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Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Lucifer_Sponge, 09:31:21 10/10/01 Wed
Everyone seems to be pointing to the darkness that occasionally covers Willow's eyes when she works her magic as a sign that she's "slowly heading over to the other side." I've never thought this was true. Since when does black equal bad? Willow's been refering to what she does as "the Black Arts" ever since she started out. We don't need to take this as something evil.

Black can mean something hidden, or secret. It can also symbolize great strength and power... not necessarily of the evil kind. When Will's eyes get dark I always picture her as channeling some pretty intense, primal forces. But again, just because those forces are primal and intense does not mean that they're evil, or wrong in any way.

Yes, the first time her eyes went black was when she cracked open that book on dark magic. But her eyes were also black when she threw up that shield to protect everyone from the Knights of Byzantium.

[> Thank you! Darkness != evil (necessarily) -- Vickie, 10:02:31 10/10/01 Wed
Thanks for pointing out that dark magic is not necessarily evil. I have been thinking this for a while, but haven't come up with the right words to make the point.

In Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna, China Galland talks about how the darker, earthier, feminine powers have been pushed away in the West. In Christianity in particular, images of dark faced women exist but are given no reasonable explanation. Yet these Black Madonnas enjoy great veneration. In the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, similar images are accepted representations of spirit.

Carl Jung talks of the shadow self, the "dark" denied side of all of us that must be accepted for an individual to attain true integration. This dark side is not always the bad part of us. If we deny that we are competent in some way, that competence becomes part of the shadow as well.

Maybe Willow is beginning to integrate this darker side. Certainly there is danger in doing so; she may lose her way for a while and do things she shouldn't. But she may come out of it fuller, clearer, and more complete.

Just my thoughts, gang. Run with it and show me where I'm wrong. :)
[> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- rowan, 10:04:09 10/10/01 Wed
The black eyes are an ambiguous image. Katherine Madison's eyes went black when she fought against Buffy, Amy, and Giles. Her magic was hurtful and an attempt to totally destroy Amy's free will and right to exist as her own person (as well as an outright attempt to kill Buffy). Willow's go black as well, but her magic isn't always corresponding 'bad.'

I think you're right to say that the black eyes symbolize the assumption of great strength and power. The use of this power can be of the good or of the bad (to use those very loaded terms). I guess the question everyone's struggling with this season is, are we seeing some change in Willow's use?

The most disturbing thing to me in the scene (in terms of potential 'ominious' foreshadowing) was that Willow stopped chanting with Tara, broke the link by dropping her hands, and then proceeded to complete the spell herself. She chose to finish alone, rather than together. She's taking a road she can only go alone.

This contrasts with Buffy, who unlike other Slayers, has travelled her road with her friends, and as a result, has seen a corresponding increase in her power, happiness, and safety as a result.
[> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Sebastian, 11:43:00 10/10/01 Wed
I've always got the impression that in the Buffyverse - "black eyes" meant that the person was using the spell for maleveolent purposes or from a dark source.

Giles and Willow have both been shown to cast spells and thier eyes would not go black. And those were times that the spells were used for positive purposes (fighting Catherine Madison, exorcising the poltergeist from Sunnydale HSA, restoring Angel's soul).

But the times when person did have black eyes - it was because the nature of the spell or the intent was bad (once again, Catherine Madison, Amy turning Buffy into a rat, Willow using the Darkest Magick book to fight Glory, etc).

Someone also mentioned that although Will's eyes go black to fight the Knights of Byzantium - she was using it for good. If I'm not mistaken, was shoe not *using* the Darkest Magick book, tho? I do remember her ahving a book in her lap when she did that "raise the wall" spell - I had always assumed it was the same book - because they brought it with them to fight Glory if she did track them down during thier exodus.

And once again, last night, her eyes went black when she broke apart from Tara from to cast the spell.

Two more things. The music they used when Willow broke from Tara is the EXACT same music used when she fought Glory (sort of creepy East Indian music). And note she was using some pretty dark stuff to try to spill some GloryBlood.

ALSO - in the shooting script for "Bargaining" - it says that Willow's eyes go black when she does the "obscure" (the face gloop) and "fragile" (saving Tara from Razor) spell when they are fighting him in Part 2 - but in the show it didn't happen. Although they did not used the effect - I find it interesting it was *supposed* to happen.

I'm thinking the balck eyes is supposed to be a harbinger of bad mojo for Will.
[> [> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Lucifer_Sponge, 13:29:04 10/10/01 Wed
Someone also mentioned that although Will's eyes go black to fight the Knights of Byzantium - she was using it for good. If I'm not mistaken, was shoe not *using* the Darkest Magick book, tho?

You actually are mistaken. The "Darkest Magick" book had a black leather cover. The one she used against the Knights was brown.
[> [> [> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Sebastian, 14:17:32 10/10/01 Wed
>>The "Darkest Magick" book had a black leather cover. The one she used against the Knights was brown.>>

Well. *shrugs* Points for trying, at least. :)

Regardless of whatever book it was she used, it would seem that the change in eye color does not bode well for Will.

Just my thoughts.
[> [> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Astarte, 14:32:31 10/10/01 Wed
The meaning if black eyes during magic in the Buffyverse has always confused me. I think there is a good point to be made that they represent the usage of "darker" or more morally ambiguous magics. Think about the first way we were even introduced to magic with Katherine Madison. (Not the most positive portrayal I might add). All her magic was essentially "black." However, even though both Amy and Willow have also manifested black eyes, the level of manevolence in their spells has never reached the same level as Catherine Madison. Generally speaking, they were either for an ultimately "good" or "grey" purpose.

Therefore, I'm beginning to think that black eyes merely signify powerful witchcraft in the Buffyverse. Perhaps the moral is that the more powerful you are in your use of magic, the more easily blurred the line between good and evil becomes. Someone else made the point on this thread that the power/magic itself has no morality, but the actions or intentions of the user create good and bad. However, one could make the generalization that the more power you have, the more difficult it is to clearly see the moral implications of your actions. (In other words, power corrupts.) I'm just curious to see if Willow has the moral foundation and grouding to deal with her newfound level of power.

[Completely off topic, but I've been lurking here for a while now and I am happy to say this is my first post here. This message board is fantastic. Finally someplace to talk about the interesting issues relating to "Buffy" and "Angel" instead of the normal "Isn't so-and-so hot?" stuff you get elsewhere.]
[> [> [> [> I've been waiting for someone to mention... -- Solitude1056, 17:21:24 10/10/01 Wed
That Doc's eyes *also* went black, and he wasn't even performing magick (as far as I could tell) at that point. How does he fit in there? Can eyes-go-black for reasons other than doing magick of little or great power?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I've been waiting for someone to mention... -- Lucifer_Sponge, 18:32:38 10/10/01 Wed
I hadn't even thought of that. I, personally, think it was just a physical characteristic of his species... sort of a way to show that he wasn't human... just the way his tail did... which, by the way, brings me to another question... Did anyone actually -see- his tail in Weight of the World or The Gift?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: I've been waiting for someone to mention... Where is Doc anyways? -- vulpes, 02:20:04 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> [> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Humanitas, 17:31:00 10/10/01 Wed
Let me welcome you to the board by taking issue (in a friendly way, of course) with one of your points:

"However, even though both Amy and Willow have also manifested black eyes, the level of manevolence in their spells has never reached the same level as Catherine Madison."

I'd say that Willow's onslaught on Glory was pretty malevolent, wouldn't you? Granted, there is no question that Glory earned every ounce of pain inflicted on her (at least, not in my mind), but still, intent to harm is intent to harm, isn't it?

That said, I think your point about power obscuring the moral boundaries is well put, and well taken. Again, weclome, and thanks for joining the conversation. :)
[> [> [> [> Re: Why Willow's eyes are black... -- Shaglio, 06:25:48 10/11/01 Thu
"Therefore, I'm beginning to think that black eyes merely signify powerful witchcraft in the Buffyverse."

This is a theory that many here are proposing, however I'm not so sure I believe it just yet. I can think of two significant instances that Willow has performed extremely powerful magic without her eyes changing to black:

2) The recently performed resurection spell to bring Buffy back.

1) The spell in which she linked with Giles, Xander, and Buffy to give Buffy extra strength to defeat Adam.

These were two of the most "powerful" spells I've seen Willow do and I don't recall seeing her eyes go black in either of them. Unfortunately, I don't have either episode on tape so I'm relying on my shoddy memory; maybe someone could help confirm these facts for me :) (It's pretty sad that I can't even remember a scene from an episode two weeks ago)
[> [> Breaking the link with Tara and Willow evil... -- Moose, 15:04:16 10/10/01 Wed
I think Willow broke the link with Tara because she didn't need her to finish the spell. Willow is able to draw on vast amounts of power at will now. This doesn't bode good.

The black eyes seem to be a sign of power more than of evil. However, power corrupts and Willow has shown that she will do anything when she is emotionally distraught. Not good.

She has too much power and too little wisdom to use it wisely. Tara is rightfully afraid of that power and the consequences. Willow doesn't have a concern in the world about it.

Even when she found out she created a demon, she wasn't alarmed. I mean come on! She created evil! But instead she is only concerned with killing it, not evaluating if what she did was the right thing.

The rest of them are beginning to understand. Xander knows though he won't admit it. Tara knows better than anyone but I doubt she will have the courage to confront Willow. Who knows what would happen if Tara left? What lengths would Willow go to?

I also think it is telling that she left Spike and Giles out of the resurrection loop. She knew those two wouldn't have so easily gone ahead with her plan. She manipulated Xander and Tara into doing it and Willow ignores anything from Anya.

Willow has gone done the path of easy power and selfish desire masked as good intentions. Whatever the big bad ugly is this year, the worst may very well be our red-headed witch.
[> [> [> Re: Breaking the link with Tara and Willow evil... -- Astarte, 19:56:17 10/10/01 Wed
Perhaps Willow broke the link because she realizes that she's been crossing the line lately and she doesn't want Tara to be a part of it and suffer the same consequences she will. (This could have also been her motivation for not including Willow in the "wine of the mother" ritual with the deer.)

Actually, the spellcasting scene in "Afterlife" reminded me most of Willow's first serious forray into magic with Ange's soul restoration spell in S2. As with that incident, it almost seemed like something else "possessed" Willow and that she wasn't completely herself.
[> [> [> [> Re: Breaking the link with Tara and Willow evil... -- zilla, 09:38:18 10/11/01 Thu
I think we are going to see some serious headbutting between Willow and the rest of the SG. Her decision to leave Giles and Spike out of the loop was definately deliberate. I hope we find out all of the consequences of bringing Buffy back. Spike mentioned tht with magic there are always consequences and I doubt that demon was the only one.
Family Ties -- rowan, 09:56:55 10/10/01 Wed
First, wow! Last night's episode provided all the emotional impact you could want from Buffy's resurrection, didn't it? I was glued to the screen watching the subtle nuances of SMG and JM's performances, as well as the frenetic energy conveyed by AH.

I think we're starting to see indications about how some of this seasons' major themes will play out. BtVS has always been a show about family -- what it is, how you get one, and what it means to be in one. For so long now, we've had the SG established as part of Buffy's core emotional family. It seems as if that relationship will undergo some evolution this season.

Here are some interesting things we saw last night:

1. Spike tells Buffy that "we" (he and Dawn) will take care of her. They form almost (as one insightful person suggested on BAPS) a wedding picture with Spike holding her injured hands, the two of them facing each other, and he in black to Buffy's white. Dawn, their symbolic child, arrives with the medicine and bandages (things that bind and heal). This seemed almost like a moment of vows and sacred promises, Spike's promise 'to protect her' lingering in the air as the whole scene eerily paralleled their last encounter in The Gift.

The Dawn/Spike/Buffy scene, with its low, almost reverential energy, contrasts sharply with the arrival of the SG. Yes, they care too, but their energy seems to almost drain Buffy by comparison.

2. Dawn tells the SG to "back off" twice as their whirlwind of concern threatens to send Buffy back into her shell in the first scenes. In particular, after she hears their questions to Buffy, Dawn turns to Willow and asks what she has done. Later, in the Magic Box as the nature of the demon is revealed with its risk to Buffy, Dawn (with seemingly little provocation) tells Willow she can't keep messing with people the way she does.

3. During the demon possessions, Buffy and Dawn's possessions are the ones which are targeted at Willow's secret and the true nature of the spell. By contrast, Anya and Xander's possesions are creepy, but not as specifically revealing.

4. Spike makes a creepy and ambiguous remark about Buffy never knowing 'who has a knife at her back.' Is this foreshadowing some type of backstabbing or betrayal of Buffy? Is this meant to convey Spike's ability to betray her? Or is it foreshadowing Willow? He then follows up with a seemingly offhand remark about Willow's power -- a common theme with him since at least S5.

5. Spike's speech to Xander outside the Summers house is interesting for lots of reasons, but there's one small thing that jumps out. Spike identifies Willow as the one who knew the potential outcomes and hid the truth as a result; he identifies himself as the one 'who can figure things out' even if Xander can't. Spike is Willow's opposite in this scene.

6. Of course, we also have Buffy confiding a secret to Spike which can 'never' be revealed to 'them' -- and does them refer to everyone else, or to those who participated in the spell? It will be interesting to see if Buffy ever tells Giles, for example.

Part of 'growing up' is how we both define ourselves in relationship to others and how we differentiate ourselves in relationship to others. In the first five seasons of BtVS, we've seen the SG move through adolescence. They differentiated themselves from their parents through the formation of loving and nurturing bonds with friends.

Now the next step comes. The friendships must evolve as each differentiates themselves from their friends by forming their own spousal/parental units. Last season, Willow and Tara began living together and formed their unit. Xander and Anya have gotten engaged and formed their unit. Now we appear to be seeing Buffy, Spike, and Dawn form a unit. Giles returns to England to 'get a life' but also may retain his ties to Buffy's family unit. Their friendships appear to be on the way to being tested as this next stage begins, all set against the backdrop of the 'consequences' of the resurrection.
[> After Life Spoilers Above -- rowan, 11:55:21 10/10/01 Wed
[> Re: Willow the Matriarch (spoilers) -- mundusmundi, 13:24:43 10/10/01 Wed
I concur. Another thought (one that may've been mentioned already; I haven't checked all the threads) is that Willow is putting herself in the position as the "mother-figure" of the SG. At the end of last season, it was Buffy who had essentially taken Joyce's place and become the matriarch, specifically for Dawn and generally for the SG entire. Now we're seeing Wil usurping that title, symbolized through her sleeping in Joyce's bed, through her power over the Buffybot (who's "programmed" to come to her), etc. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Buffy and Willow are headed for a battle royale by season's end over the matriarchy that is the Scooby Gang.
[> [> Buffy vs. Willow as mothers -- Kerri, 14:26:18 10/10/01 Wed
Yes, Buffy made mistakes when she took on the responsibility of caring for Dawn(in Forever and Toough Love) but everything she did was for Dawn. Buffy's comment in Tough Love that "she has Dawn's life." foreshadows her ultimate gift to Dawn, herself, and the world. Buffy's acts seemed to always be self-less. When she came back in Barghaining her love for Dawn, Dawn needing her, is what made Buffy accept her life again.

Willow, on the other hand, acted selfishly. She assumes the role of Buffy's mother, in effect "giuving birth" to her. She brough Buffy back with no regard for Buffy's wishes-Buffy even says that she was ripped out of heaven by her friends. Willow brings Buffy back more for herself than for Buffy, and expects that she should be thanked.

Buffy finds her family-relies on them-becomes one with them. Willow pulls away-symbolised by dropping Tara's hands during the spell. Buffy finds herself through her family-they beome her strength. Willow is headed for trouble.

As rowan pointed out Buffy, Spike, and Dawn have become a sort of family within themselves-and this new dynamic that is exceptionally interesting to me.
[> [> [> Re: Buffy vs. Willow as mothers -- Rahael, 15:08:11 10/10/01 Wed
This is a great thread, with great insights!

Perhaps someone has already pointed out the strong analogy with childbirth - Buffy is ripped out of a warm, peaceful loving place, into a hellish world full of noise and pain. Moreover, she had to physically fight her way out of the coffin, again echoing the baby's painful progress to the outside world.
[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy in mom clothes -- Olwen, 15:53:44 10/10/01 Wed
The analysis of the family dynamic is very thought provoking.

Did anyone else have a reaction to the costuming choices for Buffy in this ep? She was buried in black, but Dawn dresses her in white for innocence/purity for her scene with Spike. The next day when we see her in shades of taupe, I almost thought it was Joyce coming out of the house. Are we going to see Buffy in fewer skintight get-ups? Is Dawn going to take over that role with her little blue jean mini skirt?

I also want to know if there will be a continuation of Dawn’s crush on Spike. At this point it would be kind of like an Electra complex.
[> [> [> [> [> Electra complex? -- d'Herblay, 16:06:07 10/10/01 Wed
For Dawn to be Electra, wouldn't Buffy have to dust Spike first? And who would be Cassandra? (Ok, now I'm shipping with Euripedes. Must . . . lower . . . TTMQ.)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Electra complex? -- Olwen, 16:30:49 10/10/01 Wed
I'm not talking about Electra the play. I'm talking about Freud. The female version of the oedipus complex. Freud sees all motivation coming from Id based physical/emotional need. Does Dawn, on some subconcious level, want Buffy dead so she can sleep with Spike, who is the male role modle in her life.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, I got the Freud bit--I'm just being loopy -- d'Herblay, 16:35:40 10/10/01 Wed
[> [> [> couple of objections -- anom, 22:43:02 10/10/01 Wed
"Willow brings Buffy back more for herself than for Buffy, and expects that she should be thanked."

Willow never says she expects or wants to be thanked--that was Tara's comment, & I didn't see Willow as completely agreeing w/it--her response seemed noncommital. What Willow said was that she thought Buffy would be happy--nothing selfish about that.

"Willow pulls away--symbolised by dropping Tara's hands during the spell."

Again, I had the strong impression that this was something that happened rather than something Willow did on purpose. When she stops saying the spell along w/Tara & Tara calls her name, Willow looks barely conscious. It didn't look like she actively let go of Tara's hands--more like the strength went out of her & she couldn't hold on. It was almost like something else took over when her eyes went black & she said "Solid." (I used to like those 1-word spells--"Separate." "Thicken."--but that one was chilling.)
[> [> Re: Willow the Matriarch (spoilers) -- Lunarchickk, 19:55:01 10/10/01 Wed
Willow as Matriarch... what an interesting concept. There are a lot of symbols in Bargaining and AfterLife that point to this, particularly when Dawn is walking Buffy through the house. The dining room is the same, says Dawn; except for Willow's notebook computer, which occupies Joyce's former spot at the head of the table. Willow and Tara have taken over Joyce's room, and in the morning (in Bargaining) we see Willow fussing over Dawn, in a quasi-motherly, quasi-where-are-my-shoes way. Willow takes care to make sure no one tells Dawn (or Spike) about the spell to bring back Buffy. In the graveyard, Willow sends telepathic messages to the group to help them form one collective group. And, of course, the "Boss of Us" scene (we voted, you made her a plaque...).

Is she a good matriarch? I think Willow is always questioning herself, as when she tells Buffy that Giles is coming back -- "I'm a poor substitute." If she really thought (at least at this point in the season) that she was the one who should be in charge, I don't think she ever would have brought Buffy back. Willow worries for her friend, who could be in hell, and seems to believe that the only way to right things is to bring Buffy back.

A battle royale between Buffy and Willow? Could be.
[> [> Re: Willow the Matriarch (spoilers) -- Rattletrap, 04:31:51 10/11/01 Thu
Willow's transition to matriarch started by the middle of last season. After Riley left, she basically became Buffy's second-in-command, Willow also took charge when Buffy went into her catatonic state in WotW. This is something of a shift, because in seasons 2 and 3 it was frequently Xander, because of his military knowledge (Innocence, GD1&2), that Buffy went to for additional help.
[> Good observations! -- Dichotomy, 13:28:19 10/10/01 Wed
After only 3 eps, I'm becoming more and more intrigued about the consequences Buffy's resurrection will have this season.Everyone's observations and speculations have been very interesting and thought provoking.
[> Very eloquent, rowan - excellent comments. -- OnM, 21:59:25 10/10/01 Wed
Particularly liked #1 - didn't catch that reference, but I think you're absolutely right.

I'm wondering too whether Buffy will tell Giles - maybe not at first, but the moment may come. Who else is there that is still a parent figure to her? She made the comment that she 'missed him'.
[> [> Re: Very eloquent, rowan - excellent comments. -- Rufus, 22:18:12 10/10/01 Wed
Remember the look in Buffys face when she said she missed Giles...like she needed to tell him something. Could it be to tell him about where she had been, to make him feel better about her loss? The lonliness of not being able to tell how you really feel to anyone, not Dawn, not her friends....finally settling on the only other being that knows what torment is. I don't think even Spike was prepared to hear that Buffys torment is to be in this world, dragged here by her friends. How to tell Giles that his books were wrong, the world started as a hell and we only manicured it's gardens giving it the appearence of order and peace. I say there be a major rewrite of some of the texts Giles has in his collection.
[> [> [> So true, Rufus. -- rowan, 10:50:15 10/11/01 Thu
It seems sometimes as if everything recorded in the archives of the CoW is only a flawed understanding of the real truths. Part of Giles's journey has been to learn that. I was very struck by his guilt and sarcasm in Bargaining when he perceived he had 'done his job' by 'getting his Slayer killed.' I'll watch with interest to see what Giles makes of his new life in England.
What's left to give? (spoiler) -- Tower, 10:08:06 10/10/01 Wed
If we look at the history of Buffy, she’s given up everything to commit herself to the responsibility of the slayer. As the show began, she’s lost her friends and social life in Los Angeles, sacrificed her new beginning in Sunnydale and went forth to take her burden again. That her social life and education suffer to her responsibilities as the Slayer are continuing themes all through the show. She went willingly to lay down her life, as prophesized, to stop the Master. In season 2, she lost friends in the battle, destroyed her mothers hope of a "normal" daughter and plunged the love of her life into hell. In season 3, she gave up her newfound freedom for the life of the slayer to return to Sunnydale and sacrificed her prom to protect her classmates. In season 4, she lost her very identity at one point in an attack from Faith, and her relationships with her friends were nearly destroyed. Season 5 culminated with her sacrificing her own life to protect her sister. Now, in Season 6, we’ve discovered that she’s actually given up heaven itself to take the mantle of the Slayer, and her greatest concern seems to be that the Scoobies never find out what they took from her. Does she have anything left to give? And is there any truer hero anywhere in fiction?

On a lighter note, Bargaining and Afterlife compel me to quote a Simpsons Halloween special...

Lisa & Bart: Dad, Dad, we did something terrible!
Homer: Did you wreck the car?
Lisa & Bart: No.
Homer: Did you raise the dead?
Lisa & Bart: Yes.
Homer: But the car's okay?
[> Poor Buffy -- Kerri, 14:34:10 10/10/01 Wed
Through the entire episode I just felt so badly for Buffy-and the ending of corse was so heartbreaking. Buffy really has given up so much. Last season Buffy lost so much-but she found it again in The Gift, and while Buffy dies there was something almost happy in that episode because of where Buffy was emotionally. It was hard to find any happiness in Buffy's return, as she seems so desperate and so depressed. Honestly, how much are the writers going to put this poor girl through? But on another note, SMG plays the role so well. Even the subtelest actions carry so much emotion in them.
[> Re: What's left to give? (spoiler) -- Lunarchickk, 20:05:33 10/10/01 Wed
Tower -- Definitely painful thoughts, and on the mark. Your question -- what does she have left to give? -- reminds me of the scene in Becoming Part 2:

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends...No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?
Buffy: Me.

I can't quite draw conclusions from that -- perhaps there's nothing left. But even ripped back from heaven, Buffy is still Buffy, making lunch for Dawn, protecting her friends from the consequences of what they've done to her in the name of kindness. Perhaps (as mentioned in a different thread) it's all cyclical... as she lost everything in LA then came to Sunnydale, then lost everything (much more than she ever did in LA) in Sunnydale and died, perhaps her return signifies that she just has *more* now to lose.

Kerri, I agree! Poor Buffy! The more she is given, the more she has to lose.
[> [> Something left to gain -- Kerri, 09:22:21 10/11/01 Thu
In a hread below there is a mention of Campbell's hero's journey and I think that the next part is for Buffy to share her gift. In doing so she brings heaven to earth and becomes what Campbell calls the "master of two worlds.
[> [> [> Re: Something left to gain -- Dedalus, 16:33:19 10/11/01 Thu
I'm glad Kerri brought that up.

That is the big question. That's why I trace Buffy as Hero is no longer - or at least not exclusively - Hero as Warrior, Lover, or Protector. The next thing we need to get out of this is Hero as World Redeemer or Saint. Whether or not Buffy will be able to bring this about is another question. Transform the Hellmouth into the Heavenmouth, lol. If this world is hell, it stands to reason it can also be heaven.

Check out Rufus and Ryuei's posts on the topic down below.

I don't think we'll ever see Buffy in a loincloth (an interesting image though) preaching to her Scooby disciples under a fig tree, but I do think it is heading in a spiritual direction. It will be vague, by it's very necessity, but it will be interesting to see what comes out of her moment of satori in the Gift. Joss knows just how much to say, and how much not to say.

And I for one have come to the conclusion that I'm glad Buffy at least got to have three peaceful months in heaven.
Meeting in the middle - SPOILERS! -- Jen C., 10:52:54 10/10/01 Wed
The last scene in After Life has been stuck in my head.

It may be that Buffy's return from death has allowed her and Spike to "meet in the middle". Until now, they have always come from different sides of the coin - Buffy has always been so alive and positive...practically bursting with life due to the fact that she tries to be all things, slayer, daughter, friend, etc. While Spike is unapologetically undead. The place where they both meet is in death.

The alley represents that meeting. Spike comes out into the day and Buffy retreats to the shadows. She can share her experience with him - not only because he's experienced some of it himself - but because at that time they are both in the same place spiritually and mentally. I think that it's the most comfort that Spike can offer to Buffy - the fact that someone understands...*can* understand her experience and what she is now.

In the end, though, Spike must stay behind in the shadows while Buffy walks into the light. He's still undead and she's alive again -their paths are again diverging - but he remains in frame behind her, I don't think that he's ever going to be irrelevant to her life again.
[> Great thoughts Jen... -- Kerri, 14:39:52 10/10/01 Wed
Don't really have too much to add. It was a really good piece of symbolism there, along with the scene in the grave yard where Buffy walks in from of the angel so it looks like she had wings. Great! You really need to watch the episodes several times to catch everything. I love Buffy! :) Once again-good thoughts.
[> Re: Meeting in the middle - SPOILERS! -- rowan, 19:05:51 10/10/01 Wed
You know, that Buffy walking into the light thing has been puzzling me since last night. I think my final take on that is that it's not a good thing for her. She's already admitted that the world is hell because it's too bright, too violent, too everything. Then she has to go out in it (alone, because Spike can't follow). I think the point may have been that the shadows feel safer to her now (as you point out). I saw it as rather sad that she had to face that bright sunshine alone.
[> [> Re: Meeting in the middle - SPOILERS! -- Jen C., 19:49:58 10/10/01 Wed
Yeah, I agree. She looked brave, though, and I think that she's decided to make the best of it....the light, I mean...
[> [> The sunlight -- Kerri, 09:33:15 10/11/01 Thu
When I think of heaven I think of it as white and bright, while hell is dark and black. I think the fact that earth is so much brighter is that there are the extremes-room for hell but also room for more, or different happiness than Buffy knew in heaven. And I aghree that the last scene was incredibly depressing-Buffy walking into the light on her own. I honestly thought that when Buffy came back she'd be closer to Dawn(sorry -off on a tangent there).
[> [> [> Re: The sunlight -- Dedalus, 16:39:39 10/11/01 Thu
The part with Spike being unable to walk into the light was quite poignant, actually.

You know, Buffy talked about heaven being without form, which we talked about in the chat last night. It makes sense since she doesn't understand theology. Her comment about things here being hard is interesting. At first I think she meant hard as far as mentally and emotionally. Now it seems to me she may have been talking about physical density.
One Good Day? -- Vulpes, 11:37:35 10/10/01 Wed
Buffy walks to the photos of her friends. One moment they are normal, the next they are decomposed corpses. Could this be foreshadowing of things to come? Or could it be Buffy’s projection?

"I was happy. Wherever I ... was. I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. 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. I don't understand theology, or dimensions ... any of it really. But I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there - pulled out, by my friends. Everything here is hard. And bright. And violent. Everything I feel ... everything I touch ... this is hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that, knowing what I've lost ... they can never know. Never."

What can Buffy do now?

I believe she went to the tower in order to regain Heaven, not to relive the last moments of her life. Maybe she thought jumping the second time would send her back to Heaven? What stopped her – was it Dawn?

Now tore from Heaven she must face life again but this time with the added resentment of knowing what was lost. Did anyone notice the way she looked after she handed Dawn her lunch?

Will she ever get back to Heaven? Will she search for ways to get there in a hurry? What about Spike? He once offered her his services! In Fool For Love, Spike said he would just slip in and have himself a good day!

Any comments?
[> Re: One Good Day? -- Rufus, 13:56:19 10/10/01 Wed
Buffy was complete, finished....then she was yanked out of that comfort to come back to this world which she identifies as hell. They were clear in the first season that this world started out as a hell, the demons pushed out for the ever evolving man. When Buffy died she achieved her complete, finished state where she feld love absolute. If you consider the hero's journey the hero frequently does find a better place only to be called back to solve the problems of the world. What distinquishes them as a hero is that they answer that call instead of rejecting their work for continued peace. It was clear that Buffy could understand that from Dawns words that she was still needed, there was work that she could only do. Buffy answered the call making her a true hero, she lost "heaven", but in the interludes between battles and the pain of life, Buffy should be content in knowing that she understands what true joy is. Her job is not only to protect humanity from becoming a worse hell than it already is, but to take humanity by then hand and guide it to completion, she may never make it, humanity can choose to refuse her gift, but in trying she is the most wonderful hero of all.
[> [> Re: One Good Day? -- Kerri, 14:44:18 10/10/01 Wed
"Buffy answered the call making her a true hero, she lost "heaven", but in the interludes between battles and the pain of life, Buffy should be content in knowing that she understands what true joy is. "

I think that Buffy will come to realize that life is "heaven" in its own way.
[> [> [> the hardest thing -- anom, 22:18:11 10/10/01 Wed
"I think that Buffy will come to realize that life is 'heaven' in its own way."

I'm not so sure. I think some of her last words to Dawn (which I may not get exactly right) are coming back to apply to her in a way she never imagined (& neither did any of us): "The hardest thing in life is to live it." Especially now, for her.
[> [> [> [> Re: the hardest thing -- Kerri, 09:25:12 10/11/01 Thu
The thing is when she said those words she understood that life was worth living and that it was the greatest gift she could give to Dawn. I think she will come to believe this again.
[> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- kostadis roussos, 17:31:24 10/10/01 Wed

this is a first time post, so please bear with me...



I have never felt so sad and so horrified while watching television in my entire life.

What made me sad, was the painful realization that Willow, like all of us, saw her friend die, and wanted to bring her back. Unlike the rest of us, she could and did. And yet, what she did was wrong. And there is no way for her to make it better. And worse, the one chance she had to make it better was taken from her.

What horrified me was the fact that what Willow did was not just deprive Buffy of heaven, but it was to deprive Buffy of a meaningful death.

Buffy could end up in Heaven again (there is nothing to say she won't). In time, she'll probably realize that.

But a meaningful death, that's a lot harder.

Buffy is a warrior. As a warrior whose death is an occupational hazard, she has willingly and sometimes cheerfully headed off into battle, even when the signs said that she would die. (Master battle at end of season one).

It is no secret to her, that she will die, probably horribly at the hands of some evil monster when the laws of averages, bad luck, and a miscalculation bring her number up.

The tragedy of Buffy is that the best she can hope for is that her death will have meaning. Her life is in effect defined by her death. Her death in "The Gift" was a death full of meaning. A moment of true piece, a moment of her choosing on her terms. Most warriors have neither, dying alone, and painfully.

She saved the Universe, but more importantly saved a single innocent life.

A warrior who is tasked with saving the world, can perhaps, ask for little more than that. The warrior can not ask for peace, love and kindness. These things are alien and in some sense forbidden to her.

Willow deprived her not only of heaven, but the Gift that the world gave to her, that her death had meaning.

Willow, in effect, was unwilling to let Buffy have the only Gift the world can give a slayer, a meaningful death.

The pathos on Buffy's face , the brilliance of the camera work (washed out lighting), the utter horror on Spikes face as he realized what Willow had done, something far more horrible than anything he could have imagined, all made me stop and take notice.

As I think back to the times Buffy walked into death, Willow's selfish desire to bring her friend back at any cost, makes Willow a tragic figure on a truly epic scale.
(And if this show is at all self-consistent, Willow will
suffer horribly for this act of self-indulgence. And the
price, will be steep.)

For Buffy, in this insane Universe, can only look forward to another death, one that will not come after a full and productive life, but one that will come after some horrible monster, finally figures out how to kill her.

Now that is true horror. Something even a vampire can appreciate.

[> [> Awesome post! -- Jen C., 19:57:12 10/10/01 Wed
I agree with you on the ever compounding tragedy that Willow is experiencing...and that she deprived Buffy of a meaningful death. I found it comforting that Buffy not only died for the one, but also for the many...she managed to cover all of the bases, and that would have been enough for any hero. She'll probably never get that chance again.
[> [> Welcome to the board - excellent post! -- OnM, 21:40:47 10/10/01 Wed
[> [> great post, however ... -- Miy, 05:04:32 10/11/01 Thu
"Willow deprived her not only of heaven, but the Gift that the world gave to her, that her death had meaning.

Willow, in effect, was unwilling to let Buffy have the only Gift the world can give a slayer, a meaningful death."

the fact is, Buffy STILL died, so she DID still have a meaningful death. That isn't the issue for me (from Buffy's point of view). Her issue now is being unable (thus far and for the foreseeable future) to deal with having been in a place where she was at total, utlimate peace. I think we can barely imagine the extent of the emptiness in her soul at this loss.

A simplistic resolution of this will be for Buffy to realise that this is still her destination, but she will have to enjoy living in the meantime. But how can she ever take any of life's trivialities seriously again, knowing how they pale in comparison to how she felt in her heaven?

Buffy will have to realise that she will need to make her life worthwhile again, ie carry on the good fight, in order that she will reach that same destination. This might be her personal story arc this season. Reconciling herself to living again.
[> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- Marie, 06:04:37 10/11/01 Thu
Welcome to the board!

What horrified me was the fact that what Willow did was not just deprive Buffy of heaven, but it was to deprive Buffy of a meaningful death.

As a Brit who hasn't viewed the episode, I'd be interested to know why you think that?

In my own opinion, Buffy's death was totally meaningful, and anyone bringing her back to life couldn't take that meaning away from her. She died, willingly, to save her sister and the world, and this she did. How could bringing her back take that away? Willow might not have been taking into account that Buffy gave her life willingly and wouldn't necessarily want to be brought back from her peaceful place, which might be taken as denigrating her sacrifice, but I don't think that's depriving Buffy's death of meaning... was there something in these posts I've missed?

[> [> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- kostadis roussos, 11:18:08 10/11/01 Thu

Thanks for the kind words.

In a theological system that does not accept reincarnation (judeo-christian-muslim) and has a notion of eschatology, in other words that for all things there is a begining and there is an end, death occurs when the physical entity and in more dramatic terms, the "spiritual" entity ends.

So why the digression?

I start with the fundamental belief that to die, is to have an end. If there is no end, then that is not death. In that context, Buffy did not die.

She just had one more miserable encounter with one more miserable monster out to start the apocalypse.

Now she has to face other miserable monsters, and this time to avert the apocalypse she may have to sacrifice a whole lot more than just her life.

Willow, has deprived her of a good meaningful death.

Buffy now has to still face death. Unlike the rest of us, her death may be the stuff of nightmares.

To have to know that you still have to face that moment, when you know you had averted it, that is true horror.

Think of buffy as Leonidas at the Thermopylae. At some point, Leonidas' would die, but he knew there was someone behind him that would take up the struggle. Buffy, also knew that although she would die, another slayer would take up the struggle.

But unlike Leonidas' who had a clear concept of his death, Buffy's death can be much more gruesome (trapped in hell, turned into a vampire, all sorts of evil stuff). So to Buffy, the moment of death is as important as the fight.

To have spent a life time killing friends, seeing death and destruction, and then to be deprived of meaningful heroic death, now that, is horrible. Because that final death, is something that you can never take back. It is something you can never correct.

Because Buffy is not going to grow old, the war is not going
to end, the Evil is never going to be permanently vanquished. Like all warriors in a war without end, she will
die young with the rest of her life ahead of her.

Maybe all she can look forward to is a heroic death, so that
at least the sacrificing of "the growing" old is worthwhile.

She got that. The next time she may not.

[> [> [> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- Dedalus, 16:45:59 10/11/01 Thu
Welcome aboard. Excellent post, as many have said.

How do we keep the quality so high around here?
[> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- Millan, 05:18:51 10/12/01 Fri

I came back to the board for a quick peek and I just had to jump in. :)

Great post, interesting views, but I would like to express my objection to your conclusion.

Her life is in effect defined by her death.

I can feel that way too sometimes, when it's a story about a hero that's on the road to death. The worthy death. The salvation of the world, or even another being. It's the hero's greatest moment...

But that isn't really true. It can't be true.

The hero's life is defined by his/her life, not death. By his/her actions as a whole. The living of that difficult life, the help that he/she is giving to others, the struggles, the mistakes and the love.

This must be the definition of the hero's life.

I agree (not having seen the episode but being spoiled as to the general context) that Willow will probably be paying a high price for the way she is using her magic, but since I haven't seen it I am hesitant to follow in a discussion on the degree of selfishness in the act.


"If what we do doesn't matter, than all that matters is what we do."
(paraphrasing Angel from memory)
[> [> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- kostadis roussos, 11:19:52 10/12/01 Fri

>The hero's life is defined by his/her life, not death. By >his/her actions as a whole. The living of that difficult >life, the help that he/she is giving to others, the ?>struggles, the mistakes and the love.

This is an excellent point.

First let me agree that what we do while we live is all that is important. That the circumstances of our birth and death are fundamentally uncontrollable, all we can do is make sure that the struggle in between makes the world better. A hero is someone who makes the world better.

But there is another kind of heroism.

The second is that if you are a soldier, you are asked to sacrifice "the rest of your life" for some greater cause. That sacrifice is something that is scarier than anything that we in our, I hope for all our sakes, safe lives, will never have to face.

You want that sacrifice to be meaningful. You want to know that is was worth something. That some greater good came out of it.

To die a hero's death for a soldier means that the sacrifice was worthwhile.

In that sense, her life is defined by her death. Not the life she lead till the moment of her death, but the rest of the life she did not lead.

It makes the sacrifice worthwhile.

And for a soldier who more often than not dies in some rather miserable and pointless way, this is the greatest gift of all. A meaningful death.

And as a further digression, Buffy's heroism was exemplified in season one, where when faced with certain death, she walked into combat, knowing that she was all that stood between her and teh apocalypse, and then to discover that her decision to face the Master would bring about the apocalypse, made her death tragic, not heroic.

Would she be any less of a hero? No. Just a different kind of hero. The tragic kind. A pointless stupid death following a brief tragic life.


p.s. As an aside, in real world terms, the firefighters who crawled up the second twin tower after the collapse, are heros on a scale that I can not even begin to imagine. Their lives are defined by that single act of altruism. Regardless of what kind of goodness they did up until, the final score will always be:

Total life value = life till now + action at time of death.

The second piece of the equation is off the scale.
[> [> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- Humanitas, 11:25:03 10/12/01 Fri
I must agree. A good example of a hero who has a great death scene, but is not defined by it, is Rostand's Cyrano deBergeac. His death is brilliant, and tragic, and contains some wonderful lines about fighting the good fight. But the character is not defined by it. He's defined by the scene of him feeding lines to Christian under Roxane's window.
[> [> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- bible belt, 11:44:21 10/12/01 Fri
I think I'm with you on this.

At least, I’m in the Willow did okay crowd.

I understand that in the Wicca world there may be consequences for what the SG did. As for Willow being drawn to the dark side, I hope they deal with it on different levels and not just focus on the resurrection because I feel like she’s innocent here.

I believe that Buffy feels this way too, and that’s why she told them what she told them. BTW, is it absolutely certain that Buffy was telling the truth to any of them about where she had gone after she died?

I’m not sure the writers would make that kind of conclusion. And saying she was in some kind of limbo doesn’t mean that there is nothing after death. Because she died in the mystical energy could mean that we still don’t know what really happens after death. At least after a normal death, if there is such a thing.

If the PTB were looking out for Buffy and saw to it she was warm and comfy where ever she was, and meant for things to stay that way, they wouldn’t have allowed Willow to bring her back.

Maybe they couldn’t stop her though and now their pissed.
[> [> Re: One Good Day? (SPOILERs Included) -- Wisewoman, 17:25:58 10/12/01 Fri
As others have said before me, I don't believe that Buffy's life was defined by her death.

However, I think I do see your point about her being deprived of a "meaningful" death. Her death in The Gift served a purpose, it accomplished something meaningful and good. That cannot be taken from her.

While I don't think Joss and ME would ever allow it to happen, it would indeed be a tragedy if she were brought back only to die a second time, stepping in front of a speeding bus!

She's mortal, we know she'll die, and if she dies in any way while performing her duty as a Slayer, then she dies a hero's death. If she dies by accident, as real people do every day, her death becomes pathetic.

That's what Willow did by bringing her back--created the opportunity, the possibility for her to suffer a senseless and stupid death at some point in the future. It probably will never happen, but there was no possibility of it happening at all if Willow had left her in her grave.

Of course the other possibility, which is almost too unlikely to contemplate, is that the remainder of Buffy's life might not be spent in heroic acts--that she might change to the extent of being an agent of evil rather than good, or simply a neutral non-participant in the cosmic battle. Her death under these circumstances could result in a trip to "hell" as she would see it. Again, not a possibility if Willow had left well enough alone.
The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Rob, 12:19:58 10/10/01 Wed
Well, no one started a post on the metaphysical side of "After Life" yet. So, I thought, what the heck? Why don't I give it a go?

What I'm most curious about is something that has been talked a great deal about here--What really happens after you die in the Buffyverse? Buffy describes the place that she ended up as "heaven." Does everyone go to this place after they die, or this a result of the way she died? What I mean is, is this another dimension she was sent to as a result of the mystical energy which killed her, and it happened to be a "happy" one (meaning she could have wound up in a hell dimension, but was lucky), or does the being- killed-by-mystical-energy-dealy not matter? She would have gone here not matter which way she died?

Willow made a huge deal about the mystical energy, and she said that the fact that it was an unnatural death made it possible to ressurect her. But is this true? If it is, it would seem to suggest that where Buffy ended up ("heaven") was a result of the unnatural death, and thus Willow could bring her back from there, whereas people who died naturally cannot be so easily ressurected (if you could call what the SG did "easy"), or at all. But then again, perhaps no matter how you die, you end up in heaven, but the manner of death determines whether it is possible to bring someone back from there or not.

Buffy described herself as being "alone" in the place she called "heaven." That could imply that her soul ended up in a "good" dimension after being struck by the mystical energy, and that she was the only one there.

Or...that everyone is alone in heaven, surrounded by warm thoughts and feelings. Others might be there, but you do not come in contact with them. Or maybe Buffy didn't mention anyone else who might have been there. I wonder whether Joyce might have been there. That might have been too painful for her to have revealed to anyone, even Spike...Finally being reunited with her mother and then be pulled away again.

I doubt that there will be any easy answers to these questions, if at all, since Joss, I'm sure, wants to keep up an amount of mystery of what happens after you die in the Buffyverse. After all, no one knows what happens in the real world after death. But I really would like to know whether Buffy's death was "natural" or not. Did being killed by the mystical powers determine where she ended up or not?

The genius of Joss Whedon and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is how each week, just when you think you think have the mythology figured out, something else is added to the mix to make you question your earlier theories. Who would have thought last week that Buffy was traumatized not as a result of having been dead, but as a result of being brought back?

If anyone has any theories on this, or any other metaphysical aspects of "After Life," I'd really be interested to read them. Thanks!

[> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- vampire hunter D, 12:42:08 10/10/01 Wed
I was wondering about the part about her being alone (I don't remember her saying that, but I'll take your word for it). To me, being alone isn't heaven. I lonely here, and that's Hell. Why would you be alone in anysort of heaven? Doesn't sound very happy to me.
[> [> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Tower, 13:15:23 10/10/01 Wed
Who's to say that it was heaven? Even Buffy admitted she wasn't sure of it. There's no reason to necessarily believe she was in heaven or hell. The Key opened the barriers between all dimensions, and to me, that means more than just Hell dimensions. Sure, everything we saw in The Gift looked like hell, but if I were in a hell dimension and a gateway opened up, I'd fly out it like a bat out of...well, you get the idea. Maybe Buffy's spirit was just sucked into some weird alternate dimension, which she translated as heaven.
[> [> [> in the end, what difference does it make? -- Solitude1056, 14:22:24 10/10/01 Wed
Just rewatched the episode. Given that Buffy comes from a predominantly xtian culture, I'm not surprised Joss had her say that she thinks she was in heaven. But even if it was the grecian summerlands, or the norse valhalla, what difference does it make, in the end? She clearly positioned her own label for her experience, but perhaps someone from a different cultural background would've called it something different. Point is, wherever she was, she says she was happy. Finished, complete, warm, loved, at peace. Those were her words for what would probably be an almost beyond-words experience. How would it change things if, in five episodes, we find out that Buffy wasn't in "heaven" but in some alterno-dimension that just happened to be as wonderful... does that negate the happiness, the peace, she felt? I don't think so. The final essence, for the Buffyness of the situation, is the emotional, as Nina reminded us writers' crew all summer. And the emotion of this revelation is that she was at peace... and in comparison, now, she's not.
[> [> [> [> Re: in the end, what difference does it make? -- rowan, 19:18:13 10/10/01 Wed
Plus, Buffy specifically prefaces her remark with the comment that she really doesn't understand 'dimensions' and all those things. She knows just what you've said Sol -- the feelings. She used the label with which she was comfortable to express the important meaning.
[> [> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Aven, 05:33:25 10/11/01 Thu
"Hell is other people."
[> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Kerri, 13:52:25 10/10/01 Wed
I was about to start a post about afterlives in the Buffyverse and then say your post-so I'll add a few ideas here.

I guess before I get into this I'll just fill you in with my background logic. Ok-I basically see there as being three parts to a person in the Buffyverse-
1) the soul
2) the personality-basically all the human characteristics the vampire retains; more or less who you are minus the soul.
3) the physical body

Ok having said that-what part of Buffy went to heaven. She said that things had no form so I take it that her physical body or a manifestation of her physical body was not in heaven.

To go off on a bit of a tangent here-this could account for Buffy's feeling of wholeness. She is joined with all those who have too died and gone to heaven; basically being rejoined with the parts of herself that existed in her ancestry(slayer and parental) and in humanity as a whole.

Ok-back to the metaphysicas of afterlives. So if the physical body is not in heaven what is? I took it to be a unification of the other two parts of a person-for lack of a better word their "essence".

What about vampires? Darla was ressurected and didn't remember her after life. She is surprised that she wasn't in hell. What happens to a person after they are vamped? Their soul is in the "eather"-therefore it doe not seem to be experienceing an afterlife-and we see nothing to indicate that a soul could possibly experience on its own. So what about after a vamp is staked? Its body and "personna" (once again serching for a better word but falling short) are then released from the control of the demon. Does the personna meet up with the spirit and then continue on? (This idea seems consistent with Bram Stoker's idea that killing a vampire will allow it to continue to the next life-in effect saving that person) So why doesn't Darla remember? So many question-no answers!

Rob-think you misquoted. "Buffy described herself as being "alone" in the place she called "heaven." " Rewatched the ep and didn't find a mention of this.
[> [> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- anom, 22:02:09 10/10/01 Wed
"(This idea seems consistent with Bram Stoker's idea that killing a vampire will allow it to continue to the next life-in effect saving that person)"

Remember Dracula's line in the Lugosi movie (was it in the book too?)? "To be truly dead...it must be...glorious!"
[> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Rattletrap, 04:53:46 10/11/01 Thu
Typically, I would guess that good people who die of natural causes are sent to heaven, i.e. the peaceful, non-corporeal place where Buffy was that looks and feels like heaven. Bad people are sent to one of a number of corporeal hell dimensions, I base this on Skip's statement (in "That Vision Thing") that his dimension was a "high end institution" where only really nasty people get sent. This implies there are other, less severe hells, so punishment does, in some sense, fit the crime.

We're told ("Passion," I think) that when a person is vamped, their soul goes into the ether. I envision this as a sort of warehouse for the storage of souls that is a place of neither torment nor bliss, simply storage. We have some evidence that there are exceptions to the rules--Phantom Dennis, for example, died violently and unexpectedly, and so he lingers as a ghost; Grace and James are a similar case.

Buffy's case is more complicated still. She didn't die of natural causes, but was killed violently by magical or mystical causes. That may mean that all bets are off. Buffy was rewarded, but did it necessarily have to be so?
[> [> Re: The Metaphysics of "After Life" **SPOILERS** -- Rob, 08:28:27 10/11/01 Thu
I don't think it's important whether it was indeed "heaven" or not. I would like to know, however, whether Buffy, being a good person, would have ended up there regardless of her death (if Buffy, for example, had remained dead after being killed by the Master in "Prophecy Girl"), or if her ending up in that dimension was a direct result of the manner in which she was killed.
I'm bummed - Angel replaced by Spike -- Nikki, 13:24:06 10/10/01 Wed
I'm really, really bummed how much Spike is becoming the "replacement" for Angel. I like Spike, he's a great character, but I don't understand how he is suddenly "becoming" good, when for years and years we've been told that vampires are all evil demons. They have no choice. Angel was the exception. Now, it appears the rule is being bent.

I don't really want Spike and Buffy together. I think Spike is one of the best baddies to ever hit Sunnydale. And, the fact that he is acting almost EXACTLY like Angel just makes it worse for me. Simply, I believe 100% that Buffy and Angel are soulmates, but since Buffy can't have Angel, let's turn to another vampire to fill the void.

I just feel so... bummed. It's not that I can't see her having a relationship with someone else. It's natural, and it'll make the moment she can be with Angel all the more important and special because she would have had other experiences to choose from. I just don't like how Angel-like Spike has become.

Does anyone else out there feel the same way?
[> Nope, don't feel the same way. -- Deeva, 14:28:13 10/10/01 Wed
I don't think that Spike has become anything like Angel at all. The two could not be more different in my eyes.

"for years and years we've been told that vampires are all evil demons. They have no choice. Angel was the exception. Now, it appears the rule is being bent."

Yeah, well I think that this season is the sesaon to set aside all that you know and hold to be true cuz the writers will blow you away. And didn't someone already mention "the bendy, twisty rules"?
[> [> Me me me......gotta love rules bendy and twisty...........:):) -- Rufus, 14:59:31 10/10/01 Wed
I like the relationship between Buffy and Spike so much more than Buffy with Angel. I'm not talking romance here, I'm talking about the fact that you have the light interacting with the shadow. Buffy is attracted to something in Spike and she just can't fathom what it is. I have to wonder if to exist there has to be a little light in a shadow and shadow in light? Buffy is treating Spike like a peer, she is judging him on his actions not if he has a soul or not. I don't know if they are going to do the hokey pokey and don't much care, I like watching them interact in a way that should be impossible for a slayer and vampire to interact.
[> [> [> I feel exactly the same way. -- Deeva, 15:34:35 10/10/01 Wed
I really do like the interaction between Buffy and Spike. It doesn't mean that I necessarily want the 2 to be doin' the hokey-pokey. The repartee is so great. I love that in different ways they "get" each other but Buffy doesn't quite see that. You know how sometimes you come across a few people who "get" you but you remain friends? It's nice to have that type of friendship where you're not endlessly explaining yourself.

"I have to wonder if to exist there has to be a little light in a shadow and shadow in light?"

I think that there does have to be a little of both in everybody. It's the whole yin yang thing. Light/dark, masculine/feminine and so on. As much as some would like to think no one is 100% anything.
[> [> [> [> Re: I feel exactly the same way. -- Olwen, 16:11:03 10/10/01 Wed
I too enjoy the interactions between Spike and Buffy. I’d personally like to see them in the sack together, but that’s because I have a dirty mind. Spike’s angst and the way JM portrays it is incredibly entertaining either way. I could feel him aching to reach out and comfort Buffy in the final scene of last night’s ep. That was a real bonding moment for them, and I wait with bated breath to see where the writers will take this.
[> [> [> Spike, Buffy, and the hockey pokey -- Traveler, 19:17:44 10/10/01 Wed
I hope that Buffy and Spike don't have sex, not because I have some moral or philisophical reservation about it, but because I fear that if they do, Spike's days will be numbered. In an interview, James Marsters said that Spike is "beneath Buffy," because he's still evil. He also said Spike is capable of great heroism as he tries to become the kind of man that Buffy wants, but he is also capable of great evil if he is rejected. If Spike and Buffy do "the hockey pokey," it seems likely that eventually things would blow up and Spike would become a Big Bad again. If that happens, Spike isn't long for the Whedonverse.
[> [> See, *told* ya we needed a disclaimer! ;-) -- Solitude1056, 16:57:57 10/10/01 Wed
[> Re: I'm bummed - Angel replaced by Spike -- Ryuei, 14:28:15 10/10/01 Wed
I actually like the way this is going. Angel was "too good" for Buffy dramatically speaking. What I mean is that Angel was also a good guy and it was very romantic and heart-breaking and there was all the sexul tension etc...but they were both basically on the same side of the moral tracks. Only Angel's physical status as a vampire seperated them. What is happening with Spike is much more interesting. You have a more yin-yang vibe going. Buffy is good, but there is still the darkness of the Slayer within her (a demonic force in and of itself?) and now her perhaps secret resentment of the SG. Spike is still evil but the chip circumvents that and he has become a force for good, if not a good person himself. And the sexual tension is there but also a lot more emotional ambivalence. Buffy and Angel's only qualm was that he would lose his soul again - a fear of one particular consequence. With Spike and Buffy the ambivalence is much more complex and intertwined with lust and loathing. Buffy and Angel were only supposed to be enemies because of their respective roles as Slayer and Vampire. Spike and Buffy, on the other hand, really are (or at least have been) arch-enemies. Dramatically, I find this wierd relationship bewteen them much more dynamic and intriguing.
[> [> Re: I'm bummed - Angel replaced by Spike -- Nancy, 17:56:36 10/10/01 Wed
Angel's soul vs. Spike's chip. I have always found it strange that prior to becoming a vampire,when he still had a soul, Angel didn't give a damn about anyone except himself.He did go about crying about how bad life was for him. He becomes a vampire and he goes on not caring about anyone, Darla included, except now he feasts on humans. I question if the gypsy curse returned his soul or gave him something he was always lacking. Now we have Spike who loved and cared before becoming a vampire, loved and cared after becoming a vampire. Now we have an annoying little chip that causes him pain when ever he attacks a person. Is it a replacement for his soul or does it force him to look at himself and what he used to be.Yes the demon part is still there ie; trashing the town with the bikers but he stays with Dawn the chip didn't force him to do that. As for myself I have always found Spike more interesting than Angel. And yes I would like to see Spike and Buffy together. Well thanks all for letting me go on and on.
[> [> [> not a spike hater, but feeling a little miffed at seeing a favorite get put down -- Percy, 10:48:28 10/11/01 Thu
"I have always found it strange that prior to becoming a vampire,when he still had a soul, Angel didn't give a damn about anyone except himself. He did go about crying about how bad life was for him. He becomes a vampire and he goes on not caring about anyone, Darla included, except now he feasts on humans. I question if the gypsy curse returned his soul or gave him something he was always lacking"

Hang on a sec - From the brief glimpse we had of Angel, we got that he was very self-indulgent (effulgent?), wasting his life away, so i accept he was very self-centered. It's not fair to conclude that Angel never really had a soul because he never showed the same kind of romantic obsession that spike had. I hating sounding so defensive, but Angel showing no preoccupation for Darla after she left him for dead isn't that unreasonable - I see that as the kind of betrayal that would knock you out of love or at least leave you very resentful. The vampire is supposed to be a corruption of the the man who is the sum of his memories and experiences and the twisting of his personality. The differences in VampWillow and regular Willow come to mind - She has hidden aspects that are revealed in the Vampire (sexual freedom, skankiness, leather, darkness?), but she had much love that was replaced by a lot of cruelty and spaciness.

"Is it a replacement for his soul or does it force him to look at himself and what he used to be.Yes the demon part is still there ie; trashing the town with the bikers but he stays with Dawn the chip didn't force him to do that."

Yeah, any action of the chip that disciplines him wasn't connected to his protecting Dawn. It seems that Spike having been neutered in a Clockwork orange capacity allows him to form emotional bonds and attachments to the humans he was fond of killing for fun as well as feeding. He might even feel guilt in the future if he's forced to feed on humans as a result of this experience on his demon soul. If you love the animal that you eat, you might be forced to become a vegitarian (ewww- am I the only one who gets bad images from putting it that way). Nevertheless, there's no arguing anymore that he doesn't truly love Buffy and Dawn.

"As for myself I have always found Spike more interesting than Angel. And yes I would like to see Spike and Buffy together. Well thanks all for letting me go on and on."

We'll have to agree to disagree on that issue. Spike does really spice up the mix. He's always been full of surprises and hilarious (always one of my favorites, really), and flirting with darkness is fun. The thought of Buffy and Spike becoming intimate or having "this, that, and the other" just gives me the dry heaves. I have to discredit myself for being one of those people who places "Buffy and Angel" as that one true blue love thing. She has to move on, but it seems so unfair that it might work with one vampire when it didn't with the other.
[> [> [> [> NOT "effulgent"! -- anom, 11:04:12 10/12/01 Fri
"From the brief glimpse we had of Angel, we got that he was very self-indulgent (effulgent?)...."

yeurrllgghh...Effulgent doesn't mean anything remotely like self-indulgent! Although...that's actually a far better rhyme for it (& maybe a better description of him!) than what William came up with in his poem (a-bulgent??!! not even a word!).

Sorry, can't help it...it's my editorial nature.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: NOT "effulgent"! -- Percy, 21:35:10 10/12/01 Fri
"From the brief glimpse we had of Angel, we got that he was very self-indulgent (effulgent?)...."

My bad for typing this sentance like that. I wasn't actually trying to equate effulgent with self-indulgent - but that's just my careless nature ;) Just wanted to make a quick reference back to Spike although i see how it could be a better description.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: NOT "effulgent"! -- Rattletrap, 13:11:03 10/13/01 Sat
I believe it was "a bulge in't"
Contraction for "in it"
Still not great poetry any way you look at it, tho'.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: NOT "effulgent"! -- anom, 08:23:35 10/14/01 Sun
Hmmm...I didn't hear it that way, but I don't remember the context any more, so it could be. Definitely agree about the not-greatness, though.
[> "More Spike makes everything better." -- rowan, 19:15:45 10/10/01 Wed
[> [> Just a dash of Spike, will do ya'. ;o) -- Deeva, 20:34:31 10/10/01 Wed
[> Spike: The Anti-Soulmate -- Dariel, 19:20:39 10/10/01 Wed
I don't think much of the "soulmates" concept, in general or in terms of the Buffy/Angel relationship. People grow and change over time. To say that any two people are destined for each other is meaningless.

Spike and Buffy's evolving relationship stands the whole soulmate idea on its head. A couple of years ago, they seemed destined to be mortal enemies, at least until one killed the other. Now, their relationship has completely changed, and is growing in interesting new ways. They may never be lovers, but they perhaps have outgrown what once seemed pre-ordained.
[> [> Re: Spike: The Anti-Soulmate -- celticross, 19:57:13 10/10/01 Wed
Excellent points. I was a fan of the B/A relationship while they were in it, but three years have passed. Even the deepest feelings can change, given enough time, and I think that theirs have. Buffy and Angel were good for each other at the time. She gave him a reason to be good, and their relationship forced Buffy into emotional maturity. But they both have something else that gives them the same thing now - Angel has the protection of L.A., and Buffy has Dawn.
[> Yep, somebody is gonna stick up for Nikki's posthumous message -- Chew-Lean, 11:02:07 10/11/01 Thu
I'm bummed too, although bending the rules makes the show more meaningful. Vampires and Demons are more than just predators, they've got some innate neeed to hurt humans. Humans are actually that much higher come to think of it. Spike and Angel have very different personalities, but I think the similarity with Angel referred to in here is that kindness and fluffy ACTIONS we're seeing more of. Argghhh.
[> [> Re: Yep, somebody is gonna stick up for Nikki's posthumous message -- Nikki, 13:06:32 10/11/01 Thu
Thanks, Chew-Lean!

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on this, even if they are very different from my own. I do think Angel and Buffy will be together one day, one way or another. (Since Joss doesn't believe in happy endings... but I keep hoping he'll give the fans a really nice ending when the show does finally run it's course.) Feeling CAN change, but that doesn't mean they WILL. And Buffy and Angel both make it perfectly clear they still feel the same way about each other.

I just miss the old Spike. My husband even says, "He acts like a good guy now!" when he watches him. Like I said, I'm not against Buffy having other relationships, I just don't want them together. I mean, after ALL the things Spike has done to her and her's, I just wonder how it's even possible that it's not running around in the back of your head that he'll do something. And that's the way it should be!
[> [> [> I'm with you 100% Nicky, on loving A&B and loving old Spike over new Spike! -- Masquerade, 15:00:26 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> [> [> Didn't mean to misspell your name, though... -- Masq, 15:01:52 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> [> [> Now is it that you don't like change or that you don't like how the change happened? -- Rufus, 16:11:08 10/11/01 Thu
You know what I feel about ships....:):)
[> [> [> [> [> Both -- Masquerade, 16:35:36 10/11/01 Thu
As a fiction writer and a Buffyverse metaphysician, I just never felt we were given sufficient explanation for how Spike changed. Sure, William had certain love-sick poet tendencies, but we still know little about his personality beyond that. Sure, early Spike loved Drusilla, but there was never a problem reconciling that with his evil nature. Many evil people love someone.

Most reasoning that takes "Fool For Love" as a staring point to explain Spike must rely on a lot of assumptions about William and about how much of the original personality stays with the vamp and whatparts of the personalities stays. But it's speculation.

The speculation on this board is interesting, but it lingers for so long it is eventually taken as canon by posters rather than considered. Opinion. I'm thinking of e.g., what David Fury meant by "metaphysical ghost". Lots of great theories on this board, but that's all they are. The writers have been vague on this. I don't think they've figured out what they mean by it. It was convenient for shifting the story line around.

It seems to me that at some point, Joss jumped from "if a demon starts out evil, he stays evil (unless given a soul)" to "well, it's just a tendency towards evil. Demons can not only change, they can change 180 degrees". We all know he did this. We've talked about it many times.

I suppose it's a television writer's perogative to change the rules in mid-stream if he wants. One can't help this in television where you can't go back and revise old stuff. two years later. In a novel, however, it's sloppy story-crafting. "Deus ex machina"

The change was a metaphysical headache for me. I can accept that some demons/humans are born a certain way. Lorne was born with a tendency towards good, Ted Bundy was born with a tendency towards evil. But Spike went from sociopathically evil to sympathetically good without sufficient explanation. And don't cry "chip" here--the effect of the chip on Spike is also a speculative issue. We can debate it here, that's cool, but only the writers can give us an answer, and they've skirted the issue.

So I simply cannot reconcile how Spike changed. They had a very clear, coherent character in Season 2. He was complex and interesting because he loved Drusilla and still was completely without conscience. He was a complex and interesting nemesis for Buffy, a character who knew who he was and who his enemies were and took action. A character we could relate to when we were in Spike's factory and then hate when we were in Buffy's library. It held us in a delicious tension.

Now he's just another good guy in a boat-load of good guys and what does he have to contribute except witty cockney one-liners? He just hangs there on the outskirts of the stories like they're trying to find a place for such an outstanding actor but can't quite figure out what to do with him.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Both -- rowan, 17:41:12 10/11/01 Thu
"Now he's just another good guy in a boat-load of good guys and what does he have to contribute except witty cockney one-liners? He just hangs there on the outskirts of the stories like they're trying to find a place for such an outstanding actor but can't quite figure out what to do with him."

It may surprise you all, but I've given this issue alot of thought over the past 2.3 seasons. I think, unfortunately, the metaphysical headache has its roots in the Realverse rather than the Buffyverse. I see this as a case of a show having been incredibly influenced by several factors:

1. ME's decision to spinoff AtS.

There are two themes that have an almost hypnotic storytelling quality: the redemption of the lost soul and the vengeance of the dark hero. Angel's character embodied both. Spinning him off to his own show was a smart move, because it allowed ME the time to explore him in the depth his story deserved. But it also left a hole in BtVS because Angel's story served as a counterpoint to Buffy's story. Nature abhors a vacuum, so suddenly we have a second redemption story (albeit of a slightly different ilk).

2. JM's outstanding acting ability.

Obviously, the man's a gem. He has an incredible acting range and his face was made for television acting. I suspect ME probably perceived they couldn't use him enough as the villain, especially after...

3. JL wasn't available as a regular or recurring cast member.

If Spike could have remained with Dru, all the potential to explore JM's range while keeping him evil remained. But without her to partner with him, the emphasis eventually moved towards the demon than the gentlemanly lover. So, another love interest had to be found.

Coupled with the void left by Angel's departure, I think ME was left with perhaps an almost inevitable need to partner Spike and Buffy in ways that could explore all the variety of JM's abilities.

Also, how could JM possibly be given enough screen time if he wasn't emotionally involved with the heroine? As JM often said, you need to be either killing Buffy or kissing her. As time wore on, Buffy's continued inability to defeat Evil!Spike would probably stretch the credulity of most viewers. Chipping him gave him another story line to explore.

3. JM's discovery after the casting of DB as Angel.

I read an interesting review this summer that was, I think, generated as a result of the debut of AtS in Singapore. The comment made was: "One wonders why there is an Angel, when there could have been a Spike." Now, please don't think I'm bashing DB, but I think it's worth considering what it might have been like if JM had been cast as Angel.

Now, you might say, 'rowan, this is all well and good, but it's ME's responsibility to keep the Buffyverse true to its own internal logic in the face of the realities of their Realverse machinations.' And you'd be right. But I suspect that a combination of creative differences within the writing team as well as the difficulty of revising history (as you point out) may have made that a challenging goal. I can see your point exactly that we really don't have clear answers to what distinguishes good and evil -- and alot of this water has been muddied by Spike (much as I love him, I can see that).

What I do disagree with in your assessment, though, is that Spike is just one more good guy in a boat load of good guys. Yes, Spike was an outstanding, clever, and complicated bad guy. But he's also a complicated and clever sort of good guy, too. I think there is a compelling element that is appealing to the audience at large related to this character. Again, we're back to watching that journey of redemption. Angel's journey is so much farther along that it doesn't satisfy that basic need I think alot of people have to see all the moments of struggle when a person decides to change. I also think alot of people want to believe that the ability to change is not predestined by a fact of birth.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wonderfully said -- Greta, 20:25:21 10/11/01 Thu
I've always thought that JM would have been a wonderful Angel, and DB's Spike would have lasted for, at the outside, a whole season.

And, ITA about people wanting to see the early stages of redemption.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wonderfully said -- WanderLost, 07:22:22 10/12/01 Fri
I have always believed this. Utterly. JM was born to play angsty undead pining angst. And watching him play it as Angel would have made more metaphysical sense.

And DB isn't bad at snarky evil assholery, but he's not so compelling an actor that the character would have lived past due date.

Of course, then James might have his own show - cool- , but it would be a sucky, Nick Knight, Warrior Princess show - not cool.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wonderfully said -- DEN, 07:27:05 10/13/01 Sat
A crucial point, highlighted by the FX reruns is the centrality of the high school experience to the initial story line--a focusing element which remains unreplaced. In that context Angel's role was the "bad boy" to which the "good girl" is irresistibly attracted--like John Travolta in GREASE, Marlon Brando in THE WILD ONES, with of course the difference that this time love does not redeem, but instead desouls! In any case by the end of Season 3 that subplot was at a dead end. No more could be done with it, no matter who the actor might have been.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Casting -- Millan, 07:37:05 10/12/01 Fri
...but I think it's worth considering what it might have been like if JM had been cast as Angel.

There's a thought that never crossed my mind before, let me consider this...

Difficult to imagine, since Angel now is a big brooding hunk of a guy. That's no JM.

But as you pointed out, with that great acting skill, he could pretty much get under your skin in other ways.

Now I'm getting goose-bumps...

Now . . I . . think . .
I . . need . . to . .
lie . . down . . for . .
a . . while ...


"Hmm, I hate being obvious, all fangy and GRRR. Takes the mystery out."
- Spike, The Initiative
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Casting -- rowan, 17:31:33 10/12/01 Fri
I think he could play brooding angst quite well if he wanted to. I just think we're so used to Spike, it takes a minute to think it through.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Casting -- Millan, 05:10:07 10/13/01 Sat
Oh, indeed.
The acting and the emotional conveyance would be excellent, I've no doubt.

I hesitate only at the fact that DB is quite a large man (compared to JM).
And while he's not my favorite flavor as men on the TV goes (apart from when he's the modern-day Angelus) he is a big "hunk" of a man and it does give a certain flavor to the character that JM probably couldn't have done.

I'm sure he'd have given it something just as good or even better, but these "what if's" are difficult when you already have the original outcome. :)


"So this is Angel. He's large and glowery, isn't he?"
- Anya, Pangs
[> [> [> [> [> [> I agree -- Rufus, 17:49:36 10/11/01 Thu
I think Fury said "philosophical ghost".....:)

The chip is something that we can only speculate upon and attempt to smoosh our ideas into what is going on. But there is the thing about how do we get from Spike the killer to Spike the lady killer? Is this going to be a "deus ex machina" or are we being allowed to learn to like this guy just long enough to let down our guard and end up getting another JW whammy?

As for change I like it we need it....the Buffyverse was just a little simple for my liking in the first few seasons, the uncertainty about vampires caused by the anomolous behavior of one, makes me glad that we ask the hard question about who is okay to kill on sight? If the Buffyverse had not evolved I would have become bored as the ships aren't all that interesting to me. Testing canon is more to my liking...;)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree -- Masquerade, 09:10:07 10/12/01 Fri
It's more gray now in a troublesome way. If any vamp you come across an be a potential Spike (I mean, did we see the new Spike coming during season 2?), then Buffy has a serious problem. She can't just kill vampires at random. She has to get to know them first, and find out if they can be redeemed. The whole premise of the show is on shaky ground.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Absolutely! -- rowan, 09:28:44 10/12/01 Fri
This is an important point. The corollary is also the whole Dawn/Spike issue. Some of his behaviors are clearly wrong and must be a bad influence on a teenager.

Is Spike *special* because of the chip? Or are there a whole lotta potential Spikes out there for Buffy to contend with?

I think the show should deal with this issue. I read a fanfic once where Spike went nuts because Buffy was putting herself in danger because she could no longer fully believe in what she was doing. I'd like to get ME's take on this.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree -- Cleanthes, 21:04:39 10/12/01 Fri
It's more gray now in a troublesome way. If any vamp you come across an be a potential Spike (I mean, did we see the new Spike coming during season 2?), then Buffy has a serious problem. She can't just kill vampires at random. She has to get to know them first, and find out if they can be redeemed. The whole premise of the show is on shaky ground.

Perhaps redemption of vampires requires a chip because the demon has an overwhelming trump otherwise. Assuming Buffy cannot install chips, and assuming that the utilitarian argument for slaying vampires remains sound, the ground, though shaky, will not cause any quakes over about 3.0 on the Richter scale...
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree -- Rufus, 21:22:37 10/12/01 Fri
If any vamp can be a potential Spike (I mean did we see the new Spike coming during season 2?), then Buffy has a serious problem. She just can't kill vampires at random. She has to get to know them first, and find out if they can be redeemed.

As soon as Spike helped Buffy in Becoming2, I saw the potential for another exception to the rule. Buffy hasn't just killed at random, she has generally let any vamp that hasn't engaged her in battle go. If a vamp or say a human bad person attacks, there is no time to have them fill out a questionaire, you protect yourself using the force needed to the get the job done. If anyone can be a potential serial killer, then why can't a vamp(considered a serial killer) have the potential to be a, if not totally good, at least non person killing being?
The idea of Buffy getting out the sharp pointies to do the wet icky work of chip installation, is barfy in the extreme.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree (SOME SPOILERS) -- DEN, 08:09:48 10/13/01 Sat
Cleanthes's argument is reinforced by the latest episode of ANGEL, which clearly establishes the "wrongness" of attacking demons(and vamps by extension) who aren't directly threatening you. That in turn resonates with today's headlines. Does the "demon world" of the Josssverse create a policing problem or a war problem? ANGEL seems to be moving towards a "police" approach--individual demons, or institutions like W&H, may or may not be "criminals." BtVS, on the other hand, is much more of a "war" model. The "big bads" want to destroy the world, not exploit it as does W&H. Spike is treated as a turncoat by the demon world, and seems to regard himself as something like those Indians who, for one reason or another, scouted for the cavalry. And in the context of a war, is it moral to take the fight to the enemy be it terrorist or vamp? Or must the enemy come to you before action is justiified? The history of war suggsts the latter approach is in practical terms doomed to failure most of the time. Maybe that's why, as a student of military history, I see BtVS as such a dark show compared to ANGEL. The characters can only fight until they are eventually overwhelmed--Xena's fate without Xena's need for absolution. The most poignant scene ever in BtVS, IMO, was in thie year's first ep, with the surviving Scoobies, all frightened, all hurt, going after a horde of biker demons with what hand weapons they could scrounge. It was like the ending of THE WILD BUNCH--all you can expect is to go down fighting. No wonder Willow turns to dark magick! Can there ever be any hope of a counterattack in the Buffyverse?
Sorry for these somewhat disorganized reflections; thanks for your patience
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree (SOME SPOILERS) -- Cleanthes, 09:01:21 10/13/01 Sat
Angel works in Los Angeles, a city not without creepy locales, but not one located on a hellmouth.

If the only vampires redeemable are chipped vampires among vampires drawn to the hellmouth, then Buffy is in a war situation. (this premise is not fully substantiated, I admit)

In Angel's city, demons other than vampires make up a larger percentage of the whole, and these demons weren't drawn to Los Angeles because of an external "badness" magnet (like the hellmouth).

I see, though, a way in which Angel is a darker show. Wolfram and Hart. Buffy has to live with the hellmouth because it's a given. (to quote myself, a constitutive element beyond her power to affect) Angel had a heck of a time imagining Wolfram and Hart as a constitutive element of Los Angeles society. It really seems like an organization that could be defeated. It seems like he's given up on that, though, and that's tough on the spirit, I think.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree--boom! -- anom, 08:37:50 10/14/01 Sun
"If the Buffyverse had not evolved I would have become bored as the ships aren't all that interesting to me. Testing canon is more to my liking...;)"

Yeah, it can get boring on a ship if you don't get to test the cannon once in a while...besides, how else do you make sure you can keep the pirates away? @>)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, I thought it was funny, anom! :o) -- Wisewoman, 14:23:14 10/14/01 Sun
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> thanks, ww! after all, i am an invertebrate punster... -- anom, 19:01:57 10/14/01 Sun
...spinelessly unable to resist a pun! (Another one I wish I could take credit for.) That opportunity was just too juicy to pass up.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A pun is the lowest form of wit... -- Humanitas, 12:10:09 10/15/01 Mon
...only if somebody else thinks of it first!
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Someone oughta slug you for that one! -- Jen C., 22:36:05 10/15/01 Mon
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> actually... -- anom, 21:40:55 10/16/01 Tue
...that's in the button I got it from: Invertebrate Punster/Spinelessly unable to resist a pun/So slug me! I thought it was a little too much, but I'm glad you filled that in.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ahoy!.....I've been broadsided......... -- Rufus, 21:40:42 10/14/01 Sun
Ships...canon.....hmmmmmm...I guess the potential for a ship is enough to make them throw some canon overboard...;)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Reminds me of one of my favorite Buffy resurrections . . . -- d'Herblay, 21:50:54 10/14/01 Sun
. . . resurrection, that is, of a dead metaphor.

Mayor Wilkins: But I guess we're past that now. This year is too important to let a loose cannon rock the boat.
Allan: Should I have Mr. Trick send a... committee to deal with this?
Mayor Wilkins: Loose cannon. Rock the boat. Is that a mixed metaphor?
Allan: (confused) Uh...
Mayor Wilkins: (musing out loud) Boats did have cannons. And a loose one would cause it to rock. Oh, honestly. I don't know where my mind goes these days. (chuckles)
("Lover's Walk")

I miss Harry Groener.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Reminds me of one of my favorite Buffy resurrections . . . -- Rufus, 23:46:20 10/14/01 Sun
...sniff.....sniff.....so do I.....he was the best villian...so polite and all...:):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> awright d'Herb! thanks for resurrecting that bit of dialog -- anom, 15:23:05 10/15/01 Mon
I'd forgotten about it. See, something good can come from low wit.
[> [> [> [> [> [> FX is airing "School Hard" today for the first look at Spike -- Liq, 09:18:10 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> School Hard - Been waiting for this for a long time! -- VampRiley, 16:01:26 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Evil!Spike: a cautionary tale or just too sexy for words? You decide. ;) -- rowan, 17:32:46 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Now THAT's a bad guy! -- Humanitas, 17:57:05 10/12/01 Fri
It's amazing, knowing Spike as I know him now (chipped), watching JM struggle to act through his makeup. Even though the teeth are obviously giving him problems, he conveys so many different facets of the character. The wit, the raw aggression, the intelligence, the desire for "a little less ritual and a little more fun." Glad they let him do his stuff with Dru in people-face, though. Tough to be tender when you're all fang-y.

And that entrance they gave him must be one of the best in the history of television. Truly, a villain worthy of the Slayer.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Now THAT's a bad guy! -- rowan, 18:08:21 10/12/01 Fri
Actually, I thought the impact of seeing him entirely in vamp face in the first couple of scenes, then having him turn to Dru and change to human face was AMAZING.

The Power of Spike. *sigh*
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike's perceptions -- Brian, 19:27:30 10/12/01 Fri
Spike is the first vamp to say,"Slayer's got family and friends fighting with her" Now that's unfair!
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Now THAT's a bad guy! -- Humanitas, 06:51:13 10/13/01 Sat
Oh, I agree. It was definitely the right chioce from the director's standpoint, especially since his vamp-face is particularly distorted, and his real-face is so pretty. My observation was simply that JM was clearly new to acting through all the prosthetics at the time. He suceeded in doing so, but you could see him working at it, whereas nowadays it seems effortless on the rare occasions we do see it.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreement and foreshadowing doubts -- Liq, 18:26:55 10/13/01 Sat
I have to agree with you. If I had never seen him before, and he went from his game face with his lispy, slurring fangy voice to the beauty of his human face it would have taken my breath away. It was pretty cool regardless.

Joss has said all along that Spike was an interim bad guy who was destined to die when the organ crushed his spine later in Season 2, but that he was completely blown away by JM's talent and couldn't let him go. Given that history, I doubt there is too much foreshadowing for Spike's current storyline unless Joss was lying, which although possible, I doubt. Even SMG mentioned in an interview for FX that Spike was a small, temporary part until JM came along and turned the character into one that the show could not survive without.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreement and foreshadowing doubts -- Greta, 21:32:48 10/13/01 Sat
It's probably true that there wasn't intentional foreshadowing, but what I've found so great about most of the writing for Spike, as well as JM's portrayal, is that it colors neatly in between the broad character lines drawn in those early episodes. William the Bloody Awful Poet can be seen in the half tough guy/half poseur of School Hard.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I finally understand those who do not wish to see him redeemed.... -- Liq, 21:55:01 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> All that sexy, sinister attraction being put out is dangerous...;) -- rowan, 05:45:50 10/13/01 Sat
[> [> Oops, should have edited the message -- Chew-Lean, 20:55:13 10/12/01 Fri
"Vampires and Demons are more than just predators, they've got some innate need to hurt humans. Humans are not actually that much higher come to think of it."

"Spike and Angel have very different personalities, but I think the similarity with Angel referred to in here is that kindness and the fluffy ACTIONS we're seeing more of. Argghhh."

Spike always showed that twisted love for Dru, but that is far different from what we see today.
EW gave a GREAT review for "After Life"!! -- Rob, 18:09:09 10/10/01 Wed
Here's the review, and it's excellent!

"You always have to be careful when a television series offers up ''a big revelation.'' Too often, such ploys come off as cheap, arbitrary, and ultimately meaningless -- mere gimmickry, evidence of the bankrupt imaginations of people who have no idea how to wring new and genuine drama out a show's premise and characters. For current examples, please see Scully's baby on ''The X-Files'' or practically any episode of ''E.R.''

But for a textbook example of how to do it right, look no further than Oct. 9's riveting edition of ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.) entitled ''After Life.'' Though the network didn't hype the hour as a Big Revelation episode, it nonetheless contained one: Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), recently returned to her mortal coil after sacrificing her life to save the world last season, disclosed to the vampire Spike (James Marsters) that contrary to what she's led her friends to believe, she didn't die and go to hell -- she went to heaven, and to be honest, she's bummed that her friends, via a risky spell cast by her best friend Willow (Alyson Hannigan), have dragged her back to our cruel and crude world, ''so bright and violent.''

Perhaps none of you found this revelation as surprising as I did. In fact, if ''After Life'' failed at anything, it was telegraphing its twist with too much foreshadowing. Too much assuming by Buffy's friends that she must have gone ''down'' instead of ''up;'' too many lines like ''Jet lag from hell must be... well, jet lag from hell'' (one of Anya's many zingers, zestfully delivered by Emma Caulfield); too many Buffy replies along the lines of ''Errr. Right. That's it.''

Nonetheless, her confession had all the impact of the good kind of big revelation. It has given Buffy's death at the end of last season (which, you have to admit, flirted with gimmickry) an indelible significance: We've seen characters go from hell and back before, but how does one bounce back to normal after a prolonged exposure in heaven? This isn't something you can recover from and forget; this will (or should) haunt her the rest of her life. It also firmly establishes a provocative metaphysical worldview: ''Buffy'''s humans are spiritual creatures who will be rewarded with either damnation or paradise in the life to come. And to think conservative Christians hate this show!

The revelation also changes Buffy's relationships with her friends -- or better yet, it illuminates a relatively unexplored dimension to them that now seems impossible to ignore: Instead of being the light of her life, the Scoobies have become a constant reminder of the darkness that colors a Slayer's daily existence: the dreadful burden of being responsible for so many lives. In these terms, how selfish it was for the Scoobies to bring her back!

The revelation also promises to dramatically alter some key relationships. Last night's episode specifically dwelled on Spike. Finally, the show's writers have come up with a legitimate reason for the Slayer to bond with Spike -- perhaps even intimately.

''One thing about magic,'' Spike reminded us. ''There's always consequences. Always!'' ''After Life'' also reminded us of another important truth. It's the mark of a truly magical drama that can make the consequences of its characters' actions count for something truly profound and unforgettable -- and ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' certainly qualifies."
[> Rob, is there a date and author for this review? -- Masquerade, 11:18:09 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> Yup...here they are! -- Rob, 11:29:47 10/11/01 Thu
The author was Jeff Jensen and it was posted at http://www.ew.com on 10/10/01. The name of the article was "Heaven Sent."

Here's a direct link to the article:

[> [> [> Re: Thanks, Rob -- Dedalus, 15:57:35 10/11/01 Thu
Just a Thought... (**Contains Slight Spoilerish Quotage**) -- Lucifer_Sponge, 19:07:38 10/10/01 Wed
Why's everyone pointing fingers at Willow being the "big bad" this season? Couldn't it just as easily Buffy? That comedown from the highs of heaven could make her just -snap- one day...

Marti Noxon did say that the villain was something they'd "never done before." Well, what could be more innovative, new, and unexpected than BUFFY being the villian?
[> Re: Just a Thought... (**Contains Slight Spoilerish Quotage**) -- cknight, 21:25:12 10/10/01 Wed
I've been pointing all of my fingers at Willow. I hope I'm wrong. after Buffy she's my fav. I could still get into the show if Buffy had stayed dead and Willow became the lead (yeah, I said it). It's weird watching the FX reruns then watching the new eps.
[> [> For what it's worth -- Traveler, 22:18:35 10/10/01 Wed
I love the direction the episodes are going this season, but I think I could also have enjoyed the show if Buffy had stayed dead. Dawn, the Vampire Slayer. Never before has a Slayer been quite so... cute.
[> [> [> Re: For what it's worth -- grifter, 09:53:43 10/11/01 Thu
hmm, damn interesting idea that...buffy as the "big bad"...
[> [> [> [> For what it's worth -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 17:04:15 10/11/01 Thu
Either one as the new villain could be very powerful drama.

It's an old theme: the shield-companions now enemies. Arthur and Lancelot. (I'm sure there are others, but they escape me.) Still loving each other, but unable to continue without the other's destruction.
Espenson channels Morrison - ‘Out here, we are stone, immaculate’ - ( *Spoilers* for *After Life* ) -- OnM, 21:21:04 10/10/01 Wed

Back in those days everything was simpler and more confused
One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
The blonde one was called Freedom
The dark one, Enterprise
We talked and they told me this story
Now listen to this...


This is the end, Beautiful friend
This is the end, My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me


I'll tell you this...
No eternal reward will forgive us now
For wasting the dawn.


Reaching your head with the cold, sudden fury of a divine messenger


The title of this essay/review is technically a slight misquote, but then again you never know. A short while ago we were discussing the role of wordplay in the Buffyverse, debating the difference between puns, malapropisms, witty banter, euphemisms and something Cleanthes called an antanaclasis. This, and a certain image from After Life set me to thinking whether or not Jane Espenson has been influenced by the writings of Jim Morrison, 20th century poet/iconoclast and founder of The Doors Let’s stop for a moment and ask our collective selves, where do words come from? The ones that the writers of the show use, I mean. The short answer is that every writer (or even those wannabes like myself) draws on all that they’ve seen or heard over long periods of time in order to craft their particular prose or poetry. Not being able to share our thoughts directly (which as a previous BtVS ep clearly showed, is not necessarily a good idea anyway), we rely on not only words, but the common thoughts that are conjured in our minds when those words are read or spoken. Another possible way to state this is that words are an analog of experience, and experience comes from interaction with others as much or more often then it comes from any inner journeys into one’s own mind. In addition to the basic level of available vocabulary, there are a number of ways that words show their limitations, and when they do we often turn to creating visual images to help convey our meaning. What I find curious about this is that the sight of said images then inevitably conjures up new words as we seek to describe them in our mind’s eye. Thus, the whole thing turns into a kind of ourobouros, or tail-eating snake, except that the snake doesn’t consume itself, it somehow grows larger as it feeds. If that makes no real sense, perhaps it isn’t supposed to, just as we are likely never going to determine whether or not Willow was right in bringing about Buffy’s return from the grace of death.


Take a journey to the bright midnight
End of the night, end of the night
Realms of bliss, realms of light
Some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to the endless night


This week brought about another opportunity for me to be right about something, and be unhappy as a result of it. I have to admit that last week’s otherwise satisfying-- if depressing-- premiere left me with one niggling little caveat that I felt was not dealt with, which was Joss’s claim many months ago that Buffy’s reappearance in the Earthly plane would not be a ‘resurrection’, but a ‘rebirth’. After many viewings of the episode, and many attempts to connect his statement with the facts as they appeared to me, I could not truly reconcile this. She was dead, without question. She was brought back to life, essentially as herself, in her old body, and while rather worse for the wear physically and mentally, she was still Buffy. This is not a rebirth, this is a resurrection. To qualify as a true rebirth, some fundamental aspect within Buffy would have to change to allow the use of the word even euphemistically, and it simply wasn’t there as of the end of Bargaining.

Well, that reservation has now been addressed, and it was addressed not only in the impossibly sad words which Buffy speaks to Spike at episode’s end, but was foreshadowed by a brief but powerful image about 20 minutes before that gave everything about the ending away, if we managed to catch it. It passed very quickly, maybe 15 seconds or so, but something about it caught my eye, and when I played the tape back for the second viewing later last night, I watched more closely. As I did, not only did the image create words in my mind’s eye, they created links in my mind’s ear as a particularly evocative phrase penned way back in the 70’s came back into my consciousness:


The Negroes in the forest brightly feathered
They are saying, "Forget the night.
Live with us in forests of azure.
Out here on the perimeter there are no stars
Out here we is stoned - immaculate."

Listen to this, and I'll tell you about the heartache
I'll tell you about the heartache and the loss of God
I'll tell you about the hopeless night
The meager food for souls forgot
I'll tell you about the maiden with wrought iron soul


Ah, Jim Morrison. Over 30 years later, his dark and powerful visions still both frighten and beguile us. And so I return to the question posed near the very beginning of this essay, which pondered whether Jane Espenson was influenced either consciously or subconsciously by him when she wrote this screenplay, since those italicised words from the poem above certainly evoke from the image I saw.

The image was the one where Buffy has left the Scooby gang and gone out to (supposedly) patrol. The scene opens with her walking quickly through the graveyard, and as she walks she passes a stone angel. That such a sculpture resides in a cemetary isn’t too surprising, and it certainly adds to the overall atmosphere, but it becomes more than merely atmosphere when, as Buffy passes by it, the camera makes a subtle but defining move as it pivots slightly and in doing so slightly elongates the brief time that her profile becomes visually aligned over that of the statue, and it appears as if the stone wings are now sprouting from her own, more flesh and blood shoulders.

Out here, we is stoned, immaculate... Or is it as my slightly altered wording suggests, is the stone itself immaculate? Perfect grace, captured for eternity? Or one who could fly with God but whose wings are too heavy and solid, composed as they are of the densest fundamentals of the earth?

And whose fault is this, is it God’s, or the First Evil, or the Scoobies, or only Willow? Willow seems to be at the focal point of the ‘price’ that she suggests has been debited in exchange for the revivification of her beloved friend. All we know for certain at this point in time is that Willow was obviously driven to do what she did because she was filled with a sense of outrage and anger and despair that harkened from some central place within her soul:


What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down

I hear a very gentle sound
With your ear down to the ground
We want the world and we want it...


It is interesting that the demon given birth to by Willow’s spell, when it manifests a physical presence for the very first time, seeks out Willow to terrorize, and does so by brutally describing the killing of the fawn, which only Willow knows about. (It openly attacks Buffy only when it discovers that it can become fully corporeal by killing her). As demons go, this one seemed to be awfully easy to kill, which puzzled me at first, but I now think that this was as intended. With the ‘price’ dispatched so readily, it makes it far easier for Willow to carry on with the mistaken belief that ‘everything is OK now’, and with Buffy back, all will be right with the world. Buffy’s confession of her ‘paradise lost’ to Spike-- the only one who asks her directly, and with absolute sincerity, Are you in pain? Is there anything I can do?,-- makes it painfully clear how unintentionally disconnected Willow is from the soul of person she feels such love for.

It is also easy to say that Willow may have acted selfishly, and all indications are so far pointing in that direction, but I don’t think this issue will be resolved for quite a long time yet. Buffy may currently be in emotional and spiritual anguish, and believe that she is ‘in hell’ based on her memories of where she was and what she feels she has lost, but we know from past experience that our heroine is astoundingly resilent, and will almost assuredly recover, given time and motivation. I am wondering whether Buffy’s slow recovery will be paralleled by an equally slow descent of her best friend into a level of despair and anguish of comparable proportions.

I don’t have too much else to note except for the usual things that I am sure everyone is aware of. Spike continues his movement towards the human side of his dual nature, and I noted that this progress may be having an effect on the chip, since I was rather surprised to find it not kicking in when he slammed Xander against the tree. Is the chip so discriminating that it can detect the difference between the simplistic urge to cause physical harm to a human and the more subtlely directed inner rage at someone who has spoken so foolishly as to deserve a reprimand? Or has it merely stopped working at long last, leaving us with the question of whether Spike can remain as he now is without it’s influence?

SMG’s magnificent acting work? I covered it last week, and there is nothing new left to say, the same with JM and MT. (Loved the expression on Dawn’s face after she made the ‘I knew you were there under all that dirt’ comment while trying to clean up her sister and then realized the secondary, and no-so-innocuous meaning thereof). Tara continues to increase her assertiveness, although she still seems extremely accomodating of Willow’s magical forays into dangerous territory. Perhaps she is trying a new tactic, (‘You don’t have to be brave here. I still love you’) since her prior direct confrontations did not deter her lover from pursuing the darker aspects of witchery. Xander still reflects the thoughts of most of us outside the fourth wall, going back and forth and justifiably unsure what the eventual outcome will be, simply trying to deal with the undeal-able. Anya increasingly reflects Xander’s uncertainty, and so is partly backing away from what was steady growth towards a more emotionally natural human makeup.

Other favorite scenes? The micro-play in three parts-- The look on Spike’s face when he first sees the living Buffy, followed by the one after the SG bursts in and interrupts the intense delicacy of the moment, and then the shot outside as he leans against the tree, crying, skillfully done with perfect timing and editing so that we see just a glimpse of the reality beneath without overdoing it-- like the stone angel sequence another foreshadow of the ending. Finally, I was reminded of the scene in A:tS where Darla (still human at this point) is with Angel in the underground building, and after taunting him that ‘God still doesn’t want you’, walks up into the sunlight, as he remains in the shadows. Only this time, it is Buffy who walks away into the sunlight, leaving Spike to contemplate that the light no longer warms her soul, and that he, a purported creature of evil, has never deliberately enacted such a horror on his victims as Buffy’s supposed friends have inadvertently visited upon her.

A hard, and bright, and violent birth, indeed.


Gently they stir, gently rise
The dead are newborn awakening
With ravaged limbs and wet souls
Gently they sigh in rapt funeral amazement
Who called these dead to dance?
Was it the young woman learning to play the ghost song on her baby grand?
Was it the wilderness children?
Was it the ghost god himself, stuttering, cheering, chatting blindly?
I called you up to anoint the earth
I called you to announce sadness falling like burned skin
I called you to wish you well
To glory in self like a new monster
And now I call you to pray


By the way, did any of the Scoobies ever consider getting Faith out of prison?


Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside

........................All poetry/lyrics by Jim Morrison/The Doors

[> Re: Espenson channels Morrison (After Life spoilers) -- rowan, 21:59:15 10/10/01 Wed
"Finally, I was reminded of the scene in AtS where Darla (still human at this point) is with Angel in the underground building, and after taunting him that ‘God still doesn’t want you’, walks up into the sunlight, as he remains in the shadows. Only this time, it is Buffy who walks away into the sunlight, leaving Spike to contemplate that the light no longer warms her soul, and that he, a purported creature of evil, has never deliberately enacted such a horror on his victims as Buffy’s supposed friends have inadvertently visited upon her."

That really says it all.
[> [> And here lies the argument for redemption -- Liq, 22:24:20 10/10/01 Wed
[> You're just trying to kill another one of my printers aren't you???:):):):) -- Rufus, 23:04:22 10/10/01 Wed
I found it caught my attention that when Buffy didn't throw her arms around the Scoobies in thanks for delivery from hell, they assumed that it was because she was damaged. They were continued to be confused as she just kept silent, no wild animal like Angel was on his return from hell. The longer Buffy kept silent the more they were worried that Buffy had something wrong with her. They may have only on a subconscious level contemplated that what was wrong with Buffy was them. This discomfort futher distanced them from Buffy, their only thoughts were that she would return to normal when she got used to being home.

Of course the light no longer warms her soul, Buffy knew heaven only to be snatched back to toil in a never ending hell. Her rebirth was her worst nightmare, to come into the light only to start the battle anew. If Buffy weren't kind she would have told the other of how she felt but she could only reach one person, her former enemy. Spike understood torment only to find out that Buffy has suffered the cruelest torment of all.

Great essay
[> [> Re: You're just trying to kill another one of my printers aren't you???:):):):) -- OnM, 23:21:54 10/10/01 Wed
Thanks, Rufus, glad you enjoyed it. Isn't the Morrison stuff really eerie in how close it comes in so many aspects? It's hard to pick a favorite from among the excerpts I posted, but the one that really gives me the chills is:

"Was it the young woman learning to play the ghost song on her baby grand?"

I mean, if that doesn't evoke Willow, I certainly don't know what does. Whew, creepy... Anyway, really, really late for me here in the East, gotta log off now. Take care, see you tomorrow!

[> Great Essay -- Kerri, 10:52:42 10/11/01 Thu
I honestly don't have anything to add-you basically said it all. The last scene where Buffy walks into the sunlight was so sad. Spike hasm wanted to walk into that light for so long-but he now realizes as you so elequiently said "the sun no longer warms [Buffy's] soul."

It is interesting as you noted that Spike is really the only one who is genuinely, completely tuned into Buffy and her pain. The others want her to be ok so badly that they overhwhelm her. The scene where Spike takes Buffy's hands is so powerful, so emotional, and still so subtle-an interesting contrast with the scoobies' reactions. And Buffy tries so hard to be ok for her friends and for her sister that she doesn't let them understand her pain-she bravely walks into the blinding sunlight on her own. And one more thing, I loved that scne with the angel-so beautifully done-another subtle scene that was so perfect.

Again, wondersul essay OnM!
[> [> I agree with that!!!!!!!! -- Nina, 15:48:16 10/11/01 Thu
As always I really love your essay OnM! Thanks! I am just making a quick apparition today, but I salute all those new posters. It's so great to see that this board is living and changing! :)

About resurection and being reborn...

It is quite a coincidence that this morning I watched an interview with Bernard Montaud, a French psychologist who wrote and talked a lot about birth. He said that when we are born we are thrown away from "heaven" and we arrive into a harsh world where everything is too bright, too loud and too violent. Where your body is over-examined to make sure you have no anomalies, but where your soul means nothing (not as a newborn anyway).

When we look at what we've got in Afterlife, it's exactly the same. Buffy was thrown away from heaven and all her friends cared about (The SG symbolizing the doctors in the hospital) was to make sure she was okay physically. That she wasn't a zombie. That she was 100% Buffy. The way the SG treated Buffy is exactly the same way newborns are treated in hospitals (I'm not talking about those new places where birth is finally what it should be, but big, bright hospitals where the majority of woman deliver their babies even nowadays.)

Judging the SG is judging our way to bring our newborns into the world. On the other hand Spike looks like the new-age way to deal with birth. Be near the child. Touch it with delicacy. Not crowd it unnecessarily. Give it space and love.

The metaphor of Buffy's rebirth is not so metaphoical after all. What she went through, we all went through it when we came into this world... only we were too litle and too fragile to do anything about it. Gotta love Buffy for those parallels with real life.
[> [> [> Re: I agree with that!!!!!!!! -- Rufus, 16:07:51 10/11/01 Thu
The SG were on the lookout for flaws, reasons for Buffy not to be right. They saw every move, the lack of words, the wandering around the house, to mean that their experiment had failed. Spike on the other hand just accepted what he got when Buffy walked down the stairs, giving her the space she needed to find her bearings. Spike did point out to Buffy just how powerful Willow has become, no judgements, just a statement of fact.

The comparisson of birth to Buffys situation is obvious, the SG giving her a slap on the ass and a shove into the light, Spike holding her hands and giving her time to adapt and find her voice. Ironic that a souless being treated Buffy with soul, when her friends overexamined her for flaws.
[> [> Thanks, Kerri! After I posted this... -- OnM, 16:14:08 10/11/01 Thu
... I started scrolling down and checking some of the other threads (I'd been pretty much away from the board for the last day and a half), and saw that you had caught on to the scene with the stone angel in the cemetary also. It had happened so very quickly, I was wondering how many folks caught it.

As to 'basically saying it all', you know that never happens on this board!! It's one of the reasons I sometimes like to go off on a kind of tangent, as I did in this last post, just so I don't cover too much territory that others will already go over. Of course, doing so runs the risk of getting too obscure at times, but hey, Rufus needs to keep those printers humming!

[> [> [> Re: Thanks, Kerri! After I posted this... -- Dedalus, 16:57:51 10/11/01 Thu
Amazing, OnM. Just wonderful.

I missed the angel thing. I'll have to go watch it again.

Actually, one of the reasons why I love this board is because so many people have written the same things I was thinking, thus saving me from having to type them out!
[> Re: -- boy_mercury, 17:48:06 10/11/01 Thu
That was an amazing observation of the episode!! So many fun ideas to think about now! Unfortunately, I still have a paper to write. Like my mind is going to be on it! Great post!
[> Thanks for reminding me how much I love the Doors! -- Jen C., 21:14:58 10/11/01 Thu
Man, the imagery of Texas Radio...The End...!

That was a GREAT essay! These are being saved...right?! Otherwise, I'm going to have to use my printer, and it don't work so good.
Buffy forever changed? -- cjc36, 09:40:21 10/11/01 Thu
As discussed here and elsewhere, Buffy felt the Other place she existed after her death was Heaven. She was happy and at peace there, only to be ripped out of it by her friends. Obviously, this has changed her entire 'inner voice.' No mortal coil could compare to the joy of being once and finally 'done.' No more battles of principalities, no more depressing months of May.

She expressed this to Spike. While telling her friends she was in a Hellish place--and making them feel better about the violation of her (and this sounds funny to me even as I think it) right to stay deceased.

(How would that be dealt with in a courtroom?:) )

Anyway, I as a viewer crave for her character to turn back to its 'default' personality: Somehow Buffy finds a certain peace, a will to live, again.

Question: Should she? Is it better to keep her now forever changed? BtVS isn't regular old TV. The rules of keeping characters rock-solid, never changing puppets don't apply in the Jossverse. They learn, grow, change. And it's one of the reasons I love this show so much. But if Buffy doesn't find a will to live, if every breath from now on is always and evermore hard work, the strain in her evident to us viewers in the quiet, reflective moments by herself, will the joy in spending time with her every week decrease?

Can she ever learn to laugh again?

I hope so. Perhaps the feelings she had and expressed to Spike will fade--never dying--but become something she can absorb into her natural personality.

What do I want? That's the problem. I don't know.
[> Re: Buffy forever changed? -- Kerri, 10:58:09 10/11/01 Thu
Your right, BTVS is a show where people change and grow-the Buffy of today is nothing like the girl we saw on the steps of Hemmery High. And it is this-the fact that the characters continue to evolve-that makes me believe that Buffy will not remain depressed forever. Changed yes. Of course she will be changed. But Buffy will find a way to live again. She will take her experiences and use them to make her stronger-that's what she always does-that's why she's the hero.
[> Re: Buffy forever changed? -- rowan, 11:02:45 10/11/01 Thu
I would say that I've struggled with all the same questions that you have. I believe that we're seeing Buffy 2.0. She has Buffy's memories, Buffy's body, perhaps Buffy's soul, Buffy's personality, but her identity has altered to some degree. It's hard to imagine anyone undergoing such an experience and remaining unchanged. Plus, the imagery that Buffy evoked was very womblike (as has been pointed out very ably elsewhere on this board). She was ripped out of her warm, safe womb and thrust back into what she perceives as hell.

The SG does seem to want her to be 'the old Buffy', perhaps as a reassurance that they did the right thing, perhaps out of love and nostalgia for Buffy, perhaps out of other motives like a sincere desire to see her happy. But Buffy's soft response of 'longer' clues us all in that for her, bridging the time gap of when she was gone isn't going to be that easy.

The thought of Buffy living every day thinking life is hell torments *me*, frankly. She doesn't deserve that. And I don't think ME has that in mind for her, either. I bet they are kind of fond of her as well. I think we'll see Buffy on a journey to reconnect to the world this season. I don't think her connections will be quite the same as they were before. Something will need to help her rekindle her joy in life. It will be interesting to see what it is. But I believe ME has shown us arcs in these storylines, where characters rise from depths to heights and then return. Buffy is definitely at the depths (forced to live when she'd rather be dead), so I expect her to steadily climb back to the heights.
[> Re: Buffy forever changed? (Spoilers) -- robert, 11:14:23 10/11/01 Thu
"Can she ever learn to laugh again?"

Yes, I think she can. This question relates to the most heart rending aspect of this season so far. Buffy is disconnected from the world; she hasn't laughed, smiled, bantered or (even more distressing) cried. The closest she came was her comment to Dawn about the consequence of failing history class. However,with each minute the season progressed, Buffy became more engaged with her new life. I suspect that we will know she is okay, when she if finally able to cry again. Her revelation to Spike doesn't go nearly far enough.

I hope that Buffy always retains some melancholy even as she regains her ability to enjoy life and share her love for her friends.

ps: I am using this opportunity to join the discussion on this most intelligent board.
[> [> Welcome! I'm sure you'll fit right in! :) -- rowan, 13:04:18 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> Color me a masochistic fan, but... -- AngelVsAngelus, 13:13:53 10/11/01 Thu
I actually enjoy Mopey Buffy alot. Don't misconstrue, I love all the facets of her personality that people have cordially referred to as incarnations (AngryBuffy, WittyBuffy. This personification of individual personality traits is similiar to what people do to differentiate between Angel's different temperaments), but Mopey Buffy seems to interest me the most. Her character always seems to have much more depth to me when she is lamenting. Maybe I'm just a morose fellow, heh.
I don't believe she deserves to suffer, its just that there's such good writing to be had with that pain. Perhaps its a writer thing (myself being an aspiring screen/novel/comic book writer) or maybe I'm just a masochistic viewer. You tell me :)


"My friends tonight we're going to make history... end."
[> [> Welcome robert--don't let Hellobot scare you off...lol ;o) -- Wisewoman, 18:37:23 10/11/01 Thu
Most of us are still sane!
[> [> [> speak for yourself, dear. ;-> -- dan, 19:25:51 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> [> most, but not all (I know I'm not) -- vampire hunter D, 20:37:15 10/11/01 Thu
[> Re: Buffy forever changed? -- Deeva, 11:15:32 10/11/01 Thu
Buffy will be forever changed, that's a given, it's not going to go away completely. I don't know if she will go back to being a "bouncy" person, would you? Everything that she does will be tinged with that strange, unfamiliar un-Buffy view, maybe dark. I want so many things, too, but I know that I can't always have it the way that I see it and in the long run, it's better that I don't get what I want cuz that would maybe mean *gasp* no character growth. Would you choose being happy over being better? That's a tough-y that can be split into so many ways.

The joy in spending time with BtVS, IMO, will not decrease. It will evolve into something different, more complicated. Being dark doesn't turn me off. I watch plenty other things that are far bleaker than BtVS has been. They don't cause me to be depressed, just more introspective.

Of course, Buffy will laugh again. Just not as readily as to suit some of us. I think that she will find another reason or purpose to carry on. Dawn is a good starting point.

What do I want? What I've always wanted and have gotten so far: One. Good. Show.
[> [> Buffy forever changed. -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 16:51:00 10/11/01 Thu
Let's walk through this.

1.) She's seen an infinity of combat.

2.) Her beloved mother has died -- under circumstances where Buffy might feel some guilt. She apparently has no contact with her father.

3.) She's been dead herself. Twice. She's lost Heaven once (something she shares with Lucifer, if Milton is to be trusted.)

4.) She's carried the weight of the world's survival on her shoulders for years.

5.) She's loved and lost twice -- or three times, depending on how you count having to kill Angel in Becoming II.

6.) And she's not old enough to drink legally.

Only a true hero would endure all this and keep it together at all. Whedon & Co. have more than enough rational justification to have Buffy go babbling lunatic at any moment. I'd say she's fully entitled to change.
[> Possibilities... -- RabidHarpy, 12:47:33 10/11/01 Thu
Seeing as the series takes place on the Hellmouth with it's numerous "creatures of the night", how can we possibly reconcile Buffy's return, especially since she was - albeit temporarily - a creature of light? As she herself stated - her return would truly be "hell".

On another note, although the audience, and indeed Spike himself may long for it, how can he and Buffy ever build an intimate relationship? He is a soul-less creature who's death carried him to hell. She has a pure soul who's death landed her in heaven. Other than their shared resurrection experiences, (and bottled golden locks), what more do they have in common? Both have returned to the "middling" area between the two extremes of good and evil - the "kitchen" as it were - a kind of neutral place. But while earth is a redemption and relief from the pains of hell for Spike, it is exactly the opposite for Buffy. How does Joss presume to turn Buffy's the proverbial "frown" upside down? From all indications, this could very well turn out to be one of BtVS' darkest seasons...

Things to ponder:

Can Buffy reconcile herself to her "old" existence? What if she chooses to renounce her responsibilities as the Slayer, or becomes indifferent?
Will Willow continue her trek towards the darker arts? Can she be trusted? (She is already keeping secrets from the others...)
How will Dawn's exposure to the escalating darkness effect her as an impressionable youth, and more importantly as the "key"?
What event will finally drive Giles away permanently?
Why is Xander hiding his engagement and how will this effect his relationship with Anya?
What if a scorned Anya were somehow able to find a way to get her powers back and wreak vengeance? (She did find the Urn of Osiris online...)
What is Tara willing to compromise for love? How long will she keep justifying and/or turning a blind eye to Willow's increasingly unethical decisions?

How will the "new" Buffy and Spike relate? Will they be drawn closer together or further apart?

It's almost as if we have entered a parallel universe (spawned by the opening of the dimensional portal?) and are watching the see-saw slowly tip. The "good" characters are moving slowly towards the other side of the spectrum as Spike, the "Big Bad" edges closer to redemption...

Hmm... verrrrry interesting...
[> [> Welcome, RH -- Masquerade, 14:34:26 10/11/01 Thu
I got your email "Meet the posters" submission and will get it up on the page as soon as I can. In the meantime, feel free to enter into any of the discussions you want, or start a new topic!
[> [> [> Just checking, Masq, -- Rahael, 02:34:42 10/12/01 Fri
Whether you got my email too - sometimes my aol email account plays up!
[> [> [> [> Re: Just checking, Masq, -- Masq, 11:32:19 10/12/01 Fri

Got your email and am working on your entry. Having trouble picking a pic for you, though. Here are some choices. Have a preference?

Anne (A:tS)
Phantom Dennis
Ethan Rayne
Ms. French (Teacher's Pet)
Gavin Park
Holland Manners
Mrs. Post (Revelations)
Sisterhood of Jhe demon (The Zeppo)
Tom (Reptile boy)
William the bloody
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Just checking, Masq, -- Rahael, 17:08:55 10/12/01 Fri
Ooh, I'm tempted by Angelus, but will go with my gender and pick Amy!

Many thanks!
[> [> [> [> [> [> O.K., you're up! -- Masq, 19:01:14 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you! :) -- Rahael, 17:30:51 10/13/01 Sat
[> [> [> Thank you! -- RabidHarpy, 09:39:59 10/12/01 Fri
I'm glad to be here!
[> [> Re: Possibilities... and Welcome! -- Wisewoman, 18:48:48 10/11/01 Thu
Re: Spike, He is a soul-less creature who's death carried him to hell.

Ummm, don't really see when Spike could have made the journey to hell. William died when Spike was made, but we've never been given any reason to suspect that William's soul would have deserved to go to hell--quite the opposite.

Spike was born soulless, as a vampire. He's never mentioned any recollections of where or what he was before he inhabited William's body. If he'd been to hell, or had originated there, you'd think he would have mentioned it. And as Spike, he hasn't actually "died" yet; that would involve staking and dusting.

Just a little puzzle, there...

[> [> [> I was sure he mentioned something to that effect... -- RabidHarpy, 09:48:26 10/12/01 Fri
... in the most recent episode. I distinctly recall him making such a comment to Buffy in the beginning of the episode when she came down the stairs... I could be mistaken, I'll have to watch it on video again...
[> Re: Buffy forever changed? -- cjc36, 01:40:44 10/12/01 Fri
Part of the brilliance of Joss and Co. is that they played the aftertaste of Buffy's rebirth 180 (no degree thingy on this keyboard! Darn!) degrees from the way most everybody else does it, which is the person revived being relieved that they've been given a second chance.

Not Joss, and not Buffy.

[> [> Re: Buffy forever changed? -- robert, 08:48:30 10/12/01 Fri
" ... played the aftertaste of Buffy's rebirth 180 (no degree thingy on this keyboard! Darn!) degrees ..."

Maybe you should have said pi radians, oh wait ... damnit there's no pi thingy on the keyboard either.
Charmed vs. Buffy/Angel -- Jack_McCoy, 12:39:45 10/11/01 Thu
Caught the season premire of charmed the other night on TNT. I have never been a big fan of the show, mainly because I can't stand Shannon Dothery, but I was curious how Rose McGowan would do in the show. After watching it, I'd give the show a strong B, and here is why:

The magic just comes to damn easy. In the Buffy and Angel world, magic is complicated and time consuming. You have to get in the right frame of mind, with a bunch of candles and stuff, chanting and focusing all our energy on one goal. Of course, there are some minor spells that don't seem to require alot, but for the most part, the magic in the Buffy world seems "real."

In Charmed, however, it just seems so fake. The spells are too quick and easy, and don't seem to require alot of passion or any other emotion. Its like they are reading lines. And the demons they have one there, don't get me started.

So, what do you all think?
[> I absolutely, positively LOATHE Charmed. -- AngelVSAngelus, 12:59:51 10/11/01 Thu
In my humble opinion, its an abhorrently poor excuse for a supernatural adventure show. It has a number of bad actors, is almost offensive with its stereotypes of both genders, has characters with little or no depth, and completely non-intimidating villains. It looks filmed on a very slim budget as well.
Buffy and Angel are great not just because they do a stupdendous job at being supernatural adventure shows, but also because they TRANSCEND that genre. Transcendence is art. Just my two cents.
[> [> i am right there with ya -- pocky, 16:15:55 10/11/01 Thu
i'm going to be honest here. what with the FX reruns of Buffy, i've come to a realization that it would've taken a great power for me to sit and watch the first season. it just didn't appeal to me. the show, however, matured and turned into something that i'm completely obsessed with. it delved well into issues and explored the characters incredibly well before season two ended. and it just kept on doing that...

but Charmed. ugh. it's stuck! and the portrayal of the issues are not very well done, the characters feel really flat because all they do is fight evil. they hardly ever deal with the emotional stuff--and if they do, they're not doing it well because i fail to see it.

don't even get me started on what bad rap (in my opinion) the show gives Neopagan religions, especially Wicca. they make it look so ridiculous.

but...i watch it anyway *sometimes*. purely because the people in the show are soooooooooo HOT.

that was really shallow, wasn't it? ^_^'

[> [> Re: I absolutely, positively LOATHE Charmed. -- Joann, 18:26:41 10/11/01 Thu
Although I have been watching Charmed on and off since it started I agree with you. The only reason I watched it is because I like the movie "The Craft" so much and it had elements of that in it. Also the only one who could act IMO was Shannon Doherty and now she is gone and her replacement Rose McGowan stinks. She never moves her face like she is afraid it will crack. Also it cannot be compared to BTVS or Angel because they play real to me whereas Charmed is just junk.
[> Re: Charmed vs. Buffy/Angel -- RabidHarpy, 13:01:21 10/11/01 Thu
I have never been a big "Charmed" fan either, but I agree with your assessment of the simplicity of the magic - it's like watching Samantha and Sabrina the Teenage Witch's just-slightly-more-bad-a$$ cousins or something.

If magic were as easy as that, we'd all be using it!
[> [> Re: Charmed vs. Buffy/Angel -- grifter, 14:00:12 10/11/01 Thu
also, the stories are often very bad and the spells just sound ridicolous (in german, at least)...

I kinda like shannen doherty though since I saw her in "mallrats", and the episode she directed (that wild-west-thing) was quite ok...
[> Charmed - bad acting, lousy special effects, and plot holes the size of the Grand freaking Canyon -- Lucifer_Sponge, 14:56:53 10/11/01 Thu
[> It's painful to even see them compared -- darrenK, 15:51:08 10/11/01 Thu
Buffy is of Heaven, Charmed is of Earth

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is such a rare thing, such a work of genius, of great casting, great writing, great plotting and a desire to always rachet up the stakes so that every season it's like a fresh new show. It's hard to compare a show that doesn't have any of that.

Truthfully, besides the surface similiarities–– both shows are about the supernatural, both star young people; both attempt to use current music and styles––there is no resemblence.

Charmed is much more like Sabrina meets Melrose Place meets The Power Rangers. The writers and producers don't even seem to be trying.

The couple of times I watched it, I was in shock: "This beats Buffy in the ratings? Is the world mad?"

Since then it's been proved that the world is, in fact, mad.dK
[> Re: Charmed vs. Buffy/Angel -- robert, 16:49:04 10/11/01 Thu
What drives me to distraction is the total lack of quality control in the characters. I can forgive weak plots and low budgets if I can at least empathize with the characters. This I cannot do when the characters behave irrationally each week. Do not interpret this to mean that I want static characters. Character growth is important for any TV show to last more than 3 years.

This is what happens when an engineer invades your board, he starts talking about quality control. In my line of work (high tech manufacturing), the purest definition of quality is that every item off the assembly line is identical, so that the customer always knows what he is buying. I believe that a similar principal should be applied to story telling. I should be able to understand why characters behave the way they do, even as they change with their journey through life. Otherwise, I cannot empathize with them.

While my favorite TV show is BtVS, my wife favors Roswell. This show bugs me, because the characters seem to flip in and out of various relationships on a nearly weekly basis. BtVS on the other hand has kept most of its relationships intact (though not static) for the last 5 years. Even when the relationships break, such as with Angel and later with Riley, we saw it coming, even if we might have preferred otherwise.
[> Minor thread hijack: Buffy vs Sabrina -- Lunarchickk, 18:17:55 10/11/01 Thu
I'm still relatively new here, so forgive me if this has been discussed before; but I've only caught Charmed maybe once, and seen Sabrina too many times. And I just felt a burning need to relate how Sabrina is the Anti-Buffy.

Not in a Sabrina-bashing way! I think it's a cute show for kids. (It is based on Archie comics, for heavens' sake.) But it is the Anti-Buffy! Both shows feature young blonde heroines who hide a world of the supernatural from the "normal" world around them, and find themselves alienated in the process.

On Sabrina, in high school (the early seasons of the show), we have Sabrina (the abovementioned pretty blonde heroine), her best friend (a quiet, bookish girl with long hair), and her closest male friend, Harvey (not the brightest guy, but very nice and would do anything for her; also likes her). There's also the nasty head cheerleader, Libby, who hates Sabrina yet is somehow always mixed up in her life. Plus, the principal hates Sabrina as well and makes her life as difficult as he can. Hmm... sounds strangely familiar. (Of course, there's also a talking cat, her two witch aunts, etc; but the parallels are still uncanny. :) )

Then Sabrina goes to college, where she gets a whole new set of friends. One girl, her roommate, has long dark hair and a negative attitude. She seems to be dark in all the ways Sabrina's light. (I've tried to avoid the show, really, so I can't some up with more ways to describe how Faith-y the character always seems to me. She's a nice family version of a bad girl. Wears black a lot.)

The whole show is just candy-coated everywhere Buffy is real. The season opener (help me, I saw it) was the best example ever. Apparently, Sabrina (the show) had some sort of agreement that they wouldn't "do" vampires while Buffy was on the WB alongside them. Poof! First episode of the new season, we've got a vampire.

They're making a student horror movie, and wind up with a real vampire as the star. Hijinks ensue, as Sabrina tries to stop the vampire from biting anyone -- mostly with garlic. Then, near the end, we see Sabrina battling the vampire in the high school hallway (all the while, by the way, she's dressed as one of the cheerleaders in the student flick). As they fight, she pulls off all these Matrix-ish moves as they fight acrobatically along the hallway. (Did I mention, Sabrina doesn't fight? She never fights. She just does spells that always go wrong.)But this time, just the one time there's a vampire on the show, we see her fighting him (because, conveniently, vampires are immune to her magic). It's quite the little takeoff on Buffy. Of course, the episode ends with some strange musical scene from their movie -- so that's in no way like Buffy. Good thing. ;)

Thanks for bearing with me -- I just felt compelled to share that! :)
[> Charmed vs. Charlie's Angels -- JBone, 19:06:48 10/11/01 Thu
Charmed is just a happy distraction from whatever sporting event you might be watching to check out chicks in skimpy outfits. Especially if there aren't enough gratuitous shots of the cheerleaders. It's skin tv, A. Spelling's specialty.
[> How about Bewitched? -- Dreaded Dawn, 22:37:54 10/11/01 Thu
How's that for easy magic? A little nose wiggle will do you! Willow would}1<k so cute doing the nose wiggle. Much cuter than hurling snakes.
[> Buffy vs. Homicide -- d'Herblay, 00:33:48 10/12/01 Fri
Charmed vs. Buffy? Sabrina vs. Buffy? As Greg Tate once said, "That comparison ain't even a conversation, let alone a quip." The only other TV show in the last ten years I've found worth discussing in the depth with which we discuss Buffy is Homicide: Life on the Streets. I mean, it's two years after cancellation and people are still debating whether or not Kellerman's take-down of Luther Mahoney was a clean shot. I found it significant that the only two network TV shows to have episodes postponed after Columbine were Buffy and Homicide. Meant I was watching the shows with the messages we needed to hear, not those we wanted to hear.

Man, did that show have everything: phenomenal writing; great acting and direction; more laughs than seemed proper; moral dilemmas; sex in a coffin.

And, of course, the ratings were in the can, Nash Bridges was beating it, so NBC cancelled it. Replaced it with something called Cold Feet that lasted all of four episodes.

I miss it.
[> [> Slightly OT: What are your favorite show besides Buffy? -- Rob, 10:50:51 10/12/01 Fri
Since this chain has so far all been about comparing Buffy to other shows, and how the other shows come off as paltry when compared to "Buffy," I thought it would be interesting to ask everybody what other shows they watch that they consider either equal to "Buffy," or, if not as good, still worth watching.

My other shows are:

Xena--"Xena" was a show that, at times, reached brilliant heights close to that of "Buffy." Unfortunately, it wasn't as consistently great as "Buffy" and suffered from lack of continuity both in mythology and storylines. What it did have, however, was two great, realistic characters. Like "Buffy," it transcended its genre and produced some of the most original episodes in television history, including a musical episode filled with Tarot deck symbolism and an operatic score, an episode that took place in Heaven, and the death by crucifixion of both its heroes.

Farscape--I would qualify this show as being, if not as good as "Buffy," as close as any show is possible of, unless, of course, that show is "Buffy." Just as "Buffy" takes stock horror situations and turns them on their heads, finding new twists and deeper meanings out of the oldest of conventions, "Farscape" does that for Sci-Fi. It is both a space opera and a deconstruction of space operas. It's known for its amazing ingenuity, superior character development, and involving, maddening story arcs.

Six Feet Under--This dysfunctional family drama on HBO is the best family show of all time, in my opinion. Why? Because it combines dark comedy, true emotion, and some twisted situations into an extremely involving and addicting character piece, much like...you guessed it..."Buffy"! Like "Buffy," it takes a unique look at death, and despite the humor, is very serious about it. Although "The Body" still qualifies in my book as the greatest film ever made about death and people's reactions to it, "Six Feet Under," as a series, comes the closest to examining it in almost as brilliant a manner. Also, it has an extremely strong structure, great continuity and great character development a la Buffy.

Just for laughs...

"Will and Grace"--contains some of the same pop cultural humor and references as "Buffy." At times, it can be almost as funny, but never as deep and absorbing, of course.

"Friends"--Everyone watches it, and although at times it has become "hip" to be blase about it or say it sucks now, I still will admit that I think it is a great sitcom and yes, I still love it. But it is, of course, still only a sitcom. "Will and Grace" and "Friends" are the best sitcoms on TV, but a sitcom is still a sitcom and cannot be compared to "Buffy" favorably.

So what shows do you guys watch that you aren't ashamed to mention in the same sentence as "Buffy"?

[> [> [> Just one: Law and Order on A&E. -- Solitude1056, 11:13:18 10/12/01 Fri
Used to watch it all the time, but now... no time! I mean, hell, during the summer I completely forgot I had a TV. Our cable went out after a huge storm & I didn't notice there wasn't cable for like, uh, a month or so. (The cable company was like, gee, all your neighbors called in and got theirs taken care of... five weeks ago!)

So, TV's not my thing. I did used to love Law & Order. It's more episodic, like AtS, but it's well-written and thought-provoking... and as an almost-lawyer, it's just cool. ;-)
[> [> [> Re: Slightly OT: What are your favorite show besides Buffy? -- Naomi, 13:44:10 10/12/01 Fri
I often recomend Buffy, Angel and Farscape to my friends, although none of them have taken much notice so far. Farscape is just as brilliant as Buffy in a very different way. The first season was fairly weak but the second was absulutely amazing. It explored the idea of the central character gradualy going mad and included an episode set entirely in the characters head which has to be seen to be believed. The character interection is also great and IMO the couple John and Aeryn are just as romantic as Buffy and Angel ever were. In fact Aeryn is a brilliantly complex character and a great female role model. I would say anyone who enjoys Buffy should definitely try watching Farscape.
[> [> [> Re: Slightly OT: What are your favorite show besides Buffy? -- VampRiley, 14:53:03 10/12/01 Fri
In no particular order:

Highlander: the Series and The Raven
The Daily Show
Law and Order (the one on A&E)
Sport's Night
Family Guy

With potential:

Star Trek: Enterprise

A puzzlement... (Afterlife spoilers) -- celticross, 13:34:16 10/11/01 Thu
I've been re-watching Afterlife again and again (yes, I obssess, what's your point?), and every time, the scene that catched me in the scene between Buffy and Spike in his crypt. Why did she go there? To get away from the loudness and hyper-happiness of the SG? She didn't have anything to say to him apparently, so did she go just to be with someone, but not, hence her line at the end that she can be with Spike "and still be alone"? So I'm a bit puzzled by Buffy's motivation in seeking Spike out. (but yes, redemptionistas, I know why I'D like her to have gone....) Anyone have any theories? (what kind of a question is that here? :)
[> Re: A puzzlement... (Afterlife spoilers) -- VampRiley, 14:43:56 10/11/01 Thu
I thought it was just to be with him so they could share a quiet moment together like they did after Buffy found out that Joyce was going to the hospital for tests. Everyone else constantly talking to her, always worried if she was okay. Spike wasn't like that. She might have figured that he would be like that if she went to see him.

[> [> Re: A puzzlement... (Afterlife spoilers) -- Lunarchickk, 17:27:25 10/11/01 Thu
I think she also went to him because it was their moment alone, before the SG burst in, which seemed the calmest since she'd returned.

Also, I wonder if she was really patrolling, and simply found herself near his crypt, and wandered in; or if she went directly there. He hears her enter, but she doesn't call out for him or especially call attention to herself. This could be simply an extension of her quiet tendencies since her return, or it could be that she herself doesn't really know why she's there.

Hopefully, once the script is posted, we'll have a better idea!
[> [> [> I don't think she went patrolling... -- VampRiley, 17:52:06 10/11/01 Thu
I think she needed to get away from the SG for a while. The impression I got from looking at her face as she passed the statue was one that said that she wasn't patrolling or hunting. Just walking. Was she deliberately walking to Spike's place...damnit! I want the shooting script. But it would probablty just say: Buffy walking by statue.

[> Re: A puzzlement... (Afterlife spoilers) -- vampire hunter D, 20:34:51 10/11/01 Thu
I don't know why she went there, but usually when she goes to SPike's crypt, she wants something from him.

She went there to get his help looking for Riley.
She went there demanding that he tell her how he killed the other two Slayers.
She went there to hide Joyce and Dawn.
She went there to play kick the Spike after he helped Dawn find out what she really is.
She went there to ask his help to find Dawn.
She went there to tell him to stay away from her.
She went there to find out if he told Glory about Dawn (notice how often Dawn appears in this list).

And yet now she goes to the crypt and doesn't seem to want anything. To me that's a major change in her behavior towards him.
Growing Up (spoilers for BtVS S6 thru Afterlife) -- Solitude1056, 14:02:42 10/11/01 Thu
Humanitas wrote in a thread lower down on the list:

We know that the SG were having limited success in dealing with a Slayerless Sunnydale.

Well... do we?

We know this: that at some point, the SG decided that the only way to protect Sunnydale was to have the Buffybot play Buffy’s role. Perhaps this was based on an assumption that the only reliable protection was Buffy (or at least, her reputation). As far as the SG were concerned, yes, they were having limited success... because they were still acting as second-fiddles to Buffy, even though the bot replacement appeared merely adequate compared to the SG’s own abilities. The SG was in a self-created loop, doomed to fail by reason of their own reliance on a mediocre substitute and refusal to believe in their own abilities and teamwork.

Hmm. The SG reminds me of college friends who were freaked about being without their parents. One way or another they would create surrogate parents rather than come to terms with their emerging adulthood. It’s easier to fail when you have someone else to blame, and it’s easier to deal when you have someone else taking the responsibility, even if this intervening surrogate is a self-delusion. Combine this with the original parent’s death, and you’ve got a powerful drive to replace, rather than grieve and move on.

I suspect this is in part because the Glory debacle clearly needed someone of Buffy’s stature, whereas the time before that they were left alone (post-Belonging 1 & 2, and in Anne), they managed adequately well against the average vamps. The SG may not have realized that the Year of Glory does not necessarily mean all future trials will also be at the same level. Their lack of faith - in their ability to continue the Slayer’s roles – caused the mediocre results that were the reason they became convinced that resurrecting Buffy was the only solution.

Let’s pretend that they discovered they had the teamwork and ability to fight sans the Buffy-bot, and that as a group, the SG’s reputation was equally intimidating to anything that might come knocking at the Hellmouth. What are the chances, then, that Anya, Tara, and Xander might push for an alternate than resurrecting Buffy? Perhaps, in that scenario, one of them might have suggested a spell to release Buffy from Hell (assuming she was in one) and send her someplace that made her happy? With that concept, Buffy would have remained where she was, since it qualified as a happy place for her. I’d posit the main stimulus - to yank Buffy out and bring her back – would be non-existent.

My suggestion is this: perhaps the bad guy of this season’s arc might be, from some points of view, Buffy herself. Not because she’s necessarily bad... but because she may garner the same stigma as any parent who finally says, "Deal with it yourself. You’ve got to learn at some point." Buffy carried the SG along with everything else for so long, and when she died, she hoped that they would continue fighting. Instead, they nurtured a mediocre replacement until they could bring her back, and claimed the mediocre replacement was one reason they had to bring her back. (Remember all the comments of "We need the real Buffy"?) The SG didn’t take the responsibility of continuing the fight on their own, with their own reputations and abilities. That’s bound to disappoint.
[> Excellent point. (spoilers for BtVS S6 thru Afterlife) -- Humanitas, 14:34:02 10/11/01 Thu
In a sense, this ties in with both my post, which was really about how tough it is to separate fact from interpretation, and OnM's, about how inadequate words can be. When I made the statement that the SG were having "limited success," I was conflicted about which word held the emphasis. I think I ended up deciding that "limited" was the operative, but you're right, it could as easily have been "success."

Further, we saw the same show, and reached different conclusions about the SG's ability to handle the physical threat. My thinking was along the lines of: "OK, they can take out a vamp or two between the lot of them, but the Hellmouth is still there, and some sort of Big Bad will come along eventually, and at that point the jig is up." That's what I got out of what I saw.

On the other hand, I can certainly see your point that the reason their success was limited was because they were not dealing with the fact that the Slayer was gone. They didn't change their tactics sufficiently to compensate for the loss of that particular weapon. We know that humans can fight vampires effectively without supernatural help. Gunn's old crew (despite recent issues) is a shining example of that. So logically there's no reason that the SG could not become a band of bad-ass vampire hunters, especially with Willow's telekinetic abilities at work.

Darn those slippery facts...
[> Re: Growing Up (spoilers for BtVS S6 thru Afterlife) -- Kerri, 15:14:23 10/11/01 Thu
Good points Sol.

"My suggestion is this: perhaps the bad guy of this season’s arc might be, from some points of view, Buffy herself. "

Intersting idea, however, I remember reading an interview with Marti Noxon(not sure where maybe SciFi.com?) where she said the big bad would be someone we had heard of but never seen and that it would be entirely different.

I could see, however, Buffy becoming a psychological big bad which parallels the physical big bad.
[> [> Re: Growing Up (spoilers for BtVS S6 thru Afterlife) -- Solitude1056, 18:30:56 10/11/01 Thu
Actually, I just meant a "bad" from the POV of the Scoobies... because they may dislike or resent Buffy's unwillingness to carry them as much as she used to - if she displays such a resulting attitude. That's complicated by the fact that there might be lingering expectations of gratefulness from Buffy about bringing her back, along with all the complexities raised by someone's post a week or so ago about the Jonathan/Buffy dynamics. I mean in the sense that when Jonathan was primo, Buffy was less respected, and that rankled. At the same time, Buffy may push the SG to be more independent, thus putting herself in a difficult emotional situation as to the new dynamics between herself and the gang.
[> [> [> Jonathon/Buffy dynamics in Willow/Buffy relations? -- Cleanthes, 19:14:44 10/11/01 Thu
I mean in the sense that when Jonathan was primo, Buffy was less respected, and that rankled.

Would you say that Willow, raiser of the dead, will now feel a subconscious dominance vis-a-vis Buffy?
[> [> [> [> that was the implication in the matriarch thread-question... ;-) -- Solitude1056, 20:52:44 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> [> [> [> Thanks that's what I thought, but also ... -- Cleanthes, 11:22:42 10/12/01 Fri
your earlier post seemed to suggest that Buffy might have sufficiently changed to "otherworldly" that she couldn't lead the SG as she used to, thereby sparking resentment.

The other SG's may look for Buffy to return Willow to her prior place in the pecking order. Willow expects some return to the status quo ante, although she may at least subconsciously resent any change in her own status.

Buffy will probably dash both expectations. I'm thinking she won't assume anything like Jonathon's super-command, but will instead remain otherworldly enough that she always stands further apart from the SG than erstwhile.

"Are you all right?" may not have been spoken for the last time in `Afterlife`!
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks that's what I thought, but also ... -- DEN, 07:36:18 10/13/01 Sat
Willow striking for leadership, matriarchal or otherwise,of the Scoobies would mark a MAJOR character transformation, greater even than Spike's, and with far less explanation. . Remember her reflex reaction even as late as THE GIFT when Buffy says "you're my big gun." When necessary she steps in , both this year and during Buffy's catatonia in Season 5, with the courage of desperation, but showas little of the grip and balance a leader requires over the long run. I think Willow would far prefer to breathe a sigh of relief and fall back to her comfort zone as "spell girl." Whether she will be able to is another story line.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Willow's comfort zone -- Cleanthes, 09:08:09 10/13/01 Sat
I agree that Willow does not desire leadership. It's her willingness to continue to be led that I wonder about.

She has not readily accepted discipline over her decisions in the past. I see her time as top dog leaving her even less willing to accept constraints from Buffy or anyone else.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Quick parallel between Willow and Gunn -- Javoher, 12:33:40 10/13/01 Sat
Willow is able to lead in a pinch, and the others will follow (for how much longer Spike will now, after everything, is another question). But when I compare her to Wesley, who didn't want leadership ("Why does everyone keep putting me in charge?") and yet turned out to be the stuff leaders are made of, Willow falls far short. She might be willing to make the sacrifices that Wesley does, but she probably won't take the responsibility. That's okay, she's young yet. She's barely 20.

Gunn, after he left his crew, didn't assume a leadership position at Angel Investigations but more of a questioner and challenger. He pokes at Wesley, coming up with good ideas but letting Wesley make the final decisions and therefore take the life-or-death responsibility. I think Willow could fill that role for the Sunnydale gang quite well. She understands magic, can make good decisions in a fight, has a heart and sympathy for her friends, and is willing to make tremendous sacrifices on her own part.
[> [> [> [> if she does, could be trouble -- anom, 09:32:14 10/14/01 Sun
"Would you say that Willow, raiser of the dead, will now feel a subconscious dominance vis-a-vis Buffy?"

--big trouble, especially if it's based on the false idea that she did Buffy a favor.
[> [> More Possibilities -- RabidHarpy, 10:16:37 10/12/01 Fri
"...the big bad would be someone we had heard of but never seen and that it would be entirely different..."

Hmmm... when I read this, the first person who immediately came to mind was Hank, Buffy and Dawn's father, (they have been mentioning him quite often lately...) If Buffy's return were to truly become the "hell" of her nightmares, (as in the episode "Nightmares"), then a confrontation with her father is inevitable. Weren't her two nightmare sequences, a) digging out of her own grave (which she's done), and b) and being accused by her father of being the cause for her parents' divorce? What if he returns and tries to re-instate himself as her guardian? What if he forbids Buffy from continuing her Slayer responsibilities? This season's enemy could be a very "human" one after all... unless Hank is aligned with some greater evil... duh, duh, duuuuuh! (This would all fit in nicely with my theory that we have entered an alternate Sunnydale due to the opening of the portal, and that everything is shifting to it's opposite ...)

My other thought was that the new antagonist might be "The Powers That Be" themselves. They could try to restore the natural order by attempting to take Buffy back, or wreak vengeance on the Scoobies for disturbing it. (Although I vaguely remember "seeing" the "TPTB" in that episode where Angel retrieved the ring that allowed him to be out in the sun...)
Another first post -- Becky74, 14:20:33 10/11/01 Thu
I think Buffy will regain her will to live. After all, life on earth is not heaven, but it's not hell, either. Even Jesus, who certainly knew the joys of heaven, experienced joy on earth and a love for his fellow man. Buffy will experience joy again, probably as a result of her relationships with her friends and her sister.

I do think she will be changed, but not as solemn and melancholy as she has been for the past two episodes. The memory of paradise lost will fade, and she will begin to experience joy once again.
[> Meant this as a reply to earlier thread -- Becky74, 14:22:08 10/11/01 Thu
I meant to post this as a reply to Buffy -- Forever Changed. Sorry!
[> [> Welcome! Always nice to see a new name. -- Humanitas, 14:38:39 10/11/01 Thu
New episodes, new friends, and new topics for discusion, all at once! Life is good.
Secrets -- vampire hunter D, 15:15:48 10/11/01 Thu
Did anyone else notice that everyone is keeping secrets from each other? Look at it:

Buffy-won't let anyone know where she really came from or how she feels about being back

Xander&Anya: won't tell anyone about the engagement

Willow: won't tell anyone about the "vine de madre", even when confronted about it by a demon

Tara; won't tell anyone how woried she is about Willow (look at her, she's really scared. She just doesn't want to say anything)

Dawn: won't tell people she's been stealing their stuff (I think she has Willow's clogs and won't give them back. that's 5 thefts now).

Spike's the only one not keeping sevrets (and nobody cares about him anyway). What's with this group? Why can't anyone be honest?
[> Five thefts? Do you have a list? -- Lucifer_Sponge, 15:21:13 10/11/01 Thu
[> [> The list -- vampire hunter D, 20:22:23 10/11/01 Thu
1: Giles' notes in "Blood ties"
2:the books and spell ingredients from the magic shop in "Forever"
3: the egg of the ghora demon
4 Anya's earrings
5: Willow's clogs

these are the thefts that we know of. the girl has become a serius klepto.
[> [> [> In all fairness... -- xanthe, 09:20:10 10/12/01 Fri
... I think that only the earrings and possibly the clogs qualify as true thefts. After all, Giles' notes weren't truly stolen, only used without authorization. The spell ingredients including the Ghora egg are the kinds of things that Buffy et al take as needed. I don't think that we're meant to regard each time someone dips into the Magic Box resources as robbing Giles, despite the the Anya-Willow disagreement in 'Triangle.' The Ghora egg is more iffy. I suppose we could view along the same lines as Willow's 'theft' of the faun's blood, though I don't think it was played as seriously. Dawn simply didn't portray the same consciousness of wrongdoing.

But what is Dawn up to? Frankly, if they are setting Dawn up to have some sort of stealing issues, I'm prepared to be bored. Dawn as the teenage shoplifter is a fairly ordinary development for the Buffyverse. I'm reminded of the hints about Tara's secret which turned out to be not such a big deal, but still was wrapped in the same consciousness of demons and magic that I've come to expect from the show. Sure, it turned out to be a red herring, but admit it! We were all interested.

But other than the suggested kleptomania, I can't imagine why she would take the earrings and maybe the clogs. (That scene between Willow and Dawn was rather subtly done. I'm honestly not sure if Dawn was lying or not about not having borrowed them.) If Dawn still has any residual Key abilities, she doesn't seem to be aware of them.
[> Secrets and lies -- Lunarchickk, 17:23:49 10/11/01 Thu
Yes! I thought about that too. Been thinking about it, really, since AfterLife aired. But not only are they all secrets being kept; but they're often linked with lies -- and secrets and lies never go unrepented in the Buffyverse. (The entire plot of "Family," for example; Xander's lie in "Becoming" (although I'm not sure that was ever brought to light); Spike's secret BuffyBot in "Intervention"; I'm sure there are others)

We have at least two examples of outright lies thus far. Buffy lies outright to her friends about where she's been. Willow claims to have purchased the last spell ingredient on the black market. And it's quite possible that Dawn was lying (as you suggested) about Willow's clogs; and perhaps Tara is lying when Xander confronts her in the Magic Box. As for Xander and Anya, my only thought is that perhaps Xander's plea for Anya to wait to announce their engagement was not due to Buffy's possibly imminent return, but was based in something else we've not yet seen.

However, I think these secrets are starting to leak out. Buffy has already told Spike where she was, and how she feels; although perhaps this will remain hidden from her friends. (I can't help but think, though, that the revelation of this secret will start to enact the price they need to pay for their actions.) Xander and Anya will surely announce their engagement soon. As for the others... secrets never tend to stay secret for long, in our world or theirs.

And, of course, there's also the matter of the biggest secret: that Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya had plans to bring Buffy back. We've already seen Spike react violently to this; Dawn's reaction was less so, probably tempered by her love for her sister and her joy at her return. We're still in the dark about Giles' reaction. (His only reaction, indeed, to Buffy's resurrection is a second-hand version of mild interjections, heard through Willow. Are there more secrets being kept there? On hearing that Buffy is alive once more, would it really take Giles several days or so to return? Or has Willow actually been in touch with him?)

But Spike, who seems the most honest (although it's possible that we're not yet privy to his secrets, it seems more likely that once his feelings for Buffy were revealed, he has little left to hide other than a habit of watching too much tv), is also the one character whose reaction to being kept in the dark we see -- and it wasn't a calm reaction. Magic always has consequences, he warns. So do secrets, and lies.
[> [> Secrets, lies and Sunnydale -- Rahael, 02:32:59 10/12/01 Fri
I think Briseis brought up the prevalence of lying and secrets last week.

Sunnydale itself functions only because it lies to itself. Normal life happens because they refuse to face reality. The mayor lied, the police lie, basically all figures of authority conceal the truth.

Moreover nearly everyone conceals their true identity. Angel, in the beginning, Buffy, Oz, Tara, Giles.

It seems intriguing that only those who were truly evil ever spoke the truth - Angelus, Spike, Mayor, Dracula.

But Spike still dares to tell the truth, despite his shift in the bad/good spectrum.

I wonder if the rumoured truthtelling spell, and the musical eppy will bring something to bear on this?
[> Buffy's secret -- Kerri, 17:47:51 10/11/01 Thu
Buffy's doing something like what she did in Forever. She tries to be strong, tries to protect the people she loves, and hides how much pain she's in. In Forever and Tough Love when Buffy tries to put up a strong front it puts a wall between her and Dawn, and the wall is broken down when Buffy shares her emotions with Dawn. Is Buffy once again trying to protect her friends too much by being strong? How long will it take for Buffy's friends to find out what they stole from her and what effect will it have on them?
OT...The Force, the Tao and the Butterfly..........Slight spoilers for season six....:):) -- Rufus, 16:25:32 10/11/01 Thu
For anyone who hasn't read this essay yet here is the way....... http://scifidimensions.fanhosts.com/Jun01/forcetaobutterfly.htm

In a Star Wars context, the edge of chaos it the province of the Chosen One.

Lucas himself admitted that Anakin is indeed the phophesied one, and he does bring balance to the force when he saves Luke and destroys the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. But in chaos theory, one has to be fully immersed in the system in order to bring about a substantial change to it, meaning Anakin had to be turned to the dark side to transform it from within.

Now, back to Buffy, can you see parallels to Anakin in either Buffy (the chosen one in the Buffyverse) or perhaps Willow? Is either woman the Butterfly?
[> Ded............I told you I read your essay...... -- Rufus, 16:27:01 10/11/01 Thu
[> Re: OT...The Force, the Tao and the Butterfly..........Slight spoilers for season six....:):) -- Dedalus, 16:47:50 10/11/01 Thu
I never even thought about applying that to Buffy. Cool. Thanks for the plug.

You may have stole my lightsaber, but you're still pretty damn sweet.
[> [> Call it a friendly hint to get writing....;)...and I didn't steal....:):) -- Rufus, 19:34:08 10/11/01 Thu
I'm watching the lightsaber until you are ready for it..in a no cutting off heads way.....and not running with....and you'll poke your eye out with.........:):)

Chaos theory is best known for its ideas about the unpredictability of complex systems, and the famous expample of the "butterfly effect". In 1963, theoretical physicist Edward Lorenz realized that even the smallest variation in temperature or witn speed could drestically alter weather systems, making them impossible to predict. Pushed to the extreme, theoretically a butterfly flapping its wings in New York could result in a tornado in Tennessee three days later.

Complexity science also dictates that self-organizing systems often evolve toward what is know as the "edge of chaos" a dynamic realm between - or perhaps even transcendent - of a pair of opposites in the functional order. The realm is the system operating at its highest capacity, balanced on none side by entropy and extinction, and the other by stasis.

In a Taoist context, the edge of chaos is something akin to the position of the sage, perfectly balanced between the dual systems of yin and yang.

In relation to Buffy, the first thing that happened that changed the predictable order of the Buffyverse was when Buffy was missed by the CoW and was able to develop without the guidance of the establishment. That set in motion a chain of events that is the Buffyverse today. The second important event was when Buffy "died" the first time...she said she felt "different". I think that difference is what has caused most of what was to come. Buffy may have seemed stronger in a physical way but I think a process started where Buffy began to change the order of the Buffyverse. Remembering that now we know that every reality is in fact a form of hell, what is Buffy here to do? OnM said it best when he spoke of Buffy being able to alter reality. I don't think we have to feel angry at the SG for bringing Buffy back from a state she thought of as heaven, as I think that it's that rememberance of the reality of heaven that may begin to shape how Buffy makes some choices later on.

As for other events that could change a complex system I think of Spikes chip. The chip is a catalyst that could change the way the infection of the demon is treated by the undead vampire. Remember the infection was chaos injected into an ordered system, that original system is human. The vampire may seem to be all chaos but what hidden order could the vampire eventually strive to regain?

Chaos scholars often speak of "emergence,," which is a form of turbulence, or a new pattern, coming forth from the edge of chaos. It exponentially resonates throughout the entire system, a third entity born of two opposing ones. Likewise in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon speaks of a "vergence in the force", clearly a parellel to the phenomenon discussed here. It was this "vergence that brought about Anakin Skywalker.

In perfect congruence with the machinations of the Empire, in the end, Anakin acted as the sage and the amplification of his redemption offset the tyranny of the Emperor as well as destroyed the thousand year cycle of abuse of the Sith. Standing at the center, he became the butterfly, his actions guiding the progression of the entire galaxy. He did not simply turn from the dark side to the light, but rather transcended the dual reality of the Force altogether.

I still think there is a trinity of interaction with Buffy, Spike, and Dawn the Key. The next most important thing that happened in the Buffyverse was the transformation of the Key from one form to another. What lock could there possibly be left to open?
[> Re: OT...The Force, the Tao and the Butterfly..........Slight spoilers for season six....:):) -- VampRiley, 17:40:27 10/11/01 Thu
Lao Tsu states several times the importance of becoming "as a child" again, and it is appropriate that The Phantom Menace introduces Anakin as one. He is the natural Force user at that point, trained by neither Jedi or Sith, acting out of his own center.

I can definitly see this happening to Willow. The only teacher we have ever known her to have is Tara. But Willow is almost always pushing the limits of her power. Some times recklessly. The most we have ever seen anyone give Willow in trying to get her to slow down a little is some talking to. If she isn't careful, she could wide up hurting some people very badly or killing them. Possibily Tara. That's why I'm hoping the SG finds out what Buffy said to Spike. Could she have tried contacting Buffy in the afterlife? Did she even think about doing it? This may sound harsh, but I do belive that Willow needs something that convinces her to slow down. Something tangible. Maybe a death or disfigurement for someone.

[> [> Re: OT...The Force, the Tao and the Butterfly..........Slight spoilers for season six....:):) -- anom, 09:03:43 10/14/01 Sun
"Could she have tried contacting Buffy in the afterlife?"

Maybe she couldn't. Has this ever been presented as possible in the Buffyverse? I can't think of any examples except when a person's ghost was still hanging around.
[> Scary thoughts, Rufus! (Not O/T) -- Wisewoman, 18:25:31 10/11/01 Thu
But in chaos theory, one has to be fully immersed in the system in order to bring about a substantial change to it, meaning Anakin had to be turned to the dark side to transform it from within.

Using this as an analogy, what system are Buffy and/or Willow fully immersed in? One option is the Scooby Gang. Does that mean that either or both of them will bring substantial change to the gang?

The way Willow's going the change might be disastrous. If she sets herself up against Buffy and the rest of the Scoobs take sides, their existence as a unit is threatened.

Worse, she might conceivably change the system by destroying actual people, rather than just the group cohesiveness.

Similarly, if Buffy feels resentement toward Willow chiefly, and perhaps Xander secondarily, that would drive a wedge into the group as well.

Characters have come and gone over the last 5+ years. Even the title character has gone and returned. But the SG has always remained. Even in The Wish, when Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, there was a nascent SG consisting of vampire-hunters Giles and Oz, and some others they'd recruited.

Oh, drat, Rufus! You've made me imagine what the landscape of the Buffyverse would be like without the Scooby Gang! Aaaargh!!

Separate units (Willow/Tara, Xander/Anya, Buffy/Dawn/Spike) just wouldn't be the same.

Tell me this isn't going to happen!
[> [> Re: Scary thoughts, Rufus! (Not O/T) -- Dedalus, 11:09:03 10/12/01 Fri
I don't know what's going to happen.

I like the point VampRiley made ... why didn't Willow try to contact Buffy in the afterlife?
[> [> [> People frequently miss the simple route to a problem......:) -- Rufus, 11:38:34 10/12/01 Fri
I don't think it occured to Willow to go into Buffys mind or attempt to connect with her essence. Willow saw the problem in a simple way....Buffy gone...get her back. Not much planning for someone who has been so scientific. Willow acted on assumptions not upon investigation.
[> [> [> [> Maybe she had and we just don't know it yet... -- VampRiley, 06:05:48 10/13/01 Sat
From the get go, Willow, Tara, Xander and Anya were probably in it. Giles knows more about demon dimensions than Willow. But for obvious reasons, they didn't include him. Anya knows more about demon dimensions than Giles. What if Anya knew of some pleasant afterlife dimensions and they tried all of them. Finding Buffy nowhere, they assume that she is most likely in a horrible afterlife dimension or possibly stuck between dimensions. Anya may not have know about the one Buffy was in. So they try the spell just in case, not knowing what they were really doing.

[> The Butterfly Effect in the Buffyverse -- Humanitas, 12:36:57 10/12/01 Fri
We've certainly seen at least one example of the Butterfly Effect. Buffy gave her name (Anne) to Lilly, and set in motion the psychological chain of events that led to the homeless shelter, a much greater good than the simple giving up of a nametag.

Can anyone come up with others?
jumping to conclusions -- gds, 16:42:13 10/11/01 Thu
After "After Life" we have all assumed that Buffy was in a place she thought of as heaven. This was one of reasonable possibilities so it is probably true. Until we hear otherwise I will accept it as true, but consider this:

Just before she told the SG & Spike her 2 very different stories Dawn said, "It’s because they care about you a lot ..., but it’ll be better now, now that they can see you being happy. That’s all they want."

She tells the SG that she is happy because they brought her back from a hell to so they wouldn’t be unhappy about what they did, but what about what she said to Spike? When she visited Spike in his lair he told her about how he had tried to save her every night since she died. He was in great anguish over his failure to protect Dawn so that Buffy wouldn’t have had to die. However if he thought she had been happy & at peace after she died, then he could stop anguishing over his failure to prevent her death. In other words this is the thing she could tell him to make him so he wouldn’t be unhappy about what he did. It is quite possible that neither story is true (e.g. maybe she was just dead), both being an attempt to make her friends feel better. Since they were contradictory, it is of course important that the SG doesn’t hear the story she told Spike.
[> Re: jumping to conclusions -- VampRiley, 17:17:13 10/11/01 Thu
I hope they do find out. I would love to see the fallout after that. The dramtic possibilities are forming in my noggin. Hatred, anger, pain, self-torment...all very good. ;-)

[> [> mmmmmm...self-torment ;) (NM) -- Boxdman, 22:12:51 10/11/01 Thu
[> I think she told Spike the truth -- Kerri, 18:11:43 10/11/01 Thu
"In other words this is the thing she could tell him to make him so he wouldn’t be unhappy about what he did. It is quite possible that neither story is true "

I don't think that Buffy told a story to Spike to make him happy. I honestly just think she couldn't keep everything to herself. There was so much pain in Buffy's eyes when she told Spike she thought she was in heaven, that I don't think she could have possibly been lying. Buffy didn't need to make Spike happy, and that's why she could open up to him-because it could be about her and not about being "ok" for someone else.
[> Re: jumping to conclusions -- Joann, 18:34:38 10/11/01 Thu
IMO Buffy told the SG a lie and Spike the truth. Buffy didn't consider freeing Angel from hell after she sent him there unlike the SG who gleefully played God. I think they are reprehensible for doing this with no research as to where she was or before seeking advice from Giles. I think it was unlike Xander to go along with such an idea so that part didn't ring true to me. I understand some of Willow's successes have driven her romance with power and that Tara tends to be swayed by her but if anything IMO this will tear apart the SG.
[> Re: jumping to conclusions -- robert, 22:07:27 10/11/01 Thu
In this case, there is some corroboration for the story Buffy told Spike. At the end of part 2 of 'Bargaining', Buffy asked Dawn if this was hell. In this situation, I'm inclined to believe that Buffy was speaking her heart and her feelings. I thus conclude that she did not come from hell. This doesn't preclude the possibility that Buffy lied to all parties.
[> [> Re: jumping to conclusions -- gds, 23:10:33 10/11/01 Thu
She would have said the same thing if she had just been dead (no heaven, no hell) and came from her grave to see her town burning & demons roaming the street - which is exactly what she saw. This is not corroboration. Her attitude throughout this show could be construed as 'circumstantial evidence' of corroboration. But this too could be easily explained. She was a stranger in her own home. She was (and would have to be) very disoriented trying to put together her final memories, her new experiences and the changes that she observed. People often wake up from a small nap completely disoriented (e.g. not knowing what day it is & whether they have slept for 10 minutes or 10 hours). Waking up from the dead after 147 days, finding you were a guest in you own home etc, etc, etc would make someone very disoriented.

To repeat part of my original post,

After "After Life" we have all assumed that Buffy was in a place she thought of as heaven. This was one of reasonable possibilities so it is probably true. Until we hear otherwise I will accept it as true

But other scenarios are just as plausible, and she had a reason to lie to Spike - the same reason as she had for lying to the SG. She lied at least once, she may have lied twice.
"Even a part of her" -- Cynthia, 18:43:09 10/10/01 Wed
Spike stated to Xander that the reason Willow didn't in clue him in on what was happening is because if even a small part of what was bought back was Buffy, Spike wouldn't have let the Scoobies kill her.

This implies two things to me. One: That the Scoobies want Buffy back exact like she was before. Giving no true thought to that the experience what she was going though, whether in hell or in heaven, would alter her. And that they would not accept any or very little less than their version of what Buffy should and shouldn't be.

Two:Whereas Spike would accept her no matter what. Demon, vampire, incomplete. Just like she had given him her acceptance for the little part of him that is still human, even if it is based on memories rather than a soul. This is very much to me in character for Spike. Didn't he love, and in a way stills loves Dru, despite her damaged pscyhe. I think he realized that that's not what Buffy would have wanted for herself, which is why he wouldn't do a spell, despite his wanting her to be back. But he knows himself enough to know that if it happens he wouldn't be able to destory her because of the spell going wrong.

Oh, and that last shot of the last scene, where is Buffy is stepping out into the harsh sunlight. No longer giving her any strength and joy, just pain and unhappiness. Contrasting with Spike fading in the dark, just as trapped and in pain. So yin and yang. So different, yet experiencing shared sameness. Lovely shot.
[> Wow, beautiful post. -- Moose, 22:03:21 10/10/01 Wed
I agree with most of what you said about the gang wanting Buffy back as she was. However, I don't think Spike is right about why they didn't tell him. Willow was running the show and I don't think Willow would have trusted Spike to remain quiet and not tell Giles or try to stop her in some way.

Spike has been the voice of reason when it comes to the realities of life and magic. He doesn't share the Scoobies optimistic view of things always turning out okay. Perhaps being dead does that to a person...

I agree that Spike would have loved Buffy no matter how she came back, as long as it was her.
[> Re: "Even a part of her" -- rowan, 10:55:08 10/11/01 Thu
Spike's comments to Xander have sparked alot of debate. Would Buffy want to remain alive if she were only *part of herself?* Would either Willow or Spike have the *right* to make that decision? Is it symptomatic of Spike's unredeemed evilness that he would even consider keeping a NotQuiteRight!Buffy alive? Or is it symptomatic of his great humanity?

The interpretation I've found most persuasive is that Spike was championing the 'full accountability' aspect of the situation. If what returned had any part of Buffy (meaning it wasn't some mindless, mind-eating zombie without any connection to Buffy other than her body), Spike was willing to play out the consequences of the spell. He was contrasting that with what he perceived as Willow's desire to "fix" things -- and potentially "unfix" them if the result was quite right.
[> [> Re: "Even a part of her" -- Deeva, 11:37:37 10/11/01 Thu
I think that Spike's bit to Xander pointed to his "human weakness" or "selfishness". Who among us has not experienced that awful feeling of wanting a parent, a relative or a lover back so badly just for the sake of you? You don't immediately see the wrong of it just yet. Just the need to assuage the ache within you. It's not really a great failing, just a weakness of sorts. His acceptance of her in any form speaks volumes (although the creepiness of it is a factor) of his love for her.

Would Willow have been capable of destroying or undoing the not-Buffy? Would the fact that it looked like Buffy, but was not mentally Buffy, prevent her from dong anything? She has grown in leaps and bounds power-wise but emotionally she is the same. I don't thnk she would have been able to do it. In her mind she would be killing Buffy.
[> [> [> buffy & anti-buffy -- Solitude1056, 12:55:30 10/11/01 Thu
Willow may have intellectually considered a Plan B for the return of a not-buffy - one that she secretly considered and did not discuss - but she couldn't kill her doppelganger in season 3, and it was clearly a vampire & from an alternate dimension. That makes me skeptical that Willow could go a step further & kill a broken but returned not-Buffy, had the spell not worked. And honestly, it hadn't seemed to me that Willow had even allowed herself to consider that Buffy might return not-Buffy: she seemed to see it as either the spell would work, or it wouldn't. Anytime someone mentioned in Afterlife that maybe Buffy wasn't okay, Willow squashed the conversation immediately with a denial & more insistence that Buffy was fine.

It still bothers me that she didn't seem too worried about the implications of something hitchhiking along with Buffy, even given what it said. I mean, talk about some denial - so it seemed even more ironic that the demon would just, well, "go away" - and there goes any guilt from Willow. Price paid, by ignoring it.

It seems like a bit o' pattern here: Willow causes severe consequences by her actions, and figures that the solution is to basically ignore the consequences. Instead, the consequences can't be ignored, and they're left to Buffy to clean up. And then Willow keeps going, blissfully deluding herself that everything's fine. I mean, look at the situation she caused by provoking Glory before the SG were ready to defend themselves - and Buffy was left to clean it up. Willow was ready to consider it a done deal.

A pattern formed, anyone?
[> [> [> [> Re: buffy & anti-buffy -- rowan, 13:11:00 10/11/01 Thu
I think you're on to something, Sol.

Here's another interesting tidbit suggested by your Buffy and Anti-Buffy labels. Day 2 Buffy was in a dark shirt with her hair pulled back. She barely spoke, seemed out of things, and visited Spike's crypt basically to just hide from everyone, although she claimed to be patrolling. Day 3 Buffy was dressed up, made up, coiffed, and told the infamous lie to the SG after packing a lunch for Dawn. She seemed to have some things in common with the Buffybot.

These two images reminded me of Somber!Buffy and GaveUp!Buffy from WOTW. At the time, we saw those as two pieces of Buffy: one part the Slayer and one part the woman. They were no longer integrated. Willow helped with healing that break through her "get over it" speech about guilt.

Day 2 and Day 3 Buffy in After Life reminded me very strongly of those two Buffys from WOTW, right down to the clothes. Neither Buffy seemed to be behaving naturally; it was almost as if Buffy!Reborn was trying to assume those personas to achieve some type of normalcy. I wonder if ME was giving us a very visible demonstration of Buffy's lack of integrated identity post-rebirth.
[> [> [> [> Re: buffy & anti-buffy -- Cynthia, 21:17:32 10/11/01 Thu
Kinda ironic, Spike, while someone Buffy could have a respect for, was never a person Buffy would have considered a friend and/or a loved one. Willow was both.

Now, by Willow's action, and just as important, total lack of true understanding, has a big chance of losing Buffy's love and friendship and respect. While Spike gains all of these.

How many people have we known, in going thru life, that we thought we would be friends forever and then drift apart? Sometimes reconnecting, sometimes not? Isn't this an event that happens to all of us at sometime or another? But the first time it happens it takes us completely by surprise because we couldn't truly image it happening. The first time we lose a parent, a friend, a job, a lover.

Buffy was and is Willow's and to lesser degree Xander first true friend. Who accepted her for who she was. To lose this acceptance and respect is going to devaste her.
Prophesy Girl FX redux musing -- cjc, 01:46:28 10/12/01 Fri
[Full disclosure--never seen this one till the FX replay. I finally feel whole!!!]

Loved the Buffy falling apart in the library and slinging the book at Giles. "Read me my fortune!"
That was a great line in a great scene, and perfectly delivered by SMG.
[> Re: Prophesy Girl FX redux musing -- Leaf, 04:07:36 10/12/01 Fri
Yes I must say that I love that scene too. SMG was great in that scene.
[> [> Prophesy Girl question -- Duo, 07:44:12 10/12/01 Fri
After Buffy died and got better, she said she felt "different".

could that be because Kendra had just been called? Or was it just all the blood loss?
[> [> [> Prophesy Girl question: just how fast do vampires suck? -- Brian, 09:19:26 10/12/01 Fri
Rewatching PG it seemed to me that the Master just took enough blood to boost his power level to break the energy wall, and he then discarded Buffy, letting her drop into the water and drown. And she did drown as demonstrated by her coughing up water when Xander did CPR on her.

However, when Angel turned to Angelus, and he drank that female bystander, he did it so fast and hard that he was able to exhale her cigarette smoke, and she was dead.

So, do vampires in kill mode just hoover their victims dead?
Or, like with Riley, do they just sip away?
[> [> [> [> Re: Prophesy Girl question: just how fast do vampires suck? -- Peasant, 02:39:26 10/13/01 Sat
Perhaps it is the difference between biting an artery and a vein. With an artery the victims own heart will help pump it out faster.
Angel, Spike, and the Graying of the Buffyverse Pt 1 -- rowan, 08:51:49 10/12/01 Fri
I feel like Harriet Vane when her husband, Peter Wimsey, asked her on their honeymoon if she felt life was worth living (Sayers, Busman’s Honeymoon). Her response came bubbling out of her as if she had waited for a long time to answer that very question. Masq’s excellent post on the ‘problem’ of Spike’s sudden shift from evil guy to…well, less evil guy (with its attending metaphysical & critical implications) seems to be the catalyst for something I’ve wanted to say for a while.

I probably won’t say it very well. But give me points for passion, please.

First, let me set the stage with some thoughts from the experts.

"It seems to me that at some point, Joss jumped from ‘if a demon starts out evil, he stays evil (unless given a soul)’ to ‘well, it’s just a tendency towards evil. Demons can not only change, they can change 180 degrees.’ We all know he did this. We’ve talked about it many times…The change was a metaphysical headache for me. I can accept that some demons/humans are born a certain way…But Spike went from sociopathically to sympathetically good without sufficient explanation." Masquerade, 10/11/2001 16:35:36

"As for change I like it we need it…the Buffyverse was just a little simple for my liking in the first few seasons. The uncertainty about vampires caused by the anomalous behavior of one makes me glad that we ask the hard question about who is okay to kill on sight? If the Buffyverse had not evolved I would have become bored as the ships aren’t all that interesting to me. Testing canon is more to my liking." Rufus, 10/11/02 17:49:36

The Buffyverse started as a place with a certain metaphysical consistency. If you had a soul, you were good; if you didn’t, you were evil. The soul distinguished the humans from the demons and so therefore, humans were good and demons were evil. Our shining example of that was Angel. This complex, tortured, compelling character went from souled human to unsouled demon to souled demon. We watched the effect that had on him and we knew what it meant. He was our first exception (demon with human soul) that proved our rules.

The early seasons showed us how a group of adolescents learned about the truths of the world and how they navigated through that world. The problems they confronted were often externalized into the demons/monsters/vampires that they fought, giving us a clear picture of what was ethical behavior and what was not.

But somewhere along the line, the focus of the Buffyverse changed. The paradigm shifted. To some extent, the show was a victim of its own success. We became so engaged in these core characters. They were alive to us and to the writers. So the focus shifted even more towards their process of growing up. Ostensibly, Season 6 is the ‘oh, grow up’ season. Our core characters are entering adulthood (coincidentally timed with their 21st birthdays) and are taking their first steps towards forming their own family units instead of just being part of their parents’ family unit. But the show has always been about growing up, hasn’t it? JW eventually told us that vampires are not about evil, they are about ‘alienation’. Suddenly, our major theme underlying each season is not focused around good/evil (and its ethical implications) but about alienation/community (and its ethical implications). The ties that bind are our focus: who forms them and how they tend them.

We’ve all seen shows where the core characters never change. Beverly Hills 90210 springs to mind. The characters age and things happen to them, but they don’t evolve. BtVS evolves its characters. As they evolve, their world view becomes more complex. ME is showing us what a lot of us experience in the Realverse as we get older: everything is a shade of gray. They are showing us the struggle with essential questions all of us face: How do I know what the right thing to do in any given situation is? What can I count on as a certainty in my life? What is happiness and how do I balance it with duty?

[> Re: Angel, Spike, and the Graying of the Buffyverse Pt 2 -- rowan, 08:53:21 10/12/01 Fri
This change appeared to occur about Season 3 with the departure of Angel (who I’ve already indicated was in some sense the embodiment of the early themes of the Buffyverse). Concidentally, that was the time when the core characters were turning 18 and taking their first steps out of the parental nest. But the new paradigm needed someone to embody what it was about. That person is Spike. Spike, as a vampire, comes with the baggage of alienation. But one of Spike’s qualities, contrarily, is a desire to live in community. We saw that in his relationship with Dru, then his relationship with the Summers women, and now in his relationship with the SG. Now we have the "delicious tension" (a lovely phrase coined by Masq) of the new themes. Spike also manages to punch a big hole right through the SG’s core community as the catalyst for the formation of new family units in the next stage of adulthood.

Spike’s journey also has resonance because it hits right at the heart of some deep questions. To quote another William, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." (Shakespeare, Julius Casesar). Am I the captain of my ship or am I a hostage to my fate? Angel’s story could never answer that question because the soul curse is externally imposed. He is forever marked as one of a kind. His struggle is only his struggle. It’s a compelling one. I watch it every week with fascination. But Spike’s struggle is our struggle.

This is not to say, by the way, that Angel and Spike are the focus of the Buffyverse. This is still Buffy’s story. But their presence allows ME to create a sort of chemical reaction that facilitates the telling of Buffy’s story. This is also not to imply that the increasing graying of the Buffyverse is solely the result of Spike or Angel. We have Lorne. We have Warren. We have Darla. We have the Buffybot. Lots of humans and demons started to creep in and challenge our assumptions. But Spike’s a regular, so he attracts some attention.

Now the next question is, did ME handle this paradigm shift well? Can it be explained in a way that is internally consistent with Buffyverse logic? The answer may well be ‘no.’ In some ways, we’ve gotten the fact of it shown to us over the course of Season 5 (and now Season 6), but the backstory to support it is coming slowly. Perhaps this is because the shift occurred in the third season of a potential 5-7 season show. Perhaps it’s because ME is not totally unified in their approach. And the writers have also become (as Masq points out) very wary of discussing things that will end up as canon to the viewers. They are cagey. They painted themselves into a corner early on, they feel they’ve escaped, and they’re not going back.

Now, to some extent, once we passed the question of how it was done, this becomes a question of taste. Do you prefer clarity and consistency or do you prefer messiness? Do you want the bendy twisty rules or should rules be rules? Which makes for better television? The Buffyverse may never again yield for us any clear principles. MN said in an interview that the show is about responsibility (except for Spike *g*). I would be bold enough to rephrase that and say the show is about accountability. That seems to be the metaphysical concept underlying it. Willow and Xander walked through the woods, following what Xander believed to be the north star. But instead of that ‘ever fix’d mark’, they were following a moving blimp. Yet, when Tara sent out her blue light of love & community, they could follow it home (despite that fact that it bobbed and weaved like a firefly).

For me, it’s all starting to boil down to two things: as long as you don’t hurt anyone, do what you want; and what you send out returns. Now, some of you are saying, ‘rowan, you’re applying your own personal ethical principles to BtVS.’ Well, my response is, I’m applying some principles that have a universal presence in many philosophies and religions. These ideas are the ideas of accountability that ME continues to seem fascinated to show us. What you do affects others; living in community requires living in harmony; the things you do are not right or wrong, but they have consequences that must be met.

Because of all this, I can accept a little sloppiness in the evolution of Spike. I’m forgiving the sins of execution on the basis of taste. But I’ll still need a little aspirin to get over the headache.
[> [> Re: Angel, Spike, and the Graying of the Buffyverse Pt 2 -- Aquitaine, 09:14:12 10/12/01 Fri
Let's hear it for the virtues of messiness! Canons can be very powerful in their own linear way *wink wink* but, personally, I'd rather see a barely contained, big, ungainly, sprawling mess. Chacun son goût, however...

That was a lovely essay, Rowan.

- Aquitaine
[> [> [> Aquitaine, you're here! -- Masquerade, 11:13:09 10/12/01 Fri
Hope you will submit a profile to our "Meet the Posters"

[> [> [> [> I tempted her with Spike....:) -- rowan, 15:53:10 10/12/01 Fri
[> [> [> [> [> Other Grabby..........I'm shocked!!!!!! -- Rufus, 21:24:15 10/12/01 Fri
You let go of Spike long enough to let someone else grab the poor fellow? You're slipping or you have been drugged......;)
[> [> [> [> Re: Aquitaine, you're here! -- Aquitaine, 10:16:41 10/14/01 Sun
Thanks for remembering me guys! Cyberspace is notoriously fickle. Sigh. I took a break from BtVS this summer and vowed to stay unspoiled for Season 6. This is proving to be VERY difficult because Buffy airs on Saturdays here in Montréal. Wah! I spend all week chomping at the bit, wanting to read and respond to posts on ATPoBtVS. I *am* enjoying this enforced passive/reading phase in a way. It means I actually have to do a great deal of thinking. Ouch!

- Aquitaine
[> [> [> [> [> Poor us Canadians ;) -- Dreaded Dawn, 18:01:59 10/14/01 Sun
I'm trying to stay unspoiled, but even skimming the subject lines seems to be TMI these days... it seems like the only solution is totally avoiding the board for 6 days a week.

On a side note, do you watch BtVS on YTV? Don't they seem to cut to commercial at the oddest times? Not to mention the annoying dancing alien logo - but I am lucky enough to be able to watch it on another local channel, unlike most Canadians I guess.
[> [> [> Aquitaine! You have been missed... -- VampRiley, 12:19:39 10/12/01 Fri
Been a while since we heard from you, I think.

Rowan, love the essay. I got to go with messyness and uncertainty. Helps makes things and people more morally ambiguous, creating even more shade of grey, which in turn, leads to more and possibly better drama.

[> [> Re: Angel, Spike, and the Graying of the Buffyverse Pt 2 -- Rufus, 11:35:29 10/12/01 Fri
In Bargaining, Buffy was looking for clarity on the platform, the simple answer is she may never find it in the Buffyverse. There will always be things happening that blur the situation making one search for answers that may be harder to answer without intense contemplation. In season one, the demons acted in a predictable way insuring that the response of the Slayer was at all times appropriate. It was at the end of season two in Becoming 2 that the first blurry situation arose. It was when Spike made a deal to work with Buffy to defeat Angelus. At first it looked like services for an understandable price, Dru. But it's way more complex than that. Spike, a being that is supposed to only be evil, was able to see enough value in the world to not want it's destruction. Sure, the happy meals on legs is an understandable reason, but some of that reason went beyond Drusilla, keeping the food supply going. Spike liked this world, is attached to it. He likes certain landmarks and activities that made him able to go past the demon need for chaos and want the order to remain, well, somewhat orderly. While Angelus was only able to see what he wanted, Spike could see that the big picture meant that everyone could die. Vampires, humans, Trafalger Square. So, how much humanity is still in the demon? I have always felt that by looking at what the vampire does can give us a reason beyond just killing people. The vampire is strongly directed by past hurts and memories. So why they kill is sometimes only explainable if you consider who the person infected, possessed once was. If there was little humanity left then they couldn't love, couldn't hold a grudge from the past that leaks into what they do as a demon. It wouldn't matter, they would go with the programming to kill people, destroy, cause chaos. But I feel that there is something beyond that. You have a hybrid, a result of an infection. The loss of the soul can only change the direction of the hosts morality...it doesn't mean that they can't make choices based upon human feelings. As soon as Spike helped Buffy for more than a quick meal and Drusilla, I saw the potential for our current sticky situation. Now, all we have to do is wait to see if Spike is just an explainable exception to the rule, or, if vampires by the person they once were can become more than meets the eye.

Great essay.....other grabby...;)
[> [> Re: Angel, Spike, and the Graying of the Buffyverse Pt 2 -- bible belt, 17:56:08 10/12/01 Fri
I liked your essay too. For me it brings to mind the Thanksgiving episode (can’t remember the title) when Spike has just recently got his chip installed, and through a window he sees the other Vamps feeding and he’s left out in the cold. The SG has not accepted him yet, so he didn’t have any place to go for Thanksgiving.
[> [> Re: Another perspective on Angel's journey, part1 -- sasha, 22:53:29 10/12/01 Fri
Rowan stated things so compactly and eloquently, that it may take me a few days to truly digest it enough to post! However, I was struck immediately by one phrase which resonates with me:

"Am I the captain of my ship or am I a hostage to my fate? Angel's story could never answer that question because the soul curse is externally
imposed. He is forever marked as one of a kind. His struggle is only his struggle. It's a compelling one. I watch it every week with fascination. But Spike's struggle is our struggle."

Contrawise, I see Angel's journey as very much the same as mine. Angel is striving to gain redemption, which TPTB have defined for him as becoming human. I also strive for redemption, but my concept may not be as concrete or clearly defined as his.

Yes, Angel's curse was externally imposed; he did not choose it. But are not our very lives also externally imposed? We did not choose to be born; someone else decided that for us. But now that we're here, and we have souls, the choices about what we will do and who we will become are all up to us. Do we want to be good or bad or indifferent? Will we help people or kill them?

And yes, Angel stands alone, unique in the whole Buffyverse; there has never been another vampire with a soul. But are not we also, everyone unique? Do we not all contirbute a unique something just by our being?

And is our journey not the same? Are we not working toward some kind of redmeption/heaven? Ours may not be as clearly defined as Angels; we may have more paths to choose from (religions, philosophies); we may or may not (depending on your beliefs) receive direct guidance from TPTB, but still, we are all striving for something be it remption/heaven, money, social standing, family. And do not our goals and paths also have obstacles (poverty, hunger, traumas, illness, losses) that we can choose to overcome or to give into? Don't we face temptations and trials everyday which threaten to slow us down?

And lastly, do we not all have demons of some form inside us that we struggle to overcome? Do we not also have parts of ourselves that we hide from our friends and families because we are ashamed/embarrased/uncomfortable ourselves with parts of ourselves? I know I ask myself everyday "do I want to improve? do I want to become kinder, wiser, more giving? or do I want to stick my head in the sand and let the world go to hell in a handbasket if it wants to?" Some days I choose the first, other days, the second.
[> [> [> Re: Another perspective on Angel's journey, part2 -- sasha, 23:00:57 10/12/01 Fri
Angel's enviroment and circumstances are different than mine. He has been given a soul (and a conscience in the form of the ATeam, especially Cordy --sorry, just had to jump at the chance to put "Cordy" and "conscience" in the same sentence! :), and visions to guide him, but still, the choices are all up to him. Does he want to become human? Does he want to hide away in the dark of the Hyperion Hotel for the rest of his undead time? Can/will he rise above the adversity in his journey? Will he save Faith's soul? Will he save Darla's? He still needs blood; when faced with the temptation of a wounded human, will he give into the demon or stay on his dimly lighted path? And mostly, can he overcome/triumph over the demon inside him? Will he CHOOSE to overcome the demon or will he decide his path is too steep and rocky and give up?

Angel's environment and circumstances may be different than mine, but we both struggle onwards and upwards on our journeys. I for one do not continaully have to make life and death decisions, fear sunlight and fire and stakes, remain alert and in top fighting form becuase the warriors for good and the warriors for evil are ALL trying to kill me every day, save my friends from being kidnapped, face aversion from everyone around me and sometimes even my friends because of what I am that I cannot help, and keep around me only friends that I can count on to kill me if my inner demon gets out of control. I was going to say how my life is so difficult also, but when I look at Angel's, my problems seem rather trite! :) I think the best way to say this is that my problems are difficult enough for my environment: putting myself through college, losing my job, standing on my own with no safety net. All these things are a great struggle and very painful.

And what are Angel's goals: control the demon, redemption, becoming human. These are my goals also. When he struggles to push his boulder up the hill only to watch it roll back down, I'm there beside him, pushing my own. I see him strive and it encourages me. Every baby step he takes, every time he reaches out to a human, like in Disharmony when he ordered 20 sandwiches for Cordy because he couldn't remember what kind she liked or in Sanctuary when he defies Buffy, Kate, and the Ateam to help Faith solely because she says "help me" or in The Trial where he tries to save Darla's soul because he felt she didn't really get a chance to be human during her first stint at life, shows me that it pays to care for people, if for no other results than the personal satisfaction of having done my best. To me, this is why his story is so compelling: will his struggles and choices gain him redemption? And if I do my best, will mine?
[> [> [> Re: Another perspective on Angel's journey, part1 -- rowan, 05:39:54 10/13/01 Sat
But Angel's journey (and I agree that's it a compelling redemptive journey) is still one that is unique: first, because he has that pesky soul to help him feel consequences and remorse and second, because he has obviously been "selected" for a special role by the PTB.

Spike, on the other hand, has nothing -- just himself and his love for another person. He has no soul, so he doesn't really "feel" things quite the way Angel can. Nor do we have any sense that the PTB even know he exists.

That's why I've always felt that while Angel's process is one that we can apply to our lives, most of us aren't ever going to feel that we're in the same boat with Angel. Spike speaks to those of us who don't feel "marked by fate" and are a bit more muddled as to what is right and what is wrong.
[> [> [> [> Re: Another perspective on Angel's journey, part1 -- spike lover, 15:02:52 10/14/01 Sun
don't the PTB know everything?
[> [> [> [> Re: Another perspective on Angel's journey, part1 -- sasha, 18:35:09 10/14/01 Sun
Rowan, I haven't really seen Spike, so didn't feel I could address that part of your question. I see now that I probably should have tried to do a "compare and contrast" response, but hoped that I could get away with merely discussing the Angel side.

Actually, I do agree with some of your Angel points. First, that he has been directly selected by TPTB. And I will take the risk of speculation here, that ya know, I bet he completes his jouney eventually! Yes, he will muddle along and go forward and back and make the right decision followed by the wrong decision and sometimes jump in the wrong convertible or kill the wrong being or jump in the wrong empty swiming pool, or save the wrong person and diss his gang and reunite with his gang, but I think there've been a few definitive scenes where he has shown his goal is concrete to him and he reaffirms he's striving for it.

Yes, I agree (from the 3 eps I've seen! :)) that things are more muddled for Spike, and I can see how many people might relate to him.

I just wanted to make a case for why I relate to Angel, but maybe I should have used more "I" pronouns rather than the vague "we"?
[> Multiple points for passion, Rowan -- Liq, 09:08:18 10/12/01 Fri
Can we post this as an essay for Fictionary Corner?
[> [> Re: Multiple points for passion, Rowan -- rowan, 09:10:49 10/12/01 Fri
If you think it's good enough, be my guest. Thanks for the positive feedback.
[> [> [> Great Essay - some thoughts -- Brian, 09:40:19 10/12/01 Fri
As the SG approach the expansion of their understanding of adulthood, their view of their world is expanding as well. From the narrow walls of Sunnydale in the first seasons, to the world in the later. Buffy saved Sunnydale from the Hellmouth several times, then in Season 5 she not only saved Sunnydale, but the world, and the whole Universe.
Their area of action has grown, and they are growing with it. The journey will be a hard one for them all. Buffy is now a character who has been to a "Hell" and a "Heaven."
Both experiences will have impact on her future.

The SG became a family in Season 5, even including the "black sheep" of the Family, Spike. Now this new nuclear family must learn to understand and cope with their strengths and their weaknesses. They will find their salvation in their adaptability, and in understanding the need to forgive each other, and move on.
[> [> I second that! -- Solitude1056, 09:52:22 10/12/01 Fri
[> Wonderful essay, rowan! -- Wisewoman, 11:04:20 10/12/01 Fri
And I agree that the concept of community, of family, is becoming a major focus of BtVS.

This seems to me to be one of the essential differences between the characters of Angel and Spike. Once Angel regained his soul he became, essentially, a solitary entity. He has his own AI gang now, but even as recently as last season he rejected his community in favour of solitude.

Spike, OTOH, chipped or unchipped, seems to require community, either as a member of Angelus' gang, part of a couple with Dru or Harmony, or part of the SG, regardless of how they've tried to marginalize him.

I think he'd be more than happy to settle for a family unit consisting of himself, Buffy, and Dawn. But Buffy's and Dawn's ties to the larger group make that unlikely, at least at present.

This need for community is often seen as being a part of a female mindset, in contrast to the male preference for hierarchy. It's one of the characteristics that I think makes Spike such an attractive character to many people; one of the many quirks in his personality, which includes the heart (if not the soul ) of a romantic poet.

I think the whole concept of community and family is one that's going to be explored in depth this season. While I'm looking forward to it, the first three hours of season 6 lead me to believe that it's going to be very painful, as well as powerful.

Thanks, rowan. I loved that!!

[> 1 vote for messiness! The big, ungainly things are more inteesting to me by comparison. ;o) -- Deeva, 12:07:04 10/12/01 Fri
[> The problem may not be the demons, but rather humans... -- Moose, 13:22:31 10/12/01 Fri
Demons have always been marked by the white-hats for destruction. The graying of demons and whether they can reform their demonic ways has an inverse effect.

Humans can be/do good and evil. If demons become just another race then why the "no killing humans" rule? Or rather, no killing anything with a soul rule.

Granting non-souled creatures such as Spike with the same considerations as souled creatures makes the distinction meaningless. If non-souled creatures can do good and love and whatnot without a soul, what good is a soul?

And other than racism, how can anyone in Buffyverse justify NOT killing evil humans the same as they would kill evil demons?

Joss often takes the easy way out and has demonic evil kill human evil (Adam kills Maggy, Mayor kills Snyder etc...). One of the few times he didn't was with Faith, when Buffy needed her blood to cure Angel. But even then, she never succeeded in killing her. And later she was "saved" by Angel.

Regardless, I find the Spike problem expanding into the basic fabric of the Buffyverse and rending large holes in it. The only real solution is to have Spike somehow obtain a soul, whether it be by growing one through acts of love and kindness, or by some other mystical means.

If Spike is made unique, the Buffyverse returns to normal. If he is not, then hell has truly broken loose.
[> [> Re: The problem may not be the demons, but rather humans... -- LoriAnn, 07:02:01 10/13/01 Sat
"Regardless, I find the Spike problem expanding into the basic fabric of the Buffyverse and rending large holes in it."

Or are we simply seeing the Buffy-world from a more adult point of view? The realities of life always make large holes in the fabric of an adolescent's universe. If this doesn't happen, the adolescent remains an adolescent, and that's not a happy thought. It's nice to see things as black or white, a typical trait of adolescence, but it's not a correct vision of reality. Growing up is hard, and to do so, we have to lose the easy answers of adolescence because, in the world of adult responsibility, there are no easy questions.
[> [> [> The analogy works to a point... -- Moose, 11:05:50 10/13/01 Sat
However, there is a heaven and hell in the Buffyverse. There is good and evil. I agree that Joss is probably making the argument that the world isn't so black and white. However, such arguments need to be made in a coherent fashion. Shades of grey make for interesting shows but the internal contradictions, if they are not explained, degrade the show's integrity, IMNSHO.

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