemy.

Lately Angel Investigations has been "sleeping with the enemy" (not literally of course). To frequent a bar like that (unless they were on business) was wrong. They had lost their perspective.

They should be ashamed of taking Fred to such a place. If there was a purpose fine, but just for personal enjoyment, that was wrong.

I can understand why Gunn's old friends were confused. He really did chose Angel Investigations over them.
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Raven Eye, 23:07:23 10/08/01 Mon
Lately Angel Investigations has been "sleeping with the enemy" (not literally of course).

I take that back. I forgot about Angel and Darla.

I really don't see how Angel got Darla pregnant as that is something Vampires can't do. Does anyone think that Lindsey might be the father? After all they could have had sex before she was re-vamped. And I don't know what happens when one vamps a pregnant human.
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[> [> What the hell(s)?! -- Ryuei, 10:12:48 10/09/01 Tue
Good point about Fred. She is agoraphobic because of living in a demon dimension - so to cure her they take her to a demon bar?!?! What the hell(s)?!

Of course, it was very convenient for the sake of the plot and character development, but still - that is the last place on earth (besides Sunnydale) where Cordy should have taken Fred.

Of course it could be argued that they wanted her to get an aura reading from Lorne - but I would argue that it wasn't necessary and did more harm than good in brining her there.

As for the concept of a "Sanctuary" and hanging out with demons, I have no problem with that. Caritas is a neutral zone and the best place to get to "know the enemy" and also to realize that not many demons are just extra-dimensionals and not necessarily baby-eaters or blood-drinker or gaint praying mantis creatures (of course some are though). And for those who are - isn't it a good thing to keep an eye on who's in town? There is a great saying that applies here: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Also, I like the way the demon vs. human thing created an interesting allegory for the racial and class conflicts and rhetoric here in the States.
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[> [> [> Think about it. -- Solitude1056, 15:56:25 10/09/01 Tue
The reason, I would suspect, that Cordy took Fred to Caritas may have been for several reasons. One, to find out from the Host what might be in store for Fred. Two, Fred seems to be okay with demons 'n all, after five years - she's pretty perceptive... it seems to be humans that leave her a little confused. (Well, makes sense - you can't tell which are bad humans and which are good, unlike demons who are usually pretty clearly demons.) And three, Caritas is a sanctuary. Fred's afraid of stuff happening, but she trusts Cordy, Wes, and Lorne... and the emphasis was probably on the idea that "nothing bad will happen here, it's a sanctuary, see, no bad things, this is a safe place." In that respect, it's a further irony that the thugs chose that particular evening to storm the gates. There goes any idea of sanctuary, especially for one as delicate as Fred (yet at the same time, one of the survivors, like Lorne).

As an additional note, I find it curious that Cordelia didn't have any cracks to make about Fred being protected by both herself and Wes (she used to take any opportunity to give Wes a bit o' grief)... and now she seems to be as protective of Fred as the rest of them. Wes in particular seems to stick close to Fred, when Angel isn't there to do it - but for some reason, based on things that Gunn's said, I think it may end up being Fred and Gunn who drift together. At least, I'd like to think so - he's as much a survivor as she is, and he's already made a few comments to her about the fact that he thinks she's attractive.

(I particularly liked their exchange when they're walking in last week's ep, I think it was, when she apologizes for the fact that he's escorting her home instead of getting to go fight with the other guys. And Gunn, using light-hearted sarcasm to flirt, says, "oh, yeah, I'd much rather be fighting with them, getting demon gunk all over me 'n stuff, than walking with a pretty girl." And Fred's response is a flustered apology, "Oh, I can't apologize enough." She completely misses the compliment, but it's the expression on Gunn's face as he realizes that she missed it that's particularly sweet and funny... like he's clueing in on just how naive she really is, after all that time on her own, but that this is an okay thing, in his book.)
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[> [> [> [> Re: Think about it. -- Watcher in training., 19:26:52 10/10/01 Wed
"Fred seems to be okay with demons 'n all, after five years."

Oh yeah. I am sure she is "okay with demons". They only made her a slave and after she escaped, hunted her, forcing her to live in a cave. Only was going to kill her when they captured her as a runaway. Who wouldn't be ok with that?
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Rynn, 18:54:31 10/09/01 Tue
I have to disagree about the Fred issue. Yes, she had been in a horrible demon deminsion. What better place to show her that some demons are (basicly) peaceful and also, Caritas is always violence free. Until that night anyway. I think that Cordy was trying to take Fred to a safe place. It just backfired. Anyone agree?
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[> [> [> I do... -- VampRiley, 20:11:24 10/09/01 Tue
It's doubtful Cordy would have brought Fred there if she knew what was gonna happen.

VR
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[> [> [> [> Re: I do... -- Raven Eye, 21:24:13 10/09/01 Tue
Not the point.

The point is, that it is a sleazy place to hang out. It reminds me of those kids in Sunnydale who to dressed like vampires and wanted to hang with the vamps.

Some think it is cool to hang with the bad. I just think associating with scum is almost tacit approval.
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[> [> [> [> [> Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- Wisewoman, 21:39:25 10/09/01 Tue
You don't seem to be making any distinction between the harmless demons, and the evil ones. Do you really think that Gio and the rest of Gunn's gang were justified in killing all types of demons, just because they were demons?

Does their behaviour make absolutely no difference to you? Should they all die, are they all scum, just because they're different?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- Raven Eye, 21:53:36 10/09/01 Tue
Please.

They were killed because they were the enemy.

Gunn's friends didn't know there were good Demons. Gunn should have told them. Instead he abandoned them.

Angel has killed several Demons in friendly fire incidents. If a 200 year old vampire doesn't know the difference, how can you expect Gunn's friends to?

Caritas harbors evil Demons, yet Angel Investigations hangs out there. I can understand them going to the lounge for information, but that wasn't what Cordy and Wesley brought Fred there for.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- VampRiley, 09:10:07 10/10/01 Wed
Gunn's friends didn't know there were good Demons. Gunn should have told them. Instead he abandoned them.

Angel has killed several Demons in friendly fire incidents. If a 200 year old vampire doesn't know the difference, how can you expect Gunn's friends to?

When Angel did that, those were accidents. Gunn's old crew was going after anything that wasn't Human. Aside from pity, I thought Gunn's old crew was pathetic, especially Gio. Once Lorne turned things back to him and his past, he turned into this pathetic thing who tried to find strength in lashing out. To be the loudest one. When Fred turned his crossbow back on him, again he becomes pathetic. He's trying to find strength from subjugating others istead of strength from within.

And beyond getting Fred out into the world again, we don't really know why they were there, if anything else.

VR
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- Raven Eye, 18:54:43 10/10/01 Wed
"When Angel did that, those were accidents."

No they weren't. He meant to fight them. He just didn't realize that they were on the same side. Sad case of friendly fire. You can try to minimize it, and you should try to of course, but such incidents will still happen. So some extent it's unavoidable.

Same thing happened with Gunn's friends. They didn't know that these creatures were not evil. Just like Angel didn't know.

Gio had a problem with Gunn, and so let that get in the way of the mission. As for the others, I thought they handled themselves well. Took out quite few baddies at Caritas.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- VampRiley, 20:14:18 10/10/01 Wed
No they weren't. He meant to fight them. He just didn't realize that they were on the same side.

That's what I meant.

Sad case of friendly fire. You can try to minimize it, and you should try to of course, but such incidents will still happen. So some extent it's unavoidable.

We agree on something. Huh. Imagine that.

Gio had a problem with Gunn, and so let that get in the way of the mission. As for the others, I thought they handled themselves well. Took out quite few baddies at Caritas.

Again with the assumptions. Maybe that Vamp that got dusted was like Spike. I'm not saying he was, but the point is you don't know. None of us knows. The Vamp may have been in the bar, just trying to relax. He wasn't trying to kill anyone. And we know absolutely nothing about any of the other Demons, if some were even Demons.


VR
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoops, there ya go with the "scum" thing again... -- Raven Eye, 21:04:23 10/10/01 Wed
"Again with the assumptions. Maybe that Vamp that got dusted was like Spike."

Score one for the good guys.

"The Vamp may have been in the bar, just trying to relax. He wasn't trying to kill anyone."

Have we all forgotten what vampires are? Angel being the exception.

Vampires, we do still slay them don't we?
-Charles Gunn
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What about Spike? -- VampRiley, 06:03:00 10/11/01 Thu
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What about Spike? -- Raven Eye, 22:16:31 10/11/01 Thu
Souless Demon.

Sure he is ok right now, but he could turn in a moments notice.

Anyway, Spike and Angel are the exception. All other vamps are evil.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: I do... -- celticross, 22:27:14 10/09/01 Tue
Does the fact that Caritas is a demon bar make it sleazy? Looks like a pretty nice place to me...decent drinks, fun karoke, snappily dressed Host...
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I do... -- Raven Eye, 22:40:22 10/09/01 Tue
"Does the fact that Caritas is a demon bar make it sleazy?"

Yes.

"Looks like a pretty nice place to me...decent drinks, fun karoke, snappily dressed Host..."

I was referring to the patrons.


I think those who want to hob-knob with evil (the gangster mystique) are scum in there own right. For them evil is just another way of living (until the violence effects them personally).

I am sure Al Capone had lots of groupies. Come to his speak easy. All are welcome. Great entertainment, girls and drinks. I am sure it was the place to be if you wanted to be on the top of the social scene in Chicago.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> So do you think that anything associated with demons are bad? -- VampRiley, 09:14:12 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> How many people here missed the point of this episode? -- Traveler, 21:04:30 10/10/01 Wed
It has been specifically stated in previous episodes that not all demons are evil. Angel himself said it, and we have seen evidence that it is true. Given that fact, saying that the bar is sleazy or evil simply because there are demons in it is the same as saying a place is sleazy or evil because there are blacks in it. Or Jews. Gunn's old gang was killing sentient beings because of what they looked like, not because of anything they had done. Not only that, but they were having fun doing it. How were they any different from the souless vampires they hunted?
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[> [> [> Re: How many people here missed the point of this episode? -- Raven Eye, 21:25:27 10/10/01 Wed
Since you opened up the analogy here I feel justified in going along with it.

So Wisewoman, and Solitude just remember that.

Caritas always reminded me of like it was a place in occupied France where all the Nazi Brass hanged out. At one table you might see a leading Gestopo agent, another a few Generals with their girlfriends (if their wives back in Germany knew), and at another table some members of the SS. All just kicking back laughing and enjoying themselves after a hard day at work.

Then one day the Resistance bombs the place, killing a bunch of these people.

To that I would say VIVA LA RESISTANCE!
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[> [> [> [> Re: How many people here missed the point of this episode? -- Shaglio, 11:30:35 10/11/01 Thu
"Caritas always reminded me of like it was a place in occupied France where all the Nazi Brass hanged out. At one table you might see a leading Gestopo agent, another a few Generals with their girlfriends (if their wives back in Germany knew), and at another table some members of the SS. All just kicking back laughing and enjoying themselves after a hard day at work."

This analogy doesn't quite hold up. You are comparing ALL demons to ONE particularly cruel group of humans. In or to make the analogy equal, you would have to compare ALL demons to ALL humans or ONE particularly cruel group of demons to ONE particularly cruel group of humans.

It is quite evident that not all demons are sleazy, murderous, child-eating scum. Lorne, for one, seems like a very pleasant demon.
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[> [> [> [> [> Please dismiss my post above -- Shaglio, 12:13:17 10/11/01 Thu
After continuing to read further on down this thread, I do not wish to participate in it.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: How many people here missed the point of this episode? -- Raven Eye, 23:28:29 10/11/01 Thu
"Lorne, for one, seems like a very pleasant demon."

He is amoral. He doesn't like to take sides.

And just because you are pleasant, doesn't mean you aren't evil. Ted Bundy was a very pleasant guy.

But again, I see Lorne as neutral to a fault. And you can't be neutral in the face of evil.
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[> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Javoher, 23:54:54 10/08/01 Mon
Sorry, I'm not buying that. Gunn seems to have a clear idea of what "the mission" isn't - that as murky as it can get, it isn't about random killing and never was. It was about fighting back, survival, and war in the pursuit of peace. Gunn's old crew got some real firepower and used it not to fight back but to hunt. (I've often wondered why guns aren't shown more often.) They made the fatal mistake of lumping all those who aren't "us" as "them" and therefore evil. Joss made it easy for us.

Buffy, early last season, would rise from her bed and go out not to patrol but to hunt. It bothered her a great deal. She took it as a sign of her own darkness. Hunting was a fun time for these guys, and killing (obliterating) demons was a way of triumphing over evil, shining the light into darkness. The irony is that these guys missed the whole point that hunters of demons deal death, which makes them not much different than their targets. If the targets are evil, and the hunters aren't much different, well then...

Gunn perhaps needed to move on after the death of his sister. Perhaps he found his old way of life pointless, perhaps he found he no longer had a taste for leadership, perhaps he wanted a better life than living in an underground hideout begging for handouts. Remember, Angel Investigations gives him a salary to do something he does very well. They must get paying clients once in a while, you'd think.

And as for hanging out in Caritas...well, there's all sorts of possibilities. It's a great place to gain information. It's a safe house, no one's going to get hurt. It's run by a friend of theirs. It offers a service you can't get anywhere else in LA.

Finally, I'm with Wesley. He's not being a prick as much as he's thinking of the good of the group over the good of an individual in the group. He was pretty harsh, but he does call it straight up and is right most of the time.

The only thing that puzzles me is Angel. Not that he wasn't upset that Gunn didn't want to be his friend - that made sense. Not that he told Gunn that he wouldn't trust him until Gunn could see a time he needed to kill Angel and then did it - that made perfect sense by itself. The part I didn't get is that Angel thought Gunn wouldn't kill him in a heartbeat if necessary. That he would hesitate. And I guess that goes to Gunn's behavior with his former crew. There's intense loyalty in Gunn and betrayal isn't easy at all for him. Maybe Angel felt that if Gunn were confronted by Angelus he would hesitate, confused and unwilling to betray Angel, and that would get him and everyone else around him killed.
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Raven Eye, 06:24:23 10/09/01 Tue
"...old crew got some real firepower and used it not to fight back but to hunt."

You mean to get them before they get us. I call that a preemptive strike.

Why wait unit someone is killed? Then it's too late (at least for the one killed).
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[> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point **Spoilers** -- Rendyl, 06:35:04 10/09/01 Tue
The 'old crew' was not defending themselves, they were committing murder. Many of the demons they targeted and killed were non-violent. The series is not stuck in season 1 Buffy, where every demon was evil incarnate and was killed without thought. We have been shown in episode after episode that evil is not always ugly and that the 'white hats' are not always human.

I thought the episode was extremely timely given recent real world events.

Ren
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[> [> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point **Spoilers** -- Raven Eye, 21:36:00 10/09/01 Tue
Well I have other thoughts about the protrayal of Gunn's friends, which I choose not to share with the board.

But nonetheless, they were acting out of self defense. Gunn has practically abandoned them after accepting his position with Angel Investigation. What are they supposed to do? Wait until another one of them are killed?

They were fighting evil, just like the scooby gang does, just like the initiative did (or does as I guess they are still around somewhere), and just like Angel Investigation does. But somehow it is wrong for Gunn's friends.

We all like Lorne (the Host) because he has done some favors for Angel Investigations. But there is no getting around what he does for a living. He harbors evil creatures at his lounge. We have even gotten indications in the past that he helps them. He likes to play the neutral act. He likes to be Switzerland.

Well Rick (in Casabanca) tried that, but in the end he had to take sides. There can be no neutrality in the war against evil.

It makes sense for them to attack the lounge. You attack the enemy where and when they least suspect it.
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[> [> [> [> [> Raven Eye, are you sure you're just talking about Angel here? -- Wisewoman, 21:44:46 10/09/01 Tue
There can be no neutrality in the war against evil.

It makes sense for them to attack the lounge. You attack the enemy where and when they least suspect it.

Forgive me if I'm getting the wrong impression, but it seems your comments refer to more than just what we saw in that Angel episode. Perhaps it would be clearer to me if you chose to share your "other thoughts" about the portrayal of Gunn's friends with the board.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Raven Eye, are you sure you're just talking about Angel here? -- Raven Eye, 21:55:41 10/09/01 Tue
Perhaps it would be clearer to me if you chose to share your "other thoughts" about the portrayal of Gunn's friends with the board.


I perfer not to. Just to say I think Joss has lots to answer for regarding this episode. And I am not the type to usually jump to such conclusions.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Raven Eye. For you, does Demon = Evil? -- VampRiley, 16:44:25 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Raven Eye. For you, does Demon = Evil? -- Raven Eye, 19:31:06 10/10/01 Wed
Ok.

I take it back. The creatures at the lounge were model citizens. Just harmless creatures just wanting to live their lives like the rest of us. They wouldn't ever harm a human, they were just misunderstood. Why is everyone always blaming them when a baby goes missing?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay. Now your abusing sarcasm. -- VampRiley, 19:50:22 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point(spoiler) -- Cleanthes, 07:56:16 10/09/01 Tue
"...old crew got some real firepower and used it not to fight back but to hunt."

You mean to get them before they get us. I call that a preemptive strike.

The morality of preemptive strikes differs from this case. There was no attempt made to find out whether an "emptive" strike might or would occur absent these attacks. Few or none of the killings of demons by Gunn's old crew qualify as preemptive.

It's even less pre-emptive when the motive isn't to prevent trouble but just to have fun. Gunn certainly understood that fun was NOT the mission.

Even from a utilitarian standpoint, Gunn's old crew killed potential allies and intelligence assets. Angel investigations will not be able to use Merl for information any more. Many truly innocent people may die as a result.

What's more, going after easy targets rather than dangerous targets is the M.O. of thugs. Idi Amin's army was always said to be only good against unarmed civilians. And that's what Gunn had seen his old crew become. Slaughtering harmless demons (or harmless civilians) teaches bad habits unbecoming of actual soldiers, lowering morale and cohesiveness in the face of real danger.

While Gunn's old crew is wasting time hunting non-dangerous types, the truly dangerous take advantage of the chaos. I thought it interesting that two of the most dangerous demons in Caritas (the child eater and the one that morphed into a huge bug) were untouched by the initial attack. Meanwhile, the murderer from Miami undermines from within. Such is the result of blind onslaught - crapulousness and failure.
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[> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point -- Deeva, 10:27:53 10/09/01 Tue
A pre-emptive strike that was so random that it made no sense what so ever. The clear message was that they were killing demons because all demons are bad. No distinctions between the benevolent ones and the evil ones just "They're ugly, they ooze stuff, they look & act different, they're not human so they can't be good. Kill'em."

You know as I was watching this episode, I kept thinking that the Miami guy was some sort of demon because of all his button-pushing and his evasive answer to how he ended up in Los Angeles. And when he didn't turn out to be one, I wasn't all that surprised. People can be extremely cruel and as much as I want to believe that being good is an innate thing, it's a very thin line that doesn't take much to cross over.
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (spoliers) -- Raven Eye, 06:43:47 10/09/01 Tue
I have much sympathy for them. I see nothing wrong with them hunting evil, and no, it doesn't make them "just like". Please.

The Host gives gives aid and comfort to evil creatures (at a price of course). We like him because he has helped out Angel and co. on several occasions so we tend to want to ignore that other side of him.

When you hang with scum, don't blame others when they start lumping you in with them.

I am resisting saying some pretty harsh things about Joss regarding this episode. Such accusations are often used rashly and unfairly, and I really don't want to analyze this episode from that standpoint.

Anyway, although Gunn's friends were misguided when they wanted him to kill Angel, I didn't really see them doing much wrong this episode. Angel Investigations has been getting way top cozy with the enemy, frequenting their bars and such. Perhaps Gunn's friends have "lost the mission", I don't think so. But by taking Fred to a seeded place like Caritas as her first social experience, I believe they have lost the mission, and are beginning not to be able to separate foe from friend


You hunt and destroy the enemy before they can hunt and destroy you. There should be no place that is "off limits". No sanctuary.
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[> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (spoliers) -- VamRiley, 06:53:13 10/09/01 Tue
Everyone needs a place where they can feel safe. Where they believe they can spend some time and live a little and not always be on run, looking over their sholder. But Raven Eye, how can you say they did nothing wrong when they killed the Yarbnie demon in the sewer with the Big Gulp? Wesley says that Yarbnies are non-viloent as was Merl. They were begging for their lives before being killed. That was slaughter.

VR
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[> [> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (spoliers) -- Raven Eye, 21:47:09 10/09/01 Tue
"Begging for their lives". Well Angelus would know something about that, wouldn't he. That was the best part for him. Either that or arranging the bodies for the best dramatic effect for the victim's family. Angelus sure knew how to have fun.

The point is, that these people have seen some very cruel demons in their day. You have to take it all in context.

But this all could have been avoided had Gunn not abandoned his friends, and that would have never happened had Angel Investigations been more responsive to Gunn's causes, instead of always making them secondary (finally dropping them all together).

"Everyone needs a place where they can feel safe."

I hope evil never finds a place where it can feel safe. I don't believe Hitler deserved a place to feel safe.
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[> [> [> [> [> Ah ha! Why am I not surprised? -- Wisewoman, 21:49:43 10/09/01 Tue
Somehow I knew Hitler was just lurking somewhere in the rhetoric.
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[> [> [> [> [> There's a point on the top of my head, but that's the only one I can find. -- Solitude1056, 21:52:42 10/09/01 Tue
Rule of debate I learned awhile back in both philosophy and politics: first person to bring up Nazis (or alternately, fascism)... loses the debate. Come on, we're savvier than that, we can find better analogies. ;-)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: There's a point on the top of my head, but that's the only one I can find. -- Raven Eye, 22:04:49 10/09/01 Tue
For most of the Western World Hitler represents the ultimate evil. Some groups think they have a monopoly on the use of that analogy in debating. I refuse to give them that copyright.

But forget Hitler for a moment. It was said that everyone deserves a place they can feel safe. Really? There should be a place for those who do evil to put up their feet, relax after a good day of torturing and killing?

That's crazy.

And for a creature like the Host to just look the other way at the type of clientele that uses his establishment as long as they pay their tab. That is putting profit over principle.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: There's a point on the top of my head, but that's the only one I can find. -- VampRiley, 09:39:47 10/10/01 Wed
It was said that everyone deserves a place they can feel safe. Really? There should be a place for those who do evil to put up their feet, relax after a good day of torturing and killing?

I wrote that because I believe it's true. Evil or not, everyone needs a place like that. Take for example the baby eating person. We don't know why he does it (is it a he? Seems like it.) Maybe there is something is babies that his species needs to survive. Gio said that he had seen a lot of them in Miami. He implied that they were doing it for fun. Many things kill to survive. Maybe his kind does the same. Maybe not. But assuming it does becuase it is "a monster" isn't right. He might have been pretending in what he was saying to try to get the guy to kill him. He didn't seem to fear getting killed. Or at least he wasn't afraid of them. It's like Vamps and feeding. You can't say they're evil because they want and try and sometimes do feed on Humans. If that were true, then we would have to say that Humans are evil, perhaps more evil. Vamps don't raise Humans for food. They take from the general populace. Humans raise oysters for pearls and food. We raise chickens, turkey, pigs, cows, etc. for our consumption. And while I have extremely enjoyed this debate these last couple of days, I hope you, Raven Eye that is, doesn't come back with a point saying that Humans are not Demons and that Humans should be held to a different standard. What about after that? Would you feel the same way if people from other planets became a part of the show? Or those with a non-corporeal bodies?


VR
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: There's a point on the top of my head, but that's the only one I can find. -- Raven Eye, 19:02:10 10/10/01 Wed
"I wrote that because I believe it's true. Evil or not, everyone needs a place like that."

I disagree. I hope that there is no place to relax for evil. We must not give them the luxury of having places of comfort. There should be no sanctury for evil.

We must hunt out evil from wherever they hide. Every moment of their existence they should fear our justice. After what they have done to us, we must put all our effort in making sure they don't have a moment of relaxation or safety.

Evil must be fought. Or we will be destroyed. Take you choice!
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Then who decides who is evil and who isn't? -- VampRiley, 20:15:51 10/10/01 Wed
Is it really "fearing our justice" or is it "fearing our mob mentality's slaughter" for those that haven't done a thing to anyone? Are you gonna be the judge of what is evil? Are you qualified? Is anyone? You want to get the ones that have done killing and torture for pleasure, that's one thing. But going after anyone that don't look like a Human...That is is flat out wrong. While history does judge a species on how it treats other members of its own race, the main thing history will judge Humanity is how Humans treat others that are not of the same species.


VR
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Then who decides who is evil and who isn't? -- Raven Eye, 21:13:05 10/10/01 Wed
We all must make that distinction.

We are not always right, but we must defend ourselves.

Gunn's people have to protect themselves, their friends, their families. They have no choice in the matter (unless you consider accepting being slaughtered a choice). It is either defend yourself, or die, and for them the will to live is too strong.

Mistakes were made. That's unfortunate. But as for the attack on the lounge, it was perfectly justified. Evil was being harbored there. The Host is an amoral creature whose only concern with his customers is if their tab is paid. The rest "isn't his business". After all he is just trying to run an establishment here.

Well evil is everyone's business. Neutrally in the face of evil isn't a viable option.

I wonder if he even cards minors?
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[> [> [> Why resist? Let us know what you really think. -- Wisewoman, 08:29:08 10/09/01 Tue
When you hang with scum, don't blame others when they start lumping you in with them.

I am resisting saying some pretty harsh things about Joss regarding this episode. Such accusations are often used rashly and unfairly, and I really don't want to analyze this episode from that standpoint.

What standpoint are you referring to? Don't you think that Joss (actually Tim Minnear wrote the episode) was speaking allegorically about the ugliness of bigotry? About the glorification of violence as a game of "us" against "them?" In this case, "them" is anyone you can categorize as a demon, whether their behaviour is evil or harmless. In order to make that classification, without reference to behaviour, you have to refer basically to physical attributes. In other words, Merl was harmless, but he didn't look human, so it was okay to kill him. Same with the harmless demon in the sewer tunnel.

That way lies violence for it's own sake, which is chaos. And referring to any group identifiable only by it's physical attributes as "scum" is the first step along the path.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Why resist? Let us know what you really think. -- Raven Eye, 22:12:12 10/09/01 Tue
I know what I SAW,

And I know the impact of images. Tim Minnear used the storyline to cover-up what he was doing. He was doing the exact same thing, the story was supposed to be warning against.

Is there a word for that? Doing something at the same time as you accuse others of the act. Hypocrisy just doesn't seem to describe it precisely enough.

Tim Minnear better look in the mirror. If he is honest with himself, he will not like what looks back.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Why resist? Let us know what you really think. -- Watcher in training., 22:57:31 10/09/01 Tue
I find people like Tim Minnear quite interesting You see them at the parties, and they try oh so carefully to protray themeselves in a correct way. Trying to say the correct things.

But in the end, they have more problems than the people who in their arrogance they like to attack in front of their friends thinking that makes them sound sophisticated and intellegent.

They are the ones with the ugly little secret about what lurks within their hearts.

Look in the mirror Tim. Be honest. Despite the act you put on for others, we know what you really believe.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why resist? Let us know what you really think. -- Raven Eye, 22:01:55 10/10/01 Wed
Hypocrisy doesn't fully cover it. It is just so much more.

I know the kind of people you mean watcher in training. Tim Minnear says what he thinks he is supposed to when chatting at the parties and such. "Some of my best friends are ..." I wonder if he even realizes the condescension is so transparent. It is reflected in every syllable that he speaks.

In the end, he is the worst offender. The evil that he pretends to stand up against, is his own. He accuses others of having a problem, depending on who he is talking about they may, or quite likely may not. The problem is with him, and in the end it is through him that it comes though.

Tim is an arrogant prick. I met many like him in college. They think they are so tolerant and enlightened. In fact they are the most intolerant and unenlightened of them all.

I saw nothing enlightening in his "message". And in fact I found much within this episode to offend. It is time that we judge him as he would judge others. It's time to look within his heart, to see the ugliness within.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's enough......... -- Rufus, 22:22:11 10/10/01 Wed
I think if you wish to post you take your personal beefs with Minear somewhere else. Have an opinion about the show, but leave the personal stuff out of here.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I concur... -- VampRiley, 06:00:56 10/11/01 Thu
There's no need to get personal.


VR
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[> [> [> [> [> Minnear and Stereotyping? -- Wisewoman, 07:57:47 10/10/01 Wed
I'm trying to figure out what you're getting at, I really am! ;o)

When you talk about Minnear doing the same thing he's warning against, are you referring to the fact that the majority of Gunn's old gang (the "bad" guys, as they were portrayed) were African-American?

Is that the point you're making? That Minnear is guilty of the same sort of stereotyping that he appears to be warning against? If so, it would be simpler if you just said that, and then we could all discuss it rationally. I think you would, indeed, have a point.

If that's not what you're saying, then I personally am at a loss to figure it out.
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[> [> [> [> [> Are you sure... -- VampRiley, 16:51:48 10/10/01 Wed
I know what I SAW

...you saw what you saw? Both BtVS and AtS can be very misleading.


VR
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Are you sure... -- Raven Eye, 19:04:53 10/10/01 Wed
Yes I am sure.

Read Wisewoman above. She pretty well sumed it up.

But I really don't want to get into that aspect of this discusion. Really I don't.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Observation & Note-to-Self, WW, VR and others... -- Solitude1056, 07:13:07 10/11/01 Thu
Observation: Raising thinly veiled comments while consistently stating that one doesn't want to "get into that aspect," just sounds coy. Not to mention it seems kinda, well, non-constructive. "Here we are, on a discussion board, and I am referring to issues and then insisting I don't want to discuss them."

I have two choices when I come across this behavior. Protesting or insisting that I am supportive of the reluctant poster leaves me with the same bad taste in my mouth as when people fish for compliments.* "No, really, I really want to hear what you have to say." Or I can ignore the fishing, which is pretty much my preference. If we want to discuss a topic, then we do so; if we don't, then we don't bring it up or we raise it, acknowledge we don't want to talk about it, and then we drop it. Repeatedly mentioning it just makes it fishing.

* And the side-effect is that excessive protestations of support for a coy poster is that I've seen folks take this support as being support for their POV, and then playing the 'betrayed' card when people debate their points. It's possible to support a person's right to speak and not agree with what they're saying. It gets harder when one of the people speaking is playing games, even unintentionally.

Note to regulars: If we play along with the fishing and insist too strongly, though, we could fall into another trap. "I said I didn't want to talk about topic A, topic B, or topic C!" Curious to me, the mention of an off-limits topic is usually accompanied by more than just passing information on the poster's opinion of the topic...

Therefore: I'd suggest that we add an extra few lines to WW's and d'Herblay's guides to our board. Responses, from a single poster, that regularly continue a one-track debate without actually responding to the previous post fall into the "not really discussing stuff here" game.

In other words, if you read a post, and then read the response and you can't figure out how the response is responding to the original post and you see this is happening multiple times, including the responder quoting or repeating hirself from earlier posts in the same thread... okay. That's not discussion. That's, uh, well, a broken record.

Second Note: argumentativeness beyond the shade of polite debate, to the point of being confrontational. See First Note about lack of interactive dialogue between responder's posts and the triggering posts.

As for this thread? Was interesting, still could be. But with the games? Naw. Bored now.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just trying an alternative method of identification... LOL -- Wisewoman, 08:28:31 10/11/01 Thu
Thought I'd engage this time, rather than jump to conclusions about a poster's motivation...in the long run, I might as well have jumped and just stayed quiet about it!

;o)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well said, Sol! -- Marie, 08:53:26 10/11/01 Thu
Been reading this thread with increasing disquiet. It's also disconcerting when posters are asked direct questions which require simply a yes or a no, and they give neither, but take the opportunity to repeat what they've said before, many times!

I rose politely in the club
And said "I feel a little bored;
Will someone take me to the pub?"
~G.K. Chesterton (wonder if Spike knew him!)


M
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Coy, yes, also an apophasis -- Cleanthes, 11:17:34 10/11/01 Thu
Observation: Raising thinly veiled comments while consistently stating that one doesn't want to "get into that aspect," just sounds coy. Not to mention it seems kinda, well, non-constructive. "Here we are, on a discussion board, and I am referring to issues and then insisting I don't want to discuss them."

This rhetorical device is called an apophasis. It's often used illegitamately, as you point out, Sol.

"If apophasis is employed to bring in irrelevant statements while it supplies a screen to hide behind, then it is not being used rightly:

I pass over the fact that Jenkins beats his wife, is an alcoholic, and sells dope to kids, because we will not allow personal matters to enter into our political discussion."

http://www.uky.edu/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/~scaife/terms?file=1ahrd.html&isindex=Apophasis
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ooh, my vocab word for the week... thanks, Cleanthes! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 11:25:52 10/11/01 Thu
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sol, I think your housemate said it best . . . -- d'Herblay, 11:52:04 10/11/01 Thu
"Please check all preconceptions at the door. They'll be here if you still want them after the show, and we won't even charge you for keeping them safe."

Applies just as well to this board as it does to the show.

I am a believer that the historical meaning of a word is a clue to the true meaning of a word; discussion is derived from the Latin for "to strike asunder, to shake apart." The preconceptions I brought to this board certainly have been shaken asunder--I simply do not believe about Buffy all that I believed three months ago. My ideas have run the gantlet, and some have emerged stronger for it. Others are now in the scrap heap. I have been able to recognize this as a gift, but some see this tearing down of their world-view as a threat. While the people who stay here see discussion as "creative destruction," trolls see just destruction. Unfortunately, that means they avoid real discussion. Fortunately, that means they won't stick around.

But until they depart, we must live with them. And I've decided that living with them must entail ignoring them. For constant iteration of one point of view is not only boring, it subverts the normal flow of this board. Several posters here end their writings with some variation of "That's my idea. Run with it." The trolls might as well end theirs with "That's my idea. Let's stay in one place with it."

And I don't come here to stand still. So, Raven Eye, c'mon, tell us what you really think . . . about Spike's cheekbones.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> dammit, he always does! ;-) When I grow up, I wanna be succinct like anom! -- Solitude1056, 12:27:10 10/11/01 Thu
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> that doesn't mean you think i'm grown up, does it? -- anom, 20:50:14 10/11/01 Thu
Or just distinctly succinct?...'cuz I'm not sure I'm ready to be a role model! @>)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> dunno about grown up, but succinct, yes - and I'm not the only one who's noticed. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 05:43:26 10/12/01 Fri
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Beyond bored... -- VampRiley, 12:42:28 10/11/01 Thu
I posted this morning, I think. And on my way to class, I came to the conclusion that I'm really bored with this thread. I've posted to Raven Eye's posts so much these last couple of days, my brain is fried. So this will be my last post for this thread.


VR
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[> [> [> [> question re: Merl (spoiler) -- Sean, 23:35:23 10/09/01 Tue
Merl was harmless?

Do we know this? We know he was pathetic, but even pathetic demons can do great harm to humans (what was it that Glory said to Buffy - so you are stronger than humans, big wow, what isn't).

Merl was getting his information from somewhere. My guess was that he was part of it (at a low level of course).

Informants are usually people who are involved in criminal activity. Police ignore their trangressions to get at the big fish.

Merl probably commited many evil acts. He just committed them pathetically.
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[> [> [> [> [> Then I geuss the same should be done to Humans as well... -- VampRiley, 17:03:05 10/10/01 Wed
The pathetic ones can also do great harm to Humans also.


VR
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[> [> [> No sanctuary means you're a thug, not a soldier -- Greta, 09:38:24 10/09/01 Tue
Where in the episode is it clear that all or even most of the demons there were evil? In fact, the episode made it absolutely CLEAR that many of the victims were innocent of any wrongdoing. Why was the crew "misguided" only when they targeted Angel and not when they stalked and slaughtered the demon with the Super Gulp? The demon had always been non-violent; the same certainly can't be said of Angelus, or even Angel. Is it because Angel's pretty to look at?

Is sanctuary abused? Certainly. I have no doubt that real criminals cynically sought sanctuary in churches when churches still offered asylum. But an equal abuse of sanctuary would be to ignore it; because the concept of sanctuary is about RESPECT for places of peace and not polluting them by the taking of life, for whatever the reason.

Moreover, I find it interesting to consider that demons sought out Caritas knowing it to be a place where they couldn't engage in the wanton violence that as "evil" creatures would seem to be their only interest.
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[> [> [> There is a fine line between a just cause and a......... -- Rufus, 09:54:06 10/09/01 Tue
Lynch mob. The gang had lost more than their mission they had become worse than the monsters they used to protect their part of town from. If you lose sight of why you are fighting then you can become just one more monster in the abyss. A monster has been considered someone different from us. Some of them are obvious because they can be frightening to look at. I became more frightened of the men that turned a mission into a party. Their enjoyment of the kill made them a mindless mob instead of soldiers with a just cause. This is also why they will fail. As soon as you justify killing by the simple explanation that the victim is different from us, you become just one more human monster.
There have always been places of sanctuary, demiliterized zones, refuge from the battle. Lorne made sure that people were safe from violence in the club. He didn't expect violence to come from humans.
In hunting down and killing all you "perceive" as enemies, you could be murdering the innocent and potential powerful allies....only a scared fool does that. Not every demon is evil, some are completely harmless and want nothing more to live their lives, just like we do. The only monsters I saw in the scene with the Big Gulp demon, were the supposed protectors of the innocent.
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[> [> [> [> Re: There is a fine line between a just cause and a......... -- Raven Eye, 22:23:46 10/09/01 Tue
Funny.

I saw people who were fighting not only for their lives but the lives of their families.

They have to live with the chaos every day.

They were misguided to go after certain types of demons. Guess they didn't renew their subscription to the Watcher book of the month club. They don't have quite the library that they have at Angel investigations.

Gunn abandoned them. He could have provided leadership, yet instead he went with Angel Investigations. At first it seemed that Angel Investigations was on their side, that it was willing to work with them. but then it disappeared.

But the problems didn't. And Gunn's friends were left to deal with them.
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[> [> [> [> [> Now that is a good point. -- Humanitas, 12:32:51 10/10/01 Wed
Gunn's friends were not evil (with the exception of Gio), they just "lost the mission." One of the things that kept bugging me throughout the episode was that Gunn never came out and said what the mission was. It was implied pretty strongly, though, that the mission was to fight evil, not to kill indiscriminately.

And Gunn does perhaps bear some responsibility for that. He hasn't been around for a while, and few groups can bear the loss of a strong leader without losing sight of where they're going. Their local problems continued, and they made a choice about how to deal with those problems. Unfortuately, that choice led them down a path of hatred, and was very possibly the wrong choice. Gunn already has a lot of guilt to deal with regarding his own choice to work with Angel Investigations, and I suspect that the events of this week's ep will only add to that burden. I'm looking forward to how he chooses to work through the consequenses of his decisions.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Now that is a good point. -- Watcher in training., 21:44:38 10/10/01 Wed
"Gunn already has a lot of guilt to deal with regarding his own choice to work with Angel Investigations, and I suspect that the events of this week's ep will only add to that burden. I'm looking forward to how he chooses to work through the consequenses of his decisions."

This episode reinforces my respect for Charles Gunn.

I have always felt that Angel Investigations haven't lived up to their end of things. I really could see Gunn walk away from them if he ever felt they went "off mission".

That is why when Wesley gave Gunn the "firing bit" I thought it was kind of lame. He isn't with Angel Investigations for the health plan.

I think a relationship based on mutual goals is just as strong, if not stonger than one based on friendship. We seem in this society to want everyone to like us. Gunn has no use for that. He feels that it is more important to be "on mission" than to worry about if people hate him or not.

Angel feels the same way. They both have that in common. They both realize that it isn't important for them to be friends. What is important is for them to be allies in the fight against evil regardless of everything else.
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[> [> [> Demons or Extra-dimensionals? -- Ryuei, 10:33:48 10/09/01 Tue
I think that what we have seen so far in the Jossverse is that the demons are actually a wide range of extra-"dimen"-sionals from various realms. Some work for the PTB (the Prio-Motu, the Chinese shop owners, Skip, etc...), some are neutral (Whistler, Lorne (?)) and many are downright evil. So not all extra-dimensionals should be considered enemies in my view.

This is just the latest in a bunch of episodes on both shows that point to the evil of humans who treat the extra-dimensionals with the same brutality that the demons treat humans. The Initiative was guilty of this, then there was the Ring episode of Angel. Angel killing the Prio Motu was another example of a how bad it is to assume.

Now it might sound like I am contradicting myself since in an earlier post I argued that it is Them or Us, kill or be killed, no quarter asked or given. I still think that - but only with respect to the demons who are out to sweep away humanity. As for those who are willing to live and let live, I say welcome as long as they leave all their old grudges and grievances at home and abide by our values and rules (I am thinking of the clan who customarily ate the brains of ex-husbands).
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[> [> My respect for Wes just keeps going up -- Ryuei, 10:19:46 10/09/01 Tue
I remembered last night how Wesley used to be a by-the-book creep who made rutheless decisions because he didn't know any better. Now he is making rutheless decisions because he sees the necessity of it. He even balances this ruthelessness with a display of understanding for the position that Gunn was in. He is turning into a good field commander in my opinion. It makes me wonder how he would be if he ever got a chance to be a Watcher in charge of a Slayer. At this point, I think he would be more than up to the task.
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[> [> [> I second that. He got a quiet "bravo" from me last night. -- Solitude1056, 11:57:41 10/09/01 Tue
Not in the sense of "yeah, you tell him!" but in the sense of "that's a hard one to say, but you said it, and said it straight up without resentment or anger but just the facts." Wes, as a character, is definitely growing, believeably. I doubt the SG would recognize him now...
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[> Great thread guys, but please remember *SPOILER* tags!! -- Liq, 00:06:50 10/09/01 Tue
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[> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (SPOILER) -- VampRiley, 06:38:34 10/09/01 Tue
I've never been comfortable with the label of someone being called a low-life just because they are a demon. This ep reminds me of things like racial profiling. It's one thing to kill someone, Demon or Non-demon, while protecting someone. But when they are sitting down in a place where they felt safe, whether Gunn's old crew knew it was a Sanctuary or not, bothers me. Beliving that if it isn't Human, it must be evil. I can't help but pity them for they way they work. This is the same reason why I still have a problem with the way Buffy and Faith acted with the nest of vamps Faith found (Bad Girl's?). I love shades of Grey. Violence solves what talking doesn't. I cheered when that Green guy bit Gio's head off. There's enough evil in the world without his kind of evil, for whatever reson he is the way he is. Maybe Miami and the girl?

I'm not convinced that Gunn and Angel have and understanding of mutual respect. I think everyone at Angel Investigations have a better understanding of each other after that episode. But I think only time will be the true teller of whether it is respect or not.

Whether he was gonna tell Wesley or not is not the issue. What is the issue is that he didn't. If they had known his old crew was acting like this, they might have been a little more prepared for what went down. And while people like Wesley, Gunn and Angel may have been able to hold their own without much in the way of external weapons, those like Fred weren't. Yes, she held the crossbow at Gio's neck and refused to keep it pointed at Angel. She may be a survivor but she doesn't seem anywhere near being combat ready on a regular basis. He decided to tell Wesley, but it was later than it should have been.

Maybe Lorne should talk to the Transunding Sisters about putting up a spell that prevents violence from anyone, Humans included. And if it isn't the norm for other Sanctuaries, maybe it should be. When word gets out that this happened at the Host's club, it might be.

VR
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (SPOILER) -- Raven Eye, 06:50:33 10/09/01 Tue
"I'm not convinced that Gunn and Angel have and understanding of mutual respect. I think everyone at Angel Investigations have a better understanding of each other after that episode. But I think only time will be the true teller of whether it is respect or not."

Yes they do. Angel and Gunn knows they don't have to be friends to be allies. They don't have to like each other to work together for a common end.

Actually I think Angel respects the fact that Gunn doesn't like him. He trusts him more knowing that of all of them Gunn can be counted on to do the right thing if that is ever necessary.

Angel did some terrible things as Angelus. The others in Angel Investigations tend to want to forget it, but Angel is fully aware of the evil within.
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[> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (SPOILER) -- Lunarchickk, 11:28:23 10/09/01 Tue
I think racial profiling is a very apt description of what we saw in the episode. We've been shown so many times that not all demons are evil, or are interested in harming humans (or other demons). And something Gio said (which I don't remember verbatim) about "them" made it very clear that the issue for Gunn's old crew was no longer protecting their own from vampires, but full-on extermination of anything non-human.

And the scariest part, to me, was that the real monsters weren't green or scaly. Angel hit the nail on the head when he suggested that whoever killing the demons was doing it for fun -- these guys were proud of what they were doing, ridding the world of beings unlike themselves. That's not just racial profiling -- on a larger level, it becomes genocide. And like other supremicist groups, they not only saw themselves as better than the demons they killed, but that the demons had no possibility of redemption -- harmless or not, their existence was crime enough.

I cheered too when Gio's head was bitten off. Even ignoring his behavior that we saw, I bet his actions in Miami more than warranted it.
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[> [> [> past actions (SPOILER for, uh, whatever the latest AtS ep was called...) -- Solitude1056, 12:17:25 10/09/01 Tue
There's a strange trait that takes over in many movies of the week, and I'm reminded of it every time I watch something where a new character has a back-story. It's the "this is because" syndrome. For awhile there, many of the blockbuster movies we suffered through invariably had older male characters who'd pull out the "this is because of that time in 'Nam" routine. Or, in movies of the week, we'd get the "this is because I was abused as a child, myself" or whatever. Years ago, when I saw Thelma & Louise for the first time, I was waiting for the TIB syndrome to just ruin the whole movie. But instead, the scriptwriter never really told the audience why Louise wouldn't go through Texas. It became a running joke in that the characters had to go all the way around Texas. If it'd been a movie of the week, we would've gotten a whole rigamarole of TIB syndrome while Louise explained whatever it was in Texas that had happened, thus making her a sympathetic character. But we didn't get that easy out. We had to take her actions as they happened, now, without attributing any extenuating circumstances.

And Joss pulled the same thing last night, by clamping the lid on the Host giving any more details about Miami. Nor did we get exposition from the newcomer about what had happened, which might make him more sympathetic, or might not. And if it didn't, then it might make the audience dislike him for what he'd done then - when the real issue is what he's doing now. All we got was something about him fleeing Miami, couldn't go far enough, and that some girl trusted him to the end. It's possible that he told her she'd be safe while he fought off a demon and instead the demon got her. Or he might've date-raped someone. Or who knows. It could go several ways. Point is, it doesn't make any difference: it's there just to indicate that he came to LA because he couldn't face something in Miami, good or bad. Past that, we make our own conclusions - we don't get the benefit of being told, by the writing team, what we're supposed to feel about this character. We're left to decide that for ourselves, based on the only information we have.

(That, and I liked the synchronicity that the little frightened demon who kept saying, "oh god, oh god, oh god," was the same one who transmuted so quickly into a huge praying mantis-like creature and bit off the guy's head. I couldn't tell, but it seems like he was immediately killed. Bummer. I kinda liked him, don't know why. Something about the underdog who gets his, even if someone else had a good point about the baby-eater and the insect-demon being the two who had avoided instant death when the thugs first arrived.)
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[> [> [> Now that I think about it...(SPOILER) -- VampRiley, 12:31:23 10/09/01 Tue
...Gio's death was, in retrospect, a way for him to have gotten off too easily. I would have liked to have seen him suffer a lot more. Vengence or my own natural sadism? I'm not sure.

Is it just me or is Wesley's build starting to look like Spike's, at least with that shirt he had on last night? Probably the evil slaying night after night.

VR
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[> [> [> [> Re: Now that I think about it...(SPOILER) -- spike lover, 15:32:44 10/09/01 Tue
wesley is getting more sexy
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Now that I think about it...(SPOILER) -- Deeva, 16:42:53 10/09/01 Tue
Yeah, I would agree but the hair is a little too poofy. Maybe if they mussed it up a bit more with wax for a bed head look, that'd be better.
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[> [> [> Re: You have to admit, they do have a point (SPOILER) -- Raven Eye, 22:46:51 10/09/01 Tue
Gio was scum it seemed.

But just because he was scum (for his past actions) doesn't make all of what he said wrong. (Spike has had some great insights).

Angel Investigation was beginning to get too cozy with the enemy. They were beginning to lose perspective.

It was fine when they went to the lounge for information, but when they turned it into an afterwork hang out, that is when they went too far.

I think they have misinterpreted what Lorne is all about. It isn't his fault, as he has always been upfront with them. But I think they think they have a relationship with him that they really don't have.
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[> An excellent episode IMO -- Dichotomy, 12:54:38 10/09/01 Tue
I really enjoyed this episode from beginning to end. While to me the messages were crystal clear, (that is the ugliness of racism, the dangers of mob mentality, the struggle between loyalty to your roots or family and protecting your moral integrity) apparently they weren't to everyone who watched. I'm sure others felt like you did, although they appear to be in the minority here.

There are shades of grey in the real world,and I love how this show and Buffy constantly points them out.

Other things I enjoyed this ep:

1) The slurpee demon. At first menacing, then sort of cute and human, then terrified. That scene had suspense, humor and horror all in quick succession in probably less than two minutes.

2) Timid Fred fiercely protecting Angel while also sharing her considerable knowledge on what happens when one gets an arrow through the jugular.

3) While the "danger of hating of those different" message was blatantly obvious to me, I thought it was a suspenseful and well-written ep.

4) It really gave Gunn's character a springboard for development this season. I hope they'll explore his ambivalent feelings toward Angel, and his own choices more. Also, he smiled at Fred affectionately while she sang "Crazy", so I think his feelings for her may evolve to be more than friendly this season, which could lead to some interesting (and probably funny) scenes between the two of them.
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[> [> Spoilers above AND here. (Sorry) Other things I liked. -- Dichotomy, 13:04:30 10/09/01 Tue
1. The "oh god, oh god, oh god"demon who eats Geo's head.

2. The baby eater's threats were an eerie background music for Geo's taunts against Gunn. Both monsters (one demon, one human) were using taunts to anger their foes, and Gunn couldn't seem to distinguish one from the other. Should he have?
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[> [> Re: An excellent episode IMO -- Raven Eye, 23:13:42 10/09/01 Tue
I thought it showed how easy it is to lose sight of the mission.

Both Gunn's old friends and new friends had. His old friends couldn't tell friend from foe, and his new ones couldn't tell foe from friend.

In the end, though, I though his old friends showed more clarity. Attacking the lounge that harbored evil creatures made sense as it represented a source of immediate threat for them. It was easy for Angel Investigations to see the lounge as solely a source of information (and now I guess entertainment) as the monsters who frequent the lounge don't usually cause problems close to where they are. I guess it even makes sense for them to use the lounge and Merl, because to them information is key for their missions.

But then they lost sight of what the lounge was really all about. They forgot what happens after the patrons leave.

Using informants, going to sleazy places for information, that's all part of being a detective. But you can't blame those who go for a more direct approach.

I believe a time will come soon when Gunn will have to reconsider his association with Angel Investigations. Gunn has shown great integrity. He can go it alone if that is called for.
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[> [> [> Re: An excellent episode IMO -- Mousetrap, 06:31:21 10/10/01 Wed
I saw nothing wrong with them attacking the place.

It was a good strategic move given the limited information they had about the target. It was a place that evil was vulnerable, where it let down its guard, and evil should never feel safe.

They should have let the humans leave though. There was no reason to hold Fred. But when you look at it, they could be considered collabrators, so in a way could be considered part of the enemy as well. Gunn's people had no way to know that they were there undercover.

They were there undercover, Right? On a mission? That is why they were there, of course.

It was a classic case of allies getting their wires crossed. There needs to be more coordination between the different segments of the fight.

The need to use the place for reconnaissance needs to be weighted with the potential of that place for a target. Again better communication between the segments of the fight would have prevented this. Gunn was supposed to be the liaison between Angels team and this group, but they hadn't focused on his aspect of the mission as they have been distracted.
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[> [> [> [> Re: An excellent episode IMO -- Raven Eye, 06:48:30 10/10/01 Wed
Human collaborators are as bad if not worst than the monsters they collaborate with.

That is always the problem when you are undercover. You are posing as the enemy, so allies who aren't "in the loop" might take actions against you not knowing that you are really a good guy posing as the enemy.

That is one of the more tricky aspects to spying.

I really have no ideal why Cordy and Wesley took Fred to the club that night. It seemed really odd. There wasn't any mission objective that could be achieved by having the Host "read" her.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: An excellent episode IMO -- Raven Eye, 06:50:43 10/10/01 Wed
... really have no ideal why Cordy and Wesley took Fred to the club that night. It seemed really odd. There wasn't any mission objective that could be achieved by having the Host "read" her.

No idea. Sorry for the typo.

It seems they were just there for fun. If that is the case they were wrong.
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Attention all ME writers lurking on this board... (it's ok, Rufus, no spoilers) -- Solitude1056, 18:32:25 10/09/01 Tue
Dear Mutant Enemy Employees & Writers lurking on this board, including our delightful head demon, Joss himself:

I want a disclaimer or a caveat or a warning at the beginning of every episode from now on. I'm visualizing something that sounds like a bad movie commercial voiceover but that in this instance would be all-too-true. You know, booming voice, or maybe simply white font on black screen, along the lines of: Everything you know is true, everything you think you know is false, everything you've forgotten, is no longer the same. Or some such other crap. You can come up with something patently like the usual fancy lines, that sound so heavy-duty. Other TV shows and movies do it all the time. Now's your turn.

See, the thing is, I thought I had it all figured out. Scroll down and you'll see that I participated in a lot of these conversations. Is Willow right? wrong? immoral? Will Spike go ballistic? Will Buffy adjust? What is heaven? What is hell? What happens when we die? Should doctors bring back patients who've already died? And I've done plenty of talking and thinking and I thought I had my opinion all figured out. Okay, so some parts still needed work, but it seemed so clear to me. AND THEN YOU HAVE TO GO AND SCREW IT ALL UP!

It's only fifteen minutes into the show and ALREADY you're taking everything I thought I figured out, and throwing it out the window. Halfway through the episode, I'm caught off-guard again by something little that makes me rearrange AGAIN, and by the last quarter, I had the commercial break to say, ah, I got it. But no. I DON'T GOT IT. Thanks to you people, that is. You megolomaniac writers from hell - do you ENJOY the fact that you've now got my brain all twisted into knots and EVERYTHING I've discussed in the past six days is all out the window? HELLO? Are you IN there? Tell me you're all sitting around right now, laughing maniacally at how much you've managed to take all us thinking fans and turn us upside down... AGAIN. And not just from last week, but four times in the SAME episode! You people are sadistic!

The worst is, I ask for this each week. I even had two telemarketers call, and rather than listen to the phone ring four times before the machine picked up, I picked up the phone and screamed, "Not now! Buffy is on!" and slammed the phone down. I know that acknowledging my obsession is the first step to controlling it, and I thought that talking about it would be the next step. Oh, how naive I am, how irked I am that you must show me the error of my ways. For I am no closer to being relatively obsess-free. Oh, no. Now, once again, I am in a state of stunned blind groping after another episode, and I bet you dollars to donuts I'll spend the next week figuring it out... and you people will AGAIN turn it all upside down on me.

So I want a warning, a caveat, a reminder. I don't seem to be doing it too well on my own; it's too addictive, to figure things out & think too much... and it's downright dangerous with people like you on the other end of the script. I mean, I'm not saying stop doing it - oh, no, never do that. I just want a little something to remind me that I am truly powerless in the face of He Who Goes Grrr And Arrgh, and that I should brace myself once again to have everything I thought I knew was true, or false, or real, or unreal... turned completely inside out. Just a small caveat. Is that too much to ask?

Just sign me: a grateful, if mind-screwed, fan.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled philosophical endeavors.
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[> Guess I should've added a humor disclaimer: please, don't change a thing! -- Solitude1056, 19:10:54 10/09/01 Tue
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[> [> *chortling* hehehe... -- VampRiley, 20:23:37 10/09/01 Tue
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[> Who is this Rufus you seem to fear? -- Rufus, 21:50:41 10/09/01 Tue
Now all I have to do is get ME to give me a job as a cat on the wall(don't like flies).....
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[> Re: Attention all ME writers lurking on this board... (it's ok, Rufus, no spoilers) -- Rattletrap, 04:46:36 10/10/01 Wed
I'm glad to know someone shared my problems with telemarketers. My alma mater called during Buffy's heaven speech at the end wanting money. Had to rewind the tape to hear the entire conversation.
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[> [> People, people....take the phone off the hook between 8 and 9! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 08:04:46 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> Re: People, people....take the phone off the hook between 8 and 9! ;o) -- Kimberly, 08:27:46 10/10/01 Wed
Taking the phone off the hook isn't a problem; can you tell me how to shut up my 6-year-old? Getting my husband to care for him for that hour isn't much help; he's as addicted, and for as long (season 1, episode 1, and boy, were we surprised at how GOOD it was), so he wants to listen too.

Such are the pains of parenthood. ;-)
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[> [> [> [> Okay, that's a different problem... lol! -- Wisewoman, 09:30:36 10/10/01 Wed
Hmmm, haven't dealt with a six year old in many years--maybe Lady Starlight will have some tips for you--she's got young 'uns, too!

Or, tape and watch after little one has gone beddy-bye?

;o)
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Or, tape and watch after little one has gone beddy-bye? -- VampRiley, 17:29:22 10/10/01 Wed
Do you think you can hold your addiction off till then?


VR
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[> [> [> Not a prob for me...All my friends watch Buffy! So if the phone rings, I just don't answer it! -- Rob, 11:49:09 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> People, people....take the phone off the hook between 8 and 9! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 08:20:39 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> Hell, I just turn the ringer off............;) -- Rufus, 15:02:27 10/10/01 Wed
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[> ...and once again, the Second Evil comes through, and leaves me ROTFLMAO! -- Humanitas, 13:03:17 10/10/01 Wed
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[> ROFLMAO! -- rowan, 13:42:16 10/10/01 Wed
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[> Housemate's idea for disclaimer... -- Solitude1056, 17:59:08 10/10/01 Wed
"Please check all preconceptions at the door. They'll be here if you still want them after the show, and we won't even charge you for keeping them safe."
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[> [> What no tip for storing preconceptions???????? -- Rufus, 20:23:06 10/10/01 Wed
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Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Kerri, 18:33:16 10/09/01 Tue
Spike shoved Xander against a tree and his chip didn't go off. What's with that? My first thought is that Spike didn't intend to hurt Xander, but he must have known that shoving someone agianst a tree would cause physical pain. And while he may have not meant to seriously injure Xander, that doesn't seem to be what matters. In WOTW Spike slaps Buffy with the best intentions and the chip still sctivates. Do you think the chip was deactivated-perhaps from the fall from Glory's tower? Any ideas?
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[> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Shiver, 18:46:05 10/09/01 Tue
I think the chip did go off - if you watch closely, it's hard to tell, because Spike's *already in pain* - emotional pain - but he winces extra when Xander hits the tree.
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[> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Lunarchickk, 18:52:56 10/09/01 Tue
That's what I was thinking as well -- Spike's been seen to smack people in several episodes, without worrying about the chip's effect (although we see him grimace from it's response); in this case, the emotional pain he was in seemed far harsher than the zap he might've gotten from the chip. (Kind of like getting a paper cut while being stabbed -- you're not going to even notice the smaller pain.)

On a related note... Spike's walking out of the house when the others arrived was the saddest thing I think I've ever seen (until reaching the end of the episode).
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[> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Dedalus, 20:44:23 10/09/01 Tue
Spike was just amazing in this episode.

Anyway, yeah I thought the same thing. Still, he was too torn up inside to even feel it. God, did he just plain look bummed out.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Simplicity, 21:08:46 10/09/01 Tue
I didn't think Spike's chip was activated either. But another explanation for that might be that Xander was possessed by the demon @ that moment. So, for all intents and purposes, Xander was the demon at that time.
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[> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- anom, 22:10:21 10/09/01 Tue
"On a related note... Spike's walking out of the house when the others arrived was the saddest thing I think I've ever seen (until reaching the end of the episode)."

I agree...the hardest thing must have been his realization that he can't have the place in Buffy's life that they have, even now...or maybe especially now, even when they're all wrong & he's right. Even when Spike is most qualified to offer her what she needs right now, he just isn't in a position to. And keeping Buffy's secret is, on the one hand, going to require him to shore up their place in her life at the expense of his own, while sharing it with her, on the other hand, will bring the 2 of them closer together--something he'd love to rub the SG's noses in but can't. Ah, paradox!
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[> [> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Deeva, 22:59:14 10/09/01 Tue
"On a related note... Spike's walking out of the house when the others arrived was the saddest thing I think I've ever seen (until reaching the end of the episode)."

Yep. You can feel how even though they spent the whole summer somewhat working together, he is still made to feel like an unwanted pest. But at the same time he knows that they need him in the group, as none of them are as strong as he is. The other scene that truly struck me was when Spike realized that Buffy clawed her way out of her own coffin and he said that he knew what that was like. The way that Sarah & James handled the subtlety was amazing. Got a little emotional. Taped this one cuz I just knew that there would be some primo moments.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Cynthia, 05:56:28 10/10/01 Wed
"On a related note... Spike's walking out of the house when the others arrived was the saddest thing I think I've ever seen (until reaching the end of the episode)."

"Yep. You can feel how even though they spent the whole summer somewhat working together, he is still made to feel like an unwanted pest. But at the same time he knows that they need him in the group, as none of them are as strong as he is. The other scene that truly struck me was when Spike realized that Buffy clawed her way out of her own coffin and he said that he knew what that was like. The way that Sarah & James handled the subtlety was amazing. Got a little emotional...."

Something about the fact that this scene takes place on the stairs affected me, too. In The Gift, which also had a very emotional scene between Buffy and Spike at the stairway, she was in essence, walking away from him. In this scene, she is walking toward him. She didn't have to come down the stairs, she could have asked Dawn to not tell Spike that she was back, that she couldn't cope. But it seems that she wanted to let Spike know and deal with the emotions she know he would have, as opposed to running away from the Scoobies and not really wanting to, at least at that moment with they're feelings, as was evident in the next scene.

I think that Buffy "knew in her soul" that neither Dawn or Spike could of or would done what was done to her, so, despite her pain she could accept their happiness, but knowing it was the Scoobies that did what they did to her, even with the best of intentions, she couldn't and didn't want to deal or accept their emotions regarding her. She was and still is angry at them. And it's very hard to be so angry at someone you love, especially if you feel you can't tell them the truth.

Even with all the pain she is feeling about losing the "peace" she had, she is still trying to protect her friends, to the point of perhaps causing major conflicts down the road. Things that are kept inside usually fester. Perhaps one of the consequences of this is the lost of friendship between Buffy and the Scoobies, especially regarding Willow and Xander.

Oh, in the last scene, wasn't Buffy's confiding in Spike remanisent(?) of Buffy's conversation with Giles in training in The Gift. Could it be a forshadowing of Spike taking on the role of a Watcher, like was alluded to in the dream episode?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike's chip (Spoilers for Afterlife) -- Dedalus, 08:26:45 10/10/01 Wed
Great point about the use of the stairs.

And yeah, the Buffy/Spike scene at the end was remniscient of the Gift. I have no idea where they're going with that, but still.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> going the other way -- anom, 18:53:22 10/10/01 Wed
"Something about the fact that this scene takes place on the stairs affected me, too. In The Gift, which also had a very emotional scene between Buffy and Spike at the stairway, she was in essence, walking away from him. In this scene, she is walking toward him."

So now we've seen 2 reversals from The Gift: walking back toward Dawn on the tower & coming back down the stairs toward Spike.

Oh, and (since you did ask), it's "reminiscent."
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Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- Lucifer_Sponge, 19:40:43 10/09/01 Tue
Ok, I don't know about anyone else, but the part where Anya was possessed is officially the single most disturbing moment in BTVS history, in my book.
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[> Re: Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- dan, 20:08:30 10/09/01 Tue
i think you're right. although the spooky buffy apparition also freaked my shiznit out.

-d
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[> [> It was so creepy looking, I loved it!! :-P -- VampRiley, 20:26:41 10/09/01 Tue
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[> [> [> Re: a different creepiest moment contender -- sasha, 20:56:04 10/09/01 Tue
Buffy's body suddenly regaining life and then clawing its way out of the coffin did it for me.......
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[> [> [> [> Re: Creepiest moment EVER******Spoilers***** -- Deeva, 23:03:58 10/09/01 Tue
I gotta agree with Sponge on this one. The way that Anya was sawing away at her cheek with that knife. Yuck, Ewww, & EEK! All that and the sudden impulse to turn away but so riveted you have to keep looking.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Creepiest moment EVER******Spoilers***** -- pocky, 07:44:49 10/10/01 Wed
it was bad enough that she was slicing her face with the knife, but she was also snickering while having at it!!! eww much.

~nathan~
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[> Re: Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- spike lover, 12:09:21 10/10/01 Wed
Absoluetly, I was like omg!!! Poor xander for having to witness it.
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[> Re: Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- Humanitas, 13:12:54 10/10/01 Wed
I'm right there with ya on this one. This whole ep gave me a bigger wiggins than any other one I've seen.

Of course, they really need to fire their continuity director and get a new one. The shoes in "Bargaining" were bad enough, but Anya showed no signs of having cut herself the next morning. Now unless she has some leftover healing abilities from her demon days, she should have at least had a scab or something. Grr.
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[> [> Re: Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- Rattletrap, 14:57:47 10/10/01 Wed
I interpreted Anya's immediate healing as intentional, the scars vanish as soon as she snaps out of the possession. With the exception of the lingering flames after Dawn's breathing fire, there didn't seem to be any physical aftereffects for any of it.
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[> [> Re: Creepiest Moment EVER ********SPOILERS******** -- Shaglio, 05:40:46 10/11/01 Thu
"Now unless she has some leftover healing abilities from her demon days, she should have at least had a scab or something."

I equated the lack of scars to the lack of broken glass from when the demon came to Willow and Tara in bed. They couldn't find glass afterwards and Anya didn't have any scars afterwards.

As for Dawn flame-breath, that could have to do with A) the demon gaining strength and learning how to control the new bodies it was occupting or B) Dawn being the key.
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Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Solitude1056, 20:47:11 10/09/01 Tue
Just a few things:

- Willow's still being protected from the true consequences of her actions. Buffy's lie about where-she-was effectively gave Willow a way to absolve herself of any guilt for the means she used to achieve the ends.

- Of the four times that the demon appeared, three times it was directed at Willow, and spoke quite forcefully towards her. The other time (Anya), it was speaking to Xander. Does this mean that karmically the two of them bear the greatest guilt for Buffy's return?

- I wonder if Joss intends the demon to be the extent of Willow's consequences. (Personally, I hope not. I mean, hello, raising the dead, here.)

- Spike's expression, and holding Buffy's hands while he studied her knuckles? Priceless. Another moment in time matched only by the "I know I'm a monster" moment. Someone give that man an Emmy, he's overdue. Hell, they both are.

- Dawn's tour through the house. How bittersweet; she fluctuates perfectly between a 15 year old with a broken heart, and a 15-yr-old-going-on-45.

- The demon's message was truly one of the creepiest, and its appearance in Anya was (as mentioned elsewhere) just ratcheting up the level. And the message? Anyone want to bet that Willow got it loud and clear? "Did you slit its throat, did you pet on the head?"

- Yes, I jumped when the photographs all turned to death-heads.

- As discussed in the chat, would Buffy have told Giles instead, if he were there? And was her telling Spike because his reaction to her return was gracious and thoughtful, and his understanding of what she'd had to go through, of which some he's experienced? Or was it because she knew he'd never tell the SG if she forbade him, but that she needed to tell someone?

- My blood curdled at the contrast Joss set up between Spike, holding Buffy's hands and just looking at her... and the SG, bounding through the door and cornering her. I mean, the image of the four of them lined up, filling the scene, was a visual to underline the emotional suffocation of their excitement. None of them even appeared to notice her knuckles still hadn't been bandaged.

- If I wasn't sure of the right interpretation of the SG's appearance, Spike's sudden departure underlined it. And then, to see him crying outside... heartbreaking.

- Seemed awfully handy that the only one who could fight the demon would be Buffy, and not the one who'd caused the demon to occur (Willow). And at the same time, it appeared that Willow and Tara were not working in tandem - notice that Willow stopped chanting and appeared to be doing something on her own. Going to have to rewatch it, to see Tara's reaction to that, but she did seem confused that Willow wasn't participating, perhaps even confused as to what Willow was doing.

- While the SG was running to the Summers' house, and then later, did it seem to anyone else that Tara was studying Willow rather closely? She seemed to have the same poker face that Buffy had, enough that it didn't appear to be one of concern for how Willow was handling things... maybe I'm reading into that, but curious as to what anyone else saw.

Uh, I think that's enough for now... must process! ;-)
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- DEN, 20:52:25 10/09/01 Tue
Willow got the message all right--notice how she insisted to Tara that it was nothing but words, with no connected meaning?
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Dedalus, 20:57:07 10/09/01 Tue
Great observations, as always.

I love the Dawn going on 45. Like some other Summers we could mention.

The photograph thing made me uneasy, but it didn't garner a jump, imo.

And the contrast between Spike and the Scoobies, you're dead on.

I knew they were going to tie in Spike crawling out of his grave with Buffy doing so. I loved him holding her hands. I loved his completely devastated face when he was confronting Xander. And all his scenes with Buffy. He made this episode.

On my own note, what the HELL is going on with Willow? First she lies to her friends, makes up this nonsense story about Buffy being in hell, defies Buffy's last words, kills Bambi, and then ... and THEN starts whining because Buffy hasn't "thanked" her yet? They had just got in like two seconds ago! If Buffy had been in hell, she would have been wild, out of her mind, or at the very least not jumping up and down in excitement, thanking Willow for bringing her back to life.

I never thought I would be so pissed at Will.
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[> [> photographs... spoilers. -- Solitude1056, 21:21:06 10/09/01 Tue
The photograph thing made me uneasy, but it didn't garner a jump, imo.

Creepiest moment will always be Olivia looking out the window & seeing the Gentleman float by - yes, for that I jumped AND nearly screamed, too. Completely startled & scared me outta ten years growth. Thing is, the photographs changing caused a jump because I was sooo waiting for Buffy to do something, anything - tear the pictures up, sort through them, trash her room, burst into tears, do something! But she just looked at everything, and even when the pictures changed, she still had only a minor reaction. My respect for SMG just grows by leaps 'n bounds... this can't be an easy role to play.
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- celticross, 21:01:59 10/09/01 Tue
"My blood curdled at the contrast Joss set up between Spike, holding Buffy's hands and just looking at her... and the SG,
bounding through the door and cornering her. I mean, the image of the four of them lined up, filling the scene, was a
visual to underline the emotional suffocation of their excitement. None of them even appeared to notice her knuckles
still hadn't been bandaged. "

Glad to know I'm not the only one slightly weirded out by the Scoobie reaction to Buffy. They're bounding around her like puppies, hoping they did the right thing and acting everything can be normal again now. If I were Buffy, I'd be so hurt by their apparent lack of concern. It's not that they're unconcerned, though; they're just very guilty. They want her to be ok again so they can reassure themselves that bringing her back wasn't a bad idea. Spike's the only one who seems to notice she's withdrawn, and wants to help her. (and did anyone else think the "147 days" was the sweetest thing?)
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- ?, 21:07:36 10/09/01 Tue
Yah Spike's definetly my favorite. Him and Dawn (The freakin 15 year old for Buffy's sake!) are the only two not rattled with guilt to take note of how she's really being. But the ep kinda felt like a Buffy/ Spike fan fiction writtin over the summer while everyone waited for the new season.
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[> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Dariel, 21:44:48 10/09/01 Tue
But the ep kinda felt like a Buffy/ Spike fan fiction writtin over the summer while everyone waited for the new season.

A bit, but Buffy is pretty dazed. Unlike those of us in the audience, she wasn't all that responsive to Spike's attentions. She'll probably be back bossing him around in a couple eppies, albeit without the beating him up parts.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- celticross, 21:53:08 10/09/01 Tue
Dazed, yes, but Spike's still the one she tells her secret to. She trusts him with the truth of what happened to her. I don't think this is the path to the alter or anything (and there are those fanfics out there, and yes, I've read some of them), but this could definitely be a new beginning for their relationship.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Dariel, 22:03:51 10/09/01 Tue
...this could definitely be a new beginning for their relationship.

Being a slavish Spike fan, I hope so.

How about those fanfics where Spike and Buffy have a child? LOL!
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Spike + Buffy = -- Wilder, 22:51:40 10/09/01 Tue
re:"How about those fanfics where Spike and Buffy have a child? LOL!"

Who needs fanific. Dawn's thier kid. Or, more like it, they are her parents.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- spike lover, 11:38:53 10/10/01 Wed
What is the fanfic called? where is it?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy/Spike/offspring fanfics -- Dariel, 19:43:19 10/10/01 Wed
Sorry, I don't remember where I saw them. I was too creeped out at the concept of demon babies to actually read any of them!
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Here... -- VampRiley, 06:28:50 10/11/01 Thu
Go to http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Hollow/5214/btvs.html. Go to the Buffy/Spike link down the page and the fics are An Unexpected Storyline, Humanitis and Sex, Lies and Sonograms. Don't think there were any others on her site.



VR
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- LoriAnn, 11:22:14 10/10/01 Wed
"but this could definitely be a new beginning for their relationship"

Speaking of new beginnings, did anyone notice that Spike had fixed up his crypt. That certainly seems significant.

Someone earlier in this thread mentioned Spike telling Buffy he would do whatever she wanted, or some such, and the person who brought it up thought Spike was including in this killing her, if that was what she wanted. I agree, and it is very telling that Spike seemed willing to send Buffy back for her sake rather than keep her around for his sake. He was obviously overjoyed to see her, so losing her again wouldn't be his first choice, but for her he would do it. Again, this is quite a contrast to the SG, which seems to be more interested in its own success and guilt than anything else.
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[> [> [> Re: Afterlife (SPOILERS): SG vs. Spike and Dawn -- sasha, 21:55:51 10/09/01 Tue
Perhaps Spike and Dawn are dealing the best, and having the least guilt, because they didn't share in resurrecting Buffy. Afterall, the SG said in Bargaining that they didn't tell them (was there a reason given, i don't remember). They had no part in the whirlwind of bargains and consequences of bargains appearing out of the woodwork.

Notice that Spike and Dawn seem to be the only ones horrifed with both the resurrection and the resulting Buffy. While the others are agonizing over things from their viewpoit "did we do it correctly? did we miss something important? is she 100% Buffy? are there more conseqences?", Spike and Dawn are only concerned about how Buffy thinks and feels about being suddenly pulled back into life. Dawn shows she is comletely focused on Buffy's phsycial (cleans her up, plans to bandage her hands), emotional (your room is still yours), and mental (do you want to just sit and talk or maybe rest) wellbeing. Spike, with his experiences with afterlife dimensions, shows that he feels very deeply what Buffy has been through, his tears when he sees her, his talk in his lair where he says he's saved her every night since then, his slamming Xander up against the tree and starting him down with Xander dares Spike to look at him so he can see he's happy about it (Spike looks, but no, he's not happy), offers to help Buffy in anyway he can (did anyone else think when he asked if she was in pain that he was offering to do whatever she wanted and needed, even kill her agin if she was currently in some kind of torment?) and lastly becomes the perfect sounding board/confidant for Buffy to discuss the subject. Spike was so emotional in this ep, for a minute I forgot he doesn't have a soul.

Maybe this was done to show the irony. The SG care so much (but for Buffy or for themselves?) that they bring Buffy back and then fawn over her, expecting her to be the same Buffy who left and who will pick up things where they came to a screeching halt 3 months before and help them put their lives back together; the SG's main focus is "is she the same old Buffy that we need so badly?" Meanwhile, the 2 members who don't have souls (Spike has a chip, and Dawn, well does Dawn have a soul?) empathize the most with the disorientation and confusion Buffy is feeling, show the most concern for Buffy herself and ask Buffy directly "how can i help you?" and make the least demands on her.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Solitude1056, 21:11:08 10/09/01 Tue
It seemed to me that when Buffy asked Spike how long it had been, and he answered with the "one hundred, forty-seven days yesterday, and today makes one hundred forty-eight days..." (and I think he added, "not that I was counting" but I couldn't hear cause my damn housemate decided right THEN to open a bag of chips, grrrr) ... It seemed like halfway between acknowledging how much he'd missed her, and trying to get her to smile or evince some reaction, no matter how small. Her lack of reaction seemed to have him more worried, since the usual Buffy would scoff. The new Buffy just stared... but his comment was still sweet, and telling.

Gack, someone hurry up with posting the script! ;-)
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[> [> [> He said something like... -- Wisewoman, 21:20:19 10/09/01 Tue
today makes 148...only (but?) today doesn't count...

And then he smiled.
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[> [> [> [> That's what it was, WW. -- rowan, 07:06:55 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Deeva, 23:12:23 10/09/01 Tue
"147 days. 148 including today but today doesn't count."

The way it was said was amazing. Man, if I ever meet a guy who can come this close to sounding casual but sweet, I would be so there.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Lunarchickk, 07:31:35 10/10/01 Wed
"Glad to know I'm not the only one slightly weirded out by the Scoobie reaction to Buffy. They're bounding around her like puppies, hoping they did the right thing and acting everything can be normal again now. If I were Buffy, I'd be so hurt by their apparent lack of concern. It's not that they're unconcerned, though; they're just very guilty. They want her to be ok again so they can reassure themselves that bringing her back wasn't a bad idea. Spike's the only one who seems to notice she's withdrawn, and wants to help her. (and did anyone else think the "147 days" was the sweetest thing?)"

I think "bounding around her like puppies" is such a great image -- really captures the hyperactive energy among the four of them when they find her at home. Xander's offer to go get pizza ("Buffy likes pizza!") sums up their desperate hopes that she's really back, as herself. But they've entirely missed connecting to her emotionally, as Spike slips unnoticed out the front door, leaving behind Buffy's only quiet moment with someone who isn't asking anything of her since her resurrection.

But what brought me almost to tears over the SG's entire lack of connection to Buffy was the scene in the Magic Box, where she finally voices her emotions: "I miss Giles." Of course she does; she didn't even get to say goodbye to him. But instead of being there with her in her sadness, her friends (particularly Willow) try to solve the problem: Giles will be back, Willow called him, and she calls herself a poor substitute for him. No one connects with Buffy, and she excuses herself to patrol, alone. (Of course, she reappears in Spike's crypt, leaving us to wonder if she was actually patrolling at all, or simply going to talk to the only person who didn't assume the answer to "Are you ok?" was affirmative.)
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Malandanza, 21:19:08 10/09/01 Tue
"Willow's still being protected from the true consequences of her actions. Buffy's lie about where-she-was effectively gave Willow a way to absolve herself of any guilt for the means she used to achieve the ends."

Spike. I hate to talk about him, but...

He had already spread doubt about Willow's intentions before he knew the extent of what she had done. My guess is that our favorite red-haired witch is going to be bumping heads with Spike in the future -- and he will keep a close watch on her (maybe even act as her missing conscience).

An amazing episode. JM was mistaken -- Buffy isn't a show you think about while watching it -- it's a show that makes you pace the floor while thinking about it 15 minutes after it's over. And Dedalus is right -- Saint Buffy indeed.
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[> [> see, now that's self-control. -- Solitude1056, 21:23:13 10/09/01 Tue
I was already pacing during the commercial breaks!
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[> [> [> Re: see, now that's self-control. -- Dedalus, 21:28:59 10/09/01 Tue
I was actually pacing when I played the last scene again on my VCR!

No way!

God, now we're not just alike in our collective intellectual lives, but we're even alike in our damn physical mannerisms.
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[> [> [> [> it's kinda like a virus... and there's no cure, Ded. Sorry. (hehe.) -- Solitude1056, 21:34:43 10/09/01 Tue
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[> [> [> [> Re: see, now that's self-control. -- Deeva, 23:21:44 10/09/01 Tue
I was bouncing off the walls waiting for the damn commercials to be over! All the while answering the questions of my friends. I swear I think I'm better off watching alone. too much chitter chatter.
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[> [> [> Not self-control... -- Malandanza, 21:56:43 10/09/01 Tue
...just cluelessness (is that a word? My spellchecker doesn't seem to think so... but I suppose I could always add it to my word bank). I thought the show was going to be about killing the demon brought back by the spell -- and, maybe, exposing Willow's dark side.

I had thought that the only way Willow would learn to be responsible with magic would be if she killed someone (Anya or Tara would be the best candidates) but this is much worse (Joss is an evil genius -- if Dostoyevsky were alive today, he'd be writing for Joss). I'd say that at some point during the season Willow will find out the truth and she will finally grow up. How can she possibly make amends? Yet, Buffy has, if not forgiven her, at least spared her the knowledge. Worse would be if the other Scoobies found out (Xander, Anya and Tara) -- it seemed as though none of them had been happy about the ritual and had been kept largely in the dark about the nature of the powers they were invoking. Yet they would feel the same torture that Willow would -- perhaps even more so (consider Xander's emphatic response when he found out they had brought Buffy back to life inside her coffin).

The final scene reminded me of when Buffy finally told Giles that Angel had been re-ensouled (spellchecker doesn't like that word either -- it's being pickier than usual) before she had killed him.
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[> [> [> [> Xander's reaction (spoilers for last week) -- Solitude1056, 21:59:59 10/09/01 Tue
I was perturbed at the character's physical reactions. When Xander realizes they'd left Buffy in her coffin, he stays turned towards her, and leans a little bit into her. Willow, on the other hand, turns her back. Something about that just seemed really wrong, to me. Anyone else bothered by that?
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander's reaction (spoilers for last week) -- celticross, 22:20:25 10/09/01 Tue
I took it to mean Willow didn't want to face what she'd done. "Oh, grow up" is an excellent theme for Willow...she needs to do a lot of growing up in terms of learning responsibility. It's been discussed a lot here before, but I think it's crunch time for Willow. She's done something she's not proud of, and she's not sure why yet. Growing up will be learning why.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Xander's reaction (spoilers for last week) -- Rufus, 22:59:02 10/09/01 Tue
I felt that for the first time the SG treated Buffy like the council has for years......an instrument....more concerned about the success of their experiment they became less humane towards her. For years many have complained how callous Buffy was to her friends, now we see that they are just as capable of being unfeeling. Buffy was more concerned with making sure they felt they had done the right thing....they were more concerned that the Slayer was working the way she should be. Buffy has grown as a person, they took a few steps backward.
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Liquidram, 22:20:06 10/09/01 Tue
Wow.

Ok, got that out of my system. Reactions:

Anya turning scared the living bejeezus out of me. My daughter screamed and would only watch Spike/Buffy scenes afterwards because she knew they wouldn't scare her. (go figure, huh? Couldn't have said that a couple of years ago.)

Dawn turning mom was beautiful and the way she took control over the SG telling them to "Back Off" not once, but twice was amazing.

Spike - absolutely heartbreaking. I read a review today that said JM was brilliant in this ep and I have to agree. Quite frankly, I can't wait to see him off Buffy and in a feature film (in a year or two : I'm not on the shipper squad, but I see him being Buffy's greatest ally and support system in the next few weeks. I'm hoping the relationship is not cheapened with a quick "for the ratings" romance.

He closed his eyes with the Xander in the tree, but there was no noticiable chip-zapping, which there always was before, even with the slight headslap in WotW. Hmmmmm... I haven't read all of the threads below so forgive me if I'm repeating, but maybe the drop from the tower and extra bounce is a clue.

Buffy obviously gravitated to him because he was the only one who gave her space and expected absoutely nothing from her. Plus I suspect she knows she can trust him to keep quiet, understands a bit of what she is going through and also might have been giving him some form of comfort by letting him know that by him "failing", he did not doom her to torment.

I wonder if there is a message in her leaving, without him being able to follow her into the light. There was no evil in Spike tonight. Snarkiness, attempted, but no evil. His fear, concern and then relieved anger at Dawn was so parental it was scary. Buffy's comment to him about being able to be alone with him still there was the greatest compliment. Also, note to Dark Alchemy writers.... notice on the staircase, he reached to her shoulder and drew back? It was not until they sat and she allowed him to take her hands did he touch her. Again, you guys nailed it.

Xander's comment to Spike was out of line, but I believe he was acting in defense-mode because of his quick backpetal to explain. I'm not sure what to think of Xander right now. He really seems to be on the fringe of some serious conflict.

Anya still annoys the hell out of me and what's with her [lack of] fashion sense? In fact, what the hell has happened with the entire wardrobe department?? Yuck on most of the clothes tonight.

Tara's direction is still positive and I definitely caught a few questionable glances Willow's way.

Willow is just flat out delusional, and I'll have to give more thought before I write more about her. There was some serious bitter undertones when Buffy was telling Spike about being happy, as well as an unpleasant emphasis on the word "friends". Yes, she did tell them what they needed to hear to make them feel better, but she's quite unhappy.

Seeing the scenes for next week was a bit disappointing because it appears they are going to go for some comedy. I do appreciate comedy, but still feel the need for some angsty moments, which I'm sure are coming, so I should just relax.
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Javoher, 23:03:40 10/09/01 Tue
"...And was her telling Spike because his reaction to her return was gracious and thoughtful, and his understanding of what she'd had to go through, of which some he's experienced? Or was it because she knew he'd never tell the SG if she forbade him, but that she needed to tell someone?"

Spike has been dead for over 100 years. Buffy was dead, well, longer than 147 days, she thinks. They can (finally) identify with each other, at least in part. It crossed my mind that Spike may have initially wondered if Buffy had been vamped, and stared at her to ascertain her condition. Perhaps he needed to touch her and feel her warmth to know she was alive. (Yes I know that's unlikely, but he can't possibly have been thinking straight at that point.)

Buffy feels safe with Spike about her real feelings and thoughts. Spike never pulls any punches with his words. Xander can't handle Spike's words and clear vision; he denied that Willow had any doubt about being successful and having to destroy the result. It stands to reason he wouldn't be able to handle Buffy's experience. And Willow certainly couldn't - she gave a small, proud smile at one point when describing her spell and her difficulties. (I believe the word is hubris.) It would devastate them to know what they had actually done to Buffy, and she isn't someone to hurt her friends by sharing her experiences with them. She feels and has always felt keenly the differences between the Slayer and her friends.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Tanker, 23:50:01 10/09/01 Tue
Nick Brendan is portraying Xander as a man who feels his whole world is turning into quicksand. Or at least that's the impression I'm getting. You can see that he's seriously wigged about the whole situation. However, I think he could handle hearing the truth from Buffy. He's always been one to voice unpopular truths. I think he'd quickly join Anya in the "I told you so" camp (she obviously thinks it was a bad idea to bring Buffy back).

Willow, on the other hand.... I think, if Buffy had told her the truth there in the Magic Box, that Willow would have had a complete breakdown on the spot. And, with the kind of forces that she's been tapping into lately, I think the phrase "minimum safe distance" might be useful.
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[> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- Dedalus, 08:44:23 10/10/01 Wed
I totally agree. I think Xander would have been able to handle it. He does seem wigged. I mean, one of your best friends gets raised from the dead, and it's like, "Hey, let's go for pizza!" I guess that was his way of dealing though. Not to mention, he handled things great last week, I thought. He seemed more concerned about Buffy than anyone. And most importantly, he didn't completely freak.

As for Willow, minimum safe distance indeed.
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[> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- RichardX1, 10:50:15 10/10/01 Wed
For some reason I can't help but imagine Willow's reaction as being something like this:

"No, that's impossible... there's no such thing as heaven."

A blend of denial and cynicism (notice a lack of heavenmouths in the Slayerverse).
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[> [> [> [> minor note -- Solitude1056, 12:57:42 10/10/01 Wed
Willow is supposed to be Jewish, and doesn't Judaism have no indications of a specifically heaven-like afterlife? I seem to recall that Judaism only has a limbo-like afterlife, which never sounded that pleasant (and apparently isn't supposed to be)... but this may be an older form of Judaism, if it assimilated the hellenistic idea of a 'happy' afterlife at the same time xtianity did...
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! -- Dedalus, 13:38:04 10/10/01 Wed
What would life on the Heavenmouth be like?

Help! We're happy all the time! We can't take it anymore! Make it stop! I wanna be sad!

You know what they say ... life is heaven. Then you die. And go to heaven.

What would a high school on the heavenmouth be like? No cliques, no bullies, everyone gets straight A's, everyone has ten dates to the prom, everyone gets along with their parents, no peer pressure, etc.?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> That's not life.... that's the Stepford family in Pleasantville -- Liq, 14:14:37 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! -- Cleanthes, 19:27:47 10/10/01 Wed
Pretty good, I like it. Nice irony!

But, of course, heaven and hell aren't opposites exactly, any more than truth and lies are opposite.

If I tell the truth and my buddy tells the truth about something that happened, our stories will match.

If I tell a lie and my buddy tells a lie, our stories will differ a lot, unless we had a chance to compare tall tales.

There are many lies, but only one Platonic truth. So with heaven, I'd say.

Hell can involve torment, and torment requires time. Heaven doesn't work in time, I submit.

It's all a whole different deal. Many Happy Hunting Grounds have envisioned something like 10 dates to the prom, but I don't buy it.

Okay, in RL, I'm only willing to go as far as the Stoics did and say that a happy afterlife can't be ruled out because ruling it out is hybris. In this, they disagreed with Socrates who believed in the afterlife. Willow should have read the Stoics, though, because it's clear that she did rule out a happy afterlife. But then, she suffers from overweening pride.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! (spoilers for AfterLife) -- Humanitas, 12:37:56 10/11/01 Thu
"If I tell the truth and my buddy tells the truth about something that happened, our stories will match."

Except that your stories will differ because your perspectives will be different. Granted, your statement holds for very simple events (the block fell to the floor), but anything much more complex than that is subject to interpretation. To use an example I think I've used before, when the Exxon Valdes went down, five different crews made five different documentaries, which told five different stories, all of which were based on the available facts. None of them could really be said to be lying, but their versions of the truth differed widely.

Perhaps the statement more correctly would be "There are many perspectives, but only one set of all facts."

This really is my big problem with the Greeks. Much as I admire their logic, they tend to treat fact as equal to truth, when observation reveals fact to be only part of the truth.

So ok, enough ranting, what are the facts?


* We know that Buffy was happy in her afterlife.
* We know that Willow wrenched her out of that happy state, and brought her back to this "vale of tears."
* We know that Buffy doesn't want Willow to know.
* We know that Willow claims that she thought Buffy was in Hell.
* We know that the SG were having limited success in dealing with a Slayerless Sunnydale.
That's pretty much it for actual facts. Everything else is interpretation.

My interpretation is that Buffy's ressurection is probably going to be a good thing for the world, even though it was a bad thing for Buffy herself. Since Buffy is clearly not ready to hate Willow for her actions, and Buffy is the only person who can tell us just how bad it is, I tend to trust her judgement. I think Willow's motives may be questionable, but there is (to me) as much evidence showing that bringing Buffy back was necessary as there is showing that Wil just missed her buddy. Jury's still out on that one.

As for the issue of how many heavens can dance on the point of a stake, if we assume that Heaven = Happiness, then there are as many versions of Heaven as there are ideals of happiness. Buffy's ideal was timeless, completion, knowing her friends were ok. That may not suit everybody.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! (spoilers for AfterLife) -- Cleanthes, 19:46:56 10/11/01 Thu
Fun rant, feel free to let fly in reply to me often! You hit most of the points I thought weak when I looked over my post before approving it.

"If I tell the truth and my buddy tells the truth about something that happened, our stories will match."

Except that your stories will differ because your perspectives will be different.

True, although it sure is easier to tell coherent stories with explainable differences if one sticks close to the truth. Whereas, with lies, whew!

I probably should have compared the situation to the concept of repeatable results in science. Only experiments that can be repeated represent a form of "truth". The scientific method's love of mathematics traces to Plato, I believe.

I'm not sure I follow your distinction between fact and truth. I suspect we agree in our usages to a large degree. I'm willing to imbue "truth" with some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that I try not to let slime up "fact".

That's pretty much it for actual facts. Everything else is interpretation.

{Spike's voice} 'Well, ... yeah'

{return to Cleanthes's fussing}
Heaven and hell usually appear as opposite versions of the same general concept. That's Dante & Milton's way, for instance. I think there's a necessary qualitative difference between them; they are not antonyms.

As mentioned elsewhere on this board, heaven has to find a way around the boredom problem. Hell, though, can just be boring - it adds to the torment.

Heaven also needs to be true in some mystical way - otherwise it betrays itself ontologically. I know it's just my personal feeling, but I wouldn't want anything to do with a heaven that didn't meet St. Teresa of Avila's approval on the metaphysical level (I'm not her relgion, but I'm on her wavelength in `Interior Castle`)

Hell, though, can be full of lies, and as I say, there are an infinity of possible lies.

Finally, a person can be allowed to change their whole personality in hell - so what if they see the error of their ways? That too will add to their torment.

In heaven, a person would need to have found a resting point. Heaven loses its goodly quality if a person doesn't retain personality. But, a personality with pettiness or any malignancy not in full wane would fail to appreciate heaven making it not heaven. Therefore, no personality would have to have reached an upward trend in life, or the heavenly wouldn't leave a person's "soul" intact.

Now, for my own selfish comfort, I want to make a leap of logic and claim that there's only one heaven, albeit maybe with different viewing ports, and many, many hells. I shouldn't do that, though, because you're very right about interpretive versus fact. Heck, were you making my contention, I could see me arguing for inclusion of this heavenly structure concept within one of the antimonies of Kant's first Critique. It certainly seems like I'm basing interpretation on regulative injunctions applying to constitutive details. Naughty me!

But, in fiction 2+2 can equal 5, given enough exposition. Future episodes probably will allow for more such speculative interpretation. Good thing, that - maybe even a heavenly thing?! Timeless.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! (spoilers for AfterLife) -- Humanitas, 11:15:41 10/12/01 Fri
I probably should have compared the situation to the concept of repeatable results in science. Only experiments that can be repeated represent a form of "truth". The scientific method's love of mathematics traces to Plato, I believe.

I'm not sure I follow your distinction between fact and truth. I suspect we agree in our usages to a large degree. I'm willing to imbue "truth" with some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that I try not to let slime up "fact".

Yeah, it does look like we agree in terms of usage. Certainly in science, fact and truth are equivalent. My grumble is that I don't think that science is necessarily a good model for philosophy, which of necessity must deal with opinion and interpretation. Or, perhaps more accurately, I think that science can only take us so far in any search for enlightenment.

BTW, Cleanthes, be sure to check out Sol's post starting an above thread (the title is "growing up"), which takes issue with one of my 'facts.' Serves me right for being so sure of myself!
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! (spoilers for AfterLife) -- Cleanthes, 20:47:58 10/12/01 Fri
BTW, Cleanthes, be sure to check out Sol's post starting an above thread (the title is "growing up"), which takes issue with one of my 'facts.' Serves me right for being so sure of myself!

Oh, I think you made a good point within the context of this discussion, although Sol's point sets limits on the context, beyond which other things come into play.

Thanks for not commenting on the utter incoherence of my two penultimate paragraphs. I'm a person who needs a lot of editing.

Once more into the breach: only personalites trending positive could enjoy heaven, in theory; considerations of the afterlife must remain interpretations, rather than facts because the afterlife involves constitutive elements inaccessible to human ken, but our terms of discussion, especially mine, use concepts of regulative injunction even though I know better.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Heavenmouth? LOL! (spoilers for AfterLife) -- Humanitas, 06:45:20 10/13/01 Sat
And here I thought it was just me not understanding! Thanks for the clarification.

It seems to me that having a positive-trending personality might even be a selector for heaven, at least the sort of heaven that Buffy describes. Hmmmm. That means we cynics are in trouble, doesn't it? ;)
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[> [> [> [> [> Which leads to an interesting question... -- RichardX1, 10:25:02 10/11/01 Thu
Do Wiccans even believe in an afterlife? And if so, is there anything Heaven-like in their beliefs?

(If I can post this response without offending ANYONE, I'll be pleasantly shocked)
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[> [> [> [> [> minor note? y'mean like the ones in jewish music? (in this life anyway) -- anom, 21:21:08 10/11/01 Thu
Along the (very long) way, Judaism has had several ideas of an afterlife(s). "Shades" wandering in She'ol forever (sorta like the limbo you mentioned, Sol--no, not pleasant, but not unpleasant either, just...there), mass resurrection when the Messiah comes (for the 1st & only time!), &, yes, Gan-Eyden (the Garden of Eden, having much in common w/xtian ideas of heaven) vs. Gehinnom (Gehenna, corresponding to hell).

There's some cool stories in Jewish folklore about that last pair. One of my favorites is the one where a Jew gets a look at hell: a banquet w/delicious food, but all the people's arms end in spoons & are too long to bring the food to their mouths, & they're all miserable. Then a look at heaven: exactly the same, but the people there are all happy. Why? They're feeding each other.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> ah-hah, I was thinking of She'ol -- Solitude1056, 21:51:50 10/11/01 Thu
Which I unfortunately always get confused with Shoah, because of the Sh- sound, even though yes I'm very aware that Shoah is completely different. Hey, I'm only adequate with languages... I can barely manage my native one, half the time! ;-)

Thanks for the explanations... wondering if Joss is aware of the Jewish understanding of the afterlife, and whether that would explain Willow's presumption, or is she basically secular except for the winter holiday reference once a year?
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> willow's presumption -- anom, 22:10:43 10/11/01 Thu
I'm not sure Willow was presuming a hellish afterlife--I thought she said something like, "How do we know she's not in torment?" She couldn't deal w/even the possibility her friend was going through that & not try to do something about it. Maybe a heaven (or heaven-like dimension) didn't occur to her because there's been no experience in the Buffyverse with other dimensions that were anything other than hellish.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: willow's presumption -- RichardX1, 09:51:48 10/12/01 Fri
"Maybe a heaven (or heaven-like dimension) didn't occur to her because there's been no experience in the Buffyverse with other dimensions that were anything other than hellish."

And *that's* what I meant by "cynicism".
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: ah-hah, I was thinking of She'ol -- RichardX1, 05:56:27 10/12/01 Fri
"wondering if Joss is aware of the Jewish understanding of the afterlife, and whether that would explain Willow's presumption, or is she basically secular except for the winter holiday reference once a year?"

Considering Willow's mother's behavior in "Gingerbread" (psycho-analyzing her daughter's behavior rather than breaking out the Torah), I'd guess Willow grew up in a secular household.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Willows Family -- Cygnus, 10:47:06 10/12/01 Fri
I agree with you re her mother but remember when she did the de-invite in Passions she definitely made reference to her father's reaction to her hanging crucifixes in her room, so I'm guessing her father is a practising Jew
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Willows Family -- RichardX1, 13:38:11 10/12/01 Fri
Or at least offended by the imposition of Christianity on American culture.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- spike lover, 12:02:51 10/10/01 Wed
What if Buffy would have been vamped? Would he still want to shack up with evil Buffy or would he protect dawn and her friends?
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- vaguely longish -- Rattletrap, 05:24:13 10/10/01 Wed
It's only fiction . . . It's only fiction . . . It's only fiction . . . It's only fiction
I have to keep repeating this to remind myself. That may be the darkest, most intense piece of fictional entertainment I have ever seen. I'm still processing things. This episode reminds me a little of "Forever" in that it was very well written, excellently acted, and took the story exactly where it needed to go; but it was also not something I enjoyed, it was almost too painful. I like all of these characters and don't want the things that are going to happen to happen. I really hope we get another BuffyBot-type wacky episode in the next couple of weeks, because after this week's Angel and this episode of Buffy it is right on the edge of being too much to take.

Spike has consistently shown himself to be the person with the greatest insight into people. In "Lover's Walk," "Something Blue," and countless other times, Spike has had a better grasp of what's going on in the heads of the SG members than anyone else. Right now, he sees the dark road Willow is on while no one else--except maybe Tara--does. Xander still sees the sweet, innocent, slightly-nerdy Willow he new in high school and has frozen her in his mind that way, not believing--or not wanting to believe--that she could be into this kind of nasty stuff.

This week, both AtS and BtVS raise the question of how close someone can safely get to evil. To fight evil is to be in constant contact with it, even that contact has the power to corrupt. The SG have had to use increasingly more powerful means to defeat their steadily-more-indestructible foes. Giles warned Willow in Season 2 that channeling powerful magic through herself could open the door to something she couldn't control. I fear we are going to see those words become reality very soon. On AtS, the AI crew still retain their sense of mission, but are also willing to turn a blind eye to the baby-eating monsters in Caritas when it suits their purposes to do so. Gunn's crew has used the innate goodness of their mission as a springboard to indescriminate, wanton death and destruction. Is the nature of evil such that even fighting against it can cause someone to succumb to it.

Finally, we have to work in our "All Threads lead to Campbell." Dedalus (or someone else, don't remember) commented about the Heroine's Journey being cyclical, as opposed to the Hero's Journey being linear. That seems to be especially true in Buffy's case. We find that by the end of last season, our heroine completed her journey and achieved a sort of apotheosis. Now she is forcibly and traumatically yanked out of heaven and forced to begin the journey again; forced back through another phase of separation into a second phase of initiation, to use Campbell's terminology.

I do have a question about one thing she said. In the conversation with Spike at the end (I'm paraphrasing here) she said she was at peace knowing that she was OK, and everyone she cared about was OK. The last part of that statement seems problematic to me, didn't the SG try to call her back because thing's in Sunnydale weren't OK? Certainly, the post-apocalyptic, fires burning, demon bikers everywhere vision of Sunnydale that Buffy returned to wasn't what she wanted to preserve through her death. Am I creating more of a problem with this statement that was actually intended, or are we missing something larger at work here?

Still processing things
and reminding myself it's only fiction, it's only fiction.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- vaguely longish -- LadyStarlight, 06:40:01 10/10/01 Wed
My take on the "they were OK" statement was that it was metaphorical. That she knew that everyone could go on without her, live for her.

There's always going to be an element of physical danger in Sunnydale, Slayer or no.
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[> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- vaguely longish -- Dedalus, 08:52:56 10/10/01 Wed
Actually, A8 did the Campbell thing, I only commented on it. You can be assured I'm going to be flipping through my copy of Hero tonight.

Anyway, Rattletrap, I think Buffy went into heaven with that expression of peace on her face when she died. I think that's what she was talking about. Time didn't mean anything. She was sort of caught in that moment for all eternity. Like Campbell said, eternity is not a long time, it has nothing to do with time. She would have existed forever as she had died, as a god.

As for the demon bikers, I'm always willing to say that maybe the Powers arranged it so the resurrection would not be successful, much like Tara said.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- vaguely longish -- Dariel, 20:15:02 10/10/01 Wed
I think Buffy went into heaven with that expression of peace on her face when she died. I think that's what she was talking about. Time didn't mean anything. She was sort of caught in that moment for all eternity.

Great point. Reminds me of a wonderful Japanese movie, also named Afterlife. (Hmmm.) Upon their deaths, the protaganists end up in a sort of way station. Here, each person is allowed to choose the happiest moment of his/her life. A sort of movie is made of this moment, and the individual then re-experiences that moment for all of eternity.
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[> [> [> [> Murphy's Law (yes, spoilers this time) -- Cleanthes, 07:18:46 10/11/01 Thu
As for the demon bikers, I'm always willing to say that maybe the Powers arranged it so the resurrection would not be successful, much like Tara said.

Good Point. The Buffybot seemed to malfunction a whole lot. Yet, it apparently fooled everyone for 140 or so days. It can't have worked so poorly for that long!

So maybe TPTB work through Murphy -- the Buffybot failed so much in the final few days because it needed to fail at the worst possible moment, just when the SG commited the final acts leading to their resurrection spell.
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[> [> Everyone is OK - the Buddha' Vision -- Ryuei, 10:35:29 10/10/01 Wed
Buffy's statement that everyone she cared about was OK (in spite of how they themselves felt) reminded me of a passage in the Flower Garland Sutra wherein the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree right after his enlightenment realizes that all beings are already Buddhas but they do not realize it. So from Buffy's "heavenly" perspective everyone is ultimately ok, but from the perspective of people still in the Saha World (the world of endurance i.e. here) things are harsh and violent and they are still making trouble for themselves.

In fact, if the Scooby Gang had not been working on bringing Buffy back from heaven, they could have solved their own problems themselves. Willow and the others could have evolved into a crack vampire/demon fighting team on their own instead of overly relying on the erratic Buffybot and their hope of bringing Buffy back. In doing that, the Hellmouth would have remained a non-inviting target for the Hellions. In fact, now that I think about it, the reason the vampire was able to get away was because the SG was where they shouldn't have been doing what they shouldn't have been doing instead of patrolling as they should have been. So instead of being empowered by Buffy's sacrifice, they disempowered themselves and ultimately brought on themselves the necessity for Buffy's return. If they had taken a more enlightened perpective - they would have realized that they were ok and not created so many problems for themselves and now for Buffy.

Returning to Buffy and the Buddha, it is interesting that even though the Buddha knew that all beings are Buddha, he also realized that they need help figuring that out. This is why the Buddha didn't just stay seated under the Bodhi Tree but got up and began teaching so people could realize for themselves what the Buddha knew they were all along. The bodhisattvas of the Flower Garland Sutra go even further and make vows to be reborn in all the realms of suffering in order to save all sentient beings. Though Buffy did not volunteer for this duty on her own initiative, it would seem that she is in the same position. Though she has merited a heavenly reward, she has returned to the Saha World to save her friends. In telling Spike not to tell the SG what they had done, it seems as though she has, albeit after the fact, accepted this mission and volunteered to reenter the fray and take the suffering on herself in order to spare her friends - and ultimately this season she will probably have to save them from themselves - just as the classic bodhisattva does.
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[> [> [> Re: Everyone is OK - the Buddha' Vision -- Dedalus, 13:45:00 10/10/01 Wed
Excellent. I love a good Buddhist perspective. Buffy back on the wheel of samsara ... again.

I was going to draw the bodhisattva parallel, but since she didn't willingly come back, I didn't know if it would apply.

Just out of curiousity, would you interpret the end of the Gift as Buffy's moment of genuine enlightenment? Everything was so bright and clear, and she'd figured it out? I can't help but notice the Buddha statuettes all over the magic shop, so it might have even been intentional. Are Buddhists big on Buffy? :-)
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[> [> [> [> Buffy and the Parable of the Magic City -- Sryuei, 14:13:32 10/10/01 Wed
I think Buffy qualifies as a bodhisattva, and if nothing else her sacrifice in The Gift definately befitted a bodhisattva. I would not say she is a fully enlightened Buddha though. A Buddha (or even a celestial bodhisattva) would not be attached to the afterlife bliss that she found either. She found peace through rebirth in a heavenly realm but has not yet attained nirvana. Nirvana is not a place but a state or realization - and in that realization she would be at peace no matter what environment she found herself in or challenges she might be facing. This is especially true of the so-called "non-abiding nirvana" of the advanced bodhisattvas who cling neither to defects of samsara or the bliss of nirvana. Non-abiding nirvana is a deeper understanding of nirvana wherein the bodhisattva realizes that true nirvana is not this world nor apart from it either. I know that sounds confusing but think of it this way - true peace is not being in a peaceful place but being so at peace yourself that you bring it with you wherever you go.

It is worth nothing that according to the traditional story of the Buddha he was attacked by demons, wild elephants, assassins in the employ of his rival Devadatta, and even a serial killer working for an evil guru. But the demons' arrows turned into flowers, the elephant was tamed, the assassins converted, and the serial killer converted and even became an arhat (one who has attained nirvana in this lifetime). Buffy, as saintly as she is, still has to fight her way out of the problems she faces. So she is on the way, but hasn't arrived yet.

Oh, and one other parable just came to mind. The Parable of the Magic City in the Lotus Sutra. In the parable a guide (the Buddha) leads a group of travellers (his disciples) across a wild frontier (this world of suffering) in search of treasure. On the way, the travellers get discouraged by all the dangers and hardships, so the guide creates the illusion of a city wherein they can rest and recuperate. This city represent nirvana perceived as a blissful state for oneself apart from this world. However, once the travellers are rested, the guide reveals that the city was only a magical illusion and that they must travel on because they have yet to reach the true treasure (buddhahood). So they move on and eventually all find the real treasure which is an enlightenment that transcends the dichotomy between nirvana and samsara and which is capable of enlightening all beings as opposed to simply a blissful escape for onself.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy and the Parable of the Magic City -- Rufus, 14:54:02 10/10/01 Wed
"Nirvana is not a place but a state of realization - and in that realization she would be at peace no matter what environment she found herself or challanges she might be facing."

"True peace is not being in a peaceful place but being so at peace with yourself that you bring it with you wherever you go."

"So they move on and eventually all find the real treasure which is an enlightenment the trancends the dichotomy between nirvana and samsara and which is capable of enlightening all beings as opposed to simply escape for oneself."


I have to go back to the beginning of the Buffyverse where Giles makes it clear that the earth was a hell. This hell was disrupted by the evolution of man, sending the demons to other hell dimensions. It's ironic to find out that man didn't create a heaven but just a different form of hell.
Buffy is the answer that humanity is looking for. Her gift is more than just death, it's the understanding of absolute love and completion. I think there is no accident that the slayer was created at the counterpoint to the vampire. You have the living slayer and the undead vampire in eternal battle. I think that the end of the battle could involve a "key" that bridges the divide between the living and undead, giving all the opportunity to experience enlightenment.
Buffy is only aware that absolute love is the potential for all things, she has experienced the potential but hasn't finished her job of guiding this hell into enlightenment.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ryuei and Rufus -- Dedalus, 16:08:33 10/11/01 Thu
Do me a favor.

Get off your asses and write an essay based on everything the two of you just said, and submit it to Liquidram.

Great stuff.

On another note, it just occured to me that Buffy was like the Buddha in the Gift in that she dove right into the middle of the portal, which perhaps represented the wheel of suffering, and extinguished it, much like the Buddha did in the Immovable Spot. Cool.
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[> [> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- vaguely longish -- Traveler, 22:15:15 10/10/01 Wed
Everybody was OK when Buffy died. She had defeated Glory and saved Dawn. Most likely, after she went to "heaven," she had no idea what was going on in this dimension.
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[> Re: Afterlife Thoughts & Comments (yes, spoilers this time) -- bible belt, 18:16:19 10/11/01 Thu
One great discussion after another, that's why I'm hear. Iím really learning a lot, since I mostly thought Buffy was just miffed because she realized she was going to have to get a job. :-) lol
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Painful -- ?, 21:00:28 10/09/01 Tue
I can't help but feel that the only emotion present so far this season is pain. I want to be happy that Buffy is back so that she show could continue, but after watching her suffer the way she is all because of the selfish actions of her friend, It almost feels like it would have been better if the show would have come to a close with last season. If I want to feel depressed everytime I watch a TV show I'll watch reruns of Party of Five. This isn't the Buffy I love anymore, well atleast not yet it isn't.
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[> Re: Painful -- Dedalus, 21:25:24 10/09/01 Tue
Greetings, ?.

It feels strange putting a period after a question mark, but nevertheless ... :-) Actually, I like the mystery.

Anyway, last week was a bit rough for me. I expected the Scoobies to be in pain, not Buffy. I thought everyone handled the death okay, except for Willow. Some have said Xander, but I thought he rocked last week. He is the kind of guy you want in a crisis. And the way he stood up to that demon biker? "Big axe." "Good for putting you in the ground, grandma." DAMN! He was a bad ass. I feel Willow was the only one who didn't deal at all on this one. If she wasn't killing helpless fawns and making up stories about Buffy in hell, she was spitting up copperheads and lying to her friends. She did not deal with it at all, until maybe in the very end, when she thought the spell hadn't worked.

Buffy last week ... I couldn't even take any pleasure in Dawn getting to see her sister again. The second half was so dark, and I felt so sorry for Buffy.

This week was bad, but ... as horrible as getting torn out of Buffyverse heaven would be ... I am glad to know she wasn't in hell. For one thing, it would have totally screwed up my essays about the Gift. For another, it would have meant that the Buffyverse was completely devoid of justice and happiness, just a cp;d, sadistic place full of violence and torment. That there is a heaven in it ... we know about the Powers, and I thought Amends was great in showing us a little bit of inspirational higher powers ...it makes me feel a little better. I'm glad Buffy got to experience happiness and warmth and peace, at least for awhile. I couldn't have handled her winding up in hell.

So just try to look at it that way.

Also, I think this does stand as testimony that the show is still going strong, and the writers still no how to miss with our heads. I wasn't expecting that, and I don't think anyone was. They are brilliant in the way they do that. I think we have seen all the drama this scene being carefully arranged already.
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[> [> Hey Ded--All things lead to Campbell. -- A8, 22:27:14 10/09/01 Tue
You think, maybe, JW, Marti Noxon and crew are using 'The Hero With a Thousand Faces' as their series outline?

Just reading through the sub-chapter 'Rescue from Without' from the chapter 'Return,' and thought I would contribute some relevant quotes below.

Campbell explains:

"The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without. That is to say, the world may have to come and get him. For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state. 'Who having cast off the world,' we read, 'would desire to return again? He would only be THERE.' And yet, in so far as one is alive, life will call. Society is jealous of those who remain away from it, and will come knocking at the door. If the hero--like Muchukunda--is unwilling, the disturber suffers an ugly shock; but on the other hand, if the summoned one is only delayed--sealed in by the beatitude of the state of perfect being (which resembles death)--an apparent rescue is effected, and the adventurer returns...

[This] is the hero's ultimate difficult task. How render back into the light-world language the speech-defying pronouncements of the dark? How represent on a two-dimensional surface a three-dimensional form, or in a three-dimensional image a multi-dimensional meaning? How translate into terms of 'yes' and 'no' revelations that shatter into meaninglessness every attempt to define the pairs of opposites? How communicate to people who insist on the exclusive evidence of their senses the message of the all-generating void?

Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold. The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life. Why re-enter such a world? Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of transcendental bliss? As dreams that were momentous by night may seem simply silly in the light of day, so the poet and the prophet can discover themselves playing the idiot before a jury of sober eyes. The easy thing is to commit the whole community to the devil and retire again into the heavenly rock-dwelling, close the door, and make it fast. But if some spiritual obstetrician has meanwhile drawn the shimenawa across the retreat, then the work of representing eternity in time, and perceiving in time eternity, cannot be avoided."

Buffy's reluctant return, the SG's (and particularly, Willow's) bringing forth of the demonic life form as a "tax" on their resurrection spell, and Buffy's confession to Spike at the end of tonight's episode would have fit brilliantly within this chapter of Campbell's guide.

A8
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[> [> [> Re: Hey Ded--All things lead to Campbell. -- Dedalus, 08:23:03 10/10/01 Wed
Wow. Great points, A8. I should have put that together myself, but I didn't. It seems pretty dead-on to me.

Then again, I asked Joss Whedon in the third issue of the Buffy mag whether he was familiar with Hero with a 1000 Faces or not, and he said not. Still, these seems right on with what is going on in his universe. I guess we've had the answer in front of us all summer. :-)
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[> [> [> [> The thing about Campbell . . . -- Rattletrap, 15:05:16 10/10/01 Wed
. . . is that many people are familiar with the content of The Hero With 1000 Faces that have never read or even heard of the book. This is basic stuff taught in freshman lit. and folklore classes at universities all over the US and abroad. If Joss had classes with Slotkin and others, I'd bet he's been exposed to Campbell and just doesn't realize it. I think I also remember him referencing the hero's journey in an interview somewhere, but that maybe my brain acting up.
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[> Missing Angel -- Malandanza, 08:56:38 10/10/01 Wed
"I can't help but feel that the only emotion present so far this season is pain. I want to be happy that Buffy is back so that she show could continue, but after watching her suffer the way she is all because of the selfish actions of her friend, It almost feels like it would have been better if the show would have come to a close with last season"

Last season, whenever Buffy was exceptionally dark, we had a humorous AtS episode to balance it out -- we'd see Angel singing "Mandy" or learn why Angel doesn't dance, etc. And vice versa for the dark AtS episodes (with BtVS episodes like "Triangle" breaking up Noir Angel's rampages). With ANgel on Monday, we no longer have that balance so the BtVS episodes will likely alternate between light and dark -- too dark for the people who tune in for humor one week, and too silly for the angst-lovers the next week. I blame the WB.
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Buffy's "Heaven" -- Calluna, 22:08:13 10/09/01 Tue
Okay, so Buffy was happy in her "Heaven". She felt loved and knew her family and friends were safe. But maybe when her family and friends were no longer safe (Biker Demons finding out that there was no real Slayer) she was no longer going to be happy. Maybe that opened up the possibility for Willow's spell to work. This is going on hypothosis, but if the Biker Demons had never shown up in Sunnydale and if the Scoobies could have handled the day to day demonic activity, would the spell have worked? Perhaps Buffy is fooling herself into thinking that her "Heaven" would have continued. Perhaps the minute the Scoobies were in danger beyond their abilities, that would be when her "Heaven" would have ended and Hell would begin.
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[> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- Deeva, 23:34:46 10/09/01 Tue
I don't quite agree. Buffy's "Heaven" would not have ended with danger approaching Sunnydale. She was warm. Happy. Safe. Complete. In knowing that she gave all that she had to give to fulfill her meaning or purpose in life. She left knowing that at that moment in time, they would be okay. It would take time but they would be okay. Of course, now I'm just second guessing the writers but even if the Biker Gang had stayed in Sunnydale, they would have eventually figured out a way to drive them out.
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[> [> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- spike lover, 11:10:17 10/10/01 Wed
Do you think that the scoobies would have called Angel to help with the Hell demons if Buffy didn't come back?
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[> [> [> Lack of Faith -- Wilder, 20:18:34 10/10/01 Wed
I'm surprised the Watcher's Council allowed the Scooby Gang to do the work of the Slayer for the last three months. Surely, there should have been some debate amongst them to spring/kill Faith and get someone in that town.

After all, they sent (?) down Kendra and Buffy was still around. And then Faith, as well.

Do they have poor communication/ organization going on or what?
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[> [> [> [> Re: Lack of Faith -- Deeva, 20:30:01 10/10/01 Wed
I'm not even sure if the Council knew of Buffy's death. Last season, Buffy basically sent them packing back to England, with the instructions of "Don't call us, we'll call you." They knew that this Slayer had figured them out and she now called the shots.
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[> [> [> [> [> Irresponsible scoobies -- Wilder, 22:17:15 10/10/01 Wed
If the SG didn't let the Watcher's Council know of Buffy's demise, then that's pretty reckless of them (Giles included).

There are lives at stake (ahem) in Sunnydale. A Slayer's mission/ destiny goes beyond the adventures of Buffy's pals.

There's a post up higher my OnM that asked why didn't they consider busting Faith out of prision. Which then majes me wonder if Angel told Faith. I think not, or his lost contact with her, 'cause I suspect she might want to pull a little redemption by heading for the hellmouth.

But again ó I need to remember this is not real - and thus, plot lines must be worked around actors schedules.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Lack of Faith -- VampRiley, 13:07:41 10/11/01 Thu
Giles said that they needed the underworld to think that Buffy was alive. They might have feared that if they told the Council, someone in their organization might let it slip out.


VR
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[> [> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- RichardX1, 13:47:35 10/10/01 Wed
"even if the Biker Gang had stayed in Sunnydale, they would have eventually figured out a way to drive them out."

No, they would have finally wised up and EVACUATED!!!! I mean, the Mayor's gone, who's convincing people to stay in this town now? It's a HELLMOUTH!!! They all need to leave! And after that, napalm the whole thing!
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[> The Heaven problem and Spike... -- Moose, 23:48:36 10/09/01 Tue
The problem of heaven is being happy without those you love that are alive or didn't make it. Joss tried to explain this theological conundrum as so many have by having those in heaven "know" that their loved ones are okay. Whether this is actual deception raises further harry theological points (which Joss clearly wanted to avoid by Buffy saying "I don't know much about theology") such as how the Powers That Be can be good if they lie to people, or whether lying to those in heaven to prevent their suffering is justified.

I do think that once Buffy realizes that the rest of her family (the Scoobies and especially Dawn) were in "Hell" without her, it should lessen the pain of what she has lost. Which is what I think we are seeing when she makes lunch for Dawn and lies to the Scoobies to prevent pain to them.

I believe she only told Spike because Spike was the least demanding of her and the most accepting. He didn't have expectations like Dawn or Willow. Part of that may be because he feels he has let her down, failing to do as she asked. But I like to think that his love for her has made him more perceptive to Buffy's feelings than any of the Scoobies.

At this point, you can call it twisted love or digusting love, or heck, just vampiric love, but you can't not call it love. I have a sneaking suspicion Spike is growing a soul.
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[> [> soul or not .... -- Liq, 00:01:04 10/10/01 Wed
"At this point, you can call it twisted love or digusting love, or heck, just vampiric love, but you can't not call it love. I have a sneaking suspicion Spike is growing a soul."

At this point I would have to call it the most unconditional, undemanding, tender love I have seen, which any creature, human or not would be lucky to be on the receiving end of. I really, truly wanted wicked Spike back, but I am surely loving him like this.

This episode reduced me to a quivering puddle of female hormones, scared the crap outta me, and then managed to shock me alert at the end of it all with stunning revelation.

Welcome Back Buffy.
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[> [> Re: The Heaven problem and Spike... -- Lampbane, 08:02:19 10/10/01 Wed
I think Buffy told Spike the truth mostly because she doesn't really care too much about how Spike might feel - That's why they showed us the flashback of her telling him off. Plus, he didn't cast the spell so there wouldn't be any guilt on his part.
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[> [> [> Re: The Heaven problem and Spike... -- Dedalus, 09:06:52 10/10/01 Wed
Or maybe she told him - as others have suggested - so he wouldn't feel guilty at having sent her to a hell dimension via his failure with Dawn.

And the idea of Spike growing a soul ... as Joss defined it, it makes sense. Even with Buffy viewing this reality as hell it makes sense. It's a vale of soul-making, as Keats would say.
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[> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- change, 03:20:03 10/10/01 Wed
> Okay, so Buffy was happy in her "Heaven". She felt loved and knew her family and friends were safe. But maybe when
> her family and friends were no longer safe (Biker Demons finding out that there was no real Slayer) she was no
> longer going to be happy.

It depends upon what "safe" means. In this case, safe could be that they would go to heaven when they died. If so, then the Hellions would be irrelevant.
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[> [> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- Andy, 06:11:25 10/10/01 Wed
Exactly. I imagine that being in Heaven would give one a vastly different perspective on what "alright" means than being on Earth.

Andy
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[> [> [> Re: Buffy's "Heaven" -- Dee, 08:32:53 10/10/01 Wed
I think Buffy's description of her "heaven" is very strongly biblically-based. The Bible speaks of heaven as being a home-well, what feelings do most people equate with being home? Love, safety, warmth, happiness, a feeling of "everything will be ok". I think that her statement of having to live with the knowledge of what she had lost(Heaven) is one of the saddest moments in Buffy history.
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[> [> [> [> hey, no one's cornered the market on afterlife-peace ;-) -- Solitude1056, 08:46:13 10/10/01 Wed
There are many, many religions that have some sort of an afterlife. A great many of these incorporate the notion of cosmic justice: those who fought hard will know peace, those who made others suffer will themselves suffer, those who had no home will be at home, etc., etc. This common thread in humanity's expectations and hopes for post-death existence was just filtered through a Jossian sensibility, which means we're not going to have a Buffy who's "found religion," so to speak. Nor are we likely to get everything in Buffy's memories - summerlands, nirvana, valhalla, ad infinitum - Joss never gives it to us like that. His writings are marked as much by what he doesn't say, as by what he says, and we're left to fill in the blanks as we choose. If you're xtian, then yes, she went to heaven; if you're norse, she was in valhalla (a concept I strangely prefer, given her warrior status), if you're hindu, buddhist, voudoun, whatever. The bottom line of so many is that after life, there's a rest, a respite.

But her remark that this is hell reminded me of the attitude I held while studying theology, a mildly heretical one in its day & age, that our current existence is hell. Okay, so that has a lot to do with Simone Weil and the idea that as an ascetic, being separated from the divine is a hell in & of itself... ;-)
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: hey, no one's cornered the market on afterlife-peace ;-) -- Dedalus, 09:15:07 10/10/01 Wed
Buffy in valhalla. Ha.

Actually, I thought the whole thing was handled sublimely. Sol is right. Joss' writings is as marked by what he doesn't say as by what he does. I will have to interpret this and get back to it ...

Also, I want to thank Mutant Enemy for not dragging us along for two months, teasing us with where Buffy was. I am so glad they just got it out in the open. The way this story is unfolding - I mean, the whole thing, not just season six - still satisfies me completely.

Sol what was that theology, anyway?
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[> [> [> [> [> Paradise Lost? -- Malandanza, 10:48:21 10/10/01 Wed
The Buffyverse concepts of heaven and hell are still a bit vague. Is "heaven" something Buffy earned during the course of her life? Is it the reward for being the Slayer? Or is it something she earned in the instant before her death?

Death is your gift
Perhaps all slayers go to "heaven." TPTB's reward their conscripts for earthly suffering by granting them eternal peace. There could be more than one heaven and not every person who deserves a reward would be eligible. Special cases only. Think of TPTB maintaining their own personal heavens in the same way they maintain their own personal hells (as we saw on Angel). In this case, Willow has merely delayed Buffy's final reward by bringing her back.

Good Works
Has Buffy earned heaven through the good that she has done over the course of her life? Is her Karmic balance sheet so far into the plus side that even if she were to become a serial killer in her final years, she would still merit a reward? Again, Willow has only delayed Buffy's reward in such a case. Sure, she'll have to suffer a few more years, but she's used to suffering -- besides, it builds character.

Moment of Grace/Clarity/Whatever
Or did Buffy earn heaven in the final minutes of her life? Her sacrifice, her state of mind, her inner peace -- can she ever recapture this moment? Buffy found heaven once -- can she find it again? Has Willow effectively torn her friend from heaven and risked Buffy never finding it again?

Imagine Buffy's yearning for the peace she had known -- can she be happy in the Buffyverse? What about her "death wish"? If she didn't have one before, will she have one now? -- or will she be afraid of death now that she knows what she can lose?

We've seen two clear examples of hell -- Angel was sent to "hell" by Buffy and Angel rescued the necromancer from hell. In both cases, it appears the person's body was physically present and being tortured physically -- that is, it was not a disembodied soul being punished. Hell, in the Christian sense of the word, may not exist in the Buffyverse -- Darla certainly didn't remember one even though she merited punishment both as a vampire and as a human. It is possible that heaven and hell in the Buffyverse are only for a select few -- those who are evil beyond human comprehension if the former case and a handful of saints and martyrs in the latter.

I suspect that Buffy will seek answers in spirituality of some form or another -- or that she will descend into apathy or despair, giving free reign to her subconscious death wish.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Paradise Lost? -- Dedalus, 13:23:22 10/10/01 Wed
Good questions. I'm going with moment of grace/clarity. I think she essentially created her heaven out of her satori-like moment in The Gift. More on this later.

As far as what Whedon has said, hell does not exist in the Buffyverse, at least not in the Biblical sense.

I do think Buffy will have to take a more spiritual route this season, and while I'm sure they'll keep it vague enough for multiple interpretations, I personally can't wait. The myth will then be complete. ;-)
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[> [> [> [> [> "Hell is other people" ;) *g* -- rowan, 19:21:40 10/10/01 Wed
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[> Buffy's heaven is the womb! -- change, 16:51:58 10/10/01 Wed
Did anyone notice that Buffy's description of Heaven, and of her resurrection are metaphors for the womb and for birth. Here is Buffy's description of Heaven. I think it's a good metaphor for the womb.

I was happy.
Where ever I was, I was happy, at peace.
I knew that everyone I cared about was alright.
I knew it.
Time didn't mean anything.
Nothing had form, but I was still me. You know.
And I was warm, and I was loved.
And I was finished. Complete.

Later she will say that she finds this world to be bright, which implies that heaven was dark like the womb. Now look at how she describes her rebirth.


I was torn out of there.
Pulled out by my friends.


And here's how she describes the world.

Everything here is hard and bright and violent.
Everything I feel, everything I touch. This is hell.


Probably what a new born baby would feel like. Some people believe that people have an unconscious desire to go back to the womb where they were safe and at peace. Buffy next few lines suggest this to me.

Just getting through the next moment and the one after that.
Knowing what I've lost.


Apparently in the Buffyverse, you do get to go back to the womb when you die. This has the effect of making human life into a sort of cycle where you end up where you started from.

When Buffy describes heaven she states that "I was finished. Complete." This could refer to her having finished her life as a human, or to being ready to go onto the next stage of her existence, like a baby ready to be born. If so, then the scoobies have force her to repeat a stage, like being force to repeat a grade at school.
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[> [> Now there's a thought! I would've never come up with that. -- Deeva, 17:16:15 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> Anamnesis -- Cleanthes, 18:46:19 10/10/01 Wed
Beautiful post, very good point. The ancient Greeks had a notion of life-before-birth. Plato sets out the theory in several dialogues, especially, "Meno".

Will she be able to remember her time in heaven? Could she remain sane if she did? Or will it become a semi-memory like the anamnesis experience, only accessible via learning/remembering?
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[> [> Ahem! -- Rahael, 01:50:02 10/11/01 Thu
I think I made the same point earlier, if not as eloquently as you did! In the Willow/Matriarch thread.

Sometimes this board is an interesting ontological experience for me
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[> [> [> Re: Ahem! -- change, 06:33:08 10/11/01 Thu
Sorry. I didn't see your post. I'm only a sometime lurker and don't read every post.

While we're on the subject, I should mention that someone else pointed out the parallel between Buffy's resurrection and being reborn last week. That was when we were discussing Bargaining. I would give them credit, but I can't find their post now.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Ahem! -- Rahael, 06:51:38 10/11/01 Thu
Oh no, that's ok. I assumed that someone would have pointed it out, the analogy was so blatant.

Its just that you all get to watch the eps!! And all I have is the Philosophy Board and all your comments!! Actually, having intelligent and thoughtful comments are very bad because they make it sound even better. I don't usually post much, but I seem obssessed at the moment - I'm getting my Buffy fix vicariously.

They sound so great, can't believe I shall have to wait until JUNE 2002 to see this.

Aaargh!!
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: I thought the same thing. Womb indeed. -- Dedalus, 16:11:32 10/11/01 Thu
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[> [> Re: Buffy's heaven is the womb! WAS IT A SINGLE BIRTH OR WERE THERE TWINS? -- vulpes, 02:15:24 10/11/01 Thu
Remember the demon which the SBs made bring Buffy back? Any comment?
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[> [> [> Re: Buffy's heaven is the womb! WAS IT A SINGLE BIRTH OR WERE THERE TWINS? -- change, 03:27:54 10/11/01 Thu
The stork made a mistake and dropped off an extra one. Somewhere, some demon mother is still waiting for her little bundle of joy.
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The eyes are the window to the soul -- cknight, 05:31:44 10/10/01 Wed
Willow is using the Darkest powers more and more. Notice that Tara's eyes never go black when she does magic. When Willow does magic with Tara, Willow's eyes don't go black. But last night when the chanting and the spell seemed to be taking too long she broke hands with Tara and summoned dark magic which was quicker than using white magic. Willow also looks to the ceiling hiding from Tara that she's once again using evil magic, because Tara can't see her eyes. Tara knows Willow is doing something wrong but like I've said before, it's her love for Willow and the fear of losing her that keeps her in check. But think Willows power is growing so fast that the rest of SG will find out soon enough.

Buffy should have told Willow what she had done by bringing her back. I think Willow wanted to bring Buffy back just because she wanted to show just how powerful she is, to herself and the SG. Willow told the SG that Buffy could be in Hell and because it's Willow no more thought went into it. The key is they really didn't know where Buffy went. Buffy died fully realizing that her gift is love. Her love for Dawn and world. Why would the SG think the PTB would allow Buffy to be sent to Hell? Because Angel did? Look at what Angel was doing before he died at Buffy's hand, he deserved to go to Hell. Buffy dies protecting everyone and they think she would be sent to hell? If they had told Giles I think he would have told them these things.
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[> Re: The eyes are the window to the soul -- skeeve, 08:38:43 10/10/01 Wed
I see three reasons for Willow to tell the Scoobies that Buffy might be in a hell.

1) She lied to get the other Scoobies to go along with trying to raise Buffy from the dead. To me, this is the most likely. Had it been any other reason, the case could have been made better. It's not all that clear how much the other Scoobies believed Willow.

2) The mystical forces involved in Buffy's death were designed to connect to the hells, not to any heaven. Willow mentioned mystical forces, but not that they were designed to connect to the hells.

3) Willow knows that there are hells, but not that there is any heaven.

BTW Buffy told Spike almost exactly what Mephistopheles told Faust about hell: having been in heaven, earth is hell.

I wonder how long it would have taken Buffy to get bored in her heaven.
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[> [> Re: The eyes are the window to the soul -- Cleanthes, 10:49:02 10/10/01 Wed
"I wonder how long it would have taken Buffy to get bored in her heaven."

Joss covered this angle. Buffy says that time had no meaning.

Boethius (in `Consolation of Philosophy`), in contemplating the problem of good and evil, places good and evil deeds in the stream of cause and effect that we call fate. He doesn't directly consider the question of heaven, but the traditional answer is that heaven lies outside of time. Boethius does consider this, and calls it providence. Providence provides the answer, such as it is, for Boethius who awaits unfair execution for a crime he did not commit.

"Boredom" requires time. I do something for awhile and I get tired of it. Without time - in the realm of providence, it may be that boredom is impossible.
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[> Re: The eyes are the window to the soul -- tms, 08:41:25 10/10/01 Wed
Thank you! I was thinking the exact same thing. Here Buffy "saves the world - alot" and they really think she's going to go to some hell dimension? Puh-lease! I think Willow is definitely on a power trip - that old adage is true - absolute power corrupts absolutely. And since Giles would probably have told them they were wrong that's exactly why they didn't tell him. I think Spike is on the right track about why the gang didn't tell him. Will it come to a showdown between Buffy & Willow? Very interesting...
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[> [> Re: The eyes are the window to the soul -- Lucifer_Sponge, 09:20:39 10/10/01 Wed
Thank you! I was thinking the exact same thing. Here Buffy "saves the world - alot" and they really think she's going to go to some hell dimension? Puh-lease! I think Willow is definitely on a power trip - that old adage is true - absolute power corrupts absolutely. And since Giles would probably have told them they were wrong that's exactly why they didn't tell him. I think Spike is on the right track about why the gang didn't tell him. Will it come to a showdown between Buffy & Willow? Very interesting...

Did you actually watch Bargaining? Willow was in tears over the idea that Buffy might be in hell. It wasn't that they were thinking "Oh, Buffy died, so she must obviously be in Hell." They were thinking "Oh God... Buffy threw herself into a vortext of energy that was supposed to warp reality and let whoever entered cross through into any dimension they wished. That energy could have sent her anywhere, and if that's true, we owe it to her to bring her back. She could be suffering in hell... we have to save her from that."
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[> [> [> Thank you! -- Earl Allison, 09:27:04 10/10/01 Wed
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[> [> [> Portals -- Rufus, 14:07:10 10/10/01 Wed
Willow made a mistake.....she assumed that because Buffy died in a portal that she was trapped in a hell dimension. It was an easy enough mistake to make. All the gang felt that if they had done something faster, better....Buffy wouldn't have jumped...even Dawn felt that if she had been a better person Buffy would have been able to stay. They made an innocent mistake that had the consequences of pulling Buffy out of "heaven". Buffy may feel the pain of what she lost, but her thought was to protect her friends from the truth of what their actions had done. That was an act of kindness, she understands that the gang didn't act out of malice but of fear. Coming back from a place where she felt absolute love and the absence of fear, I think Buffy can understand why the SG did what they did. She may still resent them, but she knows what fear makes people do.
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[> [> Re: the eyes are the window to the soul ***Spoilers*** -- Deeva, 11:29:45 10/10/01 Wed
"Will it come to a showdown between Buffy & Willow?"

I don't know if I would use the term "Show Down". More like a intervention/confrontation of sorts. The last scene in the Magic Box (didn't it used to be called the Magick Box?) where Buffy tells the gang what they need to hear and finds out that it was mostly Willow's doing.

"So you're the one."

I can't forget that line. You just know that more will come of it. What, I don't know but it'll be good whatever it is.
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[> [> The eyes are the window to the soul -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:00:23 10/10/01 Wed
The actual quote is:

"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." -- Lord Acton

Willow's susceptibility to corruption depends on how she uses her immense power -- for her own benefit or for that of others. She seems to have an unfortunate tendency to persuade herself that what she wants -- what's of benefit to her -- is right. Ominous.

She still has options; but the jury's still out.
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[> Not sure I agree that quickly ... -- Earl Allison, 09:22:12 10/10/01 Wed
While I agree that Willow was perhaps too quick with the spells to make sure she knew what she was doing, I think WAY too many people are assuming ill of her.

Let's look at the end of "The Gift," shall we?

The portal was being opened to allow Glorificus to return to her home dimension. HER home dimension, that of a Hellgod, right?

What were the ONLY things we saw coming out of the portal? We saw a dragonlike creature, a building or two destroyed or changed to darker, more "evil" looking, and some other less-than-good things.

While Willow might have made a leap of logic, was it DELIBERATELY misleading? Not to me. The portal was, according to Giles, an accessway for ALL dimensions -- it was as likely as not that Buffy COULD have ended up in a hell dimension.

That being said, I think Willow is tapping evil forces not out of callousness, but arrogance. Arrogance that she can handle it, that she alone understands and can accept the burden, and that she knows best. Not the best of motivations, but I really, really think people are reading nasty intent in Willow where there isn't one.

Willow meant well, and I suspect the story about a hell dimension was as much to salve her own conscience as it was to keep the potential questions and challenges from the others to a minimum.

I don't think she raised Buffy to show off, but rather because she couldn't handle a world without her best friend. Look at how she caved in emotionally when she thought the spell had failed, something to the effect of "she's REALLY gone." Willow needed Buffy back, maybe as a friend, or maybe subconsciously as a counter to the darkness growing inside her. Hell, maybe it was misplaced guilt, that her powers SHOULD have stopped Glory, and didn't.

As for TPTB -- they oversee the entire arena of reality -- why assume that they would send Buffy to a nice place at all? Life is unfair, to assume that her death, being one of self-sacrifice, would automatically result in going to Heaven (or the Buffyverse equivalent) is as faulty as Willow's assumption that she AUTOMATICALLY was in a hell dimension.

Take it and run.
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[> [> Re: Not sure I agree that quickly ... -- Rattletrap, 15:16:36 10/10/01 Wed
I tend to agree with you Earl. Willow seemed to me to really believe that Buffy could be trapped in a hell dimension, and gives what seem to be plausible reasons for this. Her error came in equating those hypotheses with certainties. Over the years, Willow has become an adept researcher with a pretty good knowledge of the arcane and the mystical, so its hardly surprising that the group would follow her lead.
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[> [> [> do all roads lead to hell then? -- cknight, 17:56:54 10/10/01 Wed
The TPTB are in a war against darkness. That darkness has never been fully fleshed out. Angel is a warrior for TPTB, so is Buffy though she hasn't learned of them yet. Buffy died the portal closed. Willow kept using Angel's trip to hell as example, but come on man. Angel had just finished a season of killing and terrorizing, also tried gain enough power to destory the world. He died and went exactly where he should have went, TPTB most likely allowed him to escape hell when he was punished enough. Look at the recent show where TPTB had the guy imprisoned that Angel set free. You guys think why should I assume Buffy went to heaven. Why do you assume she went hell? I really glad that a heaven realm was finally mentioned on the show.
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[> [> [> [> No, but Willow's assumption was LOGICAL ... -- Earl Allison, 02:45:55 10/11/01 Thu
Please re-read what I posted -- I never said you should automatically assume she went to hell, but assuming TPTB would automatically send her to "heaven" is just as bad, if not worse.

Again, what did we see in regards to the portal? NOTHING good whatsoever. Giles himself said the portal opening was A Bad Thing (TM), and everything that came out of it was also "bad."

It would be far more likely to assume Buffy was in torment than not, given the Scoobies' experience with other dimensions, their lack of knowledge of TPTB, with what they saw in regards to the portal, and the general fact that they have seen little evidence in five years of many "good" dimensions.

As for Angel -- I hate to break it to you, but Angel went to Hell because that's where Acathla's portal LED to -- there was no divine intervention there. Hell (pardon the pun), even his release was supposedly orchestrated by evil forces. Admittedly, this was assumed, but there was NO evidence of benevolent PTB at work with Angel's release. You can make the case that they caused the snow that saved him from suicide, but that's all.

Again, all I'm saying is, it is at LEAST as logical to assume that she was in torment as it was to assume she wasn't, given the context, the portal itself, and the observations of the past five years.

Take it and run.
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[> [> Agreed: Hubris, arrogance, grief, but not malice. Yet... (spoilers) -- Lunarchickk, 19:41:53 10/10/01 Wed
Earl, I think your idea -- that Willow meant well -- is right on target. On rewatching AfterLife, Willow is geniunely happy that her friend has been rescued from hell, and is confused as to why Buffy's not more grateful. On first watching the show, I felt she was being, well, insane; Buffy only came back to life hours(?) ago, and Willow wants to know why she's not thanking her? But on rewatching, I think Willow really meant it. She seems to really hate to ask, but it weighs so heavily on her mind, that she finally confesses to Tara, asking if it makes her a bad person.

"That being said, I think Willow is tapping evil forces not out of callousness, but arrogance. Arrogance that she can handle it, that she alone understands and can accept the burden, and that she knows best. Not the best of motivations, but I really, really think people are reading nasty intent in Willow where there isn't one."

I agree... her acts seem more from hubris, arrogance, or thinking that she knows more than she does, than from real malice. Is Willow capable of such malice? Sure, I think so. Properly motivated, I think we all are. But her resurrection of Buffy, even including her pushing of her friends with her pleas that Buffy could be lost in some hell dimension, just don't seem malicious. She seemed more lost, still painfully grieving, and trying to make things "right" the only way she knew how. Her face shines with pride when Buffy "thanks" them in the Magic Box -- Willow seems to really feel that she -- they -- did it, they rescued her.

As someone else posted, there may not be a "turning point" for Willow where she embraces the "dark side" -- more likely, IMHO, is the idea that she will end up somewhere less than pleasant due to a series of decisions that are less than good. So many of her decisions have been for Buffy, with or without Buffy/s knowledge/consent -- to fight Glory as Buffy's "big gun," to lead the SG as Buffy did, to bring Buffy back -- if confronted about her actions, will she see them as of her own choosing? Or more like following Buffy's direction?


Current board | More October 2001